Paul Symington came into the office on Monday with my good friend Mr Girling. The theme was a simple one – top quality Tawnies. I was just about to launch into why there is a move to Tawny when this article arrived in my inbox – it says it all.
Grahams 1972 Single Harvest Tawny – The colour of Lapsang Souchong tea, almost a grey brown. The nose is raisins, a little caramel, then almonds, honey and a little orange peel. There is a wonderful acidity that gives this masses of life. The main taste on the plate is of nuts: Almond, Walnuts and even a little Macadamia. Superbly persistent length. Really lovely. 18-18.5 pts
Grahams 1969 Single Harvest Tawny – Similar in appearance to the 1972 but may be a little more faded. A slightly smokey, nose with a definite touch of Islay Whisky, more Bruichladdich than Laphroaig, Saline too. Mellow on the plate, refined rather than faded, far less nuts than the 1972, more a complex meditative wine than the more fruited 1972. 17.5-18 pts
Ne Oublie from 1882. Brown tan in colour with no orange rim. The initial nose reminds me of Pedro Ximenez sherry, raisins, a little Bovril and a ripe acidity. The palate is a syrup rich texture but not heavy, this is a special and unique wine. 18pts
Reflecting on them afterwards I think the 1972 is the wine I “like” the most but all are rather special and clearly Ne Oublie is not something that happens very often…thank you Richard and especially Paul…