Seal Beach Winery
Being a retired physician, I am always intrigued when I discover a winery run by a doctor who has also become
a winemaker, especially when the winery is named after a small beach town located only a modest number of
miles from my home. Michael Dawson, M.D., is a clinician who followed his passion for wine. He studied
enology and viticulture at University of California at Davis after working in clinical medicine as a radiologist. His
undergraduate degree in biochemistry and cell biology from University of California at San Diego gave him the
basis for understanding the biology and chemistry of winemaking.
Michael began with small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Ynez Valley
in an attempt to arrive at a preferred style. Currently, he crafts multiple varietals out of a winery facility in Seal
Beach, California. Small lot boutique wines are designated as Natalie Grace and Taylor Noelle on the labels.
A tasting room is located in Los Alamitos, California, east of Long Beach, and the wines are sold online at
2013 Seal Beach Winery Taylor Noelle Clone 459 Pence Ranch Vineyard Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.61, 143 cases, $32. Harvest Brix 26.5º.
Native yeast fermentation. Aged 20 months in French oak
barrels, 50% new and 50% 3-years-old.
Light cherry red color
with an orange caste. Slight reduction upon opening,
progressing to appealing aromas of cherry, sandalwood, spice
and nutty oak. Discreetly concentrated cherry and cranberry fruit flavors
in a bright and rather delicate style with hints of citrus, white chocolate,
sarsaparilla and tobacco that come and go. There is a good natural acid
spine with minimal tannins making for refreshing drinking. Oak definitely
plays a role but is mellow and not drying. Interestingly, this wine has
somewhat the patina and flavor of an older wine. Better when tasted the
following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with more harmony and exuberance.
2014 Seal Beach Winery Reserve Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.64, 200
cases, $35. Sourced from Kessler-Haak and Rio Vista vineyards. Clones 667, 115 and 2A. Harvest
Brix 28.0º. Aged 26 months in French oak barrels, 30% new.
Moderately light cherry red color with a
slight orange caste. The nose is quite primal and savory, with aromas of mushroom, undergrowth,
pennyroyal and shy cherry fruit. Light to mid weight in style, with inviting flavors of cherry, baking
spices, cola and sarsaparilla. Silky tannins and graceful in texture, with reserve quality length and
intensity on the finish. This wine is not overblown like many reserve designated wines.
2013 Seal Beach Winery ‘Old Vine’ Wolff Vineyard Edna Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., $21.
Many vines are more than 75 years old. Native yeast fermentation in neutral French oak barrels,
100% malolactic fermentation. Aged 21 months in French oak barrels, 40% new medium + toast.
Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The nose has a bit of leesy aroma along with lemon creme
and chalk. Crisp and refreshing with a slightly creamy mouthfeel, offering a variety of citrus fruit
flavors along with spiced apple and subtle oak notes. Very giving, even over time in the glass. A
terrific wine that belies the price.