Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is characterised by its purity of fruit and a fine, delicate quality that is typical of the wines of the property in general, but which finds its most remarkable and enduring expression in the Vintage Ports.
Equilibrium, harmony, finesse and elegance characterise our great Vintage Ports, which are declared only when we are certain that the year has produced a blend, however small, that is worthy of bearing the name of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port.
Noval follows its own path in its approach to Vintage Port. If we believe that we have wines of the quality and personality to join the ranks of the Quinta do Noval Vintage Ports of previous years, we will bottle it and declare it, even if this means declaring several years in a row, and even if it means, as is often the case, bottling only a few hundred cases of Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, representing a tiny percentage of the total production of the Quinta.
Of course, in very great years, when there is unanimity among Port producers, and a General Declaration results, Quinta do Noval will declare its wine also, and perhaps with a little more wine than usual. But whatever the year, the standards of selection in the Noval tasting room are extremely rigorous, and even in the more generous years volumes of our Vintage Ports are always extremely small: at the very most, up to 15% of the production of our great vineyard terroir.
In the case of 2021, the selection of 1500 cases of 12 bottles represents 4% of our production.
Characteristics of the vintage
The viticultural year began with a fairly wet winter followed by mild temperatures leading into spring. These two conditions led to an early budburst in March. April provided us with regular rainy spells that positively replenished the soil water reserves. Flowering occurred quite early in the beginning of May that led us to expect an early harvest. June was a difficult month, very hot and humid, where regular thunderstorms and hail affected the region, but fortunately spared Quinta do Noval.
July's mild weather started to shape the character of this harvest because it contrasted completely to last year's record setting temperatures during the same month. The mild conditions continued into August and led to a slow homogeneous ripening of the grapes and noticeably less dehydration than in 2020.
We started to harvest our red grapes on the 26th of August. The Port musts gave very attractive aromas. Then came a series of heavy rainfalls on the 2nd, 13th and 24th of September. We suspended the picking for three days after the first two rains to allow the grapes to resume their ripening. We observed a positive phenolic development in all the grape varieties as the sunny weather and mild temperatures kicked in for the rest of the month. The usual spike in sugar readings never really occurred so we stretched the harvest as far as possible to allow all of our plots to ripen. We finally finished picking on the 8th of October under clear skies and moderate temperatures.
Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2021 has a marked stylistic individuality, reflecting the particular conditions of the vintage. Very elegant and balanced on the nose, with great finesse, it reveals pure floral notes and black fruit aromas. This 2021 Vintage Port is strongly aromatic, with dense, firm and fine tannins. The purity of the fruit, the elegance and the balance are among the most striking characteristics of this lovely vintage year.
Carlos Agrellos, Technical Director (June 2023)
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Sousão, Tinta Roriz
Grapes are trodden by foot to obtain the must, then they macerate in the lagares, the traditional stone vats from the Quinta, to ensure the best possible extraction of aromas, colour and tannins during fermentation.
It is matured for 18 months in wooden casks in the air-conditioned cellars of the Quinta, at the demarcated region of the Douro Valley before bottling.
Residual sugar: 97g/dm³
Total acidity: 4.6g/dm³