2015 Vintage Port Declaration

Mentzendorff
By
Edward Hiscocks
1 June, 2017

Following its tradition of declaring on St. George’s Day, The Fladgate Partnership announced that it would bottle 2015 Vintage Ports from Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas and Croft’s Quinta da Roêda as well as a commemorative Fonseca Guimaraens Vintage marking the bicentenary of the company’s foundation in 1815.

Adrian Bridge, Managing Director of The Fladgate Partnership, noted “The 2015 harvest has produced excellent, but distinctly different wines from our individual properties. Quinta de Vargellas displays all the balance and elegance that are the hallmarks of the property and has the structure and completeness which will allow it to hold up extremely well in the bottle. As we celebrated Fonseca’s bicentenary in 2015, I am delighted that the year has produced Vintage Port of such excellent quality. The Guimaraens 2015 will make superb early drinking, but will not disappoint those who wish to cellar it until a later date. At Quinta da Roêda, our investment in the vineyards continues to reap benefits in terms of consistently first class wines, with the 2015 wines displaying all the grace and refinement of this property.”
Speaking about the 2015 viticultural year, David Guimaraens, Head Winemaker of The Fladgate Partnership, said that “The months leading up to the 2015 harvest were unusually dry, with rainfall well below average, but across the board the grapes were extremely healthy, and the resulting wines very fine. The condition of the 2015 crop at Quinta de Vargellas will be remembered as one of the best of recent years; perfectly formed, disease-free bunches and very little raisin. The Fonseca properties in the Pinhão area recorded rainfall about a third less than the ten year average. Despite this, ripening was well-balanced and at harvest time the crop was in excellent condition. The first grapes were ready to pick by the end of the first week of September and first-rate wines were made right through to the end of the harvest in early October. Quinta da Roêda in 2015 saw perfectly healthy grapes picked from both the extensive area of old vineyards, to the more recent plantations. Dry conditions in the early summer brought forward the start to the ripening season and as expected the Roêda harvest got off to a relatively early start on 7th September, with winemakers at Croft recording excellent extraction.”
Taylor’s Vargellas 201595 pts – James Suckling
This is top class with so much perfume and flower aromas. Violets galore. Full body yet refined and tight with very powerful and polished tannins. This is racy and linear. Turns juicy, fresh and medium sweet. Reminds me of the excellent 1967 Vargellas.

Fonseca Guimaraens 201593 pts – James Suckling
A firm and gutsy Fonseca with medium to full body, chewy and powerful tannins and a long and flavourful finish. Lots of blueberry, blackberry and mineral undertones. Even some slate. Long and powerful. Medium sweetness. Better in 2019.

Croft Roêda 201592 pts – James Suckling
A very sweet and linear vintage Port with very fine tannins and a racy, fruity and minerally aftertaste. Already delicious but better in 2022.