Luis Seabra crafts some of Portugal’s finest terroir-driven wines. Focusing on the Douro, where he previously served as winemaker at Niepoort, Luis crafts wines that are both original and unique to the region. His Xisto Crus reviewed here are field blends of indigenous grapes from small vineyard plots rarely found in other wines of the region. A gifted winemaker, he approaches winemaking with a philosophy of spontaneous fermentation, native yeasts, and large format tight grained oak. The results are wines that are flavorful, beautifully focused and perfect for pairing with food. His Alvarinho from Vinho Verde is also first-class, offering a rich flavor profile with considerable refinement. Luis Seabra Vinhos wines are imported in the US by Olė & Obrigado. Luis narrates a lovely video presentation of his vineyards in the Douro Superior on YouTube.
Luis Seabra Vinhos 2018 Xisto Cru Branco Douro ($82) 94 The Xisto Branco is 70% Rubigato and a field blend of other Portuguese varieties (Codega, Gouveio, and Viosinho Dozelino Branco) from 87-100 year old, sustainably farmed vineyards in the Douro Superior. It is a gorgeous wine rich in white fruit flavors of dried pear, honey dew melon, herbs and herbal tea. Fermented in used tonneaux with indigenous yeast, it spends 9 months in used French oak barrels. It is crisp on the attack and displays lovely fullness on the palate with hints of minerals and a chalky finish.
Luis Seabra Vinhos 2017 Xisto Cru Tinto Douro ($82 ) 92 The Xisto Cru Tinto is a field blend of several Portuguese varieties planted in the Cima Corgo subregion of the Douro. An inky semi-opaque wine, it exhibits ripe red berries and black fruit aromas with hints of earth and toasted oak. It has a silky mouth feel and bold concentrated fruit flavors. Full-bodied, it is beautifully balanced with firm dry tannins and a rich long finish. Sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards planted in 1910-33 at 650-700m elevation. Matured 22 months in used French oak barrels.
Luis Seabra Vinhos 2017 Mono Castelao Douro ($58) 93 The Mono consists of 100% Castelao planted in yellow schist at 450m elevation in Baixa Corgo. Whole cluster fermented in plastic bins, it displays ripe red fruit on the nose and has a soft silky attack with wonderful mouth feel and a palate of fresh plum and berry flavors. It is nicely structured with good acidity, round tannins and a long finish.
Luis Seabra Vinhos 2018 Granito Cru Alvarinho Vinho Verde ($48) 92 This 100% Alvarinho is rich and golden in color and displays aromas of light herbal tea and minerals on the nose. It has a bright attack with hints of manzanilla and stone fruit on the palate. It is honeyed and mouth filling with good balance and density and thick lingering extract on the finish. Sourced from vines planted in 1989 in vineyards located in Moncao e Melgaço in Vinho Verde, the birthplace of Alvarinho/Albarino.