A first question any winemaker will ask when there are changes in the vineyard is how do they affect the taste of the wine? That’s not always a plus/minus game, as the changes tend to be described more in terms of style rather than better or worse.
Winegrowers who convert to organic or biodynamic methods often say their wines taste “fresher,” which generally translates into leaner with more acidity. That doesn’t have to be the case, but I see that profile more in organic and bio wines than I do elsewhere, the variety and terroir be damned.
And so it is here with wines from Domaine Bousquet in Argentina and Vento di Mare in Sicily, which both have organic grapes. Again, not better or worse, but different. And different is what we have with two big, rich, flavorful Amarones from Pasqua as well as a memory-lane toasty Chardonnay from Sonoma Cutrer’s 40th anniversary.
So, grab a glass!
2019 Bousquet Tupungato Chardonnay Reserve ($15). Juicy and rich apple flavors with some spiciness and a well-done finish.
2016 Pasqua “Passimento” Veneto Bianco ($16). Green fruitiness, just a touch rich and fruity sweet.
2019 Sonoma Cutrer “No. 40 Winemaker’s Release” Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($70). This wine is probably a “must” for Boomer fans who came of age drinking an array of Southern California Chardonnays during the 80s and 90s. In celebrating the winery’s 40th vintage, this one won’t disappoint – mellow apple fruit with a delightful, persistent light toast in the finish.
2020 Fiol Prosecco Extra Dry Rosé ($19). Lots of effervescence, with clean, candied cherry fruitiness.
2019 Vento di Mare Siciliane Nero d’Avola ($8). Tarry, but almost jammy, raspberry flavors.
2019 Vento di Mare Siciliane Pinot Noir ($10). Piercing violet and red berry flavors that somehow seem more artificial than natural.
2019 Bousquet Tupungato Cabernet Sauvignon ($15). A nice, basic Cab – lean, tangy dark cherry and blackberry fruitiness.
2019 Bousquet Tupungato Pinot Noir Reserve ($15). The leaner, tarter side of Pinot, good with food but absent the beguiling aromas and flavors normally associated with that grape.
2018 Bousquet Gualtallary Gran Malbec ($19). Red-berry flavors with some dry herbal notes, moderate tannins, and good acidity.
2018 Bousquet “Gaia” Gaultallary Cabernet Franc ($20). Pleasant gamey aromas with delightful, somewhat juicy raspberry fruit, well-balanced with good tannins and a long finish.
2012 Pasqua “Mai dire Mai” Amarone della Valpolicella ($48). Just delicious – big and still tight with lots of tannins and a little gamey with vinous oil notes and leathery but rich fruits and some earthiness.
2016 Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella ($49). Warm and generous with great flavors of raisins and other dark fruits, moderate tannins, and a rich, fruity 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.
Feature photo credit: Domaine Bousquet