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Country of Origin: Portugal
Location: Douro, Portugal
People: Luis Seabra, Owner & Winemaker
After a decade as winemaker at Niepoort, where he was responsible for some of the best known and highly rated wines to come out of the famed Douro and Porto producer, Luis Seabra decided that he no longer wanted to make wines to someone else’s tastes and specifications. Thus, he began his eponymous winery, and set about shattering preconceptions of what Douro wines represent. He is a particularly gifted winemaker, one who sees wine as a medium through which a piece of land can speak. He has focused his winemaking on the distinct soil types in the valley, and his projects show the breadth of style that is achievable in the region.
His Cru series of wines is one in which he removes every variable but that of the land itself, and the stark expression of the soil that results is extraordinary. “Cru” translates as “raw” in Portuguese, and the transmission of terroir here is unadulterated and singular. He works exclusively with spontaneous fermentation, native yeast, and large format tight-grained oak for all the wines in this series.
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, some of the greatest day-night temperature swings in Portugal. The fruit sourced from Cima Corgo has an extended hang time. The vines are planted exclusively in yellow schist soil at 400-700 meters in elevation.
Punch: The 25 Essential Wines of 2018
Blend - The Online Wine Magazine: Raw: The Wines of Luis Seabra