Quinta do Noval are best known for Nacional, the most renowned and sought after of all vintage ports. The quality of the whole portfolio of wines took a noticeable upturn after the acquisition of the estate by AXA Millesimes in 1993 and the arrival of Christian Seely to oversee improvements. These included a replanting programme and a strict selection of fruit, both in the vineyard and at the winery. Christian has since been promoted to control all the AXA properties, which include Chateau Pichon Baron in Pauillac, leaving control in the capable hands of Noval’s winemaker António Agrellos. In particular, Antonio is fanatical about producing the freshest possible tawny and colheita ports and pretty much bottles them to order.
We have selected three vintages of Noval colheita port and as colheitas are rarely found in Hong Kong they deserve some explanation. A colheita port is from a single vintage and spends a minimum of seven years in cask, often considerably longer. On bottling it is ready to drink immediately and expresses the style of its particular vintage. By contrast, a true vintage port is bottled after just two years in cask and will continue to mature in bottle.