Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional 2003 rated as the Best Wine in the World

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Quinta do Noval 2003 Vintage Nacional

This week saw the publication of Luca Gardini’s new Ecyclopedia of wine in Italy. Luca of course won the coveted “Best Sommelier in the World 2010” title, awarded by the Worldwide Sommelier Association (W.S.A.). He lists in his encyclopedia the 100 best wines in the world according to his judgement, and it was very exciting for us to see that the Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional 2003 is rated number one, as the Best Wine in the World.

It is indeed a special wine, as are all the Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional Ports. You can find out more about this wine by making a link to our website www.quintadonoval.com, but I wanted just to say here how moved and happy we all are at Quinta do Noval by this accolade.

The Quinta do Noval Vintage Nacional is very important to me as it confirms something that I profoundly believe about the greatest wines: they are the great wines that they are because of something unique and special about the place they come from, and not particularly because of anything that we the wine producers actually do.

In the case of the Vintage Nacional, the wine is made from grapes that come from a small two hectare parcel at the heart of the Quinta do Noval vineyard. We vinify the wine in lagares, in exactly the same way as we make all the other wines from the Quinta do Noval vineyard. And yet the Vintage Nacional is always different from all the other wines. Of course the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port is one of the great wines of the world in its own right, and in fact the Vintage Nacional is not always better than the Quinta do Noval Vintage wine, but is always very different, with a strikingly individual personality of its own. We sometimes declare the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port for example without declaring the Vintage Nacional, as we did in 2007 and 2008. We only declare the Vintage Nacional when we are certain that it is exceptional, and in fact the 2003 is the last one that we did declare. But when it is great it is an extraordinary wine. If it were down to anything particularly clever we do, we would try to make more of it, or to make it more often. But it is great when it wants to be, which is precisely what makes it special, and I love that.

2011 was a Great Year at Chateau Suduiraut

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2011 was a great year at Chateau Suduiraut and blending those wines was really exciting. In fact, the last ten years have been something rather exceptional for the region. The last three years (2011, 2010 and 2009) were all magnificent. And before that we had a succesion of great vintages with 2007, 2005, 2003 and 2001. I am not sure there has ever been such a great series in the history of Sauternes. Let’s pay a visit to the vineyard and ask Pierre Montegut, who is in charge of Chateau Suduiraut, what happened during this year 2011 and why it is so remarkable.

If you have trouble watching this video, view the web version here

The cot de retour
Château Suduiraut

Blending 2011 wines at Mas Belles Eaux

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Today, I suggest a stop at Mas Belles Eaux, our property in Languedoc Roussillon situated between Caux and Pezenas. Together with Daniel LLose, Technical Director of the properties of Axa Millesimes and Cédric Loiseau, Technical Director of Mas Belles Eaux, we are enjoying the fascinating exercise of making the blends of the 2011 vintage.

If you have trouble watching this video, view the web version here

The “Taille Medocaine” at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron

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It is pruning time here in Bordeaux. This is a short video clip showing Alexandra Lebossé and Joël Dupuy in the vineyard at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, demonstrating how we prune here.

If you have trouble watching this video, view the web version here

Here are a couple of photographs which illustrate more closely the operations Joël performs in the video.

Joël about to prune the cot de retour for next year’s growth.
Joël about to prune the cot de retour for next year’s growth.
The cot de retour
The cot de retour
Overview of a pruned vine. Taille Médocaine.
Overview of a pruned vine. Taille Médocaine.
Detail of the cot de retour on the same vine.
Detail of the cot de retour on the same vine.