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Graham’s unveils historic 50-Year-Old Tawny Port

Published:  14 May, 2024

In a rare and historic move, Graham’s has introduced its first-ever 50-year-old Tawny Port, signalling a significant addition to the world of Port wines. The release marks the first for the business since the 50-year-old category was permitted in 2020.

Port regulations, known for their steadfastness, have seen very few changes. Any alteration requires the approval of multiple stakeholders and the Port Wine Institute (IVDP) to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the product.

Until recently, the categorisation of Tawny Ports with an indication of age was limited to 10, 20, 30, or 40 years. However, with the enactment of ‘regulamento 3/2022’ in 2020, the landscape shifted and it became permissible to bottle and label 50-year-old Tawny Ports and White Ports.

Under the watchful eye of two generations of master blenders, Peter Symington and his son Charles, the new release comprises wines dating back to the Symington family’s acquisition of Graham’s in 1970.

One notable component of the blend is a wine from 1969, known as ‘CAS Reserve’ after Charles’s initials. This wine, set aside by Peter Symington to commemorate his son’s birth, is complemented by wines from 1970 and 1973, blended in 1982.

“This wine was made almost entirely by my father at the beginning of his career... And to be honest, it’s been little more than looking after, they were very good already 15 years ago and I’ve only tried to maintain what was handed over to me,” said Charles Symington during the launch dinner in Mayfair.

In addition to the historic Tawny Port release, Graham’s also introduced two still wines from its Quinta da Fonte Souto estate in the Portalegre subregion. Market manager Anthony Symington expressed excitement about these new ventures, highlighting the success of their white wines in particular.

“It was our first foray outside of the Douro so it had to be a pretty special project. We embarked on it thinking it was predominantly going to be a red wine initiative – the estate has a lot of altitude, a lot of freshness but actually, it’s been the whites that have really captivated our attention and those of our customers,” said Anthony.

“We think in time, this can be considered one of the best Portuguese white wines out there,” he concluded.