At Graham’s flagship vineyard, Quinta dos Malvedos, the stone terraces that border the estate house have been meticulously groomed since the early 1900s to produce Ports of exceptional concentration and power, using viticultural techniques that have barely changed in over a hundred years. A relatively rare phenomenon in the Douro today due to their prohibitively high construction and maintenance costs, these schist walled terraces, with their unique ability to store the sun’s daytime heat through the nocturnal hours, bring considerable benefits in the final stages of ripening.
The 2017 is only the fourth ever bottling of The Stone Terraces. The wine reflects the characteristics that have made this such an excellent year. We had an unusually precocious harvest. Picking began at Malvedos on 28th August and the last grapes came in on 15th September, a date on which we would more normally be starting. The hot and dry conditions for the year reduced yields overall in the Douro, although the Touriga Nacional which features so prominently in the Stone Terraces recorded yields of 750 grams per vine, which was only slightly less than normal.
The vinification of such small batches provides a challenge in itself and would scarcely be possible without the flexibility that is provided by Graham’s modern lagares at the Malvedos winery, which can be filled to a relatively low level and operated at not much more than 25% of their full capacity when required. This is essential when vinifying what typically amounts to not much more than a few boxes of grapes from each of the Stone Terraces vineyard parcels, with quantities further reduced by rigorous bunch and berry selection and, in 2017, a very low yielding year. Treading in lagares allows us to maximise extraction from such unusually concentrated grapes. The contributing Stone Terraces vineyard parcels at Malvedos were parcel 37, known as ‘Cardenhos’, and parcel 43, called ‘Port Arthur’, each of them with little more than 1,300 vines
Only 600 nine litre cases were bottled.
For detailed information on each wine, see The Vintage Port Site.
TOP 100 WINES OF THE YEAR - Charles Symington created one of the most compelling Ports in the history of Graham’s...It’s an olfactory hallucination of Douro Superior sweetness in the pure minor key of Malvedos—like sour black cherries amplified and deepened into an identifiable perfume, the tartness of the fruit and the schist of the tannins layering in a resonant chord. It tastes as if the fruit of the Douro’s olive trees, orange trees and deep-rooted mix of vines have merged into a form of energy, with an impeccable balance that should sustain it for fifty years or longer.
The aromas here are amazing: crushed blueberries and raspberries with wet earth and dried flower. Orange blossom. Tar and stone. Full-bodied, very sweet but the powerful and fine-grained tannins balance the wine out. Tannins and fruit envelop your mouth with each sip.
The depth and muscle are astonishing, and with this exuberant property, it's certain that the fruit will come out to play in time...this powerful 2017 has endless potential. It is the one to bet on. In a year with many brilliant wines, this still has to be on the shortlist for "Wine of the Vintage."
It has magnificent colour and an extraordinary nose, lifted and powerfully ripe with glorious overlying floral aromas. It has succulent berry fruit and massive concentration in the mouth – magnificent, the quintessence of the finest Douro fruit. Powerful, muscular tannins stack up to a broad and ripe finish, leaving a mouth watering, almost Burgundian, freshness that seems to be one of the hallmarks of the best wines in this vintage. Outstanding.
Packed with juicy, bramble-laced black currant, açaí berry and fig notes, this features the vivid fruit and energy of the vintage. Graphite and tar flavors score the finish, giving this terrific cut and extra drive. Seriously long, with the fruit staying very persistent. This is built for the long haul and has a bit of a regal feel.
CELLAR SELECTION - Rich tannins are balanced by the ripe blackberry fruits in this beautifully layered wine. Its acidity shines through enough for the intensely structured fruit and tannins to promise great aging potential.