(PINHAO, PORTUGAL) – Quinta do Noval is a top level wine producer in the Douro Valley in Portugal. Their Cedro do Noval 2013 is purplish in colour. Huge aromas of black cherry, blackberries, chocolate, and Cohiba cigars.
On the palate, again black fruits and a tad of dark chocolate. Its firm acids make this an extremely food friendly wine, particularly with grilled lamb, beef, or sausage. Firm tannins combined with its acids give this wine a potential for short term aging until 2020.
The wine is named after an emblematic cedar tree that dominates the terrace of Quinta do Noval. It’s a bit unique for a Douro wine in that it has 30% Syrah in its blend, which is a nonindigenous Portuguese grape. But, it has the Douro trademark grapes of Touriga Nacional (50%) and Touriga Franca (20%).
All the grapes were grown at the Quinta, fermented in stainless steel, and spent 14 months in French oak barrels. In a few short words, this is a bold and assertive wine made somewhat exotic by the Syrah.
(Cedro do Noval 2013, Vinho Regional Duriense, Quinta do Noval, Pinhão, Portugal, 750 mL, 13.5%, $36.99, Square Media Group Rating 90/100)
The Quinta do Noval 2009 Douro DOC Red is black plum in colour. On the nose, ultra rich black cherry, blackberry, cassis, spice, and dates.
On the palate, slightly more acids than tannins. Once again, like the Cedro, this is built really more for food than for casual sipping.
The cherry on the palate is a bit tart and less fruit forward than the Cedro. A solid core of restrained acid balancing delicately with black fruit, and overlaid with a slight framework of licorice and cedar.
A short finish. Elegant, restrained, and refined. Very tidy and trim. Absolutely well crafted and disciplined.
Like the Cedro, I’d suggest keeping this no longer than 2020. Again, grilled meats rule with this wine.
All are PT grapes in this blend with the majority being Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinto Cão. All grapes from the Quinta.
Fermented in stainless steel tanks and matured in French oak casks for approximately 18 months.
(Quinta do Noval Douro DOC 2009, Douro DOC, Quinta do Noval, Pinhão, Portugal, 750 mL, 14.5%, $115.99, Square Media Group Rating 94/100)
If you say Vintage Port to me, I quickly take the position of Garth and Wayne when they are obsequiously bowing and chanting in the film Wayne’s World “I’m not worthy.”
Vintage Port is a luxury good so terribly undervalued and underpriced in the wine world I feel like a criminal buying it. Having sampled some Vintage Port with a rich tower of beef tenderloin, at the Bolsa in Oporto, recently, I recognized it as a superlative to rare beef. But, common belief has it tied to some exotic after dinner libation to be consumed with blue cheese and cigars.
Well, let me tell you dear readers, it is indeed terribly and courageously paired with rare lamb and beef as a main course wine. It is also damn delicious on its own, minus that blue cheese and cigar crap.
With all my apologies and inadequacies in order, we try the Quinta do Noval 2012 Vintage Port.
In colour, almost pure black tempered by purple. Aromas are black cherries on steroids, ultra ripe black currant, and blackberries with dark chocolate, mint, and eucalyptus.
Dense luxury. Dizzy luxury.
On the palate, silly decadence corrupt, like Elliot Spitzer trying to prosecute evil American corporations while puttering around with prostitutes.
Rich and decadent black fruit on the palate. Vintage Port here like Adam picking the apple in the garden of evil. We humans are so rarely blessed with such a perfect product.
As a wine writer, I will admit Vintage Port is the ultimate red wine. Smooth, rich, and seductive. Keep for the future grandchildren.
(Quinta do Noval 2012 Vintage Port, Quinta do Noval, Pinhão, Portugal, 750 mL, 19.5%, $205.99, Square Media Group Rating 94/100)
The Quinta do Noval 2011 Single Vineyard Late Bottled Vintage Port is inky purple in colour with deep and dark black cherry attacking the nose. Touches of cranberry and dark chocolate.
It speaks of pure power.
Power on the palate with that black fruit being the driving force. Not the same complexity as the 2102 Vintage Port, but strong and pure. Great with duck confit.
(Quinta do Noval 2011 Unfiltered Single Vineyard Late Bottled Vintage Port, Quinta do Noval, Pinhão, Portugal, 750 mL, 19.5%, Square Media Group Rating 90/100)
What can I say other than delicious, pure, and powerful. Good until 2020. Although, don’t overlook this with a main course, such as duck mentioned above, or rare grilled or roast beef. It is equally good on its own or with a chocoholic dessert.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, it is not currently available in Ontario.
It has been aged for four years in oak casks and has been foot trodden in traditional lagares. Keep it chilled and it will last up to 10 days. Made from grapes entirely from the Quinta. Interesting Quinta do Noval was the first Port House to launch a Late Bottled Vintage Port in 1958.
The Quinta do Noval Colheita 2000 Tawny Port has a light garnet colour promising some delicacy and finesse. A nose of toasted almonds, burnt custard topping, marmalade, Cointreau, and orange chocolate mint.
Smooth and delicate on the palate, if not a tad creamy, with notes of orange marmalade, caramel, a wee bit of salt, and with a long light weight finish. Perfect for just about any custard dessert or simple sipping.
(Quinta do Noval, Colheita 2000 Tawny Port Quinta do Noval, Pinhão, Portugal, 750 mL, 20.5%, $106.99, Square Media Group Rating 89/100)
Once again the grapes are foot trodden and bottled after 10 to 12 years in oak casks. This will keep for three months in a cool place after opening.
The Quinta do Noval 20 Year Old Tawny Port is light garnet in colour. On the nose, cherry clafouti, electrified rhubarb, black cherry, and steroid infused orange marmalade.
On the palate, buzzing and lively strawberry, almost like Grenache. Burnt almonds too.
A very excitable and lively Tawny after 20 years of ageing. Will this need 20 more years to calm down?
A great match with custard based Portuguese desserts, but a bit too Wild West on its own. A Tawny with ADHD?
(Quinta do Noval 20 Year Old Tawny Port Quinta do Noval, Pinhão, Portugal, 750 mL, $117.99, 21%, Square Media Group Rating 87/100)
This Tawny is a blend of old Ports from different vintages that have matured in oak casks with an average age of 20 years. Again, crushed by foot in traditional lagares. Keep in a cool place and, once opened, good for three months.
Please note that these are special order wines which are not available at the LCBO. You’ll have to order by the case, which is usually six bottles. Usually what the agent, Lifford Wine and Spirits, does is to gather orders then order directly from the winery.
This process will usually take 3 to 4 months. A deposit of 50% is collected and the balance is paid when the wines arrives. When the wine does arrive you will be contacted to schedule a delivery.
These are only a smattering of wines available from Noval. You can always peruse their website or ask the agent in Toronto for rare and special Ports that might be available. Your contact at Lifford is Michelle Desroches.