Quinta do Noval - Black Porto NV
I “discovered” this baby a over the holidays last year while out to dinner with my beautiful bride. The restaurant was featuring cocktails made with Noval Black … and I, being a professional drinker, said “Why not?” I had a Manhattan, with the Noval Black as the replacement for sweet vermouth. Wow! T’was delicious! My beautiful bride had some sort of holiday punch… also fabulous! Then, when dinner was over, with a little chocolate mousse cake for dessert, we indulged in a glass, straight. Honestly, I cannot decide which was my favorite iteration! Although Port and chocolate is pretty hard to beat. Especially this XMas, when the temps are dipping into the 20’s!
So what is this gem like? It is a “ruby” port, as opposed to “tawny”, meaning the emphasis is on the fruit. As a young port, aged for just a few years in a combination of barrels and stainless steel tanks, it is actually quite “wine-like”. I’ve known some unscrupulous fellows who have snuck it into Zinfandel tastings as a “ringer!” Dark blackberry and cherry flavors play nicely with hints of spice and chocolate before a fine, long finish. Serve just a little below room temperature to emphasize the fruit flavors! Trust me…
91 pts Wine & Spirits “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.”
Wine Advocate: 90 Points
“Laced with an invigorating eucalyptus/cistus aromatic, it is always elegant in the mid-palate yet somehow still solid, something I find Noval does very well. It was one of the relatively few in this report that actually seemed better two days later (and most of the others were unfiltered). There is plenty of finesse and lift to the fruit. It is pointed, ripe and chock full of flavor while still showing off some power and structure. This was, in fact, a bit tight on opening. One of the more distinctive Reserves (in part, thanks to the aromatics), this is very well done at a good price point. It became one of my favorites. It is lovely and exceeds expectations, so I'm leaning up on this a bit. It should still be drunk young, as it won't reward aging. “WA
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