It only makes sense that Graham’s Six Grapes be the sixth Port I sample for my review. It’s also named after my favorite grandfather, William (not Billy) Graham! Add that it’s a self-proclaimed “perfect accompaniment to dark chocolate,” and I’m cashing my bottle deposits to purchase this cool bottle for under $20, for the 750 ml size. Note: The price has since increased to $30.49 (on sale for $23.99) at my local Fred Meyer (Think they’ve noticed there’s a Port fiend frequenting their aisles?!).
Anyway, I found a lot of nifty details about Graham’s, for example, it’s owned by the Symington family, in Portugal’s Douro Valley, where real Port hails. The vineyard/estate was established in 1820 by William & John Graham, then bought and run, hands-on, by the Symington family, in 1970. “Six Grapes” dates back to the 1800’s when the grapes were classified on a scale from 1-6, denoting the quality of grapes. Only the very best grapes received the “six grapes” classification, which might later qualify as “Reserve.” The bottle I sampled is a Reserve.
More trivia: Six Grapes was featured on the First Class menu for the Maiden Atlantic voyage of the Queen Mary, in 1936, and the Queen Mary II, in 2004!
Six Grapes is complex. It consists of the very finest vineyard products from five different Portuguese locations: Malvedos, Tua, Lages, Vila Velha, and Vile de Mahaldes.
Okay, we’ve learned enough. How does Six Grapes taste? Because I’ve only sampled six Ports to date, I really lack the tasting sophistication to fully and accurately describe this experience, but I’ll try! W & J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port is delicious. The legs are thick and hesitant to run; the color has caramel undertones and the aroma is deeply fruity, almost musty, with a hint of licorice. I can tell I’m in for a treat! Sipping as only a true novice can, I try to play “guess the grapes” by experiencing the taste and textures on my tongue. I close my eyes to concentrate. I believe some Cabernet grapes are in the recipe, because lots of tannins arise when I lick the roof of my mouth. I read the tag and label, but no hints or answers.
Delving into “www.sixgrapes.grahams-port.com,” I learn which varietals make up this beautiful blend. Pay no mind that you can’t pronounce them, and no, Cabernet is not in the recipe.
Finally, Graham’s Six Grapes informs its consumers that “due to the staying power of its freshness, this particular Port can be enjoyed for several weeks, even after it’s opened.” Not in my house!
Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port 4.25 Nostrils
Until next time, I am your doc in Port!