x
  • Country ranking ?

    33
  • Producer ranking ?

    12
  • Decanting time

    6-8h
  • When to drink

    2026-2050
  • Food Pairing

    Salty cheeses & blue cheese

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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This is a superb baby Noval that reminds me of the 1966. Chewy yet so polished. The light sweetness suggests an overall dialing back of the sugar content. Stemmy and lightly green. A truly classic Noval. Almost all from Pinhao. Buy. Better in 2025." 
98 Points James Suckling

98 pts Wine Spectator - Very seductive. Lovely fresh floral notes on the nose, many delicate complex aromas. Violets. Wonderful purity and fresh precision of fruit. Intense concentration, but delicate at the same time. Fine long tannins.

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The Story

As always this 100% single-quinta wine is drawn from Noval’s own vines. There are three core parcels, all near the winery—the terraces directly surrounding the winery in Pinhão, the vines in the Roncão Valley and a parcel overlooking the Douro River.  Each year, the blending proportions for the Vintage Port will vary depending on the vagaries of the vineyard.

THE SUPREME EXPRESSION OF THE TERROIR OF QUINTA DO NOVAL 

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is characterised by its purity of fruit and a fine, delicate quality that is typical of the wines of the property in general, but which finds its most remarkable and enduring expression in the Vintage Ports. Equilibrium, harmony, finesse and elegance characterise our great Vintage Ports, which are declared only when we are certain that the year has produced a blend, however small, that is worthy of bearing the name of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port.

Noval follows its own path in its approach to Vintage Port. If we believe that we have wines of the quality and personality to join the ranks of the Quinta do Noval Vintage Ports of previous years, we will bottle it and declare it, even if this means declaring several years in a row, and even if it means, as is often the case, bottling only a few hundred cases of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, representing a tiny percentage of the total production of the Quinta.

Of course, in very great years, when there is unanimity among Port producers, and a General Declaration results, Quinta do Noval will declare its wine also, and perhaps with a little more wine than usual. But whatever the year, the standards of selection in the Noval tasting room are extremely rigorous, and even in the more generous years volumes of our Vintage Ports are always extremely small: at the very most, less than 20% of the production of our great vineyard terroir.

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Wine Information

GRAPE VARIETIES: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão.

WINES ANALYSES
Alcohol: 19,5% vol
Residual sugar: 94 g/l
Total Acidity: 4,4 g/l
Ph: 3,63

VINIFICATION:  Grapes are trodden by foot to obtain the must, then during fermentation macerate to obtain the best possible extraction in the lagares, the traditional stone vats from the Quinta.

MATURING: It is matured for 18 months in wooden casks in the air- conditioned cellars of the Quinta, at the demarcated region of the Douro Valley before bottling.

 

2016 was a year of extremes: a warm winter with high rainfall, at 618 mm twice as much as in an average year. After a wet spring, summer was very hot and dry, with some peaks of heat in August and September. By the end of August, the harvest looked extremely good, in excellent sanitary condition, but ripening began to slow down due to the very hot and dry conditions. Fortunately 17 mm of much needed rain fell on 13th September, and maturation continued in ideal conditions from this point onwards. The main part of the harvest began on 19th September in dry and sunny weather, and the fruit continued to ripen throughout the harvest period. We were able to harvest each plot in ideal conditions as ripening continued. In spite of the unusual and extreme climatic conditions of the year, the end result is of an excellent quality. The Port wines are exceptional, with excellent structure, very intense bright fruit, and aromatically very expressive.

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Vintage 2016

The 2016 harvest in the Douro brought perfectly-timed rain that turned a good year into a great one. Fortunately, despite a challenging growing season and a much adjusted and delayed picking schedule, those producers with excellent vineyard knowledge and confident decision-making, were rewarded with spectacular Vintage Ports.

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Written Notes

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016 / This has always been one of my favourite Houses. It was the first producer I visited in the Douro, back in the days when the van Zellers still ruled. Older examples of their VPs (though curiously, not always older examples of their Nacional) have always look good to me, and the legendary 1931 more than lived up to its fame, a few years ago, and remains the greatest port I've seen (110/100?). My ‘research’ leading up to tasting all these 16s suggested that I could expect the Noval to sit with the very best. I never doubted it would be anything other. I had seen one review which was positive but hardly a rave, though it was certainly nothing to set off the alarm bells.

That is why this came as a bit of a surprise. My ultimate score was 95, which by any standards is more than decent, but given its reputation and the vintage, I expected better. No question, very good, but it did not have the excitement level that transcends the very best of the vintage. The colour appeared slightly redder than most of the opaque samples I saw. There were lovely fragrances of florals and red fruits, leather and spices. It was certainly more elegant than many, and nothing wrong with that, and it will surely age well for a long time. It just did not flick the switch in the way others did. All that said, it was still a really good young VP. 95.

Sadly, the Noval people chose not to show their Nacional 2016, but when there are a total of just 170 cases for the entire world, that is understandable.

  • 95p

Offers a decadently fruity aroma, with peppery accents to the cherry, raspberry and dark currant flavors that are lithe and juicy. Grippy tannins grace the mocha- and chocolate-infused finish.

  • 96p

The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão, aged for 18 months in old wood. It comes in with 82 grams of residual sugar. This was in bottle for only about seven weeks when seen, but I made sure at least some of it had a lot of air. It looks super, with plenty of room to grow in the cellar. Christian Seely likes to say that this regular Noval and the Nacional are not better than one another, just different. In fact, I usually prefer Nacional, but in this vintage I make a case for equality and endorse that view. This was stunning from the first smell, promising concentration, intensity of fruit and great things to come. It had a 100-point nose that made me go "wow!" No wine I tasted had a better nose than this. Violets and blue fruits lead off, with a trace of eucalyptus. I tend to think Noval is a producer that always shows mid-palate finesse, but this seems pretty deep too. It is also intense. The tannins won't sear your mouth because the balance is impeccable. To be sure, it might close down, but it is surprisingly approachable now, notwithstanding that intensity. Rest assured that this lively young Porto still has all the materials to make old bones. Needless to say, "approachable" does not mean "ready." You need to toss this in the cellar for a decade, at least. Purists will say to double that or more. When the palate becomes as expressive as the nose—if it does—this will be entitled to an uptick. No pricing was set yet.

The mini-vertical this issue preceded the 2016s. Of course, even the "old" wines here are only as old as the 2011—not much for Vintage Port of this quality.

  • 97p

The 2016 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is a blend of Touriga Naçional, Touriga Franc, Tinta Cão and Sousão, all foot-trodden and aged in wooden casks for 18 months. It has a voluminous, warm and inviting bouquet that positively “bulges” with damson, bilberry, crushed violets and blackcurrants, all beautifully defined and focused. The palate is medium-bodied with a feisty, spicy opening: black fruit laced with cracked black pepper, clove, cardamom and a pinch of sea salt. Whilst the aromatics have all the “fun”, the palate is more “serious”, as if compensating for the nose with a sense of reserve and restraint. Together they make for a fascinating, quite mercurial Quinta do Noval that should age gloriously over the next 30 years.

  • 94p

Ruby. Dark fruity, blueberries, some spices nose. Rich and dark fruity, scented. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruity, spices, anise, liquorice, detailed, nuanced and long. 95

  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Porto, Douro

Drinking temperature

15-17C

Inside Information

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is produced exclusively from selected plots at the Quinta, and only declared in exceptional years. Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cao, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz and Sousao are the grape varieties, all trodden by foot in the lagares at Quinta do Noval. The wine is aged around 20 months in old oak barrels of 640 liters or larger. Intensely powerful and concentrated, this port is perfectly adapted to age in bottle, and has the capacity to mature gracefully over decades.

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