500 CASES BOTTLED OF AN OLD VINES ONLY LIMITED EDITION

Over a hundred years since the famous Six Grapes motif was first used on a bottle of fine Port, our winemakers at W & J Graham, Charles Symington and Henry Shotton, have decided to bottle a small quantity of a special wine made exclusively from the oldest vines on Graham’s five Quintas. The presentation of this special edition Six Grapes Old Vines Port pays homage to the original Six Grapes label that helped make the wine famous so many years ago. This wine will only be available in very limited quantities.

Across the five Graham’s estates we have preserved vineyards of old mixed vines. The youngest of these were planted in the early 1980s but many also date from the early 1960s and 1970s, making them frequently more than forty years old. These beautiful, gnarled old vines produce immensely low yields of fruit, which grow in small, tight bunches with intense concentration and complexity. On average, one old vine produces about a quarter of a pound of grapes and in some years the oldest vines produce even less than this.

 

 

 

​Old Vines

 

Over their long life, Graham’s old vines have developed deep root systems, which reach over twenty feet into the Douro’s schist soils. They are thus able to obtain nutrients that are unavailable to their younger counterparts. As a result of the very low fruit yields, the flavours and aromas have extra profundity and concentration: the wines made from these old vines express the character of Douro’s schist soils and hot, dry summers with unique power and complexity.

2011 and 2012 were both outstanding harvests in the Douro, during which our oldest vineyards made particularly interesting wines. The whole Douro region is recognised as having some of the lowest yields of any wine region in the world and Graham’s old vines produce even less than the average. In these two years the old vines across Graham’s five estates produced an average of half a ton of grapes per acre. Such low yields mean that there is rarely enough production of fruit from the old vines of a single vineyard to fill a ‘lagar’ (a shallow treading tank). Graham’s winemakers have tried a different approach, combining the fruit of the old vines from Graham’s five properties, and selecting only 500 cases worth to bottle as a very distinctive wine.

The very old vines at Quinta do Tua, for example, are over fifty years old. Their gnarly trunks date from the time when vines in the Douro were grown as bushes, rather than trained to trellises as now. This is the oldest method of establishing vineyards in the world and is even referred to in the Bible. These vines were planted in single rows on old stone terraced vineyards with walls that are more than six feet thick. The fruit form these vines in 2011 and 2012 was only three ounces of fruit per vine. The grapes have immensely concentrated aromas, which you can smell through their rich skins. Their powerful purple-red colour dyes your skin if you crush them between your fingers.

These parcels of old vines across Graham’s Quintas are a remarkable testimony to one of the oldest traditions in the Douro and in winemaking: small vineyard plots of very old mixed variety vines.

 

 

 

​Tasting Note

As would be expected from a wine made from such low yielding vines the Six Grapes Old Vines Port is deep purple in colour. It has complex floral aromas, redolent with rockrose, menthol and anise. The richness and opulent character of the wine is perfectly balanced by its refreshing acidity. It has great structure and concentration, with mineral notes that express the Douro’s schist soils, black plum and liquorice, all complemented by a lingering velvety smooth finish, the result of the ripe, fine grained tannins from these mature vines.

 

 

 

​Serving and Storing

Serve slightly chilled, between 16-18° C. There is no need to decant.

The Six Grapes Old Vines Port is a perfect wine to pair with desserts such as cheese, dark chocolate or berry fruits. It is also ideally suited to drinking after dinner to fully appreciate its long finish and complexity.

Keep the bottle stored upright, away from direct light at between 10 and 18° C. This wine is intended for immediate consumption: consume within 24 months of purchase. 

Printed in sixgrapes.grahams-port.com

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