Vinous – 97.5
The 2016 Nacional is a vintage that I have feted previously, though on this occasion it is eclipsed by the 2017. It does not have the same complexity and finesse as the 2017; it’s tight and unyielding at the moment having shut its doors since I tasted it four years back. Yet the palate delivers the intensity that you look for, quite saline and spicy on the entry; there’s a lovely marine influence at play with a mercurial and vibrant finish. It’s not faultless, yet it has plenty of charm. Tasted at the Quinta do Noval tasting at Spring restaurant in London.
Anticipated maturity: 2032-2075
Robert Parker – 97
“The 2016 Vintage Port “”Nacional”” is a field blend, mostly Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Sousão and Tinta Roriz, aged for 18 months in old wood. It comes in at 85 grams of residual sugar and was bottled April 13, 2018. This is plainly more intense than the regular Noval (not unusual), but that’s not the most impressive feature. It is more impressive for the lifted fruit than the power. The fruit is carefully defined, precisely carved out of the mid-palate slab. The silky texture gives this a different demeanor than the regular Noval too, while the beautiful fruit has a different flavor profile. It is more red fruits than blue-it has far less Touriga Nacional, said winemaker Carlos Agrellos. It has more bright flavors like raspberries than plums. It adds that tannic pop and wonderful balance too. It is still oddly approachable-if you’re a masochist, of course, and for the moment. It will be intriguing to see how this develops. It should close down pretty hard. Then, it will age gracefully for decades. Will it make people forget about that amazing nose on the regular Noval? Time will tell. No pricing was set in the USA as of this writing.”
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2075