Charles Symington, Graham’s head winemaker wrote in his 2010 harvest report: ‘This was quite a challenging year for us, but with a good outcome because of the very good performance of the Touriga Nacional, which together with the Tinta Barroca in particular, achieved perfect Baumés and good phenolic development.’
Following three consecutive years of drought, the winter of 2010 resembled a deluge at times with well above-average rainfall and very cold conditions that brought frequent snowfalls to the Douro. At Malvedos, approximately 3 ft of rain was recorded (the 30-year-average is just under 2 ft), which served to generously replenish the depleted water tables. The cold, wet weather delayed bud-break by ten days but the very warm spring brought excellent conditions for flowering and fruit-set. The wet winter proved a blessing due to the summer extremes experienced; July and August were not only hotter than usual, but also exceptionally dry, without a single drop of rain. Owing to the delayed cycle, the vintage at Malvedos started about a week later than usual, on September 20th. We held back on picking the Touriga Nacional to allow it to ripen fully. This was a good call and our patience was vindicated by the Nacional musts, which were well balanced, with good color and tannins. They produced structured wines with very elegant aromas.
Fine and ripe, this is a sweet—while also complex—wine from Graham's flagship estate. Its tannins lead easily to ripe flavors of black plum and berry juice, resulting in a wine that is firm, full bodied, fruity and generous.