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Autumn is most definitely upon us, so while we might miss the rosé-fuelled days and the “grand stretch” of summer, the colder days and longer nights allow us to indulge in a different kind of drinking, one where ripe, warming reds take centre stage, and are far more suited to the autumnal produce on our tables. The Rhone varieties of Syrah and Grenache really come into their own at this time of year, the savoury, meaty and peppery Northern reds such as Crozes Hermitage or St. Joseph, or the rich, warming and spicy wines of the South Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous, but Vacqueyras, Gigondas and even good Cotes du Rhone Village offer far better value and consistency.
Elsewhere, the Rhone style blends from Oz – such as John Duval’s wonderfully satisfying Plexus are an excellent alternative to the original, and Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault are reaching new heights in South Africa through wineries like David & Nadia, Savage and Blankbottle.
Italy is popular throughout the year, but the wonderfully structured reds of Tuscany and Piedmont are particularly enjoyable in these months. The Nebbiolo produced in the mountainous region of Valtellina is a revelation – lighter in body and tannin than Barolo or Barbaresco, but with all of those gorgeous Nebbiolo flavours. We think of them as baby Barolos.
This doesn’t even begin to cover everything that we’re drinking, there are some beautiful new Spanish and Portuguese reds instore, and all the classics from Bordeaux and Burgundy too. Check out our online shop or pop into the store and have a browse, we’ll be happy to talk you through some of our current favourites.