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Niepoort Redoma Branco Reserva 2016

Niepoort Redoma Branco Reserva 2016

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"The 2015 Redoma Reserva Branco is a field blend from old vines that were aged for nine months in 30% new French oak (the remaining barrels of varying ages). It comes in at 12.5% alcohol. This adds a couple of layers of depth to the regular Redoma Branco, more power and, of course, more oak. However, this will have a long aging curve and it should easily pull it in. In fact, it is becoming well integrated even now. Underneath, you get fine acidity and it drinks beautifully, but it will acquire more complexity and harmony in a few years. This, unlike the regular Redoma, really needs food. Don't treat it as a porch-sipper and don't drink it too cold. Drink: 2017-2033. 94 points

Part of this new issue is assessing the new 2016 Branco vintage. In terms of whites, Niepoort said he was not sure which he preferred, leaning to the 2016s, but he preferred 2015 in both reds and ports. (Granting that everyone's terroir is different and different picking decisions may color views, too, I lean to the 2015s overall.) Although many of these were not yet bottled, it looks to me like 2015 is one of Niepoort's best vintages in Tintos. The Ports weren't too shabby, either—those are separately reviewed this issue. They are among the stars of the vintage.

This issue also includes wines from many of Niepoort's terroirs—he is rapidly spreading through Portugal and popping up everywhere. To my mind, his Bairrada project just might be the best segment of his table wines these days (separately listed as Quinta de Baixo), assuming you like that low-alcohol, tannic and crisp style (nothing fat and sweet there). Increasingly, incidentally, Niepoort is releasing the wines a year later and holding them a bit longer in tank or bottle to make the wines more age-worthy and a little more austere, essentially calming the fruit."

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (232)