Established over three centuries ago in 1692, Taylor Fladgate is one of the original founding Port houses and is best known for its long-lasting vintage ports that are among the world’s most sought after and collectible wines. Taylor Fladgate possesses one of the most extensive reserves of cask-aged Port. Among these is the rare 1863 Single Harvest Tawny Port, which will be available in the U.S. beginning in September 2014 for $3,700.
Traditionally, such very old Ports, concentrated by decades of aging in wood, were used in tiny proportions to enrich the Taylor Fladgate 40 Year Old Tawny blend. Four years ago, however, Taylor Fladgate acquired Scion, a very rare pre-Phylloxera Tawny Port in perfect condition. Given its historical significance, it was decided that the wine should not be blended but offered as a unique limited edition, the first Port of its kind to be released in this way. While Aged Tawny Ports, which are traditionally available in 10, 20, 30, and 40 Year Old blends, are heralded for their broad array of subtle sweet and nutty flavors garnered from prolonged wood-aging in casks, the success of Scion revealed a strong global interest in rare single wood-aged Tawny Ports.
“This remarkable Port is like a time capsule, offering a fascinating glimpse into a distant past,” says Adrian Bridge, Taylor Fladgate’s CEO and Managing Director. “The 1863 has been in wood for over a century-and-a-half and is a piece of wine history. Thanks to the perfect aging environment of the lodges in Oporto, it is perfectly balanced and shows an extraordinary vitality.”
The historic Port lodges of Oporto, Portugal, like the wine vaults of the City of London or the quays of Bordeaux, provide ideal conditions for the storage and aging of wine. These vast dark warehouses, with their thick granite walls and high ceilings, are kept cool and damp by the humid winds blowing off the cold waters of the Atlantic and proximity to the Douro River.
The Taylor Fladgate 1863 Single Harvest Tawny Port will be offered in a specially made crystal decanter presented in a superb wooden presentation box with a maple burl veneer. Each box contains a certificate personally signed by Adrian Bridge.
Here are the tasting notes on the Taylor Fladgate 1863 Single Harvest Tawny Port:
Deep mahogany core with a narrow amber-olive rim. On the nose, a succession of subtle spicy aromas opens up against a dense backdrop of treacle and molasses. Notes of sawn oak and vanilla give way to a spicy surge of nutmeg, black pepper and ginger. Gradually the rich, sumptuous aromas of age emerge, walnut, marzipan, butterscotch and mocha followed by rich figgy plum-pudding notes. On the palate, the wine is in perfect balance, with sweetness and acidity in harmony and beautifully integrated spirit. On the mid-palate, the wine releases a burst of opulent mellow flavor that is lifted by a crisp acidity as it flows into the endless finish. A wine of extraordinary depth and background that continues to astonish with multiple layers and dimensions of aroma.