In the pages of the current issue of Decanter (August 2015), Richard Mayson, a renowned authority on Port and author of the book “Port and the Douro” (published by Infinity Ideas) responded to a question on what vintage Ports are currently ready for drinking by naming the best wines of the early ‘90s and ‘80s before saying “If I could choose just one year to drink now it would be 1970, and if I could choose one wine it would be Graham’s.”
Coming from an exceptionally hot year, and (at the time) the first since the Symington family acquired Graham’s, the 1970 Vintage Port displays a beautiful dark amber colour, lifted floral aromas on the nose, and hints of mint and spice with a slight smokiness. On the palate it is extremely rich and structured, with a vibrancy of tannins, flavours of lovely soft leather, and some plummy black fruit flavours.
Both Johnny and Paul Symington have been in London this week in conjunction with the launch of Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny, bottled this year to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was released yesterday exclusively through Berry Brothers & Rudd.
On Wednesday Johnny, Paul and UK Market Manager João Vasconcelos were at The Big Fortified Tasting (BFT), a trade event now in its third very successful year, which focuses on showing the best of Port, Madeira and Sherry, as well as other fortified wines from around the world. The trio showed visitors a range of Vintages and other bottle matured Ports from all the Symington brands, as well as showing the new range of Graham’s aged Tawnies in the impressive new bottles. Johnny says the Tawnies, particularly, “were exceptionally well received by all who attended. We also presented the Graham’s Diamond Jubilee 1952 which received unprecedented comment and interest.”
Many of our readers will no doubt be familiar with The Port Forum, a UK based on-line chat forum for lovers of Port. The group meet regularly to enjoy blind tastings of Ports contributed from their own cellars, and Wednesday night Johnny joined them, along with wine writer and Port specialist Richard Mayson, contributing a bottle of the Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny to the evening’s delights. “It showed absolutely magnificently much to the delight of all present” in Johnny’s words.
Have you had a chance to taste the 1952? We would love to hear from you either here or on Facebook with your impressions of this sumptuous wine, and how you will be celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee with Graham’s.