The consistency of quality of the wines from the Malvedos vineyard is such that in Vintage declarations they form the principal component of Graham’s classic Vintage Ports. In most intervening years, the wines from Malvedos merit bottling as standalone wines from a single vineyard: Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port.
Good winter rains between December 2005 and April 2006, very welcome after the drought of 2004/5. Spring weather was generally good for budburst and fruit set, though strong winds disrupted fruit set in the higher vineyards. May was the hottest on record for 40 years, and June continued hot, till a freak hailstorm hit the Douro.
July was also unpleasantly hot, the lowest maximum temperature recorded at Vesuvio all month was 99°F. August began cooler and delivered some welcome rain mid-month, but unfortunately turned up the heat again after that, which held into September. Charles set the picking dates at our easternmost vineyards, including Quinta do Vesuvio, for the 11th September. Graham’s Malvedos started on the 14th, at Warre’s Bom Retiro (in the Rio Torto) harvesting started on the 18th, at Bomfim on the 21st and at Cavadinha on the 25th September. Due to Atlantic hurricanes, we had some unsettled weather during the harvest, but what rainfall occurred was followed, most fortunately, by winds which came through the valley and dried the ripe bunches, so no real harm was done.
Luscious in the middle, as if a deep canyon of tropical chocolate divided the black plum and esteva scents from the schist of the tannins. This is still primary and tight, the structure sleek, the flavors succulent. Watch for it on release around 2016.
The Symington family elected to bottle just 3,900 of a possible 15,000 of the Quinta dos Malvedos, equivalent to 261 pipes. It has a lucid purple hue with thick tears running down the side of the glass. The nose is very intense, almost attacking the senses with macerated black cherries, creme de cassis and iodine, displaying good delineation and attractive floral notes. The palate has a sweet entry with a touch of spice and ginger, fanning out beautifully across the palate with silky smooth texture. The finish is showing a little alcohol but it remains a very luscious, almost nubile single quinta and is jam-packed full of fruit.