Grahams 2011 Vintage Port is made with grapes mainly from Quinta dos Malvedos, as Graham’s Vintage Port has been since 1890. The other grapes come from four other Graham’s properties – Quinta do Tua, Quinta da Vila Velha, Quinta das Lages and Quinta do Vale de Malhadas.
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.
From Graham’s Port: “The 2011 Vintage Port has been heralded as likely to mature into one of the greatest Vintages of either this or last century. It is already a complex wine of incredible intensity. It appears purple-black at the rim with aromas of blue violets, black China tea and ripe red fruit. On the palate, the powerful fruit merges into flavours of bitter dark chocolate with finely balanced acidity and tannins. This Vintage will age exceptionally well.”
The 2011 is a blend of 40% Touriga Nacional, 31% Touriga Franca, 23% Vinha Velha (old mixed vineyards), and 6% Sousão. All the component wines are vinified in lagar.
8000 cases produced. Winemakers: Charles Symington and Henry Shotton.