by Andrew Chalk
FROM THE WIRES...
Falling leaves, a chill in the air, and turning back clocks are all welcomed changes for the new season. There is something else to add to that list of compelling transitions—leading Port house W. & J. Graham’s has redesigned the packaging of its Six Grapes Reserve Port (SRP $27/750 ml; $10.50/375 ml and $9.50/200ml) with a contemporary look inspired by the wine’s celebrated history. The elegant bottle on the outside reflects the original Six Grapes stencils traditionally used to mark barrels of the best wine from each harvest; inside the reserve Port wine holds its iconic complexity.
Acquired by Symington Family Estates in 1970, W. & J. Graham’s has been an independent family business renowned for producing the finest Port wines for two centuries. In the 19th century, Graham’s winemakers would mark the barrels of Port using grape symbols to rate the wine from one to six. Having six of these symbols marked on the side of the barrel meant that the wine inside was complex, structured, balanced—and had Vintage Port potential. The emblematic Six Grapes symbol, not only represents that moment in history, but the fresh design also stands to bring this enticing wine forward to the next generation of Port wine drinkers.
Aged for two years in seasoned casks before bottling, Six Grapes is known for its finesse and youthful blackberry fruit character. A blend of four indigenous Douro grape varieties—aromatic Touriga Franca; rich, tannic and well-structured Touriga Nacional; raspberry tinged Tinta Roriz; and chocolate noted Tinta Barroca—the wine is full-bodied and accented with fresh aromas of licorice and cassis. The iconic black fruit flavors are welcomed on the palate, which lends itself to pairing with chocolate desserts and mature cheeses.