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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wine Review: Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2014 Seyval Blanc

Bogadi 2014 Seyval Blanc

Virginia is for lovers. And for strongholds in uprisings against governments. It's also got the longest history of winemaking in the United States of America (Texas and California made wine much earlier but weren't a part of the USA until much later). Wine from the native species' of grapevines had been made there since the early days of English colonization. Many attempted to grow vitis vinifera (the European species for making wine) but the vines just kept dying. Thomas Jefferson (drinker, collector and "America's first wine expert") planted vinifera at Monticello in Charlottesville. He failed.

The reason was phylloxera, that little bug that I've mentioned half a billion times, before anybody knew it even existed. It's native to the eastern United States and it likes to munch on the foliage of the native grapevines (like vitis labrusca and vitis rupestris), but for whatever reason it can't eat the leaves of vitis vinifera. So instead it attacks the roots and slowly kills the plant. That's why the English colonies couldn't grow vinifera wine while the Spanish were growing it like crazy in places like Mexico, Texas and California.

Before the solution of grafting vinifera trunks onto labrusca roots was discovered in the 1870's, there was a period of hybridization. Artificial selection and modification of our crops and animals is what we humans do best, right? So we took vinifera and various American species and created hybrids. The varieties involved were chosen carefully for what flavors were wanted or what conditions it had to face. After grafting, the creation of hybrids cooled off but they were still made for various reasons. One of those after-grafting hybrids was tonight's subject: Seyval Blanc.

Seyval Blanc was made in France and introduced in 1921. It's 50% vitis vinifera, 37% vitis rupestris and 13% vitis licencumii. I can't find the varieties used but its wine has been compared to Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Seyval Blanc was designed to have a resistance to cold climates so it's most popular in England, Canada, and along the east coast of the USA.

Bogati's Bodega & VineyardBogadi 2014 Seyval Blanc is by Bogati's Bodega & Vineyard in Round Hill, Virginia (an hour away from Washington DC). It's 100% Seyval Blanc made in 100% stainless steel. This is also the first part of a three-part Virginia wine series! In the upcoming days I'll be reviewing James Charles 2014 Viognier and Veramar Vineyard 2014 Cabernet Franc.

Alright so after that exhausting introduction let's move on to the actual wine, okay? The label says it has a 13.9% ABV. It also reads "At Bogati's Bodega & Vineyard our dedication extends beyond the art of winemaking to the science of growing exceptional grapes. Our passion encompasses more than the honored tradition of making wine and embraces innovation in our quest to produce world class wines. It is our commitment to continually strive to create the best!" - Justin Bogaty

The color of the wine is a bright, almost illuminating yellow with a greenish hue. When I opened the bottle an intense aroma immediately assaulted my nostrils from the open neck on the counter. "Aromatic much?" I asked. I poured it into the glass, I took a whiff, and it responded with "Yes."

Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew and Mountain Dew are on the nose. Lemon-lime soda. Oh, and white flowers. But most importantly Mountain Dew. Did you know I love Mountain Dew? I don't always drink soda (like a few times a year) but when I do it's Orange Crush or Mountain Dew. Great nose on this wine. And strong. A+.

Like most excellent wines that floor you it's all about when you experience the flavors and other aspects like, for example, acidity and/or sweetness. Things come in layers. And yes, this wine floored me on the palate and its complexity is in its layers. The palate is lemon-lime too but not of the Mountain Dew kind. The white flower aroma is back as a flavor too. But it starts off with melon when you suck it into your mouth and doesn't turn lemon-lime and floral until the midpalate. You get some presence of acidity here but not a lot. It's medium bodied and the mouthfeel is... what's the word I'm looking for... slick? That's a good word for it. Then on the back, as your throat prepares to swallow and then does, the acidity kicks into gear and passion fruit joins the flavor list. It finishes with salivating acidity and lemonade.

Since the creation of this blog I never thought I'd be giving a perfect rating to a hybrid wine that costs $20 or more. Never. But it's happening now. This Seyval Blanc will run you $22 and it blew me away! I'm shocked! I highly recommend you find this wine for yourself and give it a try because its quality is worth far more than its price tag and the effort. And, being a hybrid that most people have never even heard of, it's another notch in your wine experience. Depending on where you live you may be able to get it on their website:

Holy crap, I'm just handing out great ratings this month! YOU GET A GREAT RATING! YOU GET A GREAT RATING! EVERYBODY GETS A GREAT RATING! I'm overdue for a crappy or adequate one. Anybody got one?

Price: $22
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

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