Organic rosé is not commonly found among the commoditized rage of rosé today, and it’s a pleasure to discover one from a place most likely to succeed in making an organic rosé that matters—Oregon. When it comes to organic wines, the clichéd and outmoded thinking goes along the line of: “If organic doesn’t make the wine taste better, I don’t care.” Or, “Putting ‘organic’ or ‘biodynamic’ on a wine label is just marketing.” The thing is, people do care—A LOT of people care—especially newer and younger wine consumers, the demographic driving the steep increase in sales of organic/biodynamic wines. Organic and sustainable farming practices has much less to do with taste than it has to do with values, and it’s hard to see the wine industry escaping the trend of consumers who strongly attach their values to their monetary purchases.
Within this context, it’s worth saying that the organic 2016 LUMOS Chiquita Rosé, made in McMinnville, Oregon, and made from organic Pinot Noir grapes, is delicious—bright and fresh and glowing from within with vivaciousness and grace. Does being an organic wine have anything to do with its striking qualities? That’s for everyone else to decide on their own. But this rosé has a purity—you might even say that it’s rather bold in its purity—that really makes it stand out from the crowd. And, boy, it’s getting crowded. The generous quality of fruit is front and center: bright young cherry with shades of watermelon, strawberry and cranberry. Not dainty or shy like many rosés, this is one that has weight and is hearty. Look at the wine’s color and you get a clue—it’s a very reddish salmon, not pink. As if to broadcast: “I’m delightful and different, and I’ve got lots of personality!” –J.M.