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Ports from Niepoort 

Niepoort is a small but high quality Port shipper, now making waves with their Douro table wines too. These ports are traditionally made and of a uniformly high quality. The Niepoort 2000 vintage port is absolutely sensational. The first time I tasted this was at the end of a long dinner, where Dirk Niepoort poured this, the 2000 Secundum and the 2000 Passadouro blind. All were of super quality, but the 2000 vintage Niepoort stood out for me. You may just still have time to get some if you havenít already got your hands on it.

Prices given are recommended retail. UK agent is Raymond Reynolds.

Dry White NV
60-year-old Malvasia vines are apparently dominant here, and it is aged for up to 4 years in cask. Very deep yellow/gold colour, with a sweet nutty nose. The soft herb-tinged palate is sweet with a lovely texture. Interesting, soft and intense. Very good+ (£8.75)

Senior Tawny NV
With an average age of 8 years, this is a palish colour. Soft, rich and full with good density and some complexity. Quite nutty with a rich texture. Thereís some interest here. Very good+ (£14.75)

Colheita 1990
Bottled in 2001. Colheitas are vintage ports that spend a minimum of 7 years in cask. This is an orangey colour with some pink notes. Intriguing spicy, nutty nose with some toffee and caramel notes. Complex palate is soft textured with some richness and complexity. Very good/excellent (£24.99)

LBV 1997
Trodden and fermented in lagares. Sweet liquoricey nose with a caramel edge. Rich, lush palate shows good concentration with an attractive herbiness to the fruit. Nicely balanced, this is very attractive. Very good/excellent (£11Ė13)

Quinta do Passadouro LBV 1996
Trodden and fermented in lagares and bottled in 2001. Quite spicy nose with complex liquorice and herby notes. Good density of sweet liquoricey fruit on the palate. Very rich and ripe with plenty of complexity. Very good/excellent (£12.95)

Secundum 1999
Itís not a second wine, but instead an alternative, slightly more affordable bottling for Niepoort fans who canít afford or obtain the regular Vintage Port. Itís a proper Vintage Port, but from wines considered not classic enough to be a Vintage Niepoort, and it could be declared in any year: 1999 is the inaugural vintage. Intense complex spicy/herby nose. The palate shows a good concentration of sweet, spicy, herby fruit, with firm tannins lying underneath. Very good/excellent

Secundum 2000
Slightly muted sweet herbal edge to the nose. Rich, full flavoured palate shows sweet fruit with a chunky, spicy edge. Delicious but a little muted; a sweet herbal style. Very good/excellent

Passadouro Vintage 2000
Very deep purple. Wonderful nose with rich fruit and some spicy tannins. Very concentrated palate with rich fruit and spicy tannins, together with an intense herbal edge. Quite lovely. Very good/excellent

Niepoort Vintage 2000
This is a stunning Vintage Port: Iíve tried this now on three separate occasions and Iím convinced they donít come much better than this. Vivid, intense colour. Intense, herby, spicy nose. Massively concentrated rich, firm palate with lovely spicy tannins providing structure. Rich, full-on style. Excellent  

For tasting notes of other Portuguese wines click here
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Wines tasted May 2002