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One of the oldest port houses, Quinta do Noval is also arguably the greatest. It is unique among top port houses in that most of the ports are made from estate-grown fruit and, notably, all of the vintage Noval wines are from the single Quinta do Noval vineyard. Noval has a reputation for being an innovative, independent producer. Noval’s focus on its vineyard and estate ports distinguishes it, but there are numerous other areas in which it has been a pioneer: 1st to introduce blended tawnies with an indication of average age, introduced the first late-bottled vintage port, first major port house to age, blend and store all its wines at its Quinta. This is one of the most historic and ground breaking estates in Portugal.
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is characterized by its purity of fruit and a fine and delicate quality that is typical of the wines of the property in general but which finds its most remarkable and enduring expression in the Vintage Ports. Equilibrium, harmony, finesse and elegance characterize our great Vintage Ports, which are declared only in great years and only when the wines come up to Noval’s exacting standards. Even then, the wines selected for the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port blend represent only a small proportion of our total production.
Tasting notes: In spite of the unusual and extreme climatic conditions of the year, the end result is of outstanding quality. The wines are balanced and fresh, with excellent structure, very intense bright fruit and aromatically very expressive.
This is a superb baby Noval that reminds me of the 1966. Chewy yet so polished. The light sweetness suggests an overall dialing back of the sugar content. Stemmy and lightly green. A truly classic Noval. Almost all from Pinhao. Buy. ~98JS
This is distinctive, with youthfully rambunctious dark currant, fig and blackberry fruit paste flavors liberally spiked with bramble, Turkish coffee and ganache notes. As the fruit pumps through the finish, a tarry spine adds a bristling, mouthwatering edge. Best from 2035 through 2055 ~98WS
The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão, aged for 18 months in old wood. It comes in with 82 grams of residual sugar. This was in bottle for only about seven weeks when seen, but I made sure at least some of it had a lot of air. It looks super, with plenty of room to grow in the cellar. Christian Seely likes to say that this regular Noval and the Nacional are not better than one another, just different. In fact, I usually prefer Nacional, but in this vintage I make a case for equality and endorse that view. ~97RP
Dense but opening up on the nose to reveal dark chocolate intensity and a delicate leafy edge. Ripe and initially minty on the palate with lovely purity of fruit and great definition: sweet cassis with broad, ripe, grippy tannins rising in the mouth. Not as big or immediately impressive as some wines from this vintage but showing great balance and poise from start to finish. A wine for the long term. Production of 6,000 cases. ~97Deanter
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