Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bonny Doon Vineyard - My latest shipment has arrived!

I'm a member of the Bonny Doon DEWN wine club. A week or so ago, I received a new DEWN shipment. I love BD wines because they are relatively affordable, extremely drinkable, and feature grapes that are not highly produced here in the US making them different. This is not a vineyard that does your typical California Chard or Cab Sav.

For the past couple years, BD has produced a label called Ca' Del Solo Estate Vineyard. According to the label on the bottle, "Ca' del Solo is the frontier outpost of Bonny Doon Vineyard and the moniker of our Monterey County farm on the outskirts of Soledad. We are dedicated to producing wines with a particular emphasis on the expression of terroir, or unique sense of place. We farm our Ca' del Solo Vineyard using Biodynamic practice, with the intent of restoring vital life-forces to our soil and respecting the farm as a complex and self sustaining organism."

Okay, so that's all sort of touchy-feely, but all that touchy-feely-ness results in very nice wines. I love the Albarino that is produced by the Ca' del Solo Vineyard and look forward to receiving my bottle every year. To my delight, my last DEWN shipment contained the 2008 Albarino, and I promptly popped it in the fridge to chill.

Sorry for the blurry photo of my *empty* bottle.

Another thing that makes BD a unique wine producer is that BD also lists the ingredients used to make their Biodynamic wines. Anything that comes into contact with the wine is included in the ingredients. For example, my bottle of 2008 Albarino says, "Ingredients: Biodynamic grapes and sulfur dioxide. In the winemaking process, the following were utilized: indigenous yeast, organic yeast nutrient and bentonite. At the time of bottling, this product contained: 65 ppm total SO2, 20 ppm free SO2." Next time you have a bottle of wine in front of you, check the label for ingredients. You won't find one. Most wines have additives that are supposed to enhance freshness and flavor, but they are never spelled out on the bottle label. It's good to know what you're drinking.

After a proper chilling, I unscrewed the cap (Bonny Doon mostly uses screw caps rather than corks, making them easier and quicker to open and hence, making it quicker to be drinking them), and poured a taste. Yum! Since my wine palate is still learning, I'll quote the label, "This Albarino expresses a beautifully crystalline mineral aspect, great persistence on the palate and a bracingly crisp grapefruit, yuzu and tangerine dream." Whatever. All I know is that it tasted great. Sure I got some sort of fruit flavor, and yes, it was crisp and clean, but yuzu? Mineral? I'm still working to sort those flavors out on my tongue. Who writes wine bottle labels anyway?

So, if you can find them, I highly recommend the Ca' Del Solo Estate Vineyard bottles. I've only had the Albarino and the Muscat (a sweet, but not potently so, white), and for reds the Dolcetto and Nebbiolo.

Since I know at least two readers of this blog, I should also point out that BD now ships to Georgia . . .

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