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2016 was the first year to be declared since the wonderful 2011s. While full of praise for the quality of the vintage - it has been described as "the vintage of a lifetime" by some - there is a gentle warning to heed. Basically, if you would like any of these you need to jump fast.

Here's why: the quantity produced was 20% down on 2011 which was itself a small harvest. The quality is exceptional and the Port market is very excited by what it sees. Allocations from producer to the wine merchants are tiny and we expect to move out our little divvy pretty quickly.

After a wetter, though warmer than average winter, which stored up valuable water reserves for the hot Douro summer, cooler, damp weather in May caused considerable fruit loss for some. Bunches that formed and remained benefited from a very warm summer and hot spell over August and September, freshened by showers about half way through the month. Winemaker Charles Symington took the risk of delaying harvest as the weather was set fair and picking, depending on the variety and location, took place under clear blue skies right through from the back part of September to mid-October.

The fruit was in perfect condition, all varieties had achieved optimum ripeness - evenly and completely. Charles, who has been making these wines since 1990, says that these are the best he's ever made. Tannins are firm but refined, the colours are intense and purple and the wines show impressive structure and rare balance.

There is grace to the year's obvious power, elegance and aromatics in its youthful vigour and it may well turn out to be a year which can be approached earlier than those with clunky tannins and a solid constitution. However it also has the sheer quality to last for decades and could be tucked away as a long term treat - perhaps a christening present for the beneficiaries' 30th or even 40th birthdays.

Under the circumstances you would not expect prices to be low - rarity and quality never come cheap, but this is a special opportunity to secure a few bottles of some of the finest Vintage Port of the last 60 years.

Prices are per whole six bottle case and include duty and VAT. Mixed cases not available at this stage. No other discounts apply.

Please note that this is a pre-shipment offer and the ports will be available later in the year.