Organic White Wines

Pure as the Driven Snow

Pure as the Driven Snow

Having got my little rant about the value of organic off my chest, here’s a lineup of interesting organic whites.

Villa Teresa was a ground breaking organic winery, at least in the sense they deliberately stayed organic. (There are many European wineries that are organic, because they refused to change anything their great-great-great grandfathers did; while these are organic wineries, they never got certified, and in some cases don’t even understand what all the fuss is about.) They have a Merlot, a Pinot Grigio and a Prosecco that are widely sold throughout N. America.

I like Villa Teresa wines because they taste good. They are always true to the varietal without massive plastic surgery style interventions.

Vieille Ferme is a brilliant label (white, red, and rose) from the South of France. The white is a tremendous buy, vivacious, full of life and fruit, and a mix of grapes you can only find elsewhere by paying a zillion dollars. (Hi Condrieu! Hi Grillet!) There’s no viognier in the ’09 version but there’s still Grenache Blanc, Boublanc, Ugni Blanc, in equal parts with a dash of Roussanne (10%). The heavier grapes give this wine a body and a delicious finish.

Santa Julia is a new label to me, an Argentinian producer. Their Chardonnay is a very nice expression of the grape. A typical chard nose, with great acid, nice body and a solid finish. If you’re a chard lover but unmoved by the oily, over the top style of the late ’90s this is a wine to buy. It’s also an amazing deal.

Finally, something completely different: a Penedes organic by Pares Balta (no relation to Paris Hilton). Grapes are typically spanish – Parellada, Xerello, Macabeu – with a lovely floral nose. The palate has a crisp attack with nice acidity, a light fruity weight on the tongue and a lingering finish.

And by the way you might want to note the bottle. It’s a narrow tall configuration designed to maximize container load, thereby minimizing carbon foot print. Something of a pain on the shelf and in the fridge (they tend to tip over) the screwtop (which also cuts shipping weight) is secure and none have leaked when left on the side in my fridge.

My preference is for the Vieille Ferme and Penedes, but that’s mostly a function of my preference for these grapes.

My advice is try them all and pick the one you like.

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