Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage 2015
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750 ml | Alcohol/Vol: 19.5%
LBV is aged for 4 to 6 years in large wooden vats. The winemaking and ageing methods were chosen to match the selection of wines which make up the LBV: full-bodied red Ports stemming from a single vintage. LBV or Late Bottled Vintage is a category of Port wines which became popular in the 60s, filling the gap between Ruby and Vintage Ports. The extended ageing period of the LBV allows it to show a rounder and mature character –this wine can therefore be enjoyed young, soon after bottling.
The 2014/2015 vintage experienced a cold and very dry winter, with rainfall at a record low compared to previous years. In addition the spring and summer were dry and hot, with three heat waves in the months of June and July preceding a very cool August. Low humidity levels pushed the risk of fungal disease to a historical low, which allowed the vines to produce outstandingly healthy grapes – an important factor for a great Port.
The harvest in Vale de Mendiz began on 28 August and took place under favourable weather conditions. Small rain showers on 15 and 16 September were very welcome, and although they halted the harvest for a short time, the interruption also allowed the grapes to ripen fully without them splitting and rotting which would have otherwise occurred in a year with normal soil humidity levels.
What makes 2015 such an exceptional vintage is the perfect condition of the fruit thanks to the low humidity during the vegetative phase of the vine. Even September’s brief rain showers did not compromise the health of the grapes. The blocks harvested before the rain showed higher acidity and freshness whereas those picked in the second half of September offered more ripeness and concentration.
Shortly after the harvest the wines were transferred to wooden casks (“tonéis”) and spent the winter maturing in the Douro Valley. In April 2016 they were brought to Vila Nova de Gaia. The final blend aged in our cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia until bottling.
With a wonderfully concentrated and deep ruby hue, this Port shows intense and complex aromas: predominantly red fruits, spice and dark chocolate. A very elegant and expressive nose is echoed by a full-bodied palate with firm tannins and a lively acidity which lends the wine freshness and balance. The finish is long and delightful. This wine already offers great pleasure in its youth but it is definitely suitable for further cellaring and will age beautifully for many years to come.