Quinta do Noval 2017

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Tasting Notes

The last time I tasted the 2017 Vintage Port, I posed the question of whether it was the best ever? Perhaps. Picked from 21 August to 28 September, it is beautifully-defined on the nose with layers of black cherries, allspice, violet and cassis, becoming more floral with time in the glass. Returning after 10 minutes and juxtaposed against the 2016, there is just a little more VA. The palate is well-balanced, very structured with wonderful tension. I love the texture of this Noval, which is slightly granular towards the finish and brims with life. Outstanding.

Score: 97

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2080 01 June 2022

The 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?

Score: 97

Neal Martin, Vinous.com Maturity: 2030-2080 01 June 2019

The 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.

Score: 97

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com Maturity: 2019-2079 14 November 2019

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 back-ground. Smolderingly seductive. Best from 2035 through 2060.

Score: 98

James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Maturity: 2035-2060 31 October 2019

The 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.

Score: 97

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate, RobertParker.com Maturity: 2030-2075 11 July 2019

Harvest started 21 August. A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão, Tinta Roriz. Grapes are trodden by foot and fermented in stone lagares. 18 months in wooden casks. RS 99 g/l, TA 4.92 g/l, pH 3.51. Black core with narrow purple rim. Beautifully scented with bergamot, very ripe black fruit and wild herbs. A savoury character, almost an umami note, adding complexity to the rich, spicy black fruit. Firm, dense, compact and all furled up on itself, with depth and richness but no excess weight. The impressive integration of the flavours means it is hard to describe the components separately. Fills the mouth and finishes long and chewy, with just enough freshness to balance.

Score: 17+

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com Maturity: 2027-2057 04 June 2019

Big 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.

Score: 97

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com Maturity: 2027 06 May 2019