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