2012 Quinta do Noval

2012 Quinta do Noval

Product: 20128117018
Prices start from £397.00 per case Buying options
2012 Quinta do Noval

Description

The 2012 Vintage Port is revisited for a checkup. This is a blend of Touriga Nacional 70%, Touriga Franca 25 % and Tinto Co 5%, which was aged for 18 months in wood and comes in with just 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This has become more intense and more impressive, closing down a bit since I first saw it. It may not have quite the underlying concentration and focus of the 2011 (also reviewed), but it is a much fresher and more lifted Port, with fine fruit front-and-center. It simply seems more invigorating, more gloriously alive. I wouldn't be surprised if many like it better right now than the 2011--although that won't likely be the answer 25 years from now. It otherwise retains the style of all of Noval's wines here--elegant in the mid-palate, more focused on aging than lushness and sweetness. It certainly seems quite brilliant for the year. Originally, I was afraid I might have overrated it as it was so exuberant and showed so well nearer to release. Now, I'd be more likely to question whether I'm underrating it. It's never as obvious as some Big Boys and it probably is the third of the 2011-2012-2013 trilogy from Noval this issue (only by a hair), but it has its own virtues and plenty of them.
Mark Squires - 04/03/2016

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About this WINE

Quinta do Noval

Quinta do Noval

Quinta do Noval was first owned, for more than a century, by the Rebello Valente family who were given it by the Marquês do Pombal, Portugal’s Prime Minister. It was later owned by the Van Zeller family who had to rebuild following a catastrophic fire in 1981. Finally Quinta do Noval was sold to AXA insurance group in May 1993.

Quinta do Noval is one of the most evocative of names and the maker of the most famous of all Vintage Ports - Naçional.

The scourge of European vineyards in the late 19th century, the phylloxera aphid was thwarted at Noval's best vineyard by intense fumigation and, rather than grafting the vines on to American root-stocks, which was the usual practice, they managed to survive using Portuguese stock - hence "Naçional".

Noval made its reputation with the declaration of 1931. Due to world recession and vast shipment of 27’s, it was one of only three shippers declared in 1931. Noval introduced the first stenciled bottles and in 1958 the first house to introduce a Late Bottled Vintage.

The Quinta do Noval itself lies perfectly situated along a steep hillside in the heart of the Douro Valley where the vines flourish and produce the highest-grade fruit.

Noval today appears to be thriving under the ownership of insurance group AXA with Managing Director Christian Seely, ensuring that their Vintage Port remains one of the most sought-after wines. AXA is a group which already includes a string of leading Bordeaux châteaux.

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Vintage Port

Vintage Port

Vintage Port accounts for only a small percentage of the total Port production - which includes Tawny, Ruby, Late Bottled Vintage, Single Quinta Vintage styles, among others - but is the finest, longest-lived and most expensive style that is produced. The best are as good as any wine in existence.

With the exception of legendary vineyards like Quinta do Noval Nacional and Quinta do Vesuvio, Vintage Port is made from a blend of wines from a producer's finest plots. It is aged for around 18 months in wooden casks before bottling; from then on the watch-word is patience. At least 15 years ageing – and for the top wines it will be significantly longer – is required before the tannins, spirit and fruit are fully integrated. Indeed, the finest examples can last well over 50 years. 

Vintage Port is only made in exceptional years (normally around three times per decade) with considerable stylistic variation between different years and shippers. However, they all share a sweet, warming, spicy richness, power and complexity. In other good but not great vintages, many shippers produce a  Single Quinta Vintage Port from their finest vineyard. These are made in the same way and have the same style as Vintage Port but tend to mature faster and are less profound. All Vintage Port throws a sediment as it matures, and thus requires decanting.

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Port Blend

Port Blend

There are around 40 different grape varieties permitted in the production of Port - however the vast majority of Ports are produced from a blend of 5 grapes - Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão.

Touriga Nacional produces small, dark-skinned grapes that produce opaque black wines of great extract and high tannins - it gives grip, body, and structure to the blend.

Touriga Franca has a thinner skin and consequently produces wines lighter in colour and tannins than Touriga Nacional. It contributes fruit, aroma, suppleness and roundness.

Tinta Roriz is the Portuguese name for Tempranillo and its high sugar content and low acidity contribute colour and fruit.

Tinta Barroca which is normally grown at highish altitudes and on north-facing slopes, is prized for producing wines of delicacy, finesse and with smooth, velvety fruit. It brings elegance and sweet, ripe fruit to the final blend.

Finally Tinto Cão produces fine and complex wines, though it is probably the least important of the 5 grapes as its painfully small yields have reduced plantings to almost insignificant levels.

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Reviews

Customer reviews

Wine Advocate94/100
Jamie Goode94

Critic reviews

Wine Advocate94/100
The 2012 Vintage Port is revisited for a checkup. This is a blend of Touriga Nacional 70%, Touriga Franca 25 % and Tinto Co 5%, which was aged for 18 months in wood and comes in with just 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This has become more intense and more impressive, closing down a bit since I first saw it. It may not have quite the underlying concentration and focus of the 2011 (also reviewed), but it is a much fresher and more lifted Port, with fine fruit front-and-center. It simply seems more invigorating, more gloriously alive. I wouldn't be surprised if many like it better right now than the 2011--although that won't likely be the answer 25 years from now. It otherwise retains the style of all of Noval's wines here--elegant in the mid-palate, more focused on aging than lushness and sweetness. It certainly seems quite brilliant for the year. Originally, I was afraid I might have overrated it as it was so exuberant and showed so well nearer to release. Now, I'd be more likely to question whether I'm underrating it. It's never as obvious as some Big Boys and it probably is the third of the 2011-2012-2013 trilogy from Noval this issue (only by a hair), but it has its own virtues and plenty of them.
Mark Squires - 04/03/2016 Read more
Jamie Goode94
Vivid aromatic nose of pure black cherry and blackberry fruit, with lovely purity and some floral overtones. Quite classic. Concentrated, dark palate with ripe spicy black fruits and notes of chocolate, plums, cedar, olive and tar. Great purity of fruit and nice density. Should age beautifully in a linear direction.
Jamie Goode - wineanorak.com - July 2014

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