New season shopping? Forget fashion, we're talking autumn wines. Ditch the rosé and try these foxy reds and whites on for size.
Is there anything more confusing than 28 degrees in the middle of September? It just screws everything up – we’d packed away the garden furniture, stepped away from the summer frocks and started fantasising about new boots and blackberry picking. Roasts are back on the menu but rosé feels so Ibiza 2019 (no White Isle this year). So what the hell should we be drinking? Take your lead from fashion and buy transitional wines – light reds and bold whites are calling our name. Polly Gibson, GrapeSmith in Hungerford’s resident wine expert has sampled the goods to serve up six autumn wines, perfect for the new season.
Terre di Montelusa Primitivo, Puglia
All things autumn here, with bramble hedgerow fruits, damson, a hint of raisin and baking spice. Soft liquorice notes round off a velvety texture; deliciously complex, yet not overblown. Bring home some of that southern Italian warmth and perhaps enjoy alongside the last BBQ of the season..? Great with herbed sausages or Melanzane Parmigiana.
Le Coteaux Schisteux, Cotes du Rhone Seguret
Our customers call this ‘the huggy wine’ because it really does give you a little bear hug from the inside out! Supple and rounded, whilst packing a hit of white pepper spice over generous dried strawberry and herbal notes. Delicately oaked, making it smooth and structured enough to hold up to robust southern-French cuisine, which it compliments wonderfully. Try with traditional cassoulet.
Bardos ‘Romantica’ Ribera del Duero £14
There is undoubtedly a romance to autumn; morning mists, hedgerow abundance, and a change of pace towards comfort and nurture. The ‘Romantica’ encapsulates these delights, showing forest fruit aromas, with hints of clove and undergrowth, and cedar nuances belying the oak-ageing. Silky on the palate, with a medium-full body. A wine that soothes and heartens. Lovely with duck a l’orange.
RED RED WINE
Pinot noir really is a wine for all seasons. This wonderful single vineyard wine from Chilé is ripely fruited, with strawberry, cranberry, and black fruit compote, balanced by the freshness classic to Pinot noir. Part aged in new French oak, leading to spicy charred-wood notes, toasted nuts and wonderful texture, giving wine a cosy feeling, making it particularly well suited to cooler days. Finding decent pinot at this price is a bit of a ‘needle in the haystack’ but this is a beaut.
Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca ORGANIC
From Terra Alta, a rolling landscape southwest of Barcelona, comes this beautifully made wine. A perfect example of achieving the balance between a full and rounded structure and yet retaining all important vibrant acidity. Richly aromatic with flavours of melon and white fruits and with a body and depth of flavour that perfectly suits the more comforting dishes of autumn, such as squash risotto.
Langlois Chateau Saumur Blanc Vielles Vignes
Sunday roasts can get put on the back burner in the summer in favour of BBQ’s, but this wine alone is reason to welcome them back! A roast chicken dinner is the perfect compliment to this toasty, nutty, buttery Chenin blanc from the Loire. You can almost taste roasted parsnip! From old vines, the defined layers of complex fruits, spice and oak just keep on unfolding, whilst a wonderful ‘tang’ keeps the palate fresh and prevents anything feeling too heavy. Treat yourself. Just. Delicious.
GrapeSmith is a wine drinker’s mecca, organised into price points of Quaff under £10 (well sourced wines from smaller artisan makers), Savour, £10-£20 (special wines sourced from the world’s leading vineyards) and Cellar, £20+ (delish today, but even better with age). Order online or head into the shop.