Dobbes Family Estate Pinot Noir, Grand Assemblage, Willamette Valley 2017

Pale ruby color; strawberry, raspberry, flowers on the nose; strawberry, raspberry, cherry, loganberry on the palate. Continue reading “Dobbes Family Estate Pinot Noir, Grand Assemblage, Willamette Valley 2017”

Wine glut

Wine world bad news and good news. Bad: record harvests in 2018 and 2019 produced a grape glut. Further bad: some grapes may have “smoke taint” from fires in California and Australia, further driving down prices. Grape growers are not thrilled. Continue reading “Wine glut”

Ferraton Père & Fils Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière 2017

Medium ruby color; blackcurrant, tobacco, red berries, smoke, lavendar on the nose; plum, cherry, raspberry, black pepper, chocolate, black olive on the palate. Continue reading “Ferraton Père & Fils Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière 2017”

Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast, California 2017

Pale yellow color; grapefruit, lime, cut grass on the nose; grapefruit, white peach, apricot, pineapple, lime, minerality on the palate.

Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast, California 2017

Dry; crisp acidity, but not the tongue-cutting heights found in many New Zealand efforts. This is round easy drinker with tartness coming forth on the finish. It could work as a bright, fresh AFTER dinner drink, not just a traditional multi-purpose sauv blanc food wine; 13.1% ABV.

Straightforward, relatively simple, minimal structure. This certainly works as an introductory sauvignon blanc for those who too skittish to brave sharper, more acidic iterations of the grape. It appears Bonterra even cuts the sauvignon blanc with a dollop or two of chardonnay to gentle this down a bit. While this is not classic sauv blanc, it works for what it is—a tasty, easily approachable, general audience effort. Extra snaps for the organic agriculture.

Bonterra is a label of Chilean wine giant Concha y Toro. Concha y Toro acquired the winery in 2011 when they spent $238 million to purchase Brown-Forman, best known for Fetzer Vineyard but also owner of Bonterra. The new owners upped the Bonterra game.

Bonterra winery

Bonterra admirably focuses on organic and sustainable agriculture, and it now is the biggest U.S. producer of wines made from organic grapes. “We plant native flowers around our grapes to attract beneficial bugs, and welcome songbirds and chickens into our vineyards to eat up the pests,” they announce on their website. “We even employ sheep to mow between the vines. In our vineyards, every living thing is connected and we all work together to create pure, flavorful wine.”

Bob Blue is the founding winemaker. Jeff Cichocki is the lead winemaker on this effort. Cichocki admirably says he is a non-intrusive winemaker whose goal is to let the grapes speak for themselves. The grapes here come from the North Coast of California, traditionally from Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties.

Biodynamic tools at Bonterra

Bonterra not only commits to organic and sustainable, they go the extra mile into biodynamic farming, sometimes irreverently called voodoo viticulture. Regardless of the put-down, biodynamic consistently produces quality wine. The Bonterra website explains: “systems function together to create a single living organism: the farm as a whole. We farm our Biodynamic ranches striving to achieve this ideal with as few external inputs as possible. Biodynamic farming is a holistic view of agriculture with high awareness of the interconnectivity between earth, plants, animals, humans, the moon and planets.”

Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast, California 201 is easy drinking crowd pleaser. Excellent introduction to sauv blanc. Pair with shellfish; poached salmon; grilled fish; light fish; pasta with seafood; baked/rotisserie chicken; chicken salad sandwich; pork loin roast; Asian fusion cuisine; garden salads; milder cheeses. $13

Click on the link to the Bonterra website below to get a more complete appreciation of Bonterra and its commitment to biodynamic farming practices and biodynamic in general. Also, there are other very interesting video links.

Bonterra website

Video about Bonterra and organic/biodynamic farming

Video about Bonterra and organic/biodynamic farming

Video about Bonterra and organic/biodynamic farming

Bonterra vineyard and pond
Bonterra vineyard with flowers
Bonterra dining & wine room
Bonterra Vineyards founding winemaker Bob Blue
Senior Bonterra winemaker Jeff Cichoki

Sosie Wines Roussanne, Vivio Vineyard–Bennett Valley, Sonoma Valley 2015

Medium gold color; nectarine, Meyer lemon, peach on the nose; Meyer lemon, orange, peach, apricot, mango on the palate. Continue reading “Sosie Wines Roussanne, Vivio Vineyard–Bennett Valley, Sonoma Valley 2015”

Beeslaar Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2017

Deep purple color; plum, blackberry, black cherry, menthol on the nose; black plum, blackberry, anise, licorice, tobacco, chocolate on the palate. Continue reading “Beeslaar Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2017”