For lovers of tawny Port, “old and rare” generally meant one that had been aged in wood for 40 years—until now. Taylor Fladgate has just introduced Scion, the oldest and rarest Port available on the market today. Scion’s story sounds like a wine collector’s fantasy: Made from grapes harvested in 1855, before phylloxera decimated the vineyards of Europe, it was aged in wood for over 150 years. The precious Port was held in one family’s cellar in Portugal’s Douro Valley, with only a small quantity sold to Winston Churchill.
Unlike most tawnies, which are a blend of different vintages, this one is from a single vintage. When the remaining heirs of a Douro family offered the casks to Taylor Fladgate Partnership Winemaker David Guimaraens and CEO Adrian Bridge, a tasting revealed both a nutty, toffee-like sweetness and bright acidity. Although there may well be other wines this old stored in cellars throughout Europe, it’s unlikely that any of them are still in perfectly drinkable condition. Befitting a wine with such provenance, Scion is presented in a handmade, 19th century-style wooden box, which houses both a hand-blown crystal decanter and a limited-edition, illustrated leather-bound book detailing the wine’s history. Only 100 bottles are available in the United States. At $3,200, it seems a small price to pay in order to acquire—and drink—this precious bit of winemaking history.