March 15, 2021 - A bit more reticent than previous bottle with some obvious treatment notes. Still quite good, but a bit less.
December 31, 2020 - Really leveled up from a few months ago. Crisp and taut. Lemon zest and electric aromatics. Lighter body with more precision. Mineral cut and quince-y savory elements in the middle. Long finish with finesse. Light but immaculate structure. Slight kiss of bourbon. Beautiful.
May 15, 2020 - A blend of the local Portuguese grapes arinto, rabigato and codega do larinho. High altitude vineyards up to about 600 meters and old vines with age up to 100 years help to make this an extremely successful wine. Stored for 12 months on French barrique.
Aired in decanter for 5 hours prior to serving. Delicious florality in the direction of orange blossom, yellow apples, citrus, white peach, quite mineral with distinct flint aromas, smoke, wet stone, hazelnuts, some butter tones. Complex and beautiful nose in constantly change. Great concentration, good acidity and lovely balance. The high altitude helps to give a rather cool expression from an otherwise warm area. Everything ends up in a lovely and very long mineral and slightly salty finish. Young and maybe a little tight now, but still very enjoyable already. With time this is guaranteed to get even better.
I served this wine blind to an experienced group of wine tasters. It was really interesting to listen to the discussion around the table. The name Coche tells us that Dirk Niepoort does not even try to hide where the inspiration for this wine came from, and the tasters were all 100% agreed that this was chardonnay. Most thought it was from Central Burgundy, while some wondered if this could be California of high quality, like Sanford & Benedict. The conclusion eventually became Central Burgundy of high quality, but a wine that lacks a certain address. I bet Dirk would have been very pleased if he heard the discussion and conclusion.
This was also served right after Filipa Pato Nossa Calcario 2018 (how often do two white Portuguese appear in the same blind tasting?), and this was a big step up in terms of quality.
April 11, 2020 - I ❤️ this wine so hard, even if this was a slightly weaker version. Perfect intersection of mineral taut PT white with opulent techniques.
January 25, 2020 - A bit muted on the nose, but fireworks on the palate. Florals, pink grapefruit, lemons, citrus pith, botanicals and a hint of crushed stones on the crisp, clean, lengthy finish. So much precision and tension. This will be interesting to follow in the upcoming years.
December 31, 2019 - Soirée du réveillon du 31 décembre 2019 chez Val & Alex: Au nez on s'oriente vers un vin demi-sec: Loire? Alsace? Or la bouche est clairement exempte de sucre résiduel. Des fruits mûrs, certes, mais également des fleurs blanches. Une vin équilibré sans lourdeur, et même assez frais, d'une texture soyeuse. Une nouveauté pour moi: très bon!