2019 Quinta do Noval, Port, Portugal

2019 Quinta do Noval, Port, Portugal

Product: 20198117018
 
2019 Quinta do Noval, Port, Portugal

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Description

2019 marks Quinta do Noval’s ninth classic Vintage Port bottling in a row. Quinta do Noval can release in consecutive years due to their striking 145-hectare vineyard, perfectly situated along a steep hillside in the heart of the Douro. Different parcels give them lots of varying characteristics, altitudes, and varieties, which means in any given year they can select the very best parcels. Hence so many splendid, consecutive, declarations.

The nose shifts from one aroma to the next, the glass swirling with enticing fruit. There’s an abundance of flavour, with notes of confected blackcurrant, Parma violets, clove, thyme and blueberry jam. This is a wine of symmetry and balance, utterly silky and harmonious. It brings to my mind’s eye a dark fruit salad, seasoned with a dash of sea salt and coarse black pepper, served with a side of liquorice. Sampling this is a joy; it will develop into one of the greats. Drink 2035-2080.

Joshua Friend, Private Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (Aug 2021)

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate97/100

The 2019 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for 18 months in old wood vats. It was bottled May 4, 2021, and has 100 grams of residual sugar. It was in bottle only a bit more than two months when tasted, but it seems quite brilliant, even so. Very concentrated, it adds controlled power and coats the palate. Tasted with some other 2019s, this certainly stood out for both concentration and power. It touches all the bases in terms of expressive fruit and structure, finishing dry and seriously. It seemed balanced enough to drink young, but that would be a mistake. For one thing, it steadily tightened as it aired out. It also increasingly showed gorgeous eucalyptus-laced aromatics. Two days later, it was notably more astringent. Four days later, it was very firm on the finish and better overall. In fact, that was a far better showing than on day one. This is plainly built for the long haul. I would expect nothing less from a fine Noval Vintage Port. It became more focused and precise as well. This needs the rest of this decade, at least, in the cellar to show better. Then it will develop well for decades and hold indefinitely. Frankly, it won't show everything it has in even 10 years, where I have the "start drinking" window, so if you have a lot more patience, that would be useful. It will be more interesting around 2035-2040. This is a powerful beauty, well justifying Noval's tendency to declare most every year.

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (Jul 2021)

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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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