Robust red wines for autumn '“Â Alistair Gibson
We may have enjoyed a fabulous summer and the fine weather even continued intoÂ September, but there is no doubt the seasons are changing.
They areÂ drawing inÂ and there is an early morning chill in the air.Â Â I really like the change of seasonsÂ and all they bring with them and as seasonal recipes change its also time to startÂ thinking about wines to match.
Autumn brings thoughts of slightly more full-bodied whiteÂ wines andÂ robust reds. White burgundy is wine I often return to at this time ofÂ year, and having tasted Corney &Â Barrow White Burgundy 2017 (corneyandbarrow.com Â£13.95) it is very much like the welcome return of an oldÂ friend.
Corney & Barrow are on the UK's oldest established independent wine merchantsÂ and they have a range of houseÂ style wines made for them by a fairly impressive roll callÂ of producers.
This wine is by Maison Auvigue, one the best-known producers in theÂ Macon area of southern Burgundy. It's made without any oak influence with theÂ winemakers just wanting to let the chardonnay grapes express themselves as naturally asÂ possible.
The nose offers ripe autumn orchard fruit, pears and red apples followed by aÂ lovely supple almost creamy, elegant palate with enough weight to take you through to aÂ very satisfying finish.
This works really well with a simple roast chicken or a slow cookedÂ shoulder of pork with apple sauce.
Moving a little more south down the Rhone ValleyÂ there isÂ great valueÂ to be found in some of the less well recognised areas of the southern Rhone.
Ventoux is one of these regions, over-shadowed by the famousÂ Mount Ventoux, it sits between CÃ´tes du RhÃ´ne and Provence and for red wines theÂ primary grapes are grenache, syrah, cinsaut, carignan and mourvÃ¨dre, as well as carignan that is limited to only 30 per centÂ of the blend.
Ventoux 2015, Delas (Fareham WineÂ Cellar Â£9.49, Eton Vintners Â£9.95) is a blend of Granache and Syrah, produced by Delas,Â one of the grand old names of the Rhone, who since their acquisition by Champagne LouisÂ Roederer in the 1990s has seen a steady improvement in the quality of their wines.
ThisÂ is warming, robust wine with dark berries and a touch of spice on the nose, followed by aÂ velvety palate, with a ripe tannins and a juicy finish.
It's the sort of wine that goes so wellÂ with a slow cooked classic casserole and maybe a log fire in the background.
La VieilleÂ Ferme Rouge 2107, Vin De France (Co-op Â£7.50, Waitrose Â£7.99) used to be labelled as aÂ Ventoux but I note with this vintage it has become a Vin de France.
However, it's still oneÂ of those go-to a mid-week great value wines for a simple meal of sausage and mash.
It's aÂ blend of carignan, cinsault, grenache and syrah with plenty of black fruits, some spiceÂ and dried herbs on the nose, and a warm, supple palate.