10 January 2010

Dirk...Is there anything you can't do with Portuguese grapes?

Just a question. I'll leave it at that. 2006 Niepoort Redoma Branco Reserva (Douro, Portugal, 13.5% abv). At first, a blast of salted cantaloupe, a bale of wet hay on a bed of dry leaves, and a very distinguished note of minerality I often get from Terrassen Mosel Riesling, particularly the fatties of Heymann-Loewenstein. There's also a floral aspect to this, perhaps both the elegant nuances of rose water--it's definitely something in the red flower genus--and a hint of the pungent dankness evident in rapeseed or lotus (yes, both smell completely different, but both have a distinguished funk to them--not bad, per se, just pronounced). So it is with the nose here: Aristocratic, complex, perfumed, funky.

Palate-presence is massive, but impeccably balanced, as much about width as it is about length. Smoky vanilla and white peach. Though, it must be said, the finish still retains its youthful abundance of heat; however, I get the feeling this wine is in the later stages of swallowing it all in its abundance of flavor layers, glycerin, acidity and mineral structure.

Without delving too deep into the multitude of flavors here--most too young to discern outright--imagine this as the perfect synthesis of an outsized vintage of Nigl's Gruener Veltliner Privat and something from Chapoutier's white Ferraton stable. I'd give this exceptional wine some time, or give it something rich and buttery at the table.

Waffles anybody?

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