Wine Review: W & J Graham’s 20yr Aged Tawny Port

Graham's 20yr Tawny PortToday we take an in-depth look at a special wine from W & J Graham and Company - the 20 year aged Tawny Port.  As highlighted on their website, this 20 year Port is the “Master Blender’s quest for perfection, capturing the perfect balance between young and aged Port wines.”

Founded in Oporto, Portugal in 1820 by brothers William and John, W & J Graham’s has been producing top-quality, high-end Ports for nearly two centuries.

So, let’s get down to business and break this wine down, shall we…


  • Construction:
  • Wine Type:  Tawny Port
  • Varietal:  Undisclosed
  • Composition:  Undisclosed
  • Appellation:  Douro valley, Portugal
  • Aging:  20 years
  • ABV:  20%

Flavor/Aroma:  Graham's 20yr Aged Tawny PortCutting away the metal seal reveals a resealable cork stop – typical of Port wines.  As with any wine, I allow the bottle to breathe – but can’t help but notice the luscious maple notes coming forth from the bottle.  After allowing the bottle to breathe a bit, it was time to pour this little gem in to the stemless red-wine glass I had set aside.  The first thing I noticed was its golden-tawny color.  Those who are familiar with aged Ports know that as a wine ages, the dark ruby colors begin to give way as purples/reds are replaced with golds/browns reminiscent of bourbon.

Experience:  First Impression:  Okay, enough with the visual assessment, time to move on to what really counts.  From the moment this Port hits your palate, you are greeted with soft, warm flavors of nut, rich fruit and a hint of maple syrup lingers in the background.  My experience with younger ports has been that they’re often times too sweet for my liking.  However, the aging process with this Port really shows maturity, depth and refinement.  Continued Consumption: The balanced flavors are exquisite as the fruit, nuts and maple syrup perfectly complement each other.  Upon subsequent sips, I notice a faint citrus flavor now joining in.  As I focus on the citrus notes, I soon determine the flavor to be that of spiced orange.  As for the notes of nut, I have to admit I’ve experienced nut flavors in Port wines before.  But never have I experienced this type of depth before.  The Graham’s 20 year Aged Tawny Port is a real treat, and it isn’t long before my first glass is gone and I find myself going back for more.

Final Thoughts:  Having enjoyed many holiday drinks in the past, I am a little upset with myself for not jumping on this one when I first heard about it.  There are definitely a number of fantastic Port Wines out there.  But I really have to admit, this one impressed me unlike any other.  As 2012 draws to a close, I wish you all health and happiness.  For those of you who are looking for a unique Port Wine – a little something out of the ordinary – I highly recommend the W & J Graham’s 20 year Aged Tawny.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with its near-perfect balance and elegant finish.  (Score:  96)

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