In a time not so long ago, organic grapes and organic wines were viewed as somewhat suspect, that something was being given up (flavor, quality?) to get something (good for you, good for the environment?). It was like your mom was there at the wine bar saying, “Drink it. It’s good for you.” And as with organic foods, you expected to pay a bit of a premium to get what you weren’t sure you wanted to begin with.
Of course, that’s all been dramatically flipped. A younger generation, it seems, embraces the term. They might not look to see if a wine has organic grapes, but it is generally regarded as a plus if it’s on the label.
Personally, I try to stay agnostic on the matter. Most wine is being made these days with a minimum of pesticides, organic or inorganic, so I still approach wine from a standpoint of taste. What kind of a taste profile does it have, and who might enjoy it, whether or not it is something I would buy for myself?
But for those who specifically want organic wine, these are the golden days – it is ubiquitous, and it is affordable. Domaine Bousquet in Argentina is one of the biggest and most available of organic producers available to American consumers, and it has a wide portfolio of styles of wine. This issue of The Dozen has a cross-section of them. From a taste standpoint, as with many organic wines, they tend to be leaner and less opulent.
Let’s open a few, along with some other interesting selections.
2022 Domaine Bousquet “LoCa” Uco Valley Chardonnay ($14). A reduced-alcohol Chard and one with ultra-crisp, ultra-green flavors – the kind of Chardonnay a lover of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs might embrace.
2022 Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16). A little juicy, yet still crisp with green fruits – lime, kiwi, and some nice herbal notes.
2021 Villa Maria Wairau Valley Marlborough Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Still lots of crisp green fruits, but they are a little mellower and with more texture.
2022 Giornata Paso Robles Fiano ($31). Fiano is an Italian grape that is now justifiably getting more U.S. attention – here, a very engaging and enjoyable white, almost juicy with notes of apple, pineapple, and pear and a hint of spearmint, a little fruity sweet but well-balanced.
2021 Sojourn Cellars Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($38). Very nice with great complex flavors – spicy apples with tropical fruits and a few toasty notes in the finish.
NV Domaine Bousquet Tupungato Sparkling Rosé ($13). Very frothy, with crisp, orangish flavors and good acidity in the finish.
2021 Domaine Bousquet “Virgen” Tupungato Red Blend ($13). Enjoyable and certainly nice for the price, it’s an interesting mix of bright cherry and dark raspberry flavors with a fairly good depth of flavors and smooth, dusty tannins.
2021 Domaine Bousquet Tupungato Pinot Noir Reserve ($18). Very light and delicate tastes and textures best paired with lighter fare, it has bright cherry flavors with a touch of grapiness in the finish.
2022 Domaine Bousquet “Gaia” Gualtallary Malbec Nouveau ($20). Who needs Beaujolais? Yeasty, fresh nouveau fruitiness, but quite tart in the finish.
2020 Domaine Bousquet “Gran” Valle de Uco Cabernet Sauvignon ($20). Well-rounded, dark-fruit Cab flavors, but a little puckery with lots of nutty bitters surrounding the fruit.
2021 Sojourn Cellars “Gap’s Crown” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($75). Toward the lean and somewhat tart side of Pinot with cherry and black raspberry flavors and crisp tannins – sippable, certainly, but really a food wine.
2020 Marques de Casa Concha Heritage Puente Alto Red Wine ($75). A very nice Bordeaux-style food wine with ripe, luxurious purple-berry flavors, yet nicely lean in structure with light tannins and a crisp finish.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.