2013NiepoortDao2013 Niepoort, Rotulo, Dao Red, Portugal.
The latest Niepoort Dao red has to be one of the best best values in stylish European reds out there, this 2013 Rotulo Dao by Dirk Niepoort is ripe, complex and beautifully textured with superb balance and pleasing layers. The mix of Touriga Nacional, Jaen (Mencia) and Alfrocheiro is from vines grown on granite soils, similar to Saint-Joseph and Cote-Rotie, allowing for mineral rich fruit and finesse, this cuvee is aged without any wood for 22 months in cement vats, again in the style of a fine Rhone wine. This Portuguese red starts with dried flowers, flinty spice, dusty plum and basil-like herb notes leading to a medium full palate of raspberry, cherry and blueberry fruits along with pepper, black olive, lavender oil and chalky stones. This is a wine of fine density and charm with a balanced fruit character that is compelling, but not overly sweet or heavy as well as having nice energy and graceful with many food choices, this is a very good wine that deserves attention, in the same league as many Gigondas, but with a slightly more cool climate vibrancy, very impressive, especially for the price. Fine tannins, mild earthy notes and acidity allows for nice evolution in the glass and this bottling should be a good drinker for the next 3 to 5 years, be sure to check out this and the whole line of wonderful still wines and ports from Niepoort!
($16 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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