Quinta do Noval Tawny Port Colheita 1997


Pre-arrival – ships Mid-December

A terrific lesson tasting the two Colheita’s together as I expected the 1997, being the younger of the two, to appear more youthful. The 1997 is silky, elegant and resolved, drinking beautifully. It will do well to remember that all vintages are different and expressive, even with Tawny Ports. Potpourri, sunflowers, black fruits, salted caramel, clove and mace. The spice component is gentler, signalling a gentler wine overall, less acid and tasting sweeter than the 1995. Ready, but will hold. Waters Wine Co
“Looks like a very mature red Rhône. Smells not unlike a mature Châteauneuf from a very ripe vintage! Seems less alcoholic and less sweet than many in this fortified wine tasting. Nice balance. Quite delicate. Would go well with cheese but perhaps not sweet enough for most desserts – though there is a Christmas pudding element to its very attractive flavour.” 18/20 points
“If you’re a fan of vintage dated Tawnies (aka Colheita Ports), they don’t come much better than this. It’s endearingly, palate-stimulatingly spicy, with real intensity and focus, an impression of heat and figgy intensity, a faint undertone of spirit and a finish that lingers on the palate for minutes. The wine is drier than many examples, with the structure that is the hallmark of Noval’s wood-aged Ports.” 96 Points – Tim Atkin MW, Timatkin.com


The Portuguese word colheita means ‘harvest’. A Colheita Port must be from a single year and aged for a minimum of seven years in wood before bottling. In practice many are aged for considerably longer (as is the case at Noval) and so Colheita Ports can vary greatly in style.

Noval’s Colheita is only made in exceptional years, when certain lots of wine with great aging potential are set aside to be aged in cascos (old casks with a capacity of 640 litres). When Noval feels the wine is ready—usually after about 15 years—a portion is bottled for release. The rest of the stocks of will continue to age in barrel for bottlings in the future.

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