It is definitely that time of year, the evenings are closing in, Halloween and Bonfire Night are almost upon us, and suddenly it seems the winter is almost here.
I’ve already lit my first log fire and with thoughts turning to standing around a fireworks’ night bonfire here are some autumn reds to accompany the season.
Les Cardinaux 2017, Famille Perrin (Co-op £9 reduced from £10 until November 5) has appeared in this column before and although the price has crept up a little it is still a relative bargain, especially when on offer.
Made by one of the Rhone Valley’s most respected wine producers, this is a southern Rhone blend of grenache, syrah and mourvèdre and is doing a very good imitation of a baby Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The nose offers ripe dark bramble fruits with a little spice and dried herbs, followed by some dark juicy fruits on the palate, more spice and a nicely rounded full finish.
To me, this is autumn in a glass and would be a great partner to a simple sausage and mash supper or standing around a smoky bonfire with a hot dog.
Staying with the Rhone theme, KWV Classic Shiraz 2018, Western Cape (Ocado £8.99) is another good value autumn red.
Aged in older oak barrels, this is made in quite an elegant style and shows red fruits including cherry and raspberries on the nose along with some cedar and a little chocolate.
The palate is medium bodied with more red fruits and some nicely integrated tannins, before a fresh, reasonably long, finish.
This would work well with a lamb casserole or a slow-cooked shoulder of lamb.
Ramón Bilbao Viñedos de Altura, 2016, Rioja (greatwesternwine.co.uk £15.50) is very much a modern style Rioja from a producer who is looking to push back the boundaries a little.
This is produced from a blend of 50 per cent tempranillo which is grown in the La Rioja Alta region, and 50 per cent garnacha from the much warmer Rioja Baja region.
The winemaker, Rodolfo Bastida, is looking to produce a Rioja which is fresher and is using grapes which are from high altitude vineyards in both these two sub-regions.
This was aged in oak for 15 months prior to being released.
It shows a lovely mixture of both dark fruit and liquorice from the tempranillo, and red fruits from the garnacha on the bouquet, along with some wood aromas and a little chocolate and dried herbs.
The palate is medium bodied with supple tannins, dark cherry fruit and spicy notes before a fresh, velvety, moreish finish.
This would be delicious with some simply grilled lamb chops or Sunday lunch roast loin of pork.