The latest declared year for Portugal's Vintage Port is the great 2007's, and here is a trio of the greatest ports of this already heralded vintage, including the superstar powerhouse Taylor Fladgate, the little known but superb Quinta da Vale Meao and finally the much sought after and now sold out Dow's, a potential wine of the year that received 100 points from James Suckling of the Wine Spectator. Finesse, power and personality epitomizes the 2007's. You can certainly drink a 2007 in the next year as it is full of vibrancy, energy and archtypical blueberry fruit, but those with patience and good cellars will be heavily rewarded in 15 to 20 years (or more). A must for any serious port collector.
Taylor Fladgate: James Suckling, Wine Spectator - 96 points: This is a giant of a wine lurking behind fresh flowers and ripe fruit. Starts off in a friendly way, then takes hold of the palate, with intense blueberry and blackberry fruit and chewy yet fine tannins. Mouthpuckering, but impressively complex and long. Really kicks in on the finish. The best Taylor since 1994. Best after 2020.
Quinta do Vale Meao: Roy Hersh, For the Love of Port - 98 points: From the property that is still associated in consumer's minds, with the legend that is Barca Velha comes this brilliant youngster. When I tasted my way through the first bottle in mid-May this was showing very well and I was pleased to have another bottle to try back at home, once it settled down a month later. Expansive and sublime earthy perfume and fresh berry laden aromas soar out of the glass as this is not your ordinary young Vintage Port. It's loaded with herbs and spices, anise/licorice and tobacco along with the brooding dark berry scents that sex it up. As enormous as this VP is, and make no mistake about it: the concentration here is of epic proportions for a 2007 (akin to the finest in 2003) - there is precision that delivers that rare combination of power and elegance which I only occasionally find in Vintage Ports. I'll skip over the list of flavors and focus on the exactitude and balance, with near perfect harmony between the massive waves of fruit, the core of seductive acidity and the iron-spined tannic structure. Along with Niepoort, Meao is tied for 2nd place near the pinnacle of the entire 2007 pyramid. An admirable achievement and kudos to the Olazabal family.
Dow's: James Suckling, Wine Spectator - 100 points: Amazing aromas of lilac, violet, crushed blueberry and mineral that turn to black pepper and spices follow through to a full-bodied, medium-sweet palate, with a long, chewy finish. Evolves to tar and asphalt. Really held back, yet powerful grip slaps you and makes you happy. This is mind-blowing in texture. The greatest Dow ever made. Best after 2022. 6,200 cases made.
donor: Ed Fong, deVine Wines & Spirits
final winning bid: $350