Concentrated aromas of crushed blackberry, dark chocolate and black licorice. Full-bodied and medium-sweet, but big and rich. Very velvety and long. Focused and beautiful. So much going on here. Fabulous. A fruit bomb. Yet fresh and seductive. Give it some time.
Author: James Suckling
International Wine Cellar | Rating: 94
Good medium ruby. Slightly high-toned aromas of black cherry, blackberry and licorice; more medicinal today than the regular vintage bottling. Big, rich and sweet, but still dominated by baby fat and in a rather monolithic stage today. Very ripe but the medicinal menthol quality currently holds the upper hand over the wine's glossy dark fruits. It's hard to envision the wine's final form today. (Incidentally, I marginally preferred the basic 1997 vintage bottling next to this one, for its highly complex perfume of flowers and wild herbs; its seamless, lush texture; its outstanding intensity and purity of flavor; and its near-perfect balance. On this tasting, I rated this very long, aromatic vintage port 95 points.)
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: May/June 2013
Jancis Robinson | Rating: 19
Peppery, even a little floral but also a savoury, meaty note, very slight molasses aroma - dark rather than sweet. Dry and a little stern, upright, but also fresh and yet massive concentration. Mineral schist aftertaste. Spicy finish. Much too young. (JH)
Author: Julia Harding MW
Wine Advocate | Rating: 96
The Quinta Do Noval Nacional 1997 has a fragrant bouquet that boasts more delineation than the Vintage Noval, although it demonstrates approximately the same degree of vigour. There is a fine mineral component on the nose with macerated dark cherries, hoisin, cigar box and dried fig that seem to multiply exponentially with vigor. The palate is elegant on the entry with supple rounded tannins, well-judged acidity and purity, building gently in the mouth from its understated entry towards its peacock tail of mulberry, clove and raisin towards the finish. This is a step up from the 1994 Nacional, though if you want to split hairs, it does not possess the mind-boggling complexity of later vintages. However, it does purr with class. Drink now-2045.