Three organic wines to enjoy

Increasing numbers of vineyards and wineries are going organic in Australia.
Increasing numbers of vineyards and wineries are going organic in Australia. Photo: iStock

"Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees" Joni Mitchell sang way back in 1970. She was referencing the destruction of the environment even then. "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

It's taken a while for Australia to get with the organic program, but increasing numbers of vineyards and wineries are going organic and biodynamic. Certification guarantees risky chemicals haven't been used on the vines or in the winery.

Health is a powerful motivator, and while it's difficult to get numbers on these things, we see with our eyes and ears that more and more people are thinking about what goes into their food, and drink.  

Gemtree Bloodstone Shiraz 2019, McLaren Vale, $20

Score 90

Gemtree wines are produced by viticulturist Melissa Buttery and her husband/winemaker Mike Brown. They are certified organic and biodynamic by ACO. The colour is a deep, vibrant red-purple, the rich aroma recalling ripe plums and fruitcake while the palate is medium to full-bodied and soft, fleshy and well-balanced. It's been smartly tailored for early drinking, although it will also take some age. Good value (14 per cent alcohol, screw-cap).

Ageing Drink now to 10 years.

Stockists WineSeek online;; Jim Murphy's stores  and Elizabeth Bay Cellars (NSW); Mordialloc Cellar Door (Vic).

Savaterre Chardonnay 2019, Beechworth, $85

Score 97

Savaterre owner/winemaker Keppel Smith says Savaterre is "organic with some biodynamic practices", but not certified. This glorious chardonnay has a bright, light to mid-yellow colour, with a complex, nutty, toasty, gently smoky bouquet that leads into a richly layered, full-bodied palate that tracks the bouquet closely. Oak and lees characters play a leading role but aren't overdone. Delicious buttery richness on the palate, the fruit sweetness merging with savoury elements and leading into a tremendously long, satisfying finish (13.5 per cent alcohol, screw-cap).


Ageing Drink now to 10 years.

Stockists Prince Wine Store, Sydney and Melbourne; Dan Murphy's fine wine stores; Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW).

Lowe Organic Zinfandel 2018, Mudgee, $95

Score 95

The Lowe family's Tinja farm and vineyard have been certified organic with ACO for more than 20 years, adding biodynamic practices for the last 10 years. This powerful red wine has a bouquet displaying red and darker cherry fruits, a lick of raspberry, and some floral high-notes. The wine is elegant in the mouth, intense and refined, penetrating and long, with excellent balance. The fruit does the talking and it has a beguiling sweet-fruit core. A delicious wine with many years ahead of it (15.1 per cent alcohol, cork).

Ageing Drink now to 2035+.