x
  • Country ranking ?

    29
  • Producer ranking ?

    10
  • Decanting time

    6h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Stilton or Gorgonzola

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 50 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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20 pts Jancis Robinson - There’s an earthy, spicy savouriness to the dark fruits nose, which makes it seem a bit backward. The palate has a minty edge to the fruit. Very focused and fresh with good structure. Not as alluring or elegant as the Vintage Port, but quite different with tight structure.

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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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Wine Information

The declared vintage years for Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional
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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Average Bottle Price

2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000
921€ +9.3% 843€ +11.7% 755€ +32.7% 569€ +12.9% 504€ -21.9% 645€

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.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long and Spicy

flavors

Blackberry, Licorice and Coffee

nose

Intense, Complex and Ripe

recommend

Yes

taste

Well-Integrated, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Firm, Rich and Ripe

Written Notes

Noval Nacional 1997/ Winter began very cold in 1997 and snow covered the whole Quinta for some time. This hadn't happened in more than three decades. In February and March temperatures were very hot, rising to 29 degrees Celsius. Blooming occurred a month earlier than in 1996, with the temperature above 20 degrees and almost no rain. This provided excellent conditions for good maturation. The rain compensated for the lack of water in the soil in April and May. The below average temperatures reached normal levels by the end of June. Ripeness became excellent due to the hot days and night breezes in August and September. It sounds unreal but after tasting this extraordinary wine several times, it offers something indescribably superior to the other tremendous vintages such as 1931, 1963, 1970, and 1994. Very intense, deep purple colour. Rich spicy nose with incredible depth and concentration. Aromas of liquorice, coffee and ripe blackberries. Sweet full-bodied taste with intense dark fruit flavours and a very silky but firm tannic structure. Wine is in perfect balance with moderately high acidity and well-integrated high level of alcohol. Overall fleshy wine with superb balance and length. Drinking amazingly well already now but is saving its best for decades to come. Only 1200 cases were made.
  • 94p

Even more saturated dark ruby. Even riper but much more reticent aromas of dark berries, maple syrup and black licorice. Superripe and voluptuous in the mouth, with impressively deep, lush fruit of uncanny purity. Complicating notes of graphite, flowers and minerals. Thick but bright. Finishes with big, ripe tannins, great persistence and a very late burst of black cherry flavor. As with the outstanding '94 bottling, this wine's extraordinarily pure, deep fruit is partly hiding its underlying structure.

  • 97p

Exceptionally dark and intense crimson. Super dramatic and attention grabbing. Lots of sweetness and density. Liquorice and sort of tar toffee! You could enjoy this already even if it is clearly immortal. Almost. Wonderful texture with the sweetness, acidity and tannin all in beautiful balance. Cumin scented and dramatic.

  • 96p

VINTAGE PORT NACIONAL 1997 – This is presumably the Nacional with the overall highest scores and with reason: Opaque, deep violet-red colour. Full and complex bouquet with chocolate, tobacco, cherry and cassis. Intense, but balanced on the palate with great support from tannins and acidity, still some primary red-berry fruit with spicy notes. Complex aftertaste with a lot of finesse. 20 Now - 2100

  • 100p
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Information

Origin

Porto, Douro

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Excellent

Fake factory

None

Glass time

3h

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #126
Jan 2000
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: 2007 - 2040 $1000-$3013 (500)
The 1997 Nacional is a legend from this pre-phylloxera vineyard. The color is a saturated black/purple. The nose reveals floral scents intermixed with coffee, blackberries, tar, cassis, licorice, and chocolate. Extremely full-bodied, but less massive and seamless, this spectacular Nacional will reach its plateau of maturity quickly, where it will remain for 2-3 decades. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2040.
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Highlights

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