Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009 Vintage Port
Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port 2009
Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port 2009

The wines of Quinta de Vargellas traditionally form the ‘backbone’ of the Taylor Vintage Port blend. This outstanding estate, recognised as one of the world’s finest vineyards, was acquired by Taylor in 1893 although its reputation as a source of the finest ports dates back to the 1820’s. Located in the remote eastern reaches of the Douro Valley, Vargellas is known for its elegant, scented wines, with their fine focused fruit and well integrated sinewy tannins. It is also known as a source of one of the rarest and most collectible vintage ports of all, Vargellas Vinha Velha.

Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha is a very rare Vintage Port made in tiny quantities from a selection of the very oldest vines on the Vargellas estate. Vinha Velha, pronounced vinya velya and meaning ‘old vineyard’, is the name given to the ancient terraced plots on which these old vines are grown. See VINEYARDS below for more details.
Vargellas Vinha Velha may well be the most elusive and collectible of all Vintage Ports. Only five Vinha Velha vintage ports have been released to date and the 2009 will be the sixth. Vinha Velha Vintage Ports are sold on strict allocation and, to allow the very restricted quantities to be as widely distributed as possible, is shipped only in cases of three bottles.
The character of the Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Ports is unique and their interest to collectors lies, not only in their superb quality and rarity, but also in the fact that they represent a piece of Port history, the expression of an ancient terroir whose characteristics are unlikely ever to be exactly reproduced.

Vargellas

As usual, the 2009 Vinha Velha represents a selection of fruit from the very oldest vines grown on the five plots which together make up the ‘old vineyard’ at Quinta de Vargellas. 2009 will be remembered as a particularly dry year, producing low yields and very concentrated, deeply coloured and tannic wines. However the 2009 vintage ports are also noted for their complexity and for the exceptional quality of their fruit.

Commenting on the release of the 2009 Vinha Velha, Adrian Bridge, Taylor’s CEO, commented: ‘The old vines, with their extensive root systems, are at an advantage in a dry year. The ’09 Vinha Velha has the density and firm tannins typical of the harvest but is also perfectly balanced with wonderful complexity.’

Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port 2009

Taylor’s head blender, Natasha Bridge, added: ‘As with previous Vinha Velha bottlings, the mix of historic grape varieties in the old vineyards has expressed itself in a wonderfully multidimensional nose. The ’09 is a wine of massive scale with a long life ahead of it but remains a quintessential Vargellas, elegant and refined.’

A limited release of Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009 Vintage Port will be made later in 2011. The wine will be shipped in cases of 3 bottles.

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TASTING NOTES
Deep purple black with narrow rim. The nose is quintessential Vargellas taken to a sublime level. Powerful linear fruit, plum, black cherry and cassis set against a dark exotic background of rosewood and clove. The heady fragrance of violets contributes to the sense of transcendent, multilayered complexity. On the palate the dense thickly textured tannins are coated with sumptuous fruit flavour giving the wine massive volume, weight and grip. But it is on the long, rich tannic finish that the wine displays its resilience and energy.
Accolades
Wine & Spirits Magazine, Best Buying Guide 2013
From the oldest vines at Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior, this smells like schist and builds past its sweetness to a schist driven finish as well.....
From the oldest vines at Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior, this smells like schist and builds past its sweetness to a schist driven finish as well. It starts off as a black fruit jam, gaining detail with air as the seemingly soft tannins yield their mineral power and the big fruited richness takes shape. Formidable wine.
93 Points
Wine Spectator, July 31, 2012
A medium-sweet style, with red plum and raspberry tart flavors that feature plenty of spiced cherry accents....
A medium-sweet style, with red plum and raspberry tart flavors that feature plenty of spiced cherry accents. Shows interesting grainy notes on the tannic finish, which features good grip. Best from 2016-2026. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
92 Points
Wine Enthusiast
The legendary Vargellas Vinha Velha comes from the oldest vines of Quinta de Vargellas.
The legendary Vargellas Vinha Velha comes from the oldest vines of Quinta de Vargellas. This 2009 vintage is concentrated and impressive, its beautiful ripe fruits and dark chocolate backed by an immense structure. The gentler side of the wine comes through in its perfumed character. A wine that deserves many years of ageing.
97 Points.
Luís Antunes, Revista de Vinhos, Julho 2011
Tinta da China, fruta preta e azul, grafite, incrivelmente focado, muito tenso e vibrante.
Tinta da China, fruta preta e azul, grafite, incrivelmente focado, muito tenso e vibrante. Bem definido, especiado, com impressionante textura de taninos, grande complexidade, todo tensão e volúpia, força e frescura.
Pontos 19,5
Rui Falcão, Revista Wine, Julho 2011
Preto retinto, absolutamente impenetrável à luz. Apesar de atraente e sedutor, mostra-se ainda extraordinariamente fechado e contido....
Preto retinto, absolutamente impenetrável à luz. Apesar de atraente e sedutor, mostra-se ainda extraordinariamente fechado e contido, introvertido nas notas terrosas profundas, aqui e ali aligeiradas pelo perfume de flor de laranjeira. A boca confirma o perfil duro e reservado, num Vintage compacto e poderoso, a gritar que precisa de tempo de reflexão em garrafa para poder ser desfrutado. A começar a beber em 2026!
Pontos 18
Neal Martin, www.erobertparker.com, May 2011
'I was quite taken with the Taylor's Vargellas Vinha Velha that took a few minutes to awake, but eventually offered a lovely, pure bouquet with touches of orange essence lending a little panache.'
'I was quite taken with the Taylor's Vargellas Vinha Velha that took a few minutes to awake, but eventually offered a lovely, pure bouquet with touches of orange essence lending a little panache.'

The Taylor Vargellas Vinha Velha 2009 has a more introverted than Taylor's Vintage, an earthy bouquet with touches of orange essence developing in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, good backbone, quite reserved and composed at the moment. This is not a flamboyant Vinha Velha, but there is a very attractive, slightly biscuity quality towards the finish. Superb. Tasted May 2011.
Score 94+
Jamie Goode, Wineanorak.com, May 2011
300 cases produced. Brooding, intense nose showing lively, spicy, rich blackberry and blackcurrant fruit.
300 cases produced. Brooding, intense nose showing lively, spicy, rich blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. The palate shows elegance and power with lovely firm structure and good acidity under the sweet, dense fruit. Firm, fine-grained tannins.
95–97/100
Jancis Robinson, Purple Pages, May 2011
Intense dark chestnut-crimson colour. Appetising, dry peppery nose.
Intense dark chestnut-crimson colour. Appetising, dry peppery nose. Very intense with quite a hot, alcoholic kick on the finish. Extremely dry and drying finish. Seems just very slightly skinny at the moment.
Score 17.5. Drink 2020-30
Richard Mayson, richardmayson.com, May 2011
Deep in colour, but not especially dark and not as Taylor (above); still raw, touch of tobacco and hedgerow, not nearly as showy as Taylor.
Deep in colour, but not especially dark and not as Taylor (above); still raw, touch of tobacco and hedgerow, not nearly as showy as Taylor; lovely ripe fleshy fruit backed by firm, fine-grained, tight knit tannins, rising in the mouth, long firm, powerful finish, quite big and structured but elegant too.
Score 18.5
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