Pôpa Black Edition Branco 2015

Quinta da Pôpa, a family-owned vineyard and winery in the Douro Valley, is a relative newcomer, having only started producing wine in 2012. The estate, located between Folgosa and Pinhão, was acquired by the current owners in 2003 and the name Pôpa is, in fact, the nickname of their late grandfather who had always dreamed of having his own Douro wine.

The wines produced today pay homage to old Pôpa and they are fast gaining a reputation for their undisputed quality.

Their varietal reds, especially the Tinta Roriz “TR” which I reviewed here last year, are outstanding wines. But this Black Edition is the first white I have tried from the producer.

Whilst a new winery, the estate has been growing vines for many years and the mixed vines used for this white average around 60 years old.

Having read up on the wine and the intricate oak work that goes into making it I was expecting something obviously oaky but was pleasantly surprised. The wine is fermented in two separate batches, 50% in stainless steel and 50% in new French oak – the former ageing for two months in new French oak after fermenting whilst the latter was fermented in new French oak.

Once combined, the wine ages for another six months in used oak with battonage.

Tasting notes from the producer talk of toasty oak notes on the nose but this must have been shortly after bottling.

For now, after more than two years in the bottle, the oak is so well integrated as to be all but undetectable.

This is a wine of great subtlety, with soft citric and white fruit notes on the nose and an unctuous texture in the mouth with good acidity and layers of flavours that reveal themselves slowly. Quite an unusual wine but very enjoyable and well worth the price of €16.95 at Apolónia.

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