When it comes to vintage Port, Classic Vintages tend to be declared sparingly (3 per decade on average). But to have three back-to-back vintages declared, as Taylor's have done recently, is extremely rare. The quality has to be truly exceptional to justify this occurrence and yet despite a challenging start to the 2018 viticultural cycle, and as the harvest drew nearer, the conditions for making outstanding Vintage Port all fell into place. Yields were low, but some fine Ports have been made.

Commenting on the decision to declare 2018 as a classic Vintage, Taylor’s managing director, Adrian Bridge said, “This is a year in which overall conditions were excellent, but exceptional in the Douro Superior. As Taylor’s is the only one of our companies with extensive land holdings in this part of the Douro, it has been able to make a Classic."

Clearly, Taylor's made the right call as the wine press have been universal in their high praise, such as Neal Martin at Vinous, describing the 2018 Vintage as “Pure class".

Outside of the classic Vintage label, there are also a number of other excellent examples of Port declarations from the 2018 vintage that represent great value and certainly worthy of attention.

Fonseca will release a 2018 Guimaraens Vintage Port and the first bottling under the Guimaraens label since 2015. The Guimaraens concept is unique, offering a wine with the same make up and character as the classic Fonseca Vintages, but made in a more approachable, early drinking style. David Guimaraens believes that the 2018 is one of the finest recent examples of a Guimaraens Vintage.. "with its rich, dense woodland fruit and sturdy, but well integrated tannins.”

Finally, Croft will release a 2018 single-quinta Vintage Port from its historic Quinta da Roêda estate. Adrian Bridge commented, “The Quinta da Roêda 2018 delivers the characteristic ripe fruit and scented quality, which are the hallmark of the Roêda wines, together with the taut tannins and freshness of the year.”

All three are due to be bottled in July and shipped in October 2021. The Croft will be drinking beautifully after only another 2-3 years in bottle, whereas the other two will reward keeping until their 10th anniversary, if you can! Needless to say, these three Ports will continue to evolve for many, many more years.

Half bottles are also being offered, which I find a very convenient size with fortified wines. It is also worth noting that wine tends to age a little more quickly in smaller bottles too.

I hope this selection is of interest and please let me know before the end of April if you would like me to secure stock of any of these for you.

Best regards

Karl Elwood, Director
  • Minimum order 1 case
  • Offered In Bond as cases of bottles (6x75cl) and halves (12x37.50cl)
  • Shipment due October 2021 at which point customs, duty and VAT charges will be invoiced prior to delivery. Delivery under bond can be arranged upon request
  • No delivery charge for orders over £250, otherwise delivery charged at cost
  • Offered subject to availability
  • This offer closes on 30/4/2021
Croft Quinta da Roêda 2018
"This would be my favourite of the trio." The Wine Advocate 94/100
Vinous 93/100
Jancis Robinson 17/20

Croft's opulent house style has always been popular with buyers, but it is their ownership of the vineyard Quinta da Roêda that lies at the heart of the house and upon which their fine reputation has been built.

This is more about fruit than structure, though, and this sexy, nuanced and succulent Port is going to be hard to resist as it ages. Likely to be accessible on the younger side, it should still hold very well. I need to see a bit more to be fully convinced, but right now this seems like the steal and sleeper of the Fladgate Partnership trio this issue (the Fonseca and Taylor's being the others). For the moment—and young Ports do change notably as they age—this would be my favorite of the trio. ” The Wine Advocate 94/100 points

£ 85 per case (6 x 75cl) In Bond
£ 90 per case (12 x 37.5cl) In Bond
Fonseca Guimaraens 2018
"Excellent'" Neal Martin Vinous 95/100
Richard Mayson 18.5/20

Although Fonseca didn’t declare a classic Vintage in 2018, this is still the pick of the crop from their three estates. The focus is on earlier maturing wines and represents an extremely well priced single vintage Port compared to their classic Vintage.

'It has a little more warmth than the Quinta da Roeda 2018 tasted alongside, certainly one of the more decadent aromatics. The palate is sweet and fleshy on the entry with black fruit, tar, desiccated orange peel, Xmas cake and juniper berries. I admire the harmony of this Vintage Port. The firm structure only becomes apparent towards the finish. Wonderful length on the aftertaste, the mouth stained with Port for 60 seconds after. Excellent.' 95/100 points Neal Martin, Vinous

£ 115 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
£ 120 per case (12x37.5cl) In Bond
Taylor's 2018
"Pure class" Neal Martin Vinous 97/100,
Richard Mayson 19.5/20

Taylor’s is recognised as a benchmark for Vintage Port, with its classic Vintages attracting the highest scores and auction prices. Known for their elegance, longevity and distinctive scented character, they are blended from the finest wines of the firm’s own ‘quintas’ or estates, notably Quinta de Vargellas.

The 2018 Taylor’s Vintage Port comes predominantly from two vineyards: Quinta de Vargellas and Quinta de Terra Feita. It has a classy, aristocratic bouquet, a signature note apropos Taylor’s Vintage: dense black fruit with touches of melted tar, cloves and white pepper. This just builds and builds in the glass. The palate is very harmonious with fine tannins, perfect acidity and very pure with a gentle, almost caressing second half. White pepper interlaces the black fruit with a very precise finish. Pure class.97/100 points Neal Martin, Vinous

£ 325 per case (6x75cl) In Bond
£ 330 per case (12x37.5cl) In Bond
Minimum order 1 case. Offered subject to availability. E&OE. Closing date for this offer is 20.4.21.

Please note where the wines are offered as cases of six 75cl or twelve 37.5cl bottles. Prices are per case In Bond. Shipment due October 2021 at which point, customs, duty and VAT will be charged.

Delivery will be charged at cost for orders less than £250, delivery charges can be advised at time of order.

Please reply to this email if you would like order any of these wines or give me a call on 01273 242535.

Karl Elwood