Autumn. Reds? Let's eek out summer with some full-bodied whites? | Wine with Alistair Gibson

It really does feel as though autumn is fast approaching, the nights are beginning to close in.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 8:22 pm
Tesco Finest's Gavi.

But as much as I love the changing of the seasons, I don’t think I am quite ready yet for robust stews and hearty reds.

The autumn brings with it some wonderful new seasonal ingredients, such as wild mushrooms, butternut squash and game.

And while it may feel that red wines are the order of the day, this is also an opportunity to think about some richer, slightly more full bodied white wines.

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Yalumba organic viognier 2017.

Vines like chardonnay and chenin blanc with a little oak can come into their own here, and also consider styles such as white wines from Rioja or the Rhône.

So here are some suggestions for autumnal white wines to try during the next month or so.

I hosted a wine dinner some years ago with Kym Milne MW, wine-maker at Adelaide Hills winery Bird in Hand.I have b een a huge admirer of their wines ever since.

Bird in Hand ‘Two in the Bush’ Chardonnay 2020, Adelaide (Tesco £14) takes its name from an old mine shaft in the Bird in Hand gold mine on which the winery sits.

Bird in Hand Chardonnay Two in The_Bush.

Some of the wine was aged in older French barrels to add weight and texture, but the essence here is very much of freshness.

The nose offers nectarines, orange peel and a little roasted nuttiness, followed by lovely purity of fruit, lively acidity on the palate and good length on the finish. This would work beautifully with a warming fish pie.

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2020, South Australia (Waitrose £7.49 on offer from £9.99 until September 21) takes its inspiration from the Rhône Valley and is really good value for money, especially while on offer.

It is unoaked, but has a lovely weight that makes it a great accompaniment for roasted root vegetables, dishes with a creamy sauce or even some richer shellfish dishes.

This is very aromatic with peach, apricot, honeysuckle blossom and some exotic spices. The palate is creamy and rich with enough acidity to keep it all in balance.

Tesco Finest Gavi 2020 (Tesco £8.50 ) may not be the obvious autumn white, but I think it works brilliantly with a butternut squash or pumpkin risotto.

This has long been a stand-out wine in Tesco’s Finest range, and represents real value for money.

Made from Pedemonte’s own cortese grape, this has citrus peel and some dried herbs on the nose, followed by an elegant, lively palate with some creamy notes on the finish. It works well with a simple roast chicken or a spaghetti carbonara.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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