Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2004
The wine was made entirely from grapes of QUINTA do NOVAL –Vale de Mendiz – Pinhão - in the heart of the Douro valley.
This wine is produced exclusively from selected plots on the Quinta and trodden by foot in our lagares and is only declared when various factors combine to make an exceptional year. Intensely powerful and concentrated, this wine is adapted to age in bottle, developing over years, releasing a complex variety of flavors.
The 2004 Vintage Port "Nacional" is a declared Vintage Port aged for 18 months in wooden casks. An old vines field blend, it comes in at just 79 grams per liter of residual sugar, rather dry on paper and in perception. Typically graceful and leaning on elegance in the mid-palate, it is laced with some herbs and rhubarb up front. It is very aromatic and it opens with a distinctive flavor profile compared to others in the Vintage Port lineup that I had open. In the mid-palate, it seems like a very fine table wine in some ways, showing remarkable finesse and focus, and a rather dry finish. It is completely closed and gives little. The structure and the underlying concentration are all obvious, though. They are classic and they make this a cellar candidate from the get-go. Despite being over a decade old, this is tight, firm, powerful and too young. After playing around with it for several days, I saw it finally begin to blossom, to show fresh fruit and something besides austerity. By the end of the week, it was far more evolved, showing its wonderful concentration, increasingly interesting intensity of flavor and a long finish. It is never obvious, but it is always quite gorgeous. This is an old school Port on an old school schedule. It needs cellaring. If extended aeration makes it at least a bit approachable, it is not exactly showing all it has and all it can be. Be patient--even if it is more approachable in a decade or so, that won't be even close to its peak. If you're patient and young, give it a try around 2040.
With its inky dark color, this is darkly dense, a huge mouthful of black fruits and dark, initially medicinal flavors and firm, concentrated tannins. It will age 20 years at least, but its sweet, ripe fruit suggest it could be drunk much earlier than that.
Has lots of grapey, stemmy, rich aromas. Full-bodied, lightly sweet and chewy, with plenty of grip. Layered and rich. Serious and structured. All there for the vintage. Best after 2017.
This blend is extreme in its structural tension, a vast amount of blackberry and datelike fruit pulled in the direction of searingly dry, mineral tannin. The alcohol increases that impression of austerity. Bottle age should relieve some of the tension; for best enjoyment beyond 15 years from the vintage.