Three very different red wines were sitting in my samples box last week and while I can’t think of anything that connects them, it does underline the point to me that one of the great joys of wine is the amazing variation from grapes, to wine regions and different vintages.
I’m often asked what my favourite wine is and, in all honesty, the answer is always, ‘the next one’.
The point is there is always something new or different to taste – very much a vinous adventure.
Davida 2018, No Sulphur Added, Navarra (Co-op £8) is a red wine that is looking to tap into the growing interest in wines that are made with minimal intervention and have low levels of sulphur.
Without getting into the chemistry of winemaking, sulphur has long been added to the process as a means of killing or inhibiting bacteria.
People have varying degrees of tolerance to sulphur and it is thought to potentially increase headaches, but there is no medical research data that proves this.
However the reduction in sulphur levels, or none at all, is definitely a trend and can only be better for us.
This is made from garnacha – the Spanish name for grenache – in the Spanish region of Navarra, which sits next to the north-west of Rioja.
It’s not an overly-complex wine but it has real appeal with great purity of dark fruits and just a little spice on the nose, followed by a very fresh and supple palate with an attractive finish.
It is very easy to drink and would work well with some barbecued ribs.
Moulins de Citran 2009, Haut-Medoc (Aldi £13.99) is an example of just how seriously Aldi are now beginning to take their wine selection, good for them for offering a mature red Bordeaux.
This is the second wine of the reasonably well known Château Citran and is a blend of almost 50/50 cabernet sauvignon and merlot and recently won a gold medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
It has started to develop the classic mature characteristics of red Bordeaux, with some notes of leather, cigar box, cassis on the bouquet, with a nicely integrated palate with some complexity and an elegant long finish.
This is worth decanting and serving with Sunday lunch roast beef.
Clos de los Siete 2016, Mendoza (Sainsburys £17, Waitrose £15.99, Ocado £15.99 – this is the new vintage and you may find 2015 still on the shelves) is one of Argentina’s best-known wines and is made by famed French wine consultant Michel Rolland.
He made his name in Bordeaux but this is a very different wine to the Moulins de Citran. It is modern and made from a blend of malbec, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and petit verdot with a proportion aged in new French oak barrels.
This isn’t a shy wine, with rich dark fruits, mocha, coffee and spice on the nose, followed by quite a dense palate with more dark fruits, rounded tannins and quite a powerful, lush finish.
Serve this with a steak or a richly-flavoured red meat dish.