Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Friendly Wine Picks

Happy Earth Day!
As originally seen in the April issue of Galveston Monthly magazine.

Certified Napa Green for both their winery and their land, St Supery’s Estate Vineyards has produced a crisp, fruity spring sipper. Their 2012 St Supery Sauvignon Blanc has pronounced aromas of grapefruit, guava and lime. It is medium bodied with mouthwatering acidity, the flavors match the aromas with just a touch of bell pepper in the long finish. Approximately $15, try it with tortilla chips with crab and mango salsa.

Benziger Family Winery has been a California leader in producing wines with a conscience. Their entire line is produced from earth friendly grapes from the certified sustainable program that produced the following Chardonnay on up to their organic and biodynamic wines. The 2010 Benziger Carneros Chardonnay is full bodied with fresh aromas and flavors of juicy ripe peach, green apple and coconut, with crisp acidity and a smooth finish. Approximately $12, serve it with grilled chicken and grilled vegetables.

Yangarra Estates produces wine biodynamically in McLaren Vale in South Australia. Winemaker, Peter Fraser grew up on a conventional farm but became inspired to go organic and then biodynamic after attending a seminar that resonated with him on this subject. In regards to some of the more unusual methods, he says “There is stuff that we do that I can’t explain why it works but it does, so I keep doing it. There is no science.” He is certain that he ends up with healthier soil and higher quality grapes. The 2011 Yangarra Shiraz has rich aromas and flavors of blackberries, pepper and potting soil with a full body, sweet ripe tannins, clean acidity and a long savory finish. Priced at $25, try this with Asian spiced short ribs. Check out Yangarra’s Viognier and Grenache, as well.

The 2010 Coyam is a red wine blend made from biodynamically grown grapes from the highly regarded Colchagua Valley in Chile. This wine has aromas and flavors of ripe raspberry and plum with sage and a touch of graphite, it is full bodied with moderate, slightly grippy tannins, clean acidity and a long herbal-laced red fruit finish. I tasted this with winemaker, Noelia Orts, recently where she expressed the Coyam winemaking philosophy was “not to make coca-cola, but to express the year.” 2010 was a colder than average year with heavier than normal spring rainfall, the warm, dry summer led to concentrated aromas and colors in the fruit and in the wine. It is priced at $29, serve this with coffee rubbed filet and mushroom risotto. Emiliana Organic Vineyards also produces affordable organic wines from Chile under the labels Natura and Nova and a higher-end biodynamic premium wine called Ge.