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Online viffergyrl

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'Natural' Wine
« on: November 12, 2017, 06:23:44 PM »
Anybody given this a try? As in drinking some, not making some. From what I can glean it is wine made with minimum technology and wild yeasts. Grapes can be organic or biodynamic. No sulfites (sulphites for Papa) added. Unfiltered.

Go!
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Online Jim

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 10:30:24 PM »
Does this include the thermos of grape juice I forgot about in my locker in 4th grade for three months?    :nuts:
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 08:27:35 AM »
Anybody given this a try? As in drinking some, not making some. From what I can glean it is wine made with minimum technology and wild yeasts. Grapes can be organic or biodynamic. No sulfites (sulphites for Papa) added. Unfiltered.

Go!

I have Italian friend who do this all the time. They buy frozen juice from Chile in a six gal. bucket. Thaw & ferment. Transfer to glass 2 or 3 times to remove dead yeast & organic solids.  Bottle & serve. 
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Online viffergyrl

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 10:15:32 AM »
Anybody given this a try? As in drinking some, not making some. From what I can glean it is wine made with minimum technology and wild yeasts. Grapes can be organic or biodynamic. No sulfites (sulphites for Papa) added. Unfiltered.

Go!


I have Italian friend who do this all the time. They buy frozen juice from Chile in a six gal. bucket. Thaw & ferment. Transfer to glass 2 or 3 times to remove dead yeast & organic solids.  Bottle & serve.


Yeah that's the idea except there are vintners trying to do the same thing and selling it to the public. Raw wine is another term apparently.

Here's the article that piqued my interest:

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-is-natural-wine

Here's a local shop in LA: http://www.louwineshop.com/

It seems to fit with the raw food, vegan, etc. movement, I guess. I'm more interested in wine without sulfites and funky yeast beasties doing the work.
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Offline Skee

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 06:58:16 PM »
We will drink no wine before it’s bottled.  ( My motto)

I’m not sure what we’ve tried is true natural wine.  Have tried unfiltered organic sulfite free wines.  None of them were all that good. 

Post up if you find something good.  I’d be interested to know. 

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 07:09:39 PM »
We will drink no wine before it’s bottled.  ( My motto)

I’m not sure what we’ve tried is true natural wine.  Have tried unfiltered organic sulfite free wines.  None of them were all that good. 

Post up if you find something good.  I’d be interested to know.

Will do!
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 11:20:55 AM »
About a month age we spent two weeks in the NY Finger Lakes, in part following wine trails.

"Wild" fermentation is... what? not quite common, but not rare, either. Wine that isn't fined or filtered is less common but it's around, too. I don't recall how often we met a wine without sulfites, but, in general, sulfite levels are far lower than in the "bad old days" - IMHO sulfites is non-issue except related to cellaring wine. Many vineyards are moving away from spraying "methyl ethyl bad s**t". Typically we met wines made with some of these choices but I don't recall tasting "all of the above".

Wine Spectator occasionally says, either in a opinion piece (IIRC most recently one from Matt Kramer) or Dr. Vinny: expand your horizons. Don't drink just the old favorites over and over. As a winemaker said to us, "don't get wine blind". Sample some of the "natural" wines. Any winery may produce stuff scoring below 80 (questionable as even table "plonk") but I found 3-4 90's and a 91 in the non-library offerings (my scoring). If you don't try it, you won't know.

FWIW The Finger Lakes AVA is highly competitive in the US and even the international arena. There are, of course, lots of rieslings and other whites. But there are a variety of reds, including sevapai (Ukrainian) and (can't spell it) from... Siberia. There are also hybrids from Cornell. Once upon a time the area was all about Taylor and Great Western and Mogen David. Not now. And the tasting fees are killer bargains.

I don't think we got above $7, most flights were 5-6, and splitting a flight was no problem. I'm big on dry whites, Chris is big on reds. Between us, we covered a lot of ground and didn't get legless (nobody spits). Some people know wine, some people were just pouring what was on the sheet. (By comparison, a winery near us, D'Allo, charges $10, no splitting, and you have to try all ten ...uh... products from a good cab franc to icky blueberry whatever. Both people pouring knew the name of what they poured and that was about it. Brix? Nah. Residual sugar? Nah. Fermenting? Tanks. We ordered a glass each of what were likely to be winners and brought home the cab franc. Otherwise, BTDT don't like wine stains on t-shirt.)

We did two tours: Dr. Konstantin Frank - glad we went, but not a lot of depth, except we sampled some "green" wine, which was v. instructive. The other was at Fox Run - a major hit with the tour by the owner and a pairing lunch that was fantastic. Tasting high water mark: Fox Run and Lamoureux Landing, low water mark: Americana with Glenora close behind.

Hint: the big liquor store in Watkins Glen (east end of town) carries a lot of what's in the wineries and often at lower prices. Usually you have to buy "the really, really, really good stuff" at the winery. NTL we found some good bargains, including a few of reds currently sleeping in our racks, and some rieslings and pinot gris/grigios waiting for next summer. If not sooner.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 11:31:48 AM by RBEmerson »
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 11:58:05 AM »
We go to the FLX about once a year.  I don't like dry reds.  But we also go for the REAL hard cider too.  A lot of that is wild fermented.  Sometimes wines & ciders contain sulfates but they are not added so the levels are much lower.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 07:26:31 AM by oilhed »
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 08:22:14 PM »
FLX (either Finger Lakes or a Harley model ID - can't figure out which) also has tasting rooms for hard cider, beer, and outright spirits. And even cheese. Woohoo!

Unfined and unfiltered rieslings (maybe chards, etc., too) can do something surprising if served too cold. Little white grains or clumps appear at the bottom of the glass. Potassium bitartrate precipitates and falls to the bottom of the glass. It's harmless. It's used in cooking. It's cream of tartar. Potassium bitartrate is a by-product of winemaking. It can be filtered out. But if it shows up at the bottom of your glass, give the wine a few minutes to warm up a bit. The cream of tartar won't go away, but the wine will be more ...um... expressive. It's like a beer that's just above freezing: cold fizzy stuff with no real taste.
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Offline Skee

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 09:08:48 PM »
Natural Wine explained - more or less

The sticking point for me is whether wine fermented with a starter culture can be considered truly natural. 

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 05:13:25 PM »
What the heck do I know? NTL I think natural wines made with cultured yeast, no matter how exalted the source may be, are like "sort of pregnant". Or "natural or natural not, there is no partly."

The point about lack of identifiable terroir is a good one. Why should natural wine making erase that ...what?... essence of a wine? If I were feeling really snotty or snobbish, I'd say that if a natural wine maker can't compete with a whatever non-natural wine is, come back when you can. In the interim, the wine may taste good, but so can a good gelato from the local supermarket. It's OK, I'd consume it again, but I know it's never going to be excellent. And looking for moments of excellence are what wine should be about.
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Online viffergyrl

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 05:21:00 PM »
So my original question was - has anybody tried any?

If the answer is 'No', I'm good with that. I think you would know if you did.
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 09:31:16 PM »
No.

Are you (or think you are) sulfite sensitive? Or is this just an exercise promoting all things organic? I'm all in for that btw.  ;)
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 09:04:05 AM »
So my original question was - has anybody tried any?

If the answer is 'No', I'm good with that. I think you would know if you did.

No, but I am more a cider fan than a wine fan.  And I have tried and have also made Natural (or wild fermented) cider.

Sorry if that's too much information.  BTW I really enjoyed this discussion.
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 10:02:55 AM »
Yes I've appreciated most of the input myself.
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2017, 12:03:09 PM »
I did try natural cider - sidra - in Oviedo.  That's as close as I've gotten to it.  Wasn't that impressed, but I'm not a cider fan.  Just happened to be there during the annual festival. 

Are they making Natural Wine at Rusack Vineyards or any of the places you freqquent?

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 12:58:50 PM »
My natural, no chemicals, wild ferment hard cider experiment that I’ll be bottling today. 
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2017, 04:27:58 PM »
^Now that should be interesting.
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2017, 04:42:29 PM »
I did try natural cider - sidra - in Oviedo.  That's as close as I've gotten to it.  Wasn't that impressed, but I'm not a cider fan.  Just happened to be there during the annual festival. 

Are they making Natural Wine at Rusack Vineyards or any of the places you freqquent?

I've not seen any advertised by my usual suspects. There are a few California vintners who are experimenting with this as well as European vintners. My cork dork friend on Facebook is dismissive and says it's all marketing.... but he hasn't tasted any himself. So there's that.

Yeast mutates fairly rapidly even in the wild, so the term 'natural' is plagued with poor definition. The term 'natural' is not even defined for chicken, let alone wine so this is an adventure in the making. Which is why I'm interested in this particular wine shop as I think I'll find a wide variety of 'natural' wine and some other gems. Or not.

Edit: I just read the article you linked to on the previous page. So I'm late to the party apparently.  :lol: But that is what is so interesting - those who are really, really, really into wine have moved on, while those of us who casually enjoy wine are just finding out about it, are becoming aware and curious.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 04:57:29 PM by viffergyrl »
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2018, 10:58:48 AM »
I stumbled across this old thread and want to correct or "adjust" some of my comments.

Sulfites: Wine's got 'em, always did, always will. It's a by-product of fermentation. The final amount can be adjusted, but forget "sulfite free".

Yeast sources, etc.: after some drinking, some reading, some talking, IMHO it's more about "bragging rights". "Natural" is just another facet to wine making. It's not better or somehow more "good for you" or more "pure" than other wine making techniques/procedures. IMHO this is another instance of "if it's natural, it has to be better". It's just different. And it's the differences that make wine interesting.

Salud!
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Offline Skee

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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2018, 09:55:18 PM »
Interesting Op-Ed with historical perspective explains natural wine.


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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2018, 10:08:16 PM »
Good catch! Thanks.
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2018, 10:11:46 PM »
I had no idea this particular idea of wine had been around long enough to be passe for some. But I finally will have some time later this month to try some. I've not lost my interest; it's that life gets in the way.

Stay tuned.  ;)
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2018, 05:53:33 PM »
So I finally made it to a wine shop that specializes in 'natural' and unusual wines - Lou Wine Shop in LA. Here's my catch:

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Since 'natural' is not a legal or regulatory term in food or wine, I'll try to be as transparent as I can about how these wines are made. From what I've read, 'natural' can mean...

*Organic or biodynamically farmed
*Indigenous yeast
*'As little as possible' added during processing
*Use of 'ancient' fermentation vessels (?)
.... or how wine was made prior to the industrial era.

Practically speaking if you expect to sell your wine outside of your neighborhood, some compromises have to be made I think.

All right, the wines:

Bernard Vallette, 2016 Beaujolais, Quatre Saisons

From the deep south of Beaujolais in the village of Lachassagne, where the soils are clay and limestone as opposed to granite, Bernard Vallette is biodynamically farming 6.5ha of land passed down through his family from his grandparents. The grapes are all hand harvested and fermented with native yeasts using carbonic maceration and a comparatively lengthy aging in stainless steel. No additions in the cellar (including sugar) and just a touch of SO2 at bottling.

La Grange Aux Belles ‘53’

Cabernet Franc, farmed organically in Anjou, using herbal infusions against mildew and vinified with minimal SO2.  Short maceratons are practised here, with minimal extraction, seeking light-bodied aromatic wines, low in tannins and alcohol. Don't know the yeast or the vessel in which it was fermented. I'm told this is a much 'funkier' red than the Bernard Vallette.

Viteadovest Terre Siciliane IGP Bianco

An orange, unfiltered wine from Sicily. The Terre Siciliane Bianco is one of the flagships of Viteadovest , a farm that operates in western Sicily in full respect of organic farming. Practices such as the natural grassing green manure and the most limited possible sulfur treatments are in fact aimed at guaranteeing a natural and quality wine. 80% Grillo grape; 20% Cataratto. Indigenous yeast. The must is left to macerate in contact with the skins for 15 days, before undergoing passage in stainless steel tanks. The aging lasts for 12 months and is concluded with the bottling, followed by a further period of rest under glass.

Pet Nat Saint-Cyr Rose

Domaine Saint-Cyr (formerly Domaine de Bellevue) is the largest certified organic domaine in Beaujolais. Unusual for the region, the crus are all single vineyard parcels, and the name of each terroir is listed with each wine.  They are fermented in concrete tanks and then aged in used barrels for 12-18 months. All of the wines are vinified with natural yeasts. This is a natural sparking wine, meaning it was bottled before primary fermentation is finished, with no added yeasts or sugars.

The downside is that I need someone to drink with me as these wines don't keep very well. (Sulfite being a preservative and all...)  ;)

My natural, no chemicals, wild ferment hard cider experiment that I’ll be bottling today. 

How did this turn out?
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Re: 'Natural' Wine
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2018, 08:20:29 PM »
As for my cider I tried two wild ferments this year. One was 5 gal. of expensive heirloom blend. When it didn’t start after several days I pitched a commercial yeast. It’s good & dry and still aging. The other was only a gal. of sweet dessert apple blend. It came out good. Somewhat lacking apple flavor but had a surprise tartness.  Only got 10 bottles out of it.
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