Highlights from Vintage Roots organic, biodynamic & natural wine tasting
Back in the day, 25 years ago when organic wine specialist Vintage Roots was established, a well known wine journalist predicted that all wine would become organic dispensing with the need for specialists.
Since then the biodynamic and natural wine lobbies have added impetus to the movement in favour of naked wines. While it has generated more profile and interest, as a whole, they remain a minor, albeit exciting, white water tributary to the mainstream of so-called conventional wines. If you fancy a walk/paddle on the wild side, my highlights from Vintage Roots’ tasting yesterday included:
From France, the ever reliable Fleury Champagne (the Blanc de Noirs terrific, also the complex yet fresh and lively Vintage Brut 1995, a deserving 2011 IWC Gold Medal winner) and concentrated and complex Domaine de l’Ecu Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Expression de Gneiss 2009.
Only the third release, Davenport Vineyard Diamond Fields Pinot Noir 2010 from Sussex, England is quite Beaujolais in style, though its spicy intensity bodes well for its young vines.
From Italy, three sapid, nutty cuvees of Barone Pizzini Verdicchio dei Jesi were a world away from the mainstream industrial product. Powerful and refreshingly unoaked, the 2008 Riserva let the tufo soils do the talking.
Finally, James Millton from New Zealand fielded The Millton Vineyard’s extensive portfolio of very well made wines. My stand outs? The excellent Chenin Blancs (all dry), a house speciality, restrained top Chardonnay Clos de Ste Anne 2009, which showed grace and power, while the funky but fruit-full Crazy by Nature entry level wines (including the possibly unique blend of Malbec, Syrah and Viognier pictured) induced big fat smiles all round.