Before the tasting we had a walk through the vineyards of Nápoles, which counts 115 different grape varieties. We also had the first session of the #winelover 1st Symposium (#IWS16).
Bento Amaral commented at the end of the tasting that all of these wines are great, as indeed they were – such a privilege to taste them especially with a fascinating commentary from Bento, who wears his knowledge so lightly and humbly.
Many thanks to André Ribeirinho for organising this tasting and to Dirk Niepoort for hosting the event at Quinta de Nápoles, even though this is the middle of the harvest. In addition he very generously opened some large format bottles over lunch including a stunning demijohn of 1948.
Ramos Pinto Vintage 1982
Classically good year. For some people best year ever - eg Symington.
Mid-golden colour, floral, lightly nutty, lovely texture, dried apricot, length and delicacy. Citric notes. Very attractive. Just 1000 bottles produced. 100€ for 50cl bottle.
Exports of Port from the Douro valley were banned until 8th May 1986. Prior to that all Port had to be exported from Vila Nova do Gaia and, as there was no demand for white Port at the time, growers were left with stocks of white Port, which the Port companies wouldn't buy. Oscar Quededo explained that he and his sister had recently decided to bottle a small quantity of this lovely 30-year-old white Port.
It was the accession into the EU that forced the change in the Port laws including the right to export which has allowed independent producers like Quevedo to become established in their own right.
Mid-gold a little darker than white Port. Delicate, a little spirit is noticeable, length. Orange peel and charm.
Considerably deeper colour than 1976. Walnut colour, spirit and spice on nose, nutty, raisin, quite austere in the finish, lovely length of spice. Very fine.
Niepoort Colheita 1957
Dirk Niepoort is convinced of the potential for tawnies and colheitas to age in bottle whereas many in the Port trade prefer that Tawnies and Colheitas are consumed soon after they are bottled. For this reason these wines are bottled in small batches according to demand.
Climate: Dry winter, some frost, irregular summer. Split vintage declaration with some houses preferring to declare 1934, whole others plumped for 1935.
Mid-walnut colour, similar in colour to Niepoort 1957. Wood spice on nose, quite sweet initially but very soon attractive austerity comes through, citric, orange notes, lovely length of wood spice present. Bottled last week – the opposite policy to that of Dirk.
Very deep gold, spice dominant, wood spice, rich dried apricot character, extraordinary concentration and austerity and length, dried fruits. 999 bottles produced with 1863 main constituent.
VV old vines. Mainly aged in Gaia. Bottled 1972. 1863 was the year phylloxera arrived in the Douro, so this VV is from pre-phylloxera vines.