Niepoort 10 Years Old White Port

£39.95

In Stock

“The NV 10 Years Old White Port bottled in 2023 has a peachy nose intermixed with some nutty and spirity hints. It has concentration and power, with a classical style and was aged in an oxidative way that gives it plenty of nutty notes and with the extract from the contact with the skins. This is a fairly recent wine, because they didn’t have enough stock of white Port. They wanted to show that white Port could be a serious wine, not something to make a fresh drink, with structure, complexity and age. It has 20% alcohol and 111 grams of sugar. 3,000 bottles produced. Drink: 2023-2043. 93+ points

Niepoort in 2016 only made Bioma and did not make his typical blend. Look for his 2017s. Regarding the tawnies, remember that the drinking windows are just placeholders. Tawnies age well. The longer they are in barrel, the better they age. As long as the cork does not fail, they may hold more or less indefinitely, which is hard to predict. I add a little extra time as they get older, but it’s just a tip to illustrate the category. It is not exactly precise. The beauty of end-date drinking windows for Port, of course, is that no one can yell at me if I’m wrong.

Where to start? I’ve known Dirk Niepoort for over 25 years, and I’ve followed his wines over the years. He doesn’t stop. He has grown his company like crazy. The still wines are on a new level since 2018 (they are always evolving, and they mention 2013 and 2021 as other years of change) with the arrival of winemaker Luis Pedro Cândido da Silva and the next generation of the Niepoort family, especially their son, Daniel, who joined the team in 2020. They not only produce wine in Douro but, nowadays, in most regions in Portugal—Dão, Alentejo, Vinho Verde, Bairrada…

The style is elegant, but they want the wines to age in bottle, so for them it’s all about balance. Some vineyards and wines have been certified organic since 2008. All of the vineyards they own are certified organic, but some of the grapes they buy are not. Daniel Niepoort, who’s a lot more focused on the vineyards now, told me organic is very important for him but that growers are also important and they want to keep the relationship with the growers and be a role model for them to show them that organic is possible, convincing them by being an example.

In 2022, they only got 202 liters of rain (a little less than in 2003!), but the vines adapted to the low water and yields were better than expected. They got some rain during harvest and some fungus. It was one of the most dramatic vintages in viticulture, and some plants died. But 2022 was great for Port. As for 2021, it was a great year for dry wines (but not great for Port), and there was enough water reserve in the soils. They consider it a perfect agricultural year with good yields; it has a mild spring and summer, so a longer cycle and perfect ripening of the grapes. It could be a little like 2018, 2008 and 2001—cooler years with higher acidity. 2020 was warm and dry, so the grapes were healthier. But it was the COVID-19 vintage, and that created some problems in the vineyards; everything was weird that year. As for 2023, even if still too early, the year was also great in Douro, for Luis Pedro the finest he’s seen there.”

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (04/24)