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Xisto Roquette & Cazes 2003

Other Red Blends from Portugal
  • WE93
  • WS92
0% ABV
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3.2 5 Ratings
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3.2 5 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Xisto, a singular, new, limited production, ultra-premium red wine from Portugal making its debut with the 2003 vintage, is the fruit of a long-standing friendship between the internationally renowned Bordelais wine producer, Jean-Michel Cazes of Lynch-Bages, and Jorge Roquette, owner of the Quinto do Crasto estate in Portugal's Upper Douro Valley, which has been hailed as a leader in current revitalization of Portuguese wine industry.

A blend of three classic grape varieties traditionally identified with Portugal's Upper Douro Valley: Touriga Nacional - 60%; Tinta Roriz - 25%; Touriga Franca - 15%

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
The joint venture between the Cazes family of Bordeaux and the Roquette family of Quinta do Crasto in the Douro is in its second released vintage. This is made using Bordeaux techniques, resulting in a style that is more structured than many Douro wines, exploiting ripe fruit with solid tannins, leavened by sweetness and sweet red fruits. The wood shows through on the finish.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Concentrated and ripe, with layers of rich fruit flavors of dark plum, dark cherry, blackberry and mocha. Balanced and structured, with an elegant finish of cream, chocolate and spice. Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. Drink now through 2015.
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Xisto Roquette & Cazes

Xisto Roquette & Cazes

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Xisto Roquette & Cazes, Portugal
Xisto, a singular, new, limited production, ultra-premium red wine from Portugal, is the fruit of a long-standing friendship between the internationally renowned Bordelais wine producer Jean-Michel Cazes and Jorge Roquette, owner of the highly acclaimed Quinto do Crasto estate in Portugal's Upper Douro Valley. The Roquette family has played a highly instrumental role in the revitalization now underway within Portuguese wine industry.

Pronounced "shees-toe," this new wine is named for the Portuguese word for "schist," a reference to the nature of the soil in the steep, terraced vineyards that rise majestically above the banks of the Douro River.


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Best known for flavorful fortified wines but also producing excellent dry wines, Portugal is unique in that it relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to the west on the Iberian Peninsula, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, perhaps due in part to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. Portugal is a long and narrow country, which makes for considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast. With the exception of Port, most Portuguese wines have struggled to garner attention in the international marketplace, perhaps due to the unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce nature of most of its grape varieties and terminology, which means that there are many excellent values to be discovered here by the adventurous consumer. The country is perhaps better known for being the world’s leader in cork production than for its wine.

Port, made in the Douro Valley, is the fortified wine for which Portugal is most famous. The same region also produces full-bodied dry wines made from the same set of grape varieties, which include Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo). The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast. Other dry wines of the mainland include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde of the north, the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão, and the bold, jammy reds of the Alentejo.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SWS138973_2003 Item# 93515