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MWG May 24th tasting: report (4/4)

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Douro 2008, Batuta, Niepoort ($81.75, 10912071)
A blend of local grape varieties, predominantly Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, mainly from 60+-year-old vines in the Quinta do Carril and vineyards from 100-year-old vines near Quinta de Nãpoles. Destemmed. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel vats and wood fermenters, the must being in contact with the skins for about 50 days. The wine was then pressed directly into French oak casks for 21 months’ malolactic fermentation and maturation. 14% ABV.
Complex, nuanced: spice, cedar, black fruit with hints of oak and maple. Full-bodied but no heaviness. Very structured with a formidable yet very fine tannic framework that gives the wine a velour-like texture. Pure and juicy fruit. Long, elegant finish. A flawless, impeccably balanced wine with great aging potential. (Buy again? If price were no object, yes.)

Douro 2008, Redoma, Niepoort ($44.75, 11634375)
A field blend involving Touriga Franco, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amareia and Tinto Cão, among others, from 60- to 120-year-old vines in the Cima Corgo region. Destemmed. Alcoholic fermentation was in stainless steel vats and stone lagares; malolactic fermentation and 20 month’s maturation in French oak casks. 14% ABV.
Initially gorgeous if closed nose of plum and spice, then gaining vanilla and chocolate notes. More straightforward, less deep and precise than the Batuta, the round tannins making for a more earthbound structure. The flavours are less layered, too. The dense fruit is buoyed by vibrant acidity. The oak is a little too present for now. Long, herby/menthol finish. Will benefit from a few years in the cellar. (Buy again? Maybe.)

Douro 2008, Vertente, Niepoort ($24.25, 10371665)
Another complex blend, this time comprising Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amareia and Touriga Nacional, from 20-year-old vines in the Quinta de Nápoles vineyard and up to 70-year-old vines in the Pinhão Valley. Stainless steel tanks and lagares were used for alcoholic fermentation; 20% new French oak casks for malolactic fermentation and 18 months’ maturation. 13.5% ABV.
Fresh nose of cassis, turned earth, volatile herbs and subtle oak. At first appears closed yet complex and complete, with good structure, ripe fruit and a fluid texture. Becomes less well-integrated, less deep-seeming as it warms. The long, spicy finish shows a bit of heat. Closer than the other wines to a classic Douro. (Buy again? Yes, for serving uncarafed and at cool room temperature.)

The inclusion of the Redoma in the May 24th Cellier release prompted this mini-horizontal, which unfortunately couldn’t include the fourth Niepoort Douro regularly stocked at the SAQ, the virtually sold-out Dialogo ($15.80, 11605591). The three bottles we did taste shared many qualities: weight, savour, balance, impeccable craftsmanship and a relatively high price, about 20% above similar wines from competing producers.

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Written by carswell

June 2, 2012 at 11:26

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with , ,

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