Deep orange-brown center with intense coppery hues along the rims. Aromas of quince preserve (marmalade) with traces of vanilla and soft caramel and hints of honey and raisins. The wood aging is reflected in the delicate almond and marzipan notes. An appealing smoky element is just perceptible in the background. Bright red fruit flavors, rounded by cask-aging but still fresh and vital with an underlying citric acidity which gives the wine balance and poise. Satisfyingly long aftertaste with a subtle combination of walnuts, tea and tobacco.
The 1997 growing season in the Douro was unusual. An incredibly cold winter saw snow settle right across the Douro Valley followed by unseasonably hot and dry weather in February and March. High temperatures in the lead up to the harvest brought about an excellent final ripening period resulting in a year with low yields but incredible concentration and balance.
This wine captures the beginning of a journey – from apprentice to cellar master. It celebrates the profound knowledge of the vineyards and the mastery of tasting, which are essential requisites for crafting Graham’s exceptional wood-aged ports. At the time of the 1997 harvest, Graham’s current Head Winemaker, Charles Symington, was apprenticed to his father, Peter. While the year produced outstanding wines, which were bottled as Vintage Port, Peter chose some of the finest for extended wood-aging. Over 25 years later, Charles has selected the remaining casks for limited bottling.