Red Blend, Douro, 'Xisto Cru Tinto,' Luis Seabra 2021

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20% Rufete, 20% Touriga Franca, 10% Tinta Carvalha, 10% Alicante Bouchet, 10% Tinta Roriz, 15% Donzelinho Tinto, 15% Malvazia Preta. Sustainably farmed vineyards planted from 1910-1933. Tended in mica schist soil from 650-700 m (2,133-2,297 ft) elevation.

'Xisto Cru’ Tinto is a bright and easy-drinking red blend crafted from indigenous Portuguese varieties. Stemmy flavors of juicy red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper, fresh cut herbs and schist jump from the glass. Balanced, pure, and thirst-quenching -- think Beaujolais meets Portugal. This is still Douro red at its finest!

It is a remarkably fresh Douro red. A world apart from some of the full-bodied styles, rich and robust of the region. It shows crunchy red cherry, juicy black cherry, currant, wild and light oak fruit. Fine and firm tannins, smoky minerality, good texture, very interest as a whole. A lovely intensity in a different wine, in a good way.

Vinification: The grapes are spontaneously fermented with native yeasts in closed wooden vats. They macerate for up to two months, allowing time for the intense tannins to integrate and soften. The wine is aged between 18-24 months in used French oak used barrels and racked only once in spring after malolactic to remove the lees. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The wine comes from just two small centenarian vineyards between 1,500-1,700 feet in elevation, on opposite sides of the Douro River near Pinhão in Cima Corgo. The vineyards are farmed directly by Luis and his team, and they’re among the latest to be harvested in the region. Vines planted exclusively in mica schist soils.

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.

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