Niepoort Nat’Cool Branco

In my mind, the Niepoort Nat’Cool Branco is a Ferris Bueller of wines: Sunglasses on with a care-free attitude, skipping class for more cultural endeavors. It’s the rebel child of Dirk van der Niepoort—Bairrada-based producer known for elegant Portuguese wines and stellar ports. For the Nat’Cool label, he brought together a pack of his Portuguese winemaking friends to make groovy, low-SO2, low-alcohol wines. (So groovy, in fact, Niepoort offers a curated DJ set to go along with them).

Niepoort Nat’Cool Branco
Image of Niepoort Nat’Cool Branco from @Wein_space on Instagram

Keep an eye on this project. Started in 2017, Niepoort keeps releasing limited-edition experimental projects from different producers. Douro’s Luis Pedro Candido (of Quinto do Carolina) rolled out a Beaujolais-style Touriga Nacional, while chef-turned-winemaker Vitor Claro rolled out a saucy Vinho Verde from the 2017 vintage. Luis Faisca in Dao crafted an SO2-free white wine. The recent 2018 Voyeur aged a field blend of local grapes in amphora for a gorgeous bouquet of violet, clay, and orange.

The Niepoort Nat’Cool Branco takes traditional Vinho Verde and turns it on its head: cloudy, pithy, and bottled with sugar and lees and refermented with malolactic fermentation in the bottle. When you crack it open, you get that tongue-tingling effervescence perfect for a sunny day.

Processes are in true natural style—grapes are hand-picked, with a focus on highlighting local terroir. But it’s one of the brightest wines I’ve had in a while: fresh, vibrant, citrusy and slightly sparkling with a saline finish. Chuggable, uncomplicated,  and the perfect oh-summer-please-don’t-go wine. Did I mention it comes in a liter bottle?

Check out last week’s wine pick – Enderle & Moll Spatburgunder Rose

Kate Dingwall
Kate Dingwallhttps://www.kate-dingwall.com/
Kate Dingwall is a writer and editor, primarily covering the spirits and travel world. Her work has appeared in Forbes.com, Wine Enthusiast, Liquor.com, MAXIM Magazine, DuJour Magazine, Eater, VinePair, Culture Trip, Canada's 100 Best Restaurants, and a number of other publications, online and print. Outside of writing, she is a sommelier and an avid martini drinker.
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