Today, we’re going to look at Mourvedre, a grape known as ‘the dog strangler’ in the south of France due to its strength of flavour and concentration of acidity and tannin. This is a big, punchy wine with a ton of character. In France, you’ll find varietal bottles (all from the one grape), but it also appears in the deluxe blend that is Chateauneuf du Pape. In this wine, it’s a great blend-improver adding character and depth to the building blocks of Syrah and Grenache. In Spain, it is known as Monastrell and is often blended with Garnacha and/or Tempranillo. In Australia, it’s called Mataro and is occasionally available as a stand-out varietal bottling.

As we get closer to Hallowe’en and beyond into winter, these are exactly the wines to open with a hearty stew or cassoulet. Winter is coming, and rusticity is the order of the day, so let’s go for some big, earthy flavours this weekend.

Turkey Flat Vineyards Barossa Valley Mataro 2015 (Inverarity One to One, £22.99). This wine is bottled at 14.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) after ageing quietly in French oak for eight months. It’s brilliant with lamb, or duck and it will change your opinion about the ability of Australian winemakers to work with classic French varieties.

Swartland Limited Release Mourvedre 2016 (Majestic, £11.99). This is an amazing wine at an amazing price, and as such is a great introduction to the style. It certainly feels more French in style than new world or even Spanish. You have to try this one with a full-on Sunday roast.

Also from Majestic, try the Lirac Vignobles Abeille Mont Redon 2015 (Majestic, £16.99). It’s a Mourvedre blend which owes a lot flavour-wise to Chateauneuf du Pape at a fraction of the price.

Saronsberg Artspace Shiraz Mourvedre 2015 (Inverarity One to One, £9.99). This Coastal Region blend is surprisingly good for the money, as well as being a study in the blending skills of the winemaker and the versatility of the grape. It’s delicious and food friendly and deserves a space in your wine rack this weekend. Cheers!