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Taylor's Vintage 1985

Taylor's Vintage 1985




Intense mixture of rich dark fruits, liquorice and spice with superb depth .
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Taylor's is now over 300 years old. It remains a family firm, completely independent, owned still by relations of the original partners. Taylor is accepted by most wine authorities to be one of the greatest port shippers, famous especially for its sublime and long-lived vintage ports, which consistently fetch the highest prices at auction, and for old, distinguished tawny ports. But Taylor's is also an innovative house, pioneering the successful Late Bottled Vintage style which has been copied by almost every other shipper. The finest Port is produced from grapes grown on the steep and rocky slopes of the Upper Douro and its tributaries. Vines have been grown on these remote hillsides since pre-Roman times. In the 17th Century British traders, cut off from their supplies of Bordeaux by frequent wars with France, took a liking to the full-flavoured, robust wines of Portugal. Under the Methuen Treaty of 1703, England granted lower duties to Portuguese wines than to those of France and Germany, becoming for over a century the principal market for the wines of the Douro Valley. But these wines did not travel well, so the traders added brandy to fortify them against the rigours of their Atlantic sea voyage. Before long pure grape spirit was added during fermentation and Port, as we drink it today, was created. Now in its fourth century, the company is still thriving, with wine quality remaining the firm's only consideration. Taylor's Port was, is, and will continue to be, one of the world's greatest wines.

Taylors have developed a model for sustainable viticulture, which was awarded the prestigious BES Biodiversity Prize in 2009.

Taylor’s owns two great vineyards in the Douro, Quinta de Vargellas and Quinta de Terra Feita. Both are categorised grade A– the highest possible rating. In years when Taylor’s produces a classic vintage, wines from these two estates are blended together. As they are some 20 miles apart, and subject to very different microclimates, they combine to produce a powerful, long lived and complex vintage port. The 1985 vintage was preceded by an exceptionally cold, wet winter, with night temperatures at Pinhão well below freezing point in January. Bud burst took place early in April and flowering around the end of May. Berry set was excellent, and the young bunches perfectly formed. The summer was hot throughout. Picking took place under clear skies, with mild, warm days and cool nights. The grapes were healthy and evenly ripened, giving well balanced must with high sugar levels. By the close of harvest it was apparent that the year had produced wines of exceptional quality in all areas of the Douro and there was justified optimism amongst the shippers. The wine is deep ruby – purple in colour with powerful ripe berry fruit aromas. Excellent balance and complexity and delightful fresh intensity. Big, full bodied, well structured palate. Intense mixture of rich dark fruits, liquorice and spice with superb depth and richness. Good long finish.

‘Excellent colour. Marvellous nose. As so often, the complete port. A big full not aggressive wine. Rich, concentrated marvellous depth. Slightly less raisiny than Graham: more blackberry and blackcurrant’ - Clive Coates, The Vine, August 1987

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