The Graham’s 2020 Bicentenary Edition Vintage Port is an exceptional bottling. It is drawn from high altitude and north-west facing vines across three of Graham’s four estates – Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta da Vila Velha, and Quinta do Tua. Typically, a Graham’s Vintage Port blend also comprises Quinta do Vale de Malhadas, a fourth property, far upriver in the remote Douro Superior.
2020 was the smallest vintage this century with exceptionally low yields. It was also a very early harvest, starting at Malvedos on September 1st (mid-September is closer to normal). Grape varieties which normally ripen sequentially in the Douro over a period of five QUINTA DOS MALVEDOS to six weeks (meaning they are mostly picked and vinified separately) were all stacked together ready for picking almost at the same time. Whilst this posed quite a few manpower and other logistical challenges, it also provided us with new opportunities. The Touriga Nacional and the Touriga Franca are usually at opposite ends of the ripening spectrum and habitually have at least a two-to-three-week interval between pickings. However, in 2020 both ripened in unison, and this meant we were able to co-ferment the Nacional and the Franca, which resulted in some very interesting and excellent wines.
The result is an extraordinarily opulent, intense, and fresh Vintage Port. While it has the classic Graham's hallmarks, the wine is marked by a unique aromatic complexity and beautifully layered fruit.
Lush, open and expressive, with captivating violet, boysenberry and mulberry aromas and flavors that stream forth, underscored by a mouthwatering licorice snap note. This has lots of energy in reserve, too.
A plump and juicy Graham with lots of iodine, plum and sweet-berry character. Some herb and mint, too. Medium-to full-bodied, very sweet and flavorful with lots of length. Fine tannins and refined character. Fresh and delicious. 3,000 bottles. One for earlier drinking. Try after 2028.
The 2020 Vintage Port is a blend of 25% Touriga Nacional, 40% Touriga Franca, 22% Sousao and various others, including a blend from old vines. It comes in with 118 grams of residual sugar after 18 months in old oak vats. This likely got a little extra incentive in terms of its declaration because of Graham's bicentenary, but it is a pretty good offering. Sweet and easy, this comes into a good place with just a couple of hours of aeration. It opens disjointed and angular, then resolves into a lovely Port with great fruit and good supporting structure. This needs some time. It should develop more and improve. When it gets to where it is going, it is going to be delicious. Let's start here, but plan on cellaring this. There were 3,000 bottles made in this bicentenary limited edition.