Quinta do Noval, ‘Nacional’ Vintage Port 2016

(75cl)

SKU: PONO0116A

About the wine

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Description

2016 was a year of extremes: a warm winter with high rainfall, at 618 mm twice as much as in an average year. After a wet spring, summer was very hot and dry, with some peaks of heat in August and September.By the end of August, the harvest looked extremely good, in excellent sanitary condition, but ripening began to slow down due to the very hot and dry conditions.Fortunately 17 mm of much needed rain fell on 13th September, and maturation continued in ideal conditions from this point onwards. The main part of the harvest began on 19th September in dry and sunny weather, and the fruit continued to ripen throughout the harvest period. We were able to harvest each plot in ideal conditions as ripening continued.In spite of the unusual and extreme climatic conditions of the year, the end result is of an excellent quality. The wines are balanced and fresh, with great structure, very intense bright fruit and aromatically very expressive. The Nacional as usual has a personality all of its own, considerably more reserved than the Quinta do Noval, with a brooding powerful tannic structure that promises very long and great ageing potential. The wine is made in the same way as all the other grapes from the Quinta do Noval vineyard. Grapes are trodden by foot to obtain the must, then during fermentation macerate to obtain the best possible extraction in the lagares, the traditional stone vats from the Quinta. It was matured for 18 months in wooden barrels in the air- conditioned cellars of the Quinta, at the demarcated region of the Douro Valley before bottling.

Tasting note

In spite of the unusual and extreme climatic conditions of the year, the end result is of an excellent quality. The wines are balanced and fresh, with great structure, very intense bright fruit and aromatically very expressive. The Nacional as usual has a personality all of its own, considerably more reserved than the Quinta do Noval, with a brooding powerful tannic structure that promises very long and great ageing potential.

About the producer

Lying in the heart of the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal, Quinta do Noval has been producing some of the world’s most highly sought after Vintage Ports since 1715. Winemaker Christian Seely has dreamt for years of making top quality unfortified red wines, which express the unique terroir of Noval’s steep sloping vineyards. He has finally achieved his dream, one of which is the excellent Cedro do Noval.



Jancis Robinson (Purple Pages jancisrobinson.com):

Not all that blue; very dark concentrated crimson. Very rich and sweet with the rich, spicy aromas of the biscuits that used to be called gypsy creams. Broad, luscious nose. Rather complex and very dry on the finish. Massive tannins! No attempt to smooth or craft this wine. Very dense and wild. Though fresh on the end with just a suggestion of the heat of spirit. Wild and almost raw at this point. Points: 18. Date Tasted: 17/05/2018

Robert Parker Wine Advocate (robertparker.com):

The 2016 Vintage Port "Nacional" is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz, aged for 18 months in old wood. It comes in at 85 grams of residual sugar and was bottled April 13, 2018. This is plainly more intense than the regular Noval (not unusual), but that's not the most impressive feature. It is more impressive for the lifted fruit than the power. The fruit is carefully defined, precisely carved out of the mid-palate slab. The silky texture gives this a different demeanor than the regular Noval too, while the beautiful fruit has a different flavor profile. It is more red fruits than blue—it has far less Touriga Nacional, said winemaker Carlos Agrellos. It has more bright flavors like raspberries than plums. It adds that tannic pop and wonderful balance too. It is still oddly approachable—if you're a masochist, of course, and for the moment. It will be intriguing to see how this develops. It should close down pretty hard. Then, it will age gracefully for decades. Will it make people forget about that amazing nose on the regular Noval? Time will tell. No pricing was set in the USA as of this writing. (Mark Squires) Points: 97. Issue Date: 19/07/2018

Decanter Magazine (decanter.com):

Very deep and opaque, this shows tight-knit berry fruit on the nose. It's demure, firm and foursquare yet suave and seamless on the palate. A fresh streak of acidity with fine-grained, linear tannins leads to a powerful, structured finish. This is seemingly drier than the straight Noval 2016. Just 200 cases declared. (Tasted by Richard Mayson) Points: 99. Date Tasted: 01/11/2018

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