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Luis Seabra Xisto Cru 2016

Luis Seabra Xisto Cru 2016

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"The 2016 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 12.6% alcohol. Sourced from the Mêda Region at the southern border of Douro Superior, the vines are over 80 years old and planted at 650 to 700 meters in altitude. This was in bottle about six weeks when tasted.

A real mouthful, this is a big white with a sturdy beginning and grip on the finish. It handles its oak beautifully, showing fine balance and harmony even at this young age. This may age very well and it should develop too, but I loved the structure on its 2015 sibling a bit more. Let's be a little conservative just now and see where we are in a few years, but they both look like winners. Drink: 2018-2028. 92 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)