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97 pts Robert Parker - Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional develops at its own pace. After bottling it continues to progress and the benefits of time have revealed the full glory of this year. After several years in the bottle it has proved to live up to the standards of excellence which have made this such a renowned Port. A deep ruby red in colour, Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional 2004 reveals aromas of blackberry, violet and liquorice on the nose. This powerful wine develops notes of ripe, concentrated fruit and delicate, harmonious tannins which burst onto the palate for a long, intense finish.
A small area at the heart of the Quinta do Noval vineyard planted with ungrafted vines and untouched by phylloxera. The word "Nacional" refers to the fact that the vines are Portuguese vines growing in Portuguese soil with no foreign root stock, and are therefore "attached to the soil of the Nation". 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.
Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional is a wine that is simply perfect for drinking on its own, at a special moment in time.
Recommended to separate the sediment.
This cellar wine will mature over the years and develop a complex variety of aromas. You can also enjoy it when young to taste the intensity of its fruit. It is best drunk 5 to 50 years after bottling.
AFTER OPENING Drink within 48 hours.
The Nacional is a unique and extraordinary phenomenon. It does not necessarily follow the same rhythm as the rest of the Quinta do Noval. In some years a great Nacional is produced when Noval does not even declare the Quinta do Noval Vintage. In others, Quinta do Noval makes a great Vintage Port, and the Nacional does not perform. And then there are years, like the 2011 when both the Nacional and the rest of the Quinta do Noval vineyard produce outstanding, but quite different Vintage Ports.
97 points - "...This is pure class, a hedonistic Nacional surfeit
with swagger and style."
NM, April 2014
- CH'NG Poh Tiong
"...A monument of a wine. Deserves all six stars. (...)"
The Grape Vine, 2014
18+ - "...showing already elegance and poise" richardmayson.com
RM, April 2014
17,5 points - jancisrobinson.com
JR, Dec. 2013
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 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
Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional develops at its own pace. After bottling it continues to progress and the benefits of time have revealed the full glory of this year. After several years in the bottle it has proved to live up to the standards of excellence which have made this such a renowned Port. A deep ruby red in colour, Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional 2004 reveals aromas of blackberry, violet and liquorice on the nose. This powerful wine develops notes of ripe, concentrated fruit and delicate, harmonious tannins which burst onto the palate for a long, intense finish.
At Noval the bud burst occurred mid-March followed by a quick flowering in the end of May due to high temperatures and lack of precipitation. The beginning of maturation occurred early July, still without any precipitation and with high temperatures.
The maturation was marked by an initial period of very hot and dry weather that preceded August 15th. It was then slowed by cooler temperatures and rain in the second half of August. After this period, with a very hot September and again with the help of two days of rain, maturation exploded in the second half of the month to reach very high degrees in sugar content well above 20o!
The harvest took place on September 20th until October 20th in glorious sun, with the exception of two days of rain towards the end. In general terms, the health conditions of the vintage were excellent which helped the essential sorting of the grapes.
"Deep dark ruby with wild blackberries, violets and liquorice on the nose. Full-bodied with layers of concentrated ripe fruit flavours and tons of fine tannins exploding in the mouth in total harmony. A very long and powerful finish."
António Agrellos, Technical Director - September 2013