Sulphite Free Wines

 

 

 

We specialise in sulphite free wines. Some of the terminology has changed since we set up in 2007. As has been pointed out to me by the Wine Standards Board there is technically no recognition of this term under EU law, but the EU only requires the term "contains sulphites" to be displayed on wines containing more than 10 parts per million (and the same with USA law)). In the EU's own words, according to Part E of annex II EC No 1333/2008 "Maximum levels are expressed as SO2 relate to the total quantity, available from all sources, an SO2 content of not more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/l is not considered to be present". So this appears to confirm that the EU regards that when levels are 10 parts per million or below, that S02 is not considered to be present. Perhaps not a conclusive official recognition that a wine is sulphite free, but if the EU consider no sulphite is present I can't see any reason why the wine shouldn't be referred to as sulphite free to help the consumer make an educated and informed choice.

Some will have a minute amount (below 10ppm) of natural sulphites produced during fermentation but these are harmless. It is the sulphites which are a man made chemical compound liberally added to mainstream wines at various stages from vineyard to factory, which are bad for you and a danger to your health. Occasionally the naturally occurring sulphite in one of these wines may just go over the 10ppm threshold. According to EU rules we are not permitted to state that any wines above this threshold may be fine for somebody with a sulphite allergy, the wine must contain the words "contains sulphites" on the label. It would be inappropriate for me to elaborate any further on this as I don't want to appear to be challenging the EU rules, but suffice to say that different people will have different tolerance levels, and the EU's choice to use 10ppm as their threshold is not definitive as to whether or not sulphite intolerant people will have an adverse reaction. This is simply the level at which they deem it a legal requirement to display bthe words "contains sulphites" on the label.

Our sulphite free wines are made by artisan producers in very small quantities, some literally just a few thousand bottles or even less. Most farm organically or biodynamically although not all are certified, as certification for EU Organic is no longer worth the paper it is written on, let alone the extortionate fees. They relaxed the rules to allow big business to hijack the organic term and now over 40 additives are permitted in EU certified Organic wine, plus dubious practices such as reverse osmosis - a very heavy filtering which removes all the goodness. However our producers are the genuine article, and if they don't use sulphites they don't add any of the other 80+ additives permitted in mainstream wines either. These wines are basically just fermented grape juice as wine should be.

Sulphite free wines, particularly whites and roses, have a different taste profile to mainstream wines as they cannot have high levels of acidity. They also don't have increased aromas or initial flavours from introduced yeasts. But the plus side to this is they also don't have a bitter finish from added sulphur. So on first sip they can be quite dull. But take another sip and the flavour increases. Then another sip and it gets stronger again. Soon you find yourself loving the wine although you're not quite sure why! Whereas with a mainstream wine you have to keep sipping to get rid of the bitter finish from the last sip, with sulphite free wines you just get pure delicate flavours.

The reds are more mainstream in style due to the natural tannins which are strong anti oxidants protecting the wine.

We also have a wide range of low sulphite wines on our site including but not limited to our Organic section. For example we have excellent artisan producers like Anton Malan at Rainbow's End in Stellenbosch producing exceptional quality wines with very low sulphite (or other additive) levels which are delicious and a great healthy lifestyle choice.

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  1. Sequerciani Pugnitello sulphite free wine

    Organically certified by ICEA and Demeter

    This wine is something special. Big, full flavoured and super smooth. Initial fruit then a more savoury note comes through on the very long finish. This is a very classy wine.

    "grapes, sun and earth - that's it"

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £26.95
  2. Chateau Costes Cirgues sulphite free wine

    Chateau Costes Cirgues is the top wine from this superb tiny family winery. All their wines are sulphite free and organically certtified. It consists of 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache hand harvested into small trays from another tiny 1.6 hectare vineyard. Gravity fed, concrete fermented then aged in French oak for 15 months prior to blending. Black fruit from the Grenache with some pepper from the Syrah. Big, rich and opulent. This is a superb wine.

    We have just received stock of the 2015.

    Free sulphur: 0

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £24.95
  3. Domaine D'Anglas Chemin Des Moutons sulphite free wine

    Chemin des Moutons Organic Domaine D'Anglas is a beautiful big sulphite free syrah grenache blend. It is the flagship wine from Roger and is superb! Just received the 2018.

    Free sulphur: <5

    Organic: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £24.95
  4. Domaine Viret Emergence sulphite free wine

    A big powerful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan aged in barriques for 24 months.

    Free sulphur: <5mg/l

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Gluten free: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £28.00
  5. Le Quai à Raisins Touriste

    A new white from Robin & Imogen.

    This is Chardonnay from Beaujolais, farmed organically and biodynamically. Grapes are handpicked of course and fermented with their own indiginous yeast then aged in oak barrels for 12 months.

    WARNING - this is a "natural" wine so is quite different to mainstream Chardonnay. If you are after a mainstream style please do not buy this!

    it is a gourmet wine in a similar style to Philippe Viret's Coudee D'Or, to pair with ripe cheese and charcuterie. 
    Pale gold, good legs. Initial flavour of grapefruit moves to a creamy butter. Hold it in your mouth and the flavour is intense with a long finish. Full and round yet soft with gentle acidity. Most people won't be able to appreciate this wine. So we recommend you only buy it if you are a fan of natural wines and aware it is something different to the norm!

    Please note this wine does say "contains sulphites" on the label as it is just over the 10ppm total sulphites limit. They don't use sulphites at any stage either grape growing or winemaking, these are simply naturally occuring sulphites and the wine is fine even for people with a sulphite allergy.

    We only have 35 bottles in total.

    Organic: Yes

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: No

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £25.00
  6. Le Quai à Raisins Garmatcha sulphite free wine

    A new wine from a new venture! Robin Althof from Costes Cirgues and his wife Imogen are making small batches of their own excellent wines from different parcels of grapes from friends' vineyards. Obviously they are organically farmed and sulphite free of course. 

    100% Grenache aged in oak for 12 months.

    Free sulphur: <5

    Organic: Yes

    Grapes Own Yeast: Yes

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: No

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Sulphite Free

    John's Rating:

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    £28.50

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