Excitement is building in the Douro around the 2016 vintage, with two of the most influential port houses – Symington Family Estates and Quinta do Noval – both declaring their 2016 vintages within 24 hours of each other.
Rumours have been circulating about the quality of the 2016 vintage for a while, and these two announcements suggest it will be widely declared.
Taylors typically carries out its assessments later than other shippers, traditionally declaring its vintages on April 23rd, St Georges Day. But Nick Heath, group marketing manager, described the wines as 'absolutely beautiful, very fine wines, with purity, elegance and finesse.'
Christian Seely, managing director of Quinta do Noval was also unequivocal in his praise.
‘Blending the 2016 Quinta do Noval was a thrilling experience,’ he said. ‘The individual wines were wonderful, and we are sure that the final blend for our 2016 will be one of the great historic ports of Quinta do Noval.’
Seely also believes that the single vineyard Noval Nacional will ‘take its place among the historic great vintages’.
Symington described it as ‘a year to read the signs and to take risks’, picking some of its vineyards much later than usual, in the first week of October.
It is only the fourth vintage since the millennium – and the first since 2011- when all of the Symington company’s port houses – Dow’s, Warres, Grahams, Cockburns and Quinta do Vesuvio - have declared a vintage.
Seely described the Noval as balanced and fresh with excellent structure, while the team at Symington claimed the vintage's ‘exceptional tannins’ were ‘among the most refined ever’.
For Noval, contact Gonzalez Byass UK 01707 274790; Symington wines via JE Fells 01442 870900