NV Niepoort 10YO Tawny, bottled 1983

Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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Tasting notes for individual Ports, with an index sorted by vintage and alphabetically.
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uncle tom
Dow 1980
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NV Niepoort 10yr Tawny, bottled 1983

Post by uncle tom » 18:37 Fri 20 Jun 2008

One of the great myths that the online community has been able to expose is the oft repeated mantra that wood ports do not improve after bottling.

They most certainly do.

The question that arises, however, is when is the optimum time to drink them? - they don't last forever.

This 10yr has had 25 years to mature, (with the benefit of a driven cork) and although I have only owned it for a few months, it came with a reassuring film of dust on one side of the bottle, suggesting that it had been kindly cellared.

When I decanted it yesterday, there was significant bottle stink, and I felt at first that it was probably a little past its best. Today however, there are no adverse notes, other than a very slight excess of heat on the finish, and the faintest hint of VA on the nose.

It is a very elegant wine, showing a maturity that was entirely absent when I tried a Rozes 10yr (with only 3yrs on the clock) a few weeks ago.

I would guess that this bottle might have been marginally better five years ago, and from my experiance to date would guess that ten to twenty years in bottle probably provides the optimum drinking window for the 10yr Tawnies.

I am not sure about the 20-30-40yr wines, I have not drunk enough ancient bottles to get a clear picture - more time in bottle? - or the same? - I'm not sure..

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

Andy Velebil
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Post by Andy Velebil » 19:56 Fri 20 Jun 2008

wow, where did you find such an old bottling of this 10 year? Quite rare that any aged tawny would be kept that long.

I would disagree that all wood aged Ports can age in bottle. Niepoort is one of the few minority companies that makes a wood aged Port that can last for many years after bottling. Whereas say a Taylors 10 year would probably be DOA that many years later. Just the difference in how they handle and treat the wine prior to bottling. Taylors goes through a pretty harsh process to stabilize, and heavily filter it, to make it uniform, the Niepoort does not.

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 20:04 Fri 20 Jun 2008

Bottle was bought at auction last February, together with a motley assortment of other ports from the 80's and early 90's. Was probably from a house clearance.

I would agree that over-zealous filtration probably shortens and limits the ability to improve - this Niepoort had a noticeable amount of fine sediment.

Has any producer ever made a virtue of bottling wood ports without any filtration at all?

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 22:05 Fri 20 Jun 2008

uncle tom wrote:Has any producer ever made a virtue of bottling wood ports without any filtration at all?
Yes. Niepoort. :D
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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Frederick Blais
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Post by Frederick Blais » 22:13 Fri 20 Jun 2008

Niepoort Garrafeira never get filtration, while the Tawny can probably do a llittle. You can always decide the size of the particle you want to stop with the membrane you choose.

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 10:08 Sat 21 Jun 2008

Has any producer ever made a virtue of bottling wood ports without any filtration at all?

Yes. Niepoort.
I did wonder, given the driven cork, but a quick scan of my literature and their website reveals no claims to fame in that regard.

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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RonnieRoots
Fonseca 1980
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Post by RonnieRoots » 10:17 Sat 21 Jun 2008

I think most tawnies are more or less filtered. If you don't, there is the risk of the port going cloudy after a short period in the bottle. While this is nothing harmful, most consumers don't understand it and refuge to buy because it doesn't look attractive...

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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 16:09 Mon 23 Jun 2008

I emailed Niepoort to find out:

Dear Mr Archer,

We were very happy to hear that you are enjoying Niepoort 10 yr bottled so many years ago; as regards the quantity of fine sediment, we only give the wines a light fining and minimal filtration and the wines are never cold stabilized hence the slightly higher level of sediment.

Best Regards

Verena Niepoort


Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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JacobH
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Post by JacobH » 00:22 Tue 24 Jun 2008

uncle tom wrote:I emailed Niepoort to find out:

We were very happy to hear that you are enjoying Niepoort 10 yr bottled so many years ago; as regards the quantity of fine sediment, we only give the wines a light fining and minimal filtration and the wines are never cold stabilized hence the slightly higher level of sediment.
It would be interesting to see how this attitude compares to the other shippers (particularly those who lean more to the tawny side of things).

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Post by Andy Velebil » 04:54 Tue 24 Jun 2008

Most of the major shippers do a heavy filtration and cold stabilizing. That way the product always looks the same on the shelf or when its poured. For the most part, only the smaller, more independant companies do very little or no filtration and/or cold stabilizing.
Niepoort Garrafeira never get filtration,
Not entirely true, but that just depends on ones interpretation of filtering. They basically just decant off the wine when moving it from bottle to bottle, so it does technically get "light filtered" during this process. it just doesn't go through an actual filter pad like the big companies use.

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Axel P
Niepoort 1977
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Post by Axel P » 14:55 Tue 24 Jun 2008

Tom,

this is an outstandingly interesting topic of which I am thinking of for very long now. Back in the 90s I had a bottle of 20y old Noval which was bottled in 73. It was fabulous and I told myself, better to keep a couple of the bottles.

As well did I recently had a lot of Colheitas bottled back in the 70s which were all very good as well.

I do have a 30y old Dows and some 10 and 20y old of various producers in the celler which I will be drinking in comparison to the recent bottled aged tawnies.

Maybe we are able to work out a rule of thumb such as "10y will loose fruit after 10 years in the bottle, 20y..."

Axel
worldofport.com
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uncle tom
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Post by uncle tom » 17:25 Tue 24 Jun 2008

Axel,

The difficulty lies in finding enough material to make a proper study.

Long forgotton tawnies turn up fairly frequently at auction, but you never see a set from the same cellar that have been laid down at intervals.

They are usually isolated bottles nestling amid a motley assortment of other odd bottles; leftovers from a cellar clearance.

I only have one other Niepoort Tawny, a 20yr that was bottled in 1994. That could easily be compared to a new bottle, but that would not give much indication of the optimum drinking window.

If another 20yr could be found that was bottled ten years prior, a more informative comparison might be made.

Tom
I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I shall be sober and you will still be ugly - W.S. Churchill

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DRT
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Post by DRT » 18:33 Tue 24 Jun 2008

This has the makings of a good summer tasting. I have a few aged tawnies that were bottled in the 70s and 80s. I wouldn't like to part with all of them but if others have some too we could have fun popping a few to see how they are doing. All of mine are either Taylor or Fonseca and I think I have 10, 20 and 30 years covered.

Derek
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

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