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W & J Graham was originally a Glasgow-based textiles firm, founded by two brothers William and John Graham, which became port shippers in the early 1800s. The family already had extensive business interests in Scotland and India but they decided to channel their considerable resources and energy towards the pursuit of the Port industry.
Later that century, a young Scot called Andrew James Symington emigrated to work for Graham's, but, losing interest in textiles, he became a successful port shipper and his descendants today now own Graham's, which is the jewel in the crown of the Symington Group.
The Symington family’s ancestry in the Port trade spans a period of over 350 years, through 13 generations with 5 members of the family currently actively involved in Graham’s day to day management.
Throughout the 19th century Grahams rapidly grew and went from strength to strength and in 1980 they became one of the first Port companies to invest in Upper Douro vineyards with the acquisition of Quinta dos Malvedos. Since then Quinta dos Malvedos has been recognized as one of the Douro Valleys finest ‘river quintas’.
The Port wines from Quinta dos Malvedos form the backbone of Graham’s renowned Vintage Port in declared years. The vineyard produces Ports with floral characteristics, opulent blackberry fruit aromas backed by well balanced tannins. Graham's Vintage Ports are the epitome of richness and concentration, and this is reflected right through their range of wines from ruby to vintage classics. They are Port wines with innate quality and potential for long-term ageing.
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Graham produces one of the most concentrated and robust styles of Port. Their fame lies on their consistently sublime and sumptuously sweet vintage ports, such as this one from the excellent 1985 vintage of which Graham is the undisputed star among the Port houses. Bedazzling level of black-cherry fruit, massive structure, and staggering complexity and length. It is fully mature now, but will keep for further 5-8 years
Graham is renowned for producing one of the most dense and sweet styles of vintage port. Richness amd sumptuous character are the hallmarks of Graham.1977 offers an impressive bouquet of fragrances reminiscent of liquorice, plums, dried fig, followed on the palate by spice and mocha chocolate notes underlying the powerful, concentrated fruit cake flavours.
Case price (12)
Case saving £104.64
Quinta dos Malvedos is, as usual, the principle shareholder of the five Quintas that make up this outstanding Graham. The extraordinary selection process has only allowed 9% of potential production from these exemplary properties to make the cut, explaining both the reduced production of 131 pipes (8,000 cases) and the incredible quality of the result. Touriga Nacional makes up 40% of the blend and lends characteristic pot pourri aromas and ripe dark fruit definition. The later ripening Touriga Franca has performed especially well this year, ensuring mid-palate definition and real precision on the finish. The 2011 is particularly successful for me as it maintains all the hall-mark Graham generosity and fleshy richness, yet seems to have even more depth and more cerebral intent than usual. Simon Field MW, Port Buyer A soaring nose of blackberry, ripe cherry, prune, plum, violet, charcoal, blueberry, cassis, flint and crushed rock (the list goes on) sweeps through the palate with elegance and power in equal measure. A fruit-filled finish with very fine tannins completes the whole. This is charming. Hamish Orr-Ewing, Private Account Manager
Bottle 6 x 75cl
A deep, Oloroso Sherry colour, with a hint of green at the rim. Really rich, fig-like intensity, with notes of dates, fragrant fine old Sherry-like style on the nose. Dense and intense on the palate, really rich dried figs, dark fruit, hints of molasses, some soft tannins and crisp acidity balancing it out. Dried figs and dates again on the finish with a twist of celery salt. Not really any red fruit character remaining, but swathes of dark brown and black fruit. Elegant and fine, a real treat. Chris Pollington - Private Account Manager The Symington family has released a Port that dates back to the arrival of their great-grandfather Andrew James Symington in Portugal in 1882. This intense, rich wine has been maturing for over 130 years, and the family has only bottled one of the remaining three barrels. As one would expect from a Very Old Port, the palate has notes of rich dried figs, dark fruit and hints of molasses, alongside some soft tannins and crisp acidity that balances it out. Graham’s has released only 656 bottles. Each is individually numbered, in luxurious packaging that reflects the the work of the very finest artisans of the three nations from which the Symington family is descended: Scotland, England and Portugal. Hand-made crystal decanters designed by Portugal’s leading glass manufacturer Atlantis are adorned by sterling silver bands, moulded and engraved by Scottish Silversmiths Hayward & Stott. Finally the Port is presented in a bespoke presentation box handcrafted with the finest leathers by quintessentially British brand Smythson of Bond Street.
Bottle 1 x 75cl
From early in September the lagares, be they granitic and foot-trodden or stainless steel and operated robotically, went into overdrive at the magisterial Quinta De Malvedos, the fruit of which provides the backbone for this wine. A subtle almost pensive nose gives way to an explosion of fruit, held in check by powerful tannins and real authority on the finish. The famous Graham sweetness underwites the piece and promises a fantastic future.
Bottle 12 x 75cl
This showed a calm restraint when tasted as well as the extra degree of class expected from one of the very finest shippers. The tannins were nicely subdued but with an edginess set against a mass of sweet, plump fruit. Long, long length - serious class and up with the very best the vintage has to offer. 2020-2030
Striking mahogany, with hints of amber at its rim, the wine has an extraordinary aromatic intensity, redolent of old libraries, autumnal bonfires and distant poetry. The palate is profound and majestic, astonishingly intense and powerful, regal in its complexity, a timeless elixir. Notes of molasses, dried apricot, figs and clove, dance across the palate, elegant and symphonic in their structure, dignified and profound. Orange zest freshness and finely-wrought tannins underwrite structural harmony with the long finish indulging a gentle nostalgia and a real sense of worth. (Simon Field MW, Berrys’ Port Buyer) Presented in a custom-made gift box. Graham’s Colheita Port Vintage 1952 is a 60 year old single-vintage Tawny Port (the official name for vintage dated Tawnies is Colheita), released to commerate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It’s fabulous and expensive, but good value when you compare it to other fine wines with this much complexity and interest.The palate is rounded, intense and lively with warm, complex, almost impossibly intense flavours of raisin, spice, herbs and citrus fruits. Power and precision. (96/100 points - Jamie Goode - wineanorak.com- April 2012)
Rehoboam 1 x 450cl
Reserved on the nose, it’s the taste that excels in this very special, single vintage tawny that has been made and matured by Graham’s from birth. It has the depth and host of warm, enveloping flavours that conjure drinking on an autumn or winter’s evening rather than on a terrace in summer. There are bold hints of marmalade – dark, candied chunks like a Dundee rather than Golden Shred. Moreish, the finish goes on and on while developing all the time too, with enough hi-toned structure to not ever cloy. A thoroughly satisfying glass of aged port. Tom Cave, Cellar Plan Manager With the glass sitting in front of me, I am enticed by the incredible aromas of caramelized walnuts and dried fruit leaping from the glass. Such is the concentration of the nose, one could spend much time salivating over the layers of complexity derived by 42 years of careful maturation. The palate is intensely flavoured with warming notes of dried Seville orange, allspice, effortlessly bound by a silky texture. Moving through to a savoury character towards the finish, offset by a lovely note of molasses and figs, the acidity keeps it in check, carrying the flavours through to the long and graceful finish. Perfectly balanced, full bodied yet charming, this Graham’s 1972 Tawny Port is a treat and a rarity. Chris Lamb, Private Account Manager The 1972 Single Harvest Tawny Port was bottled in 2015 and comes in with 125 grams per liter of residual sugar. It's a beauty. It starts slow and builds to a nice crescendo, with the acidity emerging to cut the fruit. This elegant wine has a sweet finish to go with its vibrancy and energy. It's a pretty picture overall with caramel, molasses and hints of chocolate on the end, some typical Tawny flavors. Note: This comes with a bar-top cork. Assuming a good cork, it will last indefinitely. The three Single Quinta Ports here were bottled in 2006 and are current releases. They are released late so as to be drinkable, more or less, on release. 93/100 Mark Squires, eRobertParker.com #221 Oct 2015