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NIEPOORT

2011 Bioma ‘Vinha Velha’

Origin Portugal, Port
District Vintage Port
ABV 21%

Vinha Velha simply means 'old vines'. They describe this as 'a single vineyard Vintage Port' rather than a single Quinta. Again very intense and almost smokey there is so much going on. Deep fruit and peppery spice. Lots of dry intensity very tannic Rating: 95-95 L&S (May 2013)

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Alternatively, check the related products below for different vintages or wines of a similar style, or send an email to: sales@leaandsandeman.co.uk.


From the tiny Quinta da Pisca near Ferrão that formed the heart of Niepoort vintage in 1970 and 1977: restrained, elegant and minerally with firm tannic superstructure. A beautiful expression of Douro terroir. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050 Rating: 95-95 Decanter Magazine (Oct 2014)

This is Niepoort's relatively new (this is just the 3rd vintage) Vintage Port label, a single vineyard (Vinha da Pisca) wine from old vines (80+ years). The juice used to be part of Niepoort's regular vintage Ports. Bottled in February 2014, this was aged for 3 years in pipes and has residual sugar of 110 g/l. That said, on opening it perceptibly seems far sweeter and richer than Niepoort's regular Vintage Port, opening like a sexy fruit bomb, rich and chocolate-y, with a sugary finish. The big power and concentration, not surprisingly, lurks underneath. It is quite hedonistic at the moment, but expect this to show very differently in a few years as the underlying structure asserts itself and it comes into balance. So, even though it is sensationally delicious just now and seems quite approachable--please, have patience. There wasn't much made. It will be far more interesting in 2040, however theoretically approachable it now seems. For his part, Dirk Niepoort told me that he thinks this and his regular VP are qualitatively equal, just different. I mostly agree and I expect this to show much more complexity in time. It is quite clear that there is a lot going on underneath. At the moment, the regular VP was slightly ahead in that department, though. I won't be surprised if my appreciation for them flip-flops periodically over time as this sheds its baby fat and evolves and I do need to see them with more air and cellar time one day. They are both terrific and they both have the potential to improve notably in the cellar. There were 8,051 bottles produced. Drinking range: 2030 - 2064 Rating: 96+ Mark Squires, robertparker.com (Sep 2014)

The nose is a bit tight but there are fragrances beginning to show a mix of violets and rockroses. The start of the palate is fresh vibrant with grainy tannins but it fills out towards the back lots of power depth and richness of flavour. The finish has length, purity and freshness. 2030-65 Rating: 96 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk (Dec 2013)

This is a single-vineyard wine from the Pisca vineyard. Fresh, intense and vivid with bright cherry, plum and blackberry fruit. Firm, grainy and grippy with lovely structure and massive intensity. Super precision here. Rating: 96-98 Jamie Goode, www.wineanorak.com (May 2013)

Compared to other 2011s, the Bioma Vinha Velha has a more introspective, broody, earthier bouquet that is well-defined but much more reticent than its peers. The palate is showing much more than the aromatics with a robust structure on the opening, and thereafter there is real power and precision. Plenty of white pepper sprinkled over the black fruit that leads to a lovely damson and fig-tinged finish. This will need several years in bottle and no doubt will receive a more ecstatic reception. Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com (May 2013)

Concentrated fruit here with a super-refined tannin backbone. Full body, medium sweet, highly toned with stones and minerals. This is beautiful rich and muscular all at the same time. Only 450 cases produced of this foot trodden wine from old vines aged for three years in oak pipes. Rating: 95-95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (May 2013)

By introducing another premium Vintage Port to the Niepoort Portfolio, Bioma “Vinha Velha” provides us with the opportunity to create, or re-create, a style of Vintage Port which not only respects the terroir, but also harks back to a golden age of Port. At the heart of the concept of Bioma “Vinha Velha”, is a very special vineyard (Vinha da Pisca) in a very peculiar part of the Douro.

For many years, this vineyard has provided the backbone of Niepoort Vintage Ports, but since 2005, we have been able to study the qualities of this vineyard in greater detail, managing it in an organic way, and furthermore, identifying better, part of the remarkable wines made here for setting aside, as Bioma in 2011, 2009, 2008 and Pisca in 2007.

Bioma “Vinha Velha” is a single vineyard Vintage Port, rather than a single Quinta. The “Vinha Velha” refers to the extraordinary age of the vines at Vinha da Pisca, mostly exceeding 80 years old. The intention is to offer, in very small quantity a style of Vintage Port which is more akin to the very best English-bottled Vintage Ports of 1970 and before. The exceptional fruit quality from the ancient vines of the Pisca Vineyard appears to express its sense of place quite wonderfully when we apply the ‘logic’ of older times.

Vinification: The agricultural year in 2011 will be remembered for relatively low precipitation during the winter and an unusually early bud burst in March, along with a sudden extreme heat in June which literally led to burnt clusters in exposed and early varieties such as Tinta Barroca. Although July and the end of August were relatively cool with some light precipitation in the final days of August and first days of September, temperatures picked up and the harvest had to be accelerated to avoid berry shrivel.

At our Port winemaking facility, in Vale de Mendiz, the grapes were trodden entirely by foot with 100% stems. After fortification with brandy, the Port was left to settle over the winter. In springtime, the wine was transferred to a very cool part of the winery at Quinta de Nápoles and racked into pipes (the classic 550 litre lodge pipe). Maturing this Port in pipas in the Douro, instead of large vats in Gaia and bottling Bioma “Vinha Velha” in the third year after the harvest, produced an exceptionally complex wine. Oddly this was the way it happened in the “old days” when wines were shipped to England in pipes, and bottled later.

Tasting Notes: Fine dark red appearance with a dark red/purple rim. At this stage the aroma is rather unrevealing, but on the palate shows great freshness and a purity of fruit, giving elegance, along with some grainy tannins on the mid palate giving both structure and power to the wine. It can be expected that with another year of ageing the colour will close up further.

Producer: Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A. Region: Douro Soil Type: Schist Average Vine Age: 80 and over 100 years Grape Varieties: Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão and others, including Touriga Nacional Winemaker's notes (May 2013)

The same colour as the regular vintage. Much more restrained on the nose than the regular Niepoort vintage. But amazing class. Sucky stones and not that sweet. SO mineral and individual. 2035 -2080. Rating: 18.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (May 2013)

Niepoort

Bucking the trend, as is his way, avoiding conforming, Dirk Niepoort has proudly declared his excellent Vintage Ports in 2015. When we tasted with him he asked rhetorically 'Why would I not? 2015 was as perfect as it gets!' From our tasting this declaration is completely justified. The wines are superb. At Niepoort the aim is harmony and balance and he has this in spades with the 2015.

At the same time that famous English names were establishing themselves in the Douro, the other great Port importing nation - the Netherlands - was sending bright business types to set up Port Houses. One such was Franciscus Marius van der Niepoort. Five generations later and the dynamic Dirk van der Niepoort is at the helm.

Niepoort used to be well-known for their Tawny and Colheita ports, but Dirk has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of their Vintage Ports too. One of the key moves, with this in mind, was for Niepoort to purchase their own vineyards with Quintas de Nápoles, do Carril and do Passadouro coming under the Niepoort wing at the end of the 1990's.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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