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.
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.’
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.