Niepoort Dialogo Branco Douro 2011

Niepoort Dialogo Branco Douro 2011

Portugal, $20

I’m not so naïve as to assume that the pleasure one derives from wine comes solely from what’s inside the bottle. There’s the joy of discovering a new region, a new grape and the small charge one gets from a well-designed package…AND there’s what’s inside the bottle. This new-to-the-market bottling from Portugal’s famed Niepoort family succeeds on almost every level. It’s from the Douro, which is famous for Port, but only now is it starting to gets props for its table wine (and the white are even more nascent).

It’s a blend of—wait for it—codega do larinho, rabigato, gouveio, dona branca, viosinho and bical. I’m not making those names up—they’re actual Portuguese grape varieties. And the label is super engaging and fun. All that would only go so far if the stuff inside weren’t so compelling and lively in the glass. It’s fresh without being overly acidic or bracing, and has lovely white peach aromas and—just so you know you’re in Portugal—a long, almost salty but pleasing aftertaste. One of the most fun white wines I’ve had all year.

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