Wine & Food

    Wines of the week: try an autumnal red from Avignon

    13 September 2019

    2017 Blason Côtes du Rhône Villages, 13.5%vol, (£7.49 down from £9.99 until 8th Oct; Waitrose).

    This is great value at 25 per cent off the RRP. A soft, smooth, supple, juicy, jammy red full of spicy plums, loganberries and black cherries, it’s a blend of the traditional southern Rhône varieties grown around the town of Avignon. Designed for easy rather than brow-furrowing drinking, it’s ideal autumnal fare. No need to tuck it away, just drink up and enjoy.

    2017 Giesen Vineyard Selection Pinot Gris, 12.5%vol, (£9.99; Ocado)

    In the right hands, Pinot Gris just sings; in the wrong hands it’s flabby and cloying. This, from Giesen Estate in Marlborough, NZ, is resolutely in the former camp and is about as fine an example as you will find outside Alsace. It’s jam-packed full of white stone fruit, almonds and honeysuckle and is gloriously creamy and fulfilling in the mouth with a long, drying finish. My goodness it’s tasty!

    2017 Journey’s End ‘Destination’ Chardonnay, 14.5%vol, (£20.99; Simply Wines Direct)

    Journey’s End is so named as it’s the last winery on the Stellenbosch wine route where cool ocean breezes lead to the slow, gentle ripening of fruit. Thanks to this and the judicious use of oak, winemaker Mike Dawson has created a remarkably restrained, elegant wine that’s surely one of the finest in all South Africa, drawing gasps of delight at our most recent Spectator Winemaker’s Lunch.