I’VE JUST tasted an Australian red made by a teacher from Sussex with no previous wine-making experience. Remarkably it wasn't too bad; in fact it was quite drinkable.
The wine in question, Rosemount Estate Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo 2013, was blended by Harriet Conner-Earl from Sussex. Harriet was one of nearly 3,500 shoppers who entered a Morrisons’ competition to attend a blending workshop with Rosemount Estate Chief Winemaker, Matt Koch.
The resulting wine, which has just arrived on the shelves at the supermarket, is quite well balanced, with an approachable, easy-going style. It is smooth textured with bold flavours of forest berries, pepper, vanilla and some smoky oak notes.
Aussie wines, like the Rosemount example, are a good match with sausages and burgers, served with syrupy barbecue sauces. And the upfront fruit flavours and slight sweetness work well with hot dishes such as chilli or meaty curries.
However, I reckon Wakefield Estate Shiraz 2013, from the Clare Valley in Oz, would be a better way to beef up the barbecue for just a few pence more. It is rich and juicy, tasting just like an Aussie shiraz should. There is a nice freshness to the layers of berry fruit flavours therein, with coffee, black pepper and some supple, mouth-filling tannins.
Or if Aussie reds are not your thing, try Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles Rouge 2012, Côtes du Rhône. It is a full-bodied, structured, sweet-edged blend of grenache, syrah and mourvèdre which hits the spot with ripe red fruit flavours, think stewed rhubarb and raspberries, peppery spices and liquorice.
Rosemount Estate Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo 2013, £8.99 at Morrisons 15/20
Wakefield Estate Shiraz 2013, Clare Valley, £9.74 (when you buy two) at Majestic 18/20
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Abeilles Rouge 2012, Côtes du Rhône, £9.99 from cellarviewines.com 18/20
• The Three Wine Men, Oz Clarke, Olly Smith and Tim Atkin, will be in York next month. The trio will host tastings, on September 26 and 27 to coincide with the York Food Festival, in Dean’s Park next to the Minster. Tickets costs £25 for a session and are available online (seetickets.com/Tour/THREE-WINE-MEN) or by calling 0844 858 6759.