Vinous 96 points - Bright, deep, saturated ruby. Liqueur-like ripeness to the deeply fruity aromas of kirsch, black raspberry and cassis. Thick, sweet and seamless, with a silky texture and great depth to its utterly primary dark berry and spice flavors. Wonderfully pure, intense young port with outstanding finishing sweetness, well-judged oakiness and big, ripe, noble tannins. Leaves behind exhilarating kirsch and violet notes on the extremely long finish, with a note of bitter chocolate emerging with extended aeration. This fleshy beauty boasts beautifully managed tannins and outstanding aging potential.
96+ Points (May 2014)
Wine Advocate 95 points - The 2011 Graham?s comes from the five quintas that have been the source for many years (Malvedos, Tua, Vila Velha, das Lages and Vale de Malhadas). It represents a selection of the 131 pipes from a total production of 1,454 and is a blend of 40% Touriga Nacional, 31% Touriga Franca, 6% Sousao and 23% mixture of very old vines. It has a more ?serious? bouquet compared to the Dow, with beguiling scents of blackberry, wild hedgerow, tobacco and cloves. Straight-laced, very well-defined and compelling, the palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and supremely well-judged acidity. It is utterly harmonious, with a pure core of ripe black cherries, damson, marmalade, clove and spices, and the finish lingers long in the mouth. The separation of ?The Stone Terraces? vines certainly does not appear to have detracted from a great Graham?s. 5,000 cases declared. Tasted May 2013. (Jun 2013)
Wine Spectator 96 points - Offers a decadently fruity aroma, with peppery accents to the cherry, raspberry and dark currant flavors that are lithe and juicy. Grippy tannins grace the mocha- and chocolate-infused finish. Best from 2025 through 2055. From Portugal.—K.M. (Oct 23 2013)
Vintage Ports are only made on very exceptional years (usually three or four times in a decade).
The principal determining factor is the weather in the vineyards which must be ideal throughout the viticultural season and subsequently during the harvest.
Only a few exceptional vineyards in the Upper Douro region produce wines of sufficient body and style to make a true Vintage Port.
After the harvest, wines of Vintage potential are put into oak barrels called 'pipes'. Some eighteen months later a careful and painstaking series of tastings is held to judge exactly which wines of different vineyards merit inclusion in the final blend. If the ideal blend is achieved, the wine is then bottled without any filtration whatsoever approximately 24 months after the original harvest .
Vintage Port must then be matured for some ten to twenty years in cool dark cellars as it gradually achieves the outstanding style of a great wine.