Highlights: Niepoort Batuta 2018 Douro, Portugal

Dirk Niepoort is, for me, one of the most important winegrowers globally (there’s a review of his work from a few years back on the old wineanorak site, and a review of the wines tasted in situ in 2016). This is the new release of Batuta, one of his top wines.

Niepoort Batuta 2018 Douro, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. This is the 16th release of this wine, first made in 2000. It’s from two old vineyards, and 2018 was a cool vintage in the Douro. The grapes were picked ripe but at low alcohol levels and then underwent an extended maceration in stainless steel before ageing in barrels, half of which were new. The wine is really aromatic and fresh, with bright cherry and berry fruits, showing some floral detail and a slight sappy green hint. The palate has concentration but no heaviness: this wine feels light and drinkable, yet has some seriousness. There’s a silkiness to the cherry and berry fruit, with a hint of redcurrant, but also good acidity and some tannic structure. It’s very Niepoort: light, focused and expressive. And it has the potential to age well, and I can’t detect any of that new oak at all. Such Douro elegance. 95/100

UK agent: Raymond Reynolds
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