2019 Niepoort Batuta and Redoma


I am a big fan of Dirk Niepoort’s fortified and non-fortified wines. Earlier this year, I tasted his latest releases. Two of them will offer pleasure in the near term but are also worthy of cellaring.

The 2019 Batuta, from 70 to 100-year-old Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Rufete, Malvazia Preta and other varieties, is grown on schist soils close to Quinta de Nápoles, and aged for 20 months in French barriques. It has a very perfumed and quite ethereal nose; if tasted blind, you might well mistake it for a fine Volnay. It offers impressive definition, seamlessly integrated oak with a touch of Asian spices mixed with pencil shavings that develop with time. The palate is medium-bodied, almost understated, fresh and pure. This is a fine-boned wine, very nuanced, with a gentle build towards the finish. At 12.5% alcohol, this doesn't go to your head. It's just a supremely well-crafted Douro that is a joy from start to finish. 7,800 bottles produced. 94/Drink 2024-2045.

The 2019 Redoma comes from 70-year-old vines overlooking the Douro River, a blend of Tinta Amarela, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinto Cão aged for 22 months in used wooden barrels. This is elegant on the nose, more floral than the Batuta. Morello cherries commingling with fireside hearth, camphor and light gravelly scents remind me of Pessac-Léognan. The palate is slightly more structured than expected, clean and delineated, focused with a dash of allspice and sage towards the finish that lingers tenderly in the mouth. The 2019 is deceptively approachable, yet it has enough substance to age well for over two decades. 23,000 bottles produced. 92/Drink 2024-2043.

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