Organics and biodynamics unleashed: Vintage Roots tasting
Spent an enjoyable day tasting the range of UK merchant Vintage Roots. They are unique in that they only stock organic/biodynamic wine.
It was a really well organized tasting for several reasons. (1) The location is great: the Worx at Parsons Green is a light, airy space that's just right for tasting wine. (2) There weren't too many people (although it was well attended). (3) Plentiful supply of Riedel Chianti stems which are now the default wine tasting glass for serious tastings. (4) Just the right quantity of wines, c. 140, so you can taste widely in a day but not feel like you are missing loads out.
The wines were pretty good across the board, but for me, there were a number of stand-outs. It was good to see a healthy representation of new world wines, with the best producers being Millton (very consistent range from New Zealand's Gisborne region - wines of real personality) and Emiliana (Organic Chilean winery). I also really enjoyed the Champagnes from Fleury, including three versions of the same Vintage 1995 with varying dosages (5, 10 and 53 g), a brilliant Vintage 1996 and a lovely 1990. An honourable mention should go to Quinta do Coa's Douro red (the basic not the reserve), a pleasant, understated Californian Pinot from Barra, and an affordable, tasty Pinot from Meinklang in Austria.
I also had a nice chat with Tom Dean, a Brit who married into a wine estate in Piedmont and who has converted it to biodynamics over the last few years. He had with him a cow's horn and two biodynamic preparations: horn silica and horn manure (pictured).