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W & J Graham's Vintage Port 2016 (half-bottle)

ID No: 448001
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 Wine Spectator: 98 99 Points
Country:Portugal
Region:Douro
Winery:W & J Graham's
Grape Type:Touriga Nacional
Organic:Yes
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:375 ml
Product Description

W & J Graham's Vintage Port 2016 is made from 37% Touriga Nacional, 42% Touriga Franca and various others.

Like most parts of the world, the Douro has not been isolated from the effects of climate change, and unusual weather conditions over recent years have often departed from those typically associated with classic vintage years. Fortunately, in 2016 the stars aligned and the year brought superbly structured and balanced wines, allowing Graham's to announce a full vintage declaration.

The 2016 is a classic expression of the Graham's style: concentrated and opulent with layers of fresh, ripe, black fruit flavors. Aromas of mint and eucalyptus with chocolate notes. The Graham 2016 combines superb complexity, structure and balance.

Reviews:

Extremely complex aromas that show the classic Graham character of black-fruit marmalade and burnt oranges. Follows through to a full body with great grip at the finish. Lightly sweet. Chewy and powerful. Such a focus at the end.

-James Suckling 99 Points

This is lush and captivating in feel, with a velvety flow to the mix of plum, blackberry, boysenberry and açai berry compote flavors. A bold streak of licorice runs through the finish, underscored by a brambly note that imparts balance. A stunning display of fruit. Best from 2030 through 2050.

-Wine Spectator 98 Points 

Super-ripe with an expressive plum and dark chocolate aroma. Rich opulence backed by dark chocolate intensity and spicy tannic grip – big and bold on the finish. Voluptuous with fabulous richness, big and bold on the finish. This is one for the long haul but it’s already very impressive.

-Decanter 98 Points

Winery: W & J Graham's

William and John Graham founded their firm in Porto in northwest Portugal to trade in textiles. In 1820 they accepted twenty-seven barrels of Port as payment of a debt. The two brothers decided then to devote their energies to making the best Port wines from the Douro Valley: and so the Graham’s Port house was born.

The Graham family already had extensive business interests overseas, both in their native Scotland and in India. They were considered by one contemporary historian to be, ‘among the merchant princes of Great Britain’.

The story of two families across three centuries. For almost two hundred years W & J Graham’s has been an independent family business renowned for producing the finest Port wines.

Graham’s has always been a pioneer. Graham's was one of the first Port companies to invest in its own vineyards in Portugal’s Douro Valley in 1890 and is now at the cutting edge of innovation in winemaking techniques. Today, five Symington cousins share responsibility for every aspect of the company and personally make the Graham’s wines. They too have been involved with Port and the Douro for many generations, with ancestry dating back to the mid-17th century.

Graham’s first harvest under the ownership of the Symington family was extremely auspicious, with Graham’s 1970 Vintage Port being declared. The 1970 is thought by many to be one of the greatest wines of that century.

Nearly an hundred years after their ancestor AJ Symington left Graham’s to set up on his own as a Port producer, the family’s relationship with this Port house came full circle.

Besides the family’s other Port marques, Graham’s is the only remaining British Port company independently owned by a single family. This ensures that every aspect in the making of Graham’s Ports is controlled and cared for intimately.


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Alcohol: 13,5º
Total acidity: 6,5 g./l.
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It is a high-altitude area of between 400 and 500 metres, compared with the Barossa Valley’s elevation of 200 to 300 metres. This higher altitude and 1 to 2 weeks later ripening pattern results in more distinctive varietal flavour characteristics, lower pH and higher acidities. While the Eden Valley region is most associated with the white wine variety, Riesling, it also produces elegant, tautly structured Shiraz which is highly prized by winemakers.

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Review:

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-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points

 Wine Advocate: 94 Wine Enthusiast: 94
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Review:

Deep dark ruby ​​garnet, opaque core, violet reflections, delicate brightening of the edges. Fresh black wild berry jam, dark heart cherries, fresh orange zest, fine slate spice, very puristic, young bouquet. Complex, juicy, fully ripe cherries, fine, sustaining tannins, delicate nougat, mineral and adhesive, has elegance and length, a top-class wine.

-Falstaff 100 Points

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It is rare to see such tremendous depth and intensity in color as this winedisplays. The freshness of the floral aromas is very attractive with adominance of rockrose, a flower that grows wild around the hills of Senhorada Ribeira. On the palate, it is exceptionally full-bodied, rich andpowerful with black fruit coming to the fore. Gorgeous, ripe fruit isbalanced by the fine tannin structure. On the finish, it is typically Dow,austere and somewhat drier than many other ports. The intense fruit flavors linger long on the palate.

Dow’s Vintage Ports are only produced in years of exceptional quality and represent only a very small part of the total company’s production in that year. On average only two or three times every ten years are the weather conditions sufficiently good to allow for the making of Dow’s Vintage Port.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Dow’s Vintage Ports have been landmark wines in virtually every great year, consistently setting the standards amongst all Port houses. Vintage Ports such as the remarkable Dow 1896, the 1927, 1945, 1955, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1980 and the Dow 1994 are all legends in the history of this great wine. These Ports are still magnificent today, even when 50 or over 100 years old. Few wines can claim this quality and this pedigree.

Dow's Vintage Ports are drawn from the companies' finest vineyards; Quinta do Bomfim and Quinta de Senhora da Ribeira. Each property contributes to the Dow’s unique and distinctive style. When young, Dow’s Vintage Ports are purple-black, austere, complex and intensely concentrated, full-bodied and balanced with very fine peppery tannins.

Over the centuries, the Dow winemakers have evolved a style that suits the house’s key vineyards; fermentations are a little longer, resulting in a drier Port Wine that has become the hallmark of Dow’s. Abundant fruit flavours with hints of ripe blackberries, give elegance and poise to Dow’s. The nose is deep and powerful with strong overtones of violets when young, these mature into fine cinnamon and rose-tea aromas with age. The very high percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional planted on the vineyards result in the powerful structure and aging potential of Dow’s Vintage Ports

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In the 1920’s, the celebrated Oxford Professor George Saintsbury underlined Dow’s outstanding reputation when he wrote in his famous ‘Notes on a Cellarbook’ (first published in 1920), “There is no shipper’s wine that I have found better than the best of Dow’s 1878 and 1890 especially.”

James Suckling, one of today’s leading authorities on Vintage Port was equally impressed by another legendary wine - the Dow’s 1896 - “The ancient {1896} Port still had an amazing ruby colour with a garnet edge, and it smelled of raisins, black pepper and berries. It was full-bodied, with masses of fruit intertwined with layers of velvety tannins. It was superb.” In 1998, when this wine was 102 years old, he awarded this Port an exceptional 98 points.

Review:

This packs a lot of fun, with a wallop of blackberry, fig, boysenberry and açai berry compote flavors working together, laced with a mouthwatering licorice snap note and driven by a fresh, well-detailed finish. A roasted apple wood accent is integrated as well, lending textural contrast through the vivacious finish. Best from 2030 through 2055. 350 cases made, 183 cases imported. 

-Wine Spectator 98 Points


The 2016 Dow’s Vintage Port is based around the Vinha dos Ecos vineyard behind Bomfim, populated predominantly by mature Touriga Franca vines that were cropped at just 0.68kg per vine. It has a quite astonishing bouquet with layer upon layer of intense black cherry and cassis fruit, touches of clove, leather and a hint of over-ripe Satsuma. This is a mercurial bouquet that keeps changing in the glass, revealing smoky/burning ember scents with time. The palate is quite magnificent – perfectly balanced with a killer thread of acidity slicing through such pure intense black fruit that there is no heaviness at all. There is a sense of thrust on the finish as it fans out with almost careless abandon, a Vintage Port so self-assured that you can only sit back in amazement. Simply one of the best Dow’s ever made.

-Vinous 98 Points



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 98 Wine Spectator: 98
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Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

Made from 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow is another gem from this great winemaker. Deep purple-colored, with a huge perfume of blackberries, crème de cassis, cedarwood, pencil lead, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and building, ripe tannins. Give bottles 3-4 years and it too will cruise for 15-20 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 Points

Bursting from the glass with impeccable precision, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is the real McCoy, boasting a focused frame of fruit on the nose that shows depth and breadth in layers of aromas—blackberry, dark cherry, licorice and clove-laced spices flutter over a bed of roses. I can't stop smelling this wine! Full-bodied, the wine unfolds and expands across the palate with complexity, tight structure and beautifully managed tannins, ending with a thought-provoking and long-lingering finish. The wine has a still-tight expression that will age beautifully for years to come. It will serve you well to seek out a bottle of this world-class wine. Only 140 cases were made.
- Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95 95 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (magnum)

Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.



This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon that will spend roughly 20 months in close to 100% new French oak. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and graphite notes all give way to a full-bodied, plump, rich, concentrated effort that's going to be better with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 94-96 pts

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