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Pre phylloxera Port fetches thousands

Scion, a “perfect condition” Port dating back to 1855, will be released by Taylor’s in December after 150 years of ageing in cask.

Classified by the Port Institute as Very Old Tawny, the wine is one of the rarest in the world as it dates back to the pre-phylloxera period. It will cost £2,500 per bottle.

Earlier this week, Adrian Bridge, managing director of Taylor’s, explained why the wine was so “exceptional”. At a Tawny Port masterclass in central London, he said: “No-one else has ever done this, this is something totally exceptional.

“We have scoured the valley for old wines that could be used in our blends but normally when you find something old, the ageing process has been so intense the wines are too cloying.

“But with Scion,” he added, “we wouldn’t blend because the wine’s perfect, it’s got everything,” adding that the wine has been kept in basement cellar north of Regua, in conditions which Bridge described as “perfect”.

The entire stock of Scion, amounting to 1,400 bottles, will be made available for release. Speaking of the £2,500 price tag, Bridge commented: “There will be people who will pay these prices. I feel instantly confident with it and it’s great to see something new and different in the Port industry.”

Scion will be offered in a bespoke collector’s presentation box which pays homage to the period in which the 155-year old Port was made. The wine itself will be contained in a bespoke crystal decanter.

Also included in the presentation box will be a limited edition book detailing the historical journey of Scion.

Taylor’s secured the one-off Port from a “distinguished Douro family” who had kept the wine in a private family reserve. Taylor’s had previously entered into fruitless discussions with the heirless owner about acquiring some of her wine. But following her death, Taylor’s was contacted about the prior discussions, negotiations were re-established and a deal was agreed upon in January this year.

Distributor details for Scion can be obtained by contacting

Jane Parkinson, 21.10.2010

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