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This is a ripe and fruity yet strucutred wine that has amazing aging potential. It offers a strongly floral element that contrasts with the tense, mineral texture and dense tannins. It is an immensely concentrated wine that will not be ready until 2029. ROGER VOSSWine Enthusiast | 99 WEThe 2016 Quinta do Noval Naçional Vintage Port comes (of course) from the famous parcel of ungrafted vines. Comparing it side by side, the Naçional does not have the immediacy of the regular Noval. It is darker, more introspective, more complex and beguiling, the black fruit complemented by subtle desiccated orange and marmalade aromas. What strikes first on the palate is the fineness of the tannins. This is utterly harmonious, silky in terms of texture, and extraordinarily cohesive. You don’t know whether to drink this or stroke it. It is an understated Naçional that almost deceives you into thinking that there is not power, but that crashes across the senses in the final third and on the aftertaste. It is a Naçional with a latent effect, its virtues becoming apparent not during but after imbibing. It is a quite profound Port, even though at this juncture you are just reading the first couple of pages of a very long and engrossing novel. Drinking Window 2034 - 2080Vinous Media | 98 VMThis is distinctive from the start, with a youthfully rambunctious display of dark currant, fig and blackberry fruit paste flavors liberally spiked with bramble, Turkish coffee and ganache notes. As the fruit pumps through the finish, a tarry spine adds a bristling, mouthwatering edge. Sports more obvious grip and is a touch drier in style than most of its peers. Best from 2035 through 2055.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThis 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.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP
This is well-packed, offering the vivid plum, boysenberry, cassis and açaí berry fruit profile of the vintage, along with a dark edge of tar, baker’s chocolate and salted licorice that courses underneath. The long finish lets the fruit play out, keeping singed alder and chai spice hints in the background. Smolderingly seductive. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz. Best from 2035 through 2060. 3,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão, aged for 18 months in old wood vats. It comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This was bottled in May 2019, about a month before tasting, but I made sure at least some of it had a lot of air. Aromatic, wonderfully fragrant and laced with eucalyptus, this then shows typical Noval focus and power. A couple of hours in a glass simply increased the power. More intense than the very fine 2016, it grips the palate and shows rather significant astringency. As wonderfully aromatic as this is, there the 2016 might have the edge.Too closed and muscular once past the aromatics, this rather dry Port needs some time. It is harder to read than the 2016 was, but this should overtake it in time. Have some patience with this one.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2017 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port was picked from August 21 to September 28 under perfect conditions. It has a tightly wound bouquet that requires a lot of aeration. Eventually it reveals fabulous, detailed aromas of cassis, bilberry jam, crushed stone and pressed violets, later hints of orange blossom and quince. The palate is pure class. Saturated tannins, wonderful structure but the headline is the intensity of fruit. I cannot remember a Noval with this penetration, almost overwhelming the senses as layers of effervescent black plum and cassis fruit segue into a spicy finish that fans out like there is no tomorrow. Is this the best Quinta do Noval ever?Vinous Media | 97 VMThe straight 2017 Vintage Port is stunning stuff. It packs serious power and richness while staying beautifully polished and, dare I say, elegant. Notes of crème de cassis and liquid blackberries define the attack, but it offers an incredibly layered, nuanced, complex style in its notes of herbes de Provence, violets, spicy wood, licorice, and Asian spice aromas and flavors. While it’s no doubt a full-bodied Port, it stands out just as much for its incredible polish, balance, and purity. This a brilliant effort is more approachable than the Nacional bottling yet is nevertheless going to evolve for 50-60 years or more on its flawless balance.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDBig grip in this wine with dark blackberries, blueberries and floral notes. Fine tannins. Ripe but sweet and pretty. Shows a lovely finish. Try after 2027.James Suckling | 97 JSNoval spills over into two valleys from Pinhão to Roncão which contribute two very different terroirs to the blend, though both predominantly south-facing. It displays heady Douro aromas of open, ripe, plummy fruit with a touch of dust and eucalypt, wild and aromatic. The palate is dense, smooth and seductive on the palate with firm, schistous tannins rising on to a fresh, linear finish. Beautifully defined and integrated. Just 3,500 cases declared. Drinking Window 2035 - 2060.Decanter | 96 DECThis is a solid wine with dark tannins and a definitely dry character that will allow it to age well. Its power and its density are impressive, with rich black currant flavors backing up the tannins. Drink from 2030.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEJet black, this shows the arid vintage in its desert-rose scents and in the umami savor of tiny dried black currants. There’s black-cherry density inside the concentrated tannins, which need a decade to begin to relax.Wine & Spirits | 93 W&S
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