Quinta do Noval Virtual Tasting at 67 Pall Mall

What happened?
Post Reply
User avatar
JacobH
Dow 1980
Posts: 2570
Joined: 16:37 Sat 03 May 2008
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Quinta do Noval Virtual Tasting at 67 Pall Mall

Post by JacobH » 20:02 Sun 28 Jun 2020

I was in two minds about whether to go for this but am very glad I decided to do it in the end.

The offer was for six samples and a hour-long group virtual tasting with Christian Seely. The samples seemed to be approximately ⅒ of a bottle each, so c.75ml. They arrived on Thursday for the Sunday tasting in little glass bottles with extremely tight plastic T-Corks that gave the Quinta da Pedra Alta glass T-Corks a run for their money in terms of tightness but that is probably a good thing. Reports online suggest that the wines are decanted and the samples are filled in an argon-filled fish-tank and, certainly, they benefited from a bit of decanting from the bottles and into a glass which suggests that they were treated against oxidisation. They were packed with some gel cool-bags (one of which, unhelpfully, exploded) and a sticker which shows the length of time they had been exposed to temperature above 20°C which I didn’t know existed but should be standard for all wine-in-the post. I think they were also supposed to come with a thermometer sticker. Mine didn’t but that didn’t really bother me.

The Ports were: 2017, 2011, 2003, 2000, 1994 and 1966. I had high hopes for this selection, since it seemed to me to be a “greatest hits” from the 1990s to date and (thankfully!) I was not disappointed. Actually, considering the lousy time Noval had in the 1980s and 1970s, you might say they were probably the best from 1975 to date. They were all excellent. The only fully mature Port was the 1966 but of the youngsters I was particularly impressed by the 2017 and 2000.

I was wondering if I might get a sense of a house style from the evening. CHR asked Christian Seely who described it in fairly imprecise terms (balance and elegance, I think) which was rather less specific than, say, Johnny Graham’s comments about Churchill being drier. My impression is that they are aiming for quite tannic and long-lasting Ports, in the middle of the sweet-to-dry scale, and are happy to vary the acidity by quite a lot. I wonder if this is a feature of it being an SQVP: if you are taking the best grapes you grow each year and seeing if they can be a VP or not, you might expect more variety than if you are buying grapes from a variety of places and so have more to work with to produce a consistent house style.

Christian is a notably engaging speaker and one of the best presenters for these sorts of tastings. He discussed all sorts of things which I had vaguely wondered about but not known before. The only thing I wish I had asked him is how often grapes from the Nacional vineyard end up in the other blends (particularly in years when there isn’t a Nacional declaration).
Image

User avatar
JacobH
Dow 1980
Posts: 2570
Joined: 16:37 Sat 03 May 2008
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Quinta do Noval Virtual Tasting at 67 Pall Mall

Post by JacobH » 21:14 Sun 28 Jun 2020

Tasting notes:
1966
1994
2000
2003
2011
2017
Image

User avatar
jdaw1
Cockburn 1900
Posts: 21979
Joined: 15:03 Thu 21 Jun 2007
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Quinta do Noval Virtual Tasting at 67 Pall Mall

Post by jdaw1 » 22:06 Sun 19 Jul 2020

Good writeup, thank you. Please say more about the “sticker which shows the length of time they had been exposed to temperature above 20°C”.

User avatar
JacobH
Dow 1980
Posts: 2570
Joined: 16:37 Sat 03 May 2008
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Quinta do Noval Virtual Tasting at 67 Pall Mall

Post by JacobH » 23:27 Sun 19 Jul 2020

I think they were using a 20°C WarmMark Short Run Sticker by Shockwatch.

There seem to be quite a few similar things out there aimed at the food and, in particular, the pharmaceutical industry.

A competitor makes something called a Timestrip Plus which, once activated logs the amount of time it is exposed to temperatures above a certain level for up to a year. I can't see them being as useful for wine, though, where we are presumably looking at above 15° or 20°C since they don't make a 15°C and the 20°C maxs out at 2 hours' exposure (unlike the 10°C one which can log up to a week).

There also seem to be ones that log the maximum temperature something is exposed to and ones that just show the current temperature, although I can't find any of the former with sensible limits for wine. I've got one of the latter on my espresso machine and it seems to do what it says on the tin from about 90°C to 120°C.
Image

Post Reply