Symington family-owned port producer Graham’s has released a rare single harvest port from 1940 as part of The Cellar Master’s Trilogy collection.
Graham’s 1940 Single Harvest pays tribute to three generations of master blenders, who have tended to the wine over eight decades. Current master blender Charles Symington selected just two casks of 1940 Tawny Port which he deemed merited bottling for the exclusive release.
Graham’s was among the few port producers that continued to work during the Second World War. While the 1940 harvest from Portugal’s Douro Valley was smaller than usual, it was a year of “extremely high-quality grapes”.
The Symington family went back through the harvest reports in their archive and released an entry written by Ron Symington in early October 1940, which reads: “The weather has been fine throughout. The grapes have been free of disease, there has been little or no escolha [grape selection], and the mostos [fermenting grape juice] are looking very nice.”
The wine from this harvest was bottled after maturing in seasoned oak casks for almost eighty years, resulting in a wine with “complex aromas of caramel, praline chocolate, demerara and coffee roast” that’s “underpinned by a remarkable freshness”.
Charles said: “It’s not often we have the privilege of releasing a wine that is eight decades old and bears such unique historic significance.
“The 1940 Single Harvest really is remarkably refined and balanced, offering a reflection not only of the quality of the original wine, but the skilled care and attention it received from our forebears.”
The Graham’s 1940 Single Harvest is the last wine from The Cellar Master’s Trilogy, which also includes Graham’s 1994 and 1963 Single Harvest Ports.