Christian Seely’s blog started off the new year with a great video clip of the Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional Vertical Tasting held back in New York in September, which Seely calls “one of the most exciting and enjoyable events of 2012″. Take a look at the clip below!
Christian Seely just published a great blog post on the exceptional vertical tasting of Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional held at NYC’s Eleven Madison Park a few weeks ago. Seely writes: “It was a wonderful day, and the wines showed very well. For me, the most satisfying aspect was to observe the similarities of personality between the great wines of the Sixties and those of more recent years. This is a terroir with a very strong and unique identity, and it was a moving experience to be able to taste this across the decades.” Click here to read his full blog post, and check out the video below for a glimpse of this truly memorable tasting!
Our very own Philippe Newlin appears on WMUR in New Hampshire with Stuart Cameron of Hanover Street Chophouse, pairing Noval ports with a gourmet chocolate bark. A fitting end to wine week in New Hampshire!
Super video showing the strenuous picking and foot-treading of grapes, and not so strenuous enjoyment of wines, at Quinta do Noval. Click on the link below to see wonderful visuals as well as some of the factors that make Quinta do Noval unique – traditional vinification methods including no use of machines and astonishingly high percentage of treading grapes by foot.
As the weather cools down, we’re thrilled to take the lid off one of the most exciting developments in our portfolio, introduced earlier this year, and appropriate after a few weeks of cooler weather.
It’s Noval BLACK.
When you look at the crème de la crème of the port world, Quinta do Noval stands out for several important reasons – most important of all, it has a singular focus on site. Noval is one vineyard and its vintage ports, aged tawnies and LBV come from this one vineyard. Noval’s determined and unique efforts to build all their winemaking, storage and shipping facilities at the vineyard underlie an obsession with vineyard over port-making process, and a very different, terroir-driven approach.
Noval perched above the Douro and Pinhao Rivers, the very heart of the Douro's finest area
In 1994, Christian Seely directed the effort of Noval’s new owners to re-plant two-thirds of its vineyards and build the facilities mentioned above, all of which over the previous decade had fallen into disrepair. Without trying to exaggerate, the quality of fruit growing at Noval today is unprecedented in the Douro. If you’ve tasted some of the Noval ports the last few years, you have seen how the LBV, 10 Year Tawny and Vintage Ports are reaching extraordinary heights as this fruit makes its way into the wines. Two years ago, Noval decided they wanted to bottle a wine that encapsulates their site-based approach, their tremendous vineyard, and allows people to enjoy a great glass of port without having to wait two decades for their vintage port to age. They found that in making a port this way, they ended up with a completely new style of port. BLACK steps away from the traditional, stodgy categories of port – it has bright aromatics, tremendous freshness, and we like to say it is so balanced that it drinks more like a wine. It’s a port made from top fruit that is aged for a few years in large barrels, which softens it, and is then released.
We love everything about port: the tremendous depth of flavors, history and culture, the fact vines grow on sheer schist and little else, and that the Douro Valley completely captures your heart – it is as wild and beautiful an area as any in the world, and happens to be the home to a unique and extraordinary wine. We’re working hard to convey our enthusiasm. Together with Noval, we designed a beautiful, modern yet timeless bottle for BLACK that gives a little bit of the sense of how different this port is than anything else made in the Douro Valley or elsewhere. Wine & Spirits Magazine recently wrote in reviewing Noval BLACK:
“Christian Seely recently introduced this wine in New York as a rethinking of the super-premium, multivintage Porto style. Black replaces LB, Noval’s former entry in this range, and uses top-quality fruit to create a soft, accommodating texture. The aromas are purple-black while the flavors are pure black cherry. Acidity spices it up and adds to the juiciness of the finish. It’s plump in the middle and supple all the way through, ending on fruit-skin tannin and a touch of chocolate from oak. At the level of many of the region’s best LBVs, this wine may become a staple for a new generation of Port drinkers.“91 Wine & Spirits Magazine
There’s not much more we can say than that, except perhaps that our owner Michael Quinttus, who over his career in the wine business has brought to the US a few wineries you may have heard of (Ornellaia and Cloudy Bay, to name two) believes based on the response we’ve had since our March introduction, Noval BLACK is the single most successful wine introduction he’s ever seen. BLACK is hitting a nerve, and it’s thrilling for our little fine wine importing company to witness. Certainly a great source of pride. Oh, and did I mention BLACK is typically below $15/bottle wholesale?
Finally, this message coincides with the launch of Noval BLACK’s website, here: www.novalblack.com. You’ll see that we’ve been busy coming up with some great ideas for enjoying BLACK. Given its profile, it has proven versatile in ways we would never have thought. You’ll find, for example, some incredible cocktail recipes by New York City’s Jim Meehan on the site (I was bowled over by these, they’re delicious). Take a look at the site, and you can also find a sneak peak video here:
Jamie Goode got a sneak peek of Quinta do Noval’s legendary Nacional vineyard, a section of the spectacular Noval estate planted on ungrafted vines. His short video of the terroir offers a look into the long and vibrant history of the famed Port. Take a look for yourself below:
Jaime Goode of Wine Anorak has an awesome video up shot during the 2009 harvest at Quinta do Noval. You can see just how steep the hillsides of the estate are, with only two or three rows of vines per terrace. After picking, the whole clusters are cleaned, and the film ends with a great shot of one of the shallow concrete lagares, where the grapes are crushed by foot. Remarkably, all of the grapes harvested at the estate are tread in the lagares, a labor-intensive practice that yields the best, gentlest extraction of flavors.