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.