Christian Seely, Managing Director of Quinta do Noval, has announced the declaration of three Vintage Ports from Quinta do Noval’s 2019 vintage. These include the Nacional Vintage Port 2019, the Vintage Port 2019 and the brand-new Passadouro Vintage Port 2019.
In the announcement released earlier this week, Seely elaborates on the conditions which made the 2019 vintage so exceptional for Quinta do Noval: “The weather conditions in 2019 were dry and sunny, with almost no rain from May to the end of August. However, in spite of the prolonged fine and sunny weather, average temperatures were in fact a little cooler than usual, meaning that the vines were able to bear the absence of rain. The grapes were beautifully healthy, with very little disease pressure throughout the growing season. Harvesting conditions were ideal, with moderate temperatures and overall dry weather.”
The quality and personality of Quinta do Noval’s Vintage Port has been consistent over the past ten-or-so years, with general vintages declared by Quinta do Noval every year since 2011. The 2019 vintage was sourced from 13 parcels of their 145-hectare property to make the final blend.
Nacional, however, – one of the most cherished of ports – does not necessarily follow the same rhythm and is declared less-frequently than its counterpart. Back-to-back Nacional vintages were declared in 2016 and 2017, and both years were also publicly declared. The vines are at the heart of the Quinta do Noval vineyard and are ungrafted. "Nacional" refers to the fact that the vines are Portuguese vines growing in Portuguese soil with no foreign root stock, according to Quinta do Noval.
The Quinta do Passadouro 2019 is the first Vintage Port vinified by Quinta do Noval after the acquisition of the property in the summer of 2019.
The general declaration of a Vintage Port occurs when most producers agree that a particular year was outstanding and worthy of the general declaration. Portugal’s Douro & Wine Institute, or IVDP, is the regulatory body that ratifies the producers’ decision and decides whether to make the general declaration. This happens normally only a few times – at most – per decade. Although it is still a bit early to tell whether 2019 will be generally declared a Vintage year, if we take the weather conditions as described by Seely into consideration, the quality will likely be very high, whether or not the official declaration is made. kw