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Wines for Autumn- Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

After last month’s final flush of sunshine we are now into Autumn proper. It’s a brilliant time of year for wine, and food too. We reach for heartier reds and textured whites, they suit the food as well as the mood. Below we have selected six wines which we think will be delicious for drinking over Autumn. You can buy a single bottle of each to taste at home or take advantage of our case pricing to stock up.

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Taste at Home Case – Buy a bottle of each wine for £95.00 delivered to your door. Buy now

Famille Gras Côtes du Rhône Blanc Les Grands Calcaires 2018
£12.95 per bottle inc VAT
It’s fascinating to taste this wine and think about the grapes which make it. One can pick out the richness of Grenache Blanc, the acidity of the Clairette, and the apricot of the Viognier. Each seems to have its solo moment as the wine plays across the palate – but it is the interplay between their characters which makes this blend more than the sum of its parts. I love these Rhone whites at this time of year. Don’t serve it fridge cold, let it warm up a little, to emphasise its texture and richness, when it will show brilliantly alongside roast squash with chili and cumin, or white meats like roast pork, perhaps with fennel.
Domaine Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanc Classic 2018
£15.95 per bottle inc VAT
Chardonnay is such a versatile grape, the wine makers friend. Here we have it growing on thin clay over limestone, the soil which gives the best white burgundies, and unadorned by oak – the emphasis is on freshness, with flavours of orchard fruits to the fore. Jean-Paul makes this from a single vineyard of 85 year old vines, and one can imagine the old roots, deep in the cold stone, in its crisp acidity. Tremendously useful – will happily pair with fish dishes, shellfish, plainer white meats or try with a simple risotto of mushrooms and sage.
Château Grand Verdus Rouge 2018
£11.45 per bottle inc VAT
Antoine Gris de la Salle’s family have owned this pretty manor house for generations. He now makes the wines with his sons, Thomas and Edouard. Their vineyards sit on limestone, clay and gravel, varied soils perfect for merlot and cabernet grapes. The 2018 Grand Verdus is classic Bordeaux, refreshing, ripe cassis and cedar wood, and fine tannins giving structure. Lamb always work well, or mutton, or any red meat. Has the intensity to deal with rich sauces.
Antoine de la Farge L’Enfant Rebelle Pinot Noir 2019
£12.95 per bottle inc VAT
Pinot Noir is famed, and adored, for its complex array of sous bois (undergrowth sounds so much better in French) flavours, so seems tailor made for autumn. Antoine makes this with as little intervention as possible, including bottling straight from the tank with very little filtration, so give it a decant when you have opened it to allow a bit of air in. The nose shows dark plum, black cherry and classic Pinot earthy favours. The palate is light and fresh, with a core of dark fruit and a whisper of fine, powdery tannins. A versatile wine, whether sipped on its own or matched with grilled meats or charcuterie, hearty salads, cheeses and pate.
Terra Vita Vinum Les Châteliers Anjou Gamay 2018
£15.95 per bottle inc VAT
My find of the year, Terra Vita Vinum leapt out at me after a day tasting many wines at the Paris Wine Fair in January. Initially I was drawn to their Chenin based whites, and they are great, but this red is the sleeper of the line-up – it is terrific. Gamay is different here on Anjou’s schist, darker and richer than from elsewhere, with meaty dark fruit and fine crunchy tannins. There is something pleasingly rustic here, it has Gamay’s drinkability but adds a hearty depth and spice; I find it a very satisfying combination, and one which would work with similar foods – Cassoulet springs to mind, or a Tuscan bean stew. Lovely sense of unforced nature here, no make-up.
 Domaine Santa Duc Vacqueyras Les Aubes 2018
£17.95 per bottle inc VAT
I tasted this again yesterday, and it is even better than when it arrived in the early summer. The secret here is the two vineyards, distinct yet complimentary, from which the fruit comes. One site is low lying, with deep clay which gives wines of body and intensity, the other higher, cooler, and sitting on poor shallow soil. This gives elegance, filigree structure and perfume, lifting the wine beautifully. A blend of two grapes as well. Grenache seems to bring finesse and ripe yet pure and airy red berry fruit. Syrah anchors the wine, revealing darker, spicier, structural elements. Again, the blend is key, Benjamin and Yves Gras excel here. I’d pair this with grouse or mature pheasant, but it would be very decent with roast beef too.