by Organic Wine Journal
on Jul 3, 2014
The 2012 Pig in the House Cabernet Sauvignon ($25) from NSW’s Cowra wine region has been named the 2014 NASAA Certified Organic Wine of the Year.
The inaugural NASAA Certified Organic Wine of the Year Awards attracted around 100 entries from across Australia. The Awards were open to Australian wines that have organic certification from an approved body such as the NASAA.
“This is the first organic wine tasting only open to wines grown and produced in Australia and certified by a Department of Agriculture Accredited Certification Body, such as NASSA Certified Organic.” explained the Awards organiser, NASAA’s Ben Copeman.
by Organic Wine Journal
on Jul 1, 2014
Guinness McFadden on the California Capitol Steps
Guinness McFadden of McFadden Vineyard was recognized by a joint resolution by the California State Assembly and Senate, celebrating his organic and eco-friendly farming in Mendocino for over forty years. McFadden had traveled to Sacramento on June 24th to receive an award for his sparkling wine, and was surprised by CA Assemblyman Wes Chesbro with the proclamation, that was co-sponsored by State Senator Noreen Evans.
Our congratulations to Guiness McFadden and the team at McFadden Vineyards and McFadden Farms.
by Organic Wine Journal
on Jun 30, 2014
There’s no solution for this, chemical or organic.
Hailstones as big as golf balls, buffeted by 60mph winds, swept across the Côte de Beaune region on Saturday afternoon, causing winegrowers to predict between 40% and 80% of the grape harvest would be lost.
Read full story at The Guardian.
by Michael Tulipan
on Jun 26, 2014
You’ll rarely come across more of a character than René Mosse. The day we visited, he was perched at a little bar in a Yankees cap ready to pour us wines. I asked him if the cap was for us, since we were from New York, and he regaled us with his last visit to Yankee Stadium. His wife, Agnès, popped in from tending the garden and saw we were in good hands so she left us to René.
Agnes and Rene Mosse
René, who used to sell wine in Touraine, decided to start his own winery with Agnès in 1999. Since then, their holdings have grown from 9 hectares to about 18 – all farmed biodynamically. We started with two enjoyable entry level wines – 2011 Le Rouchefer, a well-balanced wine with lovely structure and acidity, and the 2011 Arena Savennieres, from young vines in sandy soil, which displayed more acidity and just a hint of minerality.
We stepped up to a more racy acidity with the 2011 Les Bonnes Blondes, from 40-year old vines. The 2011 Initials BB, an ode to an infamous Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot duet, showcased their oldest vines, averaging 60 years, in rich, elegant fashion. This complex wine with an exceptionally long finish really demonstrates how great Chenin Blanc can be. The wines are delicious and show that je ne sais quoi imprint from Agnès and René.
by Michael Tulipan
on Jun 19, 2014
Domaine Roche Aux Moines
Next door to the estate of Nicholas and Virginie Joly, on a hilltop in Savennières overlooking the Loire, sits an ancient cluster of buildings behind a stone wall. This is Domaine Roche Aux Moines, founded in 1981 and named for the area’s highly regarded sub-appellation. The winery is run by second-generation winemaker, Tessa Laroche. A vivacious woman, she is pushing the domaine to new directions, and acheived 100% organic status in 2012. All her wines are unfiltered, harvested by hand and built for aging.
Tessa led us on a tasting of Domaine Aux Moines, their label of 100% Chenin, starting with the 2011. The wine shows promise, thanks to a mineral backbone, and is already drinking well. The soil here is schist and clay, imparting a flintiness to the wines and making them ideal for aging. How ideal? We soon found out.
Monique et Tessa Laroche
We travel back in time to the 1999 vintage, for a very different wine. Honey notes are predominant in this full bodied wine. 1998 reveals a more austere version and 1994 brings more acid and staggering complexity. All these wines are from the same plot, yet are vastly different. The 1992 brings it all into harmony – acid balanced with minerality and ripeness. This is our favorite.
We also tried a 2010 Les Moines, the first vintage of this wine, unfiltered with no sulfur and aged 24 months in new and old barrels. The wood was a bit too prominent, but the aging potential was evident. Clearly, the domaine is in good hands with the next generation.
by Michael Tulipan
on Jun 16, 2014
Fred Niger Van Herck
When Guy Bossard was looking for someone to take over his winery, he could hardly have found a more unlikely partner than Fred Niger Van Herck, a lawyer who once owned a web hosting company. The organic tradition runs deep at ECU, spanning almost 40 years, but Bossard’s new partner was determined to push the boundaries – a trip through the winery reveals some surprises.
Anforas at Domaine de la ECU
For starters, Fred says he makes reds “just for him,” and we are surprised to find 2012 Cabernet Franc in anfora in the middle of Muscadet. Having taken over as winemaker in 2009, Fred is just now starting to play with things like anforas. At this stage the cab franc displays more minerality than fruit, but Fred is hopeful about the wine’s future. Next, we tried a barrel sample of 2012 Ange, a Pinot Noir that already has a surprising depth of flavor.
Domaine de la ECU Vineyards
Back in his tasting room, we dive into the whites (all 100% Melon), starting with a 2011 Vintage Classique, which proves young and chalky with a mineral backbone An easy drinking wine. Interestingly, ECU names wines after the terroir, which makes sense when we jump to a 2011 Gneiss that immediately amps up the minerality. The 2011 Granite is bigger, yet pair this one with Epoisses – it can take it. 2011 Orthogneiss is a rounder and fuller expression of Melon. 2011 Taurus brings together grapes grown on granite and orthogneiss (50/50) for a rich, Burgundy-style wine. Aged in old barrels for six months, this unfiltered bottle should sit in the cellar for several years.
For more info, go to domaine-ecu.com.
RAW, one of the world’s most avant-garde artisan wine fairs is, this weekend, hitting the Austrian capital. Join us for our last big fair of 2014 to celebrate the world of unprocessed, authentic wine production, and don’t forget to buy your tickets online (or, if you are press, register yourself for free), as it is not only cheaper but spaces are extremely limited.
As our nippy litte van sets off on its busy little way across Europe, carrying with it spittoons, ice buckets and the 1000 unplanned for extra copies of the Vienna catalogue, which we pulled-off last minute when the much prettier, collectable version vanished into thin air (yes, the impossible was made real when the transporter managed to loose an entire pallet because, and I quote them, “well, we just don’t know where we put it”), the busy little bees that are team RAW are now spreading their wings for some wine waltzing in a Viennese palace, complete with its own ‘Marble Hall’, ‘Imperial Salon’ and ‘Great Ballroom’. Not only conveniently located right next door to the prancing ponies of the Spanish Riding School, RAW Vienna is also 5-minutes walk from VieVinum, Austria’s enormous bi-annual wine extravaganza. So, if you happen to be in town for that, be sure to stop by and pay us a visit. Here are a few of the highlights that await:
A kaleidoscope of hundreds of wines to taste from 85 of the world’s most exciting natural, biodynamic and organic growers. Originating from 13 different countries, RAW Vienna will host producers from classic regions like Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, alongside New World wonders from Australia and Argentina, as well as exciting novelties from the likes of Georgia, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and even Poland! It is also a chance to explore a huge diversity of growers from central European nations including Switzerland, Germany and, of course, Austria – many of whom have ‘gone RAW’ for the first time.
Artisan, ‘pure fermented rice’ brews from Japan – a regular favourite in London – are also joining in Vienna, so come along to explore the fascinating world of properly crafted sake.
Food and refreshments provided by some of Vienna’s most sought after foodies, including bread from the Joseph bakery, coffee by Grandoro, sushi by Mochi, delicious raw milk cheese by a special Austrian artisan, and a surprise offering by the michelin-starred Taubenkobel…
We have also managed to get hold of a few extra advance copies of Isabelle’s forthcoming book (out in July) – Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally – to take with us to the fair. So if you missed out in London where copies disappeared like hot cakes, here’s your chance again.
Last and certainly not least, is the wonderful news that GABRIEL-GLAS have generously provided us with mouthblown glasses for all our visitors to use. It may also surprise you to know that these ultra thin, ultra light, angular beauties, share a sort of familial link with another ultra thin, ultra light Austrian glassware brand… Take a look at our Vienna blog to find out more.
Finally, inspired by our much beloved BBC Radio 4, we have decided to leave you with our very own Thought for the Day (see below) – a quote from the start of the chapter on ‘Living Soils’ in Isabelle’s book, together with a graffiti on a wall round the corner from our office.
Happy weekend and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
RAW Vienna – Practical Info
Opening Times: 10 am to 7 pm