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Taylor's Chip Dry White Port NV

Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port NV

Tasted at Taylor's visitor's center in Porto, the Chip Dry White carries a bit more discernible sweetness than the other dry white Ports I'd sampled that day. It's aged for several years in casks, giving it an oxidative style and subtle nuttiness. Fresh and crisp on the palate, and laden with citrusy, notes, lemon oil and cypress, with a touch of tropical fruit and the merest hint of salinity on the finish. Perfect with a bowl of Marcona almonds. Sample Taylor Fladgate 8.8 Points...

Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny 2000

Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny 2000

The 2000 Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny is superb, showing warm and welcoming notes of caramel, dried fruit, honey, sultana along with a pinch of toast. The mind immediately jumps to pairings like stilton, Roquefort, or dried fruit, though, surprisingly the staff at Noval recommend trying it with fresh carrot, unpeeled. I love the this Port's vibrancy and balance, the palate bright, like a newly minted penny, it's brimming over with walnut shells, figs, golden raisins, and spice cake. Just lovely. 20.5% ABV | Sample Quinta do Noval 9.4 Points...

Quinta do Noval Quarenta Anos 40 Year Old Tawny

Quinta do Noval Quarenta Anos 40 Year Old Tawny

Sampled at Noval's tasting room in Porto, the Noval 'Quarenta Anos' 40 Year Old Tawny is translucent and brickish, replete with developed notes of dates, Dalmatia fig spread, dried apples, aged leather, and warm wicker. In the mouth it's viscous and full, more so than Noval's Colheita, it's the acidity that really brings this Port to life, an arching spine that penetrates through layers of oxidized fruit notes and finely polished tannins. On the finish, dried Zante currants, nut skins. Allspice. 21.5% ABV | Sample Quinta do Noval 9.6 Points...

Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011

Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011

Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage Port remains in wood for four to six years, as such, it is concentrated and intense, round and deliciously full-bodied. 2011, for me, has been one of the most exciting vintages I've tasted, it's one I'm collecting and cellaring, though the '11s are certainly enjoyably now. Taylor's 2011 LBV is totally opaque in the glass with blue violet reflexes. It's intense, with firm, ripe tannins drenched in Italian plums and black cherry skins, baker's cocoa and blackberry reduction sauce. Sample Taylor Fladgate 9.2 Points...

Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny Port NV

Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port NV

Delicate. Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny proved to be more reticent than other Tawny's I'd sampled while in Porto. On the palate, it's medium bodied and inlaid with dried fruit notes, a touch of caramel seamlessly interlaces dates, figs, and dried cherries in a silky embrace. There is, at times discernible heat, especially on the finish, which is spicy, a burst of white pepper and unexpected warmth. Sample Taylor Fladgate 8.9 Point...

Taylor Fladgate Single Harvest Tawny Port 1863

From pre-phylloxera vines, Taylor’s bought a small lot of only three barrels from the 1863 vintage that had been quietly resting in a cellar for well over a century—the producer had the foresight to reserve them when phylloxera first swept through the region. An important wine because, as Taylor’s staff pointed out, ungrafted vines are extremely rare in the Douro. An incredible experience, and one that I felt lucky to have.There is sumptuous and concentrated sweetness on the nose; coffee, vanilla, maple syrup, and dried tobacco leaves. In the mouth, lacquered elegance, a long toffee-hued ribbon slowly unfurling, like removing a sheet from an ancient mahogany bureau, there is dust and warm wood and leather, layered against dates, dried orange skins and burnt sugar. Spiciness and minerality emerge on the finish, filtered sunlight through ancient glass and sea salt built up by time and slow evaporation. Sample Taylor Fladgate 10.0 Points ...

Quinta do Noval White Port Extra Dry 2008

Quinta do Noval White Port Extra Dry 2008

Quinta do Noval's Extra Dry White Port sports a tropical nose, heavy with aromas of dried pineapple, Meyer lemon and golden delicious apple that drift toward cider. On the palate, it's very smooth, I love the acidity here, a vibrant cord piercing heavier layers. The finish is slightly savory, a dusting of dried thyme, marjoram. Sample Quinta do Noval 8.8 Points...

Fonseca Bin 27 Finest Reserve NV

Fonseca Bin 27 Finest Reserve NV

The Fonseca Bin 27 Finest Reserve, was, admittedly a bit of a disappointment, owing to the fact that I cut my teeth on Fonseca's outstanding 2011. Of course, 2011 Fonseca is now going for around $100 per bottle, a price that is increasing over time as the vintage sells out. Bin 27 is pleasant enough, with plush notes of black plums, figs, roasted black cherries, dried leaves and spice. Smooth, easy drinking, and medium-bodied with very soft tannins and acidity. Decent QPR at $19.99 per bottle. 20.0% ABV Fonseca 8.8 Points...