Purple in color moving toward a red rim. Fruit jump out of the glass aromatically, with baked strawberries, fresh figs, blackberry juice, and red cherries being the most obvious of them. On the palate subtle spices come to life. Slight forest floor, peanut skins, and crushed walnuts can be found lingering on the plush palate. Rich and full bodied, this wine is perfect with dessert (pour it on top of vanilla ice cream!!) or with a cheese and cured meat plate. Recommended hour-long decant prior to enjoying.
Noval, one of the showpiece estates of the Douro, releases vintages in most years. This wine gives a fine reflection of what is, in fact, a great vintage which was almost a general declaration. It is impressive, ripe with generous black fruits and a fine balance between the spirit and the rich structure and fruit. It is going to mature quickly in the sense that it can be drunk within the next five years. It will also age for several decades.
This is very polished in feel, with long, caressing, fine-grained structure that allows plum eau-de-vie, boysenberry puree and blackberry cobbler notes to play out at their leisure. Light anise and ganache hints accent the finish while the fruit blazes through. Rock ‘em, sock ‘em Port. Best from 2030 through 2045. 2,600 cases made.
Exquisite aromas of blackberry, stone, violet and blueberry. Lead pencil too. Ink. Full body, chewy and linear with super polished yet intense tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Classic Noval character through a direct punch to the palate. This needs at least until 2022 to open but already excellent.
The 2015 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for 18 months in old casks. It comes in at 94 grams per liter of residual sugar. This was a tank sample, out of barrel and the final blend, about two weeks away from bottling when tasted at Noval's lodge, but it was also re-tasted from bottle in the USA a short while later. Given the shipping not long after bottling, I'll still use a range, even if leaning to the higher part of it. It should be in the marketplace by the time this article appears. Lighter styled, this has an elegant mid-palate and subtle demeanor—but Noval always seems to me to emphasize mid-palate finesse. Then, there are the gloriously fresh flavors of the vintage, a year that produced fine intensity of flavor. Strongly aromatic, it also has hints of eucalyptus on the nose and/or cistus. Tightening steadily as it aired out, it demonstrated that it has that serious backbone, the firmness, I've come to expect, too. It was much more interesting about three days after it was first opened, sunnier and more expressive. The finish is long and jam-packed with delicious fruit, while the purity of that fruit is remarkable. Between its backbone and the freshness of the year, it should age well. Few will refuse a second glass of this debonair Porto at the moment, but it has a significant upside in the cellar. The fashionable trend these days is to suggest drinking Vintage Port younger and younger, but many will be happier with this around 2030-2035 or so. Admittedly, it is wonderfully delicious now.