One of my Fav's!

Product information

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2012

Port from Douro, Portugal


$160ea in any 3+
$150ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork


As always this 100% single-quinta wine is drawn from Noval’s own vines. There are three core parcels, all near the winery—the terraces directly surrounding the winery in Pinhão, the vines in the Roncão Valley and a parcel overlooking the Douro River.  Each year, the blending proportions for the Vintage Port will vary depending on the vagaries of the vineyard.

The 2012 is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Cão and Sousão grapes predominantly from Pinhão that were trodden by foot and fermented in traditional lagares with temperature control at 28ºc. The wine was then matured for 18 months in wooden barrels.

Out of stock

Check out all of the wines by Quinta do Noval

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão.

Grapes are trodden by foot to obtain the must, then during fermentation macerate to obtain the best possible extraction in the lagares, the traditional stone vats from the Quinta.

It is matured for 18 months in wooden casks in the air- conditioned cellars of the Quinta, at the demarcated region of the Douro Valley before bottling.

About Vintage Port

Vintage Port is one of the world’s most extreme styles. It’s only made in the best years when the ‘Vintage is Declared’. Taylor’s and Fonseca are two of the very best houses.

Take an array of red varieties with different personalities, throw them in a lagare, grab a couple dozen stompers and get them to tread the grapes, ferment it for a bit then pour in some brandy spirit leaving you with high sugar, tannin, acid, and, alcohol backed by rich fruit.

On face value how could it work? Like all the great wine styles in the world the top echelon, the best houses of Portugal have found a way.

The searing acidity of the best vintage ports and exceptional tannins balances the sweetness of the sugar, alcohol and of course fruit. Despite the strength of these superb wines they have amazing finesse, elegance, and, restraint.

The complexity of these wines offers such intrigue!

The Importance of Blending

At Yarra Yering we made a VP style, the Port Sorts, renamed Pot Sorts for export after naming rights for the use of Port were granted solely to the Portuguese.

Made from the traditional Port varieties, Touriga Nacional provides structural tannin backbone, earthiness, and a core of fruit. Tinta Cão fruit richness. Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Tinta Amarela the acid component.

In addition to the above the best known red varieties for Port production include the Touriga Francesa, and, Tinta Barroca but in total there are around thirty types of Port grape. Most of these varieties have relatively small thick-skinned berries which produce the dense concentrated must (grape juice) needed to make Port.

Although they may be planted separately, the varieties are normally harvested and fermented together. Each grape variety contributes its own particular character – such as the intense flavours of woodland fruit, delicate floral scents, exotic spicy notes or the wild resiny aromas of gumcistus – to the nose of the wine. The grape varieties work together like instruments in an orchestra to create a subtle, complex and multi-dimensional harmony.

Making Port

Port is a fortified wine. Fortified wines are made by adding a proportion of grape spirit, or brandy, to the wine at some point during the production process. Port is arguably the greatest of all fortified wines and its paramount expression, Vintage Port, ranks alongside the finest produce of Bordeaux or Burgundy as one of the great iconic wines of the world.

In the case of Port, the addition of the brandy takes place before the wine has finished fermenting. This means that the wine retains some of the natural sweetness of the grape, making it rich, round and smooth on the palate.

One of the fascinating aspects of Port wine is its variety of different styles, each with its own characteristic flavours, from the intense berry fruit flavours of a Reserve or a Late Bottled Vintage to the rich mellowness of an Aged Tawny or the sublime complexity of a Vintage Port.

About Quinta do Noval

Quinta do Noval is one of the great Port houses. Not only does Noval produce the most famous Vintage Port of them all, the legendary ‘Nacional’, it was also the creator of the “Late Bottled” style in 1954 and of single vintage Tawnies (Colheita) in 1954. It is also the only big name producer whose top wines are exclusively single vineyard (i.e. “Quinta”). Think of the difference between a Burgundy domaine and a Burgundy negociant to get an idea of what this means. The Vintage Ports of Quinta do Noval (including Nacional) have always been from the same vineyard. The quality of all Quinta do Noval’s wines has gone through the roof since the early 1990’s when Englishman Christian Seely was put in charge. Many changes occurred, however none have affected the production methods of Noval’s estate-produced Ports that continue to be hand picked from the ancient terraces, foot crushed and fermented in stone lagares (which Noval believes is still the best way to produce quality Port). Today, Noval’s vintage and Colheita Ports (vintage-dated Tawnies) are all made exclusively from estate-grown grapes. This contrasts radically with all of the other big names of the region who buy fruit to blend to a house style. A high percentage of the blends for Noval’s LBV, LB (vintage character) and Old Tawnies – 10, 20 and over 40 Years Old – also come from the estate.

Since the ’94 vintage, the first under Christian Seely, the Quinta do Noval Vintage Ports have always been rated amongst the best of the region, often rivalling Nacional in blind tastings. As both Robert Parker and James Suckling have noted, the Quinta do Noval 1994 Vintage Port was the best VP from the domaine for decades and each VP release since then has been outstanding. Meanwhile the Tawnies and the Late Bottle Vintage are now leaders of their respective categories. The Quinta do Noval Silval Vintage Ports (often containing the declassified Nacional and Quinta VP’s in undeclared vintages like 2005) today offer wonderful value for money.

Although most famous for its Ports, the Quinta do Noval estate is far from a mono-culture: it also produces world class red and white table wines, vegetables, herbs, olives, olive oil, oranges, figs, clementines, walnuts and pigs. We ship the wines, ports and olive oils.
In an interesting side bar reflecting Quinta do Noval’s standing in the world of wine and beyond, US President Barack Obama was possibly the first person to receive an allocation of 2008 Quinta do Noval Vintage (which we offer here!) when he was presented with a single bottle by Portuguese President Cavaco Silva at the 2008 NATO summit (2008 being the year when the US President took office). In return, President Cavaco Silva received a copy of the very first treaty signed between Portugal and the United States – you work out who got the best gift!

Drinking Vintage Port

🍷DECANTING – Vintage Port forms a natural deposit in the bottle and should be decanted. Stand the bottle upright a few hours before decanting to allow the sediment to fall to the bottom of the bottle.

🌡SERVING TEMPERATURE – Serve at 16ºC to 18ºC. Vintage Port is best drunk one to two days after opening.

🍑🧀PAIRING SUGGESTIONS – Walnuts, blue veined and other richly flavoured cheeses are excellent accompaniments to Vintage Port; so too are dried fruits such as apricots or figs.

⏰HOW WILL IT KEEP AFTER OPENNING – Once the cork is popped

Where in the World is Quinta do Noval?

The 2012 Vintage Port Vintage

The year 2012 was characterized by an extremely dry and cold winter, followed by a very wet spring and a dry summer. These spring rains were crucial because they came to provide the water needed for the development of the vines. These conditions have came to reduce production, but this fact coupled with the mild temperatures of spring and summer, allowed the vines to achieve an excellent maturation of the grapes.

The harvest started a week later than normal. Although 2012 was a drought year, the grapes were in very good condition, with small but perfect berries that produced flavourful musts, full of freshness and good acidity.
António Agrellos, Technical Director – June 2014

95 Points

The dark, almost black color and the wonderful violet aromas set the scene for this complex, dense and textured wine. It has a touch of spice, along with the rich plum and dark berry fruits. While it is rich, it is also a dry style of Vintage, bringing out structure as much as opulence. Drink from 2030.

Wine Enthusiast

94 Points

The 2012 Vintage Port is revisited for a checkup. This is a blend of Touriga Nacional 70%, Touriga Franca 25 % and Tinto Cão 5%, which was aged for 18 months in wood and comes in with just 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This has become more intense and more impressive, closing down a bit since I first saw it. It may not have quite the underlying concentration and focus of the 2011 (also reviewed), but it is a much fresher and more lifted Port, with fine fruit front-and-center. It simply seems more invigorating, more gloriously alive. I wouldn't be surprised if many like it better right now than the 2011--although that won't likely be the answer 25 years from now. It otherwise retains the style of all of Noval's wines here--elegant in the mid-palate, more focused on aging than lushness and sweetness. It certainly seems quite brilliant for the year. Originally, I was afraid I might have overrated it as it was so exuberant and showed so well nearer to release. Now, I'd be more likely to question whether I'm underrating it. It's never as obvious as some Big Boys and it probably is the third of the 2011-2012-2013 trilogy from Noval this issue (only by a hair), but it has its own virtues and plenty of them.

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

94 Points

This is one of the few vintage Ports declared in 2012 and it's wonderfully structured with finesse. It's black-colored and shows intense aromas of crushed grapes, granite stones, flowers, light raisins, tar and licorice. Full body, lightly sweet and incredible integrity plus firm and ultra-refined tannins. Beautiful grip and length. Reminds me of the 1964, which is a classic now. Try in 2028.

James Suckling

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Quinta do Noval, Avenida de Diogo Leite, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal