Best Organic and Biodynamic Wines
Someday soon, we suspect there won’t be a need for a list such as this one. That it’ll be a given that the fruit used to make the wonderful wines we enjoy will be grown organically, without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Until that day arrives, however, we’ve got you covered.
While not all of the selections on GAYOT’s list of Top 10 Organic Wines are labeled as such, you can be assured that all are made with grapes grown organically and many biodynamically. So here’s to your health, and the health of the planet.
1. Leclerc Briant Brut Rosé
Origin: Champagne, France
Former Moët & Chandon executive Frédéric Zeimett purchased the House of Leclerc-Briant in 2012 and set about converting the vineyards to organic, then biodynamic production — one of the first to do so in Champagne. Elegant and dry, with concentrated spicy red fruit flavor, it has a fair degree of acidity on the finish.
For more information, visit the Leclerc Briant official website.
2. Grgich Hills Estate 2014 Fumé
Origin: Napa Valley, CA, USA
Continuing a three-year run of stellar Napa Valley vintages, the 2014 Grgich Fumé Blanc reaped the full benefit of near-drought conditions — perfect ripeness with lower alcohol content. This is a bright, spirited wine made of naturally farmed 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Tropical fruit and lemon zest flavors are prevalent with crisp, refreshing minerality on the finish. Certified organic.
For more information, visit the Grgich Hills Estate official website.
3. Brochet 2014 Fié Gris
Origin: Loire, France
Brochet is an organic line from Ampelidae Winery in Loire, France. Fié Gris is a rare grape variety; a pink-toned cousin to Sauvignon Blanc, with gorgeous golden apples, papaya and white flowers on the bouquet. Well-rounded flavor, bracing acidity and low alcohol. A delightful wine for any occasion. So good, it made the hallowed list at Le Bernardin in NYC. Certified organic and vegan.
For more information, visit the Ampelidae official website.
4. Verrazzano 2007 Sassello
Origin: Tuscany, Italy
A founding member of the Consorzio del Chianti Classico, Verrazzano has been producing stellar vino in Tuscany for time immemorial. The limited production Sassello is the estate’s premiere bottling. All hand-harvested, organically farmed Sangiovese is aged 18 months in French oak. Full bodied with tenacious tannins and ripe fruit and pepper. A wine of impeccable character and grace, it’s lovely now and will continue to get better with age.
For more information, visit the Verrazzano official website.
5. Vinedos Emiliana 2012 Gê
Origin: Santiago, Chile
This gorgeous Syrah-Carmenère-Cabernet blend from Chile debuted in 2003 as South America’s first-ever certified biodynamic wine. Collectively, Emiliana constitutes the single largest source of estate-grown organic wines in the world. The 2012 vintage is a real winner — deep, dark red color; smells of blackberry, plum and a whiff of old leather. Bold fruit flavor, good balance and well-rounded tannins.
For more information, visit the Vinedos Emiliana official website.
6. Porter Creek 2014 Fiona Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Origin: Russian River Valley, CA, USA
This is a light-plus-bodied and very expressive Burgundian style Pinot Noir. Expect notes of fresh picked raspberries, wet mushrooms and sage with a sumptuous, long finish. The wine is Demeter Certified Biodynamic, which means its carbon footprint is miniscule.
For more information, visit the Porter Creek official website.
7. Cain 2012 Five
Origin: Napa Valley, CA, USA
Napa Valley enjoyed three consecutive outstanding vintages, starting with this one, which many oenophiles consider the finest in decades. This distinguished Bordeaux blend has more layers than a John LeCarré spy novel. It boasts mouthwatering tannins, gorgeous floral notes and plump fruitiness. Rest assured, once you’ve tried this wine, you won’t soon forget it.
For more information, visit the Cain official website.
8. Fontodi 2013 Chianti Classico
Origin: Chianti, Italy
Fontodi is a certified organic estate in the Conca d’Oro valley in the heart of Chianti Classico, an area celebrated for its unique combination of high altitude, schist soil, abundant light and stellar micro-climate. This is a fragrant, medium-bodied wine that will fit right on just about any dinner table. It strikes a fine balance between acidity and dry fruit with just a scoch of pepper and smoke on the finish.
For more information, visit the Fontodi official website.
9. Ernest Vineyards 2014 The Engineer Pinot Noir
Origin: Sonoma County, CA, USA
This pale ruby red hails from a superb growing area for Pinot Noir. The alluvial soil-rich Romanini Vineyard in Sonoma County is farmed by Phil Coturri, known far and wide as the grandfather of organic farming in California. The Engineer is delicate and flavorful with a bright berry flavor balanced out with a bit of tart cherry.
For more information, visit the Ernest Vineyards official website.
10. Pacific Rim 2014 Vin de Glaciere Riesling
Origin: Columbia Valley, WA, USA
Organic Riesling grapes from Washington’s Columbia Valley are picked at 22.5% sugar to preserve the natural acidity. An enchanting blast of apricot, pear, orange blossom and honey, this is certainly a sweet dessert wine, but not cloyingly so.
For more information, visit the Pacific Rim official website.