Autumn harvest: This season's best wines
Sunday 06 October 2013
Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard 2009
The most ambitious expression yet of English sparkling: premium-priced, limited edition, made entirely from a special plot of mainly Pinot Noir grapes planted in deepest Sussex by the first outfit to enter this market. Refined, distinctive, very English and for the most special of special moments. And only around 2,500 bottles. £75, Fortnum & Mason, winepantry.co.uk
Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvée Brut NV
Not posh prosecco, but made in Lombardy according to the traditional Méthode Champenoise using Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero grapes. While the result is champagne-like, there is a distinctive Italian quality to it – fragrant, silky on the mouth, lovely tiny bubbles, subtle, tropical- fruit flavours. Delightful. £28.61, thedrinkshop.com; £29.95, slurp.co.uk
Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé
From Pinot Noir grapes in northern Burgundy and bursting with redcurrant and strawberry and cream flavours, this is a perfect light sparkler for parties or as an aperitif. Even better, try with autumn fruit or chocolate-based desserts. £12.49, Wine Rack; £16.99, quaffwine.com
Millton Vineyards Riverpoint Viognier 2011
Superlative, organic, biodynamic Viognier from New Zealand's Gisbourne region. Richly aromatic, with fantastic intermingling flavours of peaches, apricots, honey, spice and smoke. Wonderfully complex and sophisticated; drink with white meats or prime fish. £12.99, vintageroots.co.uk
Grüner Veltliner Soellner Wogenrain
Austria's finest grape is also given the biodynamic and organic treatment here with similarly excellent results – but at 11.5% ABV, it's light in alcohol and refreshing on the palate while retaining its characteristic spice and pure fruit flavours. Perfect with lightly spiced Asian foods. £13.99, cellarviewines.com
Marques Casa Concha Chardonnay 2011
Banish all thoughts of over-oaked, over-creamy New World Chardonnay – here the oak is restrained and refined, with flavours of vanilla and apricots balanced with a fresh, zingy, acidity thanks to the limestone soils of Chile's Limari Valley. Drink with robust or smoked-fish dishes. £9.99 (until 22 October; normally £11.99), Tesco
Saint-Amour Domaine Matray 2011
As gorgeous as a misty autumn morning, this supremely elegant red embodies everything that is lovely about Beaujolais-Villages wines – great purity of rich fruit, smoothly satisfying, great length. Drink with freshly picked wild mushrooms and game birds such as grouse. £13.50, sheldonswines.com; £14.40, nickdobsonwines.co.uk
Turret Fields La Bascula Jumilla 2011
Big, ballsy, rustic wine from south-eastern Spain. Made with mainly old Monastrell (or Mourvèdre) vines, packed with baked black fruits and aromas of the sunny southern Mediterranean, making it perfect to warm up cold November evenings, with a big venison casserole. £10.50, winetrust100.co.uk; £9.95, oldbridgewine.co.uk (2012)
Ciro Rosso Barone Di Bolaro Classico Superiore 2011
A full-bodied, everyday red from the indigenous Gaglioppo grape in Calabria in southern Italy. Bursting with flavours of autumnal fruits such as damsons and blackberries, this is the wine to bring out for baked pasta dishes such as lasagne or meatballs in tomato sauce. £7.25, The Wine Society
Blandy's 10-year-old Bual
The diversity of Madeira is exemplified here with this cask-aged blend of the Bual grape – rich, full-bodied, medium-sweet, with flavours of dried fruits, nuts, toffee and vanilla but clean on the palate and with a long, long aftertaste. Drink as a dessert wine or with a big cheeseboard. £17.99, morrisonscellar.com; £18.99, cambridgewine.com
Graham's 10-year-old Tawny
Chillier evenings, perhaps after a little leaf-sweeping in the garden, require a gently warming, restorative after-dinner port, such as this mellow tawny, around the first fireside of the season. Wonderful to accompany fruit puddings or lighter blue cheeses. £21.39, Waitrose/Ocado
Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana NV Hidalgo
Subtle tastes of autumn run through this stunning, bone-dry, aged Manzanilla – salted nuts, particularly almonds, orange zest and apples. It slowly reveals itself fully on the palate and concludes with a long, long finish. Drink iced as an aperitif with nibbles or with fishy tapas such as anchovies or sardines. £11.99 (as part of a purchase of six mixed bottles), majestic.co.uk
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