About the Winery:
There is a revolution happening in the Douro, and Dirk Niepoort is leading the troops. For centuries this part of Portugal has been known only for its port, but today, many of these Portuguese winemakers are beginning to make red table wines with the same grapes that have traditionally only been used for ports. Dirk was born in 1964 to a traditional Port family that has been in business since 1842. The first wine Dirk participated in making was the Niepoort Vintage Porto of 1987. Since then, he took over the firm management and started making dry wines. The Niepoort house still keeps a complete line-up of Porto wines, ranging from Tawny to Colheita and Garrafeira (a tawny aged in 10L glass bottles, that only Niepoort makes), and from Ruby to Vintage. The dry wines include whites Redoma and Redoma Reserva, and reds Vertente, Redoma, Batuta, and Charmes. In addition, he is also at the head of the Lavradores project.
Wine & Spirits magazine named Dirk as one of 50 "Most Influential Winemakers of 2004," saying that "what sets Niepoort apart is his skill at building networks, pathways of communication. Over the last fifteen years, the Douro may have produced an increasing range of great table wine, but the wines have remained a Portuguese phenomenon. Niepoort has actively worked to raise their visibility. Furthermore, the same magazine named Niepoort "Winery of the Year." Ray Isle wrote, "[Niepoort's] wines, while being some of the best the Douro has to offer, unfortunately haven't gotten as much attention in the US as they deserve — in part because quantities are so extraordinarily limited. But make no mistake: this is remarkable juice."
About the Wine:
The vineyards for this wine are in the prime Cima Corgo zone in the Pinhao valley at very high altitudes. Situated on Schist soils, these 40+ year old, high altitude vineyards are 1,312 to 2,296 feet above sea level on the right bank of the Douro river. All farming is done organically and by hand. The predominant varieties planted in this field blend white are: Rabigato, Codega, Arinto, Viosinho, Boal and Gouveio. After harvest the grapes are transported in cooling trucks to the winery where the grapes are quickly crushed at night without maceration at low temperatures. The wines then ferment spontaneously in French oak casks without malolactic and without batonnage. After fermentation the wine is aged for ten months in barrel on fine lees before bottling. Everything Niepoort does is to maintain a traditional wine that is fresh with great acidity and complexity that showcases the Douro slate and minerality.
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