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.

Due to the extraordinary quality, rarity and historical interest in this particular Tawny Port, Managing Director of Taylor’s, Adrian Bridge, decided to bottle and sell it as a collector’s item under the name Scion (meaning the descendent or heir of a noble family or the shoot of a plant, especially one used for grafting). Famous port house releases 1,400 bottles of this 1855 pre- phylloxera tawny in fancy boxes with the price at a remarkable $3,500 for a bottle of 750 ml.

Scion is sold in a beautiful bespoke, hand-blown, crystal decanter which is set into a sturdy wooden box with brass fittings reminiscent of a 19th century instrument case. In the lid is a book telling the story of this rare Tawny with original drawings by illustrator and typographer, Sarah Coleman.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation acquired 3 bottles, and sell it at their Halifax outlet with a price tag of $3,495.99 for each bottle. Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation

That Dope