Well, as the nights draw in and the leaves turn, our Bacchanalian tendencies move to a different hue too.
The long hot Summer of 18 had us drinking whites and rosés in record quantities but whilst there’s no bad time to drink red wine cooler temperatures and longer evenings are very conducive to them
We asked our friendly local retailers to suggest their favourites, a lighter one and a strapping hearty one.
1) Pinot Noir 2017 Incanta Majestic
I’m intrigued by this wine, labelled Pinot Noir and origin Romania. Light and pale ruby, certainly violets and cherry on the nose. Very soft on the attack with a lick of oak through the mid-palate. It doesn’t scream Pinot Noir but it is an attractive light red that’s great value for money. Fifteen years ago you wouldn’t have seen this quality from Romania.
2) Beaujolais-Quincie 2017 Louis Jadot Waitrose
From one of the best villages in Beaujolais and one that’s allowed to attach its name to the appellation. Quite a deep ruby red, with an explosion of berry fruits on the nose, a sweet velvety attack and richer on the palate than expected. A simply delicious not so light red from a top producer. Mind you I am a great fan of Beaujolais and Clochemerle!
3) Mt Benson Shiraz 2017 M&S
I’m not sure which of its pair of reds M&S thought was the light one but it’s certainly not this! No matter. Deep dark brooding colour, with rich spicy complex aromas, followed by a whack of subtlety oaked cassis and a finish characteristic of this extremely rich in mineral vineyard area of Aus. Very good.
4) Lisboa Reserva Red Behind Closed Doors 2016 Majestic
Another intriguing label, or rather back-label. It list the grapes as; Touriga Nacional (my favourite Portuguese red grape) Tinta Roriz, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet one of the few grapes with red flesh and used for colour. Well it’s almost black, a lovely nose reminiscent of black olive, none listed in there! A big, robust strapping red with good body but no drying tannins. Great Autumn red.
5) Tupungato Malbec Cabernet 2017 M&S
Always one of my favourite Argentinian wine regions, dominated by the volcanic eponymous mountain. Malbec mania shows no sign of letting up and this lovely red shows why. Deep dark ruby, complex spicy nose and sweet ripe fruit on the palate tempered by a herbal character. This is a big Autumnal red too.
6) Rustenberg John X Merriman 2015 Waitrose
I’m wary of South African reds. For years many had an odd rubbery nose that took up (too) many column inches with no real definitive explanation. What would I find here? Deep, dense black. Clean, mellow cedarwood nose, fine, silky quality on the attack, followed by a very refined mid-palate. It also boasts a smooth, very long finish. So pleased.