100 Points - Wine Enthuiast
"This is a magnificent, opulent wine, with rich tannins and equally rich black fruits. While it has plenty of ripeness that gives it a generous character, it never wavers in its firm strucutre. It will have an immensely long, impressive life." -RV, Dec/2019
(97-99) Points - Wine Advocate
"The 2017 Quinta de Vargellas Vinha Velha Vintage Port is a field blend of typical grapes (like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca) aged for 20 months in French wood. It comes in with 105 grams of residual sugar. The "old vines" here reference centenarian vines on average. This was not quite bottled when seen, but it was the final blend.
Not better qualitatively than the regular Taylor's this year, this is stylistically different—more precise, more elegant, less lush and with less vivid fruit for the moment. The drier (so it seems in perception) and sterner presentation makes this one need a lot of time. This babbling infant has just begun to tell its stories—and the beginning date for drinking that I have listed is merely a starting point, not when it will clearly be truly attractive. Nor, for that matter, is the end date anything but an advisory that means "a long time." This is not, in short, even the end of the beginning, let alone a good look.
Even with some aeration, it is very closed now—not astringent per se, but not expressive either. As fine as this seems today, it is likely to improve dramatically with time. Expression of fruit here will only come to those who have patience, and not otherwise. This tightly wound and rather muscular Port is filled with potential, even if it is all potential just now. It is worth leaning up for the moment. It is highly likely to justify the optimism. In ten years when we taste the greats from this vintage, this will be on the shortlist. However, fair warning—if you lack a cellar, look away." -MS, July/11/2019