Quinta do Noval have lately become known for what the English wine trade describe quaintly as ‘eccentric’ declarations. They released a vintage Port in 2013, for example. Now they’ve released 2015. It’s not a surprise, because 2015 was a really good vintage, and I’m surprised more people haven’t declared it. Of course, these days there’s not as much fuss around a general declaration as there used to be, but even for the rebels like Noval, it makes a difference. If the vintage isn’t declared, there’s only so much they can release and then sell because the demand is dampened. In a widely declared year, most recently 2011, the rising tide floats all the boats and Vintage Port is much easier to sell. I’ll let Christian Seely introduce this wine:
I am delighted to announce the declaration of the Quinta do Noval 2015 Vintage Port. As is well known, a Quinta do Noval declaration cannot be categorised according to the traditional distinction between a full declaration and a single quinta declaration, for the simple reason that all our greatest wines are wines from a single quinta, the great vineyard of Quinta do Noval. Whenever we decide to declare a Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, we are clearly saying that this is a great wine that deserves to bear the Quinta do Noval label. Noval follows its own path in its approach to Vintage Port. If we believe that we have wines of the quality and personality to join the ranks of the Quinta do Noval Ports of previous years, we will bottle it and declare it, even if this means declaring several years in a row, and even if it means, as is often the case, bottling only a few hundred cases of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, representing a tiny percentage of the total production of the Quinta, in some years less than 3% of our production. In the case of the 2015 where wines of great quality were relatively abundant, the 2600 cases produced nevertheless represent just 9% of the total production of the legendary vineyard of Quinta do Noval in the heart of the Douro Valley.
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2015 Douro, Portugal
19.5% alcohol. Great concentration and structure here in this young Vintage Port. There’s a wonderful floral blackcurrant jam and black cherry nose, which leads to a sweet, dense palate of blackberries, spice, cherries and plums, with a warm spiciness adding complexity and grippy tannins, currently cloaked by the sweetness and fruit intensity. Showing lovely fruit, this is a beautiful young Port that should age fabulously. Finishes warm and slightly salty. Lovely stuff. 95/100
See also: a report on a tasting of Noval ports back to 1962
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