Douro star Dirk Niepoort has branched out in recent years, acquiring vineyards in Dão (Quinta da Lomba, an old vineyard purchased in 2013) and Bairrada (Quinta de Baixo, purchased in 2012). It may even be (and this is clearly heresy) that Bairrada has Portugal’s best terroirs, so it will be interesting to see what Dirk does with them. Dão has very interesting terroirs, too. Anyway, this was my first look at some of the new wines, and I was impressed. UK agent is Raymond Reynolds.
Niepoort Dão 2012 Portugal
Restrained red cherry and raspberry nose. Supple, elegant, pure red cherry palate with some raspberry and herb notes. Still quite primary but shows typical Niepoort elegance and restraint, without lacking flavour. Good acidity and a savoury, mineral core to the fruit. Fresh and pure. 94/100
Niepoort Projectos Baga 2011 Bairrada, Portugal
13% alcohol. Dirk Niepoort has been making Bairrada since 2010. The 2010 and this 2011 were released under the ‘Projectos’ label, but the 2011 is the first harvest made by Niepoort at Quinta de Baixo. This wine comes is from two old plots, one in Baixo and the other a centenarian vineyard in the region, both from clay and limestone soils. Textured, fine and supple with sweet red cherry and berry fruit, and a savoury, grainy core. It still has the Baga tannin, but there are no rough edges here. Such finesse, and it will likely age beautifully. It’s already elegant and pure, but the best is yet to come for this wine. 95/100
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