Quinta do Noval 2008 Vintage Port declared

It’s just been announced that Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2008 is being declared, as was the 2007 vintage.  A sample is winging its way to me so I’ll post a tasting note soon.

Meantime, you’ll have picked up from my reports about Symington Family Estates and Fladgate that both preferred to declare the 2007 vintage over the 2008 vintage (see my reports here and here).  It’s not for the first time that Quinta do Noval (pictured) has been out of step with tradition and declared back-to-back vintages (for example, it did so in 1966 and 1967 and recently the 2003 and 2004).  As Noval’s Managing Director Christian Seely points out “if a wine is of the quality to be declared as a Quinta do Noval Vintage then we should do it… there was a small quantity of wines from the very best terroirs of the Quinta that we found simply irresistible.” And when he’s says small, that means less than 1,000 cases,  partly due to poor flowering as you’ll see from Noval’s vintage report below.

Noval vintage report: In 2007/8 the total amount of precipitation was 146 mm lower than the average. This difference was most significant during the winter with an exception for the months of April and May.

Apart from January and February all the other months have recorded below average temperatures, including the months from July to October. This decrease in air temperature, next to a less intense radiation, have allowed the vines to ensure its foliage well enough during its cycle, especially at the grapes level and thus to achieve a more balanced maturity with smaller berries.

Flowering took its course in the second half of May with low temperatures and low luminosity that have caused “coulure” and “millerandage” especially in the Touriga National. This situation during the flowering period had a big impact on generating pretty low yields.

The color change was seen in the second half of July and maturation started middle August with a delay of 8 to 15 days compared to 2007.

The harvest took place from September 10. However, because of the rain that fell on September 21 we made the decision to stop the harvest and wait a few days. We restarted eight days later with excellent conditions and healthy grapes maturing and improving each day.

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