jamie goode's wine blog: No-sulfur added Cabernet Sauvignon, mini-vertical

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No-sulfur added Cabernet Sauvignon, mini-vertical

Regular readers will know that I take a keen interest in 'natural' wines: those with as little added as possible. Normally these are niche wines, available only from speciality retailers. But in February Sainsbury listed a commercial no-sulfur-dioxide-added wine (see my report here), and it was really good. Here, I retaste that wine to see how it has shaped up, as well as the latest release, the 2008. Both are tasting really good, and represent brilliant value for money at around a fiver.

Sainsburyís So Organic South African Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Western Cape, South Africa
14% alcohol. Made without any added sulfur dioxide by Stellar Winery; sealed with a tin-lined screwcap. Vibrant, aromatic, juicy and ripe, with sweet blackcurrant and berry fruit. This is fresh and vibrant with lovely purity. An utterly delicious inexpensive, fruit-forward red with a bit of spicy bite on the finish. Considering no sulfur dioxide has been used, itís incredible that itís holding up so well. Dudley the winemaker knows what heís doing. 88/100

Sainsburyís So Organic South African Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Western Capw, South Africa
14% alcohol. Made without any added sulfur dioxide by Stellar Winery; sealed with a tin-lined screwcap. A really vivid, vibrant forward wine that tastes like a barrel sample. Itís that fresh! Itís bold, blackcurranty and intense with lovely density and the sweet, forward, aromatic fruit balanced by lovely crunchy, spicy tannic structure. Itís just delicious with a grippy, crunchy mouthfeel that works really well with the sweet blackcurrant fruit. Iím really impressed. 89/100

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At 11:45 PM, Blogger Vinogirl said...

Does it say 'Contains Sulfites' (US spelling) on the label anywhere? As you probably know, yeast choice is very important to the final tally...Lallemand's EC-1118 (Prise De Mousse) can add up to 50ppm of SO2 during fermentation (so consequently it is a good choice for a lot of non-ML whites). In the US anything with a sulfite level above 10 ppm is required to have 'Contains Sulfites' on the label. I find organic wines tend to be a bit "funky".

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Colman Stephenson said...

Which is the earlier tasting and which is the later?

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Adam said...

Jamie congrats on making the inaugural Landmark Australia Tutoria...someone else will need to walk the dog :)

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Amy Atwood said...

Thanks Jamie. I mostly focus on natural, organic or BioD wines on my blog, MyDailyWine.com.
Of course, these wines you review are not available stateside but I am very interested that the thirst for natural wines seems to be growing worldwide. And that SA is making some of them as well!

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

VG, no, it doesn't, so I assume they are lower than 10 ppm. Good point. Thanks for that datapoint on EC-1118. Remarkable.

Colman, corrected, thanks.

Adam, thanks.

Amy, thanks for the pointer, I'll have a look.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger tercero wines said...


Is it mandatory in the UK and throughout Europe to have to say 'Contains Sulfites' on the label, even if no additional sulfites were added?

Also, it would be interesting to have the bottles analyzed to see what their free and total SO2 levels are . . . just curious.

There certainly are more and more wineries stateside experimenting with lowering levels of SO2 during the winemaking process, especially those made for early consumption.

I think the jury is still out on these and it will be interesting to see how they age . . .



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