A very deeply coloured blend of 60% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Francesa and 10% Tinto Cão, which is 100% sourced from the Quinta do Noval vineyard. Though initially quite mineral (schistous) on the nose, a swirl of the glass swiftly unlocks its heady violet perfume. This is an energetic yet very finely wrought, elegant Port with wonderfully fresh, pure, seemingly just picked and crushed sweet black berry and cherry fruits which positively saturate the palate so juicy are they. With slinky tannins, its very long in the mouth (unlike me this is a joyous Port!) really fluid. Great poise and finesse. Terrific. 19% abv.
The Nacional, harvested on the 10th October, hails from a small area at the heart of the Quinta do Noval vineyard which is planted with ungrafted vines (including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Sousão and Mourisco Tinto) and untouched by phylloxera. As Noval put itNacional refers to the fact that the vines are Portuguese vines growing in Portuguese soil with no foreign root stock, and are therefore attached to the soil of the Nation and my oh my, how it shows in this super-intense, savoury, sinewy wine. It is a dense black hue really opaque. Where the Noval is mercurial, the weightier Nacional exudes authority. Almost impenetrable on the nose, it implodes in the mouth, pulling you along with its rip tide of dark glistening fruit, minerals and spice. With a firm, sinewy anchor of tannins this drier, cooler, very characterful customer is in no hurry. Magnificent with decades ahead of it (Noval reckon best 5-50 years after bottling, compared with 4-40 years for the straight Quinta do Noval). 19% abv