The dynamizers of Nicolas Joly "My father tells me to ask you if you would like to join us for the annual tasting of new vineyards for Return to Terroir (tasting), it will be Friday afternoon at about 3pm, about 47 candidates, (a 100 bottles to taste) we have a few Americans, and to have a US opinion about the wines would be interesting, Normally there will David Leclapart, Anne Claude Leflaive, Pierre Morey, Jean Luc Hubert, Mark Angeli, Francis Poirel, Stefano Bellotti, and I hope Jean francois Deu." That was a note from Nicolas Joly's daughter, Virginie. And I was pretty excited about the prospect. I wasn't going to be a voting member. My wine point of view wasn't going to have an effect on whether or not a wine would be accepted into this roving wine tasting called Le Renaissance des Appellations in France and the Return to Terroir wine group. I was going to taste and observe and not speak unless I was addressed. I was eager to discover their decision process, what they looked for and how they discussed the wines. So, with a quick cut and paste to my afternoon, (after a lunch that you will hear about with gorgeous silvery macquereau) my friend Pascaline and I headed to Joly Central, la Coulée de Serrant in Savennieres. With a belly full of mackeral, we stepped out of the car in front of the dynamizers and walked to the monastery building on the property where the others were in conference. It was still cold in the Loire, and I stopped by the wood burning stove, before I went in to eavesdrop. The group was talking about the need for a better website, a potential blog, and the problem that no one had the time to do the work.They talked about the need to trademark their name and Anne Claude Leflaive, one of the more famous biodynamic vignerons in Burgundy quipped and sung, "Return to Sender." Chuckles followed and soon we were out at the long table to taste. Pascaline and I had stopped by the Coulee earlier that day to have a peek at the winery's cave. It was small, filled with old barrels and on top of a shelf was a tuning fork big enough to tune a Rhinoceros. Nicolas told me it was hard to articulate what qualities he sought out in the wines that wanted in to the Return to Terroir, but he needed it to have a song. He says song, I say voice, but we mean the same thing. Just as writing needs a voice, a distinctive wine needs it's own expression. The trouble is, how does one explain what a voice or a song or a tune is to a winemaker who is tone deaf?