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Quinta Do Noval, Vintage Porto Port, Douro, Portugal, 2018

Regular price $100.00

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Overview of the Wine
One of the oldest port houses, Quinta do Noval is also arguably the greatest. It is unique among top port houses in that most of the ports are made from estate-grown fruit and, notably, all of the vintage Noval wines are from the single Quinta do Noval vineyard. In addition, it is difficult to elaborate on Quinta do Noval without mentioning Nacional, the legendary port made from a 6 acre parcel of ungrafted vines. When declared, only 200-300 cases of Nacional will be made, and instantly become the most sought after port in the world. Many vintages of Nacional are considered as the finest ports, and some of the finest wines, ever made.

Noval is mentioned in land registries going back to 1715, and has been sold just twice in that time, once in the late 19th century, and to its present owners in 1993. Noval has, however, a reputation for being an innovative, independent producer. Noval’s focus on its vineyard and estate ports distinguishes it, but there are numerous other areas in which it has been a pioneer:

  • Noval was the first to introduce stencilled bottles in the 1920s.
  • Noval pioneered the concept of Old Tawnies with an indication of age.
  • In 1958, Noval was the first to introduce a late-bottled vintage (LBV).

The astonishing terraced vineyards of Noval, perched above the Douro and Pinhao rivers, are an infertile schist, and not soil as much as sheer rock. The elevation of the vineyards goes from just above river level to 1,200 feet, with density at about 2,000 vines per acre, and vines producing on average 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. The tremendous rewards of the work done at the estate over the last fifteen years are visible across the range of Noval ports, and have placed Noval a step ahead of everyone in the Douro.

Grapes
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz

Origin
Douro, Portugal

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
The wine is wonderfully ripe, full and exuberant, spicy on the nose, with very fine long tannins and a classic Noval purity and elegance.

45 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2021

97 Points - Wine Spectator
Juicy and muscular, with a ball of plum paste, warmed fig compote and black currant reduction flavors that need time to unwind. Ample graphite- and bramble-accented grip underscores the fruit on the finish, while a ganache note finds room to strut its stuff in the end. Should be one of the longer-lived wines of the vintage. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz.

96 Points - Wine Enthusiast
While this vintage was not generally declared as such by the major Port houses, it has produced some very fine wines. This wine, still very young, is dry in style, full of black cherry and spice flavors along with intense acidity. The spirit is not fully integrated yet, but that will come. It is certainly for long-term aging.

96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2018 Vintage Port is fabulous stuff and has a quintessential bouquet of spiced berries, cassis, fresh plum, Asian spices, and dried flowers. More about elegance, finesse, and complexity than sheer power (especially when compared to the 2020s), it's medium to full-bodied and nicely focused on the palate, with perfect balance between its fruit, sugar, and alcohol.

95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for 18 months in old wood vats. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. This was bottled May 13, 2020. Simply gorgeous, this is aromatic, chock-full of flavor and wholly delicious—but that's just the starting point. It has a serious backbone too, perfectly countered by the mid-palate depth. More than lovely, it might well be my favorite of the 2018s I've seen thus far, if I were forced to pick just one. It is surprisingly accessible, in a way, but that's because the mid-palate soaks up the power. It was certainly still vibrant days later. It should age well, but let's be just a little conservative now in evaluation and drinking windows.

94 Points - James Suckling
This has an attractive nose with fresh dark berries, grilled herbs, chocolate and wet stones. Hints of kirsch, too. Full-bodied with moderate sweetness and an array of fine, marble-polished tannins.

Product size: 750ml

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