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Portugal’s icon wines: top bottles from the Douro

Best known for Port production, the Douro Valley has also become a source of world-class single-parcel fine wines. Sarah Ahmed looks back at the evolution of this new fine wine category, talks to leading producers and recommends top bottles to buy.

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the launch of Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 1931. This iconoclastic Port from a single 1.7ha plot of five-year-old vines bucked the Douro’s staunch tradition of blending parcels (‘vinhas’) and estates (‘quintas’). How else to obtain balance, complexity and finesse in an extreme continental climate? Yet Nacional is widely regarded as the Everest of vintage Ports and priced accordingly.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 12 of Portugal’s top fine wines

Almost a century later, Noval has marked the launch of its new ‘Terroir Series’ single-parcel Douro wine range with Quinta do Noval Vinhas da Marka 2019 at £170 per bottle. Others have caught up, too, producing top-end single-parcel vintage Ports – for example, Graham’s Stone Terraces from Quinta dos Malvedos and Croft’s Quinta da Roeda Serikos.

Portugal’s iconic wines: Sarah Ahmed picks her top 12

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