wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


Organic vs. non-organic tasting: comparing 30 pairs of wines

The wines were tasted blind, in matched pairs (organic and non-organic). Each wine is scored out of 100, and I've indicated after the note which of the pair I thought was organic. The scores are probably a little on the high side, but I was trying closely to follow the score guidelines I was given. For comparison purposes, prices and in some cases availability are given in brackets. 



1) Can Vendrell de la Codina (Organic)
Full, yeasty, bready nose. Full flavoured palate has some complexity. 87 (£6.99)

1a) Segura Viudas Brut Reserva (Non organic)
Very pronounced yeasty nose is a bit crude and volatile. High acid palate is a bit rustic. Organic? 75 (£6.99)


2) Marie Demets Brut Champagne (Non organic)
Part-muted biscuitty nose. Savoury, rich, slightly nutty palate. Unusual and interesting. 88 (£17.99)

2a) Champagne Fleury (Organic)
Intensely fruity, rounded, yeasty nose is slightly stinky. Powerful, fruity, rounded palate. Organic? 86 (£14.69)


3) La Nature Torrontes 2000 (Organic)
The striking, aromatic nose is rich and fruity, with a spicy edge. The palate is bold and full. Quite delicious. Organic? 90 (£4.29)

3a) Santa Julia Torrontes 2001 (Non organic)
A subtle, aromatic nose with some bright fruit and spicy complexity. The nicely rounded palate is full and delicious. 88 (4.49)


4) La Nature Blanco 2000 (Organic)
Rounded butterscotch nose is quite toasty, and leads to a full, biscuitty palate. Unusual. 80 (£4.29)

4a) Copa Real 2000, Blanco Viura (Non organic)
Evolved, butterscotch-tinged nose leads to a rounded, toasty palate. It's very savoury and quite old fashioned, with high acid and a roughness to it. (organic?) 78 (£3.99)


5) Sainsbury’s Soave (Non organic)
Savoury, nutty nose leads to a herby, savoury palate with a dry finish. A good full-flavoured food wine. 86 (£2.59 Sainsbury)

5a) Soave Sartori ( Organic)
Striking herby nose to this dry, slightly old-fashioned wine. Plenty of complexity on the palate. Dry; needs food. (organic?) 88 (£3.99 Sainsbury)


6) Sonop Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Organic)
Showing a striking boiled sweets/vegetal nose, this is very technological with bright fruit on the palate: an industrial Sauvignon? 76 (£4.99)

6a) Out of Africa Sauvignon Blanc 2001 (Non organic)
Subtle, rounded nose with a slightly confected boiled sweets edge. Palate is clean and fresh. (organic?) 78


7) Touraine Sauvignon 2000, Domaine Joel Delaunay (Non organic)
Complex, spice-tinged nose leads to a crisp, savoury palate with a grassy edge. (organic?) 88 (£4.99)

7a) Touraine Sauvignon 2000, Domaine de Pontcher (Organic)
Rounded, grassy nose with background herbal notes. Savoury palate lacks a little oomph. Good acidity. 86 (£4.99)


8) Chateau Recougne 1998 (Non organic)
Full golden colour with a savoury, toasty nose: attractive and full, if a little oaky. Palate is rich, herbal and dense. Lovely complex oaked white. 94 (£5.95)

8a) Organic white wine, Bordeaux Blanc Sec (Organic)
This austere, high acid white has a slightly rough edge to the nose. The palate is full flavoured. (organic) 85 (£3.99)


9) I Portali Basilicata 1999 (Non organic)
Nutty nose with a touch of volatility; savoury palate is a bit dull. 82 (£5.99)

9a) Falerio Saladini Pilastri 1999 (Organic)
Full yellow colour, with an unusual volatile nose showing fruity, yeasty notes. Interesting, but odd and perhaps a little faulty. (organic?) 75 (£5.99)


10) Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau (Organic)
Full coloured with a reasonably complex, spicy nose. Fascinating savoury, herbal palate. 95 (£18.50 Seckford)

10a) Pichler Gruner Veltliner 1998 (Non organic)
Stunning smoky/spicy nose is full and complex. Full, almost peppery palate is rich and delicious, with some residual sugar (organic?) 98 (£16.50 Seckford)


11) Chablis 1998, Gerard Duplessis (Non organic)
Classic, slightly smoky Chablis nose: restrained and honeyed. Savoury, dry palate. Good 86 (£8.71)

11a) Chablis 2001, Domaine Philippe Goulley (Organic)
Unusual fruity, slightly stinky nose, and there's an odd edge to the palate. Dry and savoury (organic?) 80 (£8.75)


12) Vouvray 1999, Champalou (Non organic)
Savoury, slightly spicy nose. Full rich and rounded palate with a touch of residual sugar. Interesting (organic?) 90 (£7.40)

12a) Terra Sana 2000, Lurton, Anjou Blanc (Organic)
Full, boiled sweets and herby nose leads to a rounded, high acid palate. Modern. 82 (£5.25)


13) Chateau Valcombe 1998, Cotes du Ventoux (Non organic)
Quite striking floral-edged herby nose. Lovely nutty edge to the rich-textured palate. Attractive stuff. 91 (£6.50 Yapp)

13a) Chateau la Canorgue 2000, Cotes du Luberon (Organic)
Modern, rounded, spicy nose is rather dull, but full and correct on the palate. 80 (£8.25 Yapp)


14) Macon Villages 1999, Guillemot-Michel (Organic)
Full yellow/gold colour with a cabbagey, vegetal edge to the full-on nose. Palate is rich and complex. Tasty stuff in a full flavoured style. Bold. (organic?) 93 (£9.80 Haynes, Hanson & Clarke)

14a) Macon Chardonnay 2000, Joseph Talmard (Non organic)
Restrained, minerally nose shows some toasty oak elements. Palate is balanced with good acidity. 86 (£6.80 Haynes, Hanson & Clarke)


15) Montana Reserve Chardonnay 2000 (Non organic)
Lovely rich nutty nose with rich fruit meshing well with toasty new oak. Rounded, rich palate. Delicious and balanced. (organic?) 95 (£7.99 Oddbins)

15a) Milton Chardonnay 1998 (Organic)
Restrained, nutty, toasty nose. Creamy, rich, spicy palate with a slightly sweet, vanillin-like edge. 88 (£8.99 Vinceremos)


16) Carmen Reserve Chardonnay 1997 (Non organic)
Full golden colour. Rich, smoky, herby nose; full flavoured, rich and toasty on palate. Savoury and tasty. 87 (£6.75)

16a) Nativa Carmen Chardonnay 1999 (Organic)
Really unusual slightly spicy, vegetal/herby nose. Palate is spicy and herby. Odd stuff (organic?) 82 (£8.75)


17) Bonterra Chardonnay 1999 (Organic)
Rounded, toasty oak on nose, with rich, spicy, nutty fruit on the palate. A full, ripe style. 89 (organic?) (£8.49 Majestic, Oddbins)

17a) Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay 1999, Vintners Reserve (Non organic)
Touch of vegetal/herby character to nose; ripe rounded palate with a slightly sweet finish 82 (£8.79 Sainsburys)



18) La Nature Barbera 2000 (Organic)
Light colour. Herby/vegetal edge to the striking fruity nose. Very simple, overtly fruity palate. (organic?) 75 (£4.29)

18a) Santa Julia Bonarda/Sangiovese 2001 (Non organic)
Full flavoured, but the fruit is slightly confected. 78 (£4.49)


19) Out of Africa Shiraz 2001 (Non organic)
Very deep red/purple colour. Herby blackcurrant fruit dominates the nose. Bit of green unripeness on the full savoury palate. (organic?) 85

19a) Sonop Shiraz 2001 (Organic)
Green edge to the nose of this deep coloured wine. Liquoricey, blackcurrant fruit on the nose leads to a satisfying, savoury palate with deep fruit and a creamy texture. 88 (£5.99)


20) Dolcetto d’Alba 1999, Vajra (Non organic)
Bright raspberry fruit. Very primary; high acidity. 80 (£10)

20a) Dolcetto d’Alba 1999, Punset (Organic)
Some herby notes to the brightly fruited nose, with high acidity. (organic?) 82 (£7.29)

21) Sainsbury’s Chianti 1999 (Non organic)
Complex spicy notes to the nose. Dry tannins and a savoury high-acid palate. Food wine. 86 (£4.29)

21a) Chianti Cecchi 1999 (Organic)
Old fashioned 'Italian wine' nose with some savoury herbal notes. The rich chunky palate has high acidity. (organic?) 85 (£5.99)

22) Chianti Classico 1998, Casaloste (Organic)
Sensationally rich, modern nose with a menthol edge to the rich fruit. Ripe, full, tannic palate. Satisfying and dense. 95 (Bull & Taylor £6.99)

22a) Chianti Classico 1998, Colle Lungo (Non organic)
Deep coloured with a rich nose. Spicy and full; chunky with high acidity. Touch of rusticity? (organic?) 90 (£12.49 SH Jones & Co)

23) Chianti Colli Senesi 1999, Arcano (Organic)
Touch of volatility to the old-fashioned nose. Full, fruity, spicy palate. Interesting, savoury, high-acid style. (organic?) 87 (£6.99)

23a) Chianti Colli Senesi 2000, Castelini (Non organic)
Cherry fruit on nose. Full, savoury and juicy with high acidity. 85 (£3.99)


24) Cotes du Rhone 1998, Font de Michelle (Non organic)
Striking meaty nose with some green-olive notes. Full, dense, fruity palate with plenty of character. 92 (£7.50)

24a) Cotes du Rhone 1998, Domaine du Vieux Chene (Organic)
Restrained nose. Chunky, savoury fruit on palate with some tannin. Very savoury, A bit dull. (organic?) 84 (£5.95)

25) Cotes du Rhone Villages ‘99, Domaine de la Grande Bellane (Organic)
Smoky, dusty edge to the nose. Interesting (southern Rhone?). Full coloured, with ripe fruit and spicy tannins on the palate. (organic?) 90 (£6.99 Thresher, Wine Rack)

25a) Cotes du Rhone Villages 1999, Les Faisans (Non organic)
Ripe fruit with a caramel edge. High acid palate. 84 (£5.99)

26) Chateau la Canorgue 2000, Cotes du Luberon (Organic)
Bright purple colour. Modern fruity nose. Fruity, tannic palate. 86 (£8.25 Yapp)

26a) Chateau Valcombe 1999, La Cerisaie, Cotes du Ventoux (Non organic)
Slightly volatile nose. Fruity palate but a touch vinegary. (organic?) 70 (£6.25 Yapp)


27) Ch Falfas 1998, Cotes de Bourg (Organic)
Deep coloured with an attractive blackcurrant, minerally nose. Ripe, savoury palate. Interesting. (organic?) 89 (£8.99)

27a) Ch le Breuil 1998, Cotes de Bourg (Non organic)
Deep coloured: classic minerally, blackcurrant nose. Slightly chalky palate is youthful with a herbaceous edge. 86 (£6.12)


28) Church Road Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 1999, New Zealand (Non organic)
Rich smoky nose with ripe tarry fruit. Rich, chunky palate with spicy red berry fruit. 92 (£8.99 Oddbins)

28a) Millton Merlot Cabernet 1998, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (Organic)
Remarkable open nose with rich, bright fruit and lifted menthol and smoky elements. Savoury berry fruit on palate and a dry finish. Distinctive. (organic?) 94 (£7.99 Vinceremos)


29) Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, Vintners Reserve (Non organic)
Restrained nose. Chunky, spicy berry fruit on palate. Good concentration, but a bit dull. 86 (£9.99)

29a) Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (Organic)
Open fruity, spicy nose. Herby, spicy palate. OK (organic?) 87 (£8.99 Oddbins)


30) Carmen Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (Non organic)
Blast of pure blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Accessible, concentrated berry fruit on the palate. Tasty. 92 (£6.95 Oddbins)

30a) Nativa Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 (Organic)
Pure berry fruit on the nose with some complexity. Juicy, fruity palate tails off a bit on the finish (organic?) 86 (£9.45 Oddbins)

Back to focus on organic wines

Back to top