This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Vintage Port over £15 went to Graham's, Quinta dos Malvedos 2001 (20%)
- Alves de Sousa 2011
- Ferreira 2011
Graham’s acquired Qunita dos Malvedos in 1890, and this Trophy-winning Port is an expression of its best vineyards.
These are hardy vines. The extremely low organic matter in the soil makes it difficult for them to develop, and average rainfall of a meagre 600mm a year forces them to dig deep. This, and summer temperatures that regularly exceed 40°C, results in tiny, 1kg yields per vine of intensely rich, complex fruit that is at the heart of the estate’s success.
Winemaking responsibilities here are shared between Charles Symington, a fifth-generation member of the Port- producing dynasty and Henry Shotton – the specialist winemaker responsible during harvest for the crucial business of running the shallow lagares where all of the grapes are trodden by foot.
The Symingtons see family ownership as key to the estate’s success – it enables them, they say, to focus on quality long-term and to make innovations as and when they see fit. Investments have been made across the whole viticultural cycle, as well as in the winery, and include renovation of the old terraces and thorough replanting programmes.
Written by Decanter