Bioma Vintage | Vinha VelhaBioma Vintage | Vinha Velha

By introducing another premium Vintage Port to the Niepoort Portfolio, Bioma “Vinha Velha” provides us with the opportunity to create, or re-create, a style of Vintage Port which not only respects the terroir, but also harks back to a golden age of Port. At the heart of the concept of Bioma “Vinha Velha”, is a very special vineyard (Vinha da Pisca) in a very special part of the Douro. Bioma is a single vineyard Vintage Port, rather than a single Quinta. For many years, this vineyard has provided the backbone of Niepoort Vintage Ports, but since 2005, we have been able to study the qualities of this vineyard in greater detail, managing it in an organic way, and furthermore, identifying better, part of the remarkable wines made here for setting aside, as Bioma in 2008 and Pisca in 2007. The “Vinha Velha” refers to the extraordinary age of the vines at Vinha da Pisca, mostly exceeding 80 years old. Our intention with Bioma “Vinha Velha” is to offer, in very small quantity, a style of Vintage Port which is more akin to the very best English-bottled Vintage Ports of 1970 and before. The exceptional fruit quality from the ancient vines of the Pisca Vineyard appears to express its sense of place quite wonderfully when we apply the ‘logic’ of older times.

Vinification

At our Port winemaking facility, in Vale de Mendiz, the grapes for Bioma are trodden entirely by foot with 100% stems. After fortification with fine brandy, the Port is left to settle over the winter. Springtime sees the wine transferred to our winery at Quinta de Nápoles and racked into pipes (the classic 550 litre lodge pipe). For the classic Niepoort Vintage, and most other Vintage Port, the wines are transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia, and aged in large vats. Using pipas instead of large vats was inspired in the “old days” when England shipped wines in pipes. Furthermore we bottle Bioma “Vinha Velha” in the third year after the harvest, rather than the second. This results that we offer Bioma one year later than the classic Vintage Port.

In 2008, the Douro was blessed with rather cooler conditions, and later harvest, which were excellent conditions for the concept of Bioma “Vinha Velha”. The finished wine is super-bright, with fantastically expressive fruit, and a strong base of minerality.

Tasting Notes

Brilliant dark red appearance with a refined, silky, vinous aroma and subdued fruit . Well structured on the palate with wonderful elegance and finesse ; medium sweet with a lengthy finish.

A superb example of the 2008 harvest.

Technical Information

Producer

Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.

Region

Douro

Soil Type

Schist

Vineyards

Vinha da Pisca

Average Vine Age

80 and over 100 years

Grape Varieties

Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Touriga Nacional and others

Vines per HA

4000-6000

Harvest Period

September/October

Harvest Method

Hand picked

Fermentation

Lagares (wine press tanks)/Foot treading

Bottled

April 2011

Ageing

3 years in pipes

Residual Sugar (g/dm3)

104.4

Alcohol (%)

20

Baumé

3.4

Total Acidity (g/dm3)

4.9

Total SO2 (mg/dm3)

47

Production

4.800 bottles

Food Suggestions

Perfect with “Queijo da Serra”, Stilton or other blue cheeses. Egg based desserts and “pão de ló” (Portuguese sponge based cake).

By introducing another premium Vintage Port to the Niepoort Portfolio, Bioma “Vinha Velha” provides us with the opportunity to create, or re-create, a style of Vintage Port which not only respects the terroir, but also harks back to a golden age of Port. At the heart of the concept of Bioma “Vinha Velha”, is a very special vineyard (Vinha da Pisca) in a very peculiar part of the Douro.

For many years, this vineyard has provided the backbone of Niepoort Vintage Ports, but since 2005, we have been able to study the qualities of this vineyard in greater detail, managing it in an organic way, and furthermore, identifying better, part of the remarkable wines made here for setting aside, as Bioma in 2011, 2009, 2008 and Pisca in 2007.

Bioma “Vinha Velha” is a single vineyard Vintage Port, rather than a single Quinta. The “Vinha Velha” refers to the extraordinary age of the vines at Vinha da Pisca, mostly exceeding 80 years old. The intention is to offer, in very small quantity a style of Vintage Port which is more akin to the very best English-bottled Vintage Ports of 1970 and before. The exceptional fruit quality from the ancient vines of the Pisca Vineyard appears to express its sense of place quite wonderfully when we apply the ‘logic’ of older times.

Vinification

At our Port winemaking facility, in Vale de Mendiz, the grapes for Bioma are trodden entirely by foot with 100% stems. After fortification with fine brandy, the Port is left to settle over the winter. Springtime sees the wine transferred to a very cool part of our winery at Quinta de Nápoles and racked into pipes (the classic 550 litre lodge pipe). For the classic Niepoort Vintage, and most other vintage port, the wines are transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia, and aged in large vats. Using pipas instead of large vats was inspired in the “old days” when wines were shipped to England in pipes. Furthermore we bottle Bioma “Vinha Velha” in the third year after the harvest, rather than the second. This results that we offer Bioma one year later than the classic Vintage Port.

In 2009, the influence of the weather was marked by the very low rainfall during the growing season and the extreme heat from mid August and throughout most of the harvest.

Tasting Notes

Dark red appearance with a red/purple rim, on the aroma hints of dark chocolate along with youthful dark fruits and a wonderful fresh vinosity; on the palate a superb rustic character and well integrated dark fruits - A fantastic match of elegance and power.

Technical Information

Producer

Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.

Region

Douro

Soil Type

Schist

Vineyards

Several in Cima Corgo

Average Vine Age

80 and over 100 years

Grape Varieties

Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Touriga Nacional and others

Vines per HA

4000-6000

Harvest Period

September/October

Harvest Method

Hand picked

Fermentation

Lagares (wine press tanks)/Foot treading

Bottled

April 2012

Ageing

3 years in pipes

Residual Sugar (g/dm3)

93

Alcohol (%)

21

Baumé

2.8

Total Acidity (g/dm3)

4.8

Production

6.625 bottles

Food Suggestions

Perfect with “Queijo da Serra”, Stilton or other blue cheeses. Egg based desserts and “pão de ló” (Portuguese sponge based cake).

By introducing another premium Vintage Port to the Niepoort Portfolio, Bioma “Vinha Velha” provides us with the opportunity to create, or re-create, a style of Vintage Port which not only respects the terroir, but also harks back to a golden age of Port. At the heart of the concept of Bioma “Vinha Velha”, is a very special vineyard (Vinha da Pisca) in a very peculiar part of the Douro.

For many years, this vineyard has provided the backbone of Niepoort Vintage Ports, but since 2005, we have been able to study the qualities of this vineyard in greater detail, managing it in an organic way, and furthermore, identifying better, part of the remarkable wines made here for setting aside, as Bioma in 2011, 2009, 2008 and Pisca in 2007.

Bioma “Vinha Velha” is a single vineyard Vintage Port, rather than a single Quinta. The “Vinha Velha” refers to the extraordinary age of the vines at Vinha da Pisca, mostly exceeding 80 years old. The intention is to offer, in very small quantity a style of Vintage Port which is more akin to the very best English-bottled Vintage Ports of 1970 and before. The exceptional fruit quality from the ancient vines of the Pisca Vineyard appears to express its sense of place quite wonderfully when we apply the ‘logic’ of older times.

Vinification

The agricultural year in 2011 will be remembered for relatively low precipitation during the winter and an unusually early bud burst in March, along with a sudden extreme heat in June which literally led to burnt clusters in exposed and early varieties such as Tinta Barroca. Although July and the end of August were relatively cool with some light precipitation in the final days of August and first days of September, temperatures picked up and the harvest had to be accelerated to avoid berry shrivel.

At our Port winemaking facility, in Vale de Mendiz, the grapes were trodden entirely by foot with 100% stems. After fortification with brandy, the Port was left to settle over the winter. In springtime, the wine was transferred to a very cool part of the winery at Quinta de Nápoles and racked into pipes (the classic 550 litre lodge pipe). Maturing this Port in pipas in the Douro, instead of large vats in Gaia and bottling Bioma “Vinha Velha” in the third year after the harvest, produced an exceptionally complex wine. Oddly this was the way it happened in the “old days” when wines were shipped to England in pipes, and bottled later.

Tasting Notes

Fine dark red appearance with a dark red/purple rim. At this stage the aroma is rather unrevealing, but on the palate shows great freshness and a purity of fruit, giving elegance, along with some grainy tannins on the mid palate giving both structure and power to the wine. It can be expected that with another year of ageing the colour will close up further.

Technical Information

Producer

Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.

Region

Douro

Soil Type

Schist

Vineyards

Several in Cima Corgo

Average Vine Age

80 and over 100 years

Grape Varieties

Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Touriga Nacional and others

Vines per HA

4000-6000

Harvest Period

September/October

Harvest Method

Hand picked

Fermentation

Lagares (wine press tanks)/Foot treading

Bottled

February 2014

Ageing

3 years in pipes

Dry Extract (g/dm3)

138.1

Residual Sugar (g/dm3)

110

Alcohol (%)

21

Baumé

3.9

pH

3.47

Total Acidity (g/dm3)

5.36

Volatile Acidity (g/dm3)

0.34

Total SO2 (mg/dm3)

92

Volumic Mass (g/cm3)

1.0254

Production

8.051 bottles

Food Suggestions

Perfect with “Queijo da Serra”, Stilton or other blue cheeses. Egg based desserts and “pão de ló” (Portuguese sponge based cake).

By introducing another premium Vintage Port to the Niepoort Portfolio, Bioma “Vinha Velha” provides us with the opportunity to create, or re-create, a style of Vintage Port which not only respects the terroir, but also harks back to a golden age of Port. At the heart of the concept of Bioma “Vinha Velha”, is a very special vineyard (Vinha da Pisca) in a very peculiar part of the Douro.

For many years, this vineyard has provided the backbone of Niepoort Vintage Ports, but since 2005, we have been able to study the qualities of this vineyard in greater detail, managing it in an organic way, and furthermore, identifying better, part of the remarkable wines made here for setting aside, as Bioma in 2011, 2009, 2008 and Pisca in 2007.

Bioma “Vinha Velha” is a single vineyard Vintage Port, rather than a single Quinta. The “Vinha Velha” refers to the extraordinary age of the vines at Vinha da Pisca, mostly exceeding 80 years old. The intention is to offer, in very small quantity a style of Vintage Port which is more akin to the very best English-bottled Vintage Ports of 1970 and before. The exceptional fruit quality from the ancient vines of the Pisca Vineyard appears to express its sense of place quite wonderfully when we apply the ‘logic’ of older times.

Vinification

The winter of 2012/2013 was important in replenishing water levels after several dry winters. The rainfall carried on in the spring, with March registering the highest rainfall in the last 50 years; precipitation from November to the end of July (564 mm) in the Cima Corgo was 1% up on the average of the last few decades. The relatively high level of rain and low temperatures until June (there was still snow on the Marão as late as May!) meant that the vegetative cycle of the vine was delayed.

The weather warmed up dramatically in the last 10 days of June and remained so until the beginning of September with thunderstorms and some light rain overnight from the 4th to 5th of September. The hot weather led to some burnt clusters on exposed vines; the harvest started on the 12th September under perfect weather conditions and the last grapes from the Pisca vineyard arrived on 26th September -just in time- before heavy rain on 27th September. (the decision to start the Pisca vineyard early, supplying grapes for Bioma - certainly paid off).

At our Port winemaking facility, in Vale de Mendiz, the grapes were trodden entirely by foot with 100% stems. After fortification with brandy, the Port was left to settle over the winter. In springtime, the wine was transferred to a very cool part of the winery at Quinta de Nápoles and racked into pipes (the classic 550 litre lodge pipe). Maturing this Port in pipas in a cool cellar in the Douro, instead of large vats in Gaia and bottling Bioma “Vinha Velha” in the third year after the harvest, produces an exceptionally complex wine. Oddly this was the way it happened in the “old days” when wines were shipped to England in pipes, and bottled later.

Tasting Notes

Appearance of deep purple accompanied by a purple rim. With time, the wine has gained in colour, but on the aroma the exuberant youthful fruit, so evident after its first winter has closed down, but is very much still present on the palate with dark plums and blackberries with firm grainy tannins on the mid palate giving both structure and power to the wine leading to a grainy but not aggressive finish.

Technical Information

Producer

Niepoort (Vinhos) S.A.

Region

Douro

Soil Type

Schist

Vineyards

Several in Cima Corgo

Average Vine Age

80 and over 100 years

Grape Varieties

Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Touriga Nacional and others

Vines per HA

4000-6000

Harvest Period

September/October

Harvest Method

Hand picked

Fermentation

Lagares (wine press tanks)/Foot treading

Ageing

3 years in pipes

Dry Extract (g/dm3)

138.6

Residual Sugar (g/dm3)

109

Alcohol (%)

19.5

Baumé

4.1

pH

3.54

Total Acidity (g/dm3)

4.54

Volatile Acidity (g/dm3)

0.28

Total SO2 (mg/dm3)

40

Volumic Mass (g/cm3)

1.0274

Food Suggestions

Perfect with “Queijo da Serra”, Stilton or other blue cheeses. Egg based desserts and “pão de ló” (Portuguese sponge based cake).

2015 was as perfect as it gets, particularly for Port – a year where we had time to think and make the right decisions, with the weather helping enormously.

Picked at the perfect time, 40% originating from our Pisca vineyard and 60% from different small parcels, all over 80 years old, the Ports were foot-trodden and made in lagares in Vale de Mendiz, with 100% of the stems.

This resulted in incredible Ports with an unusual dimension, impressive structure with fine and intense tannins, great concentration but always accompanied by balance and harmony.

All the elements seem to have fallen into place to ensure that this Vintage will outlive the 1955, 1970 perhaps even the 1945 Ports (but after vastly different harvest conditions)…

The sweetness is masked by the wonderfully robust tannins, the alcohol by the generous concentration, with the fantastic natural acidity of 2015 providing an overall balance.

The nose is shy but focused, no overripe prune-like characteristics, just a gentle and elegant expression of fruit and complexity – it is a joy just to smell all the hidden elements.

The balance and harmony in the bottle promise a great future: these are bottles to taste in the coming years in order to smile at its youth, to drink properly in 20 years and to enjoy fully in 40 years. A Vintage which is actually destined for the next generations so they can admire the beauty that the Douro is able to deliver.

Dirk Niepoort, 4 May 2017

THE BEST VINTAGE PORT OF THIS CENTURY

Vinification

The whole grape bunches were foot-trodden at our Port winemaking facility in Vale de Mendiz. After being fortified with brandy, the Port was left to settle over the winter. In springtime, the wine was transferred to a very cool part of the winery at Quinta de Nápoles and racked into pipas (the traditional 550 litre casks). By maturing this Port in pipas in a cool cellar in the Douro instead of in large vats in Gaia and bottling the Bioma “Vinha Velha” in the third year after the harvest, we are able to produce an exceptionally complex wine. Interestingly, this is the way it used to be made in the “good old days” when wines were shipped to England in pipas, and bottled later.

Tasting Notes

The wine boasts a brilliant dark red appearance accompanied by a nose of bitter chocolate and dark fruits of the forest. On the palate it is medium sweet, with superb freshness and acidity following through to a firm, tannic and seemingly inexhaustible finish.

Technical Information

Producer

Niepoort Vinhos

Region

Douro

Soil Type

Schist

Vineyards

Pisca vineyard

Average Vine Age

80 and over 100 years

Grape Varieties

Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Touriga Nacional and others

Vines per HA

4000-6000

Harvest Period

September 2015

Harvest Method

Hand picked

Malolactic

no

Fermentation

Lagares (wine press tanks)/Foot treading

Bottled

January 2018

Ageing

3 years in "pipas"

Food Suggestions

Perfect with “Queijo da Serra”, Stilton or other blue cheeses. Egg based desserts and “pão de ló” (Portuguese sponge based cake)