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Quinta Do Noval Vintage Nacional 2016 (750ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

100 JS / 99 WS / 99 DE / 98+ VM / 97 WA / 18 JR

#44 James Suckling's Top 100 Wines of 2018

Special price of $999 when purchased with 24 bottles of 98-point 2016 Quinta do Noval at special price of $93.99 (reg. $104.89). Discount applied once products added to cart.

This is austere and tannic with reserve yet polish and finesse that is hard to come by. Blackberries, blueberries and hazelnuts and some fresh currants. Full-bodied, off-dry and extremely polished and focused. Only 175 cases made. Great length. Layers of tannic power. Perfect wine again. Try in 2025. - James Suckling

Tiny yields from these legendary ungrafted vines with a total production in 2016 of just 170 cases. Closed and dense initially but showing liquorice-like super ripeness as the wine opens up. A hint of dark chocolate intensity on the palate with layers of ripe fruit and fine-grained tannins that reach all the way through to a linear tannic finish. This is a wonderful wine – as rare as hen’s teeth and a privilege to taste at this stage. Drinking Window 2035 - 2055 Richard Mayson - Decanter.com

This is a tumble of personalities right now, with intense blackberry, plum, fig and boysenberry compote flavors lending a showy feel, while a wave of bramble, tar and dark earth notes impart muscle and heft. Shows a brooding edge, with Turkish coffee and baker’s chocolate details dominating the finish, where formidable grip keeps things grounded and riveted. Got any kids born in 2016? Best from 2035 through 2060. From Portugal - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

The 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. 

According to AXA's wine man Christian Seely, 'Nacional shows you can make a great vintage port from one small 4.5-acre parcel.' Vines are all ungrafted with an average age of 50 years, including almost 20% 65-year-old Tinta Cão. They replace old vines with ungrafted cuttings with a success rate of hardly 50%. This little plot always looks thinner and a different green – less vigorous – apparently, producing fewer bunches and smaller grapes. Yields are tiny and only 170 cases of this were made, in exactly the same way as regular Quinta do Noval. We were lucky to be given a taste of it. Not all that blue; very dark concentrated crimson. Very rich and sweet with the rich, spicy aromas of the biscuits that used to be called gypsy creams. Broad, luscious nose. Rather complex and very dry on the finish. Massive tannins! No attempt to smooth or craft this wine. Very dense and wild. Though fresh on the end with just a suggestion of the heat of spirit. Wild and almost raw at this point. - Jancis Robinson

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