Graham’s Vintage Ports: Tappit Hen 1977 & Quinta dos Malvedos 2004
I’m on a rather special day trip today. To Porto Extravaganza – Sintra 2017 for a vertical of Niepoort Garrafeira. After a few more years in cask than classic Vintage Port, this unique Port from a single year undergoes a very lengthy bottle-ageing in large (8-11 litre) old apothecaries’ bottles. It won’t be the only large format Port I’ve tasted of late, albeit Graham’s Tappit Hen is a conventional Vintage Port (it is bottled after only two years in cask).
The lesser spotted Tappit Hen bottling is no longer produced. It is equivalent to three standard bottles and, as is the case with large formats, Graham’s ’77 Vintage Port Tappit Hen has aged deliciously slowly. You’ll find my note below, together with my tasting note on Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port 2004. It is rather less rare and, correspondingly, more accessible vis a vis price and availability. It’s also very good indeed.
Graham’s Vintage Port Tappit Hen 1977
So very Graham’s with power and charge to its sweet, smooth, liquorice and milk chocolate accented strawberry and baked red cherry fruit. With lovely weight, balance and length, it is voluptuous and enveloping. A firm but unobtrusive under-pinning of mineral tannins and said fleshy, muscular fruit suggest it has a long life ahead. RRP £899/bottle; imported by Fells.
Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port 2004
Balance is the watchword again. This is quite forward – mellow and fluid (mellifluous?!?) – which translates into a long, elegant Single Quinta Vintage Port. Really smooth, with sweet crushed raspberry, strawberry and black cherry fruit, milk chocolate and a subtle rasp of black pepper. A light grip of tannin to the finish maintains flavour and focus. Drinking beautifully now. £27 at Sainsbury’s (check the vintage), £32 at Oddbins.