100% estate grown fruit. This wine is made in a traditional manner from predominantly Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa and Tinta Barroca. All the grapes are handpicked and foot trodden. This port has a nose reminiscent of dried fruit and almonds which gives it its distinctive character. Elegant, velvety and concentrated on the palate it has a striking, lingering finish.
Quinta do Noval is one of the great Port houses. Not only does Noval produce the most famous Vintage Port of them all, the legendary ‘Nacional’, it was also the creator of the “Late Bottled” style in 1954 and of single vintage Tawnies (Colheita) in 1954. It is also the only big name producer whose top wines are exclusively single vineyard (i.e. “Quinta”). Think of the difference between a Burgundy domaine and a Burgundy negociant to get an idea of what this means. The Vintage Ports of Quinta do Noval (including Nacional) have always been from the same vineyard. The quality of all Quinta do Noval’s wines has gone through the roof since the early 1990’s when Englishman Christian Seely was put in charge. Many changes occurred, however none have affected the production methods of Noval’s estate-produced Ports that continue to be hand picked from the ancient terraces, foot crushed and fermented in stone lagares (which Noval believes is still the best way to produce quality Port). Today, Noval’s vintage and Colheita Ports (vintage-dated Tawnies) are all made exclusively from estate-grown grapes. This contrasts radically with all of the other big names of the region who buy fruit to blend to a house style. A high percentage of the blends for Noval's LBV, LB (vintage character) and Old Tawnies - 10, 20 and over 40 Years Old - also come from the estate. Since the ’94 vintage, the first under Christian Seely, the Quinta do Noval Vintage Ports have always been rated amongst the best of the region, often rivalling Nacional in blind tastings. As both Robert Parker and James Suckling have noted, the Quinta do Noval 1994 Vintage Port was the best VP from the domaine for decades and each VP release since then has been outstanding. Meanwhile the Tawnies (as Jancis Robinson notes below) and the Late Bottle Vintage are now leaders of their respective categories. The Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Ports (often containing the declassified Nacional and Quinta VP’s in undeclared vintages like 2005) today offer wonderful value for money. Although most famous for its Ports, the Quinta do Noval estate is far from a mono-culture: it also produces world class red and white table wines, vegetables, herbs, olives, olive oil, oranges, figs, clementines, walnuts and pigs. We ship the wines, ports and olive oils. In an interesting side bar reflecting Quinta do Noval’s standing in the world of wine and beyond, US President Barack Obama was possibly the first person to receive an allocation of 2008 Quinta do Noval Vintage (which we offer here!) when he was presented with a single bottle by Portuguese President Cavaco Silva at the 2008 NATO summit (2008 being the year when the US President took office). In return, President Cavaco Silva received a copy of the very first treaty signed between Portugal and the United States – you work out who got the best gift!
Set up in 1715, Noval is the only historic Port wine shipper to bear the name of its quinta. Its declaration of 1931 as a vintage year – arguably the greatest vintage of the 20th century – helped establish Quinta do Noval as a famous Port house. Grapes for this tawny are foot-trodden, creating a suitable must for fermentation which is later pressed in large stone vats, called lagares. Richard Mayson - Savoury on the nose and palate. A little toasted and baked but rather lovely, with a dry finish. Rod Smith MW - Warm aromas of baked fruit, toast and honey, along with some caramel and hazelnut. Nicely proportioned and uniform yet complex, with a long, lip-smacking finish. Demetri Walters MW - Caramel dominates the front palate here, while a marked sweetness punctuated by leather and iodine characters create excellent mid-palate weight and expression, with a note of baked orange completing the finale. A sweeter style, but convincing with it.
This is a shade or two darker and richer than its peers, with warm toffee, hazelnut cream, roasted vanilla, cinnamon and walnut husk notes leading the way, backed by halva, pistachio oil and dried fig details. Lush through the finish, with the walnut hint lingering long enough for all the elements to fall in line. An exotic tawny. Drink now.