2007 Niepoort Vintage Port (cask sample)
This was a gift during our last Douro trip, and we were eager to try it sooner rather than later, because cask samples don't necessarily get better with time in bottle. Opened on the 23rd of December 2009.
Deep purple colour, going to bright purple on the edges. Lovely flowers on the nose, very fresh, and continuing to grow even more fresh. The nose is clean and not alcoholic at all. Some interesting rose petal and sweet red fruit.
On the palate it is mainly about structure. Elegant body, but with big and ripe tannins. The fruit is somewhat subdued, again good freshness.
Much darker on the nose, with blackberry, dark cherry, and eucalyptus freshness. Classic Douro character. The floral notes are still present, but more on the background. There is also a bit of alcohol showing now. Medium bodied with dark fruit (again blackberry, black currant, forest fruit). Lively acidity. While the fruit is round and soft, there is good freshness and an interesting mineral touch. It somehow reminds me of the port version of Batuta 2007.
It is clearly in a different style than e.g. Niepoort 2003 and 2000. More in line with 2005, but then with more complexity and interest. I like it a lot, and am especially impressed with the balance and elegance.
At this point I would score this 91-92 points.
Day 2 (D+24)
Closed on the nose.
To taste it is more powerful than on day 1, deep red fruit, but also hotter and less accessible. It still has that beautiful minerality, accompanied by fresh earth and dark berries.
Day 4 (D+72)
Didn't have a chance to taste on Day 3. The floral tones have returned on the nose, very open and expressive. To taste it is compact and full of fresh, dark fruit. Also dark tobacco, bitter cocoa, and plenty of bay leaf / licorice on the finish. Incredibly layered. It seems to have finally opened completely. Impressive.
The way it is showing now I would confidently give this 93-95 points. I think this will grow to be a very good vintage port that will go a long way.
Disclaimer: I haven't tasted this port as a 'finished' product and don't know how the 6 months in bottle have affected this barrel sample.
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