Xisto Cru Tinto
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After a decade as winemaker at Niepoort, where he was responsible for some of the best known and highly rated wines to come out of the famed Douro and Porto producer, Luis Seabra decided that he no longer wanted to make wines to someone else’s tastes and specifications. Thus, he began his eponymous winery, and set about shattering preconceptions of what Douro wines represent.
The Xisto Cru Tinto is one of a series of wines that Luis makes that exemplify and express the intensely terroir-driven style in which he operates. He is a particularly gifted winemaker, one who sees wine as a medium through which a piece of land can speak. “Cru” translates as “raw” in Portuguese, and the transmission of terroir here is unadulterated and singular. This series of wines is one in which he removes every variable but that of the land itself, and the stark expression of the soil that results is extraordinary. He works exclusively with spontaneous fermentation, native yeasts, and large format tight-grained oak for all the wines in this series.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
Rather than single vineyard, this is a single soil field blend, from 2 plots planted in the Cima Corgo subregion of the Douro from 1920-1933. It is intended as a clear expression of terroir and place. Sustainably farmed vines, and vinified using only spontaneous fermentation and indigenous yeasts. This way he removes all potential variability other than the soil type as an expression of terroir.
2016 93WA; 2015 95WA, 93VFTC; 2014 91WA; 2013 92WA
20% Rufete, 20% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Carvalha, 10% Alicante Bouchet, 10% Tinta Roriz, 15% Donzelinho Tinto, 15% Malvazia Preta. Sustainably farmed vineyards planted from 1910-1933. Tended in mica schist soil from 650-700 m (2,133-2,297 ft) elevation.
Grilled and roasted meats, mushrooms, smoked and cured meats.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Spontaneously fermented in used Port tonneaux using indigenous yeast present on the fruit. 11 months on the lees. Aged 22 months in French oak used barrels.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
Vineyards located in Cima Corgo. This is a subregion that experiences extreme highs and lows from a temperature standpoint, with some of the greatest day-night temperature delta in Portugal. As such the fruit experiences extended hangtime. Vines planted exclusively in mica schist soil at 400-570 m elevation.
Dark ruby. On the nose, mineral driven aromas of red berries, forest floor, green herbs and smoke. On the palate, lively acidity cuts through a core of fraise de bois, ripe strawberry and sour cherry, with excellent cut and precision to the wet stone and dusty mineral on the finish. Decant for an hour prior to serving.