Taylor's is looking to take advantage of rising interest in aged and rare Ports among fine wine buyers by launching a single harvest Tawny from the mid-19th Century.
Taylor’s is currently bottling its two casks of Single Harvest 1863 into 1,600 crystal decanters and will be releasing the Port worldwide over the next couple of months.
Bottles are expected to retail for around £3,000 and the company believes the launch will appeal to a growing number of fine wine buyers showing interest in aged Tawny Port.
‘We’ve seen growing demand throughout the world,’ said Taylor’s chief executive Adrian Bridge at the London Wine Fair this week.
‘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.’
The 1863 single harvest has the added the cudos of pre-dating the spread of the phylloxera disease that decimated much of Europe’s vineyards in the late 19th Century.
Bridge said deciding on allocations for the 1863 was tough. Just 240 decanters have been earmarked for the UK, although more could be released if sales go well.
‘We are having to spread it around the world relatively thinly,’ he said.
He told Decanter.com that he sees rising demand for rare Ports in Asia, and particularly among wealthy Chinese wine buyers.
But, Taylor’s plans to maintain a balance between new and traditional markets. ‘What we don’t want to do is have it all sucked into Hong Kong,’ he said, on the sidelines of the launch event.
Written by Chris Mercer