Organic red wine that’s still full of flavour – Alistair Gibson

Terre di Faiano Primitivo Organic Wine

As highlighted last week, this month is Organic September, a campaign which aims to raise awareness of organic products, the brands, producers and farmers who produce them and that, of course, includes wine.  

Waitrose has seen a significant increase in its sales of organic wines, and they are not alone, 

Yalumba Organic Shiraz

In a recent report the growing interest in ethical and organic wines is among the top trends to watch in UK retail, with the market expected to increase by 14 per cent this year.

Lee Holdstock, of the Soil Association, recently stated: ‘Higher certification standards for organic wine mean it is low in sulphates, while research shows that organic crops and products – including organic red wine – have higher levels of antioxidant rich bioflavonoids’.

Organic wine can still contain small amounts of naturally produced sulphites. But I think it’s fair to say that without pesticides and chemicals it has to be much better for you, and indeed for the environment as a whole.

Here are some reds to taste this month. 

Domaine Bousquet Organic Malbec, 2017

Terre di Faiano Organic Primitivo 2016, Salento (Waitrose £7.49 on offer from £9.99 until October 2) is one of those crowd-pleasing red wines and the fact that it is organic is an added bonus.

From the Puglia region of Southern Italy, Primitivo is the same grape variety as California’s zinfandel and is made here by semi-drying the grapes before fermentation, giving more richness to the wine.

There is just a hint of sweetness on the palate but it would make a great partner to tomato-based spicy pasta dishes or with a hunk of hard cheese.

Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2017, South Australia (Waitrose, Ocado £7.49 on offer from £9.99 until October 2) is produced by Australia’s oldest family owned producer, who has taken a keen interest in organic wine in recent years. It has spent a few months in new oak but is altogether more restrained than the Primitivo.

The nose shows spice, violets, white pepper and some bramble-type fruit, followed by a medium bodied palate with soft tannins, a touch of savoury notes and a relatively elegant finish.

It represents really good value for money, especially while on offer, and would work well with a simple shepherd’s pie.

Domaine Bousquet Organic Malbec 2017, Mendoza (winebuyers.com £11.25) is made from grapes grown in the Tupungato region of Mendoza, which is one of the highest points in the region.

There is some oak here but it’s not overblown, as many current Mendoza malbecs can be, and I really enjoy the freshness that the wine shows. 

There are both red and black fruits on the nose together with some spice and a hint of mocha, followed by a ripe but elegant palate with soft tannins and nice length on the finish.

Match with a steak or a good quality beef burger.

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