1952 Graham Single Tawny

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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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jdaw1
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1952 Graham Single Tawny

Post by jdaw1 » 19:52 Thu 03 May 2012

On Wednesday 2nd May 2012 Johnny Symington joined some regulars at The Bung Hole” , partly to show off the Graham 1952 Single Harvest Tawny. All this after a day spent at The Big Fortified Tasting.

Links: ”  We are boycotting the corporately anodyne new name. Really, what snorey-dull person did that?

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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by jdaw1 » 21:38 Thu 03 May 2012

The Malvedos blog has a write up of the Graham’s 1952 Single Harvest Tawny Port:
we sought and are honoured to have received the Palace’s approval to offer the wine to the public ‟To Commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” as can be seen on the label.
This extraordinary wine has inspired an exquisite tasting note from Simon Field, Master of Wine and the Port Buyer at Berry Brothers & Rudd:

Striking mahogany, with hints of amber at its rim, the wine has an extraordinary aromatic intensity, redolent of old libraries, autumnal bonfires and distant poetry. The palate is profound and majestic, astonishingly intense and powerful, regal in its complexity, a timeless elixir. Notes of molasses, dried apricot, figs and clove, dance across the palate, elegant and symphonic in their structure, dignified and profound. Orange zest freshness and finely-wrought tannins underwrite structural harmony with the long finish indulging a gentle nostalgia and a real sense of worth.

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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by jdaw1 » 21:27 Sat 05 May 2012

Graham 1952 colheita, brought by Johnny Symington. Brown mahogany colour, with a hint of green at the edge, and 50% opaque. Nose full soft tawny. To taste a lovely soft start. Then a hint of heat. Mid-sweetness, very long. Very long. Great staying power. ‟Ridiculous staying power”, I then noted. An excellent port.

A mere £275 for a bottle (from Berry Bros & Rudd), or £1800 for a 4½ litre jeroboam. Johnny Symington, rather puzzlingly, suggested that the larger bottle might be suitable for a 50-person dinner: presumably the extra factor of ten was a slip of the brain at the end of a long day.

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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by AHB » 08:49 Tue 08 May 2012

The historical insight given by Johnny Symington as we sipped this wine deserves to be recorded along with the tasting note. As best as I can, I have summarised what I remember of it as follows - but my memory is not at its best when trying to recall facts after a very fine evening of port. Please advise of any corrections needed.

The situation in the Douro at the time these grapes were growing was financially very tough - rationing was still affecting the UK and diminishing a main market for port. In 1954 there was little demand for vintage port. In the Douro, the British shippers were struggling, with Cockburn later being sold and the Symingtons only surviving through selling some of their properties (I forget which). When Johnny's father went upriver during harvest to visit the farmers, he did not have a car to use. Farmers, in 1952, gave their wines to the Symingtons as there was not enough money to pay for them, and just asked that they be paid when the wines had been sold on. It was against this background that the 1952 vintage ports were not bottled in 1954, but remained in barrel in a cool part of the Graham cellar. When tasted by the family in 2011, it was realised that the wines were so pure and concentrated that they would make a perfect colheita and would be ideal to to issue in celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Palace clearly agreed as the Symingtons and Berry Brothers were permitted to add a label stating that this port was selected to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee. The Loyal Toast with this port in the Bunghole Cellars was only the second loyal toast with this wine and the first in the UK.

Only 1,000 (numbered) bottles and 10 jeroboams have been released. All of the Symington's profits from the sales of the colheita will be donated to charity, principally to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.
Last edited by AHB on 08:57 Tue 08 May 2012, edited 1 time in total.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by AHB » 08:51 Tue 08 May 2012

Deep honey in colour, with a slight green in the core (it takes 40+ years to get a tinge of green). Huge dose of VA on the nose, with very attractive honey and lemon. On the palate this has enormous grapefruit, lime and a soft honey sweetness. There is a massive palate presence, intense and concentrated. Swallowing releases a big aftertaste, then a long bitter quince finish that persists for ages as a lovely, honeyed stickiness. Fabulous port. 95/100. Only 1,000 bottles released - worth hunting one out.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

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jdaw1
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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by jdaw1 » 19:13 Tue 08 May 2012

AHB wrote:and the Symingtons only surviving through selling some of their properties (I forget which).
Zimbro, and perhaps Ribeira.
AHB wrote:Farmers, in 1952, gave their wines to the Symingtons as there was not enough money to pay for them, and just asked that they be paid when the wines had been sold on.
We were not told whether the farmers are now being paid for their 1952 wines.

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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by AHB » 06:20 Wed 09 May 2012

I was working on the assumption that the farmers concerned had been paid many years ago, when times had become less difficult.
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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by g-man » 15:44 Wed 09 May 2012

jdaw1 wrote:
A mere £275 for a bottle (from Berry Bros & Rudd), or £1800 for a 4½ litre jeroboam. Johnny Symington, rather puzzlingly, suggested that the larger bottle might be suitable for a 50-person dinner: presumably the extra factor of ten was a slip of the brain at the end of a long day.
even state side a extra factor of 5 might have been generous :nirvana:
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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by g-man » 14:09 Fri 11 May 2012

oh interesting I just noticed that they have 6 pipes of this stuff and only 2 of the pipes have been released

perhaps we might get this stateside!
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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by AHB » 14:43 Fri 11 May 2012

g-man wrote:oh interesting I just noticed that they have 6 pipes of this stuff and only 2 of the pipes have been released

perhaps we might get this stateside!
It might be offered for sale on your side of the Pond in Canada and Belize, but you have a President, not a Monarch. You can have a 4 year old LBV later this year to commemorate Obama's 4th anniversary as President.
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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by g-man » 15:22 Fri 11 May 2012

AHB wrote:
g-man wrote:oh interesting I just noticed that they have 6 pipes of this stuff and only 2 of the pipes have been released

perhaps we might get this stateside!
It might be offered for sale on your side of the Pond in Canada and Belize, but you have a President, not a Monarch. You can have a 4 year old LBV later this year to commemorate Obama's 4th anniversary as President.
a trip to canada is infinitely cheaper on my wallet than flying it in from the uk heh
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Re: 1952 Graham colheita

Post by Axel P » 07:58 Thu 14 Jun 2012

Thanks for the summary, Alex. It really hurt to leave prior to such an evening.

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