Bright golden canary. It smells like white grape juice. You know the Welch’s white grape juice in the big jugs–it literally smells like that. Anybody who’s had kids has bought gallons of this stuff, and it’s a beautiful smell. A little funky wood headed almost into cider territory assures you this is indeed wine, and a little oily newsprint mixes nicely with the subtle, heavy fruit.
I don’t have to tell any of you Semillion doesn’t exactly grow on trees around here. Of course I am talking about dry, single-variety versions from California. Actually, I’ve heard rumors of there being more of it in the Central Valley than people let on, as it is fairly high-yielding and has numerous qualities which lend itself to white wine blending. I can’t even remember the last time I had a straight one though. I’ll bet it’s been a decade. I’ve had a couple from Australia and I feel like maybe a So. African one. I had a Sauv Blanc in Valle de Guadalupe boasting a noticeable 10%, but that’s it. So my eyes kinda lit up when I pulled this out of the box.
In the mouth, a clean rather un-winey entry (back to that grape juice, remember?) takes an almost instantaneous turn to acidity. Like someone just stirred the vitamin C right into the glass. It is so bright and light in the mouth–quite the contrast from the nose of deep, ripe fruit almost to the point of dreariness. A meaningful mid-section fades quickly back into a fairly average Welch’s white grape juice finish.
This is a ridiculously interesting white wine just BEGGING for food. It can’t be over 13, and the bold freshness, shocking acidity and cidery floor screams inclusion in groupings of any of the plethora of hipster/natural wine/The New California Wine offerings pouring in from all corners of California. I would highly recommend my edgy somm and WD friends to investigate this one for inclusion on your lists.
2017 KINGS CAREY Semillon Vogelzang Happy Canyon Santa Barbara Co. 12.0