The critics are raving. In recent years, Port producers have begun fortifying their wines not with bland neutral spirits as they had in bygone decades, but with quality brandies that impart a newfound complexity of flavor. In addition, the conditions in 2011 were objectively perfect for the production of this fortified wine: the sun shone, the rains came, the harvest was dry and warm. Everything timed out just right. The upshot? Oporto's greatest vintage on record. And critics are going wild about the results. Here's the thing: everyone's keen on the epic nature of the vintage, and so if you want any at all you're going to have to act now. Port, the fortified red wine of Douro, Portugal, is a classic gift for weddings, anniversaries, births and special occasions of all stripes. Why? Because the bottles are all but indestructible, and the longevity offered in a quality Port is the stuff of legend. I once tasted a Port from 1927 that nearly sprang from the bottle, alive and ready to play. It's an amazing thing, old port. I can only imagine what such a perfect set of conditions would look like fifteen, fourty, seventy-five years from now...
So anyone looking for a gift to embody the year, this is your chance. We're taking orders for a pre-sale, which means you commit now and your bottle(s) arrive in the fall. Years from now, folks will be talking about these 2011 vintage ports. It's a matter of you being on the ball or not. If you want in, email or call the shop by Thursday 3pm and we'll place your order directly.
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What It Means
I don't often turn to Robert Parker for wisdom, but in this case I think it's appropriate to quote from someone who's at least tasted the stuff...
"The palate is sweet and sensual on the entry, plush and opulent, with copious black cherries, boysenberry and cassis fruit, curiously more reminiscent of Fonseca! It just glides across the palate with a mouth-coating, glycerine-tinged finish that has a wonderful lightness of touch, demonstrating how Vintage Port is so much more accessible in its youth nowadays. But don’t let that fool you into dismissing the seriousness or magnitude of this outstanding Taylor’s."
"The palate is silky smooth with not a rough edge in sight, though not a typically voluptuous Fonseca because of the keen thread of acidity and the structure that lends this mighty Port wonderful backbone. A slight viscosity on the finish lacquers the tongue and indicates a core of sweet fruit is ticking away underneath that will surely explode several years after bottling. A tincture of salted licorice on the aftertaste is very attractive. This will turn out to become an outstanding Fonseca, the growing season taming its exuberance with spectacular results. So much potential, but just 6,000 cases were produced."
"It has a beautiful, quite extravagant bouquet with copious black and red fruit, Indian spice, and hints of menthol and orange rind that unfold wonderfully in the glass. The palate is a sumptuous affair, one that is beautifully balanced with velvety smooth, plump tannins, copious black fruit with a harmonious, white pepper-tinged finish that is a decadent delight. This is one of the finest of the declarations of 2011 Vintage Ports, a sublime expression of the vintage you would be foolish not to buy. This is Dow at its best. 5,000 cases have been declared."