(2018) A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão foot-trodden in lagares, before spending 18 months in barrel at the quinta in the Douro. Black as pitch, the nose is at once meaty and suffused with rich, dark, chocolaty berries, a little kirsch-like lift adds to the charm, elegance and complexity. In the mouth there's a very unforced feeling of concentration, the fruit deep and creamy, but the agile, mineral acidity and rasp of firm tannin giving a juiciness and length. Like all of these 2016's, Noval needs time, but is a beauty in the making. 82g/l Residual sugar.
(2017) What a contrast in styles between this and Churchill's, the other major Port name to declare 2014. It is lighter, not just physically in terms of texture (and a drop or two of alcohol) but with some herbal, even floral notes lined-up against the Churchill's brawny depth. In the mouth beautiful raspberry ripple lift and creaminess sits over a more dense, plum and chocolate depth, some tobacco, fig and spice developing and quite a serious tannic structure. There is not a huge amount to separate these in my mind on absolute quality, but quite a gulf stylistically.
(2017) Scot Andrew Norrie came across a pipe of an old Port, being sold to help with funeral expenses for an elderly Douro family, and set about helping out by establishing exactly what was in the barrel before bottling and selling it. Finally he tracked down the necessary paperwork to establish it is a Port registered in 1935 and made at famous Quinta. It's a wine with a dark colour, still some ruby at the core, and it is intensely aromatic: there is obvious age with a bit of oxidation character and brown sugar, but a beguiling mix of cherry and sweet, damp earth too. In the mouth it is generous, and sweetly rich, Agen prunes and Medjool dates, a touch of liquorice and also honey, and a long, intense finish with the curranty sweetness offset by still good acidity and a bit of tensioning alcohol. Really it's treat to taste this, and wonderful that it has been made available.
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