The Symington Family Return to London to Preview Some of the Most Exciting Vintage Port Releases of Modern Times – Tasting the Graham’s and Warre’s 2020 Vintage Ports…

The 2020 Port vintage was the smallest harvest this century and produced incredibly concentrated, well-structured, dark wines in very low quantities – with the most outstanding wines originating from the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro. Accordingly, the Symington family have chosen to do an exceptional limited release bottling of two special edition Vintage Ports from Graham’s and Warre’s – drawn exclusively from a few of the best performing parcels from their estates in the Cima Corgo.

These special Vintage Ports mark the historic milestones in 2020 of Graham’s 200th anniversary and Warre’s 350th anniversary, celebrations for both of which were cancelled by the onset of the Covid pandemic. The fact that the Douro’s terroir provides such a variety of microclimates is a huge advantage in a year like 2020.

It takes a rare constellation of events for quality to be consistently exceptional throughout the region (as in 2011, 2016 and 2017). In 2020, the Symingtons believe the extraordinary conditions of the year gave rise to some truly outstanding wines and were in London recently to preview the new releases with the Portuguese Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

“2020 was a real Cima Corgo vintage” ~ Charles Symington

Warre’s 2020 Vintage Port, 20% Abv.

A wonderfully luscious vintage port with a profound textural depth and aromatic complexity. Beautifully lifted and perfumed, the nose is at once compact, intense and packed full of black and blue berry fruits but also super pure and precise with hints of violets, cherry blossom, melted liquorice, black cherry and mulberry jam. The palate shows a fabulous balance of freshness, power and precision with a dense creamy textural intensity enlivened by the most vibrant integrated acidity together with plush creamy ripe sweet tannins. This Warre’s connects all the dots and delivers one of the most profound and invigorating young Port experiences possible.

(Wine Safari Score: 99/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

Graham’s 2020 Vintage Port, 20% Abv.

Another colossal wine, the Graham’s Port displays all the 2020 vintage muscle, power and density with lovely earthy black berry notes, hints of black plum confit, black liquorice, freshly cut hedgerow sappy spice and subtle graphite nuances. The palate is crisp and precise with a magnificently polished marble texture, massive brooding density and a long, profound finish showing saline black currant confit with little fruit spikes of pristine red berry fruits. Impressively compact and complex, this should age incredibly well owing to its seamless harmony and sheer density. Really quite profound.

(Wine Safari Score: 98+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

The Splendour of Port ~ Tasting the New Limited Release Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port Special River Quintas Edition… 

Founded in 1820 by William and John Graham in Portugal’s Douro Valley, for nearly two centuries Graham’s has cultivated its reputation as one of the greatest names in Port. The quality of Graham’s Port relies on the finest grapes from their five iconic quintas in the Douro Valley: Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta do Tua, Quinta das Lages, and two others, Quinta da Vila Velha and Quinta do Vale de Malhadas, which are privately owned by a member of the Symington family. 


Located in the heart of the Upper Douro Valley, all of these quintas enjoy the hot and dry microclimate and unique schist soil only found in this region. Together these two factors provide perfect conditions for both the growth and optimum ripening of the various Port grape varieties.


It has been over a hundred years since the famous Six Grapes motif was first used on a bottle of fine Port, and the winemakers at W & J Graham, Charles Symington and Henry Shotton, recently decided to bottle a small quantity of a special wine made exclusively from the oldest vines on Graham’s five Quintas.


The presentation of this special edition Six Grapes Old Vines Port pays homage to the original Six Grapes label that helped make the wine famous so many years ago and will only be available in very limited quantities.

Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port Special River Quintas Edition, 19.5 Abv.

Fabulously rich, dark opaque black plum colour, this is a wine instantaneously recognisable as a serious Port offering. Dark fruited and broody, made very much in a vintage port style but with a little more early accessibility. The nose is full of Christmas pudding, creamy creme de cassis, black plums and a complex undertone of dusty granitic minerality and dried herb nuances. The palate is tight knit, deep, dense and wonderfully fleshy and opulent, with seductive bitter black chocolate, black cherry confit, kirsch liquor, liquorice, and a black bramble berry fruit finish. Very classy and well constructed, this is a finely crafted Port from one of the greatest houses in the Douro that is structured, vibrantly fresh, but succulently fruit forward. Attractively priced at around £20 per bottle, this beautifully balanced, intense, Port delivers on so many levels. Drink now to 2030+.

(Wine Safari Score: 93/100 Greg Sherwood MW)