All good things come to an end. This is the end for two pipes (casks) of a wine that were set aside 125 years ago and bottled this year. The 1896 vintage was a watershed for the Port trade as it was much the best harvest since phylloxera had ravaged the Douro valley in the 1870s. I have had the good fortune to taste a number of wines from this remarkable year including Dow 1869 (in 1998) and Cockburn (in 2012) both of which were still in extraordinary condition for the age.
Vintage Port Notes May 2021
Quinta do Noval 2007 ****/*****
This wine was served at the conclusion of a tasting of Noval’s wonderful 2017/2018 Douro wines (see Portuguese Notes). The year, declared as a vintage by most shippers including Noval, was relatively cool in the Douro. A wet winter was followed by a mild spring and summer with cool summer nights. There was rain towards the end of September but the harvest took place in perfect conditions. Fermentations were slower than usual and easy to control and the wines are characterised by their definition, balance and purity of fruit.