Wine of the Month – September

After an August break during which the CWB household travelled to Burgundy and the south of France, we returned to a cold, wet and miserable late British “summer”.

Now, with the schools just back, that seems like a distant memory with temperatures rising and a barbecue Indian Summer in the offing.

It’s hard to know what to recommend when the weather is as unpredictable as this, so here is a varied collection of wines that hopefully will suit all occasions this month.

Rousseau de Sipian 2002, Medoc – Cambridge Wine Merchants (£11.99)

From the left-bank region of Bordeaux, this Medoc wine has a high proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon, giving it structure and ageing potential and even at 10 years old, it still feels relatively youthful.

There are meaty, truffley aromas on the nose with pruney fruit and cedar wood; the palate shows bramble fruit, sweet vanilla and minty eucalyptus with good juicy acidity, with pepperiness and grip developing.

Long on the palate, the finish is nicely grippy. Match with plain roast red meat or something gamey such as duck or pheasant.

Magpie Estate “The Beak” 2010, Barossa – Noel Young Wines (£9.75)

From Noel’s Magpie Estate vineyard in Australia’s Barossa Valley, this newly-released wine is blend of southern Rhone varieties – Syrah / Shiraz and Grenache.

A dark purple colour in the glass, on the nose there is lots of expressive, ripe, dark berry fruit, cassis and aromas of liquorice, leather and spice.

The palate is soft, full and rounded with an inky, custardy texture, juicy acidity and good savoury underpinnings.

Long on the palate, the finish is firm, structured and persistent with more black fruit and spice.

Fresh off the boat, this is still a young wine and whilst drinking nicely now, will also repay some cellaring – for drinking now, it is best decanted an hour or so before drinking.

Match with either roast lamb or lamb koftas if it’s barbecue weather.

Bodegas Pittacum, Bierzo ‘Tres Obispos’ Rosada 2011 – Joseph Barnes Wines (£10.99)

This is something of an unusual beast – a rosé made from the Mencia grape in Bierzo, a remote region of northwest Spain located on the border of Galica and Castilla y Leon and considered by many to be the next ‘big thing’ in Spanish wine.

A deep, raspberry red in colour, there is strawberry and raspberry fruit on the nose as well as something a little more unusual that I can only describe as “workshop” – a mix of swarfega, tyres and used engine oil. It’s in no way unpleasant and rather intriguing.

On the palate, there is more red berry fruit, good acidity and a persistent, clean finish; this would be perfect for an Indian-summer barbecue.

Recommended Wine

Whilst the rosé and the Aussie Shiraz will prove great if you get the chance of a barbecue, for me the winner this month is the Rousseau de Sipian 2002 for being a good, affordable Bordeaux with a bit of age that is drinking very nicely now.


Cambridge Wine Merchants –

Joseph Barnes Wines –

Noel Young Wines –

Copyright Tom Lewis 2012

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About Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis is a wine writer and educator from Cambridge with a particular interest in Austria and France. His comments have been published on, Local Wine Events, as well as in the local press in his hometown of Cambridge, UK. When it comes to buying wine, Tom’s philosophy is to buy as close as possible to where it comes from. He writes a regular blog, the Cambridge Wine Blogger which launched in 2009 and is a presenter for the Cambridge Food and Wine Society. To read more of Tom’s work, please check out
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