Quinta do Noval

Douro Valley, Portugal

One of the oldest port houses, Quinta do Noval is also arguably the greatest. It is unique among top port houses in that most of the ports are made from estate-grown fruit and, notably, all of the vintage Noval wines are from the single Quinta do Noval vineyard. In addition, it is difficult to elaborate on Quinta do Noval without mentioning Nacional, the legendary port made from a 6 acre parcel of ungrafted vines. When declared, only 200-300 cases of Nacional will be made, and instantly become the most sought after port in the world. Many vintages of Nacional are considered as the finest ports, and some of the finest wines, ever made.

Noval is mentioned in land registries going back to 1715, and has been sold just twice in that time, once in the late 19th century, and to its present owners in 1993. Noval has, however, a reputation for being an innovative, independent producer. Noval’s focus on its vineyard and estate ports distinguishes it, but there are numerous other areas in which it has been a pioneer:

– Quinta do Noval was the first to introduce blended tawnies with an indication of average age.

– Noval introduced the first late-bottled vintage port, in 1958.-

– In response to a change in shipping laws in 1986, Noval became the first major port house to age, blend and store all its wines at its Quinta, in the Douro.

In 1994 Noval once again made a bold statement, by beginning a massive program of improvements, while re-committing to the traditional, and best, methods of port production. Namely:

– 60% of the estate’s vineyards were taken out, and the terraces were rebuilt and replanted with the best quality grape varieties.

– A new winery, warehouse and bottling facility were built, and the lodge (warehouse) at the Quinta was greatly improved.

– All grapes harvested at the estate are crushed by foot, in lagares that have been made smaller and modified to better control individual lots.

The astonishing terraced vineyards of Noval, perched above the Douro and Pinhao rivers, are an infertile schist, and not soil as much as sheer rock. The elevation of the vineyards goes from just above river level to 1,200 feet, with density at about 2,000 vines per acre, and vines producing on average 30-35 hectoliters per hectare. The tremendous rewards of the work done at the estate over the last fifteen years are visible across the range of Noval ports, and have placed Noval a step ahead of everyone in the Douro.

Wines

Noval BLACK Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

The style of Noval BLACK is entirely about emphasizing the quality of this fruit, through use of estate fruit, gentle handling (including foot treading), and vinification aiming for transparency.  You could say it is the most wine-like of ruby reserve ports, and that is the secret to its flexibility, in cocktails, chilled, and even on ice.

Tawny 10 Year Old Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

Noval 10 year old Tawny is a blend of old Ports from different vintages that have matured in oak casks, with an average age of 10 years.  It's a perfect expression of the Noval Tawny style. It has acquired the classical attributes of an old Tawny Port, while at the same time retaining much of the freshness and fruit of its youth. 

Tawny 20 Year Old Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

Noval 20 year old Tawny is a blend of old Ports from different vintages that have matured in oak casks, with an average age of 20 years. Irresistible freshness with all the complexity of age. Harmonious and balanced, fine, elegant and long, with all the aromatic complexity typical of Noval Tawny Ports. 

Vintage Port

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is characterised by its purity of fruit and a fine, delicate quality that is typical of the wines of the property in general, but which finds its most remarkable and enduring expression in the Vintage Ports.

Nacional Vintage Port

Douro Valley, Portugal

The legend. A small area at the heart of the Quinta do Noval vineyard planted with ungrafted vines and untouched by phylloxera. 

Cedro do Noval

Douro Valley, Portugal

Charm and accessibility in an authentically Douro style. Named after the emblematic cedar tree that dominates the terrace of Quinta do Noval, Cedro do Noval is an authentic expression of the Douro.

People

Christian Seely

Managing Director

Christian Seely was born in 1960, educated at Harrow School, Trinity College Cambridge and INSEAD. He has been Managing Director of Quinta do Noval since 1993.

Since 2001, he manages the AXA Millésimes group of vineyards, based at Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac. Besides this prestigious Pauillac Grand Cru Classé, Christian Seely is responsible for looking after Châteaux Pibran in Pauillac, Petit-Village in Pomerol, Suduiraut in Sauternes as well as Domaine de l’Arlot in Nuits-St-Georges, Disznókő in Hungary and Quinta do Noval in Portugal. He is also the President of the Compagnie Médocaine des Grands Crus, the Bordeaux Négociant, which is wholly owned by AXA Millésimes.

Apart from these AXA Millésimes companies, he is Managing Director and shareholder of Quinta da Romaneira in the Douro, and co-founder and joint owner of Coates and Seely Ltd, producer of English Sparkling wine in Hampshire, England.

Xavier Sanchez

Senior Commercial and Marketing Director

Xavier Sanchez is a passionate and enthusiastic professional with a French and Spanish background in the wine trade. He was appointed as the International Commercial Director and Marketing Director AXA Millesimes in 2013, and is responsible for overseeing all 8 of AXA’s properties. Xavier is based at company’s Bordeaux headquarters at Pichon Baron in Pauillac. Xavier has more than 17 years in the wine industry. Before joining AXA, he was the Commercial Director for one of the most important Bordeaux wine merchants. Prior to that, he served as Managing Director and Commercial Director for several large Spanish wineries and distilleries for a period of 12 years.

David Betti

Export Director

David Betti joined Quinta do Noval as export manager in 2012. He has a long history working with a number of Portuguese wine companies. His first position in the Port wine sector was at A.A. Cálem in the Tourism department of A.A. Cálem in 2003. That same year, he accepted a position in the Export department of this same company, where he had the chance to work in several European markets and also in Latin America, as Area Manager of the Cálem brand (both Porto and Douro DOC wines). In 2004, the holding Sogevinus Fine Wines, S.A., which owns A.A. Cálem bought the company J.W.Burmester & Cia. From this year onward, David Betti also started working with the brands Burmester and Gilberts brands, as well as a number of Spanish wines. In 2006, Sogevinus Fine Wines, S.A. bought the group Barros and its remarkable brands, of which the most important were Barros and Kopke. As Area Manager, David Betti became responsible for these brands in the markets of Africa, Latin America, Europe and also Russia. In March 2012, David Betti left Sogevinus Fine Wines and accepted a position in April as Export Manager at Quinta do Noval.

Carlos Agrellos

Technical Director