50 year old Colheita anyone?


Just got this offer in an email.

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This email has just arrived - not quite for me, but someone might be or have been 50 this year?


@szaki1974 - You beat me to it - suggest you merge or delete my thread.

just by the finest of margins… merged now

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I was searching around last month for a birthday treat and found a review of this on Jancis Robinson (by JR) which scored it 16 (that’s low for a port on that site!) and described it as more of a date than a wine (ouch). Another review on the same site recommended the 1968 release over it. Even a stellar review though might not help given the eye-watering price.

You can buy 8 of these for the same price:



24 bottles bought since this afternoon by the looks of it…

I think TWS missed an opportunity not listing this from the beginning of the year. Suvh a significant birthday wine.

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Taylor’s release a 50-y.o. colheita every year. I got to try the 1968 last year and it was a good wine, though I wouldn’t pay that much for it*. If this is the style of port you enjoy (and I do) my first recommendation would be to go for an aged tawny (i.e. 10, 20, 30 or 40 y.o.).

There’s nothing wrong with the colheitas - it’s just that they vary a lot from year to year, and unless you know how well that vintage did at any given house, there’s a higher risk of disappointment. Plus at this distance, they are usually carrying a price premium. Get a good one, though and they are great wines indeed.

(* edited to clarify - this is a comment on Taylor’s pricing, not the Society’s)


The price of these wines doubled/trebled when Taylor bought out Krohn. I thought they used to be good option if someone wanted an anniversary wine and wasn’t too particular. Even when they are not that good they are still very drinkable. but at nearly £200/ a bottle they now represent poor value. Even the very good ones. I will allow that I am prejudiced against this style. Drinking the older ones always makes me think of the time I tried my hand at oil painting. I think that about 20 year old is the optimum balance between wood and fruit for me.

But this seems to be the direction the port industry is going, more premium wines, fewer standard bottlings

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I have a bottle of Calem Colheita 1961 that I will have the pleasure of opening in 18 months time (well there have to be some some advantages to turning 60!). I tasted it four years ago when judging for The Drinks Business Fortified Masters competition and it was top of the tree in my book.


The Calem '61 was supposed to be quite a famously good colheita, wasn’t it? I’ve never tried it, but it lodges somewhere in my memory along with all the other detritus.

On the aged tawnies, I think I tend to prefer those from the houses that make lighter styles of vintage ports. That’s usually the “Portuguese-owned*” houses, though not exclusively. I’m not sure why this is so. One of the exceptions would be Dow’s, which is a stable-mate of Graham’s. I wouldn’t normally buy a Dow’s vintage over a Graham’s, but it’s the other way round for the aged tawnies. Though the Dow’s are about 50% more expensive!

The society’s 10-yo is OK but it rather has the hallmark of all the generic Fladgate partnership wines, such as are sold in places like M&S etc. The best 10-yo I have tried is from Pocas (pronounced puh-sash), though I don’t know if anyone imports it. As to the 30 and 40 year olds, that’s a matter of taste! I can fully understand someone preferring the 10 and 20’s, though you lose some things and gain others I think.

(* Yes, I know that most of them are internationally owned these days by conglomerates, but you know what I mean)