It is one of the ironies of the biodynamics movement, launched in Austria in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner, that Austrian wine producers who practice biodynamics aren’t free to say so on labels of their wine destined for the U.S. Here, biodynamics is trademarked, and anyone who wants to claim their wines are biodynamically made must first be certified by the Biodynamic Association, which holds those rights.
Nevertheless, we have some wines in our Dozen made by Austrian producers who practice bio principles, such as following the stages of the moon and movements in the heavens as well as producing compost-based sprays for disease control. The wines are from a group of growers who banded together in 2007 under the bio umbrella called Respekt.
If, after a few sips, you start musically chanting R-E-S-P-E-K-T, your neighbors will probably think you are simply suffering lockdown mania.
2019 Sattlerhof “Südsteiermark” Sauvignon Blanc ($19). Very nice mellow apple tastes at the beginning followed by a spiciness and a green-fruit finish.
2019 Wieninger Wiener Gemischter Satz ($21). Lively tart fruit with a touch of savory bitters, tasting a bit like Champagne without the bubbles.
2019 Loimer Langenlois Kamptal Grüner Veltliner ($24), Muted fruit with rich bready/yeasty flavors and some bitters at the edges.
NV Loimer Niederösterreich Brut Rosé Reserve ($35). Lots of bubbles, lightly tangy and intense fruits of dried strawberries with some metallic minerality.
2018 Heinrich “Naked Red” Austrian Wine ($20). Tart red fruits high on the palate with some herbal oiliness and dusty tannins.
And now on with the rest of the show:
2020 Los Vascos Valle de Colchagua Chardonnay ($10). Refreshing green apple and citrus flavors with a little spritz and pleasant bitterness.
2019 Balletto Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($19). More European in style and somewhat akin to mild apple cider with its fruity tartness.
NV Mionetto “Millesimato” Prosecco Rosé ($14). Now that a pink Prosecco is permissible, it has turned out well – lovely effervescence, a little bit of spice and fruity, fresh-berry flavors.
2020 Los Vascos Valle de Colchagua Rosé ($11). Mainly Syrah and Cab Sauvignon, it has strawberry and candied-fruit flavors with lots of tangy acidity in the finish.
2018 Los Vascos “Cromas” Valle de Colchagua Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($22). Tart, but full-berry flavors, good structure, crisp finish.
2019 Los Vascos “Cromas” Valle de Colchagua Gran Reserve Carménère ($22). Nicely knit together with muted dark fruits, some herbaceousness, friendly barrel notes and defining bitters.
Graham’s 10-Year-Old Tawny Port ($39). Lovely flavors and structure for prolonged sipping – honey, sorghum, caramel, some spiciness – with great smoothness and balancing acidity.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.
Photo credit: Respekt