O, the woes of a sceptic! When I consider all of the wines, when poured in my cup, which reliably provoke feelings of ecstasy and insights into space and time–well, a disproportionate number of them are biodynamic.
But biodynamic “theory” is filled with scientifically absurd positions. So what? Do I have an unconscious bias for woo? As a pious disbeliever I am offended!
My best attempt to rescue a shred of coherence from this situation involves reciting this: a farmer may be a scientist, but he is also a product of the farm. Maybe there is some arbitrary mind-enabling benefit that comes from pacing one’s farm by cycles of the moon and such.
Until it becomes more widely accepted, and thereby more prone to abuse, I will continue to regard biodynamics as a useful brand name for agricultural practice that promotes diverse and stable microculture. I’m fairly convinced that such things are prerequisite to great and distinctive flavor, at least when it comes to preserved foods.
Not every great wine is biodynamic, and not every biodynamic wine is great.
Here are two, Demeter-certified little darlings that are arguably under-priced. I don’t expect they will make you want to run away with the circus, but you might find they are a good use of wine bucks.
Lunaria 2019 Terre di Chieti, Pinot Grigio Ramoro $16 at WM
I opened this bottle a few days ago. It’s been sealed and kept in the fridge. I like it much better now. Did the wine change, or did I? Or did the moon change?!
The doughy vagueness is gone, now replaced by tension. I think it aged several years while it was open. Weathered grape juice, rubbed raw until it begins to yield peppermint from juicy tangerine wedges. This is seriously attractive, and darn nearly gulpable. Perfectly balanced fits of texture, fruit, botanical structure, and mouthwatering acidity. It makes me think of a good Rheinhessen, just past it’s peak, only it’s textured and weighted like Abruzzo PG. Custom glass bottle. Available from Eagle Eye.
Château Les Miaudoux 2018 Bergerac Rouge $16 at WM
I believe it is customary to begin reviews of Bordeaux by citing the çepage. That would extend to Bergerac too, right? This is 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon.
A reassuring whiff of cedar mulch tells me to aerate this very thoroughly, which I do by pouring it back and forth between two mason jars a dozen times.
This wine is not so dense that it won’t succumb to such immediate intervention of air. It begins to unfold like a gate onto rivulets of violet, moss, stone, and starched collars. The medium is dry, evenly balanced, ripe tannin-shaped black fruit.
There is a distinctive sense of romance in such measured, good quality claret from Aquitaine. It evokes enlightenment and ideological liberation. Common taste, taken to a sensible plateau of finesse. Bound books of metric verse. Carefulness. A plural social order.
Compare this bottle to something with the word “Bordeaux” on the label; something of a similar price, or even more. I’m afraid you will have to look far and long to surpass it. The wind-chime of perfumed fruit is neatly intact. It glides effortlessly across the palate, leaving no debris or ballast associated with oak, alcohol, or compensatory extraction.
For my friends who don’t normally drink red wine, consider this to be some form of pill: red, blue, black, whatever you think is appropriate. Obtain some d’Artagnan roast beef and melt cheddar cheese over it, and on to a(n English) muffin. Then drink a well-aerated half-bottle of this wine. Do you see, now?
Les Miaudoux is a Becky Wasserman item available in MI from Little Guy.