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Luis Seabra Xisto Cru 2015

Luis Seabra Xisto Cru 2015

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"The 2015 Branco "Xisto Cru" is a blend of 70% Rabigato with Códega, Gouveio and Viosinho principally filling out the rest. It was aged for 12 months in used French oak and comes in at 12.8% alcohol. This is simply splendid. Showing plenty of stuffing, this is still more notable for its power. The grip on the finish is impressive. All the while, it remains balanced and elegant. It seems a step up on its 2016 sibling. (It is worth noting that the 2016 was in bottle only about six weeks when tasted.) The 2016 may well improve, but for the moment, this is the better wine, and I suspect it will stay that way. It should even be better than the 2014 (a vintage that Luis Seabra loves and did very well in), but that remains to be seen a couple of more years down the road. Drink: 2018-2030. 94 points

The wines here are in Douro and Vinho Verde. Luis Seabra is a dual threat. Of course, the Vinhos Verdes are part of the upscale and modern image—no fizz, dry, very serious table wines.

This is a generally pricey lineup (at least in the USA) from this experienced winemaker, but it's also a very fine one. In Vinho Verde, Luis said to me that he rather liked the 2016s, but he had a lot more problems in 2017. As other producers indicated, the harvest was historically early and ripening began early too, leading to some unusual conditions and problems."

Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (238)