The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2012

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Page 62 of 152

PORT A New Dawn for Tawny GRAHAM���S TAWNY PORT IS REPOSITIONED TO ATTRACT DISCERNING PORT AND SPIRITS DRINKERS by Lana Bortolot G raham���s, one of the inest Port producers, has written a new chapter in Port history with the re-launch of its cask-aged tawnies. The changes��� behind the scenes and at the bar���are meant to reposition the venerated brand and further distinguish it as the producer aligns itself for the future. Owned by the Symington Family Estates, Port producers since 1882, Graham���s has made the bold move of excluding wines aged in the Douro Valley, and will use only wines aged in their 19th-century lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia, site of the traditional lodges in the city of Oporto. A multi-year blending trial convinced the family that the city���s more temperate conditions���only three kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean���result in a more reined and balanced tawny. Furthermore, the fourth generation of the family has taken particular care in maintaining the Graham���s Tawny style while reining the secondary lavors. But if you can���t travel to Oporto to experience the difference irsthand, don���t worry. Graham���s has repackaged the tawnies in new bottles���an unprecedented move in the category���and the roll-out is underway. In the U.S., the 20-, 30- and 40-year tawnies are abandoning their long and lean look for squat bottles, a strategy that positions the bottles on the bar alongside whiskeys and scotches, according to Louis Charton of Premium Port Wines, the Symington-owned importer in the U.S. ���It gives them a more prestigious presentation and really invites the discerning whiskey and scotch drinkers to take a look,��� he says. ���It puts drinkers into a comfort zone where they can relax and appreciate Port like you would a sipping spirit.��� For Henri Sizaret, Symington���s Vice President of Marketing and one of the masterminds behind the new 62 / the tasting panel / december 2012

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