Graham’s Malvedos Vintage Port 2001
My first introduction to port many years ago was, perhaps fortuitously, with a half bottle of the Graham’s 2000 Vintage Port, selected almost randomly. This was an absolutely stellar bottle and made me wonder why I hadn’t had port before. I later found out that 2000 was a brilliant vintage for port and that the Graham’s 2000 Vintage received 98 points from Wine Spectator. This port is still available today, but at $80 for a half bottle – $50 more than I paid.
Thus it was that I couldn’t resist picking up a bottle of this ‘lesser’ port from Graham’s in a year where a vintage was not declared. The Malvedos, however, is a single quinta port, meaning that it is made from a single vineyard, the grapes from which are normally used as the backbone of the regular vintage bottling. The single quinta ports come out when the weather wasn’t good enough to declare an official ‘vintage’ year. The price reflects this, but if this bottle is any indication, great values are to be had here.
The nose was grapey, chocolatey, and filled with sugared plums and dates. Very rich and a little boozy – but not ‘hot’. The palate was well tannined and full and introduced pepper and spice with figs and dates. With a texture that was rich, smooth and very beautiful in the mouth, a perfect sugar level, and a brilliant sumptuousness, Graham’s upheld their reputation in my mind for top level sweet wine: simply put, not many sweet wines taste this good. And, of course, this voluptuous liquid paired perfectly with chocolate (it went particularly well with a maple infused chocolate bar that was dappled with alder smoked salt from a lovely local chocolate maker).
$32 for 375ml