Naturae 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon M&S No Sulphites

What to buy or avoid – May 2015

This May edition of ‘What to buy or avoid’ on the supermarket shelves comes packed with flavour. I have been quite successful in sourcing new organic wines, one interesting one with no added sulphites, but also a few flavour bombs. Have a look and I hope you will buy some of these wines online to enjoy during either early May bank holiday or later on at the end of May.

I do like variety. My recent discovery in terms of selection of produce that you rarely find elsewhere is Planet Organic. I turned to them first to source something new and hopefully exciting to tell you all about.

Brau 60/40 Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon OrganicBrau 60/40 Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Pay d’Oc. It is organic and also quite moderately packed with alcohol at 13% abv. The label also proudly informs about their achievement at the 2014 Challenge Millesime Bio – they won a silver medal. Should be a good one. 

Winemaking processes ensure that it is suitable for vegans, which is also good.

Let’s turn to how it tastes – you will feel slight bitterness, both in terms of its aromas and flavours. It gives away Cab Franc, whereas black currants and black currant leaf are the Cab Sav typical flavours. All blending in nicely and correctly then. It is juicy, somewhat slightly watery, but nevertheless very attractive. It flows nicely, and then you notice this bitterness and earthiness on the back, so if you like these savoury sensations you should try this wine. It has some meaty notes to it too!

Arrogant Frog Pezenas OrganicArrogant Frog 2013Ribet Rouge ‘Rural’ from Pezenas, Sud de France. This one was my second find at Planet Organic, so it is also an organic one, hurray.

It is made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in Pays d’Oc.

You smell the aromas of mellow black currant and some soft plums. Similar flavours appear when you first try it – I found it rather simple, a bit off dry, but nevertheless round and very easy to drink. The winemaker is said to be harvesting grapes from the hillsides in the Languedoc region and hence supposedly achieving a balance between ripeness and acidity. Well I must say that it is indeed a fruit driven wine, but it lacks a bit of freshness and elegance. It is not a complete no go from me, but again, with so many exciting wines around, we should expect something to capture our attention a bit more.

Naturae 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon M&S No SulphitesMy desire for some variety, also in my lunches, directed me towards M&S and apart from just buying some tasty and healthy lunch, I wanted to get something new and organic from them. I must say that they do not really stock many organic wines. It is a bit of a surprise because I did not find any in a medium sized M&S. Such a disappointment. ready to walk away, I noticed a no sulphite added wine. Well, at least something to try from M&S! So, Naturae 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon made by Gerard Bertrand in Pays d’Oc. No added sulphites is a very exciting find indeed. It has medium alcohol at 13.5%.

The wine has gentle aromas of black currant and herbs, only just to prepare you for a more robust flavour sensation – it is very expressive of Cabernet Sauvignon with rich cassis flavours, yet there is something more – hints of bramble and sweeter spice. Delicious.

I will not say it is so recognisable as Cabernet, in the blind tasting I would imagine I say it is a blend of Cab Sav and Syrah, just because of some sweet spice.

It is a natural wine and without sulphites and that is an excitement point for me: it is a bit more cloudy, but still very round and flavoursome as any of good quality wines. I enjoy this bottle very much, and so should you! 
Chateau la Verierre 
2008 isChateaux La Verierre 2008 Waitrose 14% Bordeaux Superior wine sourced from Waitrose.

First piece of advice: this one really needs to be decanted. The age of this wine resulted in some natural sediment, so just carefully transfer wine into a decanter leaving most of the residue in the bottle (no need for anything pretentious or snobbish, it is just that simple!).

The wine is very juicy with plums and bits of bramble. It has also shown some earthy and leathery flavours with hints of oak, sweet spice and herbs. Overall it offers very good complexity and appropriately refreshing as well. I like that balance, so it is a highly recommended one. With so many quite generic wines it’s easy to forget why to review them. Thankfully we have wines like this – full of character, flavour and charm, even with the added residue!

Coma Vella PrioratComa Vella 2009Mas d’en Gil, Priorat is another one sourced from Waitrose Wine Cellar.

No surprise I could not resist not to try Priorat, after all it is one of my favourite regions (no bias!). I will warn you – this is a Priorat wine that you notice from its smell! This richness is amazing.

Flavours are bombastic, both in terms of ample fruit, but heavy artillery with its alcohol – 15%-, and dark colours. It is made from the typical to Priorat blend – Garnacha and Carinena grapes. It is not organic, but was carefully fined and filtered, so it is suitable for vegetarians.

The taste is somewhat sweeter than I anticipated, yet it is also an effect from ageing in wood and very ripe fruit. This region is famous for the strong wines, but only a few vineyards can deliver on elegance, mostly the ones situated on a higher altitude. (Not sure what am I talking about? – OK,sorry, I went a bit too technical here – basically, the higher the vineyards, the more opportunities for  growers in the hotter climates to have that freshness and elegance in a resulting wine – this was and still is one of the biggest challenges for Priorat winemakers).

Bramble flavours are there too; an additional layer of plums gives it a juicy, but rich dimension. Oaky character gives some notes of sweet spice. I would wish for just a bit more refreshing qualities, but if you are looking for a complex red powerhouse, you have found it. It was the most expensive out of these 5 at £23, but knowing how small are the yields in Priorat, it is an adequate price, so you can buy wine online as well.

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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