1997 Quinta do Noval Vintage Port

SKU #240128 100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1997 vintage port is the greatest Quinta do Noval I have ever tasted. The wine of the vintage, this black/purple-colored port boasts fabulous aromatics (espresso, blackberries, licorice, tar, and flowers), followed by massive concentration, full body, and levels of depth and richness. Gorgeously sweet, stunningly concentrated and full-bodied, this profound vintage port should be legendary. Quinta do Noval's production normally approaches 4,000 cases, but in 1997, only 1,200 cases were produced, so it will be extremely limited in availability. (RP)  (12/1999)

96 points Wine Spectator

 Shows a light lifted hint, leading to very expressive bergamot, blood orange and sandalwood notes, backed by darker steeped plum and raspberry fruit flavors. This has a warm feel through the finish, with a bramble hint echoing solidly. Gorgeous now, and there's no rush. (JM, Web Only-2018)

94 points Vinous

 Good medium ruby. Slightly high-toned aromas of black cherry, blackberry and licorice; more medicinal today than the regular vintage bottling. Big, rich and sweet, but still dominated by baby fat and in a rather monolithic stage today. Very ripe but the medicinal menthol quality currently holds the upper hand over the wine's glossy dark fruits. It's hard to envision the wine's final form today. (ST) 94+  (11/2012)

93 points John Gilman

 I have always liked the style and shape of the 1997 vintage ports and the ’97 Quinta do Noval was showing beautifully at out September tasting. This is still a very young port, but it has emerged from its period of hibernation and its ultimate quality is quite easy to read, as the wine jumps from the glass in a fine aromatic mélange of black cherries, black raspberries, a touch of heather, cigar smoke, lovely soil tones, coffee grounds, cedar and the first stirrings of some autumnal notes in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and vibrant, with a superb core, fine focus and a very long, tangy and ripely tannic finish. This is going to be an outstanding vintage for Quinta do Noval. 93+  (9/2012)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson with a red rim. Complex, lifted nose. Very rich and round and smothers the palate in intense herby fruit. Some tea leaves and great vigour. Extremely good. With a long future and great balance. Long and beautifully clean on the finish. Very firm tannins. (JR) 18.5/20 points  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

93 points, Neal Martin in Wine Advocate: "The 1997 Quinta do Noval has a glorious bouquet that represents a significant step up from the 1994 Vintage Noval. Initially, it is broody and bides its time before opening with dusky blackberry and bilberry fruit, leather, scorched earth and Provencal herbs. It is well-defined and barely seems to have aged in the intervening years. It is rounder in the mouth compared to the Nacional: soft and supple with a spicier finish. Packed full of flavor, this is an impressive Noval that is beginning to drink now and should continue to do so for 20+ years." (04/2014)

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- Although quite small, Portugal produces a great variety of wines ranging from light and fizzy Vinho Verde to hearty and tannic Port. Portugal is Europe's fourth-largest wine-producing region, and has been exporting its wine since the 14th century. The Douro Valley of Portugal is the original and current home for the world's finest Port. The valley spans from east of the city of Oporto all the way to the border of Spain and is the country's best known wine region. Lesser-appreciated DOCs like Bairrada and Dão area also emerging for their fine, rustic reds.


- Port is a fortified wine made by stopping the fermentation with brandy. The result is a heavy sweet wine, most often red, that is dense, rich and high in alcohol. Port is made all over the world with some great results in Australia and South Africa, but the most famous of these dessert wines come from Portugal. The great port houses (or lodges) are located along the Duoro River on the steep slate slopes high above the valley floor. There are several styles of port, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage Character, Late Bottle Vintage, Colheita, and Single Quinta. Vintage ports are made in special years that the houses declare.