A bona fide modern classic, this wine is one of the foundation posts for the growth of the Portuguese still-wine market in the past two decades. Made by one of the true pioneers of the wine world, it is elegant, complex and full of fruit flavours, structure and the freshness that comes from all of the amazing Niepoort wines.
Plus, this is a MAGNUM. Twice the fun.
AND this comes with at least two years of further aging than the current Vertente release, meaning you get this stunning wine in even better condition.
It has a full range of red fruits with integrated spice and superb acidity, balanced by smooth tannins, medium body and a reassuring classiness and finesse.
Made from a blend of many different sites that Niepoort own, this is a wine that represents their very presence in the Douro valley and is mostly sourced from vines that are between 50 and 80 years old. It is part winery-flagship, manifesto for the region, champion of indigenous grape varieties and celebration of an alternative modern vision of European wine making and wine culture. In all these things it is consistent and is like a brilliant calling-card for the winery as well as for the region. You have to remember that until this wine hit the market, most of us thought of the Douro (if ever at all) as the place that end up in Porto and is the source of grapes used to make Port. Vertente changed that view in an instant.
Aged for 22 months in a range of old and new oak barrels of varying sizes, this wine is quite similar in many ways to a classic Claret. It's obviously not at all like that in the makeup of grapes - Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and other indigenous Portuguese varieties - but it is useful to have a 'hook' if you don't already know the style of the region. The integrated spice, red fruit and moderate tannins, age-worthiness and a sense of structure that points to elegance, refinement and tradition (if such a thing can be pointed toward at all...). It possesses a certain classiness - that's about the long and short of it - that you find in really fine wines from Saint Estephe and Saint Julien, or Listrac and Moulis if you're being very specific...!
And it comes in a wooden box.
Grape(s): Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Roriz
Style: Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Medium Bodied, Iconic, Elegant, Complex, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Veal, Steak, Pork, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Charcuterie