Biodyvin à Paris
November 9, 2008, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This week Oliver Humbrecht gave us the chance to taste  new releases of biodynamic wine from across France, in a side by side tasting at Porte Dauphine.  Sommeliers, cavistes, distributors and journalists tasted through a cross section of wine regions, with samples showing best from biodynamic strongholds such as Alsace and the Loire.  

Bordeaux’s grappling with biodynamics, as demonstrated by Chateau Falfas and others, has so far been less artful.  As with many of the wines at the tasting, and with Chateau Falfas’ Côtes de Bourg 2005 Le Chevalier in particular, the biodynamie is unmistakable on the nose.  “Cowshed”, among more mellow descriptions used, is not an aroma with strong appeal, and it has done much to tarnish the reputation of organic and biodynamic wine.  Chateau La Grolet, in the same appellation, by contrast produced a wine that made more reference to its environment than to the biodynamic preparations (read manures) applied to its vines and offered a likable crushed strawberry Côtes de Bourg 2005 Tête de Cuvée with great value.  

Not represented at Humbrecht’s Syndicat de Viticulteurs en Culteur Biodynamique tasting for obvious reasons, many non-card carrying wineries follow biodynamic principles quite closely (while others dip in at will).   I visited Chateau La Tour Figeac, St. Emilion Grand Cru Classé during harvest, and their wine consultant Stephanie Deranoncourt was straightforward about their policy.  Over several days on the estate, it was evident that weather forecasts were more closely watched than planetary alignments, and that pragmatism prevailed.   Biodynamic preparations were “dynamized” before being applied in the vineyard and  the lunar calendar was consulted, but this winemaker was not going to watch her cabernet franc rot on the vine while she waited for the harvest moon.  

There were some strong showings from François Chidaine in Montlouis-sure-Loire, with the 2006 Tuffeaux resembling Condrieu, an inviting aperitif.  Chidaine’s 2006 Les Choisilles showed a generous mix of honey and lemons with appealing floral aromatics.  The Vouvray 2006 Les Argiles, showing white fruit stewed with honey and vanilla pods, was a stand-out.


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