Famed Douro Valley property Quinta do Noval has released a ‘very small quantity’ of 2013 vintage Port, bucking the general trend of non-declaration by major Port houses.

Noval will release fewer than 1,200 cases of 2013 vintage Port, representing less than 3% of the total production of its 143 hectares of vineyards.

Describing the wine’s style as ‘elegant, pure, aromatic, perfectly harmonious and typical of the Quinta do Noval vintage style’, managing director Christian Seely said there was ‘no hesitation’ in declaring the vintage.

The move suggests a change in philosophy at Quinta do Noval in favour of more regular declarations.

Quinta do Noval has consistently followed a policy in recent years of declaring a vintage Port, even of very small volume, if even a tiny proportion of the harvest has the quality and style of a Quinta do Noval vintage Port,’ he added.

‘In the tasting room we found certain lots irresistibly delicious, and so decided to make this very small blend of Quinta do Noval vintage Port.’

The 2013 growing season was sunny and dry, but rain during harvest affected overall quality, with vineyards picked early in the harvest generally offering the best potential.

To date, major houses have not declared the 2013 vintage. However, Fonseca Guimaraens – an earlier-drinking style made in years when a classic vintage is not declared – is set to release a 2013 vintage.

George Sandeman, of Port house Sandeman, told Decanter.com last year that economics had a role to play in Port house declarations, alongside quality.

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Written by Richard Woodard