Organic Masters 2018: the results in full

Judge’s views: Patricia Stefanowicz MW

What I liked: The variety of wine styles made useing organic, bio-dynamic and ‘natural’ techniques is inevitably exciting! It is a delight to find that there are producers of Sparkling whites, rosés and even reds and Still whites, rosés and reds, where quality and value can shine.

Finding good value wines in the £10-15 bracket with plenty in the silver and bronze categories was excellent. were equally polished and balanced. There was an absolutely delicious, beautifully balanced and succulent red Lambrusco at under £10. Where’s the pizza or mortadella, please?

Rosés seemed to perform well in spite of the fact that making rosé wines is actually quite challenging. Perhaps extra care in the cellar is what makes the difference here?

The best value seems to be in the £15-20 bracket. The wines show plenty of intensity of flavour, brilliant definition, polished and balanced, with many wines achieveing the benchmark for an award. Integration of structure and flavour was key.

What I didn’t like: Variability in quality. Organically grown grapes are not a guarantee of quality at any price point. Careful winemaking and appropriate use of SO2, filtration and other cellar techniques are crucial. We found very good wines at under £10 and at £50, but many were under-performing. There were a few where a more judicious use of cellar practices might have produced a higher quality wine.

The red wines were a complete ‘mixed bag’ in terms of quality and value. There were a few stars, but it wasn’t obvious on the day which wines or price points were likely to be better. At £20-30 the reds sometimes appeared to be trying too hard, with over-extraction and high alcohol evident on some wines, not quite balancing the flavour intensity.