Wine Blogging Wednesday #29: Biodynamic wines

The fine folks at Fork & Bottle are hosting this months’ Wine Blogging Wednesday, in which people drink wine and blog about it. We can get behind that.

This month’s focus is on biodynamic wines. I’m still uncertain what to think about biodynamics, even after the Butter Bitch read and wrote about biodynamics. I snorted when she referred to the “woo-woo” aspects of the practice of biodynamics, but retained some curiosity. Jack at Fork & Bottle mentioned the practice of managing inputs and outputs as a key element of biodynamics, so I will withhold further judgment for now.

I chose a bottle of Oregon’s Cooper Mountain Vineyards 2005 Reserve Pinot Gris. The bottle sells for $17 and is a fine representation of pinot gris, making it wellcooper-mtn-pinot-gris.JPG worth the cost.

Cooper Mountain was purchased by Dr. Robert Gross, a homeopath, psychiatrist, and acupuncturist, in the 1970s. In 1990, Dr. Gross turned the winery toward biodynamic and organic practices, earning organic certification from Oregon Tilth and biodynamic certification from Demeter, an the international biodynamics organization.

Cooper Mountain’s wines are made from organic and biodynamic grapes using certified organic operations and processing methods. If biodynamics and organic production are important to you, then you should try their wines.

But how was it, you ask?

The boquet bouquet was floral, spritely and fruity, with a generous amount of citrus and melon. In the mouth, the wine tasted of strong nectarines and citrus with just a hint of oak. I didn’t notice the oak until the second taste. The wine pops in the mouth, kind of like pop rocks but without the artificial sweeteners and sugar. This is a zippy little wine that was odd to drink in the middle of winter, but quite delicious.

We had the wine with a lavender rosemary crème brûlée. The rosemary was barely noticeable, but the wine’s oak combined with the rosemary to produce a faint woody taste that I enjoyed. These flavors played behind the stronger lavender flavor (3 teaspoons infused in the milk).

Interestingly, the wine is aged in stainless steel barrels, not oak, which makes me wonder if something else was occurring with the wine. The wine certainly met Fork & Bottle’s criteria of freshness.

This is the second Cooper Mountain wine that we have drunk in recent months, and a third – a 2005 chardonnay – is waiting its turn. If their other offerings are as good as the pinot gris, we will return to them often.

6 Responsesto “Wine Blogging Wednesday #29: Biodynamic wines”

  1. Omniwhore says:

    Lavender rosemary crème brûlée?! Yum! You’re gonna tell us exactly how to make it, right?

  2. potato non grata says:

    No sugar for you, Omniwhore–step away from the ramekin!

  3. Omniwhore says:

    But…it has lavender in it, and rosemary and…crème!
    I’ll be sipping my agave nectar-sweetened chamomile tea. And surfing the internet for sugarless brûlée recipes…

  4. Man of La Muncha says:

    My recipe uses honey for the sweetener and only a bit of brown sugar for the brûlée. I have to make more this weekend – too many eggs and too much milk – and will attempt to make the brûlée using honey. Or are you off honey as well?

  5. Jack says:

    Lavender rosemary crème brûlée – triple yum. Lavender rosemary crème brûlée and wine? Yow. Still, the wine sounds delicious and I’m so glad this odd-sounding pairing worked for you.

    My wife and I have detected puzzling notes of oak in some Austrian white wines that were in stainless steel barrels (i.e., unoaked) – so don’t think you’re losing your mind on this.

    Might I suggest trying an Alsatian pinot gris as your next one to offer some comparison? I find they have a bit more acids and, well, the ones I know to buy, complexity.

    Finally, my last two-cents (sometimes I can’t shut up) – you might think of biodynamics as super organics with bonus sustainability. As another WBW’r said, 200 years ago, all farms in Europe grew their crops this way.

  6. Man of La Muncha says:

    Thanks Jack. I suggest that you try a Canadian riesling or pinot gris, as they are very interesting too. I’ll keep an eye out for an Alsatian. I’ve had one or two, and they are lovely.

    I feel that I should remember why the whites have hints of oak. It may be that the flavor is imparted by crushing the grapes with a few stems. I’ll have to look into that.

    Any recommendations for specific Alsatians?

    The pairing did sound odd, but worked well, possibly because the brûlées were made with eggs that contained large whites.

    Regarding biodynamics, I feel the need to read more about it, partly because I read of a person in the Bay Area (3-4 years ago) who was doing interesting things with management of inputs and outputs and complementary plants. Can’t remember his name, unfortunately.

    I saw several references on your site to biodynamics, and will check them out.