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"Historic 146-year-old bottles of port up for auction "
Notícia in TPN/AICEPPartilhar de 04-08-2017 12:00:00

Two bottles of port made when Queen Victoria was still on the throne and found in the cellar of a country house are to be auctioned off.
The 146-year-old bottles of fortified wine are believed to be some of the oldest in the world, and have been tasted by an expert who said the vintage has got better with age.

According to wines and spirits valuer John Keightley of Hansons Auctioneers, the wine, bottled back in 1871, is “extremely pleasant”.

“As you would expect, this vintage port was extremely pleasant as port famously improves with age,” he said. “It resembled a tawny port.”

“It was a real honour to try this port. It’s the oldest drink I have ever tasted. Quite astonishing.”

The unmarked bottles were found in the cellar of the Manor House in Bredon, Gloucestershire and are expected to fetch close to around 300 euros when they go on sale in September.

Even older Madeira port from the 1850s is available, but is expensive, said Mr Keightley.

“To find such a vintage still in existence in a country house cellar is remarkable,” he added.

Port is made exclusively in the Douro region in the north of Portugal, from grapes fortified with aguardente, a flavourless alcoholic spirit also made from grapes, that stops fermentation.

The drink was introduced to the UK in the early 1700s, when a Liverpool wine merchant sent two employees to Portugal to learn about the area’s wine trade. They liked the novel wine so much that they brought all the port they could back to England.
Back then the drink was used for medical reasons, and was given to Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger when he was a just a child.

“He began at the age of 14 in 1773 with a bottle a day,” said Mr Keightley, “but, as we all now know, heavy alcohol consumption is known to exacerbate gout.”

The two bottles come up for sale on Monday 25 September at Hansons Auctioneers’ wines, whisky and spirits auction in Etwall, Derbyshire.

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