June 19, 2019
I was recently honored with a request for Exploring.Wine to review some examples of wines, produced under the guidelines of the S.I.P. Certified program. The Sustainability in Practice (S.I.P.) Certified is one of the wine industry’s oldest and most important third-party certifications programs. It utilizes a strict non-negotiable requirements and standards guideline for an evaluation that is based on science, expert input, independent verification, transparency and the absence of conflict of interest. I had recently written about the rising movement of sourcing wines that are produced responsibly and sustainably. Now was my chance to try wines that are proud examples who are promoting the utilization the S.I.P. Certified practices and guidelines.
I was pleasantly pleased by all wines sent for my review, even delighted by a few. I had not expected to have a bad bottle, but when organic, biodynamic or other farming practices that resist the use of chemical intervention arrive at my door; they can be more 'of the earth' than 'earthy.' I reviewed these wines a lot more in depth using the 20-point UC Davis Wine Judge Scorecard, adding notes & feedback for the winemakers which I sent back for them to review. (I will do a future article and link it here about the UC Davis Scorecard.) I then condensed the scores down to my standard scale and posted my reviews & notes for each wine.
All of these wines would do very well on the broad market, as they were all very food friendly & ready to consume with little prep. Or as my neighbor says often, 'Pop & Pour' a glass we can drink now. The reds all had very well balanced tannins and alcohol, while the whites had perfectly paired acidity with the rest of the wine structure. Carolina & I are very big Tempranillo fans and were totally expecting the Halter Ranch to be the day's winner, so we had it set in last position. [Reviews listed in Reverse tasting order.] And while it did not disappoint, the suprise of the wine tasting was the Chorum Red. It was elegant & nuanced on the nose, but powerful and structured on the body with very beautiful tannins. Read more about the wines below.
2016 Halter Ranch - Estate Reserve Tempranillo
The nose is of plum, raspberry, pomegranate and floral tones. The palate is black currant, blackberry, plum, violets, smokiness and baking spices.