Robustus 1990 with Dirk Niepoort

On Saturday night (15 September 2012) I had dinner with Dirk Niepoort at Quinta do Napoles in the Douro. It was a lovely evening with a bunch of like-minded wine people and some very nice wines.

Particularly special was the bottle of Robustus 1990 that Dirk opened: the wine that was the start of his current work with table wines from the region. I’d tasted it once before, but here was a chance to drink it with Dirk, and ask him some questions about Robustus and the table wine revolution that has taken place in the Douro over the last 20 years.

You can read the interview here.

My note on the wine:

Niepoort Robustus 1990 Douro, Portugal
It is hard to be objective about this wine: it’s such an important wine in the history of both the Douro, and also for Dirk Niepoort. I’ve had it once before. If anything, it is better this time. ‘Every bottle is perfect,’ says Dirk. Amazingly fresh, grippy and spicy with still-primary berry and cherry fruit underpinned by good acidity and some firm tannins. Hints of earth, spice and tar. It reminds me a bit of a great Barolo in structure, and I reckon this will age for years to come. Dirk says that this was made in an extractive style, but it has developed really nicely, and I’m quite moved by it. 96/100

1 comment to Robustus 1990 with Dirk Niepoort

  • I’m so happy to be reading more and more about wines from the Iberian peninsula, and especially about wines from Douro DOC. One thing I’m curious about is the relative prominence of Spanish wine and Spanish cuisine over Portuguese wine and cuisine. As an amateur cook and wine enthusiast I have been pretty devoted to Spanish cooking in the past two years or so, and with that have developed a more knowledgeable palette of Spanish wines. I confess I’m still working on and exploring Portugal, but one does wonder about the connection between a culinary “renaissance” and prominence of a wine region. Whatever the case is with this, I can say I am very happy to be able to get excellent Douro table wine at prices that cannot be beat! Thanks for the informative interview and post.

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