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Taylor Fladgate Releases A Rare Single Harvest Port From 1863, Civil War Era….
It’s taken over 150 years, but a rare vintage port is finally making its way to our shores. Taylor Fladgate is releasing a special 1863 Single Harvest Tawny — only 1600 bottles are being produced and only 280 of those will be available in the United States. After a century and a half of resting in wood, the port now comes in specially-made crystal decanter inside a maple burl box. There’s also a certificate, for people who hate drinking port without certificates.
What’s so special about 1863? Other than the Civil War raging into its third year, and the founding of the Red Cross, it’s considered the last great vintage year for port, before phylloxera destroyed Europe’s vineyards. Early reviews have been stunning. Neal Martin at the Wine Advocate rated it 98 points and Mark Squires rated it 100 points, noting “this simply deserves all the plaudits you can give it.”
The 1863 color is that of a 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 plumpudding notes. On the palate, the wine is in perfect balance, with sweetness and acidity in perfect harmony and beautifully integrated spirit. On the mid-palate the wine releases a burst of opulent mellow flavor which is lifted by a crisp acidity as it flows into the endless finish. This is a wine of extraordinary depth and background which continues to astonish with multiple layers and dimensions of aroma.
Critical AcclaimJames Suckling – “Dark brown with some gold hue and a bright orange rim to the color. It shows intense aromas of brown sugar, toffee and lime peel. Some meat and walnuts too. Full-bodied, very sweet and thick. It’s like syrup yet fresh, bright and tangy. Amazing power and richness shows the ripeness and heat of the vintage. Stunning old port aged more than a century and a half in old oak barrels. Bottled this year. An extraordinary experience tasting this. 1863 was one of the greatest vintages ever and before phylloxera destroyed the European tasting.”The Wine Advocate – “The 1863 has not been topped up to our knowledge and the records from W&K also do not record any. It was kept in two casks in a locked cage at their warehouse in Serpa Pinto here in Gaia. This wine was the great pride and joy of the Falcao Carneiro family and they only decided to release it having seen the success of Scion. Jose Falcao Carneiro is a very serious person and I believe that the special point about this wine was that it came from 1863 whereas the Weise & Krohn was founded in 1865. So the wine may well have been among the first that was purchased by the company’s founders. Certainly the lodge where it was kept has been rented by W&K since 1880. The wine is very dense with the very developed rim of olive color, which is always the indication of a very old tawny. It is also viscous with residual sugar at 224-grams per liter. The Baume is 10.3 and the pH is 3.53. Lead levels are high at 330 parts per billion but this would be expected from old Ports due to movement through brass fitting in the old days.” So we must doff our caps and bow before a fortified wine that never fully relinquished its flush of youth. If the Scion was Katherine Hepburn, this is Jane Russell. The 1863 Tawny is a Port from another time and another world, but whose pleasure is with us today.”
The Duke of Bourbon, Westlake Village, CA – Celebrating 60 years in the Fine wine and Spirits business. From Screaming Eagle to Pappy Van Winkle and Mouton Rothschild to Romanee-Conti. We have it all here under one roof to enable you to celebrate life with great wine, bourbon, scotch and other fine rare/vintage spirits. Ask as about our rare ports from 1863 through now!
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