Juicy and fleshy in feel, with rather youthful notes of plum, blackberry and boysenberry compote pumping out from the core, backed by sweet black licorice and warm fruitcake flavors. Tempting now for the abundance of fruit, but there's a ton of brambly energy through the finish, so this isn't going anywhere anytime soon. (JM, Web Only-2017)
Deep saturated ruby. Supersweet but vibrant aromas of crystallized dark berries, flowers, licorice and bitter chocolate. Very dense and medium-sweet, with superb concentration of flavor and lovely pliancy. Captivating hint of cocoa powder. Finishes with big but thoroughly ripe tannins and an explosive whiplash of flavor. (ST)
The 1997 Quinta do Noval has a glorious bouquet that represents a significant step up from the 1994 Vintage Noval. Initially, it is broody and bides its time before opening with dusky blackberry and bilberry fruit, leather, scorched earth and Provencal herbs. It is well-defined and barely seems to have aged in the intervening years. It is rounder in the mouth compared to the Nacional: soft and supple with a spicier finish. Packed full of flavor, this is an impressive Noval that is beginning to drink now and should continue to do so for 20+ years. (NM)
Dark crimson with a red rim. Complex, lifted nose. Very rich and round and smothers the palate in intense herby fruit. Some tea leaves and great vigour. Extremely good. With a long future and great balance. Long and beautifully clean on the finish. Very firm tannins. 18.5/20 points
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