Xisto Cru Tinto
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For nearly two decades, Luis Seabra has been at the center of a cultural shift in Portuguese winemaking, leading a movement of young, independent winemakers making history by reclaiming historical vineyards, grape varieties, and techniques. Seabra is dedicated to proving that fresh, elegant, terroir-driven still wines can be made in the Douro Valley. His fundamental understanding of soil coupled with his philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery have launched him into the international eye as a leader of the New Portugal; according to Eric Asimov, he “is now making some of Portugal’s most compelling wines, both white and red.”
Luis Seabra works with old vineyards because he believes that old vines are more resilient and well-equipped to handle the region’s intense weather; this makes them the best candidates to faithfully communicate special terroirs. When he started his solo project in 2013, he created the “Cru” series of wines, which revolve not around grape varieties, but vineyard sites. In Seabra’s own words: “we did this to show how we can put the place in the bottle.”
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
Xisto Cru Tinto comes from just two small centenarian vineyards, on opposite sides of the Douro River near Pinhão in Cima Corgo.. Sustainably farmed vines, and vinified using only spontaneous fermentation and native 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:
The grapes are spontaneously fermented with native yeasts in closed wooden vats. They macerate for up to two months, allowing time for the intense tannins to integrate and soften. The wine is aged between 18-24 months in used French oak used barrels and racked only once in spring after malolactic to remove the lees. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The wine comes from just two small centenarian vineyards between 1,500-1,700 feet in elevation, on opposite sides of the Douro River near Pinhão in Cima Corgo. The vineyards are farmed directly by Luis and his team, and they’re among the latest to be harvested in the region. Vines planted exclusively in mica schist soils.
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.