There is only one fortified wine in the Wine Spectator’s 12 bottle case of the 20th Century: Quinta do Noval Nacional. That first, legendary vintage in 1931 created a mystique that continues to this day. The name “Nacional” refers to the Portuguese vines growing on native soils with no foreign root stock— “attached to the soil of the Nation.” The survival of the tiny parcel of vines untouched by phylloxera is a mystery. When declared, only 200-300 cases are produced. Fida is thrilled to offer the 2019 vintage to our members. We have also developed a small library of back vintages so please reach out if you’re looking for a specific bottling.
Fida ships wines in refrigerated containers and stores wines in temperature controlled warehouses.
Quinta Do Noval
Douro Valley, Portugal
Quinta do Noval has matured over centuries to become the greatest producer in the Douro Valley. More than a house or producer, Noval is a vineyard with all vintage wines sourced entirely from the single namesake vineyard. Nacional—planted with a mix of the noble grape varieties of the Douro, principally Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Touriga Nacional, Sousão, and Tinta Roriz—is a single plot within that vineyard.
Using only the utmost care, the Noval team employs massal selection in order to preserve the authenticity of this site: when a vine dies, it is replanted from the cuttings of another vine in the vineyard. The Nacional vines in particular are slightly less vigorous, with smaller trunks, less foliage and with leaves that are a less vibrant green. The berries are smaller, providing a higher ratio of skin to juice. The grapes are harvested in a single day and trodden by foot in only the smallest lagares.
Quinta do Noval Nacional 2019 is the top scorer in Decanter’s roundup of 2019 Ports and received similar acclaim from critics around the globe. Mark Squires of the Wine Advocate scored the wine 99 Points stating,
It is brighter and laser-like focused with an expression of fruit that seems so pure that you can almost think they used a spoon to fill the bottle after just crushing the grapes.
Purity of fruit is a hallmark for the legendary port house. The vintage itself benefited from a mild winter and generally dry conditions. Summer temperatures in the Douro were fortunately lower than usual this year, making the absence of rain easier to bear for the vines. Moreover, low humidity led to low disease pressure in the vineyards and beautiful healthy grapes.
We continue to see Quinta do Noval Nacional on the auction block. The demand is high and savvy collectors know this is a must for any well-rounded cellar. Like most of Noval’s vintage ports, we recommend decanting and serving at cellar temperature. If possible, I’d hold on to this beauty for as long as I could bear and then truly experience the magnificence of this mysterious site.