This is a landmark wine for Graham's, not only being the first Vintage of a new millennium, but being the first Vintage wine to enjoy the extraordinary results achieved by the new robotic 'lagares' at Malvedos in the inaugural year of our remodelled winery. Significant also has been the decision to include a rather larger proportion of mature Touriga Francesa and Touriga Nacional from Vila Velha, a classic riverside Quinta a short distance downstream from Malvedos, and some spectacular old vine lots from Vale de Malhadas in the Upper Douro. These wines each from family-owned Quintas have been used to reinforce the predominant component from Malvedos and the traditional excellence of the Rio Torto lots from Lages, to produce a rounded and even blend in the hallmark rich Graham style.
Picking began at Malvedos on September 22nd and the last lagar was run off on October 10th, an unusually short and compact Vintage. Fruit arrived in good condition although yields were less than three quarters of a kilogram per vine, and the juice to skin ratio well below normal. 2000 was a year noted for a very low average yield across the Douro, and with the grapes unusually lacking in liquid, the extra amount of treading work required made it an ideal time to employ our new, tireless, mechanical treaders alongside the two original 1890 stone lagares still worked by human feet. It was evident early on in the Vintage from the colour and aroma of the fermenting musts that we were looking at a spectacular year, and after the usual waiting period of sixteen months or so to see how the lots would develop, we have now made our final selection and assembled the final blend.
The blend displays many of the typical Graham aromas of ripe plum and 'esteva' (gum cistus) and is pleasantly smooth on the palate despite its youth. It is full and rich in the mouth with fresh blackberry and red plum notes. Despite the hallmark Graham sweetness in the mouth the finish is long and clean.
As with all Graham Vintages, this is a wine made to last for years and the patience of laying down the wine for fifteen to twenty years will certainly be rewarded.