Luis Seabra

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Country of Origin: Portugal
Location: Douro, Portugal
People: Luis Seabra, Owner & Winemaker

Items

Luis Seabra 2016 'Xisto Cru' Tinto, Douro Login WA 93 Please inquire

A star of the "new Portugal," Seabra is known for his intense and ageworthy still wines. His minimal-intervention approach yields wines that are terroir-driven testaments to ancient plots on the steep banks of the Douro River.

After a decade as the winemaker at Niepoort, where he was responsible for some of the best known and highly rated wines to come out of Douro and Porto, Luis Seabra decided that he no longer wanted to make wines following someone else’s tastes and specifications. Thus, he began his eponymous winery, and set about shattering preconceptions of what Douro wines represent.

Seabra is a particularly gifted winemaker, one who sees wine as a medium through which a piece of land can speak. The wines are stark expressions of the soil...and are extraordinary, especially the Cru Series. "Cru" translates as "raw" in Portuguese, and with these wines in particular, the transmission of terroir is unadulterated and singular.

Most of the vineyards are located between the southern part of the Douro Superior in eastern Douro near the Spanish border and the Cima Corgo at the heart of the Douro. The Cima Corgo is a subregion that experiences an extreme diurnal shift—in fact, it has some of the greatest day-night temperature swings in Portugal. The vines are very old, with some exceeding 100 years in age. The soil is primarily schist (xisto). Fermentation is spontaneous with native yeast.

Media Links
The New York Times: Where Port Reigns, Unfortified Wines Undergo a Stylistic Evolution
I'll Drink to That! Episode 458: Luis Seabra Opposes the Winemaking Orthodoxy
Punch: The 25 Essential Wines of 2018
Blend - The Online Wine Magazine: Raw: The Wines of Luis Seabra

Social Media
Instagram: @lseabrawine

Reviews

  • Luis Seabra 2016 'Xisto Cru' Tinto, Douro
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 93 (8/30/2019)

    Darker in flavor than the Indie Xisto and without its very lively feel, this has a bit more obvious oak and is surprisingly approachable—at first. As it sits, it shows off a surprisingly long finish nuanced with beef and herbs. Plus, air brings out serious power on the finish and a hint of tartness that enlivens the wine. The structure is excellent.
  • Luis Seabra 2017 'Xisto Cru' Branco, Douro
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91+ (8/30/2019)

    The 2017 Branco "Xisto Cru" is 70% Rabigato with Códega, Gouveio and Viosinho principally filling out the rest. There's a bit of wood showing here, but it fades easily as the wine sits. Relatively fleshy despite the low alcohol, this is beautifully balanced, the freshness always supporting the fruit. Harmonious and subtly concentrated, it should age well.
  • Luis Seabra 2017 'Granito Cru' Alvarinho, Vinho Verde DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (8/30/2019)

    Luis Seabra says this "is inspired by the old methods, where the wines fermented in old wood—barrels of 500 liters or small barrels—and remained there before being bottled." Sourced from Melgaço in the parish of Paderne, the vines are over 25 years old. It had no added sulfur and full malolactic fermentation. This is full-bodied and relatively round, a serious table wine style. Seabra picked early to retain acidity, but there is no green, and the acidity is well integrated. Fresh, clean and able to handle its wood so well that you barely feel it (some of the vats were very old), this is very nice but not, perhaps, the greatest in the brand.
  • Luis Seabra 2018 'Xisto Ilimitado' Branco
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (87-88) (8/30/2019)

    This has fine concentration for the level, focus and a fresh feel. It is a tightly wound white with a bright and lingering finish. There's not a great deal of energy, though, and it is probably best drunk on the earlier side.
  • Luis Seabra 2017 'Xisto Ilimitado' Tinto Douro
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 88 (8/30/2019)

    This doesn't have a lot of body, and the structure is designed to allow it to be drunk young, but the calling card here is always going to be the very tasty fruit. It's just delicious, something I'm saying about a lot of 2017s. The intensity of flavor is admirable. Its fruit-forward demeanor has a hint of wines like Beaujolais, although that is just an analogy. The structure is still good enough to support the wine.