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  Niepoort (Portugal) LBV Port 2001
Dirk Niepoort of the eponymous Port house is a tireless innovator, and an extremely gifted winemaker. The latest theological problem taxing his restless mind is exactly what is the best wine to match with chocolate. And so, Niepoort has worked with the Belgian chocolatier to develop the ultimate confection to match to his LBV Port, a delciously dark, 62% cocoa chocolate infused with nibbed coffee beans and white pepper. The resulting wine/food match is intriguing, with the flavours of the chocolate echoing and adding volume to the wine, but for now let's concentrate on the stuff in the bottle. Niepoort's LBV is an extremely unusual offering, being the product of a single vintage harvested from 70-year-old vines, and the grapes trodden by foot in lagares. The materials and process is identical to making his vintage Port, except the LBV is aged longer in casks and barrels to produce a wine that is ready to drink on release. The nose is slightly spirity, but that's soon overtaken by peppery, spicy aromas and a bright, violet and cherry fruitiness. On the palate there's a rush of sweet, rounded, juicy plum and red cherry fruit, with a smooth texture and building impression of spices and Cognac-like spirity warmth on the finish. Around 7.00 per half bottle. For stockists see wine-searcher