The 1963 Graham’s Vintage Port is mature in colour, with wide bricking on the rim and a mahogany core. It has an elegant, almost understated bouquet for a 1963, presenting scents of eucalyptus, antique bureau, clove and Chinese five-spice, all beautifully defined. The palate is very well balanced, silky smooth in texture and spiced with white pepper, touches of curry leaf and cracked black pepper. At 55 years of age, it is not a voluminous, opulent Vintage Port and it feels just a little faded. I suspect that maybe it peaked a few years back, but it will still give pleasure for a number of years. Just don’t expect fireworks. Tasted at the Symington Tawny Port tasting at the Tower of London.
Neal Martin, Vinous (Nov 2018)
(Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate)
Pale ruby. Haunting and again, so direct and transparent. Gorgeous, ethereal, light, heady and lifted. Jewel of a wine. Long and powerful, although over time in the glass it became a little spirity – as well it might at 55 years old.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com (Jan 2019)
(James Suckling, Vintage Port, Published 1990)
(Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate)
(Michael Broadbent, Vintage Wine, Published 2002)
Best of the sixties
remarkably youthful and vibrant, classic Graham richness is offset by crisp acidity lingering onto the finish. A brilliant wine now but will develop for 20 years plus.
(Richard Mayson, Decanter Magazine, November 1999)
The Graham (Oporto bottled) had an amazingly strong cloves and scented spices nose and was extraordinarily rich and voluptuous, with the alcohol totally absorbed. It is a remarkable wine, so luscious and long lasting.
(Serena Sutcliffe, Decanter Magazine, February 1999)
About this WINE
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.
Vintage Port accounts for only a small percentage of the total Port production - which includes Tawny, Ruby, Late Bottled Vintage, Single Quinta Vintage styles, among others - but is the finest, longest-lived and most expensive style that is produced. The best are as good as any wine in existence.
With the exception of legendary vineyards like Quinta do Noval Nacional and Quinta do Vesuvio, Vintage Port is made from a blend of wines from a producer's finest plots. It is aged for around 18 months in wooden casks before bottling; from then on the watch-word is patience. At least 15 years ageing – and for the top wines it will be significantly longer – is required before the tannins, spirit and fruit are fully integrated. Indeed, the finest examples can last well over 50 years.
Vintage Port is only made in exceptional years (normally around three times per decade) with considerable stylistic variation between different years and shippers. However, they all share a sweet, warming, spicy richness, power and complexity. In other good but not great vintages, many shippers produce a Single Quinta Vintage Port from their finest vineyard. These are made in the same way and have the same style as Vintage Port but tend to mature faster and are less profound. All Vintage Port throws a sediment as it matures, and thus requires decanting.