Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Six Organically Grown Wines from Sonoma Make Sonoma's 2018 Top 100 Wine List

Six great organically grown wines popped up on the Sonoma magazine's top 100 wines list for 2018 unveiled this week. Written by veteran wine writer Linda Murphy, the list of 100 top wines includes outstanding wines from a wide variety of wineries and regions, yet an above average concentration of organically grown wines, a pattern that is often repeated.

Organic grape growers represent just a little over 2 percent of the vineyards in Sonoma, but 6 percent of the wines are from organic vineyards. That's three times their weight.

Here are the organically grown winners including many wineries written about here over the years). Notably the 2018 list omitted many of the consistently great wineries - Ridge, Porter Creek, and others dedicated to organic and Biodynamic farming practices. (Are the curators are trying to get more newcomers on board?)

Here are some wines to put on your radar:


Alexander Valley AVA

Medlock Ames 2017 Bell Mountain Sauvignon Blanc ($29)
"Vibrant" and "racy"read the tasting notes for this white wine from an all estate and all organic winery with not one but two vineyards.


Dry Creek Valley AVA

Quivira Vineyards 2017 Rosé ($22)
A "crisp and spicy" blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Syrah - and to add an authentic Dry Creek touch, Petite Sirah - this rosé is one of my personal go to favorites.


These selections come from a variety of appellations demonstrating the diversity of Sonoma's prime Cab spots - as well as their not-Napa prices.

Alexander Valley AVA

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (get the one labeled "made with organic grapes") ($32)
The Wetzel family has a large conventional vineyard and then a small organic vineyard that's a side project. Wrote Murphy, "judicious use of oak lets the concentrated fruit shine." This wine represents a great value for an Alexander Valley cab.

Moon Mountain AVA

Amapola Creek's 2014 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)
This classic comes from Richard Arrowood, the legend who put Sonoma Cabs on the map. His Moon Mountain AVA vineyard is situated on red volcanic soils, a prime spot for Cabernet. Murphy: "Polished and elegant."

Sonoma Mountain AVA

Laurel Glen Vineyard 2014 Cabernet ($75)
This is another personal favorite of mine delivering, as Murphy wrote, "...freshness and elegance." I agree.

Dry Creek Valley AVA

Hawley Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon ($52)
If you haven't visited the Hawley Family's vineyards near Bradford Mountain, you should. That's where this Cab is grown. "Dark fruit: blackberry, dark plum, and blueberry..." are the notes on this vintage. If you do go, you may catch a glimpse of the winemaker as falconer.

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