It’s worth noting that The Wine Advocate rated the “straight” 2016 Quinta do Noval identically (97) to the “Nacional” wine, which he called “stunning from the first smell, promising concentration, intensity of fruit and great things to come. It had a 100-point nose that made me go "wow!" No wine I tasted had a better nose than this. Violets and blue fruits lead off, with a trace of eucalyptus.” TOWERING Port for the long term.
An ultra rare wine only made in small quantities in special years, the 2004 Quinta do Noval is a pleasure few get to experience. The Wine Advocate says “The 2004 Quinta do Noval Nacional has a show-stopping bouquet that is cut from a completely different cloth than the 2004 Vintage. This is far more extravagant and decadent, with kirsch, camphor, incense and crushed violets exploding from the glass. You might think it was some super Barossa Syrah if you nosed it blind. The palate is intense with penetrating, citrus-fresh black currant and dark-plum fruit. It is has lovely caressing, slightly grainy textured, well-judged acidity and a composed, elegant finish. This is pure class, a hedonistic Nacional surfeit with swagger and style. Drink 2020-2050.”
The 2016 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is a blend of Touriga Naçional, Touriga Franc, Tinta Cão and Sousão, all foot-trodden and aged in wooden casks for 18 months. It has a voluminous, warm and inviting bouquet that positively “bulges” with damson, bilberry, crushed violets and blackcurrants, all beautifully defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with a feisty, spicy opening: black fruit laced with cracked black pepper, clove, cardamom and a pinch of sea salt. Whilst the aromatics have all the “fun”, the palate is more “serious”, as if compensating for the nose with a sense of reserve and restraint. Together they make for a fascinating, quite mercurial Quinta do Noval that should age gloriously over the next 30 years.
This is a superb baby Noval that reminds me of the 1966. Chewy yet so polished. The light sweetness suggests an overall dialing back of the sugar content. Stemmy and lightly green. A truly classic Noval. Almost all from Pinhao. Buy. Better in 2025.