Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the wines discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.
Summer may be winding down, but that’s no reason to write it off just yet. There are plenty of warm, sunny days yet to be enjoyed with a glass of wine and a plate of something grilled set before us. It’s true that white and rosé wines are seasonal mainstays during the warmer months of the year, however two red wines came our way that are well-suited to being savored al fresco with a little chill on them when the mercury is high. Bearing in mind that despite reds generally being enjoyed near room temperature, drinking some a few degrees cooler can accentuate subtler flavor nuances, we sampled the following two examples for this review.
Mas Janeil Les Hautes de Janeil Syrah-Grenache 2015
This Languedoc Syrah-Grenache blend crafted by world-renowned winemaker François Lurton pours ruby-colored and gives up luscious, fruity aromas. These are led by raspberry and red plum, with furtive suggestions of violets and herbs lurking amidst them. A full-bodied wine with solid tannins, its flavors recall juicy raspberry and black pepper, and edges them with welcome spice. It finishes with refreshing red berry and stone fruit notes that linger. Produced by a strong believer in biodynamic and low-intervention wines, this wine is notable for being vegan-friendly, and made without the use of pesticides or chemicals. Enjoy it slightly chilled, with spicy cuisines like Indian, Moroccan, or Szechuan- and Hunan-style Chinese food, pasta with arrabiata or fra diavolo sauces, or with pizza that doesn’t spare the meat toppings.
Kanonkop Kadette 2015
With a bouquet as complex as its palate, this red blend from Stellenbosch, South Africa is made from Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grapes. Its bouquet teems with blackberry, black currant, and candied black cherries, as well as suggestions of leather, smoke, and charred wood. Black cherries and plum lead its flavor expressions, laced with faint, tart citrus reminiscent of blood oranges. Medium-bodied with quiet acidity and subtle tannin, it finishes with plums and oaky character that makes it a fun, solid option for enjoying with grilled fare. Beef or turkey burgers and red meats like steak or lamb chops are a slam dunk, as are braised or slow-cooked meats and/or game birds.
This article first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.