Luis Seabra 2016 'Xisto Cru' Tinto, Douro

Luis Seabra 2016 'Xisto Cru' Tinto, Douro

Item Number: 12821

UPC: 5-600790052026

Country: Portugal
Region: Douro
Sub Region: Douro
Appellation/AVA: Douro DOC
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vintage: 2016
Grape(s): Rufete / Touriga Franca / Malvasia Preta / Alicante Bouschet / Donzelinho Tinto
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 6
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 13
Soil Type: Mica schist
Elevation: 2,200 feet
Case Production: 1,000

The Xisto Cru Tinto is one of a series of wines that Luis Seabra makes that exemplify and express the intensely terroir-driven style in which he operates.

Terroir Notes: The Xista Cru Tinto is a single soil field blend, from 2 plots planted in the Cima Corgo subregion of the Douro from 1920-1933. This area 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.

Winemaking Notes: Spontaneously fermented in used Port tonneaux using indigenous yeast present on the fruit. Wine spends 11 months on the lees and is aged 22 months in French oak used barrels.

Tasting Notes: 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.

Pairing Notes: Grilled and roasted meats, mushrooms, smoked and cured meats.

93+ Points (2017 Vintage) Wine Advocate 06/30/2020
"The 2017 Tinto "Xisto Cru" is a field blend (35%), plus roughly 20% Rufete, 15% Touriga Franca, 10% Alicante Bouschet, 10% Tinta Carvalha and various others making up the rest. It was aged for 20 months in used French barriques and comes in at 13.3% alcohol. This bottling from Seabra is coming in with surprisingly low alcohol levels. Even in the big 2017 vintage, it is less than 13.5%. Last year's was a mere 12.7%. What you get is somewhat familiar if you have tried the Castelão this issue—a wine with exceptional mid-palate finesse, crispness and precision. It is focused more on elegance than fruitiness. It is never close to being jammy. The grape blend here gives this a beefy nuance around the edges, so there is some hint of complexity even now. Then, the pure power takes over. This is intense, nervy and tight. As it airs out, it becomes even tighter. In structure, it is an old-school Barolo. Yet I think this is potentially better than the 2016, which I loved, while I'm not quite sure it matches the 2015—granting that they are not all here together. Let's start here and be a bit conservative just now. This brand does need to prove it can develop, not just hold, and this vintage needs to prove that in particular. If you're not willing to cellar this for a few years, it is probably best avoided. It may hit peak closer to around 2027."

Reviews

  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (8/30/2019)

    Darker in flavor than the Indie Xisto and without its very lively feel, this has a bit more obvious oak and is surprisingly approachable—at first. As it sits, it shows off a surprisingly long finish nuanced with beef and herbs. Plus, air brings out serious power on the finish and a hint of tartness that enlivens the wine. The structure is excellent.