x
  • Country ranking ?

    2
  • Producer ranking ?

    2
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040
  • Food Pairing

    enjoy without food

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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Parker 99 points: Amazingly, the importer still has tiny stocks of such legendary ports as the 1970, 1963, and 1962 Nacionals. In most vintages the production of Quinta do Noval Nacional is no more than 250-275 cases. The 1970,1963,1962 and 1994 are candidates to achieve perfect scores. The 1963 Nacional's opaque purple color is remarkable, looking more like a 1992 than a 33-year old port. The wine possessed a fabulously smoky, cassis, black-cherry, peppery nose. After thirty minutes in the glass, fruitcake notes and more evolved aromas emerged. This port is so concentrated it defies belief, with extraordinary balance, and, like its two siblings, well-integrated alcohol and tannin. The impression is one of a silky, succulent, voluptuously-textured mouthful of exceptionally extracted port. This is a legend in the making. In 30-40 years it may well be considered, along with the 1931, as one of the greatest ports ever produced. Those lucky few with a bottle or two should plan to hold onto them for another decade before pulling the cork. It, too, is a hundred-year port.

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The Story

QUINTA DO NOVAL NACIONAL

No other vintage port attracts more attention than Quinta do Noval’s Nacional and its collectability can be partly attributed to its tiny production. Only 200 - 300 cases are produced in a declared year. This represents a tiny percentage of Quinta do Noval’s production of vintage port (between 1,200 and 5,000 cases in each declared year). Nacional’s two and a half hectares of ungrafted vines are almost indistinguishable amongst the estate’s spectacular amphitheatre of immaculate, terraced vineyards, set high above the Pinhão Valley in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro.

“This wine is a mysterious phenomenon, a magical wine produced in extremely limited quantities and only in a few years each decade. It is the expression of a terroir and confirms something that is for me a deeply held belief. The Nacional is great because of the grapes and where they come from, not because of anything particular that we do. It has a unique personality, an extraordinary intensity and, even after many years of ageing, retains an astonishing youthfulness.” Christian Seely


The precise origin of Nacional remains unknown as most of the quinta’s records were destroyed in 1981 when a catastrophic fire swept through Noval’s headquarters in Vila Nova de Gaia. Most of Noval’s vineyards were severely damaged by phylloxera when it ravaged
the Douro region during the 1880’s and 1890’s.

Along with every other grower, António José da Silva (who bought the estate in 1894) began to replant his vineyards with American vines, grafting on vinifera types. It seems that da Silva selected a tiny parcel of the quinta’s vineyards and began extensive fumigation of the soil with a sulphur solution. The first Nacional vines were planted in 1925. The legendary quality of 1931 Nacional is even more
remarkable if one takes into account that many of the vines were between four and seven years old.


The vineyard
The estate of Quinta do Noval includes about 6,000 Nacional vines, with an average age of 30 years. Rows of Nacional alternate with rows of grafted vines in a section of the estatejust below the house, with an exceptional south west exposure. The vines are planted at a density of c. 2,000 vines per acre in traditional terraces with each vine having a space of approximately 3 x 4.5 feet. Like the rest of the estate, the soil of the Nacional plot is essentially infertile schist. It is high in potash with tiny amounts of nitrates, phosphates and organic matter. Although phylloxera is endemic, Nacional vines live just as long as grafted ones: 50 years or more. Their very existence remains a viticultural mystery and triumph. Most Nacional vines are widely acknowledged as some of the best grape varieties for Port:
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa and Tinto Cão, as well as Sousão.

What are the declared vintage years for Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional ?

2011, 2003, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1991, 1987, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1978, 1975, 1970, 

1967, 1966, 1964, 1963, 1962, 1960, 1958, 1955, 1950, 1945, 1934, 1931

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Vintage 1963

Declared by all the major Port houses, 1963 was a monumental vintage against which many others are now judged. Power, dimension and real character are all hallmarks of this most memorable vintage. And even after more than 45 years the best wines never fail to impress with their essential three components of fruit, tannin and elegance. 1963s almost always appear to be younger than they really are.

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Average Bottle Price

2018 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
5 877€ +69.5% 3 467€ +23.8% 2 801€ +13.2% 2 475€ +13.3% 2 184€ +4.5% 2 090€ +10.6% 1 890€ +41.0% 1 340€ +69.6% 790€ +19.9% 659€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Tasting note

color

Deep, Cherry Red and Dark

ending

Endless, Lingering and Extensive

flavors

Truffles, Bread, Cherry, Mineral, Chocolate and Perfumed

nose

Intense, Fresh, Generous and Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Warming, Medium tannin, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Complex, Developing, Full-bodied, Round, Focused, Vigor, Medium-Sweet and Silky tannins

Verdict

Masterpiece and Well made

Written Notes

Quinta do Noval made its reputation with the declaration of 1931 Nacional - arguably the most sensational Port of the 20th Century and certainly the most expensive. (It is also one of those rare wines that we have never honoured to taste.) Due to Great Depression and vast shipments of 27's, only three shippers declared 1931. Almost as legendary as 1931 is the 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional. Vasconcelos Porto, who ran the company for nearly three decades retired in 1963. Hewas responsible for an extensive programme of innovation, transforming the old narrow terraces into the wide whitewashed ones seen today, which allowed for better use of space and more exposure to the sun. His grandsons, Fernando and Luiz van Zeller, took over the company. Another extensive programme of modernisation was embarked upon, including new vinification equipment, new vine plantations and bottling the vast majority of wines in Vila Nova de Gaia (in 1963 only some 15% of Noval Ports were bottled there; fifteen years later the figure was 85%). The year 1963 began with a cold wintern with rain and snow. It began to dry out at the end of April. Weather was cold and rainy until the middle of June. Then July and August were just fine, with very dry weather. In September there was only some rain, and after 10th of September fine weather returned for the harvest. These two bottles were in decent conditions. One with label, one without. Bought from England. Decanted 2 hours. Very deep, youthful colour. Extremely rich, highly flavored and enormously intense on the nose, starting to open after one hour decanting into a superb wine. Full-bodied, with tons of black cherry, chocolaty and truffles flavors. Very powerful and complex wine, but also one of the most kindhearted and sensitive wine we have ever tasted – strange but so magical combination. A gentle giant of a wine with ethernal ending.
  • 100p
1963 I have rated as high as 99 points, was full of pepper, older yet feeling younger than the 1970. There was so much alcohol and heat there. Jim noted that indeed, the 1970 was 'giving the 1963 a run for its money, but the 1963 is immature.' It was a baby and the alcohol was buried in its wound up personality. The 1963 certainly had more potential, kapow and shazam, but on this day the 1970 outshone the '63 for me. Christian said, 'I love the '70, but in the presence of the '63 you see something extraordinary'
  • 96p

Wild nose. Drier and spicier than most vintage ports. Romany port! This builds gloriously on the palate. Rounds out on the end and wonderfully. Prunes and dried peel. Dried figs. Opened out. Vibrates. But it also has SO much potential. A magnificent monument.

  • 100p
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Information

Origin

Porto, Douro

Vintage Quality

Extraordinary

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

None

Glass time

5h

Drinking temperature

11

Inside Information

This is a wine that confirms something that is for me a deeply held belief. A wine is great because of the quality of the grapes, the character of the year and because of the place they come from. These things are far more important than anything we may do either in the vineyard or in the winery.We vinify the Nacional in the same way as the other grapes from the rest of the Quinta do Noval vineyard: foot treading in stone lagares, a simple if laborious procedure, and the result is always something very different for the Nacional wine compared with the wine from the rest of the Quinta. The Vintage Nacional is what it is because of the grapes and where they come from, not because of anything particular that we may do in the winery.

 

 

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