Oporto & Douro Valley Tasting Notes

Here are my tasting notes from my most recent trip to Portugal. If you want to read more about my trip, click HERE.

Fonseca Siroco White Port – showing oxidation with nutty notes, a little Apple skin, and the palate is slightly sweet with a spirit kick. A little stone fruit too.

Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port – gentle aromatics, gentle oxidised notes, pretty yet intense oak notes, good vanilla and creamier texture.

Croft Pink – canned strawberry fruit nose, raspberry and cherry drop sweets. Palate is sweet but lively. The finish caught me by surprise after the intense sweetness being marked by plenty of freshness.

Taylor’s LBV 2010 – perfumed nose, black fruit with gentle raisin fruit and a touch caramel. Finish is spicy with marked yet balancing acidity.

Croft LBV 2010 – dark fruit on nose, palate has richness, classic sweetness and lovely savoury spice. I’d describe this a simple but in a good way. It’s a very drinkable port.

Fonseca LBV 2009 – dark colour, showing developed oxidised notes, more raisins and dark chocolate. Spirit Shows a bit on finish but has a natural feel to the palate.

Fonseca BIN27 – super fruity nose, heaps of red fruit, palate has great intensity and superb freshness. Herbal notes, liquorice finish. You can see why this is so popular. Just great, great value.

Taylor’s Vintage 1999 – blackcurrant fruit with a lifted paint note, hazelnuts, orange peel, baked earth with tar character. Palate quite grainy which gives complexity and character.

Fonseca Quinta do Panascal Vintage 1998 – very meaty nose, with a smoke notes, farmyard, less overt fruit, plenty of sweet caramel with excellent freshness. Showing really well this.

Croft Vintage 1994 – fresh blackcurrant nose, touch stalky but lovelier for it. Fruit has matured into lovely nutty toffee notes but finish is fresh and the spirit is well managed. Love it.

Croft Quinta da Roeda Vintage 2012 – super vibrant primary nose, blueberry, plum, bubblegum, very soft. Drinkable at this age and can see the appeal with drinking young vintage port. It is much more commercial in style and the modern fruit-bomb drinker will go for it.

Fonseca Guimaraes Vintage 2013 – dark fruit, very concentrated, firm tannins on palate and a touch hard. Not as appealing in its youth but may develop into meaty beast.

Taylor’s Vintage 2002 – nose is very floral. There’s good fruit but there’s more savoury notes, and spirit dominates the finish. Not great this.

Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny – plenty of raisiny fruit on nose with oxidised complexity and nuts. Sweet attack and a touch cloying in the middle. Finish is long but again sickly.

Taylor’s 20 Year Old tawny – more caramel, also retained some red apple character, less cloying and longer with better freshness.

Taylor’s 30 Year Old tawny – almond notes concentrated. Balanced palate with marked acidity to finish. Beautifully textured and wonderfully drinkable.

Taylor’s 40 Year Old tawny – wonderfully intense on nose and the palate follows on. Lots of sweetness and plenty of coffee notes to the finish. Really quite astonishing.

Fonseca 10 Year Old tawny – candy floss character, less obvious sweetness with good balance. A little short but a nice spicy style.

Fonseca 20 Year Old tawny – more spirit on nose, palate is light and enjoyable short finish with less complexity.

Fonseca 40 YO tawny – very nutty with meaty notes, lots of treacle. Sweet but balanced and there’s an intense spicy kick to finish that is slightly overpowering.

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