Bonterra Rosé, Mendocino County 2019

Pale salmon-copper color; strawberry, pineapple, rose flowers on the nose; strawberry, ruby red grapefruit, watermelon, peach, key lime, pomegranate on the palate.

Bonterra Rosé, Mendocino County 2019

Dry; medium-light body; excellent acidity (3.18 pH). Fresh and bright. Some complexity. Lush fruit. Bonterra does not precisely identify the grapes used, save for noting it is grenache based. Provençal style, so it is possible syrah and mourvèdre contributed to this easy drinking, delicious winner.

No oak. No tannins—Bonterra presses it grapes as soon as they reach the wine press, meaning there is almost no tannin extracted from the skins and stems. That also is the reason for its delicate pale color; 13.4% ABV. I reviewed the previous two vintages of this wine, and the 2019 effort tracks very closely with those earlier vintages.

Bonterra is 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 Vineyards. 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.”

Senior Bonterra winemaker Jeff Cichoki

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. They speak well in this rosé. Sebastian Donoso is the organic and biodynamic winemaker.

Bonterra not only commits to organic and sustainable, they go the extra mile into biodynamic farming, sometimes 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 Rosé, Mendocino County 2019 is visually beautiful and delightfully delicious in the mouth. Splendid fruit. Versatile—from aperitif to fun sipper to easy food pair. The superb acidity makes it fresh and fun. Built to be appreciated by a range of palates. Exceptional value for price; extensive distribution. Pair with Asian fusion cuisine; poached salmon; grilled fish; light fish; garden salads; pasta with seafood; pork loin roast; chicken salad sandwich; milder cheeses. $16-18

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 viticulture in general. Also, there are 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
Bonterra winemaker Sebastian Donoso
Biodynamic tools at Bonterra