updated 2/15/2011 11:16:53 AM ET 2011-02-15T16:16:53

NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Taylor Fladgate introduces the world's rarest tawny Porto, Scion, to the U.S. this February. An extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime Porto, Scion is a tawny made from the harvest of 1855, before Phylloxera destroyed Europe's vineyards, and retails for $3,200.  This remarkable Porto has been aging in cask for more than 150 years and was bottled only in 2010. For collectors and connoisseurs, its rarity and historic importance will be surpassed only by its quality: 15 decades in cask have produced a flawless wine.

Winemaker David Guimaraens of The Fladgate Partnership, which consists of the houses of Taylor Fladgate, Fonseca and Croft, learned of two casks of this venerable tawny in 2008.  Passed down through the generations of a distinguished Douro Valley family, the two casks had been held as a private family reserve, with the exception of one pipe said to have been acquired by Winston Churchill.

In 2009, the remaining direct descendant of the family died, leaving no children. The heirs decided to sell the casks. Upon acquiring samples, Taylor Fladgate discovered the wine was beautifully concentrated, of magical complexity and drinking sublimely. Fladgate Partnership CEO Adrian Bridge recognized the wine as a unique collector's item, proclaiming "Scion is an extraordinary Port, which having spent fifteen decades in oak casks, may be one of the world's only wines to survive from the pre-Phylloxera era in faultless condition."  After the purchase was negotiated, the casks were moved to the Taylor Fladgate lodge on January 13th, 2010.

Recalling the era in which this Porto was crafted, Scion is bottled in a hand blown crystal decanter and encased in a 19th-century style instrument case with dovetail joinery and handmade fittings.  A limited-edition book illustrated by acclaimed illustrator and typographer Sarah Coleman, with gold blocking on the cover in a historic Portuguese typeface dating from 1874, tells the story of this wine's remarkable historic journey.

Phylloxera, a root louse, destroyed most of Europe's grapevines between 1863 and 1900. During this period, it was discovered that American vines were resistant to Phylloxera, and the European vines were grafted onto American rootstock during replanting. This solution is still used for almost all European vines planted today. It is believed that wines made before Phylloxera were superior to those made from grafted vines.

Scion, a survivor from the lost era before Phylloxera, expresses Taylor Fladgate's pursuit of craftsmanship, excellence and tradition. Run by Yeatman and Fladgate descendants since their partnership in 1837, Taylor Fladgate is Porto's only lodge to have remained independent and family run throughout its history.

About Taylor Fladgate:

Over the past century, Taylor Fladgate has earned a global reputation for producing wines of remarkable consistency and exceptional quality. In 1744, the family became the first Porto shipper to purchase vineyards in the Douro Valley. Often described as the Rolls Royce of the Porto industry, Taylor Fladgate maintains exacting standards through continuous investments in vineyards and by aging extensive tawny stocks. Its vintage Portos are still made by foot treading, the gentlest method of crushing the grapes. Today Taylor Fladgate is proud to be the only Porto company that has remained 100% family run throughout its history.

For further information contact:

Kobrand Wine & Spirits

Marybeth Bentwood

914.253.7722

mbentwood@kobrand.com

Suzie Kukic

914.253.7741

skukic@kobrand.com

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com

The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] Scion Logo
   

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