A phenomenal single vintage Tawny from the venerable Graham’s Port House.
Vintage Tawnies are only produced in exceptional years, and 1994 was certainly one of those, known as one of the historic vintages of the 20th century for the Douro valley. The dry years of early 90s were followed by a very wet winter across 1993-4, much to the relieve of growers, as the water reserves were required during the roasting hot summer. A cold snap in May reduced the final crop, though this had the effect of creating a small yield of grapes with highly concentrated flavour. August was notably hot, though September brought coolness and rain, which was vitally needed by that stage. The harvested grapes were in excellent condition, and immediately showed great potential
For this bottling, Peter Symington legendary winemaker and taster at Graham’s, chose a selection of outstanding wines from the Quinta dos Malvedos and Quinta das Lages vineyards. These were then set aside for long aging in seasoned oak casks. Peter retired in 2009, and his son Charles continued to monitor this parcel of Port wine, eventually deciding that 19 of casks showed the fine structure and elegant flavour required to be bottled as a vintage Port.
This Port pours a deep bronze-Tawny, and serves up flavours of fresh roses, figs, balsamic with strawberry, honey on toast, Chinese five spice, blackberries, blueberries, a little coffee, rich toffee, brown sugar and dark chocolate.
The wine was bottled at 20% ABV, with an acidity of 4.7 grams of tartaric acid per litre, and a Baumé rating of 4.3. Decant before drinking, and enjoy alongside dark chocolates or creamy dessert.