The Port houses of The Fladgate Partnership – Taylor’s, Fonseca, Croft and Krohn – have all ‘declared’ the 2017 vintage.
Words: Mark de Wesselow
In addition to classic Vintage Ports from each of these four houses, which will be shipped and available in most markets by the Autumn, there will also be two ‘old vines’ bottlings: a 2017 Vargellas Vinha Velha, the rare Vintage Port from the oldest vines at Quinta de Vargellas – and only the eighth Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port ever made – and a rare Vintage Port called Serikos, made by Croft.
The Fladgate Partnership’s Managing Director, Adrian Bridge, commented: “After the long interval that followed the 2011 Vintage release, we are delighted that the highly acclaimed 2016s are now followed by the superb 2017s. All our houses and their properties have produced exceptional wines, with impressive density, depth and aromatic potential.” He added: “It is clear that 2017 was a stunning year for the old vineyards. In addition to a Vargellas Vinha Velha release, we are very excited to be launching Serikos, a Vintage Port from the oldest vines of Croft’s Quinta da Roêda.”
Speaking about the wines, the group’s Head Winemaker, David Guimaraens, noted: “The thick skinned, perfectly ripened grapes have produced dense, firmly structured wines, with impressive depth and reserves of aroma. Many of the wines display an attractive minerality which brings a touch of elegance and restraint to the powerful fruit.”
There is some speculation that climate change has had a part to play for the back-to-back vintage years that have been widely declared across the region. Historically, a decade with three declarations was the norm, but with winemaking and viticultural improvements combined with drier growing seasons, this seems like an animal on the point of extinction.