Niepoort Douro Batuta Tinto 2015
The 2015 Batuta is a field blend from old vines, with lots of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Rufete and others, aged in 20% new French barriques for 20 months. It comes in at just 12.5% alcohol. This may be my favorite Batuta in a long time. Now, this is always an elegantly crafted wine, always understated (often, to a fault). This year, though, it has a particularly nice combination of freshness, grip and ripe tannins that make it very appealing. Then, it adds that gorgeous intensity of fruit flavor that this vintage produced, perfectly supported and defined by the acidity that slams the fruit into the palate. There is also very respectable weight (relative to this usually understated bottling and the elegant vintage). It then finishes tight and grabs the palate. Overall, this deserves some props and plenty of them. It should age beautifully. It is also a vintage that is approachable young, but it will certainly be better in 2020 or so, assuming you can keep your hands off of it. It is very tasty now, if a bit tight. We'll see what the future brings, but I have to lean up on this beauty right now. This was not bottled when seen, but it was a tank sample, out of barrel and the final blend.