So honoured to be invited to the fabulous 325th anniversary celebration of Taylor’s Port at the Tower of London. It’s hard to fathom the history and the achievements of this fabulous Port house over such a lengthy period of time.
The highlight of the evening, other than chatting to Rugby World Cup 2003 winner Lawrence Dallaglio, was tasting the truly individual new anniversary Port blend that was launched tonight. Another gem in the Taylor’s armoury…
A superbly complex nose of tarte tatin, baked apples, bruleed oranges, botanicals and cognac spice. So opulent and complex that it’s difficult to pin this wine down. Multiple exotic notes develop on the palate as you allow the wine to open up. Rich and focused, there is beautiful concentration, fabulous acids and that nutty, picante, burnt citrus and caramelised apple pie intensity with real glycerol weight and breadth. The finish is super spicy, peppery, with almond skin bitterness balanced by the sweet nutty, caramelised opulence. This is a true tribute to a complex Port style and a supremely premium producer.
Yesterday, London played host to The New Douro Tasting featuring a broad cross section of still and Port wine producers.
Of particular interest were once again the brilliant wines of Dirk Niepoort. It just seems Dirk can do no wrong and any vinous venture he embarks on is destined for inevitable greatness.
But a real stand out wine for me was one of his classics, the Niepoort Redoma Branco Reserva 2015, which I later discovered chatting to Dirk, is a wine he considers his best effort yet. First produced in 1995, there have been many profound versions, none more so than the 1999 vintage, of which I drank my last treasured bottle of around two years ago.
The Redoma Reserva is made with grapes from ancient 80 years old vines, planted at an altitude of 600 metres in mica schist soils. Since its creation in 1995, the main aim of producing this wine has been to express the character of the Douro old vineyards.
At the end of the ageing period, the best barrels are selected, considering their minerality, complexity and ageing potential and not necessarily those with the most expressive aromas.
Tasting Note: The 2015 Redoma Branco Reserva is monumental. It’s loaded with dusty granitic sweet mineral lemon pastille fruits with a solid undertone of wet chalk, pithy green apples, honey dew melon and crunchy tart white peaches. The acids are beguiling, adding freshness, electric vibrancy and a real frame over which the intense fruit concentration is majestically draped. The full, textured palate finishes long and broad with a beautifully complexity of green caramelised figs and yellow citrus. This really is a sterling effort and certainly one for the cellar. Yet another super Dirk Niepoort triumph. (Wine Safari Score: 95+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)