2007 Cedro do Noval – Douro- Portugal
30% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca and 10% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) – 30% Syrah
Portugal is famous around the world for its fortified “Port” wines. In the past 10 years however it is the table wines of the area that are generating most of the buzz. Ports can sometimes seem a little old fashioned, mostly associated with grandfathers and English gentleman in tweed jackets. It is certainly not something you would think about having at the end of a meal in that trendy new wine bar. The table wines however are another breed. They are using the great vineyard resources at their disposal to make some exciting and very distinctive wines.
Quinta do Noval is one of the great Port houses. Not only does Noval produce the most famous Vintage Port of them all, the legendary ‘Nacional’, it was also the creator of the “Late Bottled” style in 1954 and of single vintage tawnies (Colheita), in 1954. They were a little bit late to the table wine party at Douro, but they have been using the time well, making lots of experiments since 1996 before they felt they were ready with their first release in 2004.
They offer a small number of table wines in their portfolio and it may be hard to believe but the Cedro do Noval is their second label. True to its long history of continuous innovation, Noval has also been among the first to experiment with Rhône varieties in the Douro. In the end it was only Syrah that proved worthy, offering a vibrancy and silky charm to the Cedro bottling. The idea of using the Syrah in the final blend is to make the wine rounder and smoother. It really does add an intriguing dimension to the wine. In the 2007 vintage it represents 30% of the blend, with the balance being 30% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca and 10% Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo). Matured in high quality French oak this wine is all class with a structure and elegance that is simply a joy to drink.
Very pure on the nose, with elegant red cherry, plum and smoked meat flavours. It shows it pedigree with fine tannins and seamless oak, but with plenty of power.
This wine could be safely cellared for another 3 -4 years. If you are drinking now, please decant for 20 minutes.
This is a medium to full bodied wine, so it is pretty versatile in what you can match. Think roasted meats and Italian dishes, be they tomato or creamy based. It would also be great with Pizza, but then so is everything else.