One of the 2009 wines that generated favorable comments at last week’s en primeur tastings in Bordeaux was Pontet-Canet in Pauillac. Over on Twitter, there was some confusion about the status of their Biodynamic certification. So I asked Alfred Tesseron who sent in a clarifying response that follows after the jump.
Given that Pontet-Canet is one of the rare properties in the Médoc (and Bordeaux, generally), I also asked the Twitterverse for their theories on why there isn’t more grape growing in the region done according to Biodynamics (a sort of homeopathic method guided by the celestial). Here are their <140 character replies, in chronological order of response:
@mrmansell: maybe bordeaux doesn’t need the gimmick to move wine?
@TimAtkin: It costs money. And would reduce profitability. Also it’s seen as Burgundian.
@JancisRobinson: In BDX commerce rules – v anti beard/sandal ethos. Plus, Atlantic rains bring extra problems. Ask A Tesseron at Pontet Canet.
@JossNOTJosh: Size of properties. 0.5 ha of Pommard much easier than 50 ha of Pauillac.
@waterintowino: maybe bordeaux wines arent as transparent and nuanced to show diff in biodynamics
@newbordeaux: I agree with Jancis and Joss – size of estates and climate here make it very difficult. But there are increasing numbers trying.
@kcoleuncorked: Because it’s not an area known for on-site, hands-on vignerons & small estates.
And the note from Alfred Tesseron of Pontet-Canet:
We started biodynamie for 14 hectares in 2004, in 2005 we did 100% on 81 hectares (200 acres), which is the total vineyard of Pontet-Canet so also for the vintage 2006.
In 2007 we had a strong pressure of mildew. I got scared that we might lose the crop and we used chimicals for one week. As soon as the pressure of mildew was over, we went back to biodynamie. From that experience, we learned and went back 100% for 2008 and also for 2009; We will receive sometime this year the certificate from ECOCERT. We are also with BIODIVIN.