Winter’s not all bad — cosy clothes, warm houses and comforting food are all good for the soul. It’s around this time that our tipple of choice starts to change, too, moving on from the white wines, chilled reds and rosés of summer to full-bodied red wines that bestow a little more richness to our palate. If you are looking to replenish your home cellar, these delicious and varied red wines could be just the bottles to kick off your winter collection.
Butterworth 2018 Pinot Noir
A blend of only the vineyard’s best Pinot Noir vines, this unfined wine has a spicy palate with great length and Te Muna road’s signature minerality through the middle. Notes of aromatic rose petal, wild raspberry and blackberry, cinnamon and nutmeg spice precede lavender and earthiness in this distinctive, satisfying drop.
Chateau de la Cour Saint Emilion 2016 Grand Cru
This sophisticated, polished wine is from the medieval town of St Emilion, South-Western France. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc results in an intense and structured character, while also bestowing a wonderful mouthfeel and delicious flavours of ripe red fruit, blackberry and oak. Serve with a roast leg of lamb, with plenty of thyme and garlic, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate winter pairing.
Mills Reef Elspeth 2018 Syrah
Brimming with intense flavour and complexity, this Syrah from the Hawke’s Bay winery’s Gimblett Gravels vineyard is a superb example of the style. Luscious boysenberry, white pepper spice and liquorice are displayed, along with a beautifully refined palate. The stony soils of the warm, inland district make for both fine Bordeaux-varietal reds and Syrah, and while this wine will certainly sing if enjoyed now, it’ll also respond wonderfully to longer-term cellaring.
Vino di Anna 2019 ‘Palmento’ Rosso
From the volcanic, mineral-rich soils of Sicily’s Mount Etna, this juicy drop makes for exceptionally easy drinking. Vino di Anna is a family-run vineyard, specialising in natural wines that are farmed organically and tended by hand, and this wine is predominantly Nerello Mascalese grapes with small quantities of some other endemic varieties in the mix. While this is a dry, fresh wine, notes of red cherry and strawberry keep it juicy and an underlying minerality makes for an exquisitely interesting drop.
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Crozes-Hermitage ‘Silene’
Juicy, ripe fruit is balanced by a hefty dose of structure in this Syrah made by the biggest name in Northern Rhone — Jean-Louis Chave. Showing plum, black pepper, pencil lead and warming spices, this distinguished yet attainable wine is perfect for a cold winter’s evening, matched with a hearty and comforting meal.