Graham's has released a limited edition bottling of its Six Grapes reserve port in honour of third-generation port producer, James Symington.
The Six Grapes ‘Special Vila Velha Edition’ is a limited bottling drawn exclusively from the finest grapes grown at Quinta da Vila Velha – one of the four Douro estates that supplies Graham’s Port. The property was purchased by the late third-generation port producer, James Symington, in 1987. For over three decades, James restored and extended the quinta into a well-tended 145-hectare riverside property with 55 hectares under vine. With its privileged position on the south bank of the Douro River, Vila Velha produces well-structured and balanced wines that form key components of Graham’s Vintage Ports.
The Symington family have produced this special edition reserve ruby to mark James’ passing in 2020 and to honour his role in developing Graham’s iconic Six Grapes label. The Six Grapes symbol originated in the 19th century as the code that Graham’s winemakers used to identify the barrels containing the very best wines from each harvest, which were often bottled as Vintage Port. By the early 1900’s, Graham’s had started bottling a reserve port selected from these barrels. While over a century later Six Grapes continues to be Graham’s signature reserve wine, the label had become largely disused in 1970 when the Symington family purchased the port house. James worked tirelessly for over a decade to resuscitate the Six Grapes label. Today, Graham’s Six Grapes is distributed in 38 markets, with a strong presence in both the on- and off-trade in its top five markets: Portugal, US, UK, Canada & the Netherlands. It is one of the leading ports in the USA.
The ‘Special Vila Velha Edition’ follows two previous limited bottlings of Six Grapes – one drawn exclusively from Graham’s ‘Old Vines’ and another from its ‘River Quintas’. With just 12,000 bottles produced, the Six Grapes Vila Velha edition is a hand-crafted wine in honour of James Symington.
Rupert Symington, CEO of Symington Family Estates and James’ son, commented: “We have bottled this limited edition wine to celebrate both my father and the estate that he restored over 30 years and has since passed into my care. With floral fragrances of pine resin and eucalyptus, together with an opulent palate of concentrated black fruits, the wine is a wonderful expression of Quinta da Vila Velha and a fitting tribute to my father’s work.”