Quinta do Noval: Latest Releases 


Christian Seely recently came to London to host a tasting of Portuguese wines, including those under the umbrella of AXA-Millésimes (Quinta do Noval and Quinta do Passadouro) and Quinta do Romaneira, the 412-hectare Douro estate that Seely acquired together with investors in 2004. While I have tasted and reviewed Portugal’s famous fortified wines since the beginning of my career, sadly, my commitments in France preclude my delving deeply into the country’s trove of unfortified wines. I frequently choose them from restaurant lists as they remain of immense value and often leave me scratching my head, wondering why they are not better known or more coveted. Every year seems to be the one that Portugal’s wines will break out. One thing for sure is that it is not because of quality. I am always startled by the quality of the country’s dry whites, partly because they cultivate so many interesting and delicious indigenous varieties.

I am not going to spend too much time writing about these wines because the tasting notes should speak for themselves. Seely showed the latest releases of Quinta do Noval, both the regular fortified Port and the Naçional from the 2022 vintage – the first time these had been shown outside the Douro. He quipped that every year, he seems to find no reason not to declare! They should not overshadow the quality of his 2022 Vintage Port from Quinta do Romaneira, which remains of great value. Finally, I include one esoteric note for a 1962 Crusted Port that Jean-Charles Cazes poured blind last December – not a fortified wine you often see. The name is a bit off-putting…but it was delicious.

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