I am delighted to have worked with one of wine-pages’ sponsor companies, Vintage Roots, to bring you a mixed case of wines, selected by me, and offered to wine-pages visitors at an exclusive discount price.
Organic wines were once a curiosity that sat amongst the packets of lentils and tofu in a ‘special’ section of your local supermarket. But the past 20 years has seen an astonishing revolution. Today the world’s top estates will practice sustainable agricultural at least, minimising their use of synthetic herbicides and pesticides, but so many are now fully organic or biodynamic. This has been the specialism of Vintage Roots for 30 years and they have built a portfolio of organic wines that shines, not just as a specialist selection, but as one of the highest quality and most interesting in the UK.
The wines I have chosen for this mixed case really did impress and are listed below. The cost of this mixed case is £139.45, but wine-pages visitors can use this link to buy it for just £125 – with free delivery to the UK mainland. The case of 12 bottles contains 10 different wines, with two bottles of each of the wines as indicated below. Though Vintage Roots is a sponsor of wine-pages.com, we make no commission or referral fees on any sales of these wines: the discount is all yours to enjoy.
(2015) Vintage Roots have a couple of excellent Proseccos on their books, drier and rather more serious than some. This vintage wine comes from Fasoli Gino, a family-run winery in Verona who pioneered organic farming in the area 30 years ago. The mousse is modest, but the nose is more about apple and a hint of nuttiness and honey than the icing sugar froth of many cheaper Proseccos. The palate has a soft peach and passion fruit ripeness, a hint of something exotic for sure, and good, clean acidity. It still has party/aperitif credentials, but enough pleasant bitter lemon acidity to be savoury too.
(2015) We kick off the whites with an unusual 'moelleux', literally meaning 'mellow', off-dry white made from late-harvested Gros Manseng grapes in the South-west of France. With only 11.5% alcohol this is such a charming little wine, succulent with honey, nectarine and herb aromas, before the palate that is limpid and rich, but with a streaking apple acidity to balance. The winemaker suggests drinking with Comte cheese, and I'd throw Mimolet or even Parmesan into the mix too, but a delicious wine.
(2015) Highly unusual, this is a Riesling from the shores of Lake Garda at Lugana. It's a wonderfully pure, clear and fresh expression of Riesling, yet so different from, for example, a typical Clare Valley style, though this too is dry and super-crisp, it somehow has weight and texture to its apple and lemony fruit, a certain amount of fat on the mid palate and the acidity balanced but not too austere. A really interesting wine, and delicious too.
(2015) A typically deeply coloured Spanish rosé, so unlike the in vogue Provence pale style, but that's a good thing with just too many lookalikes flooding the shelves. This has an inviting strawberries and cream nose, a little touch of cappuccino adding to the appeal. In the mouth is it perhaps just flirting with off-dry? But a sweep of that pulpy strawberry fruit, good acidity and a bit of Tempranillo spice gives a savoury finish.
(2015) This Languedoc red is a blend of organic Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, a juicy cherry and bright summer berry-filled red with quite a velvety appeal. In the mouth it is medium-bodied, the 13% alcohol moderate and the gentle framework of fine, creamy tannins and fairly gentle acidity adding to the easy-drinking charms. It is a charmer, but has enough structure for red meats too.
(2015) OK, it's not the most profound wine of this tasting, but it was absolutely one of my favourites for sheer drinking pleasure. Organically certified Gamay with just 12% alcohol, it is quintessential stuff, with explosive aromas of cherries and red liquorice, sappy young woodland, pepper and a touch of smokiness. In the mouth it is bursting with youthful energy, that crunching red berry fruit, little toughening edge of meaty tannin, and lovely acidity to run alongside the fruit and perfume. I'd happily sip this with roast chicken, turkey, duck or goose.
(2015) A long-term project of Jean-Claude Mas, this is a 'no sdded sulphur' organic wine, with sulphur not used during the winemaking process. It's a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from the Languedoc. Inky purple/black in colour it is very primary, with bold raspberry and bright cherry and plum fruit, a touch of watercolour paintbox lift, and a background of spice. Totally convincing on the palate, where a dry, quite solid black fruit drives the wine, a nicely roughening, brisk edge of tannin and the juicy acid character of cherry and plum skins adds an edge to the plush fruit, with a little chocolate fleshing out the finish. An impressive no sulphur wine.
(2015) From the Maipo Valley, a wine from organic vineyards that also follow some biodynamic principles, this is made by the highly respected Alvaro Espinoza who was winemaker at Carmen for many years and is considered one of the country's great viticultural experts. The wine spends 18 months in French oak and opens with a beautifully deep and glossy pool of black fruits, just elegantly edged with mint and chocolate. In the mouth it is opulently rich, an almost jammy blackcurrant sweetness to the fruit, but a broad-based, creamy tannin structure, tight cherry acidity and a spiciness give it flesh, texture and length.
(2015) Not a wine of course, but a liqueur made in Somerset, England, by fermenting fresh crushed ginger then adding brandy, fortifying the liqueur to 21% alcohol. Pouring a lovely burnished amber colour, the viscosity and richness is immediately obvious, as is the deep and sensual spice of the ginger. In the mouth it is thick and moderately sweet, the pleasant burn of the ginger building slowly in the mouth, with a kick of the alcohol and a little toast in the finish. Unusual, and served after dinner - or poured over good vanilla ice cream - what a treat. Price for 37.5cl.
(2015) A classic Sauternes blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and a touch of Muscadelle, I've already reviewed this organic wine as part of The Wine Gang, awarding it 91 points. It really is heavenly stuff, sheer as silk and gossamer light, yet flooded with honey and opulently rich exotic fruit, notes of ginger and spice, marmalade and delicate leaf tea combine with a crisp core of acidity to extend the finish and give this beautiful balance. A great Sauternes from a great year, and a treat. Price for 50cl.