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Noval declares three vintage Ports from ‘year of extremes’

Quinta do Noval has declared three “outstanding” Vintage Ports from the 2022 harvest, described by MD Christian Seely as “a year of extremes, both very hot and very dry.”

These are the classic Quinta do Noval, the single vineyard Quinta do Noval Nacional and Quinta da Passadouro, the neighbouring property, acquired by Noval in 2019.

All these wines were made by Carlos Agrellos, Noval’s technical director and all three are the result of strict selection in the vineyard.

Consequently, quantities are limited – just 2,600 cases of the classic Vintage port, representing 6.6% of the total Port production for the 155-hectare vineyard.

Seely is delighted with the quality and potential of these wines, from an extremely hot and dry year, that highlight the resilience of the Douro’s native grapes.

Rainfall at the quinta was only 364 mm during 2022’s growing season, 276 mm below the 1970-2000 average, while the property experienced recurrent heatwaves, in early July and in early August, with prolonged periods of temperatures over 40°C, with a peak of 45.5°C in mid-July.

Seely said that “such extremes are not entirely unprecedented: similar conditions were experienced in the great vintages of 2017 and 1945.”

Continuing, he remarked, “As in these years, 2022 demonstrated the remarkable resilience of our terroir and of our Douro varieties. The vines remained extremely healthy throughout the year, with very little disease pressure. Remarkably, the vines remained surprisingly green and free from water stress.”

In terms of the resulting wines, Seely said, “We knew from the start that the Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2022 was exceptional, and the wine has continued to develop wonderfully since the harvest, displaying the multi-layered complexity and depth that are typical of a great Nacional. Powerful and pure, it combines opulent richness, intensity and concentration with astonishing freshness.”

He added, “Particularly successful were the Touriga Nacionals and the field blend parcels, with also some excellent Touriga Francesa and Sousão. The 2022 is marked by great concentration and purity, profound, spicy and aromatic, a very typical expression of Noval’s terroir in an outstanding year for the property.”

Commenting specifically on Quinta do Passadouro Vintage Port 2022, he said that it was the result of a rigorous selection, with the blend being made from three small parcels in the Pinhão Valley. “The resulting wine is strongly marked by Passadouro’s distinctive style, pure floral and aromatic, but with the richness of the 2022 vintage,” he said.

With the 2022s marking the twelfth consecutive vintage from Quinta do Noval, this latest release is in keeping with the property’s strategy of declaring a ‘classic’ vintage Port from every harvest, but vary the quantities produced – in contrast to other producers who tend to release this top expression of Port on average three times a decade in more consistent quantities.

Commenting on this approach to dbSeely has previously said, “If in any given year, we have a wine of sufficient quality to be bottled as Quinta do Noval vintage port, even if the quantity is extremely small, which sometimes it is, then it is desirable thing to do, because if we don’t, it will never exist.”

Read more

Quinta do Noval declares 2021 vintage Ports

Quinta do Noval – an idiosyncratic approach

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