Recently a friend invited me to a small tasting of basic Niepoort. First the entry level with Ruby and the Tawny, then Ruby Dum and Tawny Dee and finally LBV 2007, Colheita 2001 and 10 years Tawny.
A tasting like that gives you the chance to compare the style in different levels of quality. And through I am used to drink older vintage, I do enjoy a good glass of reserve port now and then.
I was surprised how smooth the Rubies were. Easy going with dark berries and nice fruit, and even the LBV did not have strong tannins. The Two Twins from NiePOoRTland are referring to the twins from Alice in Wonderland, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The first still youthful with red cherries and some plums – the latter aged 3½ years in oak and with notes of dried figs and a long finish with pepper and spirit. They both had a little sign attached around the neck saying Drink Me! And that is what they are made for. Easy to drink – perhaps for a new audience – but without the depth, power and concentration of their older sisters and brothers. Of course the LBV had more to offer, more fruit and a brother pallet, but I was not that impressed. Normally it performs better.
The best wines of the evening were the two Tawnies with age. The 10 years had figs and nuts but also some notes of lemon and orange, followed by a long, comfortable tail. For me the port of the evening was the Colheita 2001. Medium red to light brown. Dried fruits with some orange and apricot in the nose. Still young, but with power, good fruit and intensity. Balanced and nice to drink.
Besides the wines from Niepoort, we had a Don Joaquim Vintage 1989 – a label that I have never tasted before and to be honest know nothing about. It was ready to drink and close to be gone. A brown and bright colour, a bit milky in the nose, smooth but without depths and a very short finish. Not a great port, but as an introduction to aged vintages it served its duty that evening. The only notes I have been able to find are on the Swedish site vintageport.se. If anyone knows more, you are welcome to send me information…
A nice evening, but I am looking forward to taste Niepoort Vintages and older Colheitas in the future.