Monday wine columnist Robert Moyes writes that now is a good time to delve into some interesting reds. Don Denton/Black Press

WINE NOTES: Fall is the time to check out the full-bodied reds

Monday wine aficianado Robert Moyes ventures from Italy to Calfornia for this month’s selection

With rainy autumn slamming in, it’s time to seek the comfort of some “big reds.”

Let’s start in the south of Italy, where the often-rustic varietals Negroamaro and Primitivo achieve surprising elegance in the form of Verso Salento Rosso ($22). Rich, spicy and smooth, this polished performer offers flavours of black cherry, plum and chocolate. Supple in the mouth and boasting a silky, lingering finish, this would be a standalone sipping wine, but will go superbly with pork tenderloin or pasta putanesca.

Shifting from Primitivo to its New World offspring, Zinfandel, it’s time to hail Ravenswood’s robust Old Vine bottling from their Lodi vineyards. Big and bold and spicy, this is a well-structured, flavour-rich wine that evokes dark fruits such as plum and raspberry, as well as those wild brambly notes that Zin lovers crave. And underneath the easy-drinking charm there is some complexity and cellaring potential. Although well priced at $26.50 this goes on sale once or twice a year at a remarkable $5 off.

And sticking with California, here’s a new-on-the-scene Cabernet Sauvignon made by Matchbook in the Central Valley. Blended with small amounts of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Petite Syrah, this is a suave and very expressive wine offering aromas of clove and tobacco atop rich flavour notes of black cherry, plum, cassis, and coffee. It has velvety textures and a lovely, long finish – so forget the cellar and drink it now! Available at the Cascadia store on Quadra ($28).

I’ve always loved Cabernet Franc as a standalone varietal and the Okanagan’s Hester Creek makes a beauty. The vines for their Block 3 Reserve are 50 years old and yield a fruit-forward wine of concentration, elegance, and power. Your palate will savour a cascade of raspberry and blackberry notes, lifted with vanilla and spice, alongside a velvety mouthfeel and long finish. This was a big hit at a recent dinner party I took it to. For sale by Liquor Plus ($35).

(All prices include tax.)

Just Posted

A World of Dance awaits at Save-On-Foods

Past and present standouts from popular TV show to perform at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

New short-film festival spotlights the weird and wonderfully macabre

Foggy Isle Film Festival happens Sept. 26 at the Victoria Event Centre

ALLAN REID: Paul’s undergoes a culinary face lift

The team behind Fol Epi/Agrius revamping dated motel restaurant in its seventh decade

Fugget about it! Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding invites you to join the family

Interactive dinner theatre happening Sept. 26-29 at the Edelweiss Club in James Bay

CONTINUING STUDIES: UVic program connects cultures and communication

Wide variety of programs and courses available

Victoria bookstore looking to earn a place in the record books

Russell Books still collecting Guiness World Records books from public for massive tower

Eddie Money, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ singer, dies at 70

The rock star recently announced he had stage 4 esophageal cancer

Cross-cultural flamenco production tells personal story through dance, music

Indian, Spanish influences seen in Nritya, coming Sept. 26 to Glenlyon Norfolk School theatre

$9.8 million announced for B.C. arts groups by province

BC Arts Council to distribute 394 grants across more than 50 communities

Remains of local orca and calf reunited for exhibit at Royal BC Museum

Orcas: Our Shared Future will explore the history, ongoing trials and future of orcas

Best of the 2019 Victoria Fringe Festival revisited

Wonder how others felt about Fringe shows you saw? Find the Pick of the Fringe winners here

Sooke’s award-winning author comes home

Darrel McLeod will give a reading and host a workshop in Sooke

Most Read