Taylor's Vargellas Vinha Velha 2007

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Tasting Notes

Not better qualitatively than the regular Taylor's this year, this is stylistically different—more precise, more elegant, less lush and with less vivid fruit for the moment. The drier (so it seems in perception) and sterner presentation makes this one need a lot of time. This babbling infant has just begun to tell its stories—and the beginning date for drinking that I have listed is merely a starting point, not when it will clearly be truly attractive. Nor, for that matter, is the end date anything but an advisory that means "a long time." This is not, in short, even the end of the beginning, let alone a good look. Even with some aeration, it is very closed now—not astringent per se, but not expressive either. As fine as this seems today, it is likely to improve dramatically with time. Expression of fruit here will only come to those who have patience, and not otherwise. This tightly wound and rather muscular Port is filled with potential, even if it is all potential just now. It is worth leaning up for the moment. It is highly likely to justify the optimism. In ten years when we taste the greats from this vintage, this will be on the shortlist. However, fair warning—if you lack a cellar, look away.

Score: 97 - 99

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2035-2080 11 July 2019

The 2007 Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port is a typical field blend aged in used French oak vats. It comes in with 101 grams per liter of residual sugar. The most aromatic in the vertical, this is laced with eucalyptus and cistus nuances. This is the point in the vertical where the wine really is just too young and too tight to enjoy to its fullest. The fruit is pretty spectacular, though, even as it retains its mid-palate finesse. This and the 2000 may have to duke it out for the title of "Sexiest Port in the Vertical." But that's not all. It adds firmness to the great fruit and aromatics. This could use another few years, not that it is wholly unapproachable. This is a good candidate for the best of the vertical, but the 2000 benefits from being more complete, mature and sensational for the moment. Still improving, this may fill that role as well one day. Taylor's Vargellas Quinta is the "backbone" of Taylor's Port, says the winery. This particular bottling is "from the produce of the oldest vines on the estate...a very limited selection of the production of these old vines and seldom...more than about 2% of the total production of the property. The Vargellas Vinha Velha is selected from five individual plots of old vineyards: Polverínho, Renova do Depósito, Renova do Armazém, Gricha and Vinha Grande. The age of the old vines on these plots varies from around 80 to 120 years."

Score: 99

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2026-2070 10 July 2019

Aromas of dark berries, wet earth and dried flowers follow through to a full body, medium sweet and lots of intense and powerful tannins that are extremely fine-grained. Goes on for minutes. Polished and sophisticated young vintage Port. Lovely old vine Port. Try after 2027.

Score: 98

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2027+ 16 June 2019

A field blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca from five separate plots comprising vines 80–120 years old. Vargellas is in the remote eastern reaches of the Douro Valley. TA 4.86 g/l, RS 105 g/l, pH 3.75. This is only the eighth vintage of this wine ever to have been declared. 5,600 bottles. Not quite as dark as the Taylor’s. A little more lifted and fragrant on the nose, more red-fruited. Prettier in aroma, less wild, the alcohol less immediately obvious. On the palate, that same wonderful fruit concentration but a little more delicacy and apparent freshness in the flavours, even though the tannins are firmer and have a more sturdy grip, making the finish thick and chewy at the moment.

Score: 18+

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2030-2060 04 June 2019