SYMINGTON FAMILY DECLARES THE 2017 VINTAGE PORT
WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE 2017 AS A CLASSIC VINTAGE PORT YEAR, MAKING THIS OUR FIRST EVER 'BACK-TO-BACK' GENERAL DECLARATION SINCE ANDREW JAMES SYMINGTON ARRIVED IN PORTO IN 1882.
The announcement - only the sixth declaration of the 21st century - concludes a period of intense discussion within the wine trade as to whether 2017 would warrant a full declaration, given the quality of the critically acclaimed 2016 Vintage Ports and the rarity of declarations. The first consecutive declaration by our family is a milestone moment in our long history and is the result of two very different but extremely high-quality years for port in the Douro.
The 2017 wines were the result of an advanced growing cycle which led to the earliest harvest ever recorded in our family’s 137-year history as winemakers and port producers. Warmer, drier conditions than usual resulted in small, compact bunches of grapes in excellent condition, with yields amongst the lowest of the century so far, 20% below the 10-year average.
Despite the harvest beginning in August, the maturations were perfectly balanced, resulting in wines characterised by extraordinary intensity, concentration and structure, combined with stunning aromas and freshness.
We have produced 2017 Vintage Ports from across our flagship Douro Quintas, and will shortly be offering limited quantities (by allocation en primeur) of Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s and Cockburn’s as well as Quinta do Vesuvio, Graham’s The Stone Terraces and Capela da Quinta do Vesuvio. The 2017 is just the fourth release of the latter two, which are only produced in truly exceptional years. Given the very low-yielding year, the 2017 Vintage Port is the smallest Symington declaration of the 21st century.
GRAHAM'S 1890 LODGE WINS BEST OF WINE TOURISM 2015
W & J Graham’s 1890 Lodge has once again received international accolades. This time from the “Great Wine Capitals”, a network of ten major cities around the world which aims to promote travel, education, and business exchanges between the most prestigious wine regions in the world.
The Graham’s Lodge was awarded the “Best of Wine Tourism 2015” in the category of “Wine Tourism Services” for outstanding offerings in the fields of service, innovation, creativity and authenticity.
A special mention must be made of the multi-national team of expert guides without whom this award would not have been possible. In constant training with both our viticulture team in the Douro Valley and our wine makers, the staff have first hand knowledge of all aspects of port. Our team is currently comprised of 11 different nationalities: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Danish, German, and Dutch.
The “Best of Wine Tourism” awards are internationally renowned as a celebration of excellence and innovation in worldwide wine tourism. And so it is with great pride that Graham’s receives these honours, as they bear witness to the hard work and effort put into the W & J Graham’s 1890 Lodge since its refurbishment.
AMONGST THOUSANDS OF CASKS AT GRAHAM’S... ...three were set apart... These three hold a wine that is over a hundred and thirty years old, dating from the time Andrew James Symington came to Portugal to work for W. & J. Graham ́s in 1882.Of these three casks, the family has decided to draw-off and bottle one cask of this wine. The remaining two casks will be bequeathed to the next generation of the Symington family and will remain undisturbed for at least another decade. The family have named this wine after the original Graham’s family motto: ‘Ne Oublie’ – Do Not Forget.
THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF GENERATIONS of craftsmen come together in this venerable Port. Scottish, English and Portuguese blood runs in the veins of our family; therefore, we decided that Ne Oublie should be the co-creation of artisans from these three countries.The Wine. The fruit of the Douro Valley from the late nineteenth century has mellowed for over a hundred and thirty years, first in the wild mountains of the Douro and then in the temperate maritime climate of Northern Portugal’s Atlantic coast. There is nowhere else in the world where such a wine could be made. The Ne Oublie Port has been tended by generations of Winemakers, Cellar Masters and Coopers in the Graham’s Lodge. A wine of this age will mature idiosyncratically and only a deep knowledge of its character can ensure that it continues well into a perfectly balanced old age. The knowledge required to care for this ancestral Port has been handed down from father to son through four generations.
The Crystal Decanter
Each of our 656 individually numbered decanters has been handmade in blown crystal glass by world-renowned Portuguese glassmakers Atlantis. In our cellars we have ancient wine bottles of varying shapes and inspired by the beauty of these old bottles, we chose the classic bulb form typical of nineteenth century bottles for the Ne Oublie decanter.
In Penicuik, a small town near Edinburgh are Scottish silversmiths Hayward & Stott, whose artisans have shaped, formed and engraved the finest silver neck collars and the coasters of the Ne Oublie decanter. The Silver produced by the company's craftsmen is known for being some of the finest and purest in the world guaranteed by the historic Edinburgh Assay hallmarks applied to each piece of silver adorning the Ne Oublie decanter.
In 1887, Frank Smythson opened his first luxury leather goods boutique on Bond Street, London. Over 125 years later, Smythson of Bond Street still adheres to the same peerless craftsmanship Frank himself practised. Exclusively designed for Ne Oublie, the case has been handmade by a highly skilled artisan in luminous calf leather and soft nubuck. Both historically renowned, Smythson’s craftsmanship is befitting to a wine of this rarity, making this a true partnership of two luxury houses.