N.V. Graham's 30 Year Tawny Porto

Year: N.V.
Appellation: Oporto
Country: Portugal
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 94
Fortified Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 20.0%
Price :
$109.95 $99.95
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"Broad in feel and dark in profile, with walnut and hazelnut notes followed by flavors of brown bread, dried fig, bitter orange, singed almond and juniper. A lovely flash of green tea adds sparkle and detail on the finish, but this stays reliant on its bass line throughout. Drink now. 1,200 cases made. -JM" (WS)

"The NV 30 Years Tawny Port was bottled in 2013 with a bar-top cork and 125 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is smoother and more harmonious than the Dow this issue, a contrast in house styles. If the Dow's this issue often seemed stern, tight and brooding, this is sexy, sunny and lively, with a burst of sugar on the finish. It starts a little understated and certainly elegant, but it gathers strength and length on the finish. Supple on the first pour, it then adds a touch of brandy, a hit of sugar and a lot of dark chocolate on the finish-just to remind you that this is indeed an old, complex Tawny. The next day, it is beautiful, focused, well balanced and precise. The lifted fruit seems to last indefinitely on the palate. After a week or so, it was darker and more intense. As always, these hold indefinitely in the bottle, barring cork failures, but they are not really meant to be held.

Inadvertently, the 2013 releases were sent of Dow's and Graham's, then followed by the new 2017s. Unfortunately, they arrived far apart and couldn't be tasted together, but I noted no major changes, at least from memory. Four years of bottle age isn't a lot for a 30-year Tawny. There didn't seem to be any major stylistic changes either, so I have not published a new note on the 2017s.

I checked in with Charles Symington, who didn't seem to think there were any changes either. (They even have identical sugar levels.) He told me that the "old Tawnies tend to follow house style. ... Dow tends to have more aromas of dried fruits/figs, and the Graham more nutty aromas. On the palate, the Dow being slightly drier and with a longer finish than the Graham, which is more velvety and softer. Clearly at this age, the wines are more similar [meaning, the different releases, 2013 and 2017], as the characteristics are almost entirely secondary aging characteristics." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The wonders of wood: Graham’s is one of the last Port companies with its own cooperage team, who care for each cask individually. This, combined with the skill of the Master Blender, has resulted in Graham’s mastering the art of making an outstanding 30 Years Old Tawny Port. The wine’s contact with the wood of the cask works hand-in-hand with time to create one of life’s greatest wines. This wine is for those who are passionate about the art of great Port wines.

Light, orange-tinted amber.

Magnificent nose, showing an array of dried fruits.

On the palate:
Mature and concentrated, with full, honeyed fruit. Gorgeously mellow, with a remarkable, long finish.

Occasions & Pairing:
Fabulous accompaniment to dark chocolate, but can also be enjoyed alone as a dessert in its own right.

Serve slightly chilled.