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WINE OF THE WEEK: Quinta do Noval Late Bottled Vintage Port 2016, Portugal

£19.95–£26.75, Master of Malt, Cheers, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Ocado, Bon Coeur Fine Wines, Oddbins

Never mind saving this until Christmas, I can't think of a more comforting wine in this cold weather. Late bottled vintage ports simply don't come better than this.


Sit by the fire or wrap yourself in a blanket (or both) and soak up its rich embrace of blackberry, fig and black cherry, dark chocolate and mocha, Christmas-pudding spice and velvet-smooth tannins.


Like Quinta do Noval's vintage ports, all the grapes come from the vineyards on the estate and are foot-trodden in lagares in the traditional way. Then it's aged in casks for five years, making it ready for drinking when released, unlike vintage port, which is aged for two years in cask and needs several more to mellow in bottle.


Although it's ready now, it will continue to develop in the bottle like vintage port, because it's unfiltered (and because of the quality), so, it's worth buying extra to lay down for a few years. I hardly need say, it also makes a great Christmas present.


Sip it on its own or with dark chocolate, blue cheese or mature cheddar, or try it with a rare steak and barbecue sauce – you might be surprised. 19.5%.


Quinta do Noval Late Bottled Vintage Port 2016, Douro, Portugal


£19.95–£26.75, Master of Malt, Cheers, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Ocado, Bon Coeur Fine Wines, Oddbins


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