Port houses are seeking to improve their appeal to wealthy drinkers worldwide after the Symington family became the second producer to release a 19th Century single harvest Port within a month.
Symington Family Estates has released 656 bottles of a Port that dates back to the arrival of their great-grandfather Andrew Symington in Portugal in 1882.
Named Ne Oublie after the family motto and bottled under the Graham’s label, one bottle of the Tawny Port costs £4,510 at retail.
Its release follows the 1863 single harvest Port launched in crystal decanters by Taylor’s last month, at £3,000-a-bottle.
Graham’s Ne Oublie is presented in an individually numbered, Portguese-made crystal decanter with Scottish silver bands, inside a leather presentation case designed and made by Smythson of Bond Street. This reflects the Portuguese, Scottish and English origins of the family.
‘It isn’t for everybody, [but] it should appeal to those with a sense of history who enjoy rarities,’ said managing director Paul Symington, at this week’s launch at Christie’s in London.
He was accompanied by 24 other members of the family, including the first of the fifth generation to join the family business, his daughter Charlotte.
Symington said the release represents one barrel of the 1882 single harvest Port. There are two left, which will remain untouched until at least 2025, while a fourth was blended into other Graham’s Ports back in the 1920s.
Taylor’s chief executive Adrian Bridge recently spoke of rising global demand for aged Tawny. ‘’Last year, for the first time, aged Tawny Ports went over 0.5m cases [in sales]. Value sales were €55m, which means the category is 15% of total Port industry turnover.’
(Editing by Chris Mercer)
Written by Amy Wislocki