Xisto Ilimitado 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 mature 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.”
Xisto Illimitado is a Portuguese analogue to the idea of a “village” level Burgundy. A field blend of 7 varieties planted across 3 subzones in the Douro, Illimitado is a survey of the schist-driven terroir in the appellation. Bright, focused and fresh, Xisto Ilimitado is a great introduction to the new Douro.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
A wine that offers an introduction to the dominant soil type in the Douro valley. Minimal interventionist winemaking. Fresh, mineral driven red that showcases the purity of fruit achievable in the Douro valley.
2018 91 WS; 2017 93 D; 2016 93W&S; 2015 91IWR
30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Amarela, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Rufete, 10% Tinta Barroca, 5% Malvasia Petra, 5% Donzelinho Tinto. Sustainably farmed vineyards planted from 1960 to 1980 in schist soil at 400-600 m (1,232-1,968 ft) elevation.
Pair with roast game or poultry, or ratatouille.
VINIFICATION AND AGING:
30% fermented in stone lagar with foot pigeage; other 70% in vat, 100% whole cluster. Maceration – lagar for 8 days; vat for 25 days. Racked to neutral barrel for 1 year followed by 5 months in tank. 100% natural yeast fermentation (no cultivated yeasts).
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 yellow schist soil at 400-600 m (1,232 -1,968 ft.) elevation.
Bright garnet. High toned red and blue fruit aromas, tinged with wet stone and violets. On the palate, lush, but with bright acidity to balance the red cherry and pomegranate fruit. White pepper, slate and herbal aromas overlay the core of fruit on a juicy, fresh finish.