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 Fladgate 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 LBV were drawn from a reserve of some of the best full bodied red Ports, produced at the 2016 harvest, from grapes grown on Taylor’s own vineyards and on other top properties in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior areas.
Broad purple black colour with a narrow magenta rim. The character of the 2016 vintage is clearly imprinted on this finely tuned and beautifully balanced LBV. Very bright, intense fruit on the nose, black woodland berry aromas blending with fresher notes of raspberry and plum. Wild herbal notes of resin and balsam lend the wine a lifted, ethereal quality and an additional dimension of complexity. On the palate, the fruit character is denser and more luscious but there is also a fresh grapey quality. The taut, linear tannins of great quality are another hallmark of the 2016 vintage, as is the seam of racy acidity which runs through the palate. The finish is extraordinary long, a seemingly infinite surge of dense berry fruit flavour. This elegant and stylish LBV displays the classic Taylor Fladgate blend of pure, focused fruit with a sinewy muscularity and impressive stamina and depth.
Notes on the Viticultural Year and Harvest
The weather pattern during the growing and ripening seasons had a decisive effect on the character of the 2016 wines, with their elegance, refinement, crisp acidity and magnificent tannins. Spring was unusually wet, with heavy rain and relatively cool conditions throughout April and May. This had the benefit of restoring ground water levels, depleted by the previous year’s drought, and creating reserves for the hot summer that was to follow. However, the wet spring conditions also resulted in loss of fruit in some areas and a significant reduction in yields. They also delayed the start of the ripening cycle.
Véraison started late, with the first signs visible around the second week of July. From early July, hot dry conditions prevailed until well into September. In spite of the heat, maturation was even and gradual. Together with the late start to the cycle, this meant that, at the end of August, the crop was still far from ripe. Some rainfall in mid-September helped to round off the maturation. Producers that delayed picking until after the rains were rewarded with perfect harvesting conditions, with cool nights helping to extend fermentation times and allow for gentle extraction. The first grapes were picked at Taylor Fladgate's Quinta de Vargellas on 17th September, with the Pinhão Valley estates following on the 23rd and 26th respectively.