The hipster community was going crazy last week about some exclusive intimate gigs by some dodgy character called Prince. It seems that if you weren’t there, you’ll never be anywhere.
So, not to be outdone Butler’s hosted its own equivalent event with a flying visit from Portuguese wine legend Dirk Niepoort, who breezed into town on Friday with a selection of bottles that were as inspirational and stimulating as any overwrought guitar solo. And the crowd – thirty lucky individuals - went wild for him.
Dirk’s family has been fine tuning (that’s enough music puns. Ed.) its work for five generations now, starting out as port importers but gradually shifting its focus to production of the luscious reds and elegant whites that are so often overshadowed by Portugal’s more ubiquitous fortified export.
The Niepoorts’ perseverance and passion has resulted in a fine selection of distinctive, bold yet elegant wines. Dirk himself is particularly passionate about maintaining and developing the use of indigenous Portuguese grape varieties, the qualities of which are reflected in the rich and unique characteristics of the end product. You’ll find notes and flavours in the wines of Portugal that simply can’t be found anywhere else, which is why Butler’s customers have found them to be such a revelation.
Friday night’s selection included easy-drinking, affordable examples of the popular Drink Me range (£11.99), Dirk’s own personal ‘monster wine’, Redoma, the branco at £16.99 boasting 60 year old vines and a corresponding crisp elegance, the tinto at £28.50 bursting with fresh fruit but perfectly structured. The Vertente 2009 (£17.25) was a big hit around the room with young, bright notes and red berry fruits. And Dirk’s most challenging personal project, the foot-trodden Charme 2007 (£64.00) was stunning, a Burgundy-influenced dream of a wine with silky intensity and fresh red cherry notes. By Dirk’s own admission Charme is quite different from anything else he makes, and despite being ‘a pain in the ass to produce’, he’s clearly and rightly proud of this maverick child.
The evening’s encores (I meant it about the music puns. Ed) were ably provided by the LBV and 10-Year Old Tawny Ports (£19 and £34.50 respectively), and then Dirk was on his way, leaving a room full of happy punters to enjoy the after-show…
Butler’s are very proud to be exclusive stockists of Niepoort wines in Brighton and Hove, and our staff at Kemp Town and Queens Park Road will be happy to talk you through all the wines mentioned above. So even if you can’t boast about having ‘been there’, you can still get your hands on the merchandise.
Now don't forget to book early for the best wine tasting events in Brighton and Hove.