Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2012 Front Label
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2012 Front LabelQuinta do Noval Vintage Port 2012 Front Bottle ShotQuinta do Noval Vintage Port 2012 Back Bottle Shot

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2012

Port from Portugal
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750ML / 19.5% ABV
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4.6 6 Ratings
750ML / 19.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Elegance, harmony, finesse and elegance characterize Noval's greatest Vintage Ports, which are declared only in great years (3 or 4 in a decade) and only when the wines come up to Noval's exacting standards. The wine is produced exclusively from selected plots at the Quinta, from the following grape varieties: Touriga Nacional 70%; Touriga Franca 25 %; Tinto Cão 5 %.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
The dark, almost black color and the wonderful violet aromas set the scene for this complex, dense and textured wine. It has a touch of spice, along with the rich plum and dark berry fruits. While it is rich, it is also a dry style of Vintage, bringing out structure as much as opulence. Drink from 2030.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Vintage Port is revisited for a checkup. This is a blend of Touriga Nacional 70%, Touriga Franca 25 % and Tinto Cão 5%, which was aged for 18 months in wood and comes in with just 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This has become more intense and more impressive, closing down a bit since I first saw it. It may not have quite the underlying concentration and focus of the 2011 (also reviewed), but it is a much fresher and more lifted Port, with fine fruit front-and-center. It simply seems more invigorating, more gloriously alive. I wouldn't be surprised if many like it better right now than the 2011--although that won't likely be the answer 25 years from now. It otherwise retains the style of all of Noval's wines here--elegant in the mid-palate, more focused on aging than lushness and sweetness. It certainly seems quite brilliant for the year. Originally, I was afraid I might have overrated it as it was so exuberant and showed so well nearer to release. Now, I'd be more likely to question whether I'm underrating it. It's never as obvious as some Big Boys and it probably is the third of the 2011-2012-2013 trilogy from Noval this issue (only by a hair), but it has its own virtues and plenty of them.
JS 94
James Suckling
This is one of the few vintage Ports declared in 2012 and it's wonderfully structured with finesse. It's black-colored and shows intense aromas of crushed grapes, granite stones, flowers, light raisins, tar and licorice. Full body, lightly sweet and incredible integrity plus firm and ultra-refined tannins. Beautiful grip and length. Reminds me of the 1964, which is a classic now. Try in 2028.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Redolent of Christmas pudding and dark plum flavors, with plenty of dark chocolate elements, this features modest length on the finish, which is filled with cherry notes. Best from 2018 through 2035.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Christian Seely at Noval was impressed enough by the quality of some blocks in 2012 that he determined to declare the vintage after 2011, albeit in small quantities. This is a massive wine, smelling of schist and tasting of smashed berries and bittersweet chocolate. The waxy texture carries a lot of fruit richness. A juicy and powerful young Porto, this is a wine to check in on at ten years; it may well be going strong at 20.
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Quinta do Noval

Quinta do Noval

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Quinta do Noval, Portugal
Quinta do Noval Quinta do Noval Winery Image

One of the oldest port houses, Quinta do Noval is also arguably the greatest. It is unique among top port houses in that most of the ports are made from estate-grown fruit and, notably, all of the vintage Noval wines are from the single Quinta do Noval vineyard. In addition, it is difficult to elaborate on Quinta do Noval without mentioning Nacional, the legendary port made from a 6 acre parcel of ungrafted vines. When declared, only 200-300 cases of Nacional will be made, and instantly become the most sought after port in the world. Many vintages of Nacional are considered as the finest ports, and some of the finest wines, ever made.

Noval is mentioned in land registries going back to 1715, and has been sold just twice in that time, once in the late 19th century, and to its present owners in 1993. Noval has, however, a reputation for being an innovative, independent producer. Noval’s focus on its vineyard and estate ports distinguishes it, but there are numerous other areas in which it has been a pioneer:

  • Noval was the first to introduce stencilled bottles in the 1920s.
  • Noval pioneered the concept of Old Tawnies with an indication of age.
  • In 1958, Noval was the first to introduce a late-bottled vintage (LBV).

The astonishing terraced vineyards of Noval, perched above the Douro and Pinhao rivers, are an infertile schist, and not soil as much as sheer rock. The elevation of the vineyards goes from just above river level to 1,200 feet, with density at about 2,000 vines per acre, and vines producing on average 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. The tremendous rewards of the work done at the estate over the last fifteen years are visible across the range of Noval ports, and have placed Noval a step ahead of everyone in the Douro.

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Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.

While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.

The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.

Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.

The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.

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Port is a sweet, fortified wine with numerous styles: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), White, Colheita, and a few unusual others. It is blended from from the most important red grapes of the Douro Valley, based primarily on Touriga Nacional with over 80 other varieties approved for use. Most Ports are best served slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

TON9701712_2012 Item# 139411

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