Niepoort 2015 Vintage Port was released to the market in 2017 is according to Dirk Niepoort their “Best Vintage Port Of This Century.” Dirk’s notes on the 2015 vintage sum this all up extremely well,
“2015 was as perfect as it gets, particularly for Port – a year where we had time to think and make the right decisions, with the weather helping enormously. Picked at the perfect time, 40% originating from our Pisca vineyard and 60% from different small parcels, all over 80 years old, the Ports were foot-trodden and made in lagares in Vale de Mendiz, with 100% of the stems. This resulted in incredible Ports with an unusual dimension, impressive structure with fine and intense tannins, great concentration but always accompanied by balance and harmony. All the elements seem to have fallen into place to ensure that this Vintage will outlive the 1955, 1970 perhaps even the 1945 Ports (but after vastly different harvest conditions)…
The sweetness is masked by the wonderfully robust tannins, the alcohol by the generous concentration, with the fantastic natural acidity of 2015 providing an overall balance. The nose is shy but focused, no overripe prune-like characteristics, just a gentle and elegant expression of fruit and complexity – it is a joy just to smell all the hidden elements. The balance and harmony in the bottle promise a great future: these are bottles to taste in the coming years in order to smile at its youth, to drink properly in 20 years and to enjoy fully in 40 years. A Vintage which is actually destined for the next generations so they can admire the beauty that the Douro is able to deliver.”
Dirk Niepoort, 4 May 2017
Niepoort is a family company now in its fifth generation and presently managed by Dirk Niepoort. Despite being the second smallest shippers in the trade they are second to none in quality. Already famous for their classic tawny ports, they have now joined the ranks of the great producers of Vintage Port. “Niepoort is to Vintage Port what Krug is to Champagne. They are both small houses in a world dominated by large competitors but they are producing outstanding wines which very few can match.” (James Suckling, Vintage Port).
All the grapes from various vineyard sites for the Niepoort 2015 Vintage Port were foot-trodden in circular granite lagares at Vale de Mendiz, Niepoort’s Port winery. The wine was vinified with 100% of the stems. Soon after harvest, the wines were racked, aged in tonéis, wooden vats, in the Douro over the winter, and then moved to Vila Nova de Gaia, in April 2016. The final blend was then matured further in tonéis at Niepoort’s lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia prior to bottling.