Quinta do Noval Quinta do Noval 2017 Vintage Port Nacional Gift Box
Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Touriga Nacional, Sousão, Tinta Roriz | Alc: 19.5%
Douro Valley, Portugal
Noval 2017 Vintage Port Nacional is a glorious unicorn among the amazing vintage that is 2017.
The name “Nacional” refers to the Portuguese vines growing on native soils with no foreign root stock; they are therefore “attached to the soil of the Nation.” The survival of the tiny parcel (6 acres) of legendary ungrafted vines, untouched by phylloxera is a mystery and the National is a unique and extraordinary phenomenon that does not necessarily follow the same rhythm as the rest of the Quinta do Noval. Nacional is every port lover’s fantasy and this great wine is a source of pride to the people of Portugal and at its best the finest expression of the extraordinary terroir of Quinta do Noval.
The Nacional parcel is planted with a mix of the noble grape varieties of the Douro, principally Touriga Franca; Tinto Cão; Touriga Nacional; Sousão and Tinta Roriz. As a vine dies, it is replanted from the cuttings of another vine in the vineyard.
“The 2017 Vintage Port Nacional is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz, aged for 18 months in old wood. It comes in at 99 grams of residual sugar and was bottled about a month before this tasting after 18 months in wooden vats. In 2016, I might’ve made an argument that the regular Noval was better. In this vintage, this seems to be a clear choice, granting that Ports change constantly in their youth. Its siblings at all levels in the last few vintages are very fine, but this is an indisputable benchmark that seems to better them all. Rich and vibrant, this has plenty of stuffing and flavor, more than the regular Noval. Then, it adds layer after layer of power. A couple of hours of air makes both the flavors and tannins more intense. It is simply gripping—yet also remarkably fresh. It’s a great Noval, and one of the shortlist candidates for “Wine of the Vintage.” There were 200 cases produced.” 100 Pts – Wine Advocate
“This features dense black currant, fig and plum paste flavors that flow slowly but steadily while warm earth, baker’s chocolate, tar and singed mesquite accents course underneath. The finish is riveted by graphite bolts as the fruit builds and fans out, with the structure working in unison all the way. Like a Richard Serra sculpture, this is massive yet clearly defined. A stunning wine. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz. Best from 2035 through 2070.” 99 Pts – Wine Spectator
“This is a beautiful, floral wine produced from a small parcel of ungrafted vines. Ripe with layered black fruits as well as rich, dry tannins, it offers loads of spice and concentrated jammy berry fruit flavors. Drink from 2030.” 99 Pts – Wine Enthusiast
“The 2017 Vintage Port Nacional is similarly colored to the classic release, but it’s slightly more muscular and meaty, with powerful notes of black plums, melted licorice, menthol, distilled herbs, and coffee. As with the classic cuvée, it’s one of those ports that has incredible power and richness, yet somehow stays light on its feet, fresh, elegant, and weightless. Flawlessly balanced, pure, and straight-up sensational, this magical port is going to round into form with another decade of cellaring and keep for another 40-50 years.” 99 Pts – Jeb Dunnuck
“Noval’s two rows of vines, planted on their own roots—“nacional” rather than American—date to the 1920s, a mixed planting with a significant proportion of souzão. Rather than following the vintage character of any particular year, Nacional often stands apart. In 2017, it’s an aristocratic Port, light bodied and elegant, with a stamina that seems to rise out of the scents of flower petals and savory spice. Or it may be in its endless details, which defy any specific description other than vinous, or, in the case of their length, insane. Responding to the vintage with a different interpretation of greatness, this is likely to live as long as the bigger wines, with its own remarkable grace.” 98 Pts – Wine & Spirits
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