Late Bottled Vintage Port is from a single year. The wine ages 4-6 years in old oak casks (opposed to Vintage that ages 2-3). LBV fills the gap between the Rubies and the Vintage Ports since a Ruby Port should be drunk quite young and a great Vintage Port may need 15 to 20 years to really open up and show its splendour. This led to the idea in the 1960s to age the wine 4 to 6 years in large casks before bottling it, thereby producing a wine with the style of a Vintage Port with its deep colour and concentration of fruit, but with a more mature character caused by the longer ageing in wood. Late Bottled Vintage is the perfect Port to accompany chocolate desserts, specially bitter chocolate or a pepper steak.
This is perhaps the most significant Premium Port of our range. Winemaker Dirk van der Niepoort calls this the "Little Brother" of our Vintage Port, as the origins of the grapes and vinification methods are identical. Taken from Ports made in the 2003 harvest, this Late Bottled Vintage however has extended cask maturation making it drinkable at a younger age, yet retaining the essence of its superior "sibling".
The grapes for Niepoort 2003 LBV came from selected parcels of vineyards in the Cima Corgo, Douro region. The grapes were trodden in lagares and later the port was matured in large wooden vats at our lodges in Gaia. At Niepoort the tradition is to bottle the LBV’s four years after the harvest: Dirk tries «to bottle it as soon as we can in order to reveal the fruit and freshness of the LBV in the moment of the tasting».
Deep red colour with a very vivacious, lively aroma of fresh dark plums, cherries and a hint of chocolate along with a silky aroma giving the wine great finesse. Fabulous extract on the palate with a tight grainy texture intertwined with fresh dark fruits and a mellow spirity finish.
The wine can be enjoyed now, and will become more complex with further cellaring until 2025. To fully benefit from its qualities we recommend it be decanted before serving. Serve with soft cheeses, mild blue cheese, dark chocolate desserts or a pepper steak!