Arc du Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2013 $46
There’s a group of villages in the Rhone that when joined together look like an arc – and this wine comes from the most famous cru at the southern tip of that arc, the Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Three grapes, grenache noir, syrah and carignan have created an earthy, savoury, tobacco and dark fruited style that, seven years on from harvest, also boasts black olive, pepper, leather, anise and baked prune characters.
Sip with: slow-cooked pork and prune casserole.
Paltrinieri Radice Lambrusco Di Sorbara NV $17.70
I can totally see why Wine Enthusiast magazine called this “one of the best Lambrusco’s out there” and chose it as one of their Top 10 wines for 2017. Ruby-coloured, spritzy and beautifully dry, it’s wine with a whiff of wild strawberry and grapefruit zest and a mouthfeel replete with racy, bracing acidity and texture. Paltrinieri make their Lambrusco traditionally, with wild yeasts and without fining or filtration (hence the hazy colour) so if you’ve only ever tasted supermarket Lambrusco before, strap yourself in because this is skyscrapers’ above in terms of quality.
Sip with: slivers of prosciutto.
Château Puygueraud Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux 2015 $39.99
Great Bordeaux for under fifty bucks? It can be done and this blend of 80% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 5% malbec proves it. Pour it into a large glass and swirl it vigourously or decant it if you can. That’ll inject a whoomph of oxygen into the wine, accelerating the aromatics and plumping out the palate. I love the deep berry, leather, liquorice and cocoa flavours of this lovely complex, spicy, cockle-warming wine.
Sip with: Daube of beef.