Port

Graham's, NV Six Grapes Reserve Port, Portugal

The first wine we tasted was prototypical Graham’s; alluring and toothsome with robust, sweet black fruit flavors. Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port is a bold, full-bodied wine with aromas of macerated black cherries steeped in blackberry compote. There’s an appealing roundness to the mid-palate where more black fruits reside. Black cherry flavors dominate but raspberry and black plum can also be found. The tannic structure is revealed in the firm finish where notes of cocoa peek through. $24

Rating: 3 Stars (3 / 5)

Graham's, NV Six Grapes Old Vines Edition, Portugal

Six Grapes Special Old Vines Edition is a new addition to the Graham’s line up that knocked my socks off. This is a limited (500 case) Reserve Port that’s made from Graham’s oldest vines. The current release is blended from the outstanding 2011 and 2012 vintages so this is a great time to stock up. Special Old Vines Edition is a softer, richer version of Six Grapes that features deep, dark aromas of cherry liqueur and anise surrounded by succulent scents of cocoa. The luscious, mouth-caressing texture and rich flavors of chocolate-tinged black cherry compote warmed me right down to the tips of my toes, which was a good thing since I’d lost my socks. $40

Rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

Graham’s, 2009 Late Bottled Vintage Port, Portugal

The Graham’s 2009 LBV is dark and plummy on the nose with sweet, macerated blackberry and crushed stone scents. It’s full-bodied, dark and sweet (are you starting to see a pattern here?) with sinuous black raspberry flavors gliding through sweet baking spice notes of cinnamon and clove. Restrained crushed rock notes add depth, but the firm, gripping tannins leave me wondering if maybe this is an LBV that could benefit from some bottle age. $23

Rating: 3 Stars (3 / 5)

Graham’s, 2001 Quinta dos Malvedos, Vintage Port, Portugal

The Graham’s 2001 Quinta dos Malvedos displays dark, concentrated, kirsch-like black cherry aromas fused with subtle scents of mint. This is a full-bodied port with palate saturating black cherry and blackberry flavors, followed by a warm, lengthy finish chock full of cocoa powder and sweet baking spice nuances. It’s an impressive effort that’s big, soft and alluring … like Queen Latifah on Ecstasy. $62

Rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

Graham’s 10 Year-Old Tawny Port, Portugal

Since 10 year-old tawny port has spent an average of ten years in cask, bottle aging isn’t necessary. That works well for cousin Eddie who considers wine fully mature and ready to drink when he gets home from the liquor store. Graham’s 10 Year-Old Tawny Port has developed nutty, almond-like aromas and I also noticed something indefinably yeasty that was reminiscent of vanilla cookie dough. This is a mellow, medium-bodied dessert wine that’s silky, rich and sweet with toasty, baked cherry flavors coated in crushed nuts and dried honey. $32

Rating: 3 Stars (3 / 5)

Graham’s, 20 Year-Old Tawny Port, Portugal

Like me, the Graham’s 20 Year-Old Tawny Port won’t get any better with age. Here the nutty aromas lean towards rich, caramelized walnuts. This is also a medium-bodied port but it has a mellower disposition than the 10 year-old version. Faint orange zest nuances swirl through dark buckwheat honey, all wrapped up in a texture that’s as smooth as molasses, and come to think of it, tastes like it too. $53

Rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)