Niepoort Colheitas
Single-vintage tawnies from a master of this style

Colheita Ports are relatively rare, but they are worth looking out for. They are vintage-dated tawny Ports.

A recap. The two distinctive styles of Port are ruby and tawny. The term ‘ruby’ encompasses Ports that have been aged for a short time in wood before bottling, and so they retain their dark colour and fruit-dominated flavour profile. This category includes vintage, single-quinta,  late-bottled vintage and simple ruby styles.

Tawny Ports are aged for a long time in wood. They are therefore quite different in taste, with nutty, raisiny complexity, and less fruit. They are also lighter in colour. A completely different sort of drink, but equally compelling when done well.

Most tawnies are sold by their average age (10 year, 20 year and so on), and are the result of blending. Colheitas are tawnies from a single year, and are less common.

This small vertical involved some of the Colheitas from Niepoort, a small port house who are masters of this style. 


Niepoort Colhieta 1998
Taut and spicy with raisiny complexity. A warm, dense yet fresh Port with great balance and already showing good complexity, as well as fine acidity. 93/100

Niepoort Colheita 1995
Warm, mellow, spicy and dense with great acidity, a lightness to the flavour, and some warmth. Really long finish. 93/100

Niepoort Colheita 1991
Warm and spicy with lovely tangerine and citrus notes. Fresh with lovely acidity and spicy complexity. A lovely Port. 94/100

Niepoort Colheita 1984
Tight and a little earthy with spicy complexity. Fine, with savoury, spicy notes. Fresh and taut: a little turned in on itself. 92/100

Niepoort Colheita 1979
Super-complex, spicy and fine with mellow warmth but also some freshness. Thrilling complexity. 95/100

Wines tasted 03/11

See also:

Dirk Niepoort and his remarkable wines: a retrospective

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