3 Excellent Wines From An Organic Stalwart

From the good folks who also make the Girasole Vineyards wines comes this trio of their eponymous reserve wines. Packaged under new (and gorgeous) labels, these reds all share the same honesty and straightforward channeling of the vineyard. Speaking of packaging, theirs is an example many other wineries would do well to follow. 

At the north end of Mendocino county, this family-run operation has been farming vines organically in the Redwood Valley since the mid-50's. Reasonably-priced and very well made, the astute consumer should take note of the generous free shipping on case orders direct from the winery

2020 Barra Zinfandel Mendocino $26
Lovely magenta that shimmers in the light, this zin has a bright, dusty nose with high-toned spiciness. In the mouth, it's adult candy, with true varietal character, a smooth texture, and plenty of extraction that delivers port-like flavors on the finish. Finishes clean. Day two brings it ever more alive, expanding in space and dimensions. Solid and well made. 90 points.

2020 Barra Reserve Petite Sirah Mendocino $28
Petite sirah's classic inky opacity swims in the glass like a mysterious seduction. Aromatics echo graphite and cassis, calling out like a lazy siren. Classic petite sirah profile, made to allow purity of fruit and gorgeous poise to be on full display. Though typically a brawny variety, this bottling is elegant and feminine. Lovely and a good value, too. Wish I had a case of this to enjoy over the next couple of decades. Bravo! 93 points.

2021 Barra Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino $28
Looks like cab, smells like cab…and, yes, it tastes like cab, too…But not in the way our palates have been indoctrinated to think of as cabernet. Absent is the overripe bombast, cloying residual sugar, and overbearing oak that typifies so much of California wines. What's left is, much like its petite sirah sibling, beautiful purity. Organic farming shines through the gentle winemaking, leaving something that makes you feeling not only happier, but healthier. There's a lot to like here. 93 points.