Wine of the week: a simply perfect tawny port
This is without doubt the most sensational tawny port I have ever tasted, says Matthew Jukes. And it is drinking perfectly right now.
2007 Quinta do Noval, Colheita, Tawny Port, Portugal
I have been struggling to find retailers for this wine, and it is a source of complete bafflement and exasperation for me because this is, without doubt, the most sensational tawny port I have ever tasted. I first sampled it on 8 April, and I still remember every single facet of its excellence. It ought to feature on every serious wine list in the country, but, as I file this copy, Ocado, while listing the 2005 vintage, has taken delivery of the 2007 vintage, and its wine buyer assures me that it will be updated on its website imminently.
The first word I wrote about this vintage tawny in my notes was “paradise”. There have only been seven Colheita releases in the 28 years that Christian Seely has overseen the historic Quinta do Noval estate. The single-vineyard, single-harvest wine, bottled after spending 13 years in barrel, is one of the most profound and moving wines of any style I can remember. It is drinking perfectly right now, with just the right amount of venerable, aged characteristics balanced by masses of admirable vigour and boundless energy.
But although my featured port is an absolute stormer, there was no Quinta do Noval Nacional declared in this vintage, so I wonder if we might see a 2007 Colheita Nacional appear on the market one day. If we do, I would feel compelled to give it a 21/20 score on the assumption that it might be a finer wine than this one, to which I have awarded my highest ever score for a tawny port – a perfect 20/20.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)