Quinta do Noval created the first LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) in 1958. An unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage made only with grapes from Noval's vineyards, this LBV is an outstanding introduction to the Noval style. It is treated exactly like a Vintage Port, made with only noble grape varieties from the Quinta, trodden by foot and unfiltered. The main difference is that it is aged for four, sometimes five years in wooden vats instead of the two years typical of Vintage Ports. LBV with a difference: fine structured tannins, great freshness and purity of fruit; it is delicious to drink today, but will age beautifully in its bottle. This is Noval's "Baby Vintage", and has the record of longevity to back up that claim.
2009 has delivered an opulent, dark VP with ripe aromas of cherries and blackberries, and vibrant concentrated fruit backed up by silky tannins. The complex structure will enable substantial ageing but the wine's luscious ripe fruit and dark, bitter-chocolate promise can be enjoyed today.
The most important thing to understand about Quinta do Noval is that, unlike the other famous names of the Port world, Noval is a single estate, a single vineyard. This immediately changes everything when it comes to the declaration of a vintage. The much larger Port houses need the region as a whole to have enjoyed superb vintage conditions in order to declare a harvest. This is firstly because they buy the vast majority of their fruit and therefore cannot control the viticulture (except at any Quintas that they own). Only with a grower's attention to detail in the vineyard and a strict selection, can a producer hope to outperform a vintage. Secondly, the large houses need to produce a minimum quantity if they declare a vintage under their main brand - in order to supply their significant markets. These two factors make it very difficult for a traditional Port shipper to declare a vintage in anything but an exceptional and even year. Things are different at Quinta do Noval. Firstly, controlling every aspect of their viticulture is an obvious advantage in challenging years and secondly, they have no issues in making a declaration even when the quantities are tiny, when only a small part of the vineyard, or even a few barrels, stand out as 'vintage quality'. Noval's philosophy is as refreshing as it is admirable and perfectly logical. If the quality is there, then it should be bottled! In 2014 there was some beautiful fruit harvested across the region early on, then the rain hit making things much more tricky. Novalmade a strict selection and has produced a small release of a magnificent wine. - Importer Note
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