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Best Of Organic Wines Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 November 2007
You're trying to live an 'organic' life, you've sourced your veggies, meat and fish but what about choosing an appropriate wine to complete the organic feast, and which is the best. Harmonious Living hosted a wine tasting evening to find out.

Embracing an organic, conscious and conscientious lifestyle doesn’t have to be about making compromises. In wine, as in many instances in life, opting for the alternative provides you with something better.

Organic wines are made from organically farmed grapes. This means that there are no chemical pesticides, fungicides or insecticides used on the farms. Since wine grapes are naturally fussy, organic farming means that extra care needs to be taken to nurture them, and the resulting fine wines embody the results of this care.

There is a common misconception that organic wines contain no sulphur. Organic wines may contain sulphur although the quantities allowed are less than half that of conventional wines. There are producers who do not add sulphur to their wines and this is usually indicated by a “No Sulphur Added” label.

So which is the best organic wine? Together with Cellar d’Or we hosted a wine tasting evening for Harmonious Living readers to help us find out.

For the purpose of comparable tasting all the wines rated were from the Cabernet Sauvignon variety.

See their ratings below in order of preference.

Waverly Hills - Cabernet Sauvignon 2005Waverly Hills
Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Price: R90
Retailers: Selected Wines Shops, The Waverly Hills Winery – 023 2311 060
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Tasting Notes: The deep red centre is complimented with carnations and red cherry tobacco aromas. The bouquet is of roasted Brazilian coffee beans with peppery fresh radish that follows through on the palate. The wine has a remarkable soft velvety entry with a rather long after-taste. The typical red fruit of Cabernet Sauvignon is well balanced between the soft ripe tannins and low acidity.
Comments: This wine just pipped the Stellar as the favourite wine tasted on the evening.

Stellar - Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Stellar
Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Price: R40.73
Retailers: Makro, Pick n’ Pay, Woolworths
Suitable for Vegans: Yes (but not the sweet wines)
Tasting Notes: The taste can be described as roasted red peppers preserved in olive oil. Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc are related. This is not the green pepper taste one would find in Sauvignon Blanc, rather the riper sweeter flavour of red pepper. Wood chips are used during fermentation but more to stabilise colour than to provide huge wood flavour.
Comments: Coming a very close second, the scoring difference was negligible.

Sonop - Cabernet Sauvignon 2004Sonop Organic
Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Price: R38.99
Retailers:, Woolworths
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Tasting Notes: A lighter, cassis fruit styled Cabernet, along with typical cigar box aromas. The pallet has a hint of sweetness in the fruit and finishes with soft tannins.
Comments: The tasters had a mixed reaction to this wine. Some rated it highly whilst others were not as taken by it.

Org de Rac - Cabernet Sauvignon 2005Org de Rac
Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Price: R31.99
Retailers: Ultra Liquors, Solly Kramers
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Tasting Notes: This classic red wine with deep ruby colour, combining with blackberry and plum flavours on the nose, gives a strong well balanced finish that lingers on the palate.   
Comments: Like the Sonop, this wine also received vastly varied ratings.

Rozendal - Merlot/Cab 2001Rozendal
Merlot/Cab 2001
No rating

Price: R72.00
Retailers: Call Marita – 082 338 7245
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Tasting notes: A Bordeaux style blend – 80 Merlot:20 Cab. Bouquet and entry is brooding and complex with and earthiness on the nose. Subtle berry aromas on mid palate and end palate with a smooth tannin structure.
Comments: For the purpose of the testing this wine was excluded as it is not a Cabernet Sauvignon. However, this wine was enjoyed by all and topped the favourites list of most tasters - this may say something about the groups’ preference for Merlot. The Rozendal farm also produces some wonderful flavoured organic vinegars.

  • The wines were rated on colour, nose and palate.
  • All of the wines tasted carry organic certification.
  • NB. The tasting results are based on reader opinion and in no way represents the views of Cellar d’Or. The tasters were Harmonious Living readers and wine lovers, not wine connoisseurs.
  • Prices supplied may vary between retailers.
  • The event was hosted by Cellar d’Or in Rivonia, Sandton.

    Cellar d'Or

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