A Duo of Tawny Ports – 1970 and 1870

The Last Drop specialise in finding small quantities of old Whiskies to bottle and sell to collectors. This, as far as I am aware is their first foray in to Port and they have landed on two aged tawnies a century apart. Interestingly they are not bottled as colheitas (the category of dated tawny that allows the year of harvest on the label) and neither of the bottles that I received had the IVDP’s seal of origin (although there clearly had been one under the wax seal). The 1970 was bottled with a stopper cork and the 1870 with a (new) driven cork – both were press samples so this may not be the final package.  The wines come from Cristiano van Zeller whose family used to own Quinta do Noval until it was sold to AXA Millesimes in 1993.  They are described by him as ‘the family silver’. Billed as ‘The Last Drop, Centenario: a Duo of Ports’, only 770 sets of these wines have been released.  I was fortunate to receive samples of both wines.  To give you an indication of their purchase price, BI are selling the duo at £3,325 IB.    

The Last Drop, Aged Tawny Port 1970  *** / ****

Lovely mid-deep orange-amber hue; distinctly high toned on the nose with undertones of citrus peel, butterscotch and toffee with a touch of casky wood smoke, tobacco and roasted coffee; very rich, sweet and intense, lovely texture, silky smooth with supreme elegance, caramelized citrus freshess but with a more than a touch of casky rusticity which, for me, rather mars the finish. I wanted to like this wine more than I did, especially on re-tasting. 16.5  

The Last Drop, Aged Tawny Port 1870 ****

Deep amber mahogany at the centre, thin orange rim; touch casky on the nose, distinctly lifted with venerable rusticity, hint of roast coffee bean and whole meal toast; very sweet and intense with the richness and concentration of age, dried fig richness and mocha coffee continues through the finish. Not faultless and rather invidious to award a mark to a Port with 150 years of age. 17.

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty