A mini vertical of Noval Vintage Port

douro portugal

A mini vertical of Noval Vintage Port

quinta do noval port

Had a chance to try four vintages of Noval side by side. Sadly, this was tasting not drinking – and usually, tasting notes made in the act of drinking have more value than those made from just tasting – but it was nice to revisit these wines. Some comments. First, the Silval 2005! This is a sensational wine, and it’s definitely Vintage Port quality, but this wasn’t a declared year for Noval. Smart Port consumers benefit from years like this, when the wine quality is there but the declaration didn’t follow. Second, 2012 and 2013 are lovely wines. Eccentric declarations, yes – but they aren’t a million miles away from the 2011. As most readers will know, 2011 is turning into a bit of a mythical vintage for Port. It was a really good year: a very hot end to summer, but just enough rain to stop it being a problem. Sorry the scores are all pretty similar, but these are just so lovely it’s hard to separate them.

Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Port 2005 Douro, Portugal
Lovely presence here: fresh and floral with lovely red cherries, notes of leather, herbs and spice, and appealing liqouricey complexity. It’s fresh and fruit driven with good structure. Pure and pretty, this is a beautiful wine. 95/100

Quinta de Noval Vintage Port 2011 Douro, Portugal
Very floral, fresh and detailed with firmly structured black cherry and red berry fruits. Lovely structure and presence here: this is almost a complete wine. 95/100

Quinta de Noval Vintage Port 2012 Douro, Portugal
Beautiful floral detail on the nose, which shows fresh, pretty cherry and berry fruits. The palate is structure with finesse and purity to the fruit. Another beautiful effort from Noval. 94/100

Quinta de Noval Vintage Port 2013 Douro, Portugal
Very floral aromatics. Fresh and vivid with nicely textured black cherry fruit. Warm and spicy in the mouth, this is a rich wine with lovely soft texture, even though you just know that tannins are lurking underneath, as evidenced by a slightly grippy finish. 94/100

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