The Ten Best Autumn red wines

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1 Perrin & Fils Vacqueyras 2004 £9.49

One of the more affordable wines from the Perrin family, who produce top-end (and very expensive) Chateauneuf du Pape. A fabulous, classic Rhône wine, made from old vines, 80 per cent Grenache and 20 per cent Syrah; typical black fruits and pepper, it is perfect with the Sunday roast and will keep for a few years.

www.waitrose.com; 0800 188 884

2 Flagstone Fiona Syrah 2002 £9.99

Another excellent Syrah from an emerging South African producer, named after, and influenced by, the winemaker's sister, reflecting what it said to be her "vivacious and complicated" style. The result is a powerful but controlled blend of black fruit flavours, with woody, spicy overtones.

www.averys.com; 08451 283 797

3 Spier Private Collection Shiraz 2004 £10.99

A justifiably award-winning bottle from one of the big names of South African wines. Typically bold New World style, with plenty of juicy fruits and a spicy edge, yet still manages to be much more restrained than most Shiraz.

www.majestic.co.uk; 08456 056 767

4 Massaya Classic 2004 £7.80

Despite Lebanon's traumas, the Bekaa Valley has continued to produce fine wines; the somewhat old-fashioned Chateau Musar being most famed. This stylish newcomer, made by two brothers who returned after the civil war, is terrific - soft on the palate at first, but big flavours emerge. Excellent with Mediterranean foods.

www.tanners-wines.co.uk; 01743 234 455

5 Gouguenheim Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2004 £7.95

Adnams describes this as the kind of bottle you might want to open sitting in front of the fire after a day sweeping up autumn leaves - and who would disagree? An elegant, full-bodied, velvety wine, made at 3,000ft up in the Mendoza Valley.

www.adnamswines.co.uk;

01502 727 222

6 Tim Adams The Fergus 2004 £9.99

A beautifully balanced, rich and warming wine, mainly Grenache but with Shiraz and Cabernet Franc added, giving a complex mouthful. From one of Australia's best small producers and named after a friend who originally sold Adams the Grenache grapes. Great with autumn casseroles. A whopping 15 per cent alcohol.

www.australianwine.co.uk;

0800 856 2004

7 Friuli Merlot 2004 £7.99

Medium-bodied Merlot from northern Italy, which fully justifies being International Trophy Winner in the 2006 Decanter Awards. Smooth, juicy and fruity, without being over sweet. Good with wild mushrooms or lighter game dishes.

www.marksandspencer.com; 0845 302 1234

8 Castano Hecula 2004 £5.99

This amazing wine from the hitherto undiscovered Yecla area proves Spanish wine is no longer simply about Rioja. Made from aged Monastrell vines, it is dark in appearance with a rich, concentrated and complex taste, full of winter spices and fruits. Must be opened for at least an hour before drinking; best with equally rich meat dishes and strong cheese.

www.averys.com; 08451 283 797

9 Rêve De Carignan 2005 £7.99

A straightforward, powerful, rustic French red, made in the Minervois from old Carignan vines. A big mouthful, full of smoky autumnal aromas and flavours, with a nicely peppery edge to it. The perfect partner to baked pasta, grilled meats or cheese dishes.

www.oddbins.com; 08009 174 093

10 Alto Los Romeros 2005 £5.99

Stunning Syrah-based red from family-owned winery in Chile's Colchagua Valley. A typical Rhône-style wine, but overland by big New World fruit flavours and kept in check with a nice, long, spicy finish. A fantastic bargain at this price.

www.laithwaites.co.uk; 08704 448 282

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