This December one of the oldest and rarest wines ever sold will be made available on very limited release to collectors and connoisseurs around the world.

Taylor Fladgate SCION, a unique pre-Phylloxera Port made in the mid-nineteenth century, is remarkable not only for its rarity and historic significance but also for the fact that, after 155 years of ageing in cask, the wine is in perfect condition.

SCION first came to the attention of Taylor Fladgate’s wine maker, David Guimaraens, in 2008. It had been passed down through various generations of a distinguished Douro Valley family who had kept it as a private family reserve, with the exception of one pipe said to have been acquired by Winston Churchill.

In 2009 the sole remaining direct descendant of the family died leaving no children. Her heirs, not all family members, decided to sell the wine. Having acquired samples, the directors of Taylor Fladgate discovered that fifteen decades of ageing in oak casks had concentrated the wine to an essence of magical complexity. Not only was it drinking perfectly, it was sublime.

Taylor Fladgate successfully negotiated the purchase of the wine which was moved, in two casks, to the firm’s lodges on 13th January, 2010.

In view of the quality and historic interest of the wine, Taylor Fladgate’s Managing Director, Adrian Bridge, decided that it should not be blended but should be released as a unique collector’s item. Announcing the release he commented: “This extraordinary Port, which has spent fifteen decades in oak casks, may be one of the only wines to survive from the pre-phylloxera era in faultless condition.”

Taylor Fladgate SCION is offered in a specially designed collector’s presentation which recalls the period in which this 155-year-old Port was made. The wine is contained in a specially made crystal decanter produced exclusively for SCION. Each decanter is individually hand blown and finished. It is presented in a solid wooden box based on a nineteenth-century wooden instrument case. Its period feel is enhanced by fine detailing, including traditional dovetail joinery and brass fittings.

Set into the lid of the box is a limited-edition book which tells the story of SCION and its remarkable journey through history. Illustrated with ink drawings by the acclaimed illustrator and typographer Sarah Coleman, this book is itself a collector’s item. Gold blocked onto the cover is the word SCION set in a historic Portuguese typeface dating from 1874. Other period details include marbled endpapers, gilt edging and a traditional ribbon marker.

SCION represents an opportunity which may never be repeated to acquire a wine of the utmost rarity and historical significance, a survivor from the lost era before Phylloxera destroyed the vineyards of Europe. There are only two casks of this very rare Port and, given the interest which the release is generating, the available quantity will have to be strictly allocated. SCION will be released through Taylor Fladgate’s importers and distributors around the world. Distributor details can be obtained by contacting: [email protected].