WA92 The 1969 Very Old Single Harvest Tawny Port comes in with 158 grams of residual sugar. It was bottled in November 2018 with a bar-top cork. The latest release in Taylor’s 50-year Colheita program, this doesn’t show a lot of energy, and it has a little bitterness on the finish. It is laced with a touch of treacle on opening, but that blends in well after some time. I enjoyed the complexity. It seems very mature in other ways, though, rather soft with relatively little intensity. That’s all relative, of course. It still drinks well and tastes great in a very understated way. (I’d add that this, unlike most old tawnies, actually showed better as it warmed closer to room temperature.) Of recent releases in this program, I’d have to pick some of the others, granting that they aren’t all here together. The next day, it tasted great, but it sometimes seemed a touch flat. For all of that, I still rather liked this for its freshness and elegance
Winemaker Notes: Deep mahogany colour with discreet olive highlights on the rim. Very fine, elegant nose, with an opulent core of wild honey, treacle and butterscotch infused with a spicy redolence of black pepper and cinnamon. Cedary cigar box aromas, savoury scents of wild herbs and a discreet aura of fresh mint add a further layer of complexity. The perfectly calibrated palate is lifted by a fresh acidity and delivers a wealth of rich mellow flavour, molasses, dried figs, sultanas and apricot confit. The finish is clean and bright, with ripe pear and mint and very discreet zesty citrus notes.
Every year Taylor’s makes a limited release of a Single Harvest Port made 50 years previously, with very slow and gentle contact with seasoned wood and oxygen. The 1969 is just the sixth time Taylor’s has released this much-adored Tawny-style Port and the Very Old Single Harvest represents the cream of Taylor’s aged reserves.
Taylor’s extensive and enviable library of very old Ports includes a number of casks of single harvest Ports, patiently awaiting bottling and release. Crucially, these wines have been well cared for in the interim and are being bottled in limited quantities to celebrate important anniversaries. These single harvest Tawny ports are a far cry from vintage port, extended ageing in oak casks creates ports of extreme aromatic complexity with delightfully mellow structures: it is superb now but also has plenty of life ahead.