Concentrated and intense, wonderfully balanced, seductive, persistent, 2017 Niepoort is astonishing. This is a supreme example of a wine in which powerful tannins and substantial alcohol are made to seem entirely effortless by freshness and lift. The very floral aromatics are entirely typical of the house style. Dirk is convinced his 2017 is the best port he has ever made, the best Niepoort, possibly, since his grandfather’s generation and the 1945. Dirk reckons it will probably shut down somewhere around 2022, slumber for around a decade, then burst back to life for the next seventy years or so. (NT 16/04/19)
- Douro, Port/vintage port, Fortifieds PORTUGAL
- Wine Style
- Dominant Grape
- Touriga Nacional blend
- Closure Style
- Bottle Size
- Case Quantity
- Wine Score
- 19.5 points, Julia Harding, jancisrobinson.com, May 2019
96 points, Neal Martin, vinous.com, June 2019
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All from Cima Corgo. All field blends, including Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Tinta Roriz, etc, oldest vines 80–100 years. Any overripe grapes removed. 100% foot trodden with 100% stems. Press wine very important – like `gold`, says Niepoort. Not from all the vineyards just from his four favourite, eg Pisca. To be bottled June 2019. Black cherry colour with narrow purple rim. Gorgeous pure hedgerow black fruit and no sense of the alcohol on the nose – it has been completely integrated with the fruit already. Ripe blackberry, elderberry and blackcurrant and a touch of spice, wild fruit. Incredibly intense on the palate but not showy and the tannins make it taste almost dry. Wonderful texture, great freshness, the tannins ‘sweep the sweetness out of the mouth’, as Mondavi once said to Niepoort. Incredible purity, freshness, intensity and harmony. I’ve put a start date of 2025 but this is ridiculously delicious now even though it clearly has massive potential longevity. An incredible dark, rocky purity with a long savoury finish, the fruit is intense but not ultra-fruity. This reminds me of the rocky Douro from which the wines come. Sheer beauty with hidden power. Glorious, very long, totally moreish even now. 19.5 points
The 2017 Vintage Port was picked early to obtain optimal ripeness, commencing 24 August and finished 26 September. Yields are some 30% below the previous year. The fruit was foot-trodden in granite lagares and matured in large barrels in Vila Nova de Gaia. It has a refulgent purple colour. The nose is explosive, a heady cornucopia of blueberry, black cherries and crème de cassis, later just a touch of lavender. There is no holding back on these aromatics. The palate follows suit with sumptuous black fruit, quite tannic but simultaneously rounded and lavish/velvety in texture. Touches of fresh fig and raisin appear towards the finish. Drop dead gorgeous. 96 points
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