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Average critic rating : 94.0 points
The 2012 Vintage Port was bottled in July of 2014. A blend of 70% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca; 5% Tinto Cão, it was aged for 18 months in wood and comes in at 102.5 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is going to be a sentimental favorite for a lot of consumers, although few will call it truly great. A big mouthful on first taste compared to most 2012s, it assaults the palate with delectable fruit. It's not only tasty, though – it is astonishingly fresh and lifted, a creature of this vintage. Beautifully balanced and never seeming heavy, it manages to project power and grip on the finish while not searing the palate with tannins – relatively speaking, of course. (This IS young Port.) Tasted next to a group of other 2012 Ports, this wasn't particularly more concentrated, but it was more expressive, better balanced and more vibrant. Coming back to it the next day showed what it does best: being rather invigorating and sometimes downright exciting in its freshness. The fruit finishes with crispness and vibrancy. It is exactly the profile I would expect from a good performance in a vintage like 2012 – a year that favored fresh, elegant wines with good acidity rather than deep and rich powerhouses. By Day 4, it was sensationally delicious, but certainly not the most powerful or concentrated Noval ever – and it had fleshed out a bit even so. By Day 5, it seemed like ready-to-roll, drink-me-now Port. You'd still be well-advised to cellar it a bit. There were 1,000 cases produced.||I asked winery representative Rute Monteiro why Noval declared in 2012, not really a year that most would consider the model for Vintage Port. She said to me, echoing Managing Director Christian Seely when Noval announced a late declaration, that: "Quinta do Noval has always had a slightly eccentric approach to Vintage Declarations, and indeed the house to a great extent made its name with its declaration of the great 31 Vintage. When we are convinced that we have a wine that merits declaration as a Quinta do Noval Vintage Port, we do so. 2012 is an outstanding example." eRobertParker.com.April, 2015
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