A great tasting this morning: Christian Seely was in town showing off Noval Vintage Port and Noval Nacional, in paired vintages: 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011.
The observant among you will have noticed the presence of 2004 Nacional. It’s the second time I’ve tried this ‘secret’ Nacional, which has not been released commercially, and the first time I’ve been allowed to write about it. Christian keeps back some vintages, gets them authorised as Vintage Ports, and then sits on them to see whether or not they are really of the quality to be released as Nacional.
Because this is the thing: in some vintages when the Vintage Port is great, Nacional is ordinary. And the other way round. 1996, for example, there was no Vintage Port, but there was a Nacional. In 2007 there was a Vintage Port, but no Nacional.
It’s really worth hearing what Christian has to say about Nacional, in the following film:
Of the wines, the 2011 and 2003 Nacionals are as close to perfection as Port gets, I reckon. The other vintages aren’t too shabby either. Notes to follow.