A few weeks ago, I received both 500-ml and one-liter samples of the 2009 CalNaturale Chardonnay and the 2008 CalNaturale Cabernet Sauvignon, compliments of CalNaturale. I was thrilled to try these wines for many reasons. First and foremost, the wines come in travel-friendly Tetra Paks. As someone who loves wine and flies a minimum of 60 flights per year, this is a plus for any frequent traveler. The Tetra Paks that make the wines travel friendly are also environmentally friendly and have half the carbon footprint of glass bottles. CalNaturale wines are also made from grapes that have been certified organic. Both wines are also wallet-friendly, around $6.99 for the 500-ml and around $12.99 for the one-liter, and have won many awards.
The grapes for the Chardonnay come from Mendocino County, California. The wine composition is 95% Chardonnay, 5% Viognier. The alcohol comes in at 13.8%. I tried the Chardonnay twice from both the 500 ml and one-liter Tetra Paks over the course of a few weeks, both with and without various foods. I would describe it as an easy-drinking, spring/summer Chardonnay, with dominant flavors of tart fruit, such as green apple and citrus, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel on the finish from some time spend in oak. I received a tech sheet with my sample, but it didn’t reveal how much time the wine spent in oak, nor what kind of oak.
The grapes for the Cabernet Sauvignon come from block #65 of a single vineyard, French Camp Vineyard, in the Paso Robles Appellation. This block was planted in 1978 and has been certified organic for the past seven years. The wine composition is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Viognier. The alcohol for the Cabernet also comes in at 13.8%. I tried it one evening both with and without food from the 500 ml Tetra Pak. It’s a nice Cabernet, full of ripe, dark berries and fruits like cassis (blackcurrant), cherry, and plum, with some oak on the finish. The tech sheet didn’t state how much time the wine spent in oak, but the press information I received with the sample references French oak.
Both the CalNaturale Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are made by the same winemaker, Heather Pyle. They are available nationally in markets, natural food stores, and shops such as H.E.B, Publix, and Whole Foods. Check the Find Our Wines page for locations near you. For more information about CalNaturale visit them on Twitter and Facebook, or contact them here.