Taylor Fladgate 2018 Vintage Porto, Portugal
Producer's Notes: "Impressive purple-black core with a narrow purple rim. An intense burst of powerful woodland fruit, a dense coulis blackberry and blackcurrant, almost overwhelms the nose. The black fruit aromas are infused with discreet notes of cherry and mocha. As would be expected of Taylor’s, the fruit is very fine and focused, but the year seems to have given it an additional layer of density and weight. A familiar veil of violet scent hangs over the wine, together with a fragrance of rose petal and wild, minty herbal aromas.
On the palate, the wine has beautifully ripe tannins, which integrate perfectly into the mid-palate, providing both structure and volume, and then break out on the finish with a firm wiry, grip. The palate closes with a powerful tide of fresh, complex fruit flowing endlessly through the finish. In the 2018, the Taylor traits of fine fruit and inner power combine seamlessly with the ripeness and depth typical of the vintage."
98 points Decanter: A blend from Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior (the backbone) and Quintas Terra Feita and Junco in the Pinhão Valley. Deep, scented (violets and esteva or gum cistus), minty too, restrained but already quite expressive; lovely pure mint and berry fruit backed by fine-grained tannins, which rise in the mouth to a long, level, linear finish. Not especially big but beautifully poised and very elegant. This has all the qualities of a long-term keeper. It is already magnificent and will be even more so in 15 to 20 years. 7,800 cases produced. Drinking Window 2033 - 2065 (RM) (5/2020)
98 points Wine Enthusiast: This is an exceptional vintage, most unusually the third in a row from this producer. Intensely perfumed, richly structured with dark-black fruits, concentrated tannins, it is set for seriously long-term aging. The power of the wine, based around the producer's Quinta da Vargellas, is magnificent. Drink this major Port from 2029. (RV) (12/2020)
96 points Wine Spectator: Remarkably harmonious already, with a beautiful display of unadulterated blueberry, blackberry and plum sauce flavors that fan out, while anise, ganache and cassis accents fill in. So lush and seductive through the finish, it’s nearly drinkable. But just wait. Best from 2030 through 2050. 7,800 cases made. JM) (2/2021)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: The 2018 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for approximately 18 months in very old and large wooden vats. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. This is the third straight declaration (2016, 2017 and this 2018) of a classic Vintage Port for Taylor's. Of those three, this so far would be my least favorite, but it's close and time will tell. Aromatic and expressive, this adds a big bang for a finish that reminds you that it is, indeed, Taylor's. After opening it on the first day tasted, it tightened fast and showed the structure I like to see in serious Ports. It has that classic flavor profile as well and shows fine concentration. Even 48 hours later it had no problem showing off a little muscle, even though it drank decently at that point. The fruit is expressive, as noted, but it is still a bit closed just now.....(MS) (12/2020)