Sometimes being at the right place at the right time can give you unique tasting experiences. It is my experience that being close to André Ribeirinho will increase the chances a lot. When he involves his good friend Dirk Niepoort to be a part, then the potential for good wine experiences has no limits. This happened again this year, when we were at the Port Wine Day. We got stuck at a Quinta with not so interesting wines, and on a Saturday night that is not fun. A short time later we were sitting around a table at Quinta do Napoles with Dirk Niepoort as our generous host. I cannot thank Dirk enough for his generosity and hospitality.
These were the wines served to us this evening, and apart from the first one, all wines were served blind.
2015 D+D Niepoort & Philipp Kettern, Falkenberg, Riesling, Mosel – just what I was craving for. Precise, sharp and intense Riesling fruit. No masks and no interference from funny winemaking or anything. This wine is pure pleasure and enjoyment. A style of Riesling where fruit and acidity give room for a smile! I did not rate this wine, but it was a pleasure to retaste a wine from this exciting project Dirk is having in the Mosel with his son. The potential is big.
1962 Duclos-Maillard, Vin Fin de la Cote de Nuits – yes that is not a great producer, nor a great appellation, but it sure was a great wine.
Clear in the glass with a red core, which tricked me a bit. The nose was expressive with clear tertiary aromas of old wood, cigarbox and then the freshness from the fruit. Old plums and chocolate came back on the palate. Very low tannin but good fresh acidity. This wine was dancing and was slim on the palate with good precision. The freshness and good sappiness started my guessing in Burgundy, but the structure on the mid-palate made me go to Portugal. I did guess the 1960s on this wine. A fine example of how a small wine can develop into a great experience. Points to a wine like this?
Not today, but it was lovely and it was a wine you just wanted to drink.
Andre had just been to Madeira and he served the next wine blind.
1980 Blandy’s Terrantez, Madeira – wow what a fine nose. All the oxidized elements you would expect from a matured Madeira and we were all there. The acidity and precision on the palate shipped my guess to Terrantez, but around 1990, so 10 years off. This was in many ways a beautiful wine that could deserve more time because each time you send your nose to the glass new aromas showed. This was fresh lemon juice, with old pear and fresh pineapple. Thank you for bringing this André. If I should have given points to a wine like this we could have ended in the mid-90s, let’s say 95 points.
Somehow Dirk can always find an even more crazy wine, and he did his magic again this evening.
1860 João Carlos Aguiar, Old Madeira – 100 points, let me just start by pointing that out. It’s rare that I go with the magic three-pointer, but in this case, nothing could be more correct. All aspects you could be looking for in a Madeira was present, and then some.
All the oxidized elements, the caramel, the chocolate, the leather and old wood. The heating had played its part on the fruit that showed typically dried and old. Still, and that was amazing, we had lots of fresh lively acidity. This wine just opened up in the glass and did not stop for a second to look back. Perfection and balance is one thing, but that extra thing is when you also have the little crack in the beauty. That is what brings life into the glass, and we had it here. Thank Dirk for bringing this wine to the table.
I’m not completely sure about the producer. Dirk mentioned and with a little help from google, this is the closest I have come to a name that resembles what I remember. The bottle was acquired by Dirk at Madeira several years ago.
Thank you once again Dirk.
Sitting on the terrace and enyoing that we saw the moon rising above the hills around Quinta do Napoles