In 2008 Taylor’s wine maker, David Guimaraens, became aware of the existence of a very old and rare cask aged port, dating from the period before Phylloxera arrived in the Douro Valley and destroyed most of its vineyards. The wine, over 150 years in age, belonged to a distinguished Douro family and was stored in a wine lodge in the village of Prezegueda in the Corgo Valley. A treasured heirloom, the wine had been passed down from one generation to the next and attempts to persuade the family to part with it had been unsuccessful.
In 2009, the sole surviving descendant of the family died leaving no children. Her heirs, not all of whom were family members, decided to sell the two casks of this unique and historically important wine. Taylor’s acquired samples and, amazingly in view of its age, found that it was not only in faultless condition but of superb quality. The purchase was successfully negotiated and the two casks were moved to the firm’s lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia on 13th January, 2010.
Under normal circumstances a very old wood age port like this would have been incorporated into the firm’s aged tawny reserves, in this case into the 40 year old tawny blend. However, in view of its quality, rarity and historical interest, Taylor’s CEO, Adrian Bridge, decided that it should not be blended but should be made available as a unique collector’s item.
In the autumn of 2010, the wine was launched as a very limited edition, under the name of Scion. Scion is one of the oldest and rarest aged tawny ports ever sold and one of very few pre-Phylloxera wines from any vineyard region to reach us in perfect condition.
A halo of pale amber adorned with subtle olive highlights surrounds a core of deep mahogany. The wine envelops the nose with a sublime and heady fusion of opulent and seductive aroma. A rich dark redolence of molasses and fig is overlaid with complex notes of roasted coffee, cigar-leaf, black pepper and cedar combined with a subtle nuttiness and the discreet scent of fine oak wood. Concentrated to a magical quintessence, the wine wraps the palate in a dense and sumptuous coat of luscious flavour interwoven with a crisp and vibrant acidity. Rich mellow flavour of astonishing intensity persists into the endless finish. This wine resonates like a stentorian voice calling down the centuries in a language no longer spoken in the world of wine.