The Fladgate Partnership officially announces the release of three 2018 Vintage Ports from Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca and Croft Port houses, and sets an historic precedent: For the first time in 328 years, the revered Taylor Fladgate Port House has declared a Classic Vintage for the third consecutive year in a row with the release of the Taylor Fladgate Classic Vintage 2018. In addition, Fonseca releases Guimaraens Vintage 2018 and Croft releases a vintage single quinta – Quinta da Roêda Vintage 2018. The three 2018 Vintage Ports from The Fladgate Partnership will be bottled in July and available nationwide in early 2021.
“This is a year in which overall conditions weren’t just excellent, but exceptional, in the Douro superior,” says Adrian Bridge, CEO of The Fladgate Partnership. “Although a declaration normally only happens about three times a decade, the exceptional run of years has meant that Taylor Fladgate is able to make a third in a row. This is very unusual, but we only declare a Classic Vintage when the quality is there and that is dictated by the year, not by any other consideration.”
According to Technical Director and Head Winemaker, David Guimaraens, “The Douro Superior had a combination of abundant ground water and hot summer weather, which results in the production of great Vintage Port. It has given us the excellent phenolic maturity typical of a hot ripening season, but the fine multi-layered fruit and fresh acidity we normally see in cooler years. It is important to note that the 2018 wines have the highest color intensity of recent vintages, always a sign of good extraction and longevity.”
TAYLOR FLADGATE CLASSIC VINTAGE 2018
20% ABV, 750ml, $120 SRP
Impressive purple-black core with a narrow purple rim. An intense burst of powerful woodland fruit, a dense coulis of blackberry and blackcurrant, almost overwhelms the nose. As would be expected of Taylor Fladgate, the fruit is very fine and focused, but this year seems to have given it an additional layer of density and weight.
FONSECA GUIMARAENS VINTAGE 2018
20% ABV, 750ml, $59.99 SRP
The first bottling under the Guimaraens label since 2015, featuring rich, dense woodland fruit and sturdy but well integrated tannins. The Guimaraens concept is unique: a wine with the same make up and character as the classic Fonseca Vintages but made in a more approachable, early drinking style. 2018 is one of the finest recent examples of a Guimaraens Vintage, displaying stamina and depth with an abundance of crispy, berry fruit flavor, which carries into the long finish.
CROFT QUINTA DA ROÊDA VINTAGE 2018
20% ABV, 750ml, $49.99 SRP
Very deep purple black at the center with a narrow purple red rim. From its historic Quinta da Roêda estate, the Quinta da Roêda 2018 delivers a ripe fruit and scented quality, which are the hallmark of the Roêda wines, together with the taut tannins and freshness of the year. The finish is powerful and very long with persistent crispy, red berry flavors.