Beautiful nose of flowers with plums and cherries; more like a fine table wine on the nose. Full body, medium sweet with super-refined tannins and a long, superb finish. All about finesse here. Only 310 cases produced of this foot-trodden wine from 19th century vines at the Vargellas estate.
As a reminder, the Vinha Velha is a selection of old vine fruit from the old vineyards at Vargellas. Comparing it directly with the Taylor’s, there is even more complexity and volume on the nose, with blackcurrant, dark plum and a more accentuated crushed stone aroma that lends it wonderful terroir expression. Like the Fonseca, it develops compelling marine scents after 30-40 minutes in the glass, like stepping over rock pools when you were a kid. The palate is medium bodied with sumptuous, sensual ripe tannins that layer the mouth. There is a palpable sense of harmony and composure to this Vinha Velha and there is a lot of horsepower, more so than the Taylor’s, on the multi-dimensional finish. The intensity of fruit means that it does not quite have the same degree of tension as the Taylor’s, but the depth and breadth of this young Port suggest it will be a seriously long-term fortified wine.
Intense purple black colour. As usual with Vinha Velha the wine delivers multiple layers of aroma and flavour. The nose is marked by a complex fruitiness, blending aromas of blackcurrant, plum and blackberry. This is overlaid with nuances of dark chocolate, exotic wood and black pepper and a mantle of delicate floral scent. Although the nose is expressive, there is plenty of depth and background hinting at aromas still to emerge with time. The palate is in perfect balance and supported by a dense weave of sinewy tannin. A burst of fresh berry fruit flavour lingers on the finish.
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