The most consequential example of Maxime’s deep commitment to the honest practice of biodynamics is this incredibly elegant sparkling wine, made in the Méthode Ancienne, a labor-intensive process that was abandoned in Champagne 250 years ago because it was too difficult.
This is a sparkling wine that you really want to smell and taste. So use a good wine glass, not a tall skinny flute. The color suggests the golden delicious apples and Bosc pears that emerge in the nose when the wine is first poured. Later, carambola, raw honeycomb and salted marcona almonds move in and out of the background, trading places with freshly shaved nutmeg, fresh sourdough, and a fleeting suggestion of dried chamomile as the nose develops in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is rich and mouthfilling, with a fine-grained creamy texture, and a solid core of sapid, honeyed, pink sandstone-infused white fruit flavors, including lemon zest and nectarines, that continues to evolve and put on weight, even after the creamy mousse subsides. This is great wine the minute you pour it, and even better a half hour later. Drink now – 2021.
About this wine producer: In 1985 Geneviève (Buecher) and François Barmès formed their domaine from the combined land of their families, who had owned vines in the Alsatian town of Wettolsheim since the 17th century. François Barmès wholeheartedly embraced the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner’s belief in the interdependence of the forces of life, earth, and the cosmos. So in 1995, in order to undo the damage caused by decades of chemically dependent viticulture, he began the transformation of his vineyards to biodynamics. Today his son Maxime carries on with the same commitment to grow the most exciting, terroir-expressive wines in Alsace, taking the discipline of biodynamics a step further: now, whenever possible, he uses a horse in the vineyards instead of a tractor.