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Redoma: premium wines from the Douro 

Dirk Niepoort is now one of the most visible and celebrated characters in the Portuguese wine scene. As well as the highly regarded Niepoort ports, he is making some stunning table wines from ancient, low yielding vines. The first release of the Redoma Tinto was 1991; I didn't get to taste this, or the two subsequent vintages, but I was bowled over by the 1994, 1995 and 1996 vintages. However, the 1999 really seems to be a notch above these fine wines in terms of quality. And if that were not enough, 1999 also sees the first vintage of super cuvée Batuta, which I thought was a breathtaking effort. Prices are steadily creeping up, though…

Redoma Branco Reserva 1999
An interesting white wine that combines rich lemony/herby fruit and new oak to good effect. The nose is fairly intense, with herby, rich fruit, toasty new oak and some delicate floral notes. The palate is powerful and complex, with well integrated oak. Very good/excellent (retails for £17.99)

Redoma Rosé 2000
The second vintage of this wine, this is free run (saignée) juice from red grapes destined for vintage Port (the Tinta Amarela variety predominates), 50% of which is barrel fermented. A pale pink colour, this has a lovely fresh nose of bright fruit, leading to a fresh palate of strawberries and cream. Quite intense, and I prefer it to the 1999. Very good+ (retails for £8.99)

Redoma Tinto 1999
Some 9000 bottles made of this highly sought-after wine, and as you'll probably gather from this tasting note, I'm a fan. Long-term followers of Redoma will probably have detected a bit of a change of character over the last few vintages. Well, Dirk Niepoort has apparently hit on the style he wants to run with in 1999, a watershed year, and so it's likely that there will be more consistency from here onwards. And this 1999 really is a leap ahead. A purple/black colour, it has a classy nose of ripe blackcurrant and berry fruit, with some chalky notes. The palate shows a stunning concentration, with complex ripe fruit and notes of mint, with good balancing acidity. Clean, pure and focused, this is a huge wine and will be breathtaking in time. Excellent. Not released until next year, and will cost approximately £25 a bottle.

Redoma Batuta 1999
A first glimpse of the new super cuvée (Batuta translates as 'maestro's baton'), of which some 3500 bottles were made. It's expected to retail at about £45, but will be worth every penny. An opaque purple/black colour, this has complex tight-knit herby fruit on the nose with subtle notes of spice, olives and coffee. The palate is massively tannic, with lovely rich herby complexity. Quite mind blowing. Excellent

UK agent: Raymond Reynolds
Stockists likely to include Bentalls and many independent fine wine shops which have good Portuguese lists, such as Handford, Ballantynes and Raeburn. 
Tasted May 2001

See also: Dinner with Dirk Niepoort; Niepoort's Batuta: vertical tasting of this Douro star

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