Taylor Fladgate were pioneers of the LBV category, developed to satisfy the demand for a high quality ready-to-drink alternative to vintage port for everyday consumption. Unlike vintage port, which is bottled after only two years in wood and ages in bottle, LBV is bottled after four to six years and is ready to drink when bottled. Taylor’s continues to lead the LBV category of port worldwide, in spite of the fact that many other shippers now also produce an LBV.
The wines used to blend Taylor Fladgate’s LBV were drawn from a reserve of some of the best full bodied red ports, produced at the 2013 harvest, from grapes grown on Taylor Fladgate’s own vineyards and on other top properties in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior areas.
Notes on Viticultural Year and Harvest
The preceding winter was very wet, with rainfall at Pinhão 30% above the norm. This replenished water reserves depleted by the arid conditions of 2012. In contrast to the intense rainfall early in the year, the growing season was dry with only 100mm of rain between April and August. As a result the vines were almost free of disease.
The early growing season was also relatively cool leading to slow growth and a late vérasion around 15th July. July and August saw some very high temperatures which accelerated the cycle and encouraged ripening of the crop. During the two months of July and August there were 11 days in which the temperature exceeded 40°C.
The hot weather extended into September but some rainfall early in the month helped to round off the ripening. Picking started on the 18th September. Harvesting conditions were excellent until 27th September when there was heavy rainfall. Fortunately the best grapes were under cover by this time and produced deeply coloured, aromatic musts.