Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, and usually simply port) is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. The wine produced is then fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as aguardente in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The fortification spirit is sometimes referred to as brandy but it bears little resemblance to commercial brandies. The wine is then stored and aged, in barrels stored in a cave, before being bottled. Over a hundred varieties of grapes are sanctioned for port production, although only five (Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional) are widely cultivated and used. Touriga Nacional is widely considered the most desirable port grape but the difficulty in growing it and the small yields cause Touriga Francesa to be the most widely planted grape. White ports are produced the same way as red ports, except that they use white grapes—Donzelinho Branco, Esgana-Cão, Folgasão, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho.
- Item #: i_373826Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96ROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS - "The massive 1994 is unquestionably the finest Dow I have tasted since the 1977. This opaque purple-colored wine is not as developed or flamboyant as Fonseca, but it is super-concentrated and multi-layered, with huge masses of fruit and some tannin in the finish. This is a slightly drier style than Fonseca or Graham's, but it appears to be a classic, majestic, enormously constituted 1994 that should age effortlessly for three decades or more. It is one of the stars of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2030."
As all savvy Port aficionados know, ’94 ranks as one of the very best Port years of the 20th Century. When this Dow was first released in October of 1996 Robert Parker gave it 96 Points.
- Item #: i_331470Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS- "Still very dark and chewy with interesting notes of violets now showing in its deep bouquet. Plenty of development certainly lies ahead. Here is Robert Parker's take on this Titian from 1996: In a Port tasting, tasting Graham's is almost like tasting a big, rich, succulent Merlot after a group of blockbuster, tannic Cabernets. Sweeter and more obvious than many Ports, the opaque purple-colored 1994 is fruity, powerful, and rich, with an addictive hedonistic quality. It will be ready to drink in 8-10 years and keep for up to 30. As always, this is a showy, flamboyant Port that has the advantage of being slightly sweeter than other 1994s. A great Graham's."
- Item #: i_376625Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95-97Wine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Offers a decadently fruity aroma, with peppery accents to the cherry, raspberry and dark currant flavors that are lithe and juicy. Grippy tannins grace the mocha- and chocolate-infused finish. Best from 2025 through 2055. From Portugal."
WINE ADVOCATE 95-97 POINTS - "The 2011 Graham’s comes from the five quintas that have been the source for many years (Malvedos, Tua, Vila Velha, das Lages and Vale de Malhadas). It represents a selection of the 131 pipes from a total production of 1,454 and is a blend of 40% Touriga Naçional, 31% Touriga Franca, 6% Sousão and 23% mixture of very old vines. It has a more “serious” bouquet compared to the Dow, with beguiling scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, tobacco and cloves. Straight-laced, very well-defined and compelling, the palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and supremely well-judged acidity. It is utterly harmonious, with a pure core of ripe black cherries, damson, marmalade, clove and spices, and the finish lingers long in the mouth. The separation of “The Stone Terraces” vines certainly does not appear to have detracted from a great Graham’s. 5,000 cases declared. Tasted May 2013."
- Item #: i_374521Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "This is one of the few vintage Ports declared in 2012 and it's wonderfully structured with finesse. It's black-colored and shows intense aromas of crushed grapes, granite stones, flowers, light raisins, tar and licorice. Full body, lightly sweet and incredible integrity plus firm and ultra-refined tannins. Beautiful grip and length. Reminds me of the 1964, which is a classic now. Try in 2028."
- Item #: i_364800Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS-"The NV 10 Year Old Tawny Port was bottled in 2014 with 105.23 grams per liter of residual sugar. Easily the 10 with the most weight in the Fladgate group's lineup this issue, it is a rather powerful 10 year old Tawny with plenty of pop, the biggest and baddest of the trio (Fonseca, Croft and this). There is very fine concentration of flavor for a 10 year old Tawny. If I had a quibble, the alcohol shows at times, especially early on and rather notably when drunk a little too warm. (Around 60 degrees Fahrenheit is a lot better than room temperature most of the time, to be sure, not just here.) Overall, the weight, complexity, mouth feel and grip on the finish still make this my favorite of the group of 10s submitted by Taylor Fladgate this issue, although it's close and there are some pros and cons.(12/15)."