Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV) is a Port made from a single year. The wine is aged for between four to six years in old oak casks as opposed to Vintage Port that is aged for between 2 and 3 years.
Late Bottled Vintage Port is a style of Port which first came to prominence is the 1960s, perhaps as a way to use up excess Vintage Port that had been left in barrel for longer than usual due to a lack of demand. Today there are two distinctive LBV Ports, one style is fine (or filtered) and one style is not. If it is unfiltered it will normally say so on the bottle or may be labelled “bottle matured”. They can last as long as Vintage Ports and unfiltered styles will also develop in the bottle. Late Bottled Vintage Port fills the gap between the Ruby and Vintage Ports since a Ruby Port should be drunk quite young and a great Vintage Port may need 15 to 20 years to really open up and show its splendour.
Winemaker Dirk Niepoort calls this the “Little Brother” of his Vintage Port, as the origins of the grapes and vinification methods are identical. The grapes for this wine were hand harvested from vineyards with low-yielding old vines in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro valley. After the harvest the grapes undergo a rigorous selection on the sorting table before whole bunches of grapes are foot trodden in granite lagares. The Port is then fortified and, after a few months ageing in the Douro, the wines are trasferred to Niepoort’s lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia where the port is aged in large wooden Vats and also in barrels.
Niepoort ages the Port and usually bottles it in its fourth year to help retain a freshness typical of their Ports. Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cao, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousao, Tinta Roriz and other typical Douro grapes varieties.