Two wines from Seabold Cellars' Adroît Initiative project
Mission, Lodi (Organic, Natural, Low SO2)
Gamay, San Benito (Organic, Natural, Low SO2)
(a bottle of each)
Seabold Cellars is the brainchild of Master Sommelier Chris Miller. Seabold Cellars was established in the Monterey Bay region because they believe that cool-climate vineyards produce balanced wines that showcase their origin more than their winemaking. Their approach is as hands-off as possible, respecting traditional techniques and practices without being beholden to them.
Their Adroît Initiative wines are the outcome of successful experiments in the winery that do not quite fit into a traditional mold. They represent a divergence from what is generally considered the more ‘classic’ winemaking archetypes: pétillant-naturel, carbonic maceration, skin-contact white wines, and underappreciated grape varieties typically find a home in The Adroît Initiative.
The natty kids would call both of these wines glou-glou, eminently gulpable wines.
Mission grapes are a variety of Vitis vinifera introduced from Spain to the western coasts of North and South America by Catholic New World missionaries for use in making sacramental, table, and fortified wines. It is grown in South America, particularly in Chile and Peru, under then names Criolla and Pais. During the 19th century, the grape was known by several other names, including the Los Angeles grape and the California grape.
Seabold's Mission (aka Päis) bottling is from a single vineyard (Somers) in the cooler Mokelumne River subregion of the Lodi AVA. Boasting the coolest climate of the Lodi, with a mild Mediterranean climate influenced by proximity to a number of the Sacramento Delta’s waterways, the soils are very consistent with a mild slope draining off to the river.
Hand-harvested in the early morning. Upon entering the winery, the clusters were hand-sorted prior to loading into harvest bins, which were subsequently sealed airtight. From the small pool of free-run juice, fermentation began and flooded the bins with CO2, initiating carbonic maceration inside of the grapes. Two bins were opened and pressed off after 10 days, finishing primary in barrel, and the other bins at 20 days.
The wine was aged on fine lees in neutral barriques. After five months, the wine is racked and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Look for juicy red cherries, cranberries, raspberries, forest floor, potpourri spice, and a bit of white pepper, with a long, soft, velvety finish. Serve chilled
Seabold's Gamay grapes were grown in a single vineyard (Siletto) in San Benito County, Just south of Hollister and originally part of Monterey County, San Benito is home to the United States’ largest stretch of limestone soils in a high quality viticulture climate. One of the oldest and most storied winemaking regions in California, its full potential for fine
winemaking still remains largely untapped. San Benito is arguably the best-kept winegrowing secret in California.
Hand-harvested in the early morning. Upon entering the winery, the clusters were hand-sorted prior to loading into harvest bins. A small portion of the grapes were foot-stomped to release juice and then the bins were sealed airtight. A minor fermentation began and flooded the bins with CO2, initiating carbonic maceration. One bin was opened and pressed off after10 days, finishing primary in barrel, and the other two bins at 15 days.
The wine was aged on fine lees in neutral barriques. After 6 months, the wine is racked and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
A great food wine, look for red and black cherries, blueberry skins, wintergreen, damp leaves, sanguine, iron. Serve chilled.