BIO Dynamic Wines

Recommendations, comments or questions about wine matters

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TonyGoodman
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BIO Dynamic Wines

Post by TonyGoodman » Fri 09 Mar 2018 09:44

I'm attending a private presentation and tasting of BIO wines shortly. I have no idea who will be presenting though I have been assured it will be reasonably up market.

Any names I should look for? Market leaders?


Cheers

Tony

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Post by Webdoc » Fri 09 Mar 2018 13:59

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine

"employing soil supplements prepared according to Rudolf Steiner's formulas, following a planting calendar that depends upon astronomical configurations"

I wonder if you can spot a BioDynamic wine in a blind tasting?

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Re: BIO Dynamic Wines

Post by martyn94 » Fri 09 Mar 2018 18:52

TonyGoodman wrote:I'm attending a private presentation and tasting of BIO wines shortly. I have no idea who will be presenting though I have been assured it will be reasonably up market.

Any names I should look for? Market leaders?


Cheers

Tony
What’s your star sign? You could ask them which one would suit you best. BIO, ie organic, is not the same thing as biodynamic, as webdoc has said, though not necessarily less pointless.

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Post by martyn94 » Fri 09 Mar 2018 19:04

Webdoc wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_wine

"employing soil supplements prepared according to Rudolf Steiner's formulas, following a planting calendar that depends upon astronomical configurations"

I wonder if you can spot a BioDynamic wine in a blind tasting?
Of course you can, if the force is with you. If it isn’t, on the day, you just say that blind tasting is a neo-liberal conspiracy, got up by the Illuminati.

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Post by russell » Sat 10 Mar 2018 08:48

martyn94 wrote:
Of course you can, if the force is with you. If it isn’t, on the day, you just say that blind tasting is a neo-liberal conspiracy, got up by the Illuminati.
:lol: :lol:

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Post by TonyGoodman » Sat 10 Mar 2018 09:58

russell wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
Of course you can, if the force is with you. If it isn’t, on the day, you just say that blind tasting is a neo-liberal conspiracy, got up by the Illuminati.
:lol: :lol:

Russell

That's also my query. While a good back story is always interesting, all good fun the wine needs to be drinkable.

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Post by Allan » Sat 10 Mar 2018 10:36

I think that Domaine Cazes is a major player but I have to say that I can’t taste any BioDynamism

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Post by Webdoc » Sat 10 Mar 2018 12:03

I am reminded of a lecture I was invited to last year (I declined) on "the treatment of Geopathic Stress by Earth Acupuncture". It seems that all sorts of natural troubles can be cured by jabbing the ground with pointed sticks. The secret is, of course, knowing just where to prod which is revealed by the swinging of a small pendulum.

I wonder how that might enhance the flavour of wine.

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Post by martyn94 » Sat 10 Mar 2018 13:54

Webdoc wrote:I am reminded of a lecture I was invited to last year (I declined) on "the treatment of Geopathic Stress by Earth Acupuncture". It seems that all sorts of natural troubles can be cured by jabbing the ground with pointed sticks. The secret is, of course, knowing just where to prod which is revealed by the swinging of a small pendulum.

I wonder how that might enhance the flavour of wine.
There was a small fuss a few months ago about how many UK water companies used “dowsingâ€￾ to detect leaks in their pipes. The usual line was “we don’t use it officially, but some of our technicians do, and find it helpfulâ€￾. Which is roughly what they say in clinical trials, when they are testing declared placebo against undeclared placebo.

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Post by martyn94 » Sat 10 Mar 2018 14:04

Your maison de la presse, like mine, has a slim pamphlet - as always at this time of year - telling you when to sow your carrots etc according to the phases of the moon. I am sure that users get excellent results: I bet they give their carrots lots more TLC, down to singing them lullabies.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Sat 10 Mar 2018 15:59

martyn94 wrote:Your maison de la presse, like mine, has a slim pamphlet - as always at this time of year - telling you when to sow your carrots etc according to the phases of the moon. I am sure that users get excellent results: I bet they give their carrots lots more TLC, down to singing them lullabies.

That's precisely the issue in my mind, do they give their smaller number of vines extra care.

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Post by Santiago » Sun 11 Mar 2018 10:14

Biodynamics was developed by Steiner, a teetotaler, for small farms in Northern Europe as a method to make them more productive and less dependent on buying fertilizers.

For some reason it migrated to the wine world and became the method of choice for many vignerons aspiring to greatness and high prices. It’s weird because vines are not annual plants like cabages or turnips and we fight hard to make them less productive, not more.

I guess only with an elitist, luxury product like wine can biodynamics be used as a marketing tool.

Wine buffs rattle on about it but you don’t see any biodynamic cabbages, even in Waitrose.

Cazes is a strange one. It’s the largest biodynamic vineyard in France, I believe, and yet picks everything by machine and makes the wine in an industrial way, which is completely at odds with most biodynamic producers.
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Post by martyn94 » Sun 11 Mar 2018 10:19

TonyGoodman wrote:
martyn94 wrote:Your maison de la presse, like mine, has a slim pamphlet - as always at this time of year - telling you when to sow your carrots etc according to the phases of the moon. I am sure that users get excellent results: I bet they give their carrots lots more TLC, down to singing them lullabies.

That's precisely the issue in my mind, do they give their smaller number of vines extra care.
The questions are whether extra care with voodoo is better than extra care without voodoo, and whether either are so much better than ordinary care to justify their respective price premiums, compared to paying the same premiums for wine which is better for other reasons. The work of a few lifetimes. My best regards to your liver.

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Post by martyn94 » Sun 11 Mar 2018 10:37

Santiago wrote:Biodynamics was developed by Steiner, a teetotaler, for small farms in Northern Europe as a method to make them more productive and less dependent on buying fertilizers.

For some reason it migrated to the wine world and became the method of choice for many vignerons aspiring to greatness and high prices. It’s weird because vines are not annual plants like cabages or turnips and we fight hard to make them less productive, not more.

I guess only with an elitist, luxury product like wine can biodynamics be used as a marketing tool.

Wine buffs rattle on about it but you don’t see any biodynamic cabbages, even in Waitrose.

Cazes is a strange one. It’s the largest biodynamic vineyard in France, I believe, and yet picks everything by machine and makes the wine in an industrial way, which is completely at odds with most biodynamic producers.
No good for vegans, incidentally. I had forgotten quite how mad his system is: it uses lots of bits of animals, often in a “magicalâ€￾ way, not just blood, fish, and bone.

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Post by martyn94 » Sun 11 Mar 2018 10:49

[quote="Santiago]we fight hard to make them less productive, not more.]

Perhaps that’s the bit that works, if anything does. Research (though possibly on other crops) tends to show that it lowers yields, thought much the same as for “straightâ€￾ organic. But I know exactly zero about fertilizer use in conventional winegrowing.
Last edited by martyn94 on Wed 14 Mar 2018 18:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by russell » Sun 11 Mar 2018 10:58

According to the Oxford dictionary, biodynamics is "The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems." but in winespeak it is, "A method of organic farming that incorporates certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices."

It sounds like total nonsense and misuse of the term to me.

Don't get me started on "organic". I've never seen inorganic vegetables and never will.

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Post by martyn94 » Sun 11 Mar 2018 16:43

Five out of ten. Of course it’s total nonsense. But there is no such thing as “misuseâ€￾, in the OED of all places, if the sense is well-documented, and common enough, and reasonably stable. It always amazes me when people don’t get this, although I’m a fussy old git in most other respects. The OED does indicate a few words you shouldn’t say to a maiden aunt, but that’s a different issue.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Sun 18 Mar 2018 19:24

russell wrote:According to the Oxford dictionary, biodynamics is "The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems." but in winespeak it is, "A method of organic farming that incorporates certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices."

It sounds like total nonsense and misuse of the term to me.

Don't get me started on "organic". I've never seen inorganic vegetables and never will.

Russell

Researching on the net the impression I get is an underlying theme of intellegent soil management dressed up as a neo-classical post industrial approach to agriculture. How that feeds into winemaking escapes me for the moment. I suppose its a product differentiation, a marketing tool.

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Post by martyn94 » Sun 18 Mar 2018 21:07

TonyGoodman wrote:
russell wrote:According to the Oxford dictionary, biodynamics is "The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems." but in winespeak it is, "A method of organic farming that incorporates certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices."

It sounds like total nonsense and misuse of the term to me.

Don't get me started on "organic". I've never seen inorganic vegetables and never will.

Russell

Researching on the net the impression I get is an underlying theme of intellegent soil management dressed up as a neo-classical post industrial approach to agriculture. How that feeds into winemaking escapes me for the moment. I suppose its a product differentiation, a marketing tool.
Santiago said it very capably a fair way up the thread. I don’t know how far modern biodynamic growers stick exactly to Steiner’s system, and it’s immaterial anyway. Whether they do or they don’t, it’s all just “ipse dixitâ€￾ as philosophers say: our system is right because our system (and possibly its original guru) says it is right. Like Hahnemann and homeopathy. If they use an “intelligent system of soil managementâ€￾ it can only be by accident (plus a bit of folk wisdom): it would take decades of painstaking research to get an answer, and I won’t be around for it.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Sun 18 Mar 2018 21:28

martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
russell wrote:According to the Oxford dictionary, biodynamics is "The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems." but in winespeak it is, "A method of organic farming that incorporates certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices."

It sounds like total nonsense and misuse of the term to me.

Don't get me started on "organic". I've never seen inorganic vegetables and never will.

Russell

Researching on the net the impression I get is an underlying theme of intellegent soil management dressed up as a neo-classical post industrial approach to agriculture. How that feeds into winemaking escapes me for the moment. I suppose its a product differentiation, a marketing tool.
Santiago said it very capably a fair way up the thread. I don’t know how far modern biodynamic growers stick exactly to Steiner’s system, and it’s immaterial anyway. Whether they do or they don’t, it’s all just “ipse dixitâ€￾ as philosophers say: our system is right because our system (and possibly its original guru) says it is right. Like Hahnemann and homeopathy. If they use an “intelligent system of soil managementâ€￾ it can only be by accident (plus a bit of folk wisdom): it would take decades of painstaking research to get an answer, and I won’t be around for it.

Yes I saw that earlier note, it prompted my investigation on the net. Its an interesting story. However the proof is in the drinking, regardless of the back story the question is would I be prepared to buy it.

I had a brief introduction with a tasting of a Cazes red which was quite good. It will be interesting to see how other BIO's perform.

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Post by Webdoc » Mon 19 Mar 2018 08:04

TonyGoodman wrote:However the proof is in the drinking,
....... in a blind tasting.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Mon 19 Mar 2018 09:47

Webdoc wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:However the proof is in the drinking,
....... in a blind tasting.


Absolutely, my french is so poor I can't understand the producer exhortations nor sight read labels. The only query I have is would I buy it for personal consumption.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 19 Mar 2018 16:15

TonyGoodman wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
russell wrote:According to the Oxford dictionary, biodynamics is "The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems." but in winespeak it is, "A method of organic farming that incorporates certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices."

It sounds like total nonsense and misuse of the term to me.

Don't get me started on "organic". I've never seen inorganic vegetables and never will.

Russell

Researching on the net the impression I get is an underlying theme of intellegent soil management dressed up as a neo-classical post industrial approach to agriculture. How that feeds into winemaking escapes me for the moment. I suppose its a product differentiation, a marketing tool.
Santiago said it very capably a fair way up the thread. I don’t know how far modern biodynamic growers stick exactly to Steiner’s system, and it’s immaterial anyway. Whether they do or they don’t, it’s all just “ipse dixitâ€￾ as philosophers say: our system is right because our system (and possibly its original guru) says it is right. Like Hahnemann and homeopathy. If they use an “intelligent system of soil managementâ€￾ it can only be by accident (plus a bit of folk wisdom): it would take decades of painstaking research to get an answer, and I won’t be around for it.

Yes I saw that earlier note, it prompted my investigation on the net. Its an interesting story. However the proof is in the drinking, regardless of the back story the question is would I be prepared to buy it.

I had a brief introduction with a tasting of a Cazes red which was quite good. It will be interesting to see how other BIO's perform.
There’s vin bio, which doesn’t need caps, which is basically organic in English English. There is vin biodynamique, which is roughly bio with lots of added astrology. And there’s vin raisonné, which is less exacting than either, but tries to be green. Pick your cult, but do try to know which one you are pursuing at any given tasting.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Mon 19 Mar 2018 17:08

martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
russell wrote:According to the Oxford dictionary, biodynamics is "The study of physical motion or dynamics in living systems." but in winespeak it is, "A method of organic farming that incorporates certain astrological and spiritual principles and practices."

It sounds like total nonsense and misuse of the term to me.

Don't get me started on "organic". I've never seen inorganic vegetables and never will.

Russell

Researching on the net the impression I get is an underlying theme of intellegent soil management dressed up as a neo-classical post industrial approach to agriculture. How that feeds into winemaking escapes me for the moment. I suppose its a product differentiation, a marketing tool.
Santiago said it very capably a fair way up the thread. I don’t know how far modern biodynamic growers stick exactly to Steiner’s system, and it’s immaterial anyway. Whether they do or they don’t, it’s all just “ipse dixitâ€￾ as philosophers say: our system is right because our system (and possibly its original guru) says it is right. Like Hahnemann and homeopathy. If they use an “intelligent system of soil managementâ€￾ it can only be by accident (plus a bit of folk wisdom): it would take decades of painstaking research to get an answer, and I won’t be around for it.

Yes I saw that earlier note, it prompted my investigation on the net. Its an interesting story. However the proof is in the drinking, regardless of the back story the question is would I be prepared to buy it.

I had a brief introduction with a tasting of a Cazes red which was quite good. It will be interesting to see how other BIO's perform.
There’s vin bio, which doesn’t need caps, which is basically organic in English English. There is vin biodynamique, which is roughly bio with lots of added astrology. And there’s vin raisonné, which is less exacting than either, but tries to be green. Pick your cult, but do try to know which one you are pursuing at any given tasting.
That's the beauty of my buy or not buy question. I ignore the blather, labels and 'ologies . Its all about the taste.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 19 Mar 2018 17:53

wrote:
Yes I saw that earlier note, it prompted my investigation on the net. Its an interesting story. However the proof is in the drinking, regardless of the back story the question is would I be prepared to buy it.

I had a brief introduction with a tasting of a Cazes red which was quite good. It will be interesting to see how other BIO's perform.]

Looking at their website, Cazes seem to stick close to Steiner’s “biodynamicâ€￾ system. In particular, they claim to use his formulations 500 and 501. 500 is cow manure rotted in a cow horn, and 501 is some sort of ground up mineral. The magic is that you then have to dilute it (quite a lot) but it still only works if you stir it in a very specific way for a very long time. And then of course apply it at exactly the right time according to your astrological charts. But you are at least allowed to stir it an a machine nowadays. The process is called “dynamisationâ€￾. As I said, “ipse dixitâ€￾.

That said, I’ve had a drinkable glass or two of wine from them, and an OK meal at their gaff at Paulliles. They have been doing it for long enough that they may believe in it, at some level. But it has evidently done them no harm commercially, as we’ve all said. And no doubt their grapes are carefully grown, and their wine carefully made, if a bit industrial on Santiago’s account.

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Post by martyn94 » Mon 19 Mar 2018 18:05

TonyGoodman wrote:
That's the beauty of my buy or not buy question. I ignore the blather, labels and 'ologies . Its all about the taste.
Nobody is unresponsive to the bling, whether you like it or loathe it, unless you are tasting blind. And then do it again, a week on the trot.

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Post by TonyGoodman » Tue 20 Mar 2018 08:29

martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
That's the beauty of my buy or not buy question. I ignore the blather, labels and 'ologies . Its all about the taste.
Nobody is unresponsive to the bling, whether you like it or loathe it, unless you are tasting blind. And then do it again, a week on the trot.

and the week after? Assuming its good.

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Post by Santiago » Wed 21 Mar 2018 07:18

The. Wines they make at Paulilles aren’t biodynamic or even organic.

Those who are passionate believers in biodynamics regard Cazes as a churchgoer who doesn’t believe in God.

The extra care in the vineyard, whatever cult they belong to, should express itself in the wine. I believe it does for many growers. What I’m looking for is better expression of the terroir. So much more than the wine just passing a good, not good test. There are loads of wines grown with conventional use of herbicide, chemical fertilizers and over-cautious pesticide regimes that would pass the Tony Goodman test.

I think you have to look a bit deeper into the aromas and flavors that the wine exhibits in a particular terroir to see the benefits, or lack of, more holistic viticulture.
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Post by Allan » Wed 21 Mar 2018 19:04

martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
That's the beauty of my buy or not buy question. I ignore the blather, labels and 'ologies . Its all about the taste.
Nobody is unresponsive to the bling, whether you like it or loathe it, unless you are tasting blind. And then do it again, a week on the trot.
I don't agree with Tony that 'Its all about the taste' and as far as the bling is concerned, surely it is part of the total package.

There is more to wine that just the taste, there is immense pleasure to be gained from understanding the wine, knowing its history, visiting the domain, comparing it with similar wines, meeting the vigneron, liking the look of the bottle and a whole host of other factors.

Of course the taste is the most important factor, but it isn't the only one.

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Post by martyn94 » Wed 21 Mar 2018 22:46

Allan wrote:
martyn94 wrote:
TonyGoodman wrote:
That's the beauty of my buy or not buy question. I ignore the blather, labels and 'ologies . Its all about the taste.
Nobody is unresponsive to the bling, whether you like it or loathe it, unless you are tasting blind. And then do it again, a week on the trot.
I don't agree with Tony that 'Its all about the taste' and as far as the bling is concerned, surely it is part of the total package.

There is more to wine that just the taste, there is immense pleasure to be gained from understanding the wine, knowing its history, visiting the domain, comparing it with similar wines, meeting the vigneron, liking the look of the bottle and a whole host of other factors.

Of course the taste is the most important factor, but it isn't the only one.
I agree, but I don’t in any case believe that I have sufficient powers of discrimination to distinguish “the bestâ€￾ which seems to be Tony’s project, nor to reliably see the expression of the terroir which is Santiago’s.

I had a nice meal at Clos des Paulliles last summer with some visiting Australians. It was a lovely day, and a nice view, the food and wine was fine, they were old friends, and we had a long chat. My friends, who are much more aficionados than us, said they liked the wine, but they were possibly just being polite. I bought a case of the Collioure blanc we had drunk, but as a memento of a pleasant occasion, and in part a gift for them, rather than as an absolute judgment. That suits me, but I have no project.

In the 80s we rented a gite for a couple of years behind Banyuls, towards the Col before they paved the road. The last night of our last stay, a quite hairy fire came through, and I spent the night helping the vigneron next door hose down his vines. I have bought their wine much more recently, from his grandson, essentially out of sentiment though it seems to be well regarded, though not extravagantly so (Domaine Berta-Maillol, since you ask). But again I have no project: you have to choose the stuff somehow.

I can’t see how you eliminate that sort of subjectivity (and for my part I wouldn’t want to) without tasting strictly blind, so far as Tony’s project goes. As for Santiago, I’d be interested to know how he judges it: even (or especially) if he does a vertical tasting of his own wines, he must know a dozen reasons why they differ, apart from their faithfulness to his terroir.

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