Niepoort 2017 (750ML)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
99-100 WA / 98 JS / 19.5 JR / 96 VM
The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend from old vines (80 to 100 years old). It comes in with 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This was set for bottling in two weeks, but it was the final blend. Even when open for a couple of days, this was still tight, muscular and concentrated, grabbing the palate and never letting go. On opening, it was fragrant and delicious, but even then, there was plenty of muscle and evident concentration. The concentration and power merely improved as it aired out—unlike a lot of 2016s (which year Niepoort did not declare). Tasting it after several days open showed that it shut down and closed up in terms of expressiveness, but it definitively proved that it's an old-school, long-haul wine. Dry, stern and long on the finish, this is brilliant. It is hard to think of any basis on which this is not perfection just now—Niepoort says it is the best he's ever made. It's certainly the best I've seen from him, and it is a leading candidate for "Wine of the Vintage," although certainly not the only one. Finally, this is going to require patience. Nothing about it says "drink me now." It should age brilliantly. If you lack a cellar and patience, look away. - - Mark Squires, Wine Advocate
Wow. Smoky and intense on the nose with dried fruits and slate undertones. Lots of wet earth too. Full body, sweet yet dry and tannic on the palate. Very powerful and focused. Racy and powerful. A fantastic center palate of fruit. A blend of touriga franca, tinto cao, tinta francisca, tinta amarela, sousao, tinta roriz and others. Drink in 2025 and onwards. - James Suckling
All from Cima Corgo. All field blends, including Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Tinta Roriz, etc, oldest vines 80–100 years. Any overripe grapes removed. 100% foot trodden with 100% stems. Press wine very important – like 'gold', says Niepoort. Not from all the vineyards just from his four favourite, eg Pisca. To be bottled June 2019.
Black cherry colour with narrow purple rim. Gorgeous pure hedgerow black fruit and no sense of the alcohol on the nose – it has been completely integrated with the fruit already. Ripe blackberry, elderberry and blackcurrant and a touch of spice, wild fruit. Incredibly intense on the palate but not showy and the tannins make it taste almost dry. Wonderful texture, great freshness, the tannins ‘sweep the sweetness out of the mouth’, as Mondavi once said to Niepoort. Incredible purity, freshness, intensity and harmony. I’ve put a start date of 2025 but this is ridiculously delicious now even though it clearly has massive potential longevity. An incredible dark, rocky purity with a long savoury finish, the fruit is intense but not ultra-fruity. This reminds me of the rocky Douro from which the wines come. Sheer beauty with hidden power. Glorious, very long, totally moreish even now. - JH, Jancis Robinson .com
The 2017 Vintage Port was picked early to obtain optimal ripeness, commencing 24 August and finished 26 September. Yields are some 30% below the previous year. The fruit was foot-trodden in granite lagares and matured in large barrels in Vila Nova de Gaia. It has a refulgent purple colour. The nose is explosive, a heady cornucopia of blueberry, black cherries and crème de cassis, later just a touch of lavender. There is no holding back on these aromatics. The palate follows suit with sumptuous black fruit, quite tannic but simultaneously rounded and lavish/velvety in texture. Touches of fresh fig and raisin appear towards the finish. Drop dead gorgeous. - Neal Martin, Vinous Media