Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the launch of Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 1931. This iconoclastic Port from a single 1.7ha plot of five-year-old vines bucked the Douro’s staunch tradition of blending parcels (‘vinhas’) and estates (‘quintas’). How else to obtain balance, complexity and finesse in an extreme continental climate? Yet Nacional is widely regarded as the Everest of vintage Ports and priced accordingly.
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Almost a century later, Noval has marked the launch of its new ‘Terroir Series’ single-parcel Douro wine range with Quinta do Noval Vinhas da Marka 2019 at £170 per bottle. Others have caught up, too, producing top-end single-parcel vintage Ports – for example, Graham’s Stone Terraces from Quinta dos Malvedos and Croft’s Quinta da Roeda Serikos.