Noval: Recent Vintages 2011-2020
BY NEAL MARTIN | NOVEMBER 01, 2022
this summer, Christian Seely organised a worthwhile vertical tasting of recent
vintages of Quinta do Noval and Naçional in London. Noval has been on fire lately
and reasserted its position as one of the Douro’s finest Port Houses, setting
its own agenda regarding Declarations. These dozen or so fortified wines were extremely
consistent and occasionally dazzled. The most significant change has been their
purity and approachability. When I began tasting Port in the late-Nineties, you
would have to lay down recent releases for around two decades before they
entertained the notion of drinkability. Nowadays, tannins are sculpted with a
far finer chisel, and if infanticide is your thing, then I would not begrudge
anyone from cracking open a bottle in its flush of youth. That said, readers are
missing out on the glory of mature Port with 30 years or more under its belt,
that heady smorgasbord of secondary aromas and flavours that provide a suitable
end to any lunch or dinner.
Seely guiding us through recent vintages from Noval.
interesting question posed to Seely was whether the spirit, which used to
consist of unaged brandy, that is added to stop the fermentation has
underlined the difference in style. “I am not looking for the spirit to make a
difference,” he replied, “but it should express the terroir. I don't want the
spirit to add something. It has to be neutral.”
let the tasting notes do the talking. I must highlight the stupendous
performances of the Quinta do Noval and Naçional in 2017. “It is one of the
most surprising Naçionals,” Seely remarked. “The vintage was so dry with
extreme heat, and yet the wines were absolutely marvellous.” I concur – this brilliant
young Port will become a legend.
leave it short and sweet. Remember, Port is not just a festive tipple but can
be enjoyed all year round.
© 2022, Vinous. No portion of this article may be copied, shared or re-distributed without prior consent from Vinous. Doing so is not only a violation of our copyright, but also threatens the survival of independent wine criticism.