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sparticoA “natural” wine for around $10 found at the supermarket? I was skeptical but I quite like this wine for the price.

There is no official meaning of “natural” but the use of organically grown grapes, no added sulfites, native yeasts, and no new oak are four of several criteria that this wine satisfies. The lack of added sulfur is especially unusual in a large production wine because sulfur protects the wine from bacterial spoilage and oxidation. Making wine this way requires herculean efforts in the winery to keep things clean and minimize oxygen exposure.

Regardless of what we call it, this is a tasty, lively and refreshing wine from Utiel Requena, the Spanish wine region in Valencia.

Dark plum with dusty earth, floral notes and crushed rock aromas make for an compelling nose. The juicy medium weight palate is spare but elegant with an airy mouthfeel, bright acidity and a bit of chew to the tannins. Well balanced and vivacious, this is a lovely everyday wine that will go well with a variety of foods.

The last few times I’ve purchased from the organic wine section of the market I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Innovation and solid winemaking seem to be the rule there.

Bodegas Iranzo has been producing organic wine since 1994 and they trace their history back to the 14th Century.

Score: 88

Price: $12

Alc: !3%

Airy and vivacious

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