If you’ve been curious about Port wines and wanting to learn more, there’s probably no better place to start than with the Symingtons, a family with Scotch, British and Portuguese ancestry that spans 14 generations, all the way back to the mid-17th century and the beginnings of the history of Port.
Today, they own 27 individual estates in the Duoro Valley of Portugal, described as the most significant vineyard holding in the region. Symington Family Estates is responsible for making nearly one-third of all premium Port categories. Wine Spectator’s Robert Parker has called the family “the most consistent produce of great Port in the post-World War II era,”
That being said, Six Grapes is an iconic brand that dates to the early 19th century when W&J Graham (William and John) began using a coding system to classify wines from each harvest by their quality. A select group of ‘lots’ is picked in a rigorous selection process to make up their Vintage Port and the best of the remaining lots are blended and bottled as Six Grapes Port, described as more like a “declassified” Vintage Port than a typical reserve Port.
This wine is 20 percent ABV with grapes from five separate vineyards. It received 91 points from Wine&Spirits in 2013 and 5 Stars-Best in Show that year from Decanter Awards. W&J Graham began in 1810 in Oporto, going on to produce vintage Ports of great quality.
We’d been skeptical about Ports, not really knowing anything about them, until tasting a number of them at a wine event about a year ago. From the very first sip, we knew we’d discovered something worth learning more about. We’ll be writing more in weeks ahead about rich and elegant vintages produced by this family. They note that long-term vision and commitment are the requirements for success. Through many generations, they’ve proven their dedication. With several Wine Spectator Wine of the Year awards and high rankings, the Symingtons, who also own Quinta do Vesuvio, a leading vineyard estate, have proven their commitment many times over with a group of outstanding vintages.
This vintage pairs well with rich chocolate desserts and strong blue cheeses. It’s a rich red color with a nose of plums, blackberries and cherries. Well structured, the Ports are designed for drinking in special Port wine glasses or white wine glasses to allow the wine’s aroma to be fully appreciated. This fresh, rich wine makes an excellent starting point for learning about vintage Port. The six grapes symbol has become a mark of quality. Visit http://www.sixgrapes-port.com.