1987 Quinta do Noval Nacional

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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DRT
Fonseca 1966
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1987 Quinta do Noval Nacional

Post by DRT » 23:21 Fri 22 Jun 2007

As a bit of a celebration I decided to open my first ever bottle of Quinta do Noval Nacional. I will start this process by admitting here and now that I am way out of my depth. I accepted from the outset that I probably would not appreciate the finer qualities and complexity of this port as I do not have the experience required to do so. That said, I couldn't stop myself from trying.

This bottle was purchased in March 05 from the Noval shop in Gaia. Provenance is therefore not an issue. I had very little time to play with so I decanted straight from the cellar through a filter. On decanting there was very little smell from the wine but then it was still at around 12 degrees C. The wine was dark red but with a very slight brown tinge, not purple as I would expect with port this dark. There was very little sediment in the bottle and the wine was clear, not cloudy, which surprised me given the decanting method. I poured half the bottle into a 375ml and put it in the fridge for tomorrow. Many of you might think I should be hung for this alone.

My first taste was after 1 hour - I have no patience or willpower - there is now a powerful but subdued fruit packed aroma. It reminded me of the dense smell I got from the 2003 VP's I tasted last year. The taste is a new experience to me - tons of fruit but nothing specific in my memory to associate it with. Velvety mouth feel with absolutely no heat. A good long finish but then bone dry, pulling the cheeks together as the tannins kicked in.

I had 3 more glasses over a 2 hour period and did not detect any significant change in aroma or taste. At this point I was slightly disappointed, even though the wine was superb and certainly among the top 3 I have tasted, the others being Fonseca 63 and 66. My disappointment was mostly at my own impatience - had I not given this wine enough respect and time in the decanter?

Day 2
I poured the 375ml back into the decanter leaving a small amount of fine
sediment in the bottle. There was no brown tinge in the wine this time and the colour was a brighter darker red than on the previous evening. I got exactly the same initial smell, almost none, but enough to tell me this wine had not evolved in the fridge overnight - phew!

I managed to wait 3 hours before tasting. This time I could smell the fruit before I even got my nose over the decanter. Huge black jammy fruits in the air. The colour seemed to be improving all the time and is now very dark bright red with a dark pink rim. The mouth feel was silky smooth. The taste was of immense amounts of black fruits. Not so drying as the day before but those big tannins were still around somewhere. There is now a very small but warm and satisfying heat after 10 seconds or so in the mouth which lingered into the finish. My mouth watered from the second the smell hit my nose all the way to the end of the finish, which seemed to be measured in minutes rather than seconds.

Over the next 2 hours this wine just got bigger and better but not different. It seems to come out of itself without changing into something else, if you know what I mean?

I don't (or rather can't) give scores to wine but I definately rate this in my top 3 in terms of overall impact (smell, colour, taste, finish). As mentioned before, the other 2 are Fonseca 1963 and 66 - which are both more than 20 years older and more evolved than this is.

This wine reminds me of an adolecent boy - more muscles and potential than he knows what to do with and not yet ready to be properly tested. After I had finished it I read my Broadbent book - his recommended drinking window for this wine starts in 2012, I think he might be right - must remember to work on that patience thing.

My 1st Nacional is an experience I will not foget and has only made me want more

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KillerB
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Post by KillerB » 23:26 Fri 22 Jun 2007

This wine reminds me of an adolecent boy
There's a reason they are all covered in spots :shock:

Sadly, the one we had in Brum was not up to this standard, I still think that there was something wrong with that bottle.

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DRT
Fonseca 1966
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Post by DRT » 23:40 Fri 22 Jun 2007

Certainly was. When I re-read this note it brought back no memories of the bottle we shared a few months ago. I have another bottle so hopefully that is the same as this first one :wink:

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jdaw1
Taylor 1900
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NN87

Post by jdaw1 » 03:35 Sun 24 Jun 2007

I bought a case of this in New York, and have not had as strong an experience as have you. Alas.

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KillerB
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
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Joined: 22:09 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Sky Blue City, England

Post by KillerB » 23:42 Sun 24 Jun 2007

I should point out that my experience is not something you should be sorry to miss. It wasn't awful, just mildly (not even desperately) uninspiring. Bad bottle, as previously noted.

Conky
Fonseca 1980
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Post by Conky » 00:59 Mon 25 Jun 2007

Cant argue. My only bottle of Nacional, and it was plain and uninspiring. I suppose we've got a treat to look forward to? When we try a bottle in its prime. Tryimg to be very positive!

Alan

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DRT
Fonseca 1966
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Post by DRT » 01:07 Mon 25 Jun 2007

I have the to admit that my experience of NN is greater than most, having dined in the Noval lodge on a trip organised by Roy Hersh and Marrio Ferierra. We drank some great wines that evening, and I have also had a few NN's ayt offlines. The one I shared with Alan and Alex at Birmingham was definately flawed. This should not be used as a benchmark of any NN VP, it was just a very expensive bad bottle of port :?

Derek

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