(2020) Noval's Late Bottled Vintage is unflitered and unlike many LBV's will improve in the bottle as it cellars, but is best decanted off of its sediment. Having spent over five years in barrel, it's a glorious wine, crimson-black in colour, with a soaring perfume of cherry and violet, blackcurrant, vanilla and spices. In the mouth there is abundant sweetness, ripe black and red berries, with a chocolaty density, super-smooth tannins and a pert cherry acidity to keep it on its toes. With around 90g/l of residual sugar this is definitely sweet, but retains a lovely freshness too. For mince pies or Christmas pudding, also hard and blue cheeses, a banker.
(2020) Aged five to six years in wood before bottling, this has a crushed red fruit softness to, a gentle woody tone hinting at truffle. Lovely dry extract against the sweetness, pure fruit and beautifully balanced, long and so gentle in the finish.
(2020) Unusual to find an organic Port, and this has a very pure and fruit-driven nose, a nice lift and higher set of aromas, floral and ashy. Very silky and pure on the palate, a sheen of mellow old oak and shellac over pure and vibrant fruit. Tangy and ripe, lots of lip-smacking tannin and acidity in the long finish. A really terrific ruby.
(2020) Beautiful developed nose, all sorts of tarry and floral tertiary aromas, an ethereal lightness. Vanilla and anise wrap the red fruits on the palate, a harmonious and long wine, the grip of the tannins and spirit, balanced acidity, and purity of fruit all really charming.
(2019) Noval's LBV is a serious interpretation of the style, unfiltered so it will continue to develop in bottle, as indeed it has since my previous tasting around one year ago. Glorious nose, blueberry crumble straight from the oven, lovely floral high notes of violet, and underpinned by cocoa. The spirit is barely discernable. In the mouth it's more of the same: that ripe, creamy blue/black richness of fruit, alluring sweetness and those more ethereal, lifted kirsch notes, yet the chocolate and the dry weight of tannins give it power and structure to match up to that opulence. I suggest you decant before serving as is it will throw a sediment, but watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
Note: until 2nd January 2020 Ocado has this for £18.25, and the fabulous 2003 Colheita from Noval is £32.99 (£10 off) - that's a great price for a brilliant vintage tawny.
(2019) Spicy, bold, quite a deep colour, bold fruit and spice-driven, some aromatic tobacco notes, the palate creamy and rich, the figgy sweetness offset by the acidity. Lovely freshness with unobtrusive spirit just warming the finish.
(2018) Noval's late-bottled vintage Port comes from a single vineyard and, unlike cheaper LBV's, the unfiltered wine will cellar and improve over many years - though its long ageing in cask also means it will drink well from the day of release. This is much more vinous, cherry-scented and immediately dark and firm on the nose compared to the Muscat tasted alongside, though it does have some little violetty floral aspects. On the palate the stripe of liquorice and rasp of plum skins, as well as quite definite tannins, all gives an edge to the sweet and juicy cherry fruit and cocoa richness of the wine. A beauty and on offer at £17.95 for a full bottle in Ocado until 1st January 2019. Use the wine-searcher link for other stockists. Watch the video for more information.
(2017) Colheitas are single vintage Ports, but aged for a long, long time in barrels so they are tawny, mature and ready to drink on release, unlike 'Vintage Ports', which are released just a couple of years after the harvest and which will improve with extended cellaring in bottle. This from the ripe 2003 vintage is delightful I must say, filled with ripe, dark vine fruits and spices on the nose, touches of walnut, and on the palate creamy and rich, custardy fruit, huge raisin juiciness and sweetness, the mellow alcohol adding pleasing warmth and more spice in the finish. A treat in its attractive half bottle.
(2017) Unusually, this wine is being offered in magnum or half bottle only (note price quoted is for a half bottle). It's mostly Touriga Franca, but as is normal for Port there's a host of other varieties in the blend inlcuding Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Touriga Nacional. It's a beautifully solid and in its way, 'masculine', style of Port, with rich black fruit, chocolate and a hint of kirsch cherries on the nose. Sweet, smooth, mouth-filling and luscious, the spirit is already elegantly amalgamated with the fruit and creamy tannins, and it retains very good acid freshness. Drinking so nicely, but no doubt capable of considering cellaring - especially those magnums.
(2015) Like their Margaux, BBR have gone to a top producer in the shape of Port house Dow for this wine, a blend of three top Port vintages, bottled in 2004. Traditonal 'crusted' Port is matured for 18 months or so in cask and aims to give the quality of Vintage Port at a lower price. In this case a full 10 years in bottle has produced a beaufifully mellow wine, not at all spirity, but filled with crushed, pulpy red fruits, exotic spice, floral, violet notes and hints of cocoa. On the palate it is sweet and soft, the richness and ripeness of the fruit supported by that chocolaty character and with the alcohol and acidity giving an authoritative, fresh finish. Have it with Stilton by all means, but I'd be even happier sipping a glass of it on its own after Christmas dinner (£19.75 by the six-bottle case).
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