Organic wines that won’t upset your wallet or your tastebuds

Organic wines that won’t upset your wallet or your tastebuds

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I seem to have spent most of this month dithering over whether or not to devote another article to organic wines. It’s been dubbed Organic September, so I know I ought to, but the problem is, so many organic wines, particularly the cheaper ones, are underwhelming.

Domaine Saint Antonin Les Jardins 2016



Domaine Saint Antonin Les Jardins 2016: serve with braised lentils.

So hooray for Aldi, which has managed to source the organic Fire Tree Sicilian Chardonnay (13.5%) for just £5.99: it’s attractively peachy and surprisingly fresh for a wine from such a hot climate. I’m not so keen on the same store’s over-porty Organic Primitivo (£7.99; 14.5% abv), though it would be fine with a slice of gorgonzola or other blue cheese.

There’s also a cracking muscadet from Bonnet-Huteau, Les Gautronnières Sèvre et Maine 2016 (£11 Tanners; 12.5% abv), which really shows the effect that organic and biodynamic viticulture and careful winemaking can have on a wine that’s often regarded as a bit – how shall I put this? – boring. I also love the single food pairing suggestion of a “St Pierre” (john dory), as if no other species of fish is suitable. (Obviously there is: oysters, for a start.)

Organic reds are rather more fertile hunting ground than whites. Harking back to last week’s column, here’s another wine that disguises its origins: Old Hands Organic Joven 2015 (£8.95 Lea & Sandeman, £9.99 Abel & Cole; 14% abv) is a lush, ripe, juicy monastrell (mourvèdre) from Yecla that looks – and tastes – more like an Australian red. At less than £10, it’s great value, too, as is Marks & Spencer’s cheery, gulpable Merinas Mesta Tempranillo Old Vines (£8; 14% abv), an organic red wine from Ucles that tastes like a young rioja “Good book club wine,” my notes say. And if you’re a malbec fan, you should enjoy the gutsy Vicien Malbec 2015 from high-altitude vineyards in Argentina’s Catamarca region (£9.95 Stone, Vine & Sun; 13.6% abv), which give it an exotically dark-fruited character.

Finally, a couple of immensely drinkable Languedoc reds: Domaine Saint Antonin’s Les Jardins 2016 (£9.90 Tanners; 14% abv), a lovely, supple syrah from Faugères; and La Grange de Quatre Sous’ Cuvée Garsinde (13.5% abv), an unusual (for the Languedoc) blend of malbec, syrah and cabernet franc that is stocked at £11.05 by the splendid Vine Trail. Vine Trail mainly supplies restaurants, but you can order by the case (which can be mixed). That may daunt some of you, but I do again urge you to form a wine-buying group, so you can take advantage of more interesting suppliers.

matchingfoodandwine.com



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