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Christian Seely, Managing Director of Quinta do Noval, comments Vintage 2017:
“I am very happy to be able to announce the declaration of the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2017 and the Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2017. I consider these wines to be among the best that I have known during my time at Quinta do Noval. The decision to declare them was a very easy one. As is well known, at Quinta do Noval, we do not hesitate to make small declarations of our Vintage Ports even in years which are not being generally declared, provided that the quality is excellent. But the 2017 is clearly an exceptional year which I believe will be remembered as one of the historic Vintage Port declarations of Quinta do Noval. The Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017 is I am sure a very great wine, and one for which the entire Noval team is very proud to have been responsible. I am both proud and happy to have been here when this wine was made. The growing season was dry and hot, both during spring and summer, with historically low rainfall and prolonged hot spells during the summer, particularly in June. Volumes were relatively low, and ripeness came early. Our harvest began in August and was finished before the end of September. The wines are characterised by an exuberant ripeness, with remarkable aromatic intensity, profound fruit and strong velvety tannins. These are great, very seductive Vintage Ports, hugely enjoyable to taste now, but clearly with immense ageing potential. Perhaps among the best we will ever see.”
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.
THE 2017 VINTAGE
2017 was characterised by a cold, dry winter followed by an exceptionally hot and dry spring and summer. Apart from heavy rainfall (25 mm) on 6 July at Quinta do Noval, only 300 mm of rain fell since November 2016. June was the hottest month since 1980, with temperatures reaching 42-44°C in the Douro Valley during a heat wave lasting from 7 to 24 June. Due to these extreme weather conditions, all phases of the vine’s growth were 15 to 20 days early compared to 2016. The vines weathered the shortage of water and the high temperatures well. At the end of August the harvest looked very promising, with excellent sanitary conditions. Harvest started much earlier than usual due to the weather: from 17 August for the white wines and 21 August for the reds and the Ports, lasting until 28 September, with high temperatures and a total absence of rain.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão, Tinta Roriz
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.
Alcohol: 19.5 %
Residual sugar: 99 g/dm³
Total acidity: 4.92 g/dm³ Ph: 3.51
SERVING TEMPERATURE: 15ºC-17ºC