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1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 00:18 Sun 14 Jun 2009
by AHB
Opened as part of the Wokingham tasting on June 11, 2009.

Ullaged to low shoulder. Pale brown in colour, faded and very cloudy. Nosing of pine needles and gingerbread. Slightly hollow on entry but then full of band aid offset by burnt sugar. Good development and lots of complexity with a nice offsetting sweetness. Very hot burst on the aftertaste, but then a very long and lingering finish. 89/100.

Re: 1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 23:34 Sun 14 Jun 2009
by Roy Hersh
Hi Alex,

Interesting. As you know from your Noval vs. Nacional vertical with Linden and Christian, the 1931 can be about as great as any VP out there. Sorry to hear that was not the case with this particular bottle. I opened the note, expecting to see you go big with your score and was looking forward to a stellar TN from you, but it must have been a bottle with some issues not to even reach a 90 point rating.

Coincidentally, last Monday with one of my tasting groups, we had a long discussion of this particular Vintage Port and everyone was talking about their experiences when they have tried 'em in the past. Hopefully the very next bottle you try of this ... is remarkable. Was this from the stash that Tom had unearthered, not knowing initially (due to the description) that they were 1931 Noval's -- a couple of years ago?

Re: 1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 12:01 Mon 15 Jun 2009
by Axel P
Well, good that there will be another one soon. :D


Re: 1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 13:40 Tue 16 Jun 2009
by AHB
This wasn't one of the bottles that Tom was lucky enough to stumble across, but was a bottle I acquired some months ago for a price which reflected the risk being taken on the ullage. The last bottle I had was much better and I hope that the next bottle I have will be as good as that one.

But at 89 points, last week's Noval '31 was still very pleasant and enjoyable.

Re: 1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 00:30 Wed 17 Jun 2009
by Roy Hersh
Thanks for the clarification Alex. I am sorry, as I did not mean to imply the recent bottle was not good as certainly 89 points is quite respectable ... however given how high scores can go for best bottles of the 1931 Noval VP, truly one of the very greatest Port ever made, imo, I know as you do as well ... what these can achieve when perfect. Nothing wrong with gambling on bottles with ullage of that level, when the price is right.

Re: 1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 22:39 Thu 18 Jun 2009
by benread
Firstly, it was a privelege to be able to try this, regardless of the actuality. I guessed this was from the 1920's so I was not too far out. I also noted the cloudyness of it, but having left it undisturbed in my glass for the evening it started to settle and improve. To me, the taste was orange.

Alex was good enough to share some history later in the evening which I noted. When this wine was growing:

Nevada legalised gambling
Dali painted his Clocks
The Star Spangled Banner became the US national anthem

Re: 1931 Quinta do Noval vintage port

Posted: 23:46 Thu 18 Jun 2009
by uncle tom
No, this wasn't one of mine.

But I did decant this particular bottle, and was struck by the powerful aroma of pine resin when it was opened.

The cork had the consistency of plasticene, and the wine took a very long time to pass through a coffee filter paper; yet despite that, fine sediment was seen forming in the glass when it was drunk.

The bottle appeared to have been shipped to the USA and then shipped back (a provenance always worthy of worry..)

My guess is that this bottle was very badly cooked at some point, and that the loss of level was primarily due to evaporation, not leakage - an appalling neglect of a classic wine.

It is the baeuty of port that it resists abuse so well, but this bottle was seemingly pushed to the extreme. My thanks to Alex for surrendering the bottle - it might have been so much better...

I have been coaxed into releasing one of my bottles for consumption in a few days time. I am excited, quietly confident, but also nervous..!

The selection of the bottle gave me the excuse to give my stash it's first examination in two years - no leaks, and all levels in neck - not only a classic wine, but fantastic condition for it's age..

I do hope it lives up to its reputation, as witnessed by the first bottle I opened..