Biodynamic winemaking techniques are used all over the world, from Barbaresco (Italy) to Sonoma (California). What kind of practice is that? Biodynamic vineyards use organic fertilizers, apply environmentally friendly farming methods and follow a different timetable, just to name a few of their methods.
Not all the wines we recommend are certified biodynamic, as the certification process is long and costly. But all the bottles below come from cellars that work according to the ideals of biodynamics.
Alain Voge 2017 Les Vieilles Vignes (Cornas); $85, 96 points. Old vines with an average age of 60 years and a long aging process in oak (20% new oak) give this wine spicy and sweet roasted notes with cinnamon and clove, as well as deeply concentrated black plum and blackberry flavors. It’s a creamy Syrah, balanced by blackcurrant acidity and ripe, but firm and persistent tannins. The wine is already delicious, but should be even better from 2022 and even better by 2037. Trade in the Citadel. -Anna Lee C. Iijima.
Horse Power 2017 High Contrast Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley); $121, 96 points. The aromas explode from the glass, with notes of hearth, potpourri, black olive, wet stone, dried porcini mushrooms, and stone. The taste is luxurious, complex, elegant and intensely perfumed, with an abundance of salty notes. A pull-out black olive and an earthy finish distinguish the cover. Preferably after 2025. Basement selection. -Sean Sullivan
Dr. Bürklin-Wolf 2017 Forster Pechstein G.G. Riesling (Pfalz); 120, 95 points. Impressions of smoke and charred earth mingle with tart green apple and yellow plum in this exceptionally subtle but deeply complex Grosses Gewächs. It’s a spicy wine, with a laser-sharp edge, anchored by resonant acidity. It’s still a little tense among young people, but should improve and develop nicely by 2035. Verity Wine Partners. Basement selection. -A.I.
M. Chapoutier 2016 Le Méal Blanc (Hermitage); 190, 95 points. The first notes of smoke and earth dissipate to reveal fragrant notes of quince, ginger and pear. It is a rich and expansive white wine, produced from centuries-old Marsanne grapes grown on the limestone and alluvial soils of the Grind Vineyard. It offers virgin orchards and herbs in its youth, but it is better to leave this wine at least until 2022. This will reward the underground for decades. 300 product cases. Terlato Wines International. Basement selection. -A.I.
Yangarra 2017 King’s Wood Shiraz (McLaren Vale); $50, 95 points. Produced from a block grown biodynamically in a cool spot in a fresh vineyard, this Shiraz is aged in a large French foudre. The result is an extraordinarily precise and complex wine that unfortunately only falls flat when heavy. Notes of raspberry, plum, iodine, wet earth, chocolate and spice (not oak) are filtered through sinusoidal tannins and enhanced by crystalline acidity. Leads the stern and diligent foot of strength and generosity with restraint and elegance. Drink now or store them until at least 2030. Imports of sovereign wines. -Cristina Picard
Brickhouse 2017 Evelyn Pinot Noir (Ribbon Ridge); $70, 94 points. Evelyn is the best choice of barrel on the property at the Reserve level. It’s a blend for all the senses with aromas of berry, sassafras and cinnamon, as well as ripe fruit flavors of strawberry, marionette and plum. Now let’s move on to sassafras, coffee and cooking spices. It is a riot of delicious blended components, beautifully balanced with exceptional length and detail. Editor’s Choice. -Paul Greggutt
Rippon 2016 Ripe Lake Wanaka Winery Pinot Noir (Central Otago); $62, 94 points. Sourced from one of New Zealand’s most famous vineyards, located on the pristine shores of Lake Wanaka, this pinot is made for the long haul. Blackberry, fruit and spice in the middle of an earthy and spicy core. The dense, almost impenetrable palate, a powerful line of tight, fine-grained tannins, leads to fruit and spice. Although this wine is just beginning to show its age, it remains an austere but laser-focused wine that requires patience but should be richly rewarded by some time in the cellar. Drink till 2035. Wine Dog Imports LLC. -S.P.
Soter 2018 Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton); $75, 94 points. Grapes grown biodynamically have a complex and detailed flavor. Raspberry puree gives intensity to the fruit, with accents of roasted seeds and lemon. About 30% of the fermentation was done with whole grapes and 40% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels. A long drying time allows oils to be added to chamomile tea. Editor’s Choice. -Paul Greggutt
Domaine Anderson 2017 Roof Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $55, 93 points. Distinctive earth, leaf and tea aromas and rich black cherry flavors give this medium-sized wine, produced in small quantities, many virtues. It is balanced, concentrated and slightly tanned, giving the texture a nice feel. Preferably before 2027. Basement selection. -Jim Gordon
Rivetto 2017 Marcarini (Barbaresco); $30, 93 points. Aromas of wild berries, camphor, fragrant blue flowers and arable land mingle with aromas of star anise. Made from organically grown grapes, the strained palate offers dried cherry, licorice and tobacco, framed by tightly woven tannins. Drinking 2022-2029. The editor’s choice of Wilson Daniels Ltd. -Kerin O’Keefe
Rockpile Winery 2018 Rockpile Ridge Vineyard Zinfandel (Rockpile); $49, 93 points. This estate wine is one of the last to be selected by the producer due to the high altitude of the vineyards. It has a taste of blackberry, cherry, nutmeg and cola, with hints of dried grass and gravel. The texture is velvety and the chewing is long. -Virginie Boone
Wine cellar EuroCave Pure L
ZENOLOGY SOMM Universal wine glass (set of 2)
Emidio Pepe 2014 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo; $115, 92 points. Reminiscent of running in an orchard in the middle of autumn, it offers nostalgic aromas of sweet hay with ripe apples and pears. The mouth is round and concentrated in the same tones, with a band of repair of wet lime from start to finish. The choice of Polish. -Alexandrowski tree
Solminer 2018 Nebullit Sparkling Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley); $42, 92 points. Sparkling reds don’t always work, but this spicy blend of 72% Syrah, 27% Grenache and 1% Riesling is a spicy success. Aromas of ground pepper, bright black raspberry, thyme and marjoram lead to boysenberry, pepper and dried herbs on the palate. It gives a tan and a great lather to go along with it. Editor’s Choice. -Matt Kettmann
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