Over the years I've reviewed multiple wine brands that collect various bottles from different parts of the globe under a centralized marketing scheme. It's a concept that I like, and if you buy the whole set you can pour an exciting "tour of the globe" if your guests are into geography and the romance of the vine. It's also a quick study for those hoping to expand their horizons a bit in a safe and inexpensive manner.
Today's example is The Seeker, and once again, I was seduced by labels, dominated by old prints of early airships. A lot of people don't realize that hot air balloons were flying shortly after the American Revolution and that gliders were sailing before the American Civil War. Such designs and prints are now a major part of the steampunk aesthetic and a wistful hope that blimps and zeppelins and other lighter-than-air craft had become major modes of transportation.
But it's not just a dream of an alternate history. The famous LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin flew over a million miles from 1928-1937 and touched down on fields all over the globe. The Seeker website features some fictional aviators and aviatrices with stories of exotic travels, but in the notes below I'll talk about the real life flight pioneers pictured on the labels.
2009 The Seeker Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, New Zealand
$15, 13.5% abv.
Full of grapefruit, touch of sweetness, firm acidity. On the finish there are some tropical fruit and floral elements, but the grapefruit peel is the dominant factor. I'd say serve this with some aggressively spiced grilled shrimp where the wine won't overpower the food.
This label shows an early hydrogen-filled balloon made by Vincenzo Lunardi, who toured around England in the 1780s. Boat oars were used for steering, though were not terribly effective. Lunardi barnstormed around England in a for a while before returning to his home country.
2008 The Seeker Pinot Noir
$15, 12.5% abv.
This is labeled as Vin de Pays Vignobles de France, a table wine designation covering the entire country that was only in use for a short time between 2007 and 2009. It has been replaced by Vin de France. This is a plump and fruit-forward Pinot Noir with lots of blueberries and blackberries. Medium tannins and a splash of tart raspberry round out the flavor. It's reminiscent of some Languedoc Pinot Noirs I've had in the past, and while it will never be Burgundy, it's a good burgers and BBQ wine. I served it with pulled pork shoulder and it made for a fun Saturday lunch bottle.
The label features the Giffards Steam Airship, built by Henri Giffard in 1852. A gondola hanging from the hydrogen-filled dirigible was propelled by a steam-powered propellor and steering could be accomplished by the use of a rudder. (Like the oars and anchor of Lunardi's balloon, early airships used a lot of naval engineering elements and terms.) It was a very successful proof of concept for navigable airships.
Note: These wines were received as samples.