Cosy Reds

Words by Keven Amfo

19 June 2020

If winter has started to take a toll, brighten up the long, grey days with a cosy glass of red wine. These recommendations, courtesy of Quintessentially Wines’ Stevie Evans, will keep you warm and help you power through the last month or two of chill and darkness.

1999 La Mondotte, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

£146 / bottle in bond

‘An opaque purple colour is followed by an exotic, sweet bouquet of jammy black raspberries, cherries, and blackberries, smoke, barbecue spice, liquorice, and coffee. Thick, sweet flavours reveal abundant glycerin, low acidity, and an enormous wealth of concentrated fruit as well as ripeness. Anticipated maturity now-2025. The ultimate garage wine, La Mondotte is ultra-concentrated, frightfully expensive, yet worth every cent.’ — 95-97/100, Robert Parker

2015 Meo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits

£214 / bottle in bond

‘This is also notably ripe but attractively fresh with its array of various dark berries, earth and a pretty violet nuance. On the palate the generous, muscular and equally rich flavours possess a sleek mouth feel while delivering super length on the once again irreproachably well-balanced finish. The Méo Clos de Vougeot is rarely a big wine in the context of what is typical for the appellation yet the 2015 version is bigger and more powerful than usual.’ — 92-95/100, Allen Meadows

2012 El Coto ‘Coto de Imaz’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa

£41 / bottle in bond

‘This dark, relatively tight-knit Rioja proves that the Gran Reserva category doesn't just indicate the supremely well-aged, relaxed and reposeful style of Rioja, but can also serve to draw drinkers' attention to outstanding wines of density and tenacity which still have a way to run along their potential ageing trajectories. Look out for dark, urgent fruits here sweetened and back-lit by cunningly angled oak, with intense, deep, fresh and searching flavours in which the 10% of Graciano seems to be working overtime.’ — 97/100 & Best In Show, 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards

2017 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand

£39 / bottle in bond

‘Really pristine fruit aromas here with such pure, ripe red cherries and roses, as well as gently earthy and spicy nuances. Very fresh, precisely ripe and a pinot you can sit and just breathe in for days. The palate has a velvety layer that few others manage to find; silky at the core, succulent in the centre and delivering such vibrant, red-cherry flavours in a long, pristine and fresh, red-cherry finish.’ — 98/100, James Suckling

2010 Chateau Magrez Fombrauge, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

£81 / bottle in bond

‘Dense purple, with notes of blackberry, white chocolate, mulberry and toasty oak, this is a full-bodied, massive, rich, thick and unctuously textured wine with outstanding purity, richness and headiness. Of course, there's always criticism that wines like this don't age, but I own the 2000, and it is still an infant at 13 years of age, so I don't think that's an issue. This wine should keep for 20-25 years at the minimum.’ — 95/100, Robert Parker

2009 Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz, Eden Valley, Australia

£374 / bottle in bond

‘Medium to deep garnet-purple in colour, the nose on the 2009 Hill of Grace is a little closed, though it reveals notes of warm black plums, blackberry coulis and cloves with subtle nuances of dried Provence herbs, forest floor and lavender. Medium to full-bodied, it possesses layers of medium to full-bodied black fruit and earth-laced flesh elegantly structured by a medium to firm level of finely grained tannins, nicely balanced acid and a long finish. Drink it now to 2026+.’ — 97/100, Robert Parker

Need more advice, or help procuring an obscure bottle? Contact Stevie and the team of experts at Quintessentially Wine.

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