The first Organic vineyards were established after the Second World War, but it was not until the 1980`s that the interest in Organic wine started to grow. In 2013 4,6 percent of the worlds' vineyards where utilizing Organic principles in their vine growing. For a wine to become certified Organic the producer needs to follow a strict set of rules. The use of fertilizers and chemicals in the vineyard is not allowed and the wine needs a minimal industrial treatment before its bottled and released onto the market.
Without a license. However, there are many vinegrowers who only practices Organic viticulture without the certification. This is due to a high level of cost and a great deal of paperwork to both receive and maintain the certification. Scepsis towards fertilizers and chemical pesticides and a wish for healthier vines and a more natural cycle in the vineyard is the reason why vineyards all over the world are adopting this strategy.
Just as safe. Even if the Organic wine movement is not using fertilizers or chemical pesticides there is no reason to believe that Organic wine is safer than any other types of wine, It is not proven that chemical pesticides in the vineyard end up in the finished wine. There is a strict regulation every winegrower has to follow when it comes to the amount of potentially toxic amounts in a finished wine regardless of production method or viticultural practices.
Sulfur preserves the wine. Another popular myth is that Organic wines are completely free of additives, this is not true. A great example is the use sulfur who has the important function of prolonging the shelf life of a wine and to protect against oxidation. Sulfur exists in all types of wine, however, the amount is often lower than in conventional wines. But compared to other foodstuff products the amount of sulfur in conventional wines as well is much lower. Take for example a box of raisins, the amount of sulfur it contains are a thousand times higher than wine.
No difference. Even though Organic Viticulture undoubtedly has a lot to offer, it is not possible to claim that Organic wine is of higher quality than conventional/traditional wine. In both cases, the quality is determined by the degree of work in the vineyard and in the cellar and not whether it is Organic or not.
Beaujolais is an underrated Burgundy region, which always seem to end up in the shadow the great wines from Côte d'Or. Mostly known for its it easy drinking and fruity Beaujolais Noveau, pumped out onto the market in great volumes shortly after the harvest. The wines from Beaujolais are so much more, something that finally is starting to show thanks to a new generation of winemakers eager to put their mark in the world of wine. The global mass market has not yet fully acquired a taste for Cru Beaujolais, meaning that the value for money factor here is huge.
A wine showing true regional character.
Julien Sunier grew up in Dijon without any great ambitions of winemaking. Opposed to many other of his French countrymen who grew up with grapegrowing and winemaking, it was simply not a part of his upbringing. But by the end of his last year in school, he found himself lost without a clear direction or path for the future. Julien decided to give the wine business a chance, to see what all the fuzz was about. It didnt take long before he got obsessed. He ended up spending most of his twenties traveling around California and New Zealand to make wine and gain experience.
When he finally arrived back in Burgundy the started to work with some of the great winemakers like Nicolas Potel in Nuits Sain-Georges and Jean Claude Roteau in Beaune. These cooperations ignited a spark within him, giving him a great interest in Organic and Biodynamic Viticulture.
In 2008 Julien decided to pursue his own dreams and idea`s. He bought himself 3 Hectars of old Cru vineyards in Beaujolais, focusing straight away towards Organic certification.
The grapes are grown on Organic principles on a soil with a high granite content on 60 year old vines. After being harvested by hand, the grapes are then whole bunch, low temperature fermented in concrete vats. Afterwards they are pressed carefully for a period of 24 hours in an old vertical screw press. The wine is then stored for up to 11 months in 3-9 year old Burgundy casks.
Julien Sunier Morgon 2016
Flowers and red berries dominate the nose with a slight hint of undergrowth at the back. An immensely well balanced wine with both elegance and spice at the same time. Showing a good concentration of flavour and a long mineral driven finish. A wine showing true regional character.
Wine of the weekChateau Haut Goujon Lalande de Pomerol 2012
On the right bank of Bordeaux lies Pomerol. An area with a very different grape composition as opposed to the left bank. The famous Cabernet Sauvignon grape has always played a leading role in most of Bordeaux with Merlot coming in second, or even third; In Pomerol however, it is all turned around. The usually plump and fruity Merlot grape really shines in Pomerol where it gives both structure and complexity to the wines. There is a lot of focus on producing single varietal wines from 100% Merlot here, This is also the case with Chateau Haut Goujon, who also uses a majority of Merlot in their wines.
Chateau Haut Goujon is a rather new endeavour compared to many of the other old Chateaux in Bordeaux, who often stretches back to the 18th and 19th century. Chateau Haut Goujon started planting their vineyards early in the 20th century, and it all started with 6 hectares of merlot. Today, four generations later they own 18 hectares of vine spread between the two right bank appelations "Lalande de Pomerol" and "Montagne Saint-Emilion", and its all managed by the two brothers Mickaël and Vincent and their sister Corinne Garde.
The family values has always been a high focus on the reflection of terroir and high standards of quality, and the siblings are determined to maintain this focus after they took over the reins.
About the wine
The vines with an average age of 25-30 years, are grown on a soil dominated by clay and gravel. The wine is a Merlot dominated blend where Merlot stands for 85% and Cabernet Sauvignon is the remaining 15%, this can vary depending on the vintage.
The wine is fermented with a high degree of skin contact for 25 days in concrete vats. Then stored for 12-14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. The wine is then stored for 3 years in bottle to mature before sale.
Chateau Haut-Goujon, Lalande de Pomerol 2012
Dominated by ripe dark berries and plums on the nose, with sutble hints of vanilla and liquorice. The wine has a very firm and gripping mouthfeel with flavours of dark mocca on the palate together with a bold and intense finish.
There is a region who has managed to compress and focus the art of grape-growing and winemaking down to a single red (and white) grape variety and perfect it. This region is the North of Rhone in France, and the red grape in mention is the legendary Syrah grape. The historical ties of the North Rhone stretch thousands of years back. It started with the Greeks; They travelled up the Rhone valley and established the first vineyards in the North Rhone. After the rise of the Roman Empire, the North rhone became one of the empires most important areas.
The Syrah grapes comes in a variety of different expressions and qualities, all dependent on the producer. But when it is done right, the expression of the finished wine is fantastic. The Nicolas Perrin brand has a great expressive character on their wines, showing in my mind, the regions true character and diversity.
With a high focus on wines reflecting the terroir of the North Rhone and blending with perfection in mind, the Nicolas Perrin brand has made a name for itself both in the Rhone Valley and beyond its borders.
Maison Nicolas Perrin is in fact a collaboration between two families, Nicolas Jaboulet from North of Rhone and the famous Perrin family from the South of Rhone, who owns the world famous Chateau de Beaucastel. The two families have shared the winemaking tasks between them, whereas Nicolas Jaboulet handles the winemaking and Marc Perrin is in charge of the blending and bottling.
The duo started their work together in 2012 and that is when the brand name Maison Nicolas Perrin was established. Even though the brand is so young, it has already managed to establish a great following of consumers in only a few years time. This would not have been possible without Nicolas and Marc`s huge focus on delivering quality in every step of the process.
The grapes are cold macerated before fermentation, then macerated and fermented for about 20 days. After this the wine is matured in 1-2 year old oak barrels for 10 months.
Nicolas Perrin Saint Joseph 2015
intens notes of ripe blackberries, bramble, nutmeg and crushed violet petals. The palate is dominated by elegant notes of crushed black pepper corns with a well structured and lingering finish.
Located furthest north on the African continent lies the Stellenbosch area. This is at the very heart of the South African wine making region. Most of the African continent is to warm for the growth and production of suitable grapes for wine production, but here the climate is just right. Situated at the bottom of the Simonsberg mountain lies one of the worlds most famous South African wine estates; the Kanonkop Estate.
Pasted down from father to son for over 40 years, the Kanonkop Estate is currently in the hands of Paul and Johann Krige who are fourth generation of family owners. With as much as 100 hectares of land under vine, the winery is one of the largest quality wine producers in the area. The Kanonkop Estate are best known for their Cabernet and Pinotage wines, who has received several global awards over the past years. A combination of a cool sea breeze and warm climate makes the area well suited for grape growing.
The name Kanonkop comes from a Kopje (hillock) where a cannon was fired in the 17th century to alert farmers of the arrival of ship merchants who traveled between Europe and the Far East.
Kanonkop only grows red wine grapes, with 50% of the vineyards grown with Pinotage, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot. The rest is Cabernet Franc.
After harvest, the wine are fermented in open concrete vats, slightly modified so they are wider and more shallow, this to ensure maximum skin contact. The wine is then put on new French oak.
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
A ripe bouquet of blackberries and crushed black currant leafs, with hints of green peppers, leather and vanilla. The wine has a smooth yet gripping mouthfeel, with a pulsating and mouth coating finish.
The Faustino Brand has been a household wine for many consumers for decades. In recent years however it has been met with fierce competition in an evolving and faster than ever moving market. Faustino still packs a punch and should not be brushed off as just another household wine. Tradition and immense focus on quality has for the past 150 years laid the foundation for a wine brand that still can compete with some of the very best wines in the world.
The Bodegas Faustino vineyards was established by Don Eleuterio Martinez Arzok in 1861 for the sole purpose of producing and selling wine in bulk. Faith however wanted otherwise, and in 1930 it was passed onto his son Faustino Martinez Perez de Albeniz. He was the first to bottle his wine in Rioja and history started to unfold. In 1957 the Faustino family went global and the Faustino brand has been an international brand ever since. To this day Bodegas Faustino is still a family owned business with 650 Hectares of vineyards under their ownership, selling their wines to 47 countries.
Faustino I is made from a blend of Mainly Tempranillo grapes (80%), with the rest of the blend comprised of Graziano and Mazuelo. It is stored in both French and American oak barrels for a minimum of 26 Months. Then bottled and stored in the cellar for an additional minimum of 3 years before it is put on the market.
Faustino I Gran Reserva 2005
Intense bouquet of ripe forest berries, dried dark plums and fennel with hints of smoked meat, leather and vanilla. Developed and complex flavours on the palate with a long lingering finish.
Wine of the weekWynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Grown on the famous Terra Rossa soil in Australia, Wynns Estate has established themselves on the market as an iconic label and producer of high quality wines. They have received several awards over the years, and the wines they produce age gracefully despite the usage of screw corks as their trademark. Wynns put most of their efforts into creating unique expressions from four main grape varietals; Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Chardonnay.
The Wynns estate was originally established in the Coonawarra region at the end of the 17th century by the Scottish pioneer John Riddoch. Riddoch died in 1901 and nothing more became of the winery until it was bought by the Wynns family and re-emerged in 1951. The family commissioned a man by the name of Richard Beck to design the very first label which is still used today. The label has since then grown to become the very essence of wines from the Coonawarra area, and it has risen to legendary status among wine lovers world wide.
Today the Wynns estate is one of the regions biggest wine producers, but they still remain deeply connected to their heritage with a main drive to continue creating high quality wines reflecting the terroir of the Coonawarra region.
The winery is run by Sue Hodder, Sarah Pidgeon and Allen Jenkins. Sue Hodder is in charge of the winemaking together with the help of Sarah Pidgeon. Allen Jenkins is in charge of the vituculture.
The black label is only produced from the top 20-25% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the estate. Grown on the famous red Terra Rossa soil, it reflects the taste of the region to the fullest. A very age worthy wine with a long cellaring potential.
Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Crushed black currant leafs on the nose, together with ripe plums, cloves, leather and a hint of mushroom covered autumn forest floor. The palate shows an intense flavour of dark concentrated fruit with a hint of vanilla and leather. A very well balanced wine with a great length.
The "Garagiste" winery movement in Bordeaux started in the early 90`s. Literally meaning small batch production of wines made from people with high ambitions about creating very high quality wines, but with a very limited budget and little equipment. In a short amount of time many of these "Micro Cuvees" reached legendary status, thus demanding very high market prices due to the high quality and low production. One of the pioneers, also considered the godfather of the Garagiste wave was the creator of the famous Chateau Valandraud Jean Luc Thunevin.
Jean Luc Thunevin created the first Garagiste wines and made way for a whole generation of micro cuvee winemakers in Bordeaux. After his success with Chateau Valandraud Jean Luc kept himself busy with several other projects. He has had a lot of success in the Negociant business in Bordeaux and has also worked as a consultant for several Chateaux on the right and left bank.
One of his recent projects is the Bad Boy wines, also sold under the name Mauvais Garcon in the US market. Thanks to Robert Parkers great fascination for Chateau Valandraud in the early 90`s he gave Jean Luc the nickname The Bad Boy of St.Emilion. The nickname stuck and eventually ended up on the label of his most recent creation.
Bad Boy is grown on a soil of limestone and clay. The 2011 vintage is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The average age of the vines are 50 years old and the vineyard area is 12 hectares. It is matured 18 months in new French oak and is unfined and unfiltered.
Thunevin Bad Boy 2011
The nose is dominated by dark plums, cassis, blackberries and raspberries with a hint of green herbs, cedar, cloves and coffee. A full bodied fruit forward wine with a smooth texture on the palate and a fresh finish.
Wine of the weekMarques de Grinon Summa Varietalis 2010
After Carlos Falco had finished his education in agriculture he returned back home to manage his family estate focusing on growing tobacco, fruit trees and olive. But in the process of importing apples from France, he also smuggled in some vine cuttings he could plant at the family estate. This would become the start of his fascination and journey into viticulture.
In 1974 when he decided to immerse himself into viticulture and winemaking full time he bought the Domino de Valdepusa estate in Toledo which would become his viticultural base. From here he established the family firm "Pagos de Familia Marqués de Griñón, S.A".
Carlos Falcó has now written several books on viticulture and winemaking over the years, and is regarded as a Viticultural pioneer in Spain. He is also well known for the introduction of the Syrah and Petit Verdot grapes into Spanish Viticulture.
Carlos Falco is now married to Fatima and they have two children together. A son Duarte born in 1994 and a daughter Aldara born in 1997.
Summa Varietalis is a blend of 70% Syrah, 16% Petit Verdot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are grown on a soil of limestone and clay. The wine is fermented for 14 days in steel tanks then macerated on the skins for 7-14 days. After this the wine is moved to new french Oak Barriques where they are aged for a year and then bottled and put in the cellar for one more year. The winemaking process is now overseen by the famous Bordeaux Oenologist Michel Roland.
Marques de Grinon Summa Varietalis 2010
Very rich, complex and aromatic on the nose, dominated by notes of ripe black currants, cassis, black pepper and farmyard with hints of leather, sigar box, musk and hazelnuts. Intens flavours on the palate of with a smooth silky texture and a long mineral driven finish.
Wine of the weekDomaine Michel Briday Ruilly Premier Cru 2015 Gresigny
Domaine Michel Briday was established in 1976 in Bourgogne by Michel and Lucette Briday. They now control 15 ha of vineyards in the appellations of Rully, Bouzeron and Mercurey. They also produce Bourgogne rose` and Cremant de Bourgogne.
Since the very beginning they had a clear vision and philosophy regarding their wines. A focus on each of the appellations specific terroirs is crucial to the style of the wines they create. They intervene as little as possible in the vineyard and let each of the local winemakers put their own identity into the wines.
All the Village and Premier Cru grapes are harvested by hand. Usage of new wood is important for the final styles but each vintage demand a different oak usage to create both the complexity and elegance they seek.
The wine if the week is the "Gresigny". The Chardonnay grapes for this wine are grown in the Cote de Chalonnaise and are grown on a density of 10 000 vines pr ha.
Dom Michel Briday Ruilly Premier Cru 2015 Gresigny
Bold and complex bouquet of crisp green apples, lime zest, freshly cut grass and butterscotch. Intense and flavourful on the palate with hints of minerals and hazelnuts. A long and complex finish