This is a significant event in Quinta do Noval history: this year, Quinta do Noval declared not only its Vintage 2011 but also its Vintage Nacional 2011, one of the world’s rarest and most sought-after wines.
Quinta do Noval has always adopted an independent approach to the subject and will only declare wines of unsurpassed excellence. Its declaration of the renowned Vintage 1931, when most of the other Port houses did not take the risk, has gone down in history.
Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional, from ungrafted Portuguese vines “rooted in the soil of the nation”, was last declared almost 10 years ago in 2003. A unique phenomenon, it does not necessarily follow the same rhythm as other Quinta do Noval wines. Years such as 2011, when both the legendary Nacional plot and the rest of the vineyard produced Vintage Ports of outstanding excellence, are rare.
Although there is no such thing as an easy year in the Douro Valley, 2011 was a particularly challenging year in the vineyard. After a wet winter the weather was highly erratic from spring to autumn, with several extreme heat waves. Rain towards the end of August having provided the necessary moisture for maturation to resume its course, Noval gambled on postponing the harvest for a week for the grapes to reap the full benefit of this unhoped for precipitation and reach full maturity.
With continued brilliant sunshine, this late harvest turned out to be an excellent decision. Once crushed in the lagares, the grapes revealed a wonderful deep colour, remarkable aromas and ideal sugar content and acidity: the sign of a year with immense potential.
Quinta do Noval Vintage 2011 has proved to be very alluring: with its wonderful balance of depth and smoothness, complex aromas and fresh floral notes, it is the ultimate expression of the Quinta do Noval soul. As for Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional 2011, its powerful, fine tannins combine with very intense, concentrated notes of fruit to give a true explosion of aromas in the mouth. Fresh and well-balanced, it shows extraordinary cellaring potential and promises to make 2011 a benchmark Vintage for Port lovers.