After a dismal season there's loose talk of an Indian summer, but as I write, it's too soon to say for sure. So in a spirit of optimism, let's consider some wines that will suit a warmish autumn before we start to think of the kind of hefty wines we'll need to tackle autumnal flavours. Evidence of the UK's remarkable and ongoing love affair with rosé is apparent, with the flow of samples of the genre continuing like, well, wine.
‘Bonizio' Sangiovese di Toscana, Cecchi 2005 This sharply priced Sangiovese offers straightforward red fruit, laced with earthy and peppery notes. There's fresh acidity and medium-weight ripe tannins that mean a tomato-based sauce for pasta or pizza will be the perfect partner.
(£4.22 per bottle, ex-VAT from Enotria Winecellars enotria.co.uk)
‘Vial' Pinot Bianco Alto Adige, Caldaro 2006 With delicate aromas of nectarine, honey and lime flowers followed by a crisp, clean, mineral palate that is nicely balanced with honeyed fruit, this rather suave wine will make an excellent aperitif or partner for simply cooked shellfish.
(£7.80 per bottle, ex-VAT from Matthew Clarke, 0870 600 0640)
Rosé Syrah, Veramonte 2006 There is an attractive herbaceous edge to the nose of this vibrant pink wine, to season its spicy ripeness.
The palate displays ripe, spicy Syrah flavours, with soft acidity and a touch of tannin to balance the fruit. It's easy enough to drink on its own but has enough personality and structure to partner red mullet or snapper.
(£5.88 per bottle, ex-VAT from Matthew Clarke, 0870 600 0640)
Old Vine Grenache Mataro Shiraz, Schild Estate 2006 The first sniff offers plenty of spicy, Rhône-y fruit. In the mouth is red and black brambly fruit, with the weight and warmth you'd expect from a Barossa Valley wine, but it's no headbanger, despite a hefty 15 per cent alcohol. With soft acidity and easy tannins ensuring great drinkability, its winning price should help this wine find plenty of listings.
(£7.25 per bottle ex VAT from H&H Bancroft)
Philip Shaw No 11 Chardonnay 2005 Fragrant but restrained oak aromas mingle with nectarines and a subdued tropicality in this cool-climate Aussie. The palate is rich and full-bodied, with attractive stone fruit flavours and clean balancing acidity. This is a lovely example of the ‘new' style of Australian Chardonnay; rich and weighty but fresh and balanced too.
St Joseph ‘Le Grand Pompée', Jaboulet 2005 While made just before the new regime at Jaboulet took over, this well-known wine shows promise. There's classic Northern Rhône peppery Syrah on the nose, with nuances of earth and spice and a lovely mid-weight palate, fleshy and juicy, with moderate acidity and soft, forward tannins. This is not a profound wine but it is delicious.
(£10.60 per bottle ex-VAT from Liberty Wines libertywine.co.uk)