A wine that offers an introduction to the dominant soil type in the Douro valley. Minimal interventionist winemaking. A fresh, mineral-driven red that showcases the purity of fruit achievable in the Douro valley.
The 2016 Xisto Ilimitado is a blend of 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Amarela and 20% Tinta Roriz, with Rufete, Tinta Barroca and others filling out the blend, all aged for 14 months in used French oak. It comes in at 12.8% alcohol. Sourced from Cotas and Ervedosa do Douro, the vines here range from 30 to 60 years in age and at over 400 meters in altitude. For the entry level here, this has respectable concentration, nice structure and a very serious, dry feel to it. The tannins are ripe, to be sure, but you can still feel them on the finish. I'm not sure this is going anywhere with age, but it can certainly hold well for several years. This should be a very nice house pour at a nice price.
GRAPE 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Amarela, 20% Tinta Roriz, 10% Rufete, 10% Tinta Barroca, 5% Malvasia Preta, 5% Donzelinho Tinto. Sustainably farmed vineyards planted from 1960 to 1980 in schist soil at 400-600 m (1,232-1,968 ft) elevation.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS Pair with roast game or poultry, or ratatouille.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING 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.
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.