Niepoort Crusted Port
Crusted ports are a great compromise between LBV and vintage ports and offers excellent value for money. It is made from 2 or 3 harvests of wine of vintage quality, ie the fruit from vineyards which are used for vintage Port but which have not been selected for that years blend for whatever reason. (Vintage Ports follow a house style and each year the blend is put together from a range of vineyards and it differs slightly every year depending on that years conditions. The fruit not used goes into to the crusted and it is normally a blend of 2 or 3 years of vintage fruit. It is normally aged in barrels for a couple of years before release, so the current 2014 is a blend of the vintage wine from 2011 and 2012. The style is Ruby style, deep inky colour - in fact a stunning black gold kind of colour, the wine has an opulent sheen to it which makes it look delicious and expensive. It has deep aromas of plum and dark cherry, dark chocolate, sweet spice, stewed prunes in alcohol. The tannins are superbly soft, elegant, hedonistic, a really super Ruby style Port. It is absolutely superb now but will certainly age further! As the name suggests this will throw a deposit as it is unfiltered so would benefit from decanting and pour carefully.
Founded in 1842, the small Port house of Niepoort is now run by 5th generation brother and sister Dirk and Verena Niepoort. Its easy to forget that it was only a few years ago that Niepoort was only sought out by a small band of faithful followers, as stock of remarkable, artisan wines built up in the cramped old Niepoort lodge in Rua Serpa Pinto in Vila Nova de Gaia. These days, with a formidable international reputation which spans all styles from aged tawny to vintage, and all points in between, demand threatens to outstrip supply. Ports are all made at the old Museu de Lagares in Vale de Mendiz, which has the only circular granite Lagares in the Douro. Niepoort's mission has always been to be a "niche player", to produce distinctive Ports and Douro wines, combining centuries-old tradition with innovation. This continues today with new vineyard projects to produce dry, natural wines in the Douro - Bairrada - Dão triangle. The importance attached to understanding soils, climates and grape varieties has led the current head of the business Dirk Niepoort down the path of Biodynamics, a practise that respects the "moods" of Nature, to find a balance between biodiversity and minimum intervention, and the wines really speak for themselves. Many of their vineyards now have organic certification, which is very much against the grain in contemporary Port making. After 150 years of doing things just a little differently, Niepoort are now highly respected for their delicious Ports and an increasing array of natural table wines.