Five fave Italian Biodynamic wines (22nd Sept 2019 for Pam Strayer of Wine Country Geographic for bd.wine.com)
Duemani | Maremma region, Tuscany
Costa Toscana Rosso, Duemani | 2015 Made from 100% Cabernet Franc. Fermentation in large oak casks and maturation in French oak barrels for 12 months. 5,000 bottles. Bright, smooth, savoury flavours (licorice) with a purposeful mouthfeel in a light-on-its-feet red. Owner-partners in life as well as work are Luca D’Attoma and Elena Celli, both of whom were born in Tuscany (near Florence and Lucca respectively). Elena studied marketing and worked in the fashion industry. Luca’s oenological consultancy company is called Wine Evolution Consulting. Demeter certified Biodynamic.
Pian dell’Orino | Montalcino region, Tuscany
Pian dell’Orino, Rosso di Montalcino DOCG | 2014 Rosso di Montalcino is the lesser of the two 100% Sangiovese wines from Montalcino (Brunello being the other), earlier released and less ageing in oak, less alcohol, less obvious Sangiovese tannin, and a lot less money to buy. Owner-winemaker Jan Erbach defines good wine-growing as “understanding the ‘chrono-biology’ of vines, grapes and wines.” Chronobiology means to avoid feeding your vines (and vineyard weeds) a sizzling flame-grilled hamburger with fries, mayo and a sugary drink when they all they need is chilled fruit smoothie. Demeter certified Biodynamic.
Podere Forte | Orcia Valley, Tuscany
Petruccino, Orcia Rosso DOC, 2016 | A 100% blisteringly bright and characterful Sangiovese from a Biodynamic estate that is both vineyard and mixed farm (honey bees, pigs, forest, pasture, arable land, olive trees, vegetable gardens). The most complete BD farm-vineyard in Italy with a science research lab too (the most advanced of its type in Italy). But walking around the estate is a throwback to biodiverse farming like grandpa used to make. The bee hives are sited low, near the creek. Pollen-rich flowers are site ion high ground. From early morning the bees fly upwards whilst light and empty. Once heavy and loaded with pollen, they can glide effortlessly down back home in late afternoon. Demeter certified Biodynamic.
Cascina degli Ulivi | Monferrato, Piemonte
A Demûa, Monferrato Bianco | A Demûa means ‘go have fun’, and is a skin contact made from an ancient mixed vineyard planted with Timorasso, Verdea, Bosco, Moscatella and Riesling. A wine of energy, clarity, passion and soil like its late, one-of-a-kind maker, Stefano Bellotti. ‘If you want good humans you need good earth. We are what we eat, and drink. Because the food we eat originates out of the earth it make sense to be kind to the earth. Modern farming has treated the soil with violence and hatred. It is an arrogant, short-sighted way of working,’ he told me, summing up the aim of Biodynamics; healthy food good for body and mind. Demeter certified Biodynamic.
Lunaria Orsogna Abruzzo region, Italy
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Coste di Moro
Italian co-operative winery in the Abruzzo region (right-hand side of Italy, just over half-way down the coast, specialising in Biodynamic wines, in this case a 100% Montepulciano red that avoids the two pitfalls of the Montepulciano grape: green tannins and eggy-sulfur flavours. This is a moreish red with light oak ageing that easily handles robust main courses be they plant (eg grilled aubergines with garlic and chilli pepper and olive oil) or meat-based (BBQ, braised meat). A wine of sophistication, clarity and generosity. Demeter certified Biodynamic.