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WINE: Seven Vineyards for Seven Aromas: Caiarossa 2008 Biodynamic Vineyards

Oct 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Cookery Holidays & Wine Tours, Italian Food and Wine

Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Alicante, and then Cabernet Sauvignon and a pinch of Sangiovese. A finely assembled mosaic that yields one of the most original bouquets to be found on the Tuscan coast. Indeed, if the first aromas are fresh blueberries and crème de Cassis, they are followed immediately by warm blackberries and sweet spice, and finish with licorice, slight cedar, and an unmistakable minerality…

The person behind this small red jewel is Dominique Genot, Caiarossa’s winemaker, who works the grapes from the 16 hectares of biodynamically cultivated vineyards around the cellars, inland of Cecina, a few km from the sea.

From a practical standpoint, says Alexander Van Beek, General Manager (in addition to Caiarossa, he also directs Château Giscours and Château du Tertre, in Margaux, in France), biodynamic cultivation means seeking and obtaining great equilibrium from the vines, using however just the forces of nature…. The results, in terms of complexity and taste are excellent, but obviously require much more time in the vineyards than does traditional viticulture.

Biodynamic principals, for example, limit pest control treatments to low-dosage spraying of copper and sulfur with infusions of nettle, willow, chamomile, and Equisethum, while fertilization is limited to the use of compost produced directly on the estate. The bulk of the support the vines receive is from the constant manual care of the field hands.

In 2008 the harvest took place — by hand of course — between September and October (after a very hot, dry summer), bringing to the cellars bunches that were healthy, ripe, and extremely concentrated. The grapes were selected first in the field, then on a double selection table, and then were fermented varietal by varietal, and parcel by parcel, in individual vitrified cement tanks or oak casks.

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