1 btl in stock
Graham's Vintage Port 2003, Douro, Portugal
The year was notable for its particularly hot summer interspersed by bouts of rain. In June, a spell of very hot weather caused many immature bunches to dry up altogether, with a useful thinning of the overall crop, which could otherwise have been quite large. Fortunately, with plentiful reserves of ground water there was no evidence of the vines suffering from any hydric stress. The high temperatures recorded in August that caused such problems with overripeness in other winegrowing areas of Europe were not unusual for the Douro, and in fact proved ideal for Port. The effect of the severe heat caused some vines to temporarily stop photosynthesising, pushing back the vintage starting date a little, but there was little evidence of raisining. Nevertheless, yields were quite low in many of the best areas of the Douro, limiting the supply of vintage port quality grapes. By the time vintaging began at Malvedos on 15th September, there had been a little rain and most grapes were in perfect condition, with no evidence of any heat damage. What was remarkable at the Quinta this year was the ripeness of the Touriga Franca, which achieved an almost record 14.5 baume. Of the other principal component vineyards, Vila Velha began also on the 15th, and Lages in the Rio Torto a week later on the 22nd.
The Graham 2003 came principally from Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta dos Lages, Quinta da Vila Velha and Quinta de Vale de Malhadas.
After being crushed, the grapes are cooled down and periodically trodden by foot in granite "lagares" until the sugar contents of the must reaches the required level. This process lasts in average for three days. The must is then racked to the storage vats and wine brandy is added to stop fermentation.
Mix of Touriga Franca with other grape varieties: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela and Sousão.
Geur & Smaak
Deep opaque, blackish purple colour. Aromas of violets just fly out of the glass! In the mouth, endless layers of very ripe blackberry fruit coat the palate. Great depth of structure with sweet liquorice flavour combining with rich tannins, give this wine an outstanding complexity. Leaves a long persistent flavour. A classic Graham in the style of its famous predecessors.
The 2003 Vintage is one of really excellent quality. 2003 has the ‘traditional style’ of the 1997 Vintage in that the tannins are strong and structured but with the really attractive ripe fruit flavours of the 1994. These wines can be drunk young by those who enjoy a more fruit driven style, but will also age superbly over the decades to come.
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94 pt. JS / 96 pt. WE / 95 pt. WA