2017 Graham's Vintage The Stone Terraces Porto

Year: 2017
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 98
Wine Advocate: 97-99
Vinous Media: 97
James Suckling: 100
Wine Enthusiast: 98
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%

Pre-Order
DUE IN: WINTER 2020

Price :
$219.95

JAMES SUCKLING TOP 100 WINES OF 2019: #57

"Packed with juicy, bramble-laced black currant, açaí berry and fig notes, this features the vivid fruit and energy of the vintage. Graphite and tar flavors score the finish, giving this terrific cut and extra drive. Seriously long, with the fruit staying very persistent. This is built for the long haul and has a bit of a regal feel. Best from 2035 through 2060. -J.M." (WS)

"The 2017 The Stone Terraces Vintage Port, from a specific plot, is predominantly Touriga Nacional. It comes in with 117 grams of residual sugar and was bottled about a month before this tasting after 18 months in seasoned oak vats. However, this was a pre-bottling sample, as the bottled sample was not quite ready to taste. I was—relatively—unimpressed with the first pour of this. The second pour was silk for texture coupled with pure power. This is relatively elegant in the mid-palate, but the muscle is very old-school. It is not jammy, but it is remarkably concentrated as well.

What's missing? The expression of fruit. At this point in its life, it seems already shut down hard. As brilliant as this seems today, it is very closed and likely to improve dramatically with time. Most of the score is for concentration and power, but the expression of fruit this year is harder to find (unlike the lighter 2016 at the same age). The depth and muscle are astonishing, and with this exuberant property, it's certain that the fruit will come out to play in time. It's an obvious projection, but in time, this is still likely to be the best of the trio of 2015-2016-2017 this issue. Let's start here and let it prove a few things in the cellar. It almost certainly will, as this powerful 2017 has endless potential. It is the one to bet on. In a year with many brilliant wines, this still has to be on the shortlist for "Wine of the Vintage." It's not in my top couple of slots so far, but it's certainly on the list I'd want for comparison in a decade.

Charles Symington suggested it was the best Port he'd ever made-even if it does not really show all it has today. It still showed plenty. One last word: If you don't have patience and a cellar, this isn't for you. There were 600 cases produced.

The 2017 declaration resulted in very low yields—about a third less than the 2016s. This also, across the Symington line, represents the first back-to-back declarations in family history. If you read my article on the 2015s ("The 2015 Vintage - Undeclared and Unashamed" at www.robertparker.com/search/articles?q=undeclared), you know that my answer to that is very simple: It's about time Port producers did such things. It shouldn't be so unusual.

As a special treat here, we have a mini-vertical of The Stone Terraces—a Port everyone seems to love these days. It's become a cult favorite. It is a field blend but very heavy on the Touriga Nacional, although not stated, from two vineyards with stone terraces at Graham's Quinta dos Malvedos." (WA)

"The 2017 Graham’s The Stone Terraces Vintage Port is certainly a step up from the regular Graham’s. The Stone Terraces takes its name from the terraces at Quinta dos Malvedos where it was picked from August 28 until September 15. This is more complex on the nose with compelling aromas of damson, bilberry, hints of lavender, orange blossom and camphor. The delineation is wonderful. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannin, brilliantly-judged acidity that counterbalances the intense black cherry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit. There is superb grip here and conveys a sense of symmetry that leaves you yearning for the next sip. This is the more erudite sibling of the regular Graham’s that will deserve a decade in the cellar. Total production is 6,360 wax-sealed bottles, 180 magnum and 120 Tappit Hens."(VM)

"The aromas here are amazing: crushed blueberries and raspberries with wet earth and dried flower. Orange blossom. Tar and stone. Full body, very sweet but the powerful and fine-grained tannins balance the wine out. Tannins and fruit envelop your mouth with each sip. Great potential. Single vineyard port. 600 cases. Try after 2030." (JS)

"Rich tannins are balanced by the ripe blackberry fruits in this beautifully layered wine. Its acidity shines through enough for the intensely structured fruit and tannins to promise great aging potential. It is a fine wine that will be ready from 2028. -Roger Voss" (WE)