This is one of the top, top tier of red wines made by the phenomenal Niepoort - one of the chief protagonists in celebrating the still wine capabilities of the Portugal and the Douro valley in particular.
Made from a blend of two vineyards; one with cool-climate, 70-year-old vines, the other from 100-year-old vines near the legendary Quinta de Napoles.
It has a deep yet austere set of aromas, generously showing forest fruits, subtle oak that doesn't overpower the delicate floral notes and a distinctly mineral character. It is a seriously distinguished wine that has a refined and elegant palate with a firmly present tannic backbone. It is precise, impressive and very long with a beguiling finish.
This wine will age wonderfully and if you can't wait, just give it a decant for an hour and you'll be won over - we promise.
It is made using very traditional methods that feature a long maceration and a slow fermentation. Careful sorting so that only the best quality from the vineyards are kept for the ferment and an endlessly probing attention to detail. Anything magical other than this? No, it's all about the quality of the grapes that go into the wine, which are, truly, better than many other grapes in the world.
If you want a comparison for this wine, you could wonder about the other end of the same river - is it like Ribera del Duero? Well, in a word, no. There's so much more freshness and restraint and the grape varieties are nothing like Tempranillo. The only real reference points are the other top wines in the Douro, especially those made by Niepoort, and if you want an international-level comparison, the very finest of wines from Bordeaux, like the heart of the Medoc. This is the velvet-gloved iron fist of Saint Julien...Imagine: if it was from that echelon of Bordeaux, how much do you think they'd charge you...?
Grape(s): Touriga Franca, Tinto Roriz, Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Malvazia Preta
Style: Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Round, Pure, Profound, Medium Full, Meditation, Iconic, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Veal, Pork, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Fine Dining, Charcuterie