Monday, May 28, 2012

And the Wine Jumped Over the Moon IV

We arrived on day I in ignorance and leaning toward scepticism and left on day IV (if not day III, root) as bristling ambassadors of the notion that the biodynamic calendar’s fruit, leaf, root and flower days have a profound affect on the style AND quality of Avondale's Bio-logic (biodynamic) wines.

While there was strong consensus on the panel regarding how the wines changed on the respective days, the comments below - as more  detailed evidence - are mostly my own observations:

* The fruit day amplified the fruit to the extent the wines were - in hindsight - less complex, exposing some alcohol heat. I was expecting this to be the best day.

* Even the mousse of the Armilla MCC changed on the leaf day with less apple notes while displaying only tertiary notes on the root day, with softer mouse. Vitality returned on the flower day along with sherbet and chalk/lime notes.This wine probably the most consistent performer and left me wondering if the internal pressure made it more resistant to luna cycles.

* The leaf day was better for the La Luna (06 Bdx blend) while the flower day for the Samsara (06 Shiraz) both gaining heightened balance, length, intensity and complexity on their respective days. La Luna gained a long savoury finish on the leaf day while Samsara complexity, brilliant fruit and freshness on the flower day.

* With the exception of possibly the La Luna, the best day across the board was the flower day (day 4) giving the wines great freshness, intensity and fruit definition.

* After showing primary fruit on day I (fruit day) The Anima (09 Chenin Blanc) gained steeliness on the palate and wet wool on the nose on the leaf day, while on the root day an acetic/spray paint note appeared while the palate lost acidity. On the flower day a different wine appeared showing stone fruit and pears, oat notes and steeliness returned, almost chardonnay-like.

 * After primary fruit on day one, the Cyclus (09 Viognier dominated blend inc Chenin) on the leaf day showed more tertiary notes but lacked the vibrancy of the fruit day, while on the root day a hint of acetic/spray paint appeared like the Chenin, and the fruit more like dried tropical fruit inc banana and mango with shorter finish. On the flower day the wine was not a far cry from Condrieu with peach and pepper/spice intensity and a lingering finish - all the wines showed much greater intensity on the flower day.

* After the primary fruit and pepper of day I, the Samsara (Shiraz) graphite notes appeared on the nose on the leaf day while on the root day tannins became a touch angular, and the nose suddenly showed sappiness and stewed fruit absent on the first 2 days. However on the flower day, this wine stole the show with bright fruit, spice and meaty notes and juicy palate in one great BLIC - balance, length, intensity and complexity.

* La Luna showed classical cassis on the fruit day followed by dare I say leafiness on the leaf day with touch more evidence of the oaking regime while on the root day green notes appeared in the form of eucalyptus. The tannin was also more evident and mouth coating. On the flower day, it was sweet fruited and I think this is the exception to the rule that they were all better on the last day as the leaf day probably edged it with is savoury complexity and lengthy finish.

* The Camissa (2011 Muscat and Mourvèdre blanc de noir) appeared to be the most vulnerable to the Luna mood, showing potpourri and rose oil and frisky acidity on the fruit day, to Turkish delight on the leaf day, soap- and flabbiness on the root day, only to sing again on the flower day, maybe strongest evidence of the influence of each day.

It was a compelling and fascinating exercise, wineries should seriously consider closing their tasting rooms on root days and wine lovers should get a biodynamic calendar fast for the best days to open those special bottles. However, it’s not going to stop this writer drinking on root days.

The group intends to do the same exercise with conventional wines, while Platter's and Avondale are planning a repeat with a different panel.

You can find the calendar here

See also my first post with the same title for more background to the calendar and the theory.

1 comment:

  1. Well done HGV for the comprehensive and insightful report! I am sure this has converted the non-believers among us! Only visiting wine farms on flower days from now on..