Rather than a 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.
GRAPE Field blend, containing Rufete, Touriga Franca, Malvasia Preta, Alicante Bouschet and Donzelinho Tinto. Sustainably farmed vineyards planted from 1910-1933. Tended in mica schist soil from 650-700 m (2,133-2,297 ft) elevation.
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 variation in Portugal. As such the fruit experiences extended hangtime. Vines planted exclusively in mica schist soil at 400-570m elevation.
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.
Robert Parker Wine advocate (Squires) 91 pts
The 2014 Tinto "Xisto Cru" is a field blend from 80-year-old vines (35%) with roughly 20% Rufete, 15% Touriga Franca,10% Alicante Bouschet and various others making up the rest. It was aged for 24 months in used French oak and comes in at 12% alcohol. Luis Seabra said he loved this vintage, and this is indeed very nice for this difficult year, but taste it next to the 2015 and 2016—only then do you see what's missing. It lacks the vivid flavors of the 2015 or the concentration of the 2016. If feels like a cooler-climate wine. It is clearly a couple of steps behind in terms of a typical Douro profile. That said, it is sensually textured, with velvet caressing the palate, and perfectly balanced. It is dry and serious, a fine food wine.