The Mellow Fruitfulness of Autumnal Wines
Giles Cooke, Take Stock’s resident wine expert, talks autumnal wines.
The crackling of fires and the beckoning mists of Autumn may not seem quite so inviting after our damp squib of a summer but at least we can now reconcile ourselves to cracking open some mellow, warming reds.
The tweed-clad autumnal curtain raiser of the glorious twelfth welcomes in the most bountiful season of all and the game birds and ripe fruits are the perfect back-drop to wines that are not only mellow but also subtle and finely textured.
Rioja, that most iconic of Spanish regions, is the perfect Autumnal red. Generally a blend of the well-mannered Tempranillo and slight more gutsy Garnacha, Rioja’s medium weight, savoury, vanilla edged reds are the perfect foil to roast pheasant or hearty stews. DeAlto Crianza has ample sweet, dark fruits and a lovely hint of liquorice and vanilla – never over powering but reassuring like a warm coat. For grander occasions, the world class wines of Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia or the stately Remelluri Reserva are also perfect examples of Rioja.
Hold off on the Shiraz and the Cabernet as you’ll need them when the weather really turns. For now we need the gentler delights of Pinot Noir. Enigmatic, beautifully imperfect, Pinot Noir’s lighter body, crisp fruit and smoky, haunting notes are Autumn in a bottle. Bargain hunters will love the delicate, crimson tinged violet fruit of Chile’s Nostros Reserva Pinot Noir but for truly great new world pinot then head south, way down south in Central Otago, New Zealand. Here we have both the perfume but also the weight of fruit and when the food is good and the company great, Mount Edward, Wanaka Road Pinot is a class act. Silky smooth, juicy violet scented fruit and a finish of pure silk.