Saturday, July 19, 2008

2005 Niepoort Vertente Tinto

Country: Portugal
Region: Douro
Alcohol: 13%
Price: €19,00
Closure: Cork

In my eyes Portugal, along with Italy, is one of the most exciting wine producing countries in the world today. With the many indigenous grape varieties available at their disposal the potential is there to produce interesting, unique wines that could differentiate Portugal from many other wine producing countries.

Port, Portugal's most famous of wines, has long been the king-pin in the Douro. Over the last ten to twenty years, however, this has all been changing as consumers tastes changed from drinking Port and Sherries to table wines. The rise of a new generation of winemakers in the Douro, and Portugal as a whole, has seen many producing table wines in addition to their ports. As a result many have released a range of table wines.

Among these is van Niepoort, a wine producer of Dutch origins. Van Niepoort is run by a 5th generation Niepoort, Dirk. Over the years Dirk Niepoort has established a reputation as one of the most skilled winemakers in the Douro. While he is also a tradionalist he was one of the first in the Douro to start dabbling with table wines.

This wine, named the Vertente, is a tinto produced from a blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Touriga Nacional and others. The vineyards producing the grapes are quite mature with vine ages ranging between 20 and 70 years. Here's what I thought of it:

Great depth of colour with the deep purple showing it's youth. The nose is powerful and shows dark berry fruit. On the palate there is plenty of fresh, dark berry along with good, dying tannins and really good acidity. The wood is nicely integrated behind the fruit. This is a wine that is more about elegance than power. Nice length on the finish. I really liked this wine though at the moment of tasting I'm unsure whether this good value at €19.00.

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