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

Country

Region

Grower

Dietary Requirement

Organic / Biodynamic

Vintage

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

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Save £26.34

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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Save £18.60

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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Save £16.74

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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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2017

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El Lagar de Isilla, Ribera Del Duero, Crianza, 2017

92% Tempranillo from 50-70 year old vines, with Cabernet and Merlot, given fourteen months in...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSpain

RegionRibera Del Duero

ColourRed

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAH417

GrapeTempranillo

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Badenhorst Family Red, Swartland, 2018

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Save £31.80

Badenhorst Family Red, Swartland, 2018

56% Syrah; 19% Grenache, 12.5% each of Cinsault and Tinta Barocca: and the best vintage we have...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSouth Africa

RegionCoastal

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBAD818

GrapeSyrah/Shiraz Blend

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Badenhorst, Secateurs Red, Swartland, 2019

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Save £15.30

Badenhorst, Secateurs Red, Swartland, 2019

Over the years this has changed from being a chunky blend based on Syrah to a more graceful one...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginSouth Africa

RegionSwartland

ColourRed

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeBAD619

GrapeCinsault blend

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Domaine Fontanel, Côtes du Roussillon, Rouge, Initium, 2017

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Save £17.40

Domaine Fontanel, Côtes du Roussillon, Rouge, Initium, 2017

From Syrah, Grenache and Carignan grown on schist near Maury, unoaked, this is a classic...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginFrance

RegionRoussillon

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeFON117

GrapeSyrah, Grenache & Carignan

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Conviviale, Primitivo, Salento, 2019

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Save £10.20

Conviviale, Primitivo, Salento, 2019

Gutsy grape of Croatian origin (aka Tribidrag), genetically identical to Zinfandel. Bittersweet...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginItaly

RegionPuglia

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeCNV119

GrapePrimitivo

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Château Beauregard Ducasse, Cuvée Albert Duran, Graves, 2016

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Château Beauregard Ducasse, Cuvée Albert Duran, Graves, 2016

Gruff M. Perromat’s top wine, from about 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginFrance

RegionBordeaux

ColourRed

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodeBDU616

GrapeMerlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Petit Verdot

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Krohn, Port, Rio Torto Reserva, NV

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Save £15.54

Krohn, Port, Rio Torto Reserva, NV

The small house of Krohn is perhaps better known for excellent colheita tawnies, but this...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginPortugal

RegionDouro

ColourRed

ABV20%

Bottle75cl

CodeKRO2NV

GrapeTouriga Nacional

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