Weather was favourable to the vines throughout the first half of the year. A very hot summer, but cooler vintage with some much needed rainfall in early September. Fine wines generally made, with an abundance of wine.
1906 – only Taylor Fladgate declared – do not have a harvest report
A very hot spring and summer followed a cold winter. Conditions during harvest were so hot that some producers had difficulty in controlling the fermentation.
‘Caramel colour with light tawny rim. Ethereal, sweet praline, antique wood; rich and viscous, almost chewy. Captivating and a fine example of 1908. Sexy, smooth and unctuous; delicate flavours of roasted walnuts and candied pralines. A touch of tannin still exists and makes its presence known on the lengthy finish.’
A full-bodied year with harmonious concentration of fruit and tannins. The harvest, which started on 23rd September, was rather wet, but hot weather in early September had helped ripening.
‘Medium dark. Open vanilla nose, crème brulée, resin, fiery spice; dark fruits, and a smooth, long, spicy aftertaste. Still showing some finesse, with just a hint of drainpipe in the back end. In very fine shape.’
1917, 1920 and 1922 – do not have tasting notes or harvest reports
A small vintage, declared by almost all the houses.
‘Just a notch deeper in colour than the 1912. The nose is divine: intense, beautifully defined, very Taylor Fladgate. Quite spicy, dried orange peel, cigar box, a touch of sandalwood. Gains perfume in the glass but after 30 minutes has gone back into its shell. The palate is full-bodied, very concentrated, more viscous than the 1912. Notes of ginger, apricot, fig, licorice. Lovely ripe orange-tinged finish that goes on and on. Very sensuous; beautiful poise on the fruit.’
A classic vintage Port, one of the finest of the century, but because it coincided with the Great Depression, it didn’t sell well. Part of the stock was blended into standard quality Ports.
‘Good colour of ruby/brick red. Aromas of dried dark fruit, sultanas and raisin with just a hint of dried flowers. Full-bodied, very rich and raisiny on the palate, with dark chocolate and candied toffee, very sweet finish. Lively and gorgeous.’
1931 – no harvest report or tasting note
A classic vintage, but some companies, having declared the 1934, did not declare it.
‘Dark amber. Powerful cocoa aromas, harmonious; a complex entry marked by cocoa notes and well integrated alcohol. A long, persistant finish. Superb.’
Good winter rainfall replenished the water levels and caused very large bud burst. Mildew however attacked the quintas in both March and then again in early June due to more rainfall. A long hot summer with some scorching of the vines, but overall very good wines made.
A very dry winter followed by a cold spring caused flowering to be late, but some rain in June brought the grapes forward. The vintage started generally on the 2nd September; weather uncertain from the 28th and on the whole dull and cool with slow fermentations.
The first post-War vintage was a classic year marked by drought. The wine was bottled in Portugal because of English restrictions.
‘Deep tawny with narrow amber rim. Very powerful, dense, almost overwhelming, showing extraordinary vigour and plenty of background. Still incredibly youthful. Rich, treacly, plum pudding overlaid by delicate complex floral scents. Huge diversity of aromas that manage to combine harmoniously. Beautifully balanced and elegant.’
A very warm year. A total of 30,000 pipes was made in all but the shippers bought only half at vintage time, leaving many farmers with unsold wines.
‘Big rich wine, all chocolate and plums and fruitcake with a fine, elegant structure. Serious, focused and confident and very, very long. At its peak? Certainly not going downhill. Tremendous.’
The only vintage Taylor Fladgate declared in the fifties and one of the most underrated vintages of the century.
‘Paler but slightly more youthful: brick red with a pinkish tone. Sweet, surprisingly gentle for ’55, still very firm and upright, yet perhaps without the backbone that tends to characterize this vintage. Lovely length, elegant, with great purity.’
There was good rainfall throughout the year, with no drought. The harvest started warm and fine on 19th September, but then became dull, rainy and cool.
‘Pale, red, transparent colour, not very deep; balsamic perfumes: pillbox, gum, roasted oak; very sweet, jammy flavours, medium structured, well matured.’