Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994

The silence on my website has been deafening over the past few weeks, at least to me. I have been busy finishing the third edition of my book Port and the Douro which is due to be published in the autumn. With nearly all the i's dotted and t's crossed I can go back to posting tasting notes on my website. One of the highlights of updating my book was spending a day with António Agrellos at Quinta do Noval. At the end of lunch he served two wondefrul wines, Noval Colheita 1968 (bottled in 2012) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994. I was too busy talking about clonal selection with Nuno Magalhães, viticultural consultant to Noval, to take detailed notes on the '68 Colheita, but suffice to say that it was a beautiful wine, quite sweet and rich in style with highlights of chocolate and torrefaction. It is bottled to order.  However I never miss an opportunity to take notes on a Nacional:

Quinta do Noval Nacional 1994 ****

Mid-deep, youthful colour as you would expect from an eigthteen year old wine of this calibre; wonderfully pure fragrance, surprisingly delicate, open and floral in character, cherry fruit, not especially big, powerful or muscular and seemingly quite forward (surprisingly so), pure, great finesse, long and very charming. Despite being ready to drink this is a beautifully poised Nacional which I suspect will surprise us with its longevity.  Only 240 cases made.  18

Location: Quinta do Noval

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty