QUINTA DO NOVAL NACIONAL is a rare and collectible wine. No other vintage Port attracts more attention or higher prices. Its collectability can be partly attributed to its tiny production. Only 250 - 300 cases are produced in a declared year
The legendary Nacional vintage Port is made from grapes grown on a small 2.5 hectare parcel of ungrafted vines at the heart of the Quinta do Noval vineyard. After the Phylloxera invasion of the 1870`s, the Douro valley was replanted with vines grafted onto American rootstock, resistant to the Phylloxera louse.
However, for reasons which remain unclear, ungrafted vines survive in this small area of vineyard. Of course, the vines do not date from before the 1870s. In fact the average age of the Nacional parcel is 35 years. There are many very old vines, but also young ones. When a nacional vine dies or becomes unproductive, it is replaced by a cutting grown from another Nacional vine, which is planted directly in the soil. Elsewhere, this is impossible, as the vine would need to be grafted onto American rootstock.
The yield from the nacional parcel is exceptionally low. Annual production varies between 200 and 300 12 bottle cases. This of course means that the wine is very rare. Nacional is characteristically immensely concentrated and complex, an intense inky black when young, and exceptionally long lived. Legendary vintages include 1931, 1963 and 1994, though great Nacionals have been made in many Vintage and non Vintage years throughout this century since 1931.
|Tasting Notes: Dark inky color. Super ripe rich fruit and spicy nose. Very elegant and lovely balanced with big velvety tannins and dense black fruit flavors on the palate. Very long finish.
| Wine Advocate 100 points (Jan 2000)
The 1997 Nacional is a legend from this pre-phylloxera vineyard. The color is a saturated black/purple. The nose reveals floral scents intermixed with coffee, blackberries, tar, cassis, licorice, and chocolate. Extremely full-bodied, but less massive and seamless, this spectacular Nacional will reach its plateau of maturity quickly, where it will remain for 2-3 decades. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2040.”
Wine Spectator 98 points (Jan 1 2008)
Concentrated aromas of crushed blackberry, dark chocolate and black licorice. Full-bodied and medium-sweet, but big and rich. Very velvety and long. Focused and beautiful. So much going on here. Fabulous. A fruit bomb. Yet fresh and seductive. Give it some time. '77/'85/'97 blind Port retrospective. Best after 2009. 250 cases made. –JS
|Varietal Composition: Touriga Nacional; Touriga Francesa; Tinta Roriz; Tinto Cão; Sousão.
Vineyard Location: The wine was made with grapes coming from the famous small parcel called Nacional, with 6.000 ungrafted wines, at QUINTA do NOVAL -Vale de Mendiz - Pinhão - in the heart of the Douro valley.
Analysis: Alcohol 20,4 % vol
Residual Sugar 80,8g/dm3
Total Acid 4,54g/dm3
Barrel Type: used wood barrels of 640 liters or larger.
Bottling Date: year of 1999.
Barrel Time: 2 years in wooden barrels in the air-conditioned cellars of the Quinta, at the demarcated region of the Douro Valley before bottling. It should age in bottle for 12 to 15 years before attaining the complexity and bouquet characteristic of a Vintage.
Vinification: the grapes were trodden by foot and fermented in a small traditional lagar of the Quinta, with temperature control at 28º, where a disciplined and intense treading is fundamental for a good final result.