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Red Wine

Fine Red Wine

Making red wine is relatively simple in theory. However, it does require great skill and care. As with all wine, the basic concept is the conversion of the sugary must from the grapes into alcohol. As 99% of the actual grape juice is clear, red wine requires maceration to attain its colour.

Maceration is the process where the harvested grapes are crushed and moved to thermo-regulated vats. Here tannins, flavour compounds and colouring agents that come from the skin, seeds and stems of the grape dissolve and integrate themselves in the juice giving it flavour and colour while the juices ferment to produce wine. The depth of the colour depends on the grape variety and the length of maceration.

The world’s most prolific red grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah (also known as Shiraz) as well as Nebbiolo in Italy and Tempranillo in Spain, but there are many others. Each grape has its own flavour and characteristics and often you will encounter blends which bring together the properties of different grapes to create a wine which is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Historically, the best red wines in the world come from the regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley in France, Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy and Rioja in Spain. Today, this holds true for the traditionalist, but the New World reds certainly have their following of connoisseurs.

Red wines tend to fall in to 5 categories: ‘Light and fruity’, ‘medium-bodied and fruity’, ‘full-bodied and fruity’, ‘complex and tannic’ and ‘complex and elegant’.

Light and fruity reds are generally considered as easy-drinking wines. They have a tendency to be crisp with light tannins and notes of soft fruits and flowers. Beaujolais, generic Burgundies, Zinfandels and Valpolicellas of Italy fall into this category amongst others. Generally they go well with simple foods in particular charcuterie, quiche and pizza. Serve at 12-14°C.

Medium-bodied and fruity red wines have stronger tannins and a heavier feel on the tongue with aromas of red fruits and hints of spice. They tend to not have been aged in oak. These wines include Bergerac, generic Bordeaux, Côte du Rhône, Chianti from Italy and Penedès from Spain. They would drink well alongside meat dishes in a sauce, smaller game, pâté and roasted meats. Serve at 15-17°C.

Full-bodied and fruity reds tend to have high alcohol content and plenty of tannins, partly due to maturation in oak barrels, which will soften with age to produce exceptional wine. These wines are complex and bear strong aromas of ripe, dark fruits and spice. Key examples here are wines from Saint-Emilion and Pomerol as well as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cahors, Rioja, and Shiraz wines from Australia. Wines as complex and deep as these go well with rich and fatty dishes for example grilled/roasted red meat, duck confit, foie gras and game. Serve at 15-17°C.

Complex and tannic reds tend to be more expensive. Their heavy tannins will age and produce firm wines with great finesse. Red and black fruits and spicy undertones are prominent with vanilla and toasty notes as new oak is likely to have been used. Full flavours and beautiful finishes are common in this bracket. Here you will find all the famous sub-regions of Bordeaux as well as Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Barolo from Italy and a few new world Cabernet Sauvignons. These powerful reds go well with rich but not too fatty dishes such as game and roast lamb; they also partner well with truffles. Serve at 15-17°C.

Complex and elegant red wines. This select and elite group is reserved for the best of Burgundy. All from the Pinot Noir variety, these exceptional wines are very rare and highly priced, sometimes phenomenally expensive. These are complex wines with aromas of red and black berries, floral notes with hints of game and undergrowth (sous-bois in French). They are silky on the palate with a long and memorable finish. Wines from Chambolle-Musigny, Morey-St-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Beaune and of course Vosne-Romanée are amongst the great Burgundies in this category. Dishes should be chosen well with these special wines and will be different for each. Usually slow-cooked food and roasts make good matches. Serve at 16-17°C.

  1. Château Haut-Condissas, Haut-Médoc, 2005

    Château Haut-Condissas, Haut-Médoc, 2005

    This is a distinctly fruity Haut-Médoc with blackberries, delicate tones of licorice, smoke and earth. Silk-like tannins and an impressive concentration complement this wine's broad, expansive style.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Regular Price: £39.99

    Special Price:

    £31.99

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  2. Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac, 2005

    Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac, 2005

    This wine is proof that top quality Pauillac doesn't have to cost the earth. Lovely blackcurrant fruit with a firm tannic structure.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  3. Two Hands, Lily's Garden Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2005

    Two Hands, Lily's Garden Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2005

    Lily's Garden McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2005, is a rich wine with richness and power yet slightly more elegant than the previous vintage.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  4.  Château du Domaine de l’Eglise, Pomerol, 2005

    Château du Domaine de l’Eglise, Pomerol, 2005

    A very good Pomerol that is drinking well now and which has many years of life left in it.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  5. Kay Brothers Hillside Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2005

    This Hillside Shiraz is another triumph which has real class. It is a great example of a Shiraz from the McLaren Vale. The wine is deep purple in colour and is full-bodied with smooth tannins.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

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  6. Château Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac 5eme Cru Classé, 2005

    Château Haut-Bages Libéral, Pauillac 5eme Cru Classé, 2005

    This wine should be decanted for an hour or so before drinking but is an absolute triumph. Will continue to develop for another 10 years.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  7. Château Vieux-Sarpe, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005

    Château Vieux-Sarpe, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2005

    Château Vieux-Sarpe made a very good wine in 2005 which still has plenty of life left in it.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

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  8. Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2005 (Magnum)

    Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2005 (Magnum)

    An exceptional wine from the best of vintages in this area, in recent years. Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, 2005, has a good nose of ripe red berries, tannic to the taste but with very well-balanced acidity and a fresh fruity taste. It gets silkier over the course of a few hours.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Châteauneuf du Pape Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  9. Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux 2ème Cru Classé , 2005

    Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux 2ème Cru Classé , 2005

    2005 was a classic vintage in Margaux. Elegant Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Bordeaux Blend Red
    Country France

    Out of stock

  10. Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2005

    Two Hands Bella's Garden Shiraz, Barossa Valley, 2005

    Another winning Shiraz from Two Hands. A cooler summer contributed towards the fruity elegance of this lovely wine, drinking until 2020.

    Details
    Colour Red Wine
    Grape Variety Shiraz
    Country Australia

    Out of stock

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