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Quinta do Noval Vintage Port Nacional 2011

Port from Portugal
  • RP100
  • JS100
  • W&S100
  • WS98
    0% ABV
    • RP97
    • WS97
    • RP92
    • WS100
    • RP99
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      0% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional 2011 has a very strong and distinctive personality. The tannins are powerful, reserved and fine. Very intense, long and concentrated fruits, explosive in the mouth, and balanced with great freshness. This port has a brooding presence.

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      RP 100
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      The 2011 Vintage Port "Nacional" is a field blend aged for 18 months in wood before release. It comes in with 94.6 grams per liter of residual sugar and, if anything, tastes drier. This is a monumental Nacional that justifies its cult reputation. Still showing rather primary, young fruit, it is laced with herbs and a hint of resin. It is just plain delicious, even while showing some austerity. Fresh, clean and lively, its tension on the finish serves it in good stead, enlivening the wine along the way. The balance is perfect. Elegant but still very concentrated, more than the 2004 also reviewed, it expands in the glass as it airs out, coats the palate nicely and then becomes ever more intense. If the first tastes were all about the fruit, this wound up being about its backbone and firmness, what I typically expect. The tannins are not searing, in a sense--they are hard, not harsh--but make no mistake: it shuts down with a bang and does a fine job of seizing the tongue. It's built for the long haul, of course. Some five days later, it had not changed a lot, but the fruit was fighting back a little harder. After another five days, the fruit became pretty darned delicious. It will eventually win, but you need patience for this Port to come into balance--and show complexity, equally important. Even after ten days open, it still tightened on the finish and showed pure power. It's a beauty.
      JS 100
      James Suckling
      This is an amazing young Port: deep and powerful, subtle and refined. Full body, lightly sweet with big chewy tannins that are polished and sexy. Amazingly well-crafted. Lasts for minutes on the finish. Fantastic. The legend lives. Could be better than the perfect 1994 and equal to the 1963. 220 cases produced of this foot-trodden wine from ungrafted vines. Try in 2024.
      W&S 100
      Wine & Spirits
      The 2011 tastes like the entire Duoro compressed into one mouthful of wine. The tannins seek out every space in the mouth, yammering all the while about schist and sun beeries while the wine itself goes silent, or the brain's attempt to codify the scents of cassis, black cherries, figs and earth shuts down in the face of a perfect beauty, as if listening for the sound at the peak of a meteor shower in the night sky.
      WS 98
      Wine Spectator
      Offers powerfully spicy aromas and flavors, with notes of dark chocolate, plum pudding and dark cherry, accented by a firm minerality. The endless finish of bittersweet chocolate and mincemeat shows loads of grip. Best from 2035 through 2055.
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      Quinta do Noval

      Quinta do Noval

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      Quinta do Noval, Portugal
      2011 Vintage Port Nacional
      Although the property of Quinta do Noval first appeared in land registries in 1715, its history as a premium Port producer truly began when it was bought and renovated by the distinguished Port shipper, António José da Silva. His work was continued by his son-in-law, Luiz Vasconcelos Porto, who ran the company for three decades, transforming the old narrow terraces into the wide whitewashed ones seen today, which allowed for better use of space and more exposure to the sun. There were several other innovations which were considered revolutionary in their time, but which have subsequently become traditions:

       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).


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      Best known for flavorful fortified wines but also producing excellent dry wines, Portugal is unique in that it relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to the west on the Iberian Peninsula, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, perhaps due in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. Portugal is a long and narrow country, which makes for considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast. With the exception of Port, most Portuguese wines have struggled to garner attention in the international marketplace, perhaps due to the unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce nature of most of its grape varieties and terminology, which means that there are many excellent values to be discovered here by the adventurous consumer. The country is perhaps better known for being the world’s leader in cork production than for its wine.

      Port, made in the Douro Valley, is the fortified wine for which Portugal is most famous. The same region also produces full-bodied dry wines made from the same set of grape varieties, which include Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo). The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast. Other dry wines of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of the north, the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão, and the bold, jammy reds of the Alentejo.

      Blended from the most important red grapes of the Duoro Valley, Port is the famous fortified wine from Portugal. It is based on the Touriga Nacional grape with over 80 other varieties approved for use in the blend. However, typically about four other varieties play a major role: Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesa. Other wine regions of the world can produce fortified wine of a similar style from the same grapes or other grapes.

      There are numerous styles of Port: Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, LBV, White, Colheita, and a few unusual others.

      Ruby ports usually pack the most value and are ready to drink once bottled. Typical characteristics are ripe cherry and blackberry flavors with stewed plums, cocoa and dates.

      Tawny ports are “tawny” in color and have flavors of toffee, caramel, toasted pecans, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus peel, green figs and roasted espresso. The age designation on a Tawny Port indicates the average vintage age of the grapes in the bottle.

      When Port is made with high quality grapes selected from a single notable vintage, it is called Vintage Port. Some of the best recent vintages are 2011, 2009, 2007, 2003, 2000, 1997 and 1994. Vintage Ports are complex and full-bodied with many flavors possible: concentrated blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and spice, smoke, coffee and chocolate.

      LBV Port comes from a single-vintage Ruby Port and may spend six years in the barrel before being bottled. These are ready to drink upon release. Serve most Ports slightly chilled at around 55-65°F.

      YNG590225_2011 Item# 125723