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Quinta do Noval declares 2019 vintage Port

Port producer Quinta do Noval has declared three vintage Ports from the 2019 vintage after it experienced the “perfect conditions” during the growing season. 

The decision is in line with the quinta’s strategy to declare a ‘classic’ vintage Port from every harvest, but vary the quantities produced. However, in addition to the classic Quinta do Noval Vintage 2019 Port, in 2019 the rare Quinta do Noval Nacional has also been declared.

2019 was also the first vintage that the Quinta do Noval winemaking team worked at neighbouring property Quinta do Passadouro, which the estate acquired in the same year.

The conditions experienced in 2019 were deemed worthy of this double declaration. Quinta do Noval said it had almost no rain from May to the end of August, however average temperatures were “a little cooler than usual”. With healthy grapes and very little disease pressure, harvesting conditions were described as “ideal” with a small volume of “helpful” rain falling in late September and mid-October.

The harvest ended on 18 October after six weeks of picking.

Christian Seely, managing director of Quinta do Noval, said: “We had perfect conditions in 2019 to take our time and choose the right moment for each parcel, enabling us to pick and to vinify with great precision. The purity, complexity and character of the resulting wines reflect these ideal conditions.”

He noted that it was not a difficult decision to declare the Quinta do Noval Nacional 2019 following the first tastings of the wine. Nacional is a field blend of traditional Douro grape varieties, including Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Touriga Nacional, Sousão and Tinta Roriz, which are planted in a tiny 1.6ha parcel and harvested on one day, that being 9 October in 2019. The grapes are then foot trodden together in one small lagar.

Seely described the 2019 Nacional as “powerful, structured and long…at the same time fine, fresh and elegant”.

“Very complex and profound, we believe this to be a great Nacional,” he said.

The Quinta do Noval 2019 vintage Port, meanwhile, is sourced from the 145ha estate and contains grapes from 13 different parcels. The majority are sourced from the Pinhão Valley, but grapes also hail from Roncão Valley and from vines overlooking the Douro river.

Finally, the Quinta do Passadouro 2019 is the first vintage Port made by the Noval team following the acquisition. At the time, parent company AXA Millésimes said the new 36ha property would be maintained as a separate brand while the winemaking team would be “merged” with that of Noval.

Seely said: “The Quinta do Passadouro 2019 is the first vintage Port vinified by the team of Quinta do Noval, following our acquisition of this beautiful property in the summer of 2019. I am thrilled by the quality of our first vintage from Passadouro, which shows great personality and clear terroir distinction, which I feel fully justifies our decision to acquire this vineyard. Although Passadouro neighbours Quinta do Noval vineyards both in the Pinhão Valley and in the Roncão Valley, and has qualities and character that we recognise, it also has the strong nuances of difference that can be distinguished from parcel to parcel of vines in the Douro, and we are delighted to encapsulate this difference and this quality in this bottling.”

The Passadouro vintage Port is not yet available in the UK, however both Quinta do Noval vintage Ports will be sold through the estate’s UK agents Gonzalez Byass.

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