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Every fall, as cool weather sweeps in, we start to prep our palates and wine racks with some of our favorite autumn-ready bottles. Here are eight of our top picks.
Domaine des Sablonnettes “Les Copines Aussi” 2012
When summer begins to wane, but we still crave something a little light, we reach for bottles like this Gamay. The nose is sweet and floral, and on the palate, it offers glorious acidity and tangy red berry flavors.
Imported by Jenny & Francois, $15
Domaine Rimbert “Cousin Oscar” 2012
You might be tempted to buy this light-hearted, 100% Cinsault for the label alone—luckily what’s inside the bottle is just as fun. A vegetal spice on the nose gives way to a tannic, stony minerality and subtle hints of dried blueberry.
Imported by Jenny & Francois, $12
Darting Pinot Meunier 2012
Pinot Meunier is a funky little grape. Typically used for blending in Champagne, it’s recently made appearances as a solo act in wines throughout Europe. This offering, from Pfalz, Germany’s Darting estate is a charmer, fully showcasing the grape’s trademark acidity with hints of lavender and blackberry. Subtle new oak aging lends a hint of toasted nuts and spice.
Imported by Terry Theise, $20
Alvaro Palacios Priorat 2012
Everything we crave in October, this Grenache-heavy red blend smells of blackberries and has a delicious, gamey note of smoke. We love the fresh, fruit-forward flavor and light body. A perfect wine for late-summer grilling.
Imported by the Rare Wine Co., $20
Antidoto Ribera del Duero 2012
This is a savory, funky Tempranillo from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region. Umami flavors abound. Tannic and earthy, this wine is savory but still pleasantly light.
Imported by the Rare Wine Co., $24
Cascina Feipu Dei Massaretti Russu du Feipu 2011
This organically grown blend of Sangiovese, Dolcetto and Barbara comes from a small family estate just off Italy’s coast in Liguria. Thanks to warm days for ripening and cool sea breezes, this wine exudes big fruit and high acid—two good reasons to open a bottle alongside late summer salads or early fall stews.
Imported by Kermit Lynch, $18
Domaine de Fondréche Côtes du Ventoux, “Fayard” 2012
From the Ventoux-based organic-and-biodynamic winemaker Sébastien Vincenti comes a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Notes of soft, dried plums on the nose lead into an enveloping warm spice.
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections, $20
Juris St. Laurent 2010
Thought to be a wild crossing between Pinot Noir and some unknown varietal, St. Laurent balances delicate fruit notes with a rustic underlayer of earth and spice. This offering, from Austria’s established Juris estate (the winery was among the first to bottle the St. Laurent grape solo), finds a weightiness in its notes of pepper and spice, while still allowing a bright, red-fruitiness to shine through.
Imported by Blue Danube, $25