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Food Cycle: Wine
Following is a selection of U.S. wines recently rated by the Wine Spectator that are made using organic, biodynamic, or sustainable practices. All wines are reviewed in blind tastings; the reviewer does not know the producer, the price, or the farming practices. Wines are scored on 100-point scale: 85–89 is very good, 90–94 is outstanding and 95–100 is classic. Retail prices and availability may vary by market.—From editors at the Wine Spectator

Benziger Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma-Lake Counties 2009
86 points, $15
Vibrant, with tangy lemon, pear and peach flavors, sharply defined by a serious kick of acidity. Fresh herb and grass notes come in on the finish. Drink now; 20,000 cases made.—MaryAnn Worobiec
(Certified sustainable grape-growing program)

Bonterra Chardonnay Mendocino County 2009
87 points, $14
Clean and refreshing, with snappy apple, melon, spice, and light honeysuckle notes. Full-bodied, ending with a fruity aftertaste that offers depth and complexity. Drink now; 90,000 cases made.—James Laube
(Certified made with organic grapes)

Parducci Sustainable White Mendocino County 2008
86 points, $11
Softly juicy, showing pear, peach, and chamomile flavors, with an interesting smoky, almost savory note. There’s good ripeness and balance, with a fleshy texture. Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, and Muscat Canelli. Drink now; 15,000 cases made.—M.W.
(Made from a mix of vineyards following different sustainable, organic; and biodynamic programs; made in a carbon-neutral winery)

Anne Amie Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2009
88 points, $19
Bright and jazzy, offering a lively mouthful of lime, green melon. and green-apple flavors. Refreshing on the finish. Drink now; 3,400 cases made.—Harvey Steiman
(Oregon certified sustainable wine)

WillaKenzie Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley 2009
90 points, $25
Lively, silky, and refreshing for its pear, citrus, and green-almond flavors, dancing brightly through the finish. Drink now; 1,064 cases made.—H.S.
(Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay Columbia Valley Cold Creek Vineyard 2008
89 points, $25
Ripe and focused, offering a lithe mouthful of tobacco-accented pear, cream, and toasted coconut flavors, lingering on the dry finish. Drink now through 2012; 2,400 cases made.—H.S.
(Vineyard was in transition in 2008, now certified LIVE and salmon-safe)

Pacific Rim Riesling Columbia Valley Made With Organic Grapes 2009
87 points, $13
Off-dry, showing a tart edge to the slightly chunky peach and floral flavors. Finishes on a lime note. Drink now through 2013; 16,700 cases made.—H.S.

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare Central Coast 2009
88 points, $15
Crisp and lively, exhibiting a delicate pink hue and juicy flavors of watermelon and strawberry, with hints of spice and mineral. Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Cinsault. Drink now; 3,000 cases made.—Tim Fish
(Made with biodynamically grown grapes)

Paul Dolan Zinfandel Mendocino County 2007
88 points, $25
Bright and lively, with cherry, anise, and fresh clay aromas that lead to crisp, appealingly layered tart plum and spicy cedar flavors. Drink now through 2015; 2,925 cases made.—T.F.
(Certified made with organically grown grapes)

Honig Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007
92 points, $40
Marked by herb, dill, cedar, sage, and dried-currant flavors. Full-bodied and well-structured, both supple and tight at points, showing its subtle tannic strength on the finish. Drink now through 2017; 15,000 cases made.—J.L.
(Estate certified under Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program; wine primarily from estate vineyard but may also blend from other local vineyards.)

Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Reserve 2007
90 points, $45
Dense, chewy, and full-bodied, offering rich, dark berry fruit that’s deep and concentrated, with layers of dried currant, graphite, black licorice, mineral, cedar, and nutmeg. Ends with mouth-coating tannins. Best from 2011 through 2020; 4,655 cases made.—J.L.
(Estate certified under Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program; carbon-neutral winery.)

Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Paso Robles 2008
88 points, $25
Supple and harmonious, with ripe, fleshy plum, black cherry, and wild berry fruit that’s full-bodied, gaining complexity, and ending with a dash of tar, nutmeg, and spice. Grenache, Syrah, Counoise and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2016; 2,300 cases made.—J.L.
(Certified made from organically grown grapes)

Maysara Pinot Noir McMinnville Estate Cuvée 2008
91 points, $32
Bright and refined, offering a juicy mouthful of mineral-accented currant and blackberry flavors, remaining silky and lively through the long, harmonious finish. Drink now through 2016; 1,000 cases made.—H.S.
(Demeter certified biodynamic wine)

Ponzi Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Tavola 2008
90 points, $25
Light in texture, displaying a gravelly edge to the raspberry and floral flavors, with fine tannins and a minerally lift to the finish. Drink now through 2018; 3,991 cases made.—H.S.
(Oregon certified sustainable wine)

Cayuse Syrah Walla Walla Valley Cailloux Vineyard 2007
95 points, $65 on release; $80+ at auction
Tar, hot stone, and licorice notes weave through the rich, dark plum, mulberry, and currant aromas and flavors. A complex, beautifully knit wine that lets its flavors sail through a long, compelling finish. Best from 2012 through 2020; 792 cases made.—H.S.
(Made from certified biodynamic grapes)

Snoqualmie Syrah Columbia Valley 2007
87 points, $10
On the lighter side, this pretty Syrah offers red berry and plum fruit, with delicate spices. Drink now through 2013; 17,000 cases made.—H.S.
(Winery is certified organic; many of the vineyards are certified organic or in transition.)

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