The famous Graham's brand has recently launched a collection of wines commemorating its bicentenary. The edition integrates six Tawny Single Harvest Ports and six classic Vintage Ports stored in an exclusive piece of furniture. The first unit will be auctioned in London by Christie's.
Those who walk in these wine lides, know that in no other producer the description of the climate is so focused and mentioned as a sine qua non condition for the understanding of wines. The Symington family is a master at this. Over the years, it always makes a point to remember, along with the tasting of good wines, the description of harvest reports to make envy to the most accredited meteorologist in universal history. Each year, we know if it was dry or rainy (and the millimeters that rained each day), what temperatures (from the most harsh to the mildest), how these conditions affected the vineyard (the damage, the benefits, the maturations of each grape variety), and so on... True testimonies that help us understand why certain years have given rise to great wines, and others not so much, though almost always good. It is not surprising that the Symington family, which has such precious information (and also through the constant tasting of their wines and the perception of how they evolve) decided to make a commemorative edition with great wines, to mark their bicentenary, ephemeris marked in 2020, but which by the force of the pandemic was postponed.
Holder of a Royal Warrant (official supplier of the British Royal House), the renowned Port wine house could not do for less and had to surprise. He did so with the launch of 12 very special wines, inserted in a piece of furniture designed especially for this purpose (six Tawny Single Harvest Ports and six classic Vintage Ports). All wines were specially selected by members of the third, fourth and fifth generations of the Symington family. The six Vintage Ports include copies of years that correspond to some of the greatest statements of the last two centuries, such as 1963, 1994 and 2011. The six Tawny Single Harvest were selected and bottled exclusively for the collection, including two wines never released, from 2000 and 2006. Highlight, for example, the Single Harvest Tawny of 1982, first bottled to mark the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, or the Single Harvest Tawny of 2000, the first year in which Port wines were produced in the modern lagar revolutionaries of the Symington family – a remarkable innovation in the Port wine sector.
A work of art to store other works of art
To store these gems the Symington family decided to order a small cabinet made from very rare rosewood wood, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), crafted by Portuguese joiners of the specialized furniture company, WeWood. In addition to the wines, this cabinet, which is a true work of art, also includes a blown glass decanter – hand-made – and a set of glasses produced by Master of Wine Jancis Robinson, in partnership with the famous British designer, Richard Brendon; a corkscrew specially designed to remove rolls of fine and mature wines and, finally, a decanter funnel made to order by Ourivesaria Coutinho, based in Porto.
The first edition of the Bicentennial Collection will be auctioned by Christie's in London in December, together with an exclusive trip to the Porto and Douro region. The proceeds raised from the auction will revert to two charitable associations chosen by the Symington family: the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Holy House of Mercy of Carrazeda de Ansiães. The remaining 29 editions of the cabinet will be produced on demand and can be booked. The first units begin to be delivered from January 2023. Note that this limited edition is restricted to 30 sets.
"The launch of the Bicentennial Collection has enormous significance for us as a family business, celebrating not only graham's illustrious history and the brand's unparalleled wine excellence, but also undercoring our commitment to continue building on these foundations over the years to come," says Johnny Symington, president of Symington Family Estates, adding that "every wine on this furniture has a personal meaning for a member of the third, fourth or fifth generations of our family, representing the past, present and future of our business."