Three powerful, full bodied reds for autumn
Harvests are nearly all in and for English wine it is looking like a bumper year in terms of both quantity and quality.
Throughout Europe the grapes are in, except for a few pockets of sweet wine vineyards, where the grapes are left longer on the vine for both added ripeness and for the effects of Noble Rot – a beneficial mould which loves warm misty mornings.
Generally speaking, the European harvest looks good, although some regions have suffered due to the excessive summer heat, such that overall wine production in France will exceed that in Italy for the first time in a number of years.
But as the days grow shorter and the temperatures get lower, its time to move on from cool whites and rosé to something more substantial – full-bodied reds, reflecting the colours of the changing leaves.
The classics of Bordeaux and Burgundy are always great at this time of year, but here I have chosen three slightly more unusual red wines, all of which pack a good punch of flavour.
The first of the three is a Portuguese red from the Alentejo region called Esporão Reserva 2021 which is from 20-year-old organic vines.
The wine is aged for 12 months in a mix of American and French oak barrels and then bottle matured for a further eight months prior to release.
Deliciously full-bodied, with black fruit, bramble jelly, dark chocolate and spice. Complex, soft tannins with good structure and a long finish. £21 from Cambridge Wine Merchants and other independents.
The second wine has a somewhat unusual name and label of ‘Vin Sauvage a Poil’ – roughly translated as Hairy (or naked!) Wild Wine!
Made by Chateau de la Terrière, it is a Cru Beaujolais from the Regnié appellation.
The 2020 is deep, opaque red and packed to the brim with ripe fruit. Made from 100 per cent Gamay grapes, the tannins are firm yet supple, with exceptional purity of dark fruit flavours, from vines which are over 100 years old.
Termed as a ‘Natural’ wine, there are no added sulphites, keeping the flavours fresh and pure. Around £23 per bottle from online specialists such as Eton Vintners and Bon Coeur Fine Wines.
The last of my three is a fabulous 100 per cent Malbec from the Uco Valley in Argentina.
Zuccardi Serie A 2021 is a fruit-driven purple/black deep coloured red, bursting with dark plum and blackcurrant flavours
Full-bodied, rich and amazing value at £12.50 from Tesco.
Three powerful wines to accompany the grills, roasts and casseroles of the Autumn season.