1994 Graham

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
Forum rules
Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
Post Reply
Will W.
Fonseca LBV
Posts: 123
Joined: 14:33 Thu 11 Aug 2016

1994 Graham

Post by Will W. » 22:00 Mon 22 Mar 2021

I have long regarded Graham’s tawnies with an indication of age as being engineered deliberately to avoid giving offence. Admittedly, the same cannot be said of this producer’s vintage ports, though I have never really warmed to same, preferring my vintages to evince a dryer style. Or rather, this was my view until I tried this fantastic exemplar from 1994, the first of a case which has been lying ignored in my cellar for some time.

In the glass on 18 March 2021 after a five-hour decant - which turned out to be just right - the wine was brick in colour with a dark core and clear rim. ‘Twas a perfectly agreeable sight. As to the nose, I had never experienced anything like it in a vintage port; it was beyond superb! Prune and blackberry preserve were most dominant, though olfactory exploration beyond the fruit revealed cinnamon, peppermint, lemon zest, violets and I do not know what else because the olfactory nerve became overwhelmed. Indeed, at one point I had my nose so far into the tasting vessel, in an effort to draw in still more of this beautiful nectar, that its tip became wet. In fact, the bouquet on this 1994 Graham was so good that it had a finish.

Whilst the palate did not achieve the stratospheric heights of the nose, it was certainly of fine quality: the blackberry preserve dominated on entry, giving way to gentle Asian spices which rolled across the middle to the back. In the event, the wine soared once more at the finish. The latter was slow off the mark, making its way at a thoughtful pace to the stomach and the sinuses, whereupon those soothing spices found their way back to the palate, and then outward once more. It went on this way, seemingly ad infinitum. And it was bliss.

This weighty port was on the sweeter side, in keeping with the Graham style, though the acidity cut almost imperceptibly through the residual sugar. Only the softest of tannins were in evidence, which suggested to me a wine either at or very near its peak - where it might be expected to rest for some years. If there was any room for improvement with this bottle, it was at the palate. However, I feel almost petty in proffering this observation, not least as the very agreeable mouth paled in comparison only to the staggeringly fine nose and finish.

Whereas I shall not (yet) pronounce myself a convert to Graham’s vintage port, there can be no doubt that I have seen the Light.

-95 points

Mike J. W.
Cheap Ruby
Posts: 13
Joined: 17:41 Sun 31 Jan 2021
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: 1994 Graham

Post by Mike J. W. » 02:52 Tue 23 Mar 2021

Great review!

I would recommend you try the 2007 Graham's. It's young, but a powerhouse. 20 years from now it will be incredible.

Post Reply