My sister’s fiancé was away this past weekend, so she decided to spend the weekend with my husband and I. Usually when we are together, we make dinners large enough to feed a family of 10. However, Saturday night we were feeling rather lazy and decided to go out instead. As she has a couple of lovely farm to table restaurants where she lives, we set off for Harvest & Hearth, one of our favourite places and also our only local, organic, farm to table restaurant. We originally selected a Dolcetto to accompany our various topped pizzas, but apparently it was in high demand and was no longer available, so we decided upon Bonterra Zinfandel 2009.
Bonterra Vineyards was one of the first major vineyards in California to commit to organic and sustainable growing. With a holistic approach to winemaking and a motto of “Everything in Balance”, they have been certified organic since 1993 and now have a line of biodynamic wines. A few of their sustainable, biodynamic vineyard methods include erecting birdhouses to attract swallows and bluebirds to control insects, planting cover crops between the vines to attract beneficial insects that feed on the insects that attack the grapes, and free roaming chickens that eat insects and supply fresh eggs. The grapes were sourced from low yielding vines in dry farmed vineyards [non-irrigated], which creates a robust intensity of flavour in the grapes.

Cranberry-garnet in colour, aromas of raspberry and blueberry encircled notes of fresh mint. Fruity blueberry and plum flavours mingled with fresh anise and were held aloft in the medium body by a bright acidity. Spicy white pepper, toasty oak and bits of earthy, damp leaves were underscored by traces of smooth vanilla in the moderate finish. An easy drinking glass great for the table, my sister’s assessment is that it should be served in an Italian table wine manner, in a carafe accompanied by small glasses.

88% Zinfandel, 8% Petit Sirah, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon
Mendocino County
Produced & Bottled by Bonterra Vineyards
14.5% Alcohol
$13 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2014

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