THE LAST DROP 'Centenario'
Very Old Colheita Tawny Port
“This is just a sublime Tawny of class and pedigree”
For the last ten years, we have brought to connoisseurs and collectors across the world, some of the finest whiskies and cognacs we have ever tasted. Ben Howkins – a renowned authority on Port and one of our TLD directors – has long believed that there was space in our growing collection for a truly fine old Tawny Port. So in 2016 we journeyed to one of the oldest and most inaccessible wine regions in the world: the Douro Valley.
For many centuries, generations of farmers in the majestic Douro Valley in northern Portugal have kept back stocks of their best wines. These ancient oak casks were seldom moved and only rarely topped up. A few litres might be enjoyed on special occasions but prized aged Tawny Ports were absolutely ‘the family silver’.
The van Zeller family arrived in Portugal in the middle of the XVIIth century, when they left their original birthplace in the Low Countries (Netherlands) for the Douro Valley. The van Zellers quickly established themselves as Douro and Port wine merchants via marriages with already established families in the trade in Porto. Highly respected within the Douro, the van Zeller winery is now run by Cristiano van Zeller.
Ben Howkins has known Cristiano for many years, and felt he would be the perfect partner for The Last Drop. And so it proved: after much searching, they have unearthed something unique and wonderful: The Last Drop “Centenario”: a Duo of Ports.
Our 11th release comprises two very old Tawny Ports, from 1870 and 1970. One hundred years separate these two extraordinary ports, but they are both from the same vineyards – across the river from Quinta Santa Julia, the 18th century family estate of the van Zeller family, in the Baixo Corgo.
Only 770 Sets Exist
Each bottle has been scrupulously bottled and wax-dipped by hand. Part of the “Finest Aged’ range, The Last Drop “Centenario” Port Duo is presented in a forest green The Last Drop Distillers case. A generous 50ml miniature of each Port, two custom-made stoppers, a luxury tasting book and a signed certificate of bottling complete the meticulous presentation.
1870 Old Colheita Tawny Port
Cristiano van Zeller’s Tasting Notes:
“Deep mahogany at its core, adorned by a halo of midnight and olive green. As the wine is poured, a subtle aroma fills the room, with layers of rosemary and toffee. The nose is of fig, honeysuckle and molasses, overlaid with cedar, roasting coffee, cigar leaf and honeyed orange peel. A vibrant acidity transforms this testimony of time as the wine lingers with an astonishing persistence and an endless finish.”
Tasting Notes by Neal Martin:
Wine Critic for Vinous, previously of The Wine Advocate. Author of Pomerol
“It has an arresting bouquet with scents of black plum, rosehip syrup, Manuka honey, fig and grilled walnut… Beautifully balanced, fresh and slightly viscous in texture, this is a complex Tawny Port whose age has not diminished just how delicious it tastes. It just goes out to offer gorgeous mulberry, clove, eau de vie and Chinese five-spice notes throughout its harmonious and poised finish. This is just a sublime Tawny of class and pedigree and it comes highly recommended. 97 Points. Drink.”
1970 Old Colheita Tawny Port
Ben Howkins’ Tasting Notes:
“Glorious reddish brown colour; aromas of rich balanced nutty fruits; deep rich balanced flavours giving way to an enviable freshness that excites and enervates the aftertaste. This wine, almost 50 years old, tastes more generous and harmonious than many 1970 vintage ports taste today. From the same provenance as its elder sibling, the 1870, neither aged tawny ports have ever left the Douro Valley... until now.”
Tasting Notes by Neal Martin:
“Clove, toffee, wild fennel and smoke aromas. The palate is sweet and crisp on the entry with a tang of Seville orange marmalade and quince. There is great tension here thanks to the fine seam of acidity with a fresh, almost “zippy” finish that belies its age. A fine Colheita Tawny. 93 Points. Drink.”