As a nation of wine lovers, we don’t drink enough Mourvedre. It makes big and powerful wines with lots of colour, acidity and tannin. And lots and lots of oomph.

It tends to need a decent decant, but it starts coming into its own in the autumn months when we turn to hearty stews and big roasts on the dinner table. Simply pop it into a jug when you start cooking and both you and the wine will be ready by the time the meal is on the table.

In Spain, it’s known as Monastrell and the Australians call it Mataro. You’ll find interesting and tasty examples from the Rhone Valley and the South of France (where the locals call it 'the dog strangler'), Jumilla in Spain and the Barossa Valley in Australia. It suits blends well, so expect it to feature on the label alongside Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and Tempranillo.

Here are a few to whet your appetite this weekend.

Cotes du Rhone Vidal-Fleury 2016 (Majestic, £11.99). Vidal-Fleury have been making great wines since 1781, and this Cotes du Rhone is no exception. Like many wines in the area, it’s a blend of Carignan, Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache. It’s complex, food-friendly and great value for money.

Kilikanoon Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2017 (Waitrose, £10.99). Try this one with duck breast in a plum sauce. There’s a spicy plummy note to the wine which echoes the food beautifully. It also has enough fruit to match the dish and it’s very smooth, despite the 14.5% ABV (alcohol by volume).

Finca Bacara Time Waits for No One ‘Stone Elephant’ Jumilla 2018 (Inverarity One to One, £12.49). This manages power and balance in equal measure, and it’s wonderfully intense with concentrated dark fruits, peppery spice and herby notes all featuring in the glass. Here we’re properly showcasing Monastrell, as there are no other grapes in the mix. The wine spent six months in new American oak, adding smoothness and a touch of spice to the final product. Jumilla in South Eastern Spain is a particularly arid region which can cause problems for the winemakers. 2018 saw more rain than usual which translates to a touch more elegance in the wine, making this one even better. Cheers!