If you haven’t visited Château Pichon-Longueville Baron before, or have not been here recently, this new underground cellar, which was completed in 2006, is a magnificent place both to work and to visit. It is situated under the stretch of water in front of the chateau, so that sunlight passes through the water, through the skylights and so down to the cellar below.
But as you can see, during the process of racking, Pierre Bustamante’s attention is focused entirely on the wine. It is vitally important work, one of the many repetitive tasks that demand the total attention and dedication of the people entrusted with the work, without which we would never be able to achieve the desired final quality in the bottle.
Both of them were delicious but I think require fairly specialist skills in preparation, but they do show that it is possible to have fun with Port in this way, and that’s the main point.
Noval Black was launched in January 2010, with the specific aim of bringing Port to people who might not otherwise have tried it, although I have had some good comments from regular Noval drinkers as well. I had thought for a long time – and still do – that the image Port can sometimes have, linked to traditional images of old fashioned gents passing the Port in their clubs, has very little to do with the exciting vibrant wine that Port can be. The whole idea of the Noval Black project was to bring a Port to the market that would bridge that gap. It has been quite a success.
Apart from the film which is a lot of fun, there is a full explanation of what Noval Black is all about, as well as some more cocktail recipes, specially devised for Noval Black by the great Jim Mehan of the New York PDT Bar. But don’t forget that it is also extremely delicious on its own. Enjoy!