Organic wines to avoid

Do you agree that most of wine reviews are glowing and very enticing to try that particular wine. Yet sometimes we all think ‘how have I managed to buy this bottle?’, when we buy something bad or simply unimpressive.

I say that life is too short to drink bad wines, so here is the list of wines to avoid, a list of the worst organic wines that you can leave on the shelf (or online). There was no regard made on the cost of the wines – if the wine is bad, it doesn’t matter if it is cheap or more expensive. The following are the worst organic wines reviewed on I Blame The Wine:

Toscar Tempranillo No Sulphites added organicToscar 2014 is a no sulphites added and also organic Tempranillo.  It has been produced in La Tierra de Castilla, Spain. Alcohol is 13.5% abv.

First impression is not very good. I started to think that this is the case why many producers still stick to adding sulphites, as they provide a safety blanket and they are not forced to release a … how do I put it?… wines that are acceptable, but just barely. Sad times.

So what’s up with this wine. It is young and you definitely taste this coarseness. There is something else to it – no roundness or elegance. Fruit is also quite restrained, but not in a good way- the wine simply lacks it.  It is a winemaking issue and possibly a result of their decision not to use sulphur dioxide.

The wine was sourced at ‘Vintage Roots’, but you can also find it at Planet Organic. My organic rating is 20/35 (pretty poor wine).


Chatelaine Stephanie vin biologique organic ValenciaChatelaine Stephanie Vin d’Espagne (Valencia).

There is no identity on the bottle, written in French, but then you figure out that this wine is actually produced in Spain (I picked up Valencia only on the website where I bought it – Vinceremos) . What is surprising is that there is no indication of vintage, geography or grape. I am only taking one front picture of the wine label, but in this case, so you can check how weird it is – here you go!

When checking about a grape on a producer’s website, you find out that it is made of Monastrell, typical grape for a region of Valencia. I suppose it is still very young as you get some red currants and some sweet spice perfume; yet it is too acidic for me. When you get this sharp acidity without much fruit, it is really unpleasantly simple.

It is one of the rare cases where I would be telling you to avoid buying this wine at all costs (at £6.49 it is cheap, but definitely not worth your liver capacity). I noticed that the retailer added that this wine is available also available in 10 litre bag in the box. Well, I am totally speechless – even if you have a large party of guests coming, why would you hate them that much? 20/35


Evolution Organic Red Blend Oregon USAEvolution Organic Red Blend, Oregon, USA is an organic red blend coming from Oregon.  It is a third edition made by Sokol Blosser Winery. You can see that this organic wine has a very funky label, which makes it quite mysterious – there is no indication of what kind of red blend it actually is. It is a bit strange not to include any additional information on the label, which itself is quite illustrative, but dare I say, quite useless as well.

The wine has different layers of red and black fruit, sweet spice and overall off dry feel to it. It has a bit of bitterness – maybe Cabernet franc is in this red blend?

As for me, it’s an OK wine, but the aromas are quite weak, the flavours are juicy and somewhat sweet, but not overly complex to be very excited about it.

The wine was sourced at Whole Foods. 21/35


La Souche Domaine de Faucon Dore organic wineDomaine du Faucon Dore ‘La Souche’ 2013 is an organic and biodynamic wine from Cote du Rhone.

It sounds grand and exciting, this southern region is indeed one of my favourites for its deep and intensely flavoured red wines, which are able to surprise.

In this particular example, the surprise was not pleasant – the wine was very light, but also very thin, acidic and sharp. You can smell some strawberries, plums, forest fruit, and red currants, which altogether seems like a reasonable combination – fresh and light. The sharpness and acidic nature of the wine is not impressive, but if you pair a glass of this wine to a ham and cheese sandwich, the food will slightly round up the wine and it will be an acceptable picnic red.

I will not be buying another bottle of this organic wine though – as a matter of fact I have used the remainder of this bottle for cooking (it was a nice red wine and brackcurrant jus I made for venison!).  Sourced from Abel and Cole. 21/35


Theresa Organic Tempranillo Garnacha Spain

Theresa 2014 is made from Organic Temptanillo and Garnacha grapes, also in Tierra de Castilla, Spain.

The wine is very easy to drink with its red berry flavours. It is simple, but very light – there is a bit of oak, but hardly noticeable (I suspect some oak chips added to vats to minimise the production costs). A glass of this wine is OK to try, but definitely not more than that- it’s not impressive or exciting unfortunately. It was sourced from Abel and Cole. 23/35


Chateau de Brau 2012 Cabardes

Chateau de Brau 2012 is coming from Cabardes, which is in Languedoc-Roussillon, France.
The blend consists of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.
First thing you notice is that the aromas are very weak. You then move forward and taste it – the palate lacks fruit, tannins are a bit unripe and quite stalky. Not a great start at all.
On the plus side it turns out to be quite earthy and oaky.
My big problem with this wine is the fruit –  having a wealth of depth and savoury dimension to the wine unfortunately isn’t making up for a complete lack of fruit qualities.
Sourced from Vintage Roots at £8.75.

23/35


Yalumba South Australia organic Shiraz 2014

Yalumba Organic Shiraz 2014 from South Australia is another rich organic red that I have sourced from Waitrose Cellar.

It is a blend of organic Shiraz grapes across the whole South Australia region – it can be Barossa or Coonawarra for that matter, but we will not know. Yet to be labelled Shiraz it means 85% of grapes are exactly Shiraz grapes as Australian authorities dictate.

Yalumba 2014 has ripe plum and blackberry flavours, which are very soft and underlined by sumptuous notes of mint chocolate as well. There is some rosemary as well, but at the point of mint chocolate I must add that it is so typical to Shiraz.  This wine is also vegan and suitable for vegetarians, yet its round fruit is too sweet and also too plummy for Shiraz. Try to chill it a little bit and consume fresh. I would skip it when buying though. 24/35


Arrogant Frog Pezenas OrganicArrogant Frog 2013, Ribet Rouge ‘Rural’ from Pezenas, Sud de France. This one was sourced at Planet Organic, so it is also an organic one. 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. 24/35


Stellar Organics 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon South AfricaStellar Organics 2014, Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa can almost look like a Christmas tree with awards recognising their fair trade, organic and also no sulphites added status.

The wine is young and light, but opens up to a more herby, black currant leaf and cassis flavours. These aromas also more aromatic than juicy as with just a few swirls this organic wine gets from rather simple to a more exciting herby blackcurrant garden mix.

Overall, this organic Cabernet Sauvignon is a pleasant young wine, with a lower alcohol 12.5%, yet not lacking in flavour. It is very straightforward and quite simple, hence the price way under £10.

I would suggest you to have a piece of cheddar to counter balance the acidity with fattiness of a cheese and this wine would play just slightly better!

It seems that many retailers thought that it is rather good example of sulphur free (same term as ‘no sulphites added’) wine, so you can source it at Planet Organic, also Abel and Cole, Vintage Roots and many more who stock organic wines. I find it way too simple to impress. 24/35


These particular wines have failed to impress and should be avoided.

I have put together some recommendations on how to select a case of wine and where to buy organic wines online here, or browse through the best examples of what organic winemaking has to offer – the top list of the Best Organic Wines.

Cheers!

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