First cases of Taylor’s 2009 Vintage Port are shipped

Northern Ireland is the destination of the first shipment of Taylor’s Vintage 2009 which left our lodges this morning.

With an average annual temperature of 12ºC in Northern Ireland, everyday of the year is perfect for drinking Taylor’s Vintage Port. No wonder then, United Wine Merchants were so eager to be the first to ship and receive their order of the outstanding Taylor’s 2009 Vintage Port.

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Gail Service, United Wine Merchants Commercial Director commented: “United Wine Merchants is very proud to receive the first shipment of Taylor’s 2009 Vintage Port to leave Vila Nova de Gaia.  Taylor’s has ‘declared’ 2009 so we know the vintage will be of exceptional quality, will have excellent long-term ageing potential and will be highly desired amongst Northern Ireland  port connoisseurs.”

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USA Welcomes 2009 Vintages

USA Welcomes 2009 Vintage Ports

Left to right: Robert Bower, Robin Kelley, O'Connor Head of Wine - Americas, Christie´s, David Guimaraens

On the 6th of June our wine maker David Guimaraens and I started our summer tour of the US. The main draw, of course, was for the release of the Vintage 2009 Ports from Croft, Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca. We started off in Washington D.C. before being whisked off to New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

The events were a great success with journalists and trade marveling how well and complex the 2009 vintages tasted. There was no question that 2009s were of exceptional quality and had to be declared. I heard the words “big”, “opulent” “huge mouth feel” being used to describe the Fonseca 2009 and I think the tasters were right. The Fonseca 2009 is so true to the style of Fonseca and envelopes the palate with great dimension and intensity of fruit.

I have been drinking vintage Taylor Fladgate pretty much since I was born and have always followed Croft very closely. It is so expressive and so very different to Taylor Fladgate that I love its individuality. Croft 2009 is beautifully structured and has almost exotic fruit flavors. If Taylor Fladgate is the Roll Royce and Fonseca is the Bentley then I must be in an Aston Martin with the Croft 2009s and I love it. In all of the 4 cities the trade loved the Croft 2009 as well. I felt pride for David Guimaraens, who made the wine, when I heard phrases from tasters such as “Croft is the one to watch” and “Incredible, I have never had Croft and it stood up, shoulder to shoulder, with the top two Ports houses” “An overall smash”.

Taylor Fladgate 2009 Vintage had a big draw as usual. The wines with their very typical long angular structure on the palate had layers upon layers of fruit with such incredible length.

The last wine tasted is produced in very small quantities, the Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009 made from 100+ year old vines. All the tasters agreed this is an amazing wine that had to be tasted last because it so very different to the classic 2009s; which are blends of vineyards for extra complexity. In the Vinha Velha I taste the pure expression of the old vines from Vargellas that produced a wine with an incredible amount of concentration and power. The superb structure is very much Taylor Fladgate with more concentration of flavors and aromatics expressing more rosewood notes. The descriptors being used for this wine were quite simple and short “wow!”

The wines having just been offered to top fine wine retailers across the US and should be on the shelves by the end of September.

Robert Bower
The Fladgate Partnership

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First 2009 tastings draw enthusiastic response from wine critics

The first tastings of the 2009 Vintage Ports, in the UK, Portugal and more recently the USA, have drawn an enthusiastic response from key wine media and trade.  Tasting notes and ratings from leading wine critics and publications can be found on the Taylor, Vargellas Vinha Velha, Fonseca and Croft pages of this site.  The latest accolades come from the July issue of the leading Portuguese wine magazine Revista dos Vinhos which awards the Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009 a near perfect score of 19.5 out of 20.  Taylor and Fonseca follow up with 19 and 18.5 respectively.

Croft continues to impress as it approaches the tenth anniversary of its acquisition by The Fladgate Partnership and return to family ownership.  The house is now firmly re-established as a top vintage Port producer but its Vintage Ports remain exceptional value.  As Neal Martin commented in his article on the 2009 Vintage Ports for, “The Croft 2009 reaffirms my opinion that this is really a house on the up…  (…) Given its price, Croft comes highly recommended.”

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The first 2009 vintage tasting

Hosted by Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership, a first tasting of the 2009 vintage ports from Croft, Taylor, Fonseca and Skeffington took place last Friday, in London.

Quo Vadis Soho was the chosen place for this fabulous trade and press tasting which brought more than 60 people to taste not only the brand new 2009 vintage but the rest of the declared wines of the decade: Taylor, Croft, Fonseca and Skeffington from 2000, 2003, 2007 and Vargellas Vinha Velha from 2000, 2004 and 2007

Jamie Goode: [2009] “incredibly concentrated, dense wines with lots of structure. The good news? Despite the reduced yields, prices will be pretty much the same as when the also excellent 2007s were released. (…)While they are amazingly rich and sweet, they also have wonderful structure under the intense fruit. And they don’t lack any freshness. I reckon they’ll age beautifully for a long time.”

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Limited edition double magnums of Vintage 2009

Taylor, Fonseca and Croft will each bottle a limited edition of double magnums of 2009 vintage port.  These will be shipped individually and presented in traditional wooden boxes.  It is 30 years  since double magnums were last offered as part of a vintage release.
Double magnums hold the equivalent of four 75cl bottles.  A double magnum is always an impressive centerpiece for a celebration or anniversary and makes a superb gift.  Their capacity for long term ageing makes double magnums particularly sought after by wine collectors.
The number of double magnums will be limited.  Those interested in acquiring one of these impressive bottles should contact their fine wine merchant or their nearest Taylor, Fonseca or Croft distributor.

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Edição limitada de duplos magnums de Vintage 2009

Taylor, Fonseca e Croft irão engarrafar uma edição limitada de duplos magnums de Vintage 2009 para cada uma das marcas. Serão comercializados individualmente em tradicionais caixa de madeira, sendo que cada garrafa duplo magnum contém o equivalente a quatro garrafas de 75 cl.
Este formato será o centro das atenções numa comemoração especial ou aniversário, sendo assim um presente inigualável. Pelo seu enorme potencial de envelhecimento, as duplo magnums revertem-se de particular interesse para os aficcionados e coleccionadores de vinhos.
Foi em 1980 que o grupo lançou o seu último formato especial de 3 litros para um vintage, regressando agora, 30 anos depois, estando disponível para venda no final do ano. Os interessados em adquirir uma garrafa deste extraordinário formato de edição limitada, deverá contactar o seu distribuidor local para as respectivas marcas: Taylor, Croft e Fonseca.

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Welcome to the first blog dedicated to a Port Vintage!

Today is St George’s Day, the date on which the historic Port houses of Taylor, Fonseca and Croft traditionally announce whether they will release a new classic vintage port.  In other words, whether they have decided to ‘declare’.

The exciting news is that 2009 has been declared by all three houses.   Taylor, Fonseca and Croft 2009 Vintage Ports will be bottled in a few weeks time and will be available in the market later in the year.  Port enthusiasts and fine wine collectors will be pleased to hear that Taylor’s will also release a small quantity of Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009, the very rare vintage port made from a selection of grapes from the oldest vines at Quinta de Vargellas.

2009 has produced stunning vintage ports.  It will be remembered as a year of low yields, resulting from the very dry summer, and this has produced wines of massive scale, with deep inky colour, impressive tannin ‘grip’ and wonderful fruit quality.  These are wines built for the long term, like the great iconic vintages of the early 20th century.

Historically vintage declarations have occurred about three times a decade.  However nature has been benevolent and given us a succession of four outstanding vintages, 2000, 2003, 2007 and now the exceptional 2009.  In over three centuries of making great ports, we have seldom experienced such a sequence of outstanding vintages.

In the weeks to come, our blog will keep you updated with news of the release, provide details of tastings and events featuring the ‘09s, answer your questions and provide advice.

In the meantime you will be able to find plenty of information in our dedicated website,, such as tasting notes, background on the harvest and details of the historic vineyards which produced these fabulous wines.

I hope that you will find this blog a useful source of information and look forward to your feedback.

Adrian Bridge
CEO, The Fladgate Partnership

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