20 Year Old Tawny, Niepoort
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Late Bottled Vintage port is from a single year. The wine ages 4-6 years in old oak casks (opposed to Vintage that ages 2-3). LBV fills the gap between the rubies and the vintage ports since a Ruby Port should be drunk quite young and a great Vintage Port may need 15 to 20 years to really open up and show its splendour. This led to the idea in the 1960s to age the wine 4 to 6 years in large casks before bottling it, thereby producing a wine with the style of a Vintage Port with its deep colour and concentration of fruit but with a more mature character caused by the longer ageing in wood. The grapes for Niepoort 2007 LBV came from selected parcels of vineyards in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro valley. The grapes were trodden in lagares and later the port was matured in large wooden vats at the lodges in Gaia. At Niepoort the tradition is to bottle the LBV’s four years after the harvest: Dirk tries “to bottle it as soon as we can, in order to retain the fruit and freshness of the LBV”.
Brilliant dark red appearance,with refined aromas of dark plums and blackberries. On the palate the fruit is evident along with a superb soft silky texture all held together with a firm structure and good length on the finish. The wine can be enjoyed now, and will become more complex with further cellaring for a couple of decades. To fully benefit from its qualities we recommend it be decanted before serving. Serve with soft cheeses, mild blue cheese, dark chocolate desserts or even a pepper steak.