The Barnard Series Basket Press Syrah, Bellingham, 2007
Although European vines were only planted by Dutch settlers in the Stellenbosch area of South Africa in the mid-17th century, this has the feel of an old world-style Syrah blend as opposed to New World Shiraz. Another warming, full-bodied wine, with lots of chocolate-y, peppery, earthy notes and overtones of dried fruit sweetness to temper the spice. Reserve for roasts or the last game of the season. £10.99, sainsburys.co.uk
Mas Carlot Red Cuvée Tradition, 2009
Moving to the eastern extreme of the Languedoc, but more in the style of neighbouring southern Rhône, comes this equally rich, but more fruit-driven Syrah/Grenache red that is a perfect match for grilled chicken or pasta. Produced by an estate endorsed by wine guru Robert Parker and sited in the rapidly improving Costières de Nimes region, where the Greeks and Romans first developed the local viticulture.
£7.95 (sold by the case; free delivery) fromvineyardsdirect.com
Vin de Pays de Hauterive Le Clos Millesime, 2008
Banish those January chills with this surprisingly complex Corbières vin de pays that delivers a blast of summer warmth from the sun-baked Languedoc-Roussillon region. Well-structured and elegant, but with a robust, spicy undercurrent of toasty vanilla and coffee-bean flavours. Drink with cassoulet or tomato-based dishes. £6.79 if you buy six bottles (reduced from £8.49), oddbins.com