Niepoort is not only my favourite producer of dry wines in the Douro, but they are among my favourite in the world. Their true beauty arises from bottle age. So, while enjoyable and impressive in youth, those who have only sampled young bottles cannot appreciate the mastery of material that the old wines reveal.
Batuta is one of the top two dry wines from Niepoort. The other, Charmes, sold in Burgundy bottles, is intended to be more floral and elegant. Batuta is richer and deeper, but the 2004 I had in Spain was also supremely elegant. Dirk Niepoort has said of Batuta, “‘I like wines that are a bit in excess, but always tasting the opposite of what they are”.
The Batuta is made from grapes grown in the schist soils of the Quinta do Carril vineyard – the first Dirk ever worked with. The vines in that vineyard were 70 years of age in 2004. The wine was fermented in small conic stainless steel vats and aged 20 months in French Oak.
The 2004 Batuta remains today, in 2017, full of fruit and lively. The secondary characteristics were reminiscent of Pauillac but with a distinct Douro spice. Aromatic, with a long, elegant finish and remarkably supple on the palate. A real stunner and one of the best reds I’ve had from the Iberian peninsula. Perfect with char-grilled lamb.
$130-$150 CDN if you can find it (consumed at Monvinic in Barcelona)