Ca' del Solo Estate Vineyard
This wine is a pale, translucent gold, a warm moonbeam in a glass. It offers a nose of apple petals and pear, with hints of orange blossom. On the palate it's broad and full, lush with melon, peach, and more pear, but it has enough acidity to keep it bright.
Here's how the winemaker describes it, on the verso label:
Our Muscat is a musky, melodious, melon-like meditation on minerality. Powerfully aromatic, with a bracingly clean acidity, the wine is just slightly off-dry. Absolutely brilliant as an aperitif, it is also a super complement to charcuterie and Asian food.
The photo illustration on the [front label] displays a sensitive crystallization of our Muscat. Sensitive crystallizations create a visual representation of a wine's organizing and growth forces—a snapshot of its internal harmony. By featuring this representation as well as enumerating the ingredients used in processing, we hope to demonstrate our commitment to natural, vital wines and to the great virtual of transparency.
Demeter-certified biodynamic, like all Ca' del Solo wines from Bonny Doon's vineyard on the outskirts of Soledad, California.
Grounded but vibrant. It would be delightful as a Thanksgiving aperitif. This wine's the moon.
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What, exactly, is a sensitive crystallization of a wine? I can see that it’s beautiful, but how does one make one?
Sensitive crystallization is a technique in which a substance—in this case wine—is mixed with copper chloride and allowed to evaporate. The resulting crystal patterns are unique and consistent for each type of wine, and these patterns, according to biodynamic theory, are an expression of the wine’s inherent truth, its vitality and life force.
The method was developed in the 1930s by chemist Ehrenfried Pfeiffer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehrenfried_Pfeiffer), a disciple of biodynamic movement founder Rudolph Steiner. Randall Grahm, the winemaker of Bonny Doon and Ca’ del Solo (http://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com), has chosen to feature the image of each wine’s sensitive crystallization on the label of his biodynamic wines.
Although the images, and this labeling practice, have been dismissed as new age hogwash and marketing stunt, respectively, Randall deserves more respect and credit. Knowing him a little, I think he’s trying to get us to tune into something that’s happening deep inside these wines, something inaccessible to our analytical minds but available to our various other senses and synthetic sensorial processes. The net effect of the wine—indeed of biodynamics in general—may not be fully available to our intellectual-verbal faculties, but may have a lasting impact on our psyches and our souls. This image is a reminder of that impact, a little hint to pay attention.
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