Liquor & Spirits
Fortified & Dessert Wine


The House of Graham's is one Portugal's greatest Port Producers. The winery is widely regarded as the number one house. Graham's produces a wide array of port and is renown for some of the richest and sweetest vintage ports. The House is now part of the Symington family (Warre, Dow, and Blandy's Madiera).

The making of port was one of those great accidents of history. The British, having such a great yen for claret wine, needed a way to ship to England the Portugese red wine they were producing in the Douro Valley. The wine would spoil in transportation by ship to England. Some enterprising Englishmen added brandy to the wine as a stabilizer. This wine received the cold shoulder. The shippers tried harder by not letting the wine finish fermentation and then adding the brandy. The residual sugar from unfinished fermentation plus the brandy better stabilized the wine and unintentionally produced a new wine with a different taste. The Brits loved it and we have port.

Briefly, the vast majority of port wines falls into two categories: Ruby or Tawny which is also known as a wood port. Ruby port is simple in character, without great concentration and light in style. Young wines with more aggressive character and greater concentration, some of which may be exceptional, may be set aside to become some type of wood port or tawny. The wine may be a blend of barrels with some type of barrel aging or if truly exceptional set aside for 10,20 30 or even 40 years in wood barrels.

Vintage port is a special product that comes along every 3 or 4 years in a decade. The producer has an idea of port perfection and 'declares' so with this harvest vintage. The flavor and special individuality of the respective harvest is so great that simply producing a Ruby or some type of Tawny would waste the character of that vintage. In other words, the year is so special in terms of climate and yield that the port producer makes a vintage wine that captures the uniqueness of the harvest and at the same time allows the producer to make a signature statement.

Graham's 6 Grapes
The 6 Grapes is a nonvintage, vintage character type port. What this means simply is that a vintage character port is a blend of different barrels of ruby port to yield a consistent type of port year to year. The component ports within the blend are top-quality and nearly up to Vintage Porto levels. The vintage character port then resembles a great Vintage Porto in taste at far less price. The 6 Grapes is widely regarded as the best Vintage Character Porto on the world market. The flavors are rich, smokey. spicy, with abundant berry flavor that is very satisfying.

Graham s 1988 Malvados Vintage Porto An authentic Vintage Porto from the year 1988. Vintage Porto is the highest quality level of port. Only 2% of the production goes into Vintage Porto and only that from great years. Not every year is a vintage port year. The producers 'declare when there is a vintage year. You can think of this declaration as a quality control statement. In some years the overall quality of the year is not up to the level of a general declaration on the part of the principal producers. However, in some of the great houses like Graham's their main vineyard can produce Vintage level Porto. As result, a declaration will take place for their vineyard or single Quinta. The quality is exceptional like a vintage Porto but usually substantially less in price. In 1988 Graham's felt that the quality of the vineyard was Vintage level although the overall porto shippers did not declare the vintage. Hence the declaration of the Vintage for Malvados, their best vineyard or Quinta. Thel988 is a young wine so the flavors are sweet, spicy and full of black raspberry flavors. As the wine matures the flavors will change into a more smokey, less sweet wine.

Graham's 1979 Malvados Porto Vintage porto but only from Graham's best vineyard; Malvados. In some years the producers do not 'declare'. However, the great port houses; Graham s, Taylor, or Dow, might still produce Vintage level Porto from their best vineyards. So, these producers 'declare' the year from only their respective vineyard; hence Malvados. By the way, the Malvados series represent great value since the houses are not united on the year declaration. The 1979 is a smokey spicy blackberry marriage of satisfaction.

Graham's 1980 Vintage porto The 1980 Vintage Port is a fully declared year. Many of the great houses declared that year, eg. Graham's, Taylor, Fonseca, and Dows. As always, the vintage port represents only about 2% of the production for that year. The quality was exceptional as the vintage produced big supple fairly smooth port. The grip or tannin is moderate for a vintage port which makes it ideal as a restaurant Vintage Port. The flavors are already maturing into a smokey, spicy very satisfying drink.

About Port