A Taste of Niepoort

Tiara 2008 *** / ****

First produced in 2008 this is billed by Dirk Niepoort the Douro's answer to Riesling. Made mostly from the Codega grape (old vines), 80% in stainless steel, 20% in old oak. Very minerally, fragrant, no oak evident with good (sub tropical) weight and balance. Restrained.  16.5

Redoma Branco 2008 ****

Restrained minerally aromas, gentle use of oak, seemingly less oak than was used in the past; taut peachy fruit, subtropical weight, almost burgundian in style but with added Douro ripeness. 17

Vertente 2007 ***

Ripe, slightly peppery aromas with more to give on the nose; firm, sappy flavours backed by broad tannins, characteristic of the 2007 vintage.  16 

 Redoma Tinto 2007 ****

Big, firm tight-knit, rich, structured plum and cherry aromas and flavours, typically foursquare tannins backed by fresh acidity still needing time to open and develop fully but will be very expressive in another year or so.  17

Batuta 2007 **** + (?)

Very deep in colour; closed, giving very little away on the nose, tight-knit but with slightly smoky aromas opening up in the glass; big wine, ripe, firm, massive tannins with grip and poise, lovely fresh acidity surfacing on the finish. A massive wine that will need a few years to come round.  18 

Projectos Pinot Noir 2006 V.R Duriense

Made from Pinot Noir planted at Quinta de Napoles in 1999 - high density planting at 12,000 vines / ha. Ripe, dusty aromas, not that aromatic initially but opening up, new oak very evident; fine, sweet, firm, recognisably Pinot flavours, nothing jammy (but not showing well today according to Dirk Niepoort).  Reserve judgement. 

Charme 2007 ****

Dirk Niepoort's attempt at making a burgundian style of red with Douro grapes. 80 year old vines, 100% foot trodden on the stems in lagar. 18 months in 50% new oak. Mid-deep colour, pink rim; elegant, vinous aromas, could be described as 'burgundian', restrained, perfumed, sweet fruit, firm dry spicy tannins but very elegant. Mid- weight with fine length. 17

Charme 2006 ** / ***

Paler than the 2007, broad pink rim; savoury but rather hollow aromas with less fruit immediately evident; firm, rather dry tannins, rather attenuted and emaciated, slight and rather dry finish. Not nearly as showy as the '07. A 'difficult year' according to Dirk - so should he have released this wine?.  14.5

Location: Quinta de Napoles

Scoring

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