These are certainly wines that will create a lot of buzz… A very exciting tasting of the first vintage of Vinhos Imperfeitos. After 8 years as the wing man of Dirk Niepoort, and making the iconic white wines like Redoma Reserva and Coche – Carlos Raposo being equally talented, serious and crazy, is now venturing out on his own. A very serious range with an emphasis on purity, precision, length and mouthfeel rather than intense aromatics or flamboyant fruitiness. Spiritually I would place these between Chablis and the Côte de Beaune, however with their own distinct personalities like the interregional blend from Dão and Vinho Verde. The showstopper was certainly the top wine from Dão – sourced from old vineyards containing Esgana Cão, Rabo de Ovelha, Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, Douradinha, Barcelo, Branda amongst others (!) with a fine elevage in Puligny Barrels. Tremendous nerve and length, sorry for the Burgundian associations but spiritually this was very much like a Corton-Charlemagne to me. Yet very Portuguese, very new, very crazy and very good…
Carlos Raposo is creating some of the finest White wines in Portugal, under the label “Imperfeito” (Imperfect). They come from the Vinho Verde and Dão regions and are really spectacular. I have yet to taste his red wines, but with Whites this outstanding, I can’t wait. If Carlos’ name is not familiar, he spent nearly a decade as winemaker for Dirk Niepoort.
I will never forget the first time I tasted Carlos Raposo’s Vinhos Imperfeitos white wines. I had never been so proud to smell and drink Portuguese white wines. These wines can be compared to any great white wine in the world. They are vinified with great technique and mastery, bringing to the surface what is most pleasing in a wine: stony aroma, minerality in the mouth, sense of place and certainly aging capacity. I had no doubt immediately incorporating these wines into our exclusive distribution catalogue.
Meet the Portuguese garagiste who learned his craft in Bordeaux & Burgundy then, for 8 years, alongside the man he calls “the master,” Dirk Niepoort. Fantastic to catch up with Carlos Raposo today and his new project, Vinhos Imperfeitos. The first 2018 white releases from Vinho Verde, Vinho Verde/Dao & Dao are wonderfully precise and mineral. Navigating new territory for Portuguese fine wine, they are made in tiny amounts & priced at £100-£300/bottle, which demands chutzpah and, of course, considerable skill! Both Raposo and the wines are up to the challenge and, I’m told, Portugal’s finest restaurants are buying.
Writter for Decanter Magazine and Founder The Wine Detective