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Raise your glass for Ne Oublie: The £5k bottle of port

Ne Oublie port

Graham’s, one of the leading Port companies in the world, has an incredibly rare and valuable wine stored in their cellar, which began life before the death of Queen Victoria and before the invention of the radio. You can purchase a bottle of this magnificent liquid to take your liquor cabinet to another level, but it will set you back a cool £5,000.

Named after the after the original Graham’s family motto and for the company where Andrew Symington started his life’s work, the Ne Oublie truly is a one of a kind premium Port. With only 656 of the bottles released to date, the vintage dates all the way back to the arrival of Andrew James Symington in Portugal in 1882. Ne Oublie – “Never Forget” – the name reflects the respect with which the family regard their forebears and their history.
Bought and laid down in 1891 by Symington himself to celebrate the year he and his wife committed themselves and their descendants to Portugal, the Douro and to Port, the modern family have bottled one of the only 3 remaining barrels – with the other two entrusted to the next generation of Symingtons, to be dealt with in 2025 at the earliest.

This extraordinary wine has been bottled in an individually numbered, hand-made crystal decanter designed by Portugal’s leading glass manufacturer Atlantis. Three sterling silver bands, moulded and engraved by Scottish Silversmiths Hayward & Stott, and carrying the mark of the Edinburgh Assay Office, adorn the glass. The decanter is presented in a bespoke presentation box handcrafted with the finest leathers by quintessentially British brand Smythson of Bond Street, one of the world’s oldest luxury leather goods companies. Hence, Ne Oublie represents the work of the very finest artisans of the three nations from which the Symington family is descended: Scotland, England and Portugal.

Graham’s Ne Oublie port
Unforgettable: the grapes for the Graham’s Ne Oublie port were harvested in 1882

With over 130 years of age, tended to with incredible stewardship, Ne Oublie has been described as intensely complex, but with a sheer precision and cleanness to it that only comes about through expert care over the last century.

Indeed, the wine is a fitting testimony to the family’s dedication to their craft. The Symingtons have been Port producers for five generations since 1882 – but their involvement in Port dates back fourteen generations to 1652 through their great-grandmother Beatriz Leitão de Carvalhosa Atkinson. The company is the leading quality Port producer with brands such as Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s as well as being the leading vineyard owner in the Douro Valley with 1,006 hectares (2,486 acres) of vines at 26 different Quintas.

“It is very, very rare to be able to taste a wine of such age and of such exquisite beauty,” Paul Symington, current head of the family, says. “Ne Oublie has been a quiet 19th century witness to the passing of momentous and historic occasions that have shaped our world. We are immensely proud to be able to offer such an extraordinary memory and such an opportunity to see so far back in time.”

The 656 bottles of Ne Oublie are available from selected fine wine merchants around the world, at the Graham’s Port Lodge and via an application list on neoublie.grahams-port.com.