For the last few hundred years the Douro River valley's has been almost exclusively known for it's production of Port, deservedly recognized as one of the world's great fortified wines. Recent decades have seen a continuous decrease in the demand for these types of wines; speculation, but many see it as a general move away from the sweetness and high alcohol in the wine, as well as the perceived 'need' to age them. Many wineries have converted more of their harvest to making regular unfortified table wines, and has helped Portugal emerge recently as a strong source for value wines. It's also spurred a lot of new wave winemakers to explore and embrace the region's history beyond fortified wines, finding forgotten terroirs and elevating them in brand new ways. Luis Seabra is one of the leaders in this movement, described by wine writer Eric Asimov as 'making some of Portugal's most compelling wines, both red and white'. His wines are similar to our favorite old vine Zinfandel producers in California, in that they embrace the whole of the vineyards and all the varietals that may be planted in these older mixed sites instead of cherry picking certain grapes. The Xisto Ilimito bottling is his entry level to his single site 'Cru' wines, a blend from three subzones in the Douro all planted on schist soils and featuring seven different native varietals that, other than Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), will not be familiar to anyone. This wine breaks a lot of preconceptions about Douro wines, especially the ones of them being heavy and alcoholic. Dark with lots of tarry, briary black fruits on the nose at first, it's young and tight and takes some swirling or even decanting to coax out the floral, almost citrusy side. The palate is earthy with very fine drying tannins, very energetic and minerally, taking some extra time open for the fruit to show up as much as it does on the nose. This has shown the ability to evolve for more than a few years into an exotic, savory and uniquely complex red, and would want a pretty hearty meal and some decanting to show it off now.
The Insider's Pick wine will be available to taste Thursday and Friday and gets a 10% discount during the tasting. Come on by and taste some delicious wine!
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!