Down river to visit Niepoort’s new winery at Quinta de Napoles in the Tedo valley. This is a masterpiece of modern architecture. Designed by an Austrian, it is built into the hillside and looks from a distance like a giant wall of schist. Inside is a cavernous modern winery with stainless steel tanks of varying sizes well protected from the heat. Dirk’s Niepoort’s winemaking philosophy is ‘simplicity, simplicity, simplicity’ and with three weeks of cuvaison for some of his Douro red, each tank is only used an average of 1.8 times during vintage –hence the need for so many tanks for a winery producing 300,000 litres a year. This year’s harvest began in mid-August for the small quantity of Pinot Noir growing at Quinta de Napoles and on 5th September for Port grapes at Vale de Mendiz. I taste some of the newly fortified Port which looks quite impressive. I expect that there will be some good single quinta wines from the 2009 vintage. Notes on some of Niepoort’s Douro wines and Ports can be found on the relevant pages of this site.
19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)
17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)
15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)
13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)
10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)
8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)
Below 8 Faulty