The 2007 Port Vintage is not comparable to any other that I have tasted in my career (I go back to the 1983 vintage, not that far but still far enough). The wines have a wonderful purity. The vibrant fruit that is so expressive of the Douro shines through clearly on the nose and palate. The 2007s have a freshness and vivacity that I have not seen at this stage before. 'Elegance' and 'poise' are words that crop up frequently in my tasting notes, particularly among the best wines which are supported by fine, tight-knit tannins.
Vintage Port Notes May 2009
Quinta do Noval, Colheita 1974 ****/*****
From the year of a the revolution in Portugal, an unusual but very fine Colheita from a house better known for their vintage Ports: very pale, pink amber-tawny; very refined, milk chocolate aromas, touch of vinagrinho on the nose; smooth, silky, suave, very seductive with citrus freshness, refined, polished, delicate, perfect balance. Gentle. Lovely. 18.5
These wines were tasted at the joint launch of the 2007 vintage in London by the Symington family, the Fladgate Partnership and Quinta do Noval. It was a strange choice of wines to show given that both of these vintages are currently at that adolescent stage of surliness when they are not showing particularly well. The heat of the 2003 vintage comes through on many of the wines in complete contrast to the cool purity of many of the recently declared 2007s which were on show at the same tasting. The wines are listed in the order they were presented.
Niepoort Garrafeira 1977 ****
Garrafeira is an unusual style of Port, unique to Niepoort. From the 1977 vintage this wine spent 5 years in wood with the remainder in glass demi-john before bottling in 2007. Brick red centre, tawny rim; fine, fragrant creamy nose, good milk chocolate character; fine, rich sweet-spicy milk chocolate flavours, still quite vibrant and fresh with a long fine finish. 17.5