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Quinta do Noval: The Stellar 2020 Vintage Ports, the Remarkable Colheita Tawnies (and more)

Quinta do Noval: The Stellar 2020 Vintage Ports, the Remarkable Colheita Tawnies (and more)

“Noval has been on fire lately and reasserted its position as one of the Douro’s finest Port Houses, setting its own agenda regarding Declarations.” Neal Martin, Vinous

“What an Estate,” Jancis Robinson MW

“The last time I saw Noval's age-indicated tawnies, I was very impressed. Nothing has changed my mind. These are among my favorites—concentrated, classic and focused.” Mark Squires, The Wine Advocate

We first started working with Noval in 2008. Before then, Rob had visited the estate on two occasions and still recounts that he had to work very hard to convince Christian Seely that the then-young Bibendum Wine Co. would be the right partner for Noval in Australia. Bibendum was not the only suitor! What lured Rob to Quinta do Noval in the first place was the promise of the estate’s iconic Nacional, one of the world’s greatest wines. In particular, it was the 1963 vintage, an oft-cited wine landmark of the 20th century. What he may not have been expecting was the sheer breadth of quality and class to be found flowing through the entire range, an inimitable style that manifests in wines of remarkable balance, finesse, purity and fruit freshness.

All these years later, Noval is still a Port producer like no other. Or should we say Port grower? Unlike the other famous names of Port, Noval is a single estate (or Quinta) and governs every step of production from vine to bottle. This is an obvious benefit for Noval, and one taken full advantage of: from the style of terracing (introduced at the end of the nineteenth century) through to the extensive replanting program in the ‘90s when 60% of the vineyards were replaced with premium vine material. And, of course, the cellar is also run with meticulous precision by Carlos Agrellos (the nephew of legendary cellarmaster António Agrellos (who retired at the end of 2017).

Today’s offer comprises the most exciting and comprehensive Noval release we have yet shipped to Australia. Firstly, the two limited-production 2020 Vintage Ports are extraordinarily perfumed and profound releases, undoubtedly some of the most powerful and sensual young wines Noval has released for some time. Seely describes the expression as “extremely rich and powerful, voluminous, sensual, with great density” and a tannic structure that is “immense, but with remarkable finesse”. The Nacional (which was unusually harvested in a single day in 2020) is frankly jaw-dropping. It edges a close race with the VP, a wine already purring with class. We’re equally excited to offer a range of back vintages—of both the Vintage Port and Nacional—which Noval has released to support the recent visit of David Betti to Australia. Port lovers will spot several key vintages (including 2003, a cracking year also notable for its exceptionally high percentage of Touriga Nacional). Quantities of these wines are rather limited.

Notable for their complexity of flavour, lacy textures and surprising freshness, Noval’s Tawny Ports already enjoy a terrific reputation in Australia. We can now offer the estate’s benchmark Colheitas, the vintage-dated Tawny Ports. Noval only produces these rare wines in years considered conducive to the style and then ages the wines (at least) twice as long as the mandatory minimum. The current release is 2007, and we have also got our hands on some older stocks dating back to 1995. Despite the extended time in the barrel, these wines deliver impeccable freshness and focus to accompany their intricate complexity and sublime drinking pleasure.

The Wines

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