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Graham's - 'First Flight Colheita Tawny Port 2003' 750ml

$70.00
Sale price

Regular price $70.00

"This Port was made in 2003, an excellent harvest in the Douro Valley and the year that marked aviation’s centennial, 1903-2003. Peter and Charles Symington, Graham’s father and son winemaking team, chose the finest wines of the vintage, part of which they selected for bottling as Vintage Port, whilst a further selection of the finest lots were earmarked for long-term ageing in seasoned oak casks for future release as Colheita Port; wines from a single harvest (‘colheita’ means harvest in Portuguese).

TASTING NOTE The Graham’s 2003 Colheita is at a beautiful stage in its development, combining opulence, grace and complexity. It retains a youthful, deep crimson centre, bordered by an orange-brown rim that denotes the considerable length of time spent in seasoned oak casks. On the nose, it reveals alluring soft caramel aromas with hints of vanilla and toffee overtones. Full, creamy and sensuous on the palate with mouthfilling flavours of red fruit preserves and marmalade.

When Peter retired in 2009, Charles succeeded him as head winemaker and taster and having closely followed the wines’ development he decided to further mature the 2003 wines in wood prior to bottling.

The Graham’s 2003 Colheita release has been named ‘First Flight’ in celebration of the first century of aviation. HARVEST OVERVIEW 2003 is remembered throughout Europe as having had one of the hottest summers on record with temperatures of 45°C+ in many parts of the continent, which caused problems with over-ripeness in many winegrowing areas.

Such high seasonal temperatures are not unusual in the Douro, and the vines did not suffer undue hydric stress, largely because of the good ground water reserves which the wet winter provided. Yields were low (averaging just 0.9 Kg/vine at the Malvedos vineyard) but the quality was remarkable; the Touriga Franca variety — one of the most reliable barometers of a good year — was beautifully ripe and made an important contribution to the lots destined for ageing as Graham’s 2003 Colheita Port.

In his harvest logbook, Charles Symington made the following entry, dated October 3rd, 2003: “It is rare to have such good weather and the grapes in such fine condition. Baumés were not too high and acidity levels were normal, both clear proof that we had not had excessive heat. Yields were very low as is the norm for the Douro.”

WINEMAKERS Peter and Charles Symington.

PROVENANCE: Quinta dos Malvedos and Quinta da Vila Velha in the Cima Corgo sub-region, Quinta do Vale de Malhadas in the Douro Superior and Quinta das Lages in the Rio Torto area.

Traditional Douro grape varieties: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Amarela.

STORAGE · SERVING · FOOD PAIRING Graham’s 2003 First Flight Colheita Port is an excellent accompaniment to dark chocolate, caramel or vanilla based desserts, and can also be enjoyed alone, as a dessert in its own right. It is recommended that the wine be served lightly chilled to enjoy it at its best. Once open, the wine will keep in good condition for up to a month.

WINE SPECIFICATION Álcool: 20% (v/v 20ºC) Acidez Total: 4.34 g/L (as tartaric acid) Baumé: 3.8 Allergy advice: Contains sulphites

--------THE PRODUCER--------

GRAHAM'S

Founded in 1820 by William and John Graham in Portugal’s Douro Valley, for nearly two centuries Graham’s has cultivated its reputation as one of the greatest names in Port. The quality of Graham’s Port relies on the finest grapes, primarily sourced from five iconic quintas in the Douro Valley: Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta do Tua, Quinta das Lages and two others, Quinta da Vila Velha and Quinta do Vale de Malhadas, which are privately owned by members of the Symington family.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Red Port Blend

There is only one port that is well known as being made from a single grape and that is Quinta da Nacional's 'Nacional' Port made exclusively of Touriga Nacional. With that as the exception, all Ports are made up of a blend of 5 main grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao and Tinta Barroca. 

--------THE REGION--------

Douro Valley

The Douro Valley is by far the most important and well-known region in all of Portugal. It has the longest history of winemaking as well. The Douro is practically synonymous with Port - the fortified wine that is made in the region, though in recent years 'table wine' has become modernised and more popular.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

"This Port was made in 2003, an excellent harvest in the Douro Valley and the year that marked aviation’s centennial, 1903-2003. Peter and Charles Symington, Graham’s father and son winemaking team, chose the finest wines of the vintage, part of which they selected for bottling as Vintage Port, whilst a further selection of the finest lots were earmarked for long-term ageing in seasoned oak casks for future release as Colheita Port; wines from a single harvest (‘colheita’ means harvest in Portuguese).

TASTING NOTE The Graham’s 2003 Colheita is at a beautiful stage in its development, combining opulence, grace and complexity. It retains a youthful, deep crimson centre, bordered by an orange-brown rim that denotes the considerable length of time spent in seasoned oak casks. On the nose, it reveals alluring soft caramel aromas with hints of vanilla and toffee overtones. Full, creamy and sensuous on the palate with mouthfilling flavours of red fruit preserves and marmalade.

When Peter retired in 2009, Charles succeeded him as head winemaker and taster and having closely followed the wines’ development he decided to further mature the 2003 wines in wood prior to bottling.

The Graham’s 2003 Colheita release has been named ‘First Flight’ in celebration of the first century of aviation. HARVEST OVERVIEW 2003 is remembered throughout Europe as having had one of the hottest summers on record with temperatures of 45°C+ in many parts of the continent, which caused problems with over-ripeness in many winegrowing areas.

Such high seasonal temperatures are not unusual in the Douro, and the vines did not suffer undue hydric stress, largely because of the good ground water reserves which the wet winter provided. Yields were low (averaging just 0.9 Kg/vine at the Malvedos vineyard) but the quality was remarkable; the Touriga Franca variety — one of the most reliable barometers of a good year — was beautifully ripe and made an important contribution to the lots destined for ageing as Graham’s 2003 Colheita Port.

In his harvest logbook, Charles Symington made the following entry, dated October 3rd, 2003: “It is rare to have such good weather and the grapes in such fine condition. Baumés were not too high and acidity levels were normal, both clear proof that we had not had excessive heat. Yields were very low as is the norm for the Douro.”

WINEMAKERS Peter and Charles Symington.

PROVENANCE: Quinta dos Malvedos and Quinta da Vila Velha in the Cima Corgo sub-region, Quinta do Vale de Malhadas in the Douro Superior and Quinta das Lages in the Rio Torto area.

Traditional Douro grape varieties: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Amarela.

STORAGE · SERVING · FOOD PAIRING Graham’s 2003 First Flight Colheita Port is an excellent accompaniment to dark chocolate, caramel or vanilla based desserts, and can also be enjoyed alone, as a dessert in its own right. It is recommended that the wine be served lightly chilled to enjoy it at its best. Once open, the wine will keep in good condition for up to a month.

WINE SPECIFICATION Álcool: 20% (v/v 20ºC) Acidez Total: 4.34 g/L (as tartaric acid) Baumé: 3.8 Allergy advice: Contains sulphites

--------THE PRODUCER--------

GRAHAM'S

Founded in 1820 by William and John Graham in Portugal’s Douro Valley, for nearly two centuries Graham’s has cultivated its reputation as one of the greatest names in Port. The quality of Graham’s Port relies on the finest grapes, primarily sourced from five iconic quintas in the Douro Valley: Quinta dos Malvedos, Quinta do Tua, Quinta das Lages and two others, Quinta da Vila Velha and Quinta do Vale de Malhadas, which are privately owned by members of the Symington family.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Red Port Blend

There is only one port that is well known as being made from a single grape and that is Quinta da Nacional's 'Nacional' Port made exclusively of Touriga Nacional. With that as the exception, all Ports are made up of a blend of 5 main grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cao and Tinta Barroca. 

--------THE REGION--------

Douro Valley

The Douro Valley is by far the most important and well-known region in all of Portugal. It has the longest history of winemaking as well. The Douro is practically synonymous with Port - the fortified wine that is made in the region, though in recent years 'table wine' has become modernised and more popular.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.