Organic red wine that's still full of flavour '“Â Alistair Gibson
As highlighted last week, this month is Organic September, aÂ campaign which aims to raise awareness of organic products, the brands, producers andÂ farmers who produce them and that, of course, includes wine.Â Â
Waitrose has seen aÂ significant increase in its sales of organic wines, and they are not alone,Â
In a recent reportÂ the growing interest in ethical and organic wines is among the top trends to watch in UKÂ retail, with the market expected to increase by 14 per centÂ this year.
Lee Holdstock, of the SoilÂ Association, recently stated: '˜Higher certification standardsÂ for organic wine mean it is low in sulphates, while research shows that organic crops andÂ products '“ including organic red wine '“ have higher levels of antioxidant richÂ bioflavonoids'.
Organic wine can still containÂ small amounts of naturally produced sulphites.Â But I think it's fair to say that withoutÂ pesticides and chemicals it has to be much better for you, and indeed for the environmentÂ as a whole.
Here are some reds to taste this month.Â
Terre di Faiano Organic Primitivo 2016, Salento (Waitrose Â£7.49 on offer from Â£9.99 untilÂ October 2) is one of those crowd-pleasing red wines and the fact that it is organic is anÂ added bonus.
From the Puglia region of Southern Italy, Primitivo is the same grape varietyÂ as California's zinfandel and is made here by semi-drying the grapes before fermentation,Â giving more richness to the wine.
There is just a hint of sweetness on the palate but it would make aÂ great partner to tomato-based spicy pasta dishes or with a hunk of hard cheese.
YalumbaÂ Organic Shiraz 2017, South Australia (Waitrose, Ocado Â£7.49 on offer from Â£9.99 untilÂ October 2) is produced by Australia's oldest family owned producer, who hasÂ taken a keenÂ interest in organic wine in recent years. It has spent a few months in new oak but isÂ altogether more restrained than the Primitivo.
The nose shows spice, violets, whiteÂ pepper and some bramble-type fruit, followed by a medium bodied palate with softÂ tannins, a touch of savoury notes and a relatively elegant finish.
It represents really goodÂ value for money, especially while on offer, and would work well with a simple shepherd'sÂ pie.
Domaine Bousquet Organic Malbec 2017, Mendoza (winebuyers.com Â£11.25) isÂ made from grapes grown in the Tupungato region of Mendoza, which is one of theÂ highest points in the region.
There is some oak here but it's not overblown,Â as manyÂ current Mendoza malbecs can be,Â and I really enjoy the freshness that the wine shows.Â
There are both red and black fruits on the nose together with some spice and a hint ofÂ mocha, followed by a ripe but elegant palate with soft tannins and nice length on theÂ finish.
Match with a steak or a good quality beef burger.