About This Wine
Rare Brilliance—the ‘stunning’ limited release 2016 Vintage Port and the 2001 ‘ghost vintage’ Nacional
"Nacional is the Everest, to be sure, but Noval offers a Himalaya's worth of quality in other Ports as well,” Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, Jan 2016
“Quinta do Noval has always marched to the beat of its own drum. Our approach is very clear: when we are convinced that we have a wine of sufficient quality to merit a declaration as Quinta do Noval, we do so.” Christian Seely, Quinta do Noval MD
“Quinta do Noval has a ‘genteel quality and accessibility’, offers [Joe] Wadsack, ‘other ports are more stand up and arrogant and English, for better expression, but this producer is owned by French and has an subtlety’.” Mike Bennie, winefront.com.au
A limited release, single estate wine drawn from finest vineyard parcels that excelled in 2016. It’s the traditional Noval blend of Touriga Nacional (roughly 50%), Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca and Sousão, from Noval’s hillside vineyard on the slopes of the Douro’s Cavadinha tributary. The vines at Noval always give Ports of tremendous finesse and purity. Ports that can be treated as ‘wines’. The 2016 is a wonderfully layered, elegant and perfumed Noval – surprisingly supple now – yet with plenty of fine grained tannins ensuring longevity. It’s perhaps a more approachable wine than Noval’s two other recent declarations (2012 & 2013), although its ability to improve over decades in the cellar is assured. As always, the grapes were trodden by foot and fermented in Noval’s granite lagares, with the temperature held at 28ºc. The wine was then matured for 18 months in old oak barrels of 640 litres. Alcohol: 19.5% vol. Residual Sugar: 101 g/L
|Type||Dessert, Sherry & Port|
|Varietal(s)||Touriga Nacional Touriga Franca Tinto Cão|
|Brand||Quinta do Noval|
Portugal as a wine producing country is sometimes unfortunately overshadowed by its European neighbours, however, it has a long wine making history and the region’s popularity is growing as people start to take notice of its quality and unique character.
The country has a large array of native grape varietals which are used to produce an abundant variety of different wines. Nevertheless, the two most popular wines styles exported are from Vinho Verde and the Douro regions.
Douro is the home of Port wine, and the city of Oporto where the wine gets its name. It is one of the major rivers in Portugal, and with fertile soils around its banks, increased attention has also been given to the Douro region’s non fortified wine production in recent years. Full bodied and concentrated dry reds made from grape varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Spanish Tempranillo, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão are all worth a try.
Vinho Verde in the north of Portugal is responsible for producing effervescent, lively, and refreshing white wine that is increasingly becoming Portugal’s most famous. Perfect when served chilled on a hot day, it is known for zingy lime flavours, a sharp minerality and subtle grassiness. The wine is often a blend but will usually be predominantly based on Alvarinho grapes which gives it its unique character.
Wine Spectator – 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
James Suckling – 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.
Decanter – 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.
Robert Parker/Wine Advocate – 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.
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