"The colour is more ruby-red than tawny, and the nose is fruity without showing much in the way of age. Cherry, chocolate, raisin and earthy spirit aromas lead into a very sweet, lighter style of good persistence and balance.
Noval's Tawny Port is an elegant, fleshy wine with good richness and a fresh, tangy finish. Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesca and Tinta Barroca are the major grape varieties, all from the estate and traditional. An intense brick colour, it has a complex nose showing youthful raspberry fruit and anise. On the palate it is medium sweet, with rich fruit and a fresh finish.
Quinta do Noval is one of the great Port houses. Not only does Noval produce the most famous Vintage Port of them all, the legendary ‘Nacional’, it was also the creator of the “Late Bottled” style in 1954 and of single vintage Tawnies (Colheita) in 1954.
It is also the only big name producer whose top wines are exclusively single vineyard (i.e. “Quinta”). Think of the difference between a Burgundy domaine and a Burgundy negociant to get an idea of what this means. The Vintage Ports of Quinta do Noval (including Nacional) have always been from the same vineyard.
The quality of all Quinta do Noval’s wines has gone through the roof since the early 1990’s when Englishman Christian Seely was put in charge. Many changes occurred, however none have affected the production methods of Noval’s estate-produced Ports that continue to be hand picked from the ancient terraces, foot crushed and fermented in stone lagares (which Noval believes is still the best way to produce quality Port).
Today, Noval’s vintage and Colheita Ports (vintage-dated Tawnies) are all made exclusively from estate-grown grapes. This contrasts radically with all of the other big names of the region who buy fruit to blend to a house style.