This is very layered and beautiful with fantastic depth and caressing tannins that remind me of a 40-year-old vintage Port more than a vintage tawny. Full-bodied, very sweet and gloriously rich at the end. Just a hint of tannin, too. Love the finish.
Showing lots of power and plenty of depth, this is a radically different style than the Otima (Warre's) this issue. Intense, deep and packed with fruit, it lingers forever on the finish in the way a great tawny should—and this is a great tawny, flavorful, structured and deep. Not even 30 years old yet, it seems to be an overachiever for its relatively young age.
Bottled in 2018 after nearly 25 years in wood, this wine is sumptuous with its rich toffee and spice flavors. They contrast with the hints of fresh acidity from the wood aging, giving a dry core to the mature sweet fruits. The wine is completely ready to drink.
Toasted sesame, caramel, hazelnut and cinnamon notes lead the way, backed by a caressing feel on the finish, as sandalwood, golden raisin and bergamot accents chime in. Shows refinement throughout. Drink now. 200 cases made, 75 cases imported. –JM
Richly textured in a lovely contrast between supple and frisky, this wine focuses on generous almond flavors over a light touch of strawberries and cream. Its caramel and toffee notes clean up in the end; a bold Tawny to serve with a savory almond tart.
Graham is another great port house, producing one of the deepest-colored and sweetest styles of vintage port. Along with Taylor and Fonseca, Graham has probably been the most consistent producer of great port in the post- World War II era. Their tawnys are quite good rather than exceptional, but their vintage ports are truly sublime and sumptuous.
This was never a great Graham, but it's outstanding quality nonetheless. Medium ruby-red. Aromas of milk chocolate, plum, mint and violet. Full-bodied, with medium sweetness and lots of berry and cherry fruit. Very fruity and fresh. Long and lively. Delicious now, but will improve. '77/'85/'97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now through 2018. — JS
This wine is going through a dumb period at the moment [writing in 1990]. It is closed and not giving much on the palate. It is still a big, hard and tightly knit wine. Deep purple-ruby with intense floral, cassis and prune aromas, full-bodied, with plenty of fruit and extremely hard tannins. Built for ageing.
This is very impressive, with loads of fruit and tannins. Deep ruby, with a floral, cherry and plum nose, full-bodied, with medium tannins and sweet plum flavors on the finish. — JS
A superb achievement from a very underrated year. Deep dark ruby-purple, with rich floral and violet aromas, full-bodied, with masses of strawberry flavors, full tannins and a long finish.
...like most vintage ports, seems more forward than normal but has a great depth of very ripe, viscous, unctuous, plummy, tarry fruit and significant tannin in its long finish. It is black-purple in color. I doubt that it will be either as profound or as long-lived as the great 1977, but is is certainly one of the top two or three ports of this vintage, and better than the excellent 1980.
Dark color, with intense aromas of blackberry, licorice and hints of flowers. Full-bodied, lightly sweet, with superrefined tannins. Long and caressing. Very youthful. Will improve for a long time. This is really excellent. Always has been. Just starting to come around. '77/'85/'97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now. — JS
Graham is the undisputed star and kingpin of the 1985 vintage ports. Yes, it is made in a sweeter style than the other ports, but it is a fabulous wine because of a dazzling level of black-cherry fruit, an enormous structure, and staggering depth, dimension, and length.
Aromas of violets, dried fruits and figs. Full body, medium sweet, beautiful tannins and length. Seems to be growing in depth and intensity. Beautiful now. I love the tannin tension to this. Drink and enjoy.
Graham's 1991 Vintage Port gets my nod as the port of the vintage. While keeping in mind that Graham's aims for a sweeter-styled port, there is no doubting the opaque purple/black color, or the explosive nose of black fruits, licorice, spring flowers, and tar. Thick and full-bodied, with a satiny texture and a blockbuster, alcoholic finish, this is a top-notch vintage port.
Lovely plum and coffee aromas open to a full-bodied palate, with sweet, decadent fruit. Velvety, with a long finish. Lots going on. '91/'92 Port retrospective. Best after 2007. –JS
A big, tough, young vintage Port that's closed and difficult to taste. Emits lovely aromas of chocolate, berry and plum, and is full-bodied with lots of sweet, fruit flavors and masses of velvety tannins. Long, sweet finish.
With a big eucalyptus note up front, this is elegant in the mid-palate with controlled tannins. Sweet and easy in some ways, this is readily approachable now. The hint of caramel and raisins mixed with sugar makes this irresistible. It is sexy and intriguing.
Still a bit compact, as the core of warm steeped fig, blackberry and black currant fruit hasn’t stretched out fully yet. However, there’s so much warm toffee, toasted peanut and singed alder coursing through that this is a fun drink now. A big, gutsy style. Should open up fully with a bit more time. Best from 2020 through 2035. 10,000 cases made
Blackberries, licorice, and melted asphalt stand out in this full-bodied, beautifully made vintage port's moderately intense bouquet. It is not one of the great Graham's ports, and is less sweet than normal, but it is full-bodied, rich, concentrated, and impressive. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025.
This is the greatest young Vintage Port from Graham I have ever tasted, and perhaps it will be better in the long term than the legendary 1948. It smells like freshly picked orchids, with loads of ripe, clean fruit and then turns full-bodied, medium-sweet and very powerful in the mouth with big velvety tannins. It lasts for minutes on your palate. There’s great balance and class to this young Vintage port.
Grapy, unformed, black raspberry liqueur and licorice-infused cassis notes leap from the glass of this opaque purple-colored wine. Sweet, plush, rich, and accessible, it is a forward, lush, concentrated effort that should drink well for two decades. While not one of Graham's most profound ports, it should evolve rapidly, providing immense crowd appeal.
An expansive chord of mineral and black fruit flavor, this vintage of Graham's is all-enveloping in its sheer power. The tannins and the fruit strike a balance with dense, floral, purple-black flavors over crushed stone. That schisty grip of the tannin ends up feeling supple and curvaceous, defining the boundaries of the fruit rather than restricting it. The best vintage of Graham's in recent memory.
Violets, roses, spices, and candied dark fruits emanate from the glass of the murky black/purple colored 2003 Graham Vintage Port. Bold, full-bodied, and expansive, the Graham benefited the most from extensive contact with air of all the 2003s tasted for this report. This opulently jammy wine assaults the palate with powerful yet soft layers of oily, candied red fruits as well as notes of tar and hints of mocha. A highly concentrated effort, it is creamy textured, suave, and reveals an admirably long finish filled with additional layers of dark fruits intermingled with spices.