93 pts Wine Advocate (RP)
The 2016 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 22 months in used French oak and comes in at only 12.7% alcohol. This was sourced this year only from the old vines of Ervedosa do Douro due to mildew attacks in Covas do Douro. 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. This is very fine, but I don't find it quite as striking as the fruitier 2015, granting that they are not both here. They will both age very well. It will be fun comparing—this is certainly built to age and improve.
Rather than 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.
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.
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.
- 100+ year-old vines
- 20% Rufete, 15% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Carvalha, 10% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Donzelinho Tinto, 5% Malvazia Preta and 35% of others in a field blend
- Aged for 22 months in used French oak barrels