2017 Seabold Cellars "Olson Vineyard" Monterey Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1420521 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Clean, delicate and yet full aromas of lemon cream, toast, peach blossom and chalk show on the lovely nose of this bottling from a vineyard that sits above Highway 101 in Prunedale. The chalky texture takes hold immediately on the palate, with flavors of white peach and seared nectarine that are chiseled by acidity and finish on an intriguing chive note. (MK)  (7/2019)

K&L Notes

Seabold Cellars is the creation of Master Sommelier Chris Miller. Chris worked harvests for 15+ years up-and-down the coast while running the wine programs for some of the country's most elite restaurants. He finally dove full-time into making wine, settling into the Monterey Bay area. According to Chris, this region has immense potential owing to geographic, geological, and climatic factors. Here he can tap into cool-climate vineyards which produce balanced wines that showcase their origin more than winemaking. The approach here is as hands-off as possible, respecting traditional techniques and practices without being beholden to them. Seabold Cellars produces small-lot, site-specific Burgundy and Rhône varieties, as seen through a California lens. This is clearly a winery to watch.

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Price: $29.99

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Product Reviews:

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
This is just what I want from California Chardonnay. Bright clean fruit with restrained oak spice and a hint of leesy richness all framed by mouth-watering acidity. It has the fruit that most Burgundian winemakers would be jealous of and the acidity that all Burgundy drinkers look for. I want to see more Chardonnay like this coming from CA.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
A lovely example of contemporary California Chardonnay. A piercing acid line and saline minerality drive flavors of crisp orchard fruit and pie crust across the palate. Some nutty almost Meursault like flavors linger in the back. I love the focus and precision of this wine. A million miles away from the largely defunct stereotypes of oaky / buttery CA Chard. This will stand toe-to-toe with Premier Cru Chablis no problem.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/4/2019 | Send Email
The Olson Vineyard is considered one of the coolest wine growing sites in all of California. As a result, the grapes achieve and maintain a bracing acidity along with perfect phenolic ripeness. Like a fine Mosel Riesling, the wine's complexity rides on the streak of racy acid. There’s much to love here. The aromatics are complex with traces of Meyer lemon, ripe peach, white flowers and a dusting of spice. This is a perfect accompaniment to briny oysters or succulent lobster. I’d guess that the wine could be even better with just a couple of years in the cellar as it gets a chance to stretch out its legs. This is a noteworthy effort and a winery to watch.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2019 | Send Email
I really love the fruit from Olson vineyard, and have had the pleasure of working with fruit from this vineyard during my time in wine production. There’s a level of intensity and distinctiveness that is racy, even thrilling and is at a whole different level than most of the vineyards in Monterey County outside of Santa Lucia. Here, the Seabold shows soft aromas with elements of honeysuckle and meyer lemon. On the palate it is intense and powerful. Tons of linear acid and drive. The zippiness almost has some Chablis-like elements, but with a rounder core of fruit on the center and a big lime note.This is a guns ablazing Chardonnay that would be phenomenal with food. And with a nice, crisp clean finish this is a perfect wine chilled for a summer day.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/2/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is full of spicy barrel toast, refreshingly not overwrought while on the palate the flavors show freshly baked apple, with a judicious amount of sweet toasty flavors. There's very crisp acidity in this wine and the body is actually fairly elegant, no extra weight or fat. Very bright finish with a refreshing lift.

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.