Quinta do Noval

Nacional Vintage Port 2017

Douro Valley, Portugal

The word “Nacional” 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.” When Noval’s vineyards were devastated by phylloxera in the late 19th century, the owner decided to replant a tiny parcel of the vineyard with ungrafted vines. These 6 acres of Nacional vines lie in an area indistinguishable from and surrounded by the other Noval vines.

Studied thoroughly by agronomists and scientists, the survival of the tiny parcel of legendary ungrafted vines is a mystery and the National is a unique and extraordinary phenomenon that does not necessarily follow the same rhythm as the rest of the Quinta do Noval. In some years a great Nacional is produced when Noval does not even declare the Quinta do Noval Vintage. In others, Quinta do Noval makes a great Vintage Port but the Nacional does not perform. 

Tasting a bottle from the minute production of Nacional is every port lover’s fantasy and Nacional is every port lover’s fantasy and this great wine is a source of pride to the people of Portugal and at its best the finest expression of the extraordinary terroir of Quinta do Noval.

Up close, it becomes apparent that the Nacional vines are slightly less vigorous, with smaller trunks and less foliage, and with leaves that are slightly less vibrant green. The berries are smaller, giving a higher ratio of skin to juice. The grapes are picked in one day and trodden in only the smallest lagares but otherwise are treated with the same meticulous care as the other Quinta do Noval wines.

“This wine is a mysterious phenomenon, a magical wine produced in extremely limited quantities and only in a few years each decade. It is the expression of a terroir and confirms something that is for me a deeply held belief. The Nacional is great because of the grapes and where they come from, not because of anything particular that we do. It has a unique personality, an extraordinary intensity and, even after many years of ageing, retains an astonishing youthfulness.” Christian Seely

VINEYARD

The Nacional parcel is planted with a mix of the noble grape varieties of the Douro, principally Touriga Franca; Tinto Cão; Touriga Nacional; Sousão and Tinta Roriz. As a vine dies, it is replanted from the cuttings of another vine in the vineyard.

WINEMAKING

Fermentation: The grapes were fermented in the traditional stone “lagares” of the Quinta, with temperature control at 84°F. Grapes were trodden by foot to obtain the must, then macerated during fermentation to
obtain the best possible extraction.
Aging: The wine was aged for 18 months in wooden barrels in the cellars of the Quinta.

VINTAGE

2017 was characterized by a cold, dry winter followed by an exceptionally hot and dry spring and summer. Apart from heavy rainfall (25mm) on July 6, only 300ml of rain fell since November 2016. June was the hottest month since 1980, with temperatures reaching 104-111°F in the Douro Valley during a heat wave lasting from June 7 – 24. Due to these extreme weather conditions, all phases of the vine’s growth were 15 – 20 days early compared to 2016. The vines weathered the shortage of water and the high temperatures well. At the end of August the harvest looked very promising, with excellent sanitary conditions. Harvest started much earlier than usual due to the weather: from August 17 for the white wines and August 21 for the reds and the Ports, lasting until September 28, with high temperatures and a total absence of rain.

Color

Red

Appellation

Douro Valley, Portugal

Alcohol

19.5%

Suggested Retail Price

$1125.00

Reviews

James Suckling - "Such fine tannins and it goes on and on and on. Full-bodied, compact and very fine. Sweet plums and old-vine, bark character. Lasts for minutes. Feels dry."

More on Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2017

Decanter on Quinta do Noval declaring the 2017 port vintage

April 16, 2019 - Decanter reveals that Quinta do Noval (and Symington Family Estates) has declared the 2017 port vintage. Quinta do Noval's Managing Director, Christian Seely commends the vintage stating that "2017 is…

Trade Materials

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