The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2015

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Page 40 of 140

40  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2015 WHAT WE'RE DRINKING N eed a wine for a beachcomber? SeaGlass—named for those colorful, translu- cent wave-worn pebbles found in the sand—is just the ticket. Trinchero Family Estates launched SeaGlass in 2008 with a Sauvignon Blanc. A Riesling was added in 2010; Chardonnay and Pinot Noir followed in 2011; a popular Pinot Gris was released in May 2012 (now a Pinot Grigio). All are sourced from Santa Barbara County. With its casual yet sophisticated surfside vibe, the brand became a runaway success story not only in its coastal California home, but on the Eastern Seaboard as well—in fact, anywhere wine drinkers dream of the ocean. Going on eight years later, having added Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles and Monterey County Rosé to the lineup, SeaGlass maintains its broad market appeal and its attractive price point of $12 suggested retail. Sourcing from coastal, ocean-influenced vineyards is key to the brand's position- ing, its flavor profile and its success. The SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc vineyard, for example, is nestled in the rolling hills of Santa Barbara wine country. Cool ocean air from the Pacific and abundant coastal fog allow the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly while developing complex tropical flavors and crisp acidity. The technique of "reduc- tive" winemaking—a process whereby the juice is kept from oxygen exposure during fermentation—maintains the fresh, fruit-forward flavors of this distinctive grape. SeaGlass viticulturist Matt Frank and the winemaking team avoid malolactic fermentation to maintain the wine's delicate varietal flavors and crisp acidity. SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in stainless steel tanks at cold temperatures to retain the grape's natural tropical flavors. The wine is bottled early and sealed with a Stelcap closure to preserve its freshness. The SeaGlass bottles reflect the fascinating colors of sea glass, giving them instant shelf appeal. Consumers who discover SeaGlass wines feel that they have a "little secret" that delights them and that they can share with friends—a word-of-mouth recipe for healthy sales. SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc, Santa Barbara County ($12) Pronounced aromas of lemon, lime, grapefruit and fresh cut grass. On the palate, this distinctive California Sauvignon Blanc is clean and crisp with gooseberry and tangerine notes and a slight trace of minerality. The acidity is mouthwatering and zingy and is followed by a lightly tart finish—one of the hall- marks of Sauvignon Blanc. SeaGlass Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect companion to light seafood pastas and really comes into its own with fresh-shucked oysters. Ocean Influence SEAGLASS EXPRESSES THE ESSENCE OF THE CALIFORNIA COAST—AT AN ATTRACTIVE PRICE POINT by David Gadd Viticulturalist Matt Frank walks the SeaGlass vineyards. PHOTO COURTESY OF TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES

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