(2021) Essentially the same blend as the 2017, a slightly dustier character, a little more red fruited and has the rose-like florals. The palate coming together beautifully with that buouyant red fruit, a bit of fat and juiciness through the mid-palate, supple, but the density is offset by striking acidity, juicy and with a squirt of lemony freshness to end on the acid line and fruit.
(2021) Christian says this had 50% new oak in this vintage, much more than normal, because of the quality of fruit. A touch of balsamic quality, but then wonderfully fresh and focused, a rounded, creamy, wonderfully smooth and rounded character, but that peony fragrance and perfume exudes from the glass. The palate is taut and relatively firm and muscular because of the ripe but striking tannins, but there is so much flesh and charm from the sweet fruit too, once again running into a fresh, mineral-driven finish.
(2021) This Douro DOC wine is made from Touriga Nacional, which some still wine makers of the Douro like more than others, but Christian vinifies this mostly in stainless steel with around 35% of oak for ageing, trying emphasise the elegance and aromatics. There is a little more meatiness and 'solidity' compared to the Cedro, but then a touch of floral leafiness too to add dimension. The palate bursts through with great sweetness, a realy smooth silkiness of ripe black fruit, but then a liquorice stripe of endive and bittersweetness really grips and freshens the finish.
(2021) The 2018 has a singing, vivid purple colour and like the other 2018s here, such an elegant yet intense aromatic, touching into the old rose florals again, but quite meaty, a blackcurrant ripeness of fruit. In the mouth this is giving immediate pleasure, with so much sweet, juicy and ripe black berry fruit bursting on the tongue, but then those quite meaty but ripe and smooth tannins joining the stricter acids to give definition and length, the oak impercetible really as it finishes on fruit and freshness.
(2020) This recently released wine is currently available by the six-bottle case, with equivalent per bottle price shown. It will become more widely available, but note: the excellent 2003 vintage is currently £10 off in Ocado, down to £32.99, until 2nd January 2020.
(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) The table wines of Port producer Quinta do Noval are excellent, but until this vintage the tiny production of their white wine meant it did not reach the UK market. Now, a small shipment is with UK importer Gonzalez Byass, and is available from selected independent retailers. From vineyards at over 500 metres altitude, it's a blend of the local Viosinho and Gouveio, planted on schist soils. Very pale green in colour, there's a mineral and citrus intensity about the nose, but there's a lovely suggestion of salts and gentle summer floral notes too, combining both a sense of concentration and delicacy. In the mouth the wine has a very similar tension, it is full and sweet-fruited as it flows across the mid-palate, but then that mineral salts and citrus zest grip and brightness gives it real mouth-watering intensity. Long, very pure, this would be very good with white fish I think, though Noval suggest poultry too.
(2020) Another very dense and dark wine, staining the sides of the glass. Darker, earthier and more leathery than the Offley, brooding is the word, liquorice and tar and dark mulled fruits. In the mouth super sweetness here - sweeter than the Offley in perception at least, with a dusty, chocolate-deep edge to the mulberry and blueberry fruit. Smooth and chocolatey in terms of its tannins too, that sweetness carries through confidently, set against a juiciness of cherry and cherry skins acid, spices too, in a very deeply flavoured and powerhouse Port that will need time. No UK stockists of this listed at time of review, but Hic! wine merchant has the 2016 so an indicative price has been based on that.
(2020) Deeply saturated purple/black, there's some similarity to the Romaneira aromatically, with those herbal and ashy nuances to the black fruit, a great sense of concentration and purity too. Just superb in the mouth. The gloss and the weight of the black fruit is fabulous - silk and satin, but the cocoa and damson depth is given additional luminescence by a sweet confture blueberry, before the suede-like, very fine tannins wrap themselves around the finish, the juicy acidity already very well integrated. This is a sensuous and fully-realised young Port, surely with decades ahead of it. Available in-bond, as a six-bottle case, from many fine wine merchants in the UK at time of writing.
(2020) This is a large estate upstream from the town of Pinhão, rehabilitated by Christian Seely and his investors who took over when it had fallen into some disrepair. Dark and opaque, quite a meaty and herbal nose here, less overtly sweet-fruited, an immediate sense of serious concentration. The nose pretty accurately predicts the palate here: there is sweetness and abundant black fruit flesh and ripeness, but as well as that blackcurranty richness of fruit, the ashy herbs, the leather and the meatiness give a more savoury character. Good freshness, though the tannin and acid axis is a little softer than some, making this meaty wine surprisingly approachable in its youth. Indicative price based on the previous vintage.