Highlight: Luis Seabra Indie Xisto 2016

After a successful decade as winemaker and right hand to Dirk at Niepoort, Luis Seabra decided to break out on his own in 2012, answering a calling to leave his own name on the wines of Douro. Rather than a single vineyard, the Xisto series is based on a single soil; in this case, Schist (Xisto). However, Indie refers to the single vineyard independence of this medium-bodied red, sourced from one site in Alijo, in the northern Douro. The 2016 blends Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Rufete, Touriga Brasileira, Donzelinho Tinto, Malvasia Preta and Touriga Femea, from a sustainably farmed, blue schist soiled vineyard planted since 1950 and at 510m elevation. Native fermented, this spent 22 months in French oak barrels and saw very low sulphur additions throughout. This is a serious, structural, sharply savoury red, with crushed leaves, stones, and thorns, clad in darker shades of blue and purple fruit, and scented with alluring wild plum. Grippy with firm tannins laced with white and black peppercorns, this lingers with mineral salts through the tight finish. So youthful, this has decade+ to go. Seabra prefers the even vintages in the Douro, citing ’14, ’16, and ’18 the best of the past decade. That said, I tasted the Xisto Indie 2017 last month in France, and thought it excelente. 93/100

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

Treve Ring

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor, judge and speaker, and perpetual traveller. [She is also Correspondent Anorak.]