2008 Single Quinta Ports from the Taylor Fladgate group   
Some serious Ports from an excellent non-declared vintage

For Port, Vintages are only declared on average three times a decade. Therefore, there’s some great value Port to be had in ‘shadow vintages’ – really good vintages that aren’t declared simply because of their proximity to declared years. 2008, it seems, is such a year. Following from the brilliant 2007 vintage, it’s also an excellent vintage, but perhaps not quite as shining as its predecessor.

I was sent cask samples (half bottles) of the 2008 single quinta wines from the Taylor Fladgate group. These are all of good vintage Port standard, but because they are released as single quinta wines, they represent somewhat of a bargain. I tried these Ports over several evenings, so I hope these notes are  pretty representative of the wines.  


Taylor’s Quinta de Terra Feita 2008
Intensely aromatic: rich, tarry and spicy with a lovely combination of freshness and richness. The palate is concentrated, dense and savoury with a lovely tension between the sweet, dark fruits and the savoury, spicy notes. Lovely richness and density, with firm tannins. Brilliant. 96/100

Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas 2008
Rich and sweet with dark cherry, plum and blackberry fruit on the nose, as well as some spicy notes. The palate is pure, smooth and sweet with some lush dark fruits over a spicy, tannic backbone. Rich and lush, but with enough structure to maintain interest. Seductive with real refinement. 94/100

Fonseca Quinta do Panascal 2008
Beautiful nose: sweet blackcurrant fruit with a savoury spiciness and some blackcurrant bud richness. The palate is dense and spicy with great concentration and lovely savouriness. Rich blackcurrant and blackberry fruit with nice tannic structure. A superb port with lovely density and structure. 95/100

Fonseca Guimaraens 2008
Rich, spicy, cedary and warm with dense blackberry and dark cherry fruit. Bold, concentrated and well balanced, with some nice floral violet notes as well as the richer, spicy, woody characters. Firm tannins, too. Very appealing. 93/100

Croft Quinta da Roeda 2008
Quite dense, rich and sweet with blackberry and plum fruit and nice spicy tannins. Sweet, lush, jammy fruit  dominates. Sweet and approachable on opening, yet with a week open this puts on weight. A lovely Port. 93/100

Wines tasted 07/10  
Find these wines with


Introduction: visiting Taylor, Croft and Fonseca in Portugal's Douro
Taylor's Port, and Quinta de Vargellas
Fonseca's Port, and Quinta da Panascal
Croft Port and Quinta da Roeda
The Nogueira Winery: making Port
The Yeatman, a new luxury hotel in Porto
The 2008 single Quinta Ports from Taylor, Fonseca and Croft
Photos from the Douro Valley, Part 5, Taylor's Vargellas and Fonseca's Panascal
Photos from the Douro Valley, part 4
Photos from the Douro Valley, part 3, Croft's Quinta da Roeda, Douro


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