Wines of the week: Rioja Vega Crianza 2009/10; Côtes du Luberon Rouge 2011; F'Oz Alentejo Red 2011
Terry Kirby selects the best bottles to buy
Sunday 10 November 2013
Rioja Vega Crianza 2009/10
The first of three value-for-money, full-bodied reds for cooler-weather drinking is this lovely Rioja, very contemporary in style but hailing from an ancient estate near Haro and made using Tempranillo and Mazuelo. Aged in oak, but not overly so, it is bright and smooth with flavours of vanilla, spices and cherries. Excellent with game such as pheasant or partridge. £9.29, houseoftownend.com (2009); £9.30, tanners-wines.co.uk (2010)
Côtes du Luberon Rouge 2011
From the southern Rhône valley, this is a Côtes du Rhône in all but name, made with a characteristic blend of Syrah, softened with Grenache. An uncomplicated red, with vibrant flavours of autumn fruits such as plums and blackberries that would be fine with any kind of pasta with rich sauces or lamb meatballs with rice. £7.99, Marks & Spencer
F'Oz Alentejo Red 2011
Alentejo is tipped as the new hot region for Portugal and on this evidence it's easy to see why – a powerful, punchy red, made with more Tempranillo, this time blended with Trincadeira and Castelão and packed with rich, ripe, black fruits with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Save for cooler nights. £7.99, Waitrose (normally £9.99)
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