Wine Spectator 97
"Vibrant, with luscious yet elegant mineral-infused flavors of dark currant, ripe cherry, green fig and raspberry. Shows ample pepper notes, with the tannins offering plenty of muscle and grip on the long, silky finish. Complex and restrained. Best from 2022 through 2047."
Wine Advocate 94-96
“The 2011 Quinta do Noval has wonderful precision on the nose with blackberry, cassis, intriguing flinty notes and a whiff of smoke. It might not possess the power of the Naçional but it has freshness to spare. That comes through on the beautifully composed palate, which is underpinned by fine tannins that lend it a silky smooth mouthfeel. There is real intensity here, but it is very controlled with superb minerality on the finish. Excellent.”
Jancis Robinson 18.5
“Dark purplish crimson. Quite a claret-like build for a port. Dense and racy and wonderfully intense and compact. Very fine, firm tannins and dry rather than voluptuous on the finish. Intense, tense fruit. Dried herb flavours. But not a hint of dried fruit or raisins. Very sinewy and lively. Nothing remotely heavy about this. Really exciting wine.”
Wine Enthusiast 96
"A powerful, concentrated wine, full of dark tannins, ripe fruit and rich texture. This is a wine based on a solid structure - very firm in character while still allowing the gorgeous fruits to express themselves. It's obviously destined for long-term aging."
Quinta do NovalView all from Quinta do Noval
One of the oldest port houses, Quinta do Noval is also arguably the greatest. It is unique among top port houses in that most of the ports are made from estate-grown fruit and, notably, all of the vintage Noval wines are from the single Quinta do Noval vineyard. In addition, it is difficult to elaborate on Quinta do Noval without mentioning Nacional, the legendary port made from a 6 acre parcel of ungrafted vines. When declared, only 200-300 cases of Nacional will be made, and instantly become the most sought after port in the world. Many vintages of Nacional are considered as the finest ports, and some of the finest wines, ever made.
Noval is mentioned in land registries going back to 1715, and has been sold just twice in that time, once in the late 19th century, and to its present owners in 1993. Noval has, however, a reputation for being an innovative, independent producer. Noval's focus on its vineyard and estate ports distinguishes it, but there are numerous other areas in which it has been a pioneer:
– Quinta do Noval was the first to introduce blended tawnies with an indication of average age.
– Noval introduced the first late-bottled vintage port, in 1958.-
– In response to a change in shipping laws in 1986, Noval became the first major port house to age, blend and store all its wines at its Quinta, in the Douro.
In 1994 Noval once again made a bold statement, by beginning a massive program of improvements, while re-committing to the traditional, and best, methods of port production. Namely:
– 60% of the estate's vineyards were taken out, and the terraces were rebuilt and replanted with the best quality grape varieties.
– A new winery, warehouse and bottling facility were built, and the lodge (warehouse) at the Quinta was greatly improved.
– All grapes harvested at the estate are crushed by foot, in lagares that have been made smaller and modified to better control individual lots.
The astonishing terraced vineyards of Noval, perched above the Douro and Pinhao rivers, are an infertile schist, and not soil as much as sheer rock. The elevation of the vineyards goes from just above river level to 1,200 feet, with density at about 2,000 vines per acre, and vines producing on average 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. The tremendous rewards of the work done at the estate over the last fifteen years are visible across the range of Noval ports, and have placed Noval a step ahead of everyone in the Douro.