Lambrusco Rosso, Camillo Donati - - Emilia Romagna, 2009
A biodynamically grown, bottle-fermented Lambrusco weighing in at 12% alcohol. It's deep coloured, with sweet, complex pure dark cherry notes on the nose as well as a subtle meatiness and some lovely floral notes. The palate is focused, fresh and meaty with lovely presence and a slight fizziness. Rich and sweet, but with some savoury earthy notes under the dark fruits. Amazingly dense and savoury; a million miles away from cheap Lambrusco.
Colfondo Casa Belfi Prosecco - Glera - Veneto, 2012
This is a natural, unfiltered sparkling prosecco wine of great personality. Certified organic. Very intense and persistent nose with notes of apples, pears and candied citrus fruits. On the palate it translates into a complex and lingering after-taste. With biscuits and yeasty flavours this wine shows an excellent freshness and minerality which contribute to its full taste.
Vouvray Brut Champalou - Chenin - Loire, 2011
This estate is one of the most renowed in the appellation and follows lutte raisonnée - literally “reasoned fight” - where chemical treatments are used only when absolutely necessary. Elegant, immpeccable balance, highly aromatic and outstanding value. A traditional method wine which easily holds its own.
Mauzac Nature, Plageoles - Mauzac - Gaillac, 2011
This 20 ha estate, created in 1805, makes the finest wines in Gaillac. Bernard Plageoles replanted dozens of indigenous grape varieties which were at risk of vanishing or seriously depleted. This is one of the oldest winemaking families in the AOC and they use organic practice to resuscitate forgotten wines.
They use Methode Gaillacoise to get the bubbles (fermentation in the bottle and no disgorgement). Bottling of this wine occurs on a day of astrological significance, on March when the moon is waning - if people try to bottle at another period they fail to master the effervescence.
This straw yellow cloudy petillant has ultra fine bubbles, notes of fresh cut grass and apple peel flavour (almost cider like). Great before dinner or with pâté, grilled fish, pork loin, smoked curries and light cheeses. Accompanies perfectly all kinds of patisserie.
Champagne Franck Pascal “Quintessence” - Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier - Champagne, 2004
Quint, the note - Essence, the terroir.
One of the few estates in Champagne where the winemaker only produces wine from their own grapes, rather than (like the big houses) buying in industrial quantities of grapes from multiple growers. This tiny 4ha estate
Recommended by esteemed French food and drink guide, Gault Millau, as the “revelation of the year" from their “eight new talents in Champagne”. Franck Pascal came into champagne making after the death of his younger brother and has dedicated his life to producing wine that celebrates the priceless nature of life. During his national service, Pascal was exposed to the horrors of biological weapons and their effects on the human body and this inspired him to learn more about organic and biodynamic farming and ways in which he could remove harmful chemicals from the process of producing this champagne.
Biodynamic since 1998 and organically certified in 2007, this estate is an island in the sea of conventional agriculture. In order to better expresses the terroir of Champagne region, Pascal does not oak his wine in the traditional way, but instead uses stainless steel tanks - preserving the wine’s lightness and character.
The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented by indigenous yeast. Late bottled in August, with no fining or filtration this wine really is one of the most naturally made in Champagne. This labour intensive method requires one worker for every hectare farmed.
In ordinary Champagne production, the sweetness of the final product is controlled by the addition of reserve wine and cane sugar, the dosage. This vintage is produced without dosage which allows the intrinsic qualities of the wine and its terroir to shine through more clearly. Minerality, partially or even completely hidden by the dosage is better perceived and the wine's complexity (its richness in aromas) is also greater. This vintage has sold out at the property.
Apple, mineral, lively, long delicate finish. Pour one or two minutes before drinking to allow the shyness to fade away.
Petillant Naturel de Raisin « On Zoue? » - Poulsard - Jura, NV
Evelyne and Pascal Clairet created this biodynamic vineyard in 1991 with 6ha of vines which are traditionally farmed following the philosophy of producing grapes with hands and without chemicals. They say producing organic wines take dedication and hard work rather than simply letting nature do its job. They use only natural preparations on their vines shunning the use of chemical pesticides and insecticides. The wine is filtered using kieselguhr - a sedimentary rock and has no added sugar, chemical yeasts or sulphur. Good with snacks as the sun is going down or as a perfect full stop to a solid night of enjoyment.