With the weather changing outside and the nights drawing slowly in, it’s time to match the colours on the trees to what’s in your bottle.
Sophie McLean rounds up the autumnal coloured whites, with a bit of weight and body, and a mid-season selection of reds – that will warm you just enough like a mid-season jacket. Paint your own red, orange and russet coloured rainbow, and pour yourself a glass of one of the best autumn wines.
Why not bung Rachel Khoo’s coq au vin in the oven to have with one of these wines!
What to See
There’s been some fuss over South African Sauvignon Blanc in recent months, and this one is testament to why. Getting the most from your dirt as winemaker Kevin Grant says, is imperative to his style.
This offers crisp, fresh fruit and a body that has texture but isn’t overly aromatic (as can be the Sauvignon Blanc way). Hot off the bottling line, this is one to snap up with discerning friends.
Get off the beaten track with this wine, coming from Ivica Matosevic – one of Croatia’s premier producers, this is a wine that glows gold in your glass and has the body and texture to match. Malvasia is Istria’s show-off grape – also producing interesting sparklings.
This still wine is fermented in stainless steel vats and aged on fine lees until the January following harvest. It is a fresh and elegant wine with huge finesse, great minerality and fruit, with a savoury herbal finish and a touch of bitter almond.
£14.40 The 10 Cases
This light gold coloured wine comes from the region of Anjou in the Loire where independent vignerons like Domaine Cady practice minimal intervention winemaking (less chemicals, more pure fruit).
This bottle of goodness is made from 100% Chenin grapes and offers a honeyed, nicely zippy, stone-fruit filled white wine that works with food as much as on its own.
£15.99 Village Wines, The Framlingham Wine Shop
As the nights grow slowly shorter, plump for a bottle of Bergerie de l’Hortus Pic Saint Loup 2012 from Domaine de L’Hortus in the Languedoc.
This offers old-world soil and heritage, combined with modern day wine making by famille ‘Orliac’ who first rented vines here in 1978 before building their 55hectare ‘vinous empire’. Vibrant, pure and concentrated this is a juicy wine, great for subsequent ensuing dinner invitations and fantastic value for money.
£10.25 Berry Bros & Rudd
Hailing from Piedmont in Italy but perhaps not quite as you know it, this mid-weight red wine from Isolabella della Croce is a blend of Nebbiolo (the most noble of Italian grapes, named after ‘la nebbia’ – the fog that hangs low in the Langhe hills – an annual fixture here come Autumn), Dolcetto (light and fruity) and Barbera (the ultimate pizza/tomato sauce match).
Combined together what results is a classy drop of smooth red Italian wine that is every bit as satisfying as it claims to be.
RRP £10.99 The Dorset Wine Company, Harrods, Planet of The Grapes.
Schild Estate is a family run winery located in the heart of Australia’s Barossa Valley. Set slightly at altitude the vines here are in a cooler climate and produce a lower yield than others – giving bigger concentration of flavour in the end result.
This wine sees no oak, is fruity, well-made and has a delicious touch of white pepper and savoury spice. The hands on the new labels show each of the three generations that make up the winery’s greater personality today.
The De Sangre is a wine made from selected grapes from Bodegas Luigi Bosca (Mendoza’s oldest family run winery started in 1901) best lots: “Los Nobles”, “Las Compuertas” and “El Paraíso” vineyards in Maipú, Mendoza.
This is a serious wine, a heady blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (85%), Syrah (8%) and Merlot (7%) and one that is capable of ageing for up to fifteen years. Match it with a slab of cheese or a hunk of juicy steak.
£15.99 Planet of the Grapes
This wine comes from the Mornington Peninsula – an area just south of Melbourne in Australia and perhaps akin to the UK’s Cornwall, surrounded by ocean and will pretty undulating hills. 2011 was a wetter year in Australia meaning the wines are generally much lighter.
This Pinot Noir is exactly that. Elegant flavours of forest floor fruits and earthiness abound with a silky touch. Autumn at its best in a glass. Stunning.