Quinta Do Noval NV 20 Year Old Tawny Porto

Tasting notes
Nowhere near a sweet as an LBV, this Tawny has the characteristic mellow spicy, nutty and oaky aromas, silky palate and opulent flavours. A glass of lightly chilled Tawny makes a delicious aperitif, but is equally good matched to a hard, nutty cheese or a pudding such as tarte tatin.

Why we recommend this wine
When we went to Portugal, Quinta do Noval was high on our list of wineries to visit in the Duoro valley because of its growing reputation and we were impressed.

This wine
Noval 20 Year Old Tawny is a blend of old Ports from different vintages that have matured all their life in oak casks, with an average age of 20 years. In the 20 Year Old tawny, the fruit has mellowed further than in the 10 Year Old, and the spicy, nutty aromas of ageing are more powerful and intense.

The wine estate
Noval was acquired by Axa in 1993 and immediately began a programme to replant the entire estate. They also built a new bottling line and warehouse in Alijo, near to Pinhão which was completed in 1997. This project made Quinta do Noval the first of the traditional Port shippers to centralise all its activities in the Douro Valley rather than in Vila Nova de Gaia near Porto.

Food and wine
Designed to match a hard, nutty cheese such as Parmesan and Manchego but surprisingly also a good match with stilton. For puddings try apple pie, tarte tatin, baked figs, orange tart (leave the peel on some of the orange), caramel tart, or cooked strawberries with pepper. It is excellent with crème brûlée and honey and almond cake. Try it in place of a Sauternes or Gewurztraminer with a delicate foie gras and brioche. The acidity of the 20 Year Old Tawny cuts perfectly through the richness of the paté. Also see our guide to pairing food and wine here.

Did you know?
Quintas such as Noval now make excellent table wines from the same grapes that they use to make port.