A new arrival on the shelves at Apolónia this week is this new Clarete from Niepoort under the producer’s Charme label.
The wine team at Apolónia, assuming they have tried the wine, must have been in something of a quandary as to where to place it on the shelves, but it has ended up in the red wine section when it is, in terms of appearance, a pale coloured rosé of sorts but actually tastes more like a red.
This is a surprising wine in more than one way and is currently topping my list as the most interesting new wine I have tasted in 2020.
Niepoort Charme Clarete is made from a field blend of traditional Douro grape varieties and aged in French oak. The colour in the glass is an unusual and slightly browny shade of pale pink whilst on the nose it is quite subdued with subtle notes of fresh plums and cherries mingling with a hint of vanilla.
In the mouth, however, there is real depth of flavour with good acidity and considerable tannic structure leading to a dry and very long finish. I fell in love with this wine at the first sip and just wish it was a bit more affordable as the price tag of €29.95 puts it well beyond my budget for regular consumption.
Serve almost at room temperature as you would a light-bodied red; the producer recommends around 16°C.