2005 and 2013 Quinta do Noval: The Latest Releases


Quinta do Noval recently released two new bottlings, their fifth Colheita Tawny Port since Christian Seely became managing director, following 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2003, plus a new Late Bottled Vintage.

The 2005 Colheita Tawny Port was picked in a dry season, with 74% less rain than during the thirty-year average. There were two spells of picking: 29 August to 4 September and then 19 September until 16 October. It is a blend of Touriga Naçional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz, all from the Quinta and trodden by foot in granite lagares. About half the production was released after 13 years in barrel, the other half due for release in several years. The 2005 slightly paler than expected, with moderate bricking on the rim as one might expect from a Tawny Port. The bouquet is open and inviting, with scents of red fruit, chestnut, smoke, clove and sage, quite complex and gaining intensity after five or ten minutes in the glass. The palate is well balanced but conveys a welcome fieriness, plenty of ginger and hints of Moroccan spice lacing the red fruit. There is fine weight here, but it is the liveliness and persistence that really elevates this Colheita. Very fine. 19.5% alcohol. 92/Drink 2022-2040.

The 2013 Unfiltered LBV Port has a fresh black cherry, blueberry, vanilla pod and grilled hazelnut bouquet that deserves 30 to 45 minutes in the glass to really blossom. It gains complementary scents of ink and iodine with aeration. The palate is smooth and silky, with a pinch of white pepper spicing up the entry. There is commendable weight here, a slightly gritty texture around the second half with black plum, tangy marmalade and clove towards the harmonious finish. The 2013 can be broached now, although I am certain that it will age over the next decade, perhaps longer, if so desired. 19.5% alcohol. 89/Drink 2019-2035.