Do you care if your wine is organic? I really don’t but I find more and more people everyday that get on the organic kick. As a society we seem to get on a kick about things that are “organic” “all-natural” “cage-free” “free range” among many others. Then some reporter does investigative reporting to find that the definitions of these words are regulated and do not mean exactly what they mean.
What is an organic wine? A quick google search threw me into a tailspin of debate. According the USDA blog, in order to be called an “organic” wine all parts of the wine need to be natural. That means from growing of the grapes to the yeast and sulfites during the actual wine making process. Seems simple enough.
But then I looked at the 2009 Babich Family Estates Organic Block Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and realize it doesn’t say “organic wine” it says “Made with organically grown grapes.” So when researching that according to Wine Spectator this is a debate between U.S. and the EU because the EU does allow non-natural sulfites. Because of that all of those bottles need to say “made with organic grapes.”
It is now clear to me that my wine that I hold in my hand is organic grapes and not possibly the sulfites or yeast. Do we feel good that the grapes are organic and the process is not? Or is this just a way for wineries to sell more wine while keeping costs down?
Now onto the wine. This is a pretty old vintage because on their website they even have the 2014 listed. I will give the disclaimer that the winery does say best consumed young. I do not know if 5 years is too long. Regardless, here are their tasting notes from their website:
The nose is subtly perfumed with red current and passionfruit. The palate has a soft and sweet fruited entry nice weight and is finely structured – making it a good food match. Juicy fruits are found on the mid palate and the finish is dry. Should develop nicely in the medium term.
I have never smelled a passionfruit as it seems to be in things and not just at your local grocery store.
Color – Pale, light yellow.
Nose – I do get the perfume. It has a hint of a buttery pear smell like a chardonnay but I also get Lemon grass.
Taste – Crisp but with a little bit of that buttery Chardonnay thing that I am not too much of a fan of. It has lots of citrus fruits and lemon zest.
Finish – When you first start drinking it, it is mostly clean but after a couple of glasses it stays thick in your mouth. The acid is medium and it does have some tannins for a white wine.
Overall, I really like Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand but this is not going to go on the top list for me. First, I was thrown off because my expectations were for a clean and crisp Sauvignon Blanc but instead got a buttery Chardonnay of Sauvignon Blanc. If you love those kinds of Chardonnays this is the wine for you. It would get a B+, if I just had a glass but my ratings are sharing the bottle with my wife.