Graham’s is very pleased to announce the release of the Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny Port in a special limited edition bottling to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Whereas most Tawny Ports offered for sale are blends of an average age as indicated on the bottle – 10, 20, 30 or 40 Year Old – a Single Harvest Tawny is Port wine from a single vintage aged in small oak casks. Our winemakers taste and assess the quality of these wines at least annually, and over the years they are used as components of progressively older blends of tawny port. Very rarely a few of these casks show such quality that we hold back and allow it to age, unblended. And even more rarely, we decide it is so extraordinary that it ought not to be blended at all, but bottled as a Single Harvest Tawny Port, also known as a Colheita.
In the case of the 1952, three generations of Symington wine makers have had the foresight and wisdom to hold back a few pipes of this wine and allow it to continue maturing in cask. In fact, this Tawny is still showing such freshness that it could continue to mature in cask if we wished.
The five Symington cousins currently active in the company have the responsibility of tasting the older wines remaining in our cellars on an annual basis, and it was in one of these tastings last autumn that this tawny port from 1952 stood out. Not only did Charles, Dominic, Johnny, Paul and Rupert agree on the magnificent quality of this lot, but Johnny served the 1952 at home at Christmas to further test-market the wine with the broader family.
The result was the decision to bottle the 1952 as a Single Harvest Tawny, and as 1952 was the year that Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, we sought and are honoured to have received the Palace’s approval to offer the wine to the public “To Commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” as can be seen on the label.
Very naturally, we turned to London wine merchants Berry Brothers & Rudd, with whom we have worked for generations, to craft this special limited edition product for the Jubilee. The first release of Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny will be just 1,000 individually numbered bottles, available individually or in hand crafted oak gift cases of 3 bottles. Additionally ten jeroboams (4.5 litre bottles) will be released.
Port has always been a uniquely Portuguese and English wine, and in recognition of this long standing alliance, Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny will initially be offered exclusively in England through Berry Brothers & Rudd, and in Portugal after 11 May through Graham’s Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia and Portfolio Vinhos.
This extraordinary wine has inspired an exquisite tasting note from Simon Field, Master of Wine and the Port Buyer at Berry Brothers & Rudd:
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.
Whether you are celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee or your own special anniversary or landmark event, Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny will be an exceptional Port wine with which to mark the occasion.