“For many, Taylor’s is the archetypal Port house and its wines the quintessential Ports. Established over three centuries ago in 1692, Taylor’s is one of the oldest of the founding Port houses. It is dedicated entirely to the production of Port wine and in particular to its finest styles. Above all, Taylor’s is regarded as the benchmark for Vintage Port. Noted for their elegance and poise as well as for their restrained power and longevity, Taylor’s Vintage Ports are blended from the finest wines of the firm’s own quintas or estates, Vargellas, Terra Feita and Junco. These three iconic properties, each occupying a distinct geographic location and with their own unique character, are the cornerstone of the company’s success and the main source of its unique and inimitable house style.” – http://www.Taylor.pt
“Port is a fortified wine. Fortified wines are made by adding a proportion of grape spirit, or brandy, to the wine at some point during the production process. Port is arguably the greatest of all fortified wines and its paramount expression, Vintage Port, ranks alongside the finest produce of Bordeaux or Burgundy as one of the great iconic wines of the world. In the case of Port, the addition of the brandy takes place before the wine has finished fermenting. This means that the wine retains some of the natural sweetness of the grape, making it rich, round and smooth on the palate.
“One of the fascinating aspects of Port wine is its variety of different styles, each with its own characteristic flavours, from the intense berry fruit flavours of a Reserve or a Late Bottled Vintage to the rich mellowness of an Aged Tawny or the sublime complexity of a Vintage Port. More than any other wine, Port offers endless opportunities for pairing with food.
“Traditionally it is served towards the end of the meal with cheese, as a dessert wine or as an after dinner drink although some styles, like white Port, can also be enjoyed as an aperitif. Many creative chefs also enjoy pairing Port wine with main dishes and it is one of the best wines to enjoy with chocolate or a fine cigar. Port is regarded as one of the most civilised and sociable of wines which will help to make any occasion special, whether a quiet evening by the fireside, an informal gathering of friends or a sophisticated formal meal.
“Port wine is produced in the mountainous eastern reaches of the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, one of the world’s oldest and most beautiful vineyard areas where wine has been made for at least two thousand years. In 1756 the Port wine vineyards of the Douro became the first vineyard area in the world to be legally demarcated. Like other great classic wines, Port owes its distinctive character to a unique association of climate, soil, grape variety and wine making tradition. The unique terroir of the Douro Valley and its remarkable wines cannot be replicated elsewhere.” – http://www.Taylor.pt
“Taylor’s is respected as a producer of wood aged ports and holds one of the largest reserves of rare cask aged wines from which its distinguished aged tawny Ports are drawn. The house is also known as the originator of Late Bottled Vintage [Port], a style which the firm pioneered and of which it remains the leading producer. Above all, Taylor’s is an independent company in which some family members play a leading role in all areas of the firm’s activity. The firm’s long and unbroken family tradition has provided continuity and clarity of purpose, essential attributes of any great wine house. It has also allowed the skills and knowledge required to produce the finest ports to be constantly refined and added to in the light of experience as they are passed down from one generation to the next. Based in Oporto and the Douro Valley the company is closely involved in all stages of the production of its Ports, from the planting of the vineyard and the cultivation of the grapes to the making, ageing, blending and bottling of the wines.” – http://www.Taylor.pt
Alistair Robertson [see our next blog post for our photograph of him] was born in Oporto into a family with close connections with the Port wine trade. As Managing Director of Taylor Fladgate & Yeatman, he came up with an idea to expand the appeal of Port wine to drinkers around the world – without the need for consumers to purchase and then age a Vintage Port for best drinking. “Alistair’s idea was to produce a Port wine of a single year that had been fined and filtered so it could be drunk by the glass, without decanting, as soon as it was bottled. This was achieved by allowing the wine to remain longer in the wood than a Vintage Port, in other words by ‘late bottling’. Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage was launched in 1970 with the 1965 vintage. Although initially met with a measure of scepticism by some members of the Port wine trade, LBV was a resounding success and gradually other Port houses launched their own versions.
“The firm’s extensive reserves of fine cask aged tawnies, built up over the years, also came into their own. In 1973 the Instituto do Vinho do Porto (IVP), the trade’s governing body, created new rules allowing producers to state the age on the labels of old tawny Ports. Taylor’s was the first major house to take advantage of this, launching a full range of 10, 20, 30 and 40-Year-Old Tawnies which it continues to offer to this day.” – http://www.Taylor.pt