Redoma Branco 2020, Dirk Nierpoort, Douro
The Redoma Branco 2020 embodies the elegance, structure and acidity which the mica-schist soils of the Douro are able to express.
A delicate bouquet reveals floral and citrusy notes, orchard fruit, herbaceous aromas as well as hints of hazelnut which lend the wine further complexity and character.
The palate offers good acidity and a light structure, ending on a dry and spicy finish. This is a seamless white Douro wine with incredible balance and great ageing potential.
Founded in 1842, the small Port house of Niepoort is now run by 5th generation of the family by brother and sister Dirk and Verena Niepoort. They’re one of the few small independent Port houses still in existence but are, nonetheless, a thriving concern. In addition to Port they also concentrate increasingly on the table wines of the Douro valley. It’s easy to forget that it was only a few years ago that Niepoort was only sought out by a small band of faithful followers, as stock of remarkable, artisanal wines built up in the cramped old Niepoort lodge in Rua Serpa Pinto in Vila Nova de Gaia.
These days, with a formidable international reputation which spans all styles from aged tawny to vintage, and all points in between, demand threatens to outstrip supply. Ports are all made at the old Museu de Lagares in Vale de Mendiz, which has the only circular granite lagares in the Douro.
To say that Dirk Niepoort has revolutionised wine production in the Douro Valley would only risk understatement. Since his first experimental wine in 1990, and then first commercial production of Redoma Tinto a year later, Dirk has explored terroirs and experimented relentlessly. And with all winemaking (excepting Charme, and of course Port, both at Vale de Mendiz) conducted at the almost futuristic Quinta do Napoles, a plethora of different offerings are meticulously overseen by a dynamic and energetic team.
The 2020 growing year was very heterogeneous. A rainy winter was followed by a quite moderate spring, providing favourable conditions for the vines’ growth. On the other hand, the month of June was relatively cool and slowed down the growth cycle. July brought very high temperatures (the hottest since 1931), with three heat waves which reduced the yields somewhat.
Harvesting began in the first weeks of August in the hottest areas and concluded in the higher-lying slopes at the end of September.
The grapes stem from old vines growing on the right bank of the Douro River, at an altitude of 400 to 600 metres above sea level. These vines predominantly grow in mica-schist soils, which, in combination with the complexity of the various grape varieties typical of the Douro region, create delicate wines full of freshness and minerality.
After being meticulously sorted on our sorting table, the fruit was gently pressed and left to settle for about 24 hours. Alcoholic fermentation took place spontaneously, in 228L and 500L French oak barrels, where the wine also aged for 8 months.