Don’t be mistaken, organic wines can still sparkle: WINE REVIEW

Organic September is promoted by the Soil Association with the aim of encouraging more people to try organic produce, as well as increasing awareness of the positive effect that organic farming can have on the environment.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 6:08 pm
Castellore Organico Sparkling Grillo NV, Sicily
Castellore Organico Sparkling Grillo NV, Sicily

While wine may not be the focus this month, organic wine is one of the fastest growth areas in the supermarket wine aisles.

Indeed the UK organic market grew by more than five per cent last year on the strength of consumer demand.

There is also no doubt more producers are looking to implement organic practises in their vineyards.

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Bianco Maggiore Grillo 2018, Cantine Rallo, Sicilia

In principle, anyone can practise organic farming but producers do need to be certified – which varies from country to country – in order to label their wines as organic.

So this week some organic whites and an organic sparkling wine, and next week it will be the turn of organic reds.

Aldi has recently expanded its organic range and Castellore Organico Sparkling Grillo NV, Sicily (Aldi £6.99) is a terrific addition.

Sicily is a good source for organic wines in general and also has several indigenous grapes, of which one is grillo, which makes it even more interesting.

Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Stellenbosch

I have to be honest and say I’d not tasted a sparkling grillo before – I’m not sure there are many of them – but this is really good.

It’s really fresh, there are lively bubbles with citrus fruits on the nose, followed by fresh, zesty acidity on the palate and a refreshing, reasonably long finish.

This is perfect party fizz, great value, and a perfect alternative if you are getting a little bored of prosecco.

If you are interested in the what organic grillo can achieve when made as a still wine then Bianco Maggiore Grillo 2018, Cantine Rallo, Sicilia (Hermitage Cellars £12.65) is one of my favourite expressions of this grape.

Made by one of Sicily’s leading organic producers, this offers a bouquet of grapefruit, lime, tropical fruits and a little dried herb, followed by a nicely textured palate with more tropical fruit, citrus acidity and a just a trace of salinity before a long, dry finish.

This is a top partner to fresh seafood, or as I am doing at an organic wine dinner soon, with a classic bisque.

I was given a bottle of Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Stellenbosch (slurp.co.uk £11.95), which is produced by the Waterkloof Estate, one of the Cape’s leading organic producers.

I visited the winery some years ago, which is spectacularly located just a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic Ocean in False Bay, and was so impressed by the entire range. This is definitely produced with the Loire Valley in mind. Indeed, you may well want to think Pouilly-Fumé here.

It’s very fresh with green herbs, nettles and stone fruits on the nose, the palate is bone dry with minerals and beautifully judged acidity and a long, bracing finish.

This is all about elegance and mouth-feel, it would be wonderfully matched with some simply grilled seafood or firm fleshed fish.

If you are an oyster lover, this would be a match made in heaven.