Quinta do Noval VINTAGE Port 2017
#53 - Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019
This is well-packed, offering the vivid plum, boysenberry, cassis and açaí berry fruit profile of the vintage, along with a dark edge of tar, baker’s chocolate and salted licorice that courses underneath. The long finish lets the fruit play out, keeping singed alder and chai spice hints in the background. Smolderingly seductive. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz. Best from 2035 through 2060. 3,500 cases made. ..
Big grip in this wine with dark blackberries, blueberries and floral notes. Fine tannins. Ripe but sweet and pretty. Shows a lovely finish. Try after 2027.
The 2017 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port was picked from August 21 to September 28 under perfect conditions. It has a tightly wound bouquet that requires a lot of aeration. Eventually it reveals fabulous, detailed aromas of cassis, bilberry jam, crushed stone and pressed violets, later hints of orange blossom and quince. The palate is pure class. Saturated tannins, wonderful structure but the headline is the intensity of fruit. I cannot remember a Noval with this penetration, almost overwhelming the senses as layers of effervescent black plum and cassis fruit segue into a spicy finish that fans out like there is no tomorrow. Is this the best Quinta do Noval ever?
The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão and Sousão, aged for 18 months in old wood vats. It comes in with 99 grams of residual sugar. This was bottled in May 2019, about a month before tasting, but I made sure at least some of it had a lot of air. Aromatic, wonderfully fragrant and laced with eucalyptus, this then shows typical Noval focus and power. A couple of hours in a glass simply increased the power. More intense than the very fine 2016, it grips the palate and shows rather significant astringency. As wonderfully aromatic as this is, there the 2016 might have the edge. Too closed and muscular once past the aromatics, this rather dry Port needs some time. It is harder to read than the 2016 was, but this should overtake it in time. Have some patience with this one.
The straight 2017 Vintage Port is stunning stuff. It packs serious power and richness while staying beautifully polished and, dare I say, elegant. Notes of crème de cassis and liquid blackberries define the attack, but it offers an incredibly layered, nuanced, complex style in its notes of herbes de Provence, violets, spicy wood, licorice, and Asian spice aromas and flavors. While it’s no doubt a full-bodied Port, it stands out just as much for its incredible polish, balance, and purity. This a brilliant effort is more approachable than the Nacional bottling yet is nevertheless going to evolve for 50-60 years or more on its flawless balance.