It's Summer! The Solstice has come and gone, but we will still drink to the Sun. Oregon Summer is about to begin, you know it doesn't start until July 5 here? All the wines in this park are 100% biodynamic, made from 100% biodynamically farmed grapes. Remember that this is a farming practice and not a winemaking practice per se. Let me explain...
A brief overview - What is Biodynamics? In a nutshell, biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. Without going too deep (if you want to go deep, and I mean deep, check out The Biodynamic Association), biodynamics comes down to 3 key elements:
1. A biodynamic farm is a living farm, that cultivates biodiversity by bringing plants and animals together by...
2. Generating on-farm fertility through compost that is enlivened with biodynamic preparations built in rhythm with the earth and cosmos that enhance soil and plant health and...
3. Contribute to a communities social and economic health by offering regenerative solutions for the future.
In a nutshell. Biodynamics is a closed loop, ethical and holistic community and agricultural system, where the inputs are the farms outputs.
Now that we covered that, onto the wine and the Summer.
1.Troon Vineyard, Piquette! Kubli Bench Estate Bottled Applegate Valley Méthode Ancestral - This was my wine of the 2020 Summer. I first tasted it at the winery in the Applegate Valley and was instantly intriged. I tried to include this in packs last year but it was sold out. This is one of those wines to get before its gone!
I'll let Troon take it from here..."“what is piquette?” It is many things, but basically it is frugal farmer fizz, a type of natural wine that has been made for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Those frugal farmers wasted nothing and used the juice and skins left after pressing the wines they would sell to make wine for themselves and their workers. Today we have recaptured that spirit, which fits in so well with our biodynamic style of agriculture. After pressing our estate white and rosé wines, there is still substantial juice left in skins as we press very gently. To that we add a touch of water, then let it macerate overnight in the press. The next day, we press that juice into a stainless steel tank, where begins a native yeast fermentation. Just before that fermentation is complete, we quickly bottle the new wine under crown caps to finish fermentation in the bottle. The resulting sparkling wine is a delight. Fresh and fizzy with bright fruit flavors. Piquette may have bubbles like Champagne, but our Piquette! is more about picnics and summer sipping - or better yet, gulping!
Need more convincing? I hope not, this wine will go fast in both your glass and from the Studio.
2. Bernabeleva, Vinos de Madrid Camino de Navaherreros Blanco 2018 - Spain makes delicous white field blends and Bernabeleva is no exception. Juan Bulnes has been on a mission since 2006 to save and recover the centuries old bush vines on his families property in San Martin de Valdeiglesias zone outside of Madrid Spain. Given the quality of this wine, I'd say his mission is nearly accomplished. Wines are naturally fermented with wild yeast in oak vats, large oak barrels and stainless steel. Minimal SO2 is added to ensure the wines are stable for export. Full fo summer fruit flavors, ripe pear, tangerine and sweet aromas of honeysuckle. A jolt of gingery spiciness adds a final spicy cut to a long, well-delineated finish.
3. Nikolaihof, Wachau Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug 2019 - The best producer of Grüner Veltliner. I first tasted these wines over a decade ago and they left a last impression and appreciation for this, now fashionable, grape. It could be for many reasons, such as Nikolaihof is the oldest wine estate in Austria, with history going back 2000 years to Roman times, maybe its having some of the oldest known vineyards in Europe, being mentioned back in 470AD. Whether it’s Nikolaus biodynamic know-how, his focus on ancestral vinification techniques, or the quality of his terroir, the resulting wines are wildly unique and joyful. They are singular wines; irreplicable anywhere else in the wine making world.
If you have not tried Grüner Veltliner before this is an excellent place to start.
4. Koyle, Sauvignon Blanc Costa La Flor Valle de San Antonio 2020 - From the coastal region of Chile's Colchagua valley, called Paredones. You can see the ocean from the tops of the hills in the vineyard, it's only abut 8 miles away. I have walked this vineyard serveral times in 2013 and 2014. This wine represents the last 2 decades of Chilean viticultural evolution. 20 years ago, no one planted here. 20 years ago no one was farming biodynamically and 20 years ago no winemaker would vinify grapes from the same vineyard three different ways, so as to more appropriately represent its terroir. These are big changes for a winery operating since 1885. Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is the next big white wine! It's cool climate Sauvignon Blanc grown a stones throw from the ocean surrounded by cacti. This wine is fresh, bright, acid driven and perfect for a hot summer day, lounging by a pool or working in the garden. More tropical fruit than New Zealand with just the same acidity.