Monday, January 28, 2013 - Taylor Fladgate Vintage Porto 2000, bottled 2002, Bottled by Taylor, Fladgate, and Yeatman, Vinhos SA, VNde Gaia, Portugal; imported by Kobrand, New York, NY, purchased at Sams Club, Ann Arbor, MI. $85/750 ml (2003). 20.5 pavb.
EXTRACT of TN: Deeply purple with unresolved sediment and only the beginning of an edge clearing, a port more like a mixture of a great Taylor VP and a great Graham VP. Rich, much less dry than usual, with complex and exotic fruit in the nose, quite sweet, with nearly hidden alcohol, blended resins, somewhat tarry, and gentle-textured and juicy-fruity acids. Great, expressive length dominated by tobacco smoke and violets. Great high tones over the whole scale. One of the most intensely pleasurable Taylors of recent memory, but with a serious side that takes time in decanter to show. Now-2030, 97-98/100.
Cork long but beginning to lose flexibility and diameter; fairly tight but extracted in one piece. Deep purple cork bottom, rest clean, six-banded. Perhaps 10 ml liquid left after decanting; heavy, gloppy, sediment, with little crustiness at this time--lower tartrate than some other Tayor VPs?
Deep purple color in a Riedel Zin glass: 2 mm transparency with 1 mm dusky band, rest deeply opaque purple, has not yet fallen bright--considerable bittiness. Thick coating to glass with tears developing.
TN on opening and for 1st hour: Beginning harmonious complex of oyster broth, thyme/cassis, sweet dried plum, cherry, rich anise, smoky minerals, dried bitter flowers, a little vanilla, wood sap.
Rich, sweet, with pleasantly ripe and full tannins, energetic, with a fatty, saline fried potato note, throwing off cool fresh air impressions with only a hint of heat from underlying brandy. Considerable and impressive length, with 'violet' notes (more Graham-like) and fine secondhand cigar smoke.
After more air: Throws off additional scents of apple flowers and sweet, sailing light Cameroon-wrapper Habana smoke. Slightly bitter clove and umami notes undergird other taste sensations, with an unusually fine and delicate palate and finish.
At 12 hours, the nose is more integrated, everthing in place, with an umami-and-meadowgrass, minty old-vines style emerging like the chordal opening of a big Mahler symphony movement, across the entire audio spectrum, with great presence. Starting to show some more sap, but this is not an extremely long-term ager, but a more serious side is certainly emerging. A prototypical cigar port, I'd imagine.
This port was very difficult to assess when young and seemed very clumsy and clunky. A few years in the cellar shows what port experts saw in it ten years ago, but with even a few more surprises in style and quality. Really singing after only two hours of air. I might hesitate to cellar such a ripe, lush wine beyond the next 20 years. Drink now--2030. (98 pts.)
I should, however, note that after 2 days in decanter I could percieve that there is an iron fist emerging==showing that this one may have two or three, if not nine, lives, and may last longer than the above estimate.