Monday, February 20, 2012

Chronicle's Top 100 Wines of 2011: 6 Organically Grown Wines Make the List

The Chronicle's Top 100 Wines of the year is a mysterious list indeed. Missing are most of the wines ranked highest in Wine & Spirits Top 100 or Wine Spectator or the Wine Advocate.

Wine critic Jon Bonne's choices include 25% Pinot Noirs this year.

Three of the wines chosen are in my app (marked with a *) - and are priced under $20!


Fume Blanc
• Grgich Hills Estate, 2010, $30
I've visited some of these vineyards which are open to the public on rare tours. Grgich is most famous for Chardonnay and makes some gorgeous Cabs. The Fume Blanc is widely available.

• Qupe, 2010 Sta. Ynez Valley, $18
Qupe is always a winner with Rhone varietals and are masters of Syrah. It's nice to see their Rhone white getting decent attention. This organic vineyard has been closely connected to the winemaker for decades.

• Verdad, Sawyer-Lindsuqist, 2010, $22
Verdad specializes in Spanish varietals and their Albarino is consistently ranked high. (I also love their rose). Qupe and Verdad are his and her brands - the winemakers being married to each other. This wine comes from their own biodynamic vineyard.


• Horse and Plow, 2010,  $15*
One of the most affordable wines on the list, this is sourced from longtime Testa near Ukiah. I've got a case of this in my cellar and probably should have a few more. Usually sells out quickly. Made from Carignane, Syrah and Grenache.


Pinot Noir
• Calera, Reed Vineyard, Mount Harlan, Pinot Noir, $50
Calera is the knockout master of Burgundian wines. Is there ever a year it isn't on the top 100 list? It deserves its near permanent seat.


Cabernet Sauvignon
• Chappellet, Pritchard Hill, 2008, $135
This legendary Cab producer is in transition to organic.

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