You can’t put Dirk Niepoort in a box. He’s not your standard winemaker. Who releases a wine called ‘Clos de Crappe’ with the description ‘technically a disaster’? (See above from the Niepoort website.) As Dirk explains in the film below, Clos de Crappe was originally a wine made with a view to producing a slightly funky barrel to add seasoning to his high-end Burgundian-style red Charme. But now it has become a wine in its own right, stinky and reductive – flawed yet serious, and thoroughly likeable, if you can see past the edges. Here Dirk explains the wine to Canadian wine journalist Treve Ring and me while we are lunching with him at Quinta do Napoles in the Douro.
Niepoort Clos du Crappe 2013 Douro, Portugal
Remarkable stuff. There’s some spicy reduction here but it’s nicely integrated into the smooth, quite elegant juicy red cherry fruit. Very interesting and detailed with some grip on the finish. 93/100 (JG)
Niepoort Clos de Crappe 2013 Douro, Portugal
When you lift this straight to your nose without air, you can see why this wine has come by its memorable name. However, after a swirl or decant, the reductive and barnyard blows off to reveal fine cherry, raspberry, black plum and earthy notes. Tannins are fine and slightly grippy on the finish, easily supporting the seamless lightness of the palate. 60-80 year old vines of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Sousão, Alicante de Bouschet, Rufete and others make up this charming Crappe. 92/100 (TR)
There’s a rather crazy video for Clos de Crappe here. Quite addictive.