Carlos Raposo was Dirk Niepoort’s right hand man for Douro wines for eight years. He seems to have inherited his former boss’s aspirational and autonomous no holds barred approach to winemaking. And a love of precision – a signature quality of his wines.
Born in the Dão, his own project – launched in 2018 – focuses on this classic region, where he has now established a winery with concrete vats from the sixties which Raposo extracted via the roof of a Trás-os-Montes winery and cleaned up himself, retro-fitting stainless steel lids. Raposo’s stunning first releases under his Vinhos Imperfeitos label (meaning Imperfect Wines) made waves for both sheer quality and their price (£100-300/bottle). Raposo joked “the price is the only thing about the wines which is imperfect.”
The goods news is that he has launched another project – World Wild Wines – whose range includes Dão wines under his Definido and Ideal (ideally priced!) labels and off-piste wines, including a fabulous Negra Mole from the Algarve.
It has been quite a journey for this talented winemaker, who enrolled at the School of Viticulture & Oenology in Bairrada at the tender age of 16. With steely determination, he has since worked hard for his success, studying with and immersing himself in the best. His next stop was the University of Burgundy, then Bordeaux University, where he gained his Masters degree and hands on experience at Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Château Malescot Saint Exupery in Margaux. More globe-trotting ensued – Quinta Sardonia in Ribera del Duero, Robert Craig in Napa Valley and Stuart Wines Company in Heathcote before he returned to Portugal in 2011 to join Niepoort.