Vintage Ports are only made on very exceptional years (usually three or four times in a decade). The principal determining factor is the weather in the vineyards which must be ideal throughout the viticultural season and subsequently during the harvest. Only a few exceptional vineyards in the Upper Douro region produce wines of sufficient body and style to make a true Vintage Port. After the harvest, wines of Vintage potential are put into oak barrels called 'pipes'. Some eighteen months later a careful and painstaking series of tastings is held to judge exactly which wines of different vineyards merit inclusion in the final blend. If the ideal blend is achieved, the wine is then bottled without any filtration whatsoever approximately 24 months after the original harvest. Vintage Port must then be matured for some ten to twenty years in cool dark cellars as it gradually achieves the outstanding style of a great wine. The bottles should always be stored lying down. Vintage Ports deposit a heavy sediment or 'crust' in the bottle while maturing and must be decanted prior to serving.
This outstanding Vintage displays many of the typical Graham’s aromas of ripe plum and “esteva” (gum cistus) and is pleasantly smooth on the palate despite its youth. It is full and rich in the mouth with fresh blackberry and red plum notes. Despite the hallmark Graham’s sweetness in the mouth the finish is long and clean.
“Graham is a shinning example of an established Port house pushing the boat out to make even better wines through better viticulture and wine-making methodology. This is the greatest young Vintage Port from Graham I have ever tasted, and perhaps it will be better in the long term than the legendary 1948. It smells like freshly picked orchids, with loads of ripe, clean fruit, and then turns full-bodied, medium-sweet and very powerful in the mouth with big velvety tannins. It lasts for minutes on your palate. There’s great balance and class to this young Vintage Port. Best after 2014”. 98 points, James Suckling, Wine Spectator, 20th February 2003
“For the 2000 Graham, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barroca grapes were sourced primarily from the steeply terraced Quinta dos Malvedos vineyard, along with Vila Velha, Vale de Malhadas and Quinta dos Lages vineyards. The 2000 vintage was the first to employ robotic lagares that replicate the old practice of treading the grapes by foot.” Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, January 15th 2004