What would you do if you owned a port house and it was celebrating its 325th birthday? Make a special 325 Special Edition Tawny Port of course! And that is what Taylor Fladgate has done. This special port has arrived in the Vancouver area and is available in 39 BC Liquor stores. It comes in a special bottle as well, shaped stout and round; to copy how bottles in the distant past, around late 1600s, were shaped when they were going to be on a long ship voyage. They would not tip over in choppy seas, like a Bordeaux or Burgundy shaped bottle would do. This port is made from a blend of 10, 20, 30, and 40 year ports. I was privileged to have a sip of this 325 Special Edition Tawny Port as well as try a range of other ports produced by Taylor Fladgate.
But beside making a special edition port, a birthday would not be complete without a birthday cake. The cake for this birthday party was very unique, made to look like the Taylor Fladgate 325 Special Edition Tawny Port bottle, but at least triple in size. On the bottle-shaped cake there is raised lettering and the logo of Taylor Fladgate from one of the bottles found from the 1600s. This cake was made by a very talented cake maker in Vancouver (sorry I don’t know the name of the bakery). Jorge Ramos export sales manager from Taylor Fladgate made the trip to Vancouver to present their wines, tell a bit of history of the Port house and this special 325 Tawny port, and to cut the cake. The cake was spectacular, with layers of cake infused with Taylor Fladgate port. Overall a very successful birthday party. And you can be part of it by buying this Limited Edition 325 Special Edition tawny port.
Did you know you can make cocktails using port? I didn’t, but when we were greeted at this event, there were two cocktails made from Taylor Fladgate port. The two port cocktail recipes are below. The first is very zippy with citrus, lime and mint aromas and flavours. Nice for a hot summer day. The second is more mellow, still with lemon on the nose, but it is sweeter and smoother with a deeper brown sugar and vanilla flavours. A nice drink for the Fall.
Taylor White Port Splash
2 oz Taylor Fladgate White Port
3 oz tonic water
3 mint leaves
Twist of lime
Fill rocks glass with ice, mix in Taylor White Port and tonic, top with mint leaves and garnish with lime twist.
1.5 oz Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny
1 oz vodka
5 oz vanilla syrup
4 oz apple juice
Stir all ingredients with ice in a chilled, ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with orange zest and mint.
My Port Tasting Notes
Port, being an aged, fortified wine, has more tertiary, aged flavours, than you would get with a new bottle of wine, which would be more on primary fruit flavours, like cherries or cassis. So if you are new to port, don’t worry if these primary fruit flavours are not as evident. Below are few of the ports I tasted.
Taylor Fladgate 325 Special Edition Tawny Port (~$48.99) – Light reddish copper colour. Light nose of apples, red cherries and raisins. Medium minus body, between semi-sweet and sweet. Higher acidity. red cherries, raisins and light sweet spices, with some pepperiness mid palate.
Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port (~$65.99) – Pale copper coloured. Medium intensity nose, raisiny, brown sugar and vanilla. Medium sweetness and acidity. Round mouth feel. Light sweet oak, ripe oxidized fruit, light vanilla, apples and blueberries. Nice.
Taylor Fladgate 30 Year Old Tawny Port (~$149.99) – Medium minus copper coloured. Fuller, sweeter, raisiny fruit nose. Fuller bodied, round, with medium acidity, pepper, sweet spices, vanilla and ripe oxidized fruit. Medium sweetness. Light tannins. A bigger wine than the 20-year-old port.
Taylor Fladgate 1966 Single Harvest Tawny Port (~$259.99) – Medium minus intensity translucent tan colour in the glass. Fuller intensity nose, showing brown sugar and apples. Heavier, thicker, semi-sweet with spicy peppery flavours, and rich oxidized fruit. One of my favourite ports. –
Taylor Fladgate 1994 Vintage Port (~$332.99) – Medium dull garnet in colour. Very nice nose with ripe sweet cherries, vanilla, sweet spice, floral, and a dill note to the nose. Medium plus body, lightly off-dry. Medium spicy and peppery with flavours of dark cherries and light vanilla. Supple and inviting! –
Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas 2015 (~$73.99) – Deep, opaque, ruby colour. Very light cassis and floral nose. Medium plus body, between dry and semi-sweet. Medium tannins balance out the sweetness in this port. Flavours of dark fruits, woodiness and sweet spice. Medium length; finishes dry. –
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase these ports and others produced by Taylor Fladgate through BC Liquor stores. Here is the Taylor Fladgate link to the BC liquor stores for you. If you prefer going to private wine stores, I see that Everything Wine carries Taylor Fladgate. Other private stores likely carry a selection as well. Enjoy and Happy 325th Birthday to Taylor Fladgate.