Robert Parker 99-100 Points: “The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend from old vines (80 to 100 years old). It comes in with 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This was set for bottling in two weeks, but it was the final blend. Even when open for a couple of days, this was still tight, muscular and concentrated, grabbing the palate and never letting go. On opening, it was fragrant and delicious, but even then, there was plenty of muscle and evident concentration. The concentration and power merely improved as it aired out—unlike a lot of 2016s (which year Niepoort did not declare). Dry, stern and long on the finish, this is brilliant. It is hard to think of any basis on which this is not perfection just now—Niepoort says it is the best he’s ever made. It’s certainly the best I’ve seen from him, and it is a leading candidate for “Wine of the Vintage,” although certainly not the only one. Finally, this is going to require patience. Nothing about it says “drink me now.” It should age brilliantly. If you lack a cellar and patience, look away.”
Tasting Notes: The fruit was foot-trodden in granite lagares and matured in large barrels in Vila Nova de Gaia. It has a refulgent purple colour. The nose is explosive, a heady cornucopia of blueberry, black cherries and crème de cassis, later just a touch of lavender. There is no holding back on these aromatics. The palate follows suit with sumptuous black fruit, quite tannic but simultaneously rounded and lavish/velvety in texture. Touches of fresh fig and raisin appear towards the finish. Drop dead gorgeous.
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