Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port, 2012

BOTTLED 2016

Warm jammy brambles with some chocolate and chilli pepper aromas (strangely) and some fresh cherry on the nose. The palate has a nice spice up front, a lot of tannin – soft, but very firm – and then the alcohol I remember from Niepoort’s LBV comes out. A lot of savoury flavours on the end, with a warm spice coming out. Nice. 88pts (February 2017)

Niepoort Ruby Dum Port

Cherry, lots of cherry coming off the nose. There is a jammy element coming out with some warm honey as well. The palate is quite thick with some big tannin, moderate alcohol and then a lot of spice coming off. Nice and juicy, well made, but I think a tiny bit clumsy on the midpalate before it cleans itself up and finished off well. 87pts (February 2017)

Niepoort The Senior Tawny Port

Strawberry red core with a brick colour around the rim, and the wine has an orange marmalade aroma up front, polished wood with some cinnamon pastry. The palate has more dried fruit up front, then a lovely brandy flavour coming out. Very soft, with little prickles of alcohol coming through, it is a super wine that offers great value for money. 90pts (February 2017)

Niepoort Tawny Dee Port

A cherry red coloured tawny port, with some slight orange hints on the rim. The nose has a cranberry, cherry menthol aroma with some slight spice hints. The palate is nicely balanced, with dried berries, dried leaves and the brandy note coming out quite a bit. Very little alcohol burn though. A really nice port. 89pts (February 2017)

Barros Late Bottled Vintage Port, 2011

Fresh berries on the nose, blueberries, cranberries and some underripe blackberries. There is a lovely seductive silky aroma too, leading onto more blueberry. The palate has an upfront sweetness, such a soft approachable palate and then the spirit creeps in, and it actually has a brandy like flavour. More of those lovely berries and then some aromatic spice before a gentle, bitter chocolate and tobacco flavour on the palate. Lovely lovely stuff. 90pts (Feb 2017)

Five Day Tasting -Day Five

It has all gone terribly wrong! Much like the United States under President Trump, day five of this tasting was a series of smoke and mirrors. When the wine showed nice fruit, behind the mask was aggressive alcohol. There was a cloud of lovely aromatic spice and then a downpour of hard tannin.

So what do I conclude? Well the purpose of this was to determine if you could get a bottle of affordable, aged vintage port to last a week, and with the 1985 Gould Campbell I would say the answer if no. The experiment to see how long this port would take to fall apart was fun, and at three days, it lasted longer than an ‘alternative fact free Trump White House’ did, by a good forty eight hours!

Five Day Tasting – Day Four

So after four days, the wine has started to fall apart. The nose is still nice, spiced fruit and so on, but the palate has really become disjointed. There is a harsh bitter element coming through and the wine is not as tasty as it was. However, put it with some blue cheese (as I did in a wonderfully clichéd way) and it was much better with the strong mouldy flavours masking it a bit. 86pts

Five Day Tasting – Day Three

Spicy aromas coming out today, almost as if someone has got cherry pie filling and laced it with Szechuan pepper. The palate has really lost a lot of the prominent alcohol, the fruit is bright, then with some liquorice and that oriental spice again. A freshness throughout and good balance with a very savoury cigar smoke finish. 90pts