M.O.B. Lunch – Palco Restaurant

Single Harvest Tawnies of excellence!

Text João Pedro de Carvalho

Quinta do Noval is one of the great Port houses. It not only produces the most famous Vintage Port of them all, the legendary ‘Nacional’, it is also the only big name producer whose top wines are exclusively single vineyard (i.e., “Quinta”).

The Quinta do Noval history dates back to 1715, when it was first listed on the land registries of its time. The area of one hundred and forty-five hectares, which dominates the Pinhão Valley (Cima Corgo) constitutes the essence and soul of Quinta do Noval. In 1894 (after its devastation by phylloxera) it was purchased by the distinguished Port shipper António João da Silva. Da Silva breathed new life into Quinta do Noval, replanting the phylloxera-ravaged one hundred and forty-five hectare vineyard (entirely classified letter A) onto American rootstocks. In 1925, a very small section at the heart of the Noval vineyard (two hectare) was selected to attempt to retain the indigenous Portuguese vines on Portuguese rootstock (Nacional) as an experiment. The first wine to be made and sold from these young vines was the Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage 1931, arguably the most sensational Port of the XXth century.


Quinta do Noval © Blend All About Wine, Lda

António João Silva’s work was continued by his son-in-law, Luiz Vasconcelos Porto, who led the company for 30 years and retired in 1963. Author of a vast program of innovations: he transformed many of the narrow older terraces into the broad terraces that are such a distinctive feature of Noval with their whitewashed staircases. The first stencilled bottles were introduced by Noval in the 1920s; Noval in 1958 was the first house to introduce a late-bottled vintage: 1954 Quinta do Noval LBV and pioneered the concept of Old Tawnies with an indication of age (10, 20 and over 40 years).

In exceptional years certain lots of wine with great ageing potential are put aside to spend their lives maturing in barrels. At a given stage, Noval decides to bottle a part of a vintage. The rest is kept in casks where the wine will mature into a new expression at a later stage. Increasingly rare, these wines combine refinement and elegance and are the supreme expression of the old Tawny Ports, and as a Vintage Port will take the specific characteristics of the harvest year. Legislation requires a minimum ageing period of 7 years in casks. At Quinta do Noval, Colheitas are commercialized after maturing for 10 to 12 years.

António Agrellos, the Technical Director of Quinta do Noval since 1994 and one of the greatest Port wine blenders led us on a fantastic tour of some of the best Quinta do Noval Colheitas.


Quinta do Noval Colheita 2000 © Blend All About Wine, Lda


Quinta do Noval Colheita 1995 © Blend All About Wine, Lda

Quinta do Noval Colheita 2000

Displays all the class of a young Tawny, full of life, teen spirit, conquering us by its vitality and presence. Shows an attractive complexity with an intense and mature bouquet, candied fruit, youthful, clean and invigorating. Sweet and complex on the palate, elegant structure, with a persistent finish.

Quinta do Noval Colheita 1995

A tawny port in the path to adulthood, in a new fuller dimension, more evolved and of greater complexity and profundity. Very well defined set of aromas with a beautiful complexity, caramel, dried fruits (Walnuts and hazelnuts), sweet spice, candied fruit (orange, lemon, peach). Medium body, elegant, light greasiness with good acidity, lingering finish.


Quinta do Noval Colheita 1976 © Blend All About Wine, Lda


Quinta do Noval Colheita 1971 © Blend All About Wine, Lda

Quinta do Noval Colheita 1976

A very temperamental wine, born in the Punk Rock era, wrapped in rebelliousness and certainly the most exotic from this session in the best Ramones style. Hey! Ho! Let’s go! The Anthology. With a very good complexity, cigar box, resin, dried fruit, caramel. Medium-bodied and deliciously concentrated in the mouth, smooth as silk, with hints of spice. Long finish.

Quinta do Noval Colheita 1971

“Saudade” expresses a very peculiar feeling, when we miss something we like. This wine is one of those things. Pure sex appeal, beautifully complex, spices, butterscotch, raisins and dried fruits, some honey and tea aromas. The mouthfeel is amazingly rich yet elegant, wonderful freshness with exotic spice, long and persistent finish. A wonderful wine!


Quinta do Noval Colheita 1964 © Blend All About Wine, Lda


Quinta do Noval Colheita 1937 © Blend All About Wine, Lda

Quinta do Noval Colheita 1964

As in 1964 the Beatles or The Rolling Stones fans leaped and shouted with enthusiasm, tasting this wine I felt like doing exactly the same thing. Intriguing and at the same time a conqueror, highly refined and delicate aroma, nutty, raisins and soft undertones of caramel, old cask. Almost velvet in the mouth, bold and tasty with great freshness for its age, very long finish. Spectacular!

Quinta do Noval Colheita 1937

The year 1937 was marked by the coronation of King George VI of England, at the same time the San Francisco Bay’s Golden Gate Bridge was inaugurated and J. R. R. Tolkien published The Hobbit. Only a wine such as this could honor events like these. A remarkable old tawny, amazing complexity, dried fruit, great definition, wonderful richness, spices, marmalade, old wood, cigar box. Luxurious palate that melts with a very good integrated acidity which gives a perfect balance, layers of flavor leading to an endless and seductive finish.

Quinta do Noval Vinhos, SA
4400 – 111 VILA NOVA DE GAIA
Tel: (+351) 223 770 270
Fax: (+351) 223 750 365
E-mail: noval@quintadonoval.pt
Website: www.quintadonoval.com

About João Pedro Carvalho
Wine Writer Blend | All About Wine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.