Red Wines

We offer more red wine than white on our website… Well, there is a view that a meal without red wine is like a day without sunshine…

As a general rule red grape varieties tend to perform at their best in warmer temperatures than white. So whilst one could argue that the very greatest reds of the world come from marginal zones where the local vines need to be coaxed to full ripeness - for example Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, Pinot Noir in Burgundy and Syrah in the northern Rhône - there is abundant decent red wine available now from countries or regions enjoying a Mediterranean climate; in particular the south of France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, California, etc.

While certain grape varieties are associated with particular countries or regions (for example Sangiovese with central Italy, Tempranillo with Spain, Malbec with Argentina, Carmenère with Chile, the home-grown Pinotage with South Africa, Zinfandel with California), it is the varieties best known for making top French wine - Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Syrah (Shiraz), Pinot Noir, and, to a lesser extent, Grenache and Mourvèdre - which have been widely planted all over the new world.

A word about ripeness, alcohol levels and climate change. Red wines, even more than white, are becoming more alcoholic. This is as a result of a number of different factors working together. First, consumers now seek riper wines - wines made from grapes which are picked properly ripe, with higher sugar levels which, once fermented out, become higher alcohol levels. (My theory as to why riper wines are so much more popular is related to us having become accustomed to higher sugar levels in a modern diet). Better management of the vines (in particular the "canopy" of the leaves) and more sophisticated weather forecasting has enabled growers to ripen their grapes better and pick at the right moment.

And on top of that is climate change. Thirty years ago reds from Bordeaux used to be bottled at 12-12.5%; since the hot 2009 vintage most examples show 13-14.5%, and some wines actually contain over 15% of alcohol.

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Wine Type

Red

Style

Grape Variety

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Dietary Requirement

Organic / Biodynamic

Vintage

Chateau La Grave, Minervois Rouge, Tristan & Julien, 2019

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Save £13.14

Chateau La Grave, Minervois Rouge, Tristan & Julien, 2019

From the Orosquette family, named after two cousins, this is a bright, pleasing and honest...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourRed

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeGRV119

GrapeGrenache & Syrah

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Les Vignerons d’Estezargues, Cuvee des Galets, Cotes du Rhone, 2019

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Les Vignerons d’Estezargues, Cuvee des Galets, Cotes du Rhone, 2019

 Juicy, unfiltered blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah: raspberryish mouthful, mildly spicy...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginFrance

RegionRhone

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeESZ119

GrapeGrenache, Cinsault & Syrah

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Vega del Rayo, Rioja, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2018

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Vega del Rayo, Rioja, Vendimia Seleccionada, 2018

A blend of about 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo, a cheerful, oaked (American and Russian)...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRioja

ColourRed

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeVEG218

GrapeTempranillo

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Bodegas Borsao, Garnacha, Joven, Campo de Borja, 2018

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Bodegas Borsao, Garnacha, Joven, Campo de Borja, 2018

Bodegas Borsao is a big co-operative, marketing wines from over 600 growers whose land...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionCampo de Borja

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBOR318

GrapeGrenache

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Roble, 2019

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Roble, 2019

A best-seller here, 95% Tempranillo with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, given precisely 122 days (it...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH119

GrapeTempranillo

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El Lagar de Isilla, Paraje Penalobos, Ribera del Duero, 2016

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Decanter
El Lagar de Isilla, Paraje Penalobos, Ribera del Duero, 2016

"Restrained aromas, quite elegant in red-berry fruit with a delicate spicy touch....

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH616

GrapeTempranillo

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Carinae, Malbec, Hommage, Mendoza, 2014

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Carinae, Malbec, Hommage, Mendoza, 2014

Amazing old-vine Malbec from 95 year old vines in a high altitude vineyard at Calle Cobos,...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginArgentina

RegionMendoza

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeCAE414

GrapeMalbec

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Fryer's Cove, Pinot Noir, Bamboes Bay, 2019

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Fryer's Cove, Pinot Noir, Bamboes Bay, 2019

From this isolated, calcareous vineyard on the cold Atlantic shore. Attractively early-maturing...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSouth Africa

RegionWestern Cape

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFRY619

GrapePinot Noir

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Château Barrejat, Madiran, Cuvée des Vieux Ceps, 2019

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Château Barrejat, Madiran, Cuvée des Vieux Ceps, 2019

Old vines indeed, over 80 years and some pre-phylloxera, so perhaps over 150 years old: 80%...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginFrance

RegionSouth-West

ColourRed

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBAJ319

GrapeTannat

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Ca' di Ponti, Nero d'Avola, DOC Sicilia, 2019

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Ca' di Ponti, Nero d'Avola, DOC Sicilia, 2019

Brambly fruit. Honest, mildly rustic and characterful, better with food. Now-2022

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginItaly

RegionSicily

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodePON619

GrapeNero D’Avola

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Carinae, Malbec, Harmonie, Mendoza, 2017

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Carinae, Malbec, Harmonie, Mendoza, 2017

Deep and inky. Intense aromas of black cherries with coffee, vanilla and toast nuances. With...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginArgentina

RegionMendoza

ColourRed

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeCAE217

GrapeMalbec

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Domaine du Grand Arc, Corbieres Rouge, Reserve Grand Arc, 2018

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Save £14.34

Domaine du Grand Arc, Corbieres Rouge, Reserve Grand Arc, 2018

This is the latest vintage of one of our staples at SVS: about 50% Carignan, with 35% Grenache...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourRed

ABV14.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeDGA218

GrapeCarignan, Grenache & Mourvedre

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