Once in awhile, a wine reaches me as if by fate. Chosen almost at random, it leaves my palate stunned, regardless of its price or country of origin. Wine of this sort is often biodynamic: made by passionate, independent producers working in communion with their land, with the cycles of the local ecosystem. When I drink it, I know that I am tasting the toil of dedicated farmers, as well as the purest expression of a grape and its terroir. Again, this only happens once in a great while, and the wine could be from anywhere – France, Argentina, even the United States: New York and Oregon have both delivered in this regard.
Recently, another such momentous wine crossed the lens of my attention. Yesterday I had the great pleasure of disgorging and drinking a bottle of 2000 Movia “Puro,” a sparkling rosé of Pinot Noir produced by renowned winemaker Aleš Kristancic in Slovenia. I strongly encourage readers to learn more about his winemaking philosophy here. This was the first sparkling wine I have disgorged, and may well be the only opportunity for me to do this – it is not a common procedure outside of a winery.
Disgorging is the process of removing a plug of yeast from the neck of the bottle; although this wine is made in the méthode Champenoise, the lees are not expelled before bottling, but rather must be removed by the lucky buyer. This is accomplished by (if you are lacking in liquid nitrogen, as I was) keeping the bottle’s neck upended in a bowl of ice water and salt for 30-45 minutes, removing the wire and cork underwater, and then quickly righting the bottle to keep the wine from spilling into the bowl with the yeast – keeping in mind that the contents are under pressure. I was fortunate: on my first try I managed to keep almost all the wine, perfectly removing the yeast at the cost of under half a glass of bubbly.
And once the wine is poured? It shows cloudy in the glass due to lack of filtration and the suspension of remaining lees; however, it has a nice salmon tone, with an elegant bead. The nose is bursting with aromas of red apples, strawberries, and animal musk marked by undertones of stony earth. As the wine develops in the glass, the aromas lose some of their muskiness and become more reminiscent of ripe apples and cherry notes and a touch of toast. In the mouth, this wine has zippy acidity backing the berry fruit, with a nice roundness from extended lees contact. Although it normally retails for $45, I managed to obtain this wine for $30, making it (thankfully) eligible for this forum. It went beautifully with homemade salmon avocado sushi rolls, but I would drink this wine carefully, on its own.