Autumn season wines – September represents the start of a new school year and the return to a hopefully regular routine for many. The month also means the unofficial end to summer as the month brings in fresher and shorter days and complemented by a changing landscape.
As we reach for that light jacket or sweater we cannot help but to start thinking about which wines to drink for the cool weather. Although we may not be all there yet for the powerhouse Cabernets that help us get through the cold winter months, it is definitely time for something with a bit more structure that the crisp, refreshing whites and rosés we enjoyed during the summer.
At the end it comes down to personal preference, although there are certain wines that just seem to be perfect pairings for this transitional season. Full body whites with some richness and depth like Chardonnay, Viognier or Semillon are just right fall companions while light to medium-bodied reds like Gamay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the perfect compromise to the big octane reds that are best reserved for the bitter cold winter months. As a general guideline look for reds with a good acid to tannin balance, showcasing bright fruit aromas, a touch of savoury spice and a little earthiness.
Autumn season wines:
On the nose, the wine showcases delicious red berry notes. Aromas of bright raspberry are complemented by strawberry and shiny floral notes. Medium body and quite juicy on the palate. Delightful and easy to drink. Retronsasal reminds me of rhubarb coulis with a pleasant grassy finale. Perfect Italian red to transition to the fall weather. Pair it with a plate of tortellini in a light tomato sauce.
A powerful and gutsy Priorat that delivers in all aspects. A high strung nose that brings to mind prunes compote, graphite complemented by cedary and tobacco pipe nuances. The mouth is just a blockbuster. Powerful and deep retronasal notes of redcurrants, fountain ink, menthol and chinese five powder. A beautiful finale reminiscent of cacao, and very wild animal notes that bring to mind a very elegant note that brings to mind goat skin. Pair it with bavette marinated in Barolo with oven roasted zucchini.
Beautiful nuances of stracciatella ice cream with peach and pear sorbet complemented by mountain herbs and exotic spices such as cinnamon and white licorice. Full body, round and wavy in the palate. Quite fresh despite the ripeness. Beautiful balance. Retronasal reminiscent of acacia flowers and honey. Young and still revealing. Quite promising if you leave it to sleep for a few years. Nice pairing with a vegetable and chicken risotto.
Spotlight on Domaine Rivaton
Located in the mountainous Roussillon village of Latour de France (25 miles north of Spain and 20 miles west of the Mediterranean), Domaine Rivaton is a 30 acre domain created in 2004 by Frederic Rivaton. Frederic grows 80-100-year-old Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache vines planted deep in shale and schist at 1,200 feet above sea-level. While this rugged and desolate terrain requires a hardiness of both winemaker and vine, the grape gets the most light handling. Frederic’s program of employing wild yeasts, gravity feeding, low sulphur, careful use of wood, and minimal intervention yields some of the most brilliant natural wine.
Bejaune white 2018 ( 6 pack case, $32.47, www.glou-mtl.com)
Hay, dry fruit that recall dates and a bit of mandarine character. In addition, chamomile leaves. blonde tobacco.and bruised apples. To finalize, that chalky elusive character. A hint of lactic nuances. On the palate, light to medium body. Yeasty (bread and beer just fermented) and fruity. Lots of apple character. Acidity is very crisp with a refined touch of oxidative character that adds complexity to the palate. A touch of spearmint on the finale. Quite smooth and balanced. Long bony aftertaste