This wine is produced exclusively from selected plots on the Quinta do Noval vineyard in Vale de Mendiz – Pinhão – in the heart of the Douro valley. It is only declared when various factors combine to make an exceptional year. Like the 2007, this is a thrilling young Vintage Port. The cool yet very dry season has produced an ’08 VP that is “classic Noval” simply because it is unbelievably balanced and pure. It has a wonderfully layered, elegant texture yet the structure is well and truly present, with ripe tannins that are perhaps more prominent than the pretty 2007 release, keeping the finish fresh and ensuring longevity. Beautiful now, especially if given a good decant, it will live and develop for eons. As always, Noval also engaged in a strict sorting of both grapes and finished wine, with only the finest parcels ending up in the Noval VP. The grapes were trodden by foot in Noval’s lagares and then bottled on site. In other words, this is a wine that is a reflection of a single place, a hallowed vineyard, and everything occurred in the one spot with neither the grapes nor the wine being forced to travel. This is in radical contrast to the production of other famous VPs and gives Noval a remarkable advantage when it comes to the pursuit of the highest possible quality. The varietal composition in 2008 is Touriga Nacional 50%, Touriga Francesa 40% and Sousão 10%. The wine spent 20 months in wooden barrels (640 litres or larger) in the air-conditioned cellars of the Quinta before bottling.