San Francisco Chronicle's wine writer Jon Bonné's come out with his latest annual list of the Top 100 Wines. It's a list that could not be more opposite of the Wine Spectator's. Look at the Wine Spectator and you'll see the idiosyncratic approach of this powerful industry voice, highlighting mostly international brands and many corporate wineries. This year there was not a single, organically grown U.S. wine on the list.
By contrast, Bonné's list reflects the local, Slow Foods movement's orientation - emphasizing small lot wines from artisan wineries on the Left Coast.
This year's list omits many of the artisanal greats, but perhaps Bonné likes to mix it up, highlighting different producers each year.
While certified organic vines account for less than 3 percent of the wine grapes grown in California (where 90+ percent of U.S. wine comes from), they represent a disproportionately large percentage of the wines on this list (and many other top wine lists) with 7 out of 100 on the list.
However, don't expect to see the words "organic grapes" on the label. Most of these wines (with rare exceptions) are not bottle labeled. Many are featured in the apps I've written.
Enjoy these fine finds.
The * indicates a wine that is bottle labeled.
The double asterisk ** means the wine is included in one of the apps.
• Inglenook, Cask Cabernet (2011, $75)**
• Neyers, Conn Creek Cabernet (2011, $48)**
• Spottswoode, Estate Cabernet (2011, $150)**
From Santa Barbara County's Sta. Rita Hills...
• Transcendance, La Encantada Pinot Noir (2012, $45)
From Sonoma County...
• Ridge - Geyserville (2012, $38) (90-95% organic)**
• Storybook, Antaeus blend (60% Zinfandel)**
From the Carneros (Sonoma County)…
• Horse & Plow, Pinot Gris (2013, $26)*, **