Quinta do Noval's Nacional is to port what Château Pétrus is to Bordeaux and Romanée Conti is to Burgundy. No other vintage port attracts more attention or higher prices. Nacional's collectability can be partly attributed to its tiny production. Only 200 - 300 cases are produced in a declared year. This represents a tiny percentage of Quinta do Noval's production of vintage port. Nacional's two and a half hectares of ungrafted vines have an average age of 30 years. Like the rest of the estate, the soil of the Nacional plot is essentially infertile schist. It is high in potash with tiny amounts of nitrates, phosphates and organic matter. Although phylloxera is endemic, Nacional vines live just as long as grafted ones: 50 years or more. Their very existence remains a viticultural mystery and triumph.
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