Quinta de Baixo Poeirinho 2015


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“The 2015 Poeirinho is another terrific Baga from Niepoort this issue. His Baga wines have become my favorites in his red lineup across many regions. It was aged for 20 months in used 2,000-liter fuders and comes in at just 11.4% alcohol. This (well, with the Alagoa, although that at least seemed more open when first poured, before it shut down) is the most backward of the red Bairrada group, rather tight, a bit rustic and a little mute, needing some time to open up. That said, the fruit flavor is there in the background and it has the precision and focus of the others, with a serious backbone. This requires some patience—five years might not be nearly enough; ten would be better—and it should age exceptionally well, if well stored and sourced, of course. Eventually, this might be the best of the Niepoort reds this issue, although the Vinha da Alagoa will have some say there, but it doesn’t show that way now. It still looks like a big star. 10,000 bottles produced. Drink: 2022-2050. 95 points

This is Dirk Niepoort’s Bairrada property, and these wines may well be my favorites of all of his table wines these days. Check out the scores. I have waffled a bit, admittedly, with the use of some “+” signs because young, powerful Baga is often hard to read when very young and at a very early stage. The power and acidity always suggests a long life ahead and the potential for improvement. It is fair to say that they pretty much were all brilliant, with significant potential for improvement in the cellar. They will grow old with you, including the whites. Speaking of aging, I have indicated on some notes a couple that are accessible fairly young, like the Lagar. When you get to the powerhouses, though, even if I suggest you MIGHT be able to dive in around 2022, you should know that big Bagas (like the Alagoa and Poeirinho) really require cellar time. For many such wines—we’ll see where we are—they will likely show better around ten years from vintage date. Then, check in again. I’ve come across some 2001s of late that were just right around age 15. So, those are wines for people with cellars. It is also fair to say that 2015 is a very fine vintage for them—and for Niepoort in general. Over the next couple of decades or more, they will be firing on all burners. Finally, have your expectations in order. These are not big, fleshy wines with lots of sweetness and sex appeal. They are crisp and elegant, with a cool-climate demeanor. Don’t drink them too warm.

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (220)