Redoma & Batuta – A Niepoort Vertical


During a visit to his cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia in 1993, Dirk Niepoort asked me to taste a red wine from barrel. I was not aware that he made any table wines. That was the first Redoma. It took me another twenty-two years to taste my first Batuta – the 2005 during a lunch with Dirk at Quinta do Napoles in the Douro in 2015

 

1991 – 2015

Quinta do Napoles

Last Thursday I tasted three vintages of Redoma and three vintages Batuta with members of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society at the Pannal Golf Club in Harrogate.

The Wines

 

  1. Niepoort Redoma Branco 2013: Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, Viosinho, Donzelinho and Gouveio for this blend come from vineyards at 600 meters on the right bank of the Douro. The mica schist soils ensure the wine is fresh and mineral. It is fermented in French oak barrels, does not undergo the malolactic and aged for ten months on lees without batonnage. It is softened by the oak and is rounded and elegant. (17)
  2. Niepoort Redoma, Douro 2011: A blend of mostly Tinta Amarela, Touriga Franca, Rufete, Tinta Cao and Tinta Roriz, was first made in 1991. The grapes were foot trodden, fermented in granite lagares with 30% stalks and aged in wood for 27 months. This is an immensely attractive wine which will continue to develop in bottle. (17.5)
  3. Niepoort Redoma, Douro 2008: The usual red blend without Touriga Nacional is fermented with stems partially in stainless steel and partially in traditional stone lagares with foot trodding and aged in French oak barrels for 20 months. (17)
  4. Niepoort Redoma, Douro 2007: Fermented with stems, partially in stainless steel and partially in stone lagares and aged in French oak barrels for 22 months. It has wonderful texture and is drinking beautifully now. (17.5)
  5. Niepoort Batuta, Douro 2011: Batuta is only produced in the best vintages. Old vineyards at 350-750 metres altitude ensure freshness and balance in the wine. “The name means conductor’s baton, neatly reflecting Dirk’s minimal-intervention approach of simply guiding the wines through the cellar.” The first release was in 1999. Tinta Amarela, Tiuriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Rufete, Malvazia Preta & ‘others’ are from north facing 70 y.o. Quinta do Carril. it is fermentation in cone-shaped stainless steel vats & wooden barrels for 60 days and aged in French oak (25% new) for 22 months. (18)
  6. Niepoort Batuta, Douro 2008: De-stemmed grapes have 50 days skin contact and the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 21 months. The 2008’s firm structure and fine, chalky tannins make it a wine to decant and serve with hearty fare. With air, its dark-chocolate and cherry-liqueur aromas blossom and make for a rewarding, rich red. (17.5)
  7. Niepoort Batuta, Douro 2005: Fruit is de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel tanks for 60 days and aged in French oak barrels for 20 months. (17.5)

 

 

After the tasting, a two course supper of beef bourguignon with creamed mustard mash, kale with pancetta with a wild mushroom and cider sauce followed by homemade lemon tart with gin, lime and lemon sorbet, mint chard and fresh berries was served. Symington Altano Branco 2016 (Malvasia Fina, Viosinho, Rabigato, Moscatel Galego de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks at 14 – 16 degrees C) was served on arrival and Prats + Symington Prazo do Roriz 2015 (Touriga Franca (30%), Touriga Nacional (30%), Tinta Roriz (15%), Mixed varieties (25%) fermented at 22 – 24 degrees C and aged for 6 months in 400L French oak barrels) was poured with the beef.

What tasters said…

  • “Dear Bernard, looks like it was a success. Thank you. Sorry to have missed it. Regards.” – Dirk Niepoort
  • “First of all could I thank you very much for another excellent tasting on Thursday night. Informative and enjoyable as ever, doubtless pepped by an extra touch of enthusiasm given your own Portuguese heritage. The undoubted quality of the wines certainly added to the quality of the evening! In terms of value for money, the aperitif wine from Symingtons was hard to beat – blackcurrant leaves and nettles on the nose and aftertaste, suggesting your bete noir, sauvigon, but allied to richer and more tropical fruit flavours. The Redoma branco was a very different beast, appealing to those of us who enjoy a traditional wine Rioja – 50% of us in this household! For me this was a very classy and serious wine.All the red Niepoort wines was clearly very well made, but very different. Clearly age played a part in the significant variations, but also the different techniques and grape selections which you so ably explained. These wines are clearly heavyweight and complex. This was not only evident in the array of perfumes and flavours offered by these wines, but also the dynamism of the wines in the glass. I found myself repeatedly changing my tasting notes and marks over the course of just a few minutes. A particular case in point was the Batuta 2008 which I had originally found relatively subdued on both nose and palate, rating it at 16.4. When I returned to it with the food later I suddenly found cherry fruit and a much more enticing nose and palate which suddenly put the wine up to 17.1. I was also very taken with the Redoma 2008 (17.2). For both of us the star wine was however the Batuta 2011. Full of dark fruits plus the cedar/ graphite of a fine Bordeaux. I know that the flavours and aromas of fruit are not something that you are looking for in a wine, but for me this is a vital element – though ideally within a balanced and complex framework of ripe tannin, enlivening acidity and spices, floralty and even more earthy notes. Science can help us to understand objectively why a wine tastes like it does – but appreciation of wine will always remain subjective, thankfully.” – Robert Buckley, Leeds
  • It was fascinating to revisit views of the Douro and to see the many pictures of you and members from previous visits.
    Excellent quality wines, the Niepoort Batuta Doura 2005 quite exceptional and a privilege to taste.
    The supper was superb and the accompanying Prats & Symington Prazodo Roriz 2016 an excellent pairing for the beef.
    Thank you once again for your excellent knowledge, contacts and attention to detail.
    A wonderful evening.” – Pat & John (Shore), Harrogate
  • “Just wanted to say what a fabulous tasting last night. We really enjoyed all the wines and the photos of you and Dirk over the years. Just shows what good aging is!!!” – Sian & Tony Gamble, Harrogate

 

 

(See also blog post “Lunch With Dirk Niepoort“)

 

 

 

 

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