Wine of the Week: Luis Seabra Douro Branco Xisto Ilimitado 2020
This highly aromatic, mineral-driven wine will put Portuguese whites on your radar.
After spending his career as the winemaker for port legends Niepoort, Luis Seabra decided to go his own way, starting his own project in the rolling hills of Portugal’s Douro Valley that acts as a liquid love letter to the region. The steep, terraced hills aren’t exactly an easy place to make wine (imagine getting a machine up and down those hills) but it certainly is idyllic.
Xisto Ilimitado Brancoc is his answer to Burgundy village, shining a light on a field-blend of indigenous grapes, including Rabigato, Codega, and Viosinho from high-acid, schisty (or Xisto) soil. It’s highly aromatic and mineral-driven, with notes of ripe citrus, apple, and wet-stone and a bright acid and subtle saltiness, a la Etna bianco or something from Santorini.
Drink it with oysters. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, try the Xisto Cru – a single-vineyard project that drinks like white burgundy. $29
Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and seasoned spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater, Forbes.com, and others, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.