Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2014
The latest incarnation of this most famous of Late Bottled Vintage Ports has so many of the brand's characteristics. It is on the dry side, a balanced wine with acidity as well as the sweet black fruits and with some tannins to give the wine shape. The Port is bottled ready for drinking.
This is accessible already, with just a little gutsy edge left to settle in, but enough ganache, black forest cake and steeped plum notes to make for a fun, if slightly chunky textured drink. Drink now through 2025. 125,000 cases made, 8,000 cases imported.
The 2014 Late Bottled Vintage Port is a typical Douro blend bottled in 2018 with a bar-top cork, 101 grams of residual sugar and 20% alcohol. Deeper than its sibling (the Fonseca LBV this issue) on opening, this still lacks that wine's personality, enticing aromatics and more intense flavors. This did seem more powerful and brooding, the structure more impressive than its fruit. It also seemed brighter and livelier, however. The next day, things changed. This no longer seemed any deeper than the Fonseca, which fleshed out and then showed even more power. Plus, the Fonseca seemed more tightly wound. They both retain plenty of power for LBVs, though. The flavor profiles remain a bit different, obviously. In a tough Douro year, this is a good performance, but the fruit is not overly expressive. Give the edge this year to the Fonseca. This is, of course, ready to drink now and needs no particular development time.