Verso, 2019, California

Verso, 2019, California

Caleb Leisure

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Grapes: 85% Sauvginon Blanc, 15% Semillon
Age of Vines: 28-25 years
Appellation: Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino
Soil: Bearwallow (sandstone)
Harvest: By Hand
Winemaking: Co-fermented in qvevri with 20% of skins and stems
Elevage: Five months with 20% of skins and stems in qvevri
Label: The left side or underside of a manuscript page, the reverse of something. Maybe something hidden, or the opposite of the norm.

Tropical and savoury. High acid. Saline.

"You could perhaps take the vintner out of the fromagerist but you can't take the fromagerist out of the vintner. As the saying goes. That is because a culinary philosophy learned from cheese-mongering can translate to a cheesy paradise existing inside a bottle of wine. One whiff and a sip of Verso, Italian for "towards," also "in direzione di," (should you be curious enough to know) and the one-man band dynamism of Caleb Leisure comes into pungent, hyper-hypnotic, sumac-citric, Khmeli-Suneli spice rub, washed rind delicatezza view. His work is more than a curd-soaked, metered matter by way of say Kidderton Ash, Stinking Bishop and Cornish Yarg. Caleb's world emanates out of ten qvevris originating in Malkhaz Kapanadze in Western Georgia, now entrenched through sand and volcanic rock in a cave at Coturri Winery in Glen Ellen, Sonoma. The "nei confronti di" blend of sauvignon blanc and 15 points sémillion happens to emanate organics and biodynamics, happens to celebrate skin-contact synchronization and perhaps points us in the direction of the sun and the moon. Or not. Somewhere hidden or reversed. More to the point perfume, sapidity, texture and construct intersect at primrose clarity, pristine illumination and a love divine. What really needs explaining is how this Yorkville Highlands Blanc makes you feel, which is relevant, comforted and satisfied. Drink 2021-2025. Tasted February 2021.

Michael Godel,