Whatever we drink, each year is different from the last and our experiences of special bottles. These were my highlights of the year. (Since I'm not that much of a white wine drinker, it's focused on rosé, sparkling and red wines). All of the wines listed are 100% from organic or Biodynamic grapes.
All through the spring and summer, here in our Mediterranean climate in California, rosé is a mainstay, so versatile in pairing, so refreshing to have just a glass. Here are my go-to house rosés:
Horse and Plow - Rosé
(Made with Organic Grapes, $20+)
Martian Ranch & Vineyard - Rosé
(Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard, $18)
Verdad - Rosé
(Biodynamic Wine, $14 at my local grocery - Farmer Joe's in Oakland)
Oakville Ranch - Cabernet Franc
(Organic vineyard, $110)
A top of the line Napa splurge wine, this is a sumptuous and beautiful wine.
Verdad - Tempranillo
(Made with Biodynamic Grapes, $30)
A gorgeous red (a Spanish varietal) that totally over delivers for the price.
Qupe/K&L Selection - Syrah
(Biodynamic Vineyard, $22)
One of the steals of the year…(as it was in 2013, too).
Preston Farm and Winery - Organic Syrah
(Organic Wine, $36)
Only 100 cases made (and it may be sold out), a winery only wine…but try and find a bottle! This is the first year that Preston has made a no added sulfite Syrah, it was absolutely luminous. Winemaking at Preston is the result of using the practices of Mr. Steiner (otherwise known as Biodynamics), and making wine amid a vibrant farm full of biodiversity. There is definitely some magic in this bottle.
Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir - Life
(Biodynamic Wine, Organic Wine, $40)
Another no added sulfite wine, this vibrant Pinot Noir conveys something luminous as well. One can feel the vineyard singing in the bottle. The normally restrained Wine Advocate opined, "The alliance of brightness, energy and textural allure on display here simply has to be experienced!"
McFadden Vineyards - Reserve Brut
(Made with Organic Grapes, $40; $24 during wine club sales)
This higher end Brut from McFadden is a winner. A delightful accompaniment to most meals.
Galleano - Rose of Peru Sherry
(Organic Vineyard, $35)
Galleano was the breakthrough discovery of my summer trip to LA, where I explored the great wine history of the region…and what a history it is. To my great surprise, some of it still lives on - and organically - in the form of Galleano, a winery that's defacto a living history museum. Once California was famous for its sweet wines. Galleano's sherries carry on that great tradition. They are made from 343 acres of certified organic Mission and Zinfandel vines close to 100 years old. Delish! A special treat and a great gift as well.
Here's to happy drinking and the enjoyment wine brings in the new year to come!