This wine ages 4-6 years in large old oak vats (opposed to Vintage, that ages 2-3 years). 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 in the 1960s to the creation of a Port ageing 4 to 6 years in large vats 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 extended ageing in wood.
Tasting Notes: Dark red appearance, fresh, floral aroma with some exuberance initially and a hint of dark plums and blackberries. On the palate, vinosity is at the forefront and although medium-bodied it exhibits fantastic length with grainy soft tannins and superb dark fruits leading to a fresh acid driven finish. This LBV is ready to be enjoyed and will become more complex by extending ageing for a couple of decades.
Late bottled vintage is the perfect port to accompany chocolate desserts, especially if dark/bitter chocolate is used! Fantastic also with portuguese "Queijo da Serra",Stilton and mature Parmesan where the saltiness of the aged Parmesan provides the perfect balance for the sweet fruit of the LBV. However the combination that beats them all has to be that of Rolf Niepoort - LBV and a pepper steak!!
Vinification: 2011 was a classic year for port, except for some unstable weather during flowering and the sudden heat at the end of June which literally burnt the young clusters of early ripening Tinta Barroca, from here on the weather was most favourable with a relatively cool July/August, a drop of rain at the end of August to take ripeness to completion and then the absence of rain during the harvest -perfect! The grapes used to produce LBV 2011 come from low production vineyards in the Cima Corgo region of Douro Valley. They are foot trodden in granite "lagares" and then the wine is aged in large wooden vats, in the cellars at Vila Nova de Gaia. It is Niepoort's tradition to begin bottling LBV four years after harvesting to maintain the freshness and fruitiness which are characteristic of these wines.
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