New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code SEPTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
*New customers only. Order must be placed by 9/22/2017. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, or StewardShip membership fees. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.
Graham's Vintage Port 2003
W. & J. Graham's Classic Vintage Ports are produced in years when the harvest and the resulting wines are found to be exceptional. This occurs, on average, about 3 times per decade. After aging for 18 months in cask, the best wines of some the finest Quintas in the Douro, especially Graham's Quinta dos Malvedos, are blended to produce a rich, exquisite wine.
This is a great Port, from a great brand. It is packed with solid, structured, rich and intense black fruit flavors. Its tannins show considerable aging potential. It is a big, ripe wine, balanced by a long, lingering dark aftertaste.
Violets, roses, spices, and candied dark fruits emanate from the glass of the murky black/purple colored 2003 Graham Vintage Port. After four days of air, this wine’s aromatics sweetened further, displaying jammy blackberry and blueberry scents. Bold, full-bodied, and expansive, the Graham benefited the most from extensive contact with air of all the 2003s tasted for this report. This opulently jammy wine assaults the palate with powerful yet soft layers of oily, candied red fruits as well as notes of tar and hints of mocha. A highly concentrated effort, it is creamy textured, suave, and reveals an admirably long finish filled with additional layers of dark fruits intermingled with spices. Projected maturity: 2030-2055.
Loads of tar and blackberry aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with medium sweetness, big, velvety tannins and a long finish. A big, juicy wine. Best after 2015. 8,500 cases made.
Never lacking in color, tannin, or bold, mouth-filling texture, Mourvèdre is most commonly deployed to provide substance in blends with Grenache and Syrah/Shiraz. Despite being better known by its French name, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, originally known as Monastrell. In Spain, it is one of the most commonly planted red grapes, serving as the principal variety in regions such as Alicante, Jumilla, and Yecla. It truly thrives, however, in Provence’s Bandol region, where it produces singular red and rosé wines along with Grenache and [Cinsault]. It is also of great importance in the Southern Rhône alongside Grenache and Syrah—and in California and Australia, where those blends are frequently mimicked.
In the Glass
Mourvèdre/Monastrell is responsible for robust, heady wines with dark berry fruit and a somewhat gamey quality. At its finest, it takes on brambly red and black fruit flavors and hints of herbs, leather, dark chocolate, and licorice. It can be prohibitively tannic in its youth, but well-aged examples can show an impressive degree of elegance and an attractive perfume. In blends with Grenache and Syrah, Mourvèdre provides fleshy texture, tannic structure, and deep color.
This earthy Mediterranean variety loves rustic food—think cassoulet, wild boar ragu, or smoky ribs. Mourvèdre’s tannins are bold but not bitter, lending the wine the weight and texture it needs to pair with such hearty fare.
Mourvèdre used to have significant plantings in California, but it was unfashionable and its presence was quickly declining in the late 20th century. In the 1980s, a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley (aptly named the Rhône Rangers) brought the variety back into the spotlight. Plantings have since increased and “GSM” blends are now a highly-regarded specialty of the Central Coast.