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The 10 Best seasonal red wines

Spring seems to be delayed, so while there's still a bit of a nip in the air, treat yourself to a glass of a delicious full-bodied wine...

Kate Hilpern
Thursday 07 March 2013 20:30 GMT

1. Fortnum's Claret, Chateau Fongaban

Kick off your shoes and grab yourself a couple of large glasses. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is a heart-warming medium-bodied red wine, boasting silky tannins and a long finish.


2. Toro Loco Tempranillo, 2011

Aldi's own-brand Spanish Toro Loco Tempranillo excelled in blind taste tests alongside reds costing nearly 10 times as much. It's fruity and rounded – perfect for entertaining.


3. Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas Terres Brûlées 2008

If you can afford to splash on one luxury bottle this month, opt for this gold-medal winner at the International Wine Challenge. It's stunningly balanced, with spicy hints of liquorice and coffee.


4. The Ned Waihopai River Pinot Noir 2011

While Central Otago gets all the New Zealand Pinot Noir attention globally, much more Pinot Noir is produced in Marlborough. The result is that some of the best bargains come out of Marlborough, as The Ned – an impressive and smooth-drinking Pinot – proves.


5. Selfridges Malbec 2010, Argentina

Argentinian Malbecs have been flying off the shelves for the past few years, largely because their emphasis on soft, ripe fruitiness and velvety textures make them safe and reliable. This one stands out, with its big, ripe damson and blueberry fruit with smooth tannins and a hint of spices. Great for while there is still a nip in the air.


6. Brown Brothers Merlot 2009

This cannot fail to warm the cockles of your heart, particularly if you serve it with a Sunday roast and steamed greens. Aromas of redcurrant, plum, dried herbs and spices are followed with cassis flavours, which balance the soft tannins.


7. Château La Garde, Pessac-Léognan 2009

This is the full-blooded kind of red that can take on roasts, casseroles, game and mature cheeses – in other words, all the best dinner-party dishes. Decant it for maximum effect and enjoy the broad texture and fleshy tannins.


8. Tour De Belfort 2010

Only in its third year of production, Tour De Belfort has already scooped 10 awards. Praised for its suppleness, fruity length and spicy aromas, it is produced using organic methods at a small family-owned vineyard in south-west France.


9. Ursa Maior Rioja Reserva 2005

This delightfully plummy, award-winning wine is a good price for a wine of this age and quality and goes a treat with steak and kidney pie or, as it's also suitable for vegans, a hearty vegetarian bake.


10. Gérard Bertrand Naturae Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Described at the Decanter World Wine Awards as "a supermarket with a wine merchant's soul", M&S has every reason to be proud of this year's red wine offerings. This rich, naturally made wine is a perfect partner to a grilled steak this weekend.


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