Faced with row after row of wine at your local supermarket, how do you make a choice of a solid performer to grace your dinner table? If organic growing is important to you, then look for the Bonterra Organic Vineyards label.
Bonterra, located just outside the town of Hopland, California, has placed an emphasis on organic and biodynamic winegrowing dating back to 1987. It has produced all wines from 100 percent organically grown grapes since 1991.
Originally founded by the Fetzer family, and now owned by the Chilean company, Concha y Toro, the winery still has the original winemaker, Robert Blue.
Grapes for this wine are sourced from the Anderson Valley, a prime growing region for pinot noir. It is vinified in the traditional fashion using a pre-fermentation cold soak, punch down of the cap during fermentation, and gentle pressing in a basket press, after which it is aged in French oak for nine months.
Graceful and pleasing, this wine has aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, raspberry, baking spices, and a deft touch of oak seasoning. It is full-flavored, yet suave on the palate, with supple tannins and a fresh cut of acidity on the bright finish.
Spring is the season for morel mushrooms. Paired with pinot noir, they are a match made in heaven. Try them in a pasta, on a pizza, or in a sauce draped over a tender beef filet.
2013 Bonterra Mendocino County Pinot Noir ($18) is widely distributed to supermarkets and wine retailers in Orange County. Most supermarkets are offering a 30 percent discount when you purchase six bottles, making this wine a real bargain.