Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wine Spectator Kudos to Organically Grown Sauvignon Blanc, Rose

Wine Spectator's latest issue is out, with special features on Sauvignon Blanc from California, and Roses.


Out of a field 110 roses tasted, 18 California wines made the list, tying with and/or rating higher than the large field of Tavels (from Provence).

Three of the top-rated California roses, came from organic or biodynamic sources - one from Sonoma County and two from Santa Barbara County.

The top rated California rose is Zin-maker Carol Shelton's 2011 Rendezvous Rose ($15), rated 90 pts., which is generally made from certified organically grown grapes. This year the rose is about 80% certified grapes; Shelton says she'll return to 100% next year, so keep an eye out. It's made from 70% carignane and 30% from a traditional field blend.

Here's a video on the 2009 vintage:

The 2011 rose of Syrah from Lompoc's Ampelos ($16) got an 88 pt. rating. Their estate wines are from certified biodynamic grapes - I'm not sure if this is purely estate grapes or not.

The perennially popular organic viticulture pioneer Alma Rosa with its 2010 El Jabali Vin Gris ($20) also rated 88 pts.


Out of 200 wines, 13 were rated "Top Wines" and just one is (almost) certified organically grown: the Voss Sauvignon Blanc ($18), a New Zealand style SB made by an Aussie, whose vineyards are being certified organic by their new Napa-based owner Ted Hall. The vineyards were certified in 2011.

Voss concentrates on and makes only Sauvignon Blanc. This wine was rated at 89 pts.

I was wowed when I first tasted it last year at a wine tasting at Fort Mason - it's distinctly different from the "normal" California Sauvignon Blanc - a no oak, no malo, bright fruit style SB:

In "Top Values", Quivira's 2010 Fig Tree Vineyard ($18) rated 89 pts. out of a field of 21 wines. This Dry Creek vineyard is the oldest certified vineyard on the Quivira estate.

Both of the Sauvignon Blancs are in stores in Northern California.

Of course, there are many more wonderful Roses and Sauvignon Blancs from organic producers. Here are a few more suggestions:

• Cowhorn
• Elizabeth Spencer
• Horse and Plow
• Neal Family
• Saracina
• Tablas Creek

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