Pleb Urban Winery 'Tete' Seyval Blanc 2018
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Press 4 White • July 2023 Direct Press Selection
Chris Denesha of Pleb Urban Winery in Asheville, North Carolina is another trailblazer when it comes to using North American hybrids. However he doesn't distinguish vinifera from hybrids or natives, saying, "they are all vines that produce grapes. The strong thrive and the weak do not. There are many hybrid grapes that do just as poorly at my sites as vinifera does. I just have a small threshold for what chemical intervention is worthwhile in the vineyard. I’m much more accepting of physical labor in the vineyard. I love the hybrids and natives because they allow me to work directly with them through more physical intervention and not as dependent on chemicals. This is the continuity I look for in the wine from the vineyard."
A wine like his 'Tete' Seyval Blanc is a great example of his ability to take hybrid wines to another level. This spends four years (!) on the lees in oak barrels and is one of the most intriguing and distinctive wines we've come across. Ripping acid and a subtle, nutty element reminiscent of Jura Savagnin, it is a perfect wine for gastronomic situations that require cut and complexity. Jonathan Kemp