Jantar da Garrafeira Néctar das Avenidas c/ Luís Seabra

by | Dec 7, 2017 | Wine | 0 comments

“Garrafeira Néctar das Avenidas” is almost celebrating its 6th anniversary (it seems like it was yesterday), and from an early age they decided to promote this kind of dinners, always with a full house. This time it was at “Comendador Silva” Restaurant (R. Latino Coelho 50, Lisbon), and the food was up to par.
Luis Seabra is a well-known name of this wine world. He made a career at Niepoort, but as himself said, “there comes a time when we want to do different things, to follow our own course” … And so it was. He rented old vineyards in the “Meda” area (and later in “Pinhão” and “Melgaço”), almost on the border with the “Beiras” region, and since the harvest of 2013, Luis Seabra has his own brand: “Xisto Cru” (White and Red wine). Then came the “Granito Cru”, and the “Xistos Ilimitados”.
I had previously tasted these wines, but never in a dinner setting, with the respective harmonizations. And the final sensation is the same as before dinner: they are different wines from the expected Douro wines: no round, floral, fruity wines … These are wines that are fresh and low in alcohol (12-12, 5% vol.) … But they are wines, in my opinion, too raw.

Xisto Ilimitado Branco 2016

Accompanied (and well) a velvety mussel … It was the most consensual wine of the night. Made from old vines with 50 years, with predominance of “Rabigato” caste. The aroma denotes freshness and is pleasant. In the mouth it is not a light wine, but neither is it heavy. It is fresh and tasty, albeit with a raw and dry finish. For the price, it’s a beautiful wine.
Price: 12 euros

  • 16,5 Points

Granito Cru Alvarinho Branco 2015

Forget everything you know about “alvarinhos”. This is a totally out of the ordinary. Luis Seabra says that he prefers to emphasize the minerality of the caste, to the detriment of the flower and the fruit. Thus, it allows the wine to be aged in the vat for 1 year, without addition of sulphurous. Result: we have a slightly oxidized wine (which can be seen soon in color and aroma), fat, nothing floral, clearly mineral and unctuous. If it is better than the conventional “Alvarinhos”? Impossible to compare. It has nothing to do. I am personally not impressed. The matching with octopus and sweet potatoes was excellent.
Price: 18 euros

  • 16 Points

Xisto Ilimitado Tinto 2015

The “Xistos Ilimitados” are lower range wines, which does not mean that they do not come from old vines, these ones from the “Pinhão” area. This red wine is even too raw. Reminds me of a difficult “Bairrada” wine, good to accompany lamprey … A wild wine that I did not like at all. By the way, at my table, nobody liked it.
Price: 12 euros

  • 12,5 Points

Xisto Cru 2014

Coming from very old vineyards (more than 100 years) of the “Meda” area, with 500-700 meters of altitude. It’s a raw wine, but with some finesse. It sounds like a contrarian, but only tasting it you can understand what I’m saying. A pleasant aroma, in the mouth is dense, tasty, although the end denote that crudeness and dryness … It is a wine to keep, but accompanied well the duck confit. Very gastronomic.
Price: 32 euros

  • 16,5 Points

Xisto Cru Branco 2015

Once again coming from an old vineyard at 700m altitude, in the region of “Meda”, with predominance of “Rabigato” caste. Very discreet aroma. In the mouth it is very unctuous and full bodied, perhaps too much. Despite the rawness, when the temperature goes down a little, it becomes a little sickening. Undoubtedly, a different wine and accompanying stronger dishes (in this case was a cheese gratin with corn bread).
Price: 27 euros

  • 16 Points

As Luis Seabra does not produce port wine, dinner ended with an “abade de Priscos” pudding, accompanied by a LBV of “Quinta do Sagrado” 2010: a very intense LBV, with lots of fruit and lots of power, and lots of flavor. Only for 16 euros, it sure would do the delight of any tourist.

  • 16,5 Points
FINAL NOTE:

In conclusion, I would like to point out that these wines are very different wines. Perhaps people and enophiles are not yet ready for them. At my table (plus 4 people) no one came away convinced. What they liked the most was the first wine. Maybe Luis Seabra has to bend his arm, and the dollar signs will force him to make a more conventional wine (which he knows how to do), so that he can continue to make these wines he likes so much. In my opinion, it’s worth getting to know them! They are a curiosity, a niche … But I still say: they are too raw!

P.F. (NOV 2017)

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