Ultimate Beverage Challenge 89 points - May 2011 Ultimate Wine Challenge (May 2011)
Wine Spectator 91 points - Dark ruby in color. Inky. Shows crushed berry, wet earth, stem and mineral aromas. Full-bodied, with medium sweetness and a long, caressing finish. There's plenty going on here for a young vintage Port. Best after 2015. 6,500 cases made. –JS (Dec 31 2007)
Wine Advocate 98 points - The 2007 Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargelles Vinha Velle is from a single site, the finest of the estate. In theory it might lack the complexity of the blended bottling but that does not appear to be the case in 2007. My nominee for wine of the vintage, this dense, powerful, incredibly concentrated effort is a bit monolithic today but all the ingredients are present for a slow maturation over the next 25-30 years. Succulent, mouth-filling, and altogether captivating, it is just a shadow of what it will be when I am pushing daisies.
The 2009 Vinha Velha has wonderful intensity on the nose, although it is a little more aloof than the Taylors, almost like a Bordeaux in the sense of holding back. It opens ajar with continued aeration, offering scents of black currant, blueberry and licorice, but the scents are controlled and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety smooth opening. This is plush and sweet with a touch of viscosity that lacquers the mouth. Just when you think it could become overpowering, it pulls back on the finish, which is wonderfully poised and pure, real minerality beginning to show through after 30 minutes in the glass. It needs another decade in bottle, but it patently has great potential.
As a reminder, the Vinha Vilha is a selection of old vine fruit from the terraces of Polverinho and Renova do Armazem. Comparing it directly with the Taylors, there is even more complexity and volume on the nose, with black currant, dark plum and a more accentuated crushed stone aroma that lends it wonderful terroir expression. Like the Fonseca, it develops compelling marine scents after 30-40 minutes in the glass, like stepping over rock pools when you were a kid. The palate is medium-bodied with sumptuous, sensual ripe tannins that layer the mouth. There is a palpable sense of harmony and composure to this Vinha Velha and there is a lot of horsepower, more so than the Taylors, on the multi-dimensional finish. The intensity of fruit means that it does not quite have the same degree of tension as the Taylors, but the depth and breadth of this young Port suggests it will be a seriously long-term fortified wine. Tasted May 2013.
The sweetness of the wine vies with the acidity to bring out a dense structure, black currant flavors and firm tannins that are strongly integrated into the ripe texture. This is a gorgeous, dense, concentrated wine, coming into balance while showing great structure and potential. - Cellar Selection (Feb /201)
This is a ‘single quinta’ wine, made in exactly the same way as Taylor`s Vintage Port, but using only the grapes from this individual property, trodden on the estate. Only small quantities are made, and only in very good years. Many experts believe Taylor`s Single Quinta Vintage Ports to be better than other companies’ declared years. The name of Taylor`s is more of an assurance than the year.
Taylor`s has owned the beautiful estate of Vargellas for over a century, and it is acknowledged as one of the great vineyards of the world. It has the highest percentage of old vines of any quinta in the Douro, 60% being over 75 years old. Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Ports are ready to drink from ten years, but will go on developing for another twenty years or so - almost as long as Taylor’s declared Vintages.