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We are pleased to announce 2017 as a Vintage Port year, making this our first ever ‘back-to-back’ general declaration in five generations since Andrew James Symington arrived in Porto in 1882.
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.
Given the very low-yielding year, the 2017 Vintage Port is our smallest declaration of the 21st century, with en primeur volumes approximately a third less than in 2016.
Graham's has a reputation as a producer of outstanding Vintage Port for well over a century. These wines are renowned for their remarkable richness, concentration and firm tannic structure: a combination which yields impressive longevity. Graham's Vintage Ports consistently attain the highest ratings in tastings and invariably attract very high bids at fine wine auctions.
Vintage Ports are only made in years of exceptionally high quality harvests, which on average occur two or three times in a decade. The weather in the vineyards is the principal determining factor: conditions must be ideal throughout the growing season, as well as during the subsequent harvest.
Graham's extraordinary quality is the result of the unique characteristics of the five vineyards that contribute to the Vintage Port.
Graham's declares a Vintage Port only in exceptional years, perhaps three times in a decade, and in the intervening years may produce a Quinta Vintage Ports from Quinta dos Malvedos or Quinta do Tua. These Quinta Vintage Ports are aged in our cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia for 10 years or more after harvest, before being released to the market, ready for enjoyment.
Graham’s Vintage Ports are outstanding for their consistent quality and long life. James Suckling’s series of notes for old vintages tasted in 1990 confirm this – how many wines, after 40 or more years, are rated so highly and noted as “will improve with age” ?
This wine is produced from vines at the flagship Graham’s property in the Douro valley, Quinta dos Malvedos, with small parcels of top graded grapes from Quinta do Tua, Quinta da Vila Velha, and Quinta do Vale das Malhadas. In 2017 42% less rain fell at Malvedos than the 30 year average and the vines produced a small but extremely high-quality crop with extraordinary concentration. The wine was fermented in small batches at our specialist on-site winery at Malvedos. It carries the classic Graham’s hallmarks – full-bodied, rich, and opulent – and will provide great drinking pleasure for decades to come.