There's just something so warming and comforting about the Cotes du Rhone wines when summer turns to Autumn. It could be the spicy peppery fruits that just seem to be more lively that in rival styles, but my money is on the invariably high alcohol.

Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah feature in most of the wines of the region and they all seem to be reaching for the stars with their alcohol levels these days. That said, the days of 12.5% being the expected standard on the wine shelves have long since disappeared with the vast bulk of the wines I review these days varying between 13 to 15%.

The Cotes du Rhone style, rather like Bordeaux, has spawned many copies all over the world although other than Syrah/shiraz, most of the grape varieties are grown in tiny parcels with vineyards producing some limited single varietal editions.

On that note by the way, if you haven’t tried a Californian Mourvedre, you've let your palate down but they are almost collectors pieces in truth. In the main though, the New World winemakers have copied the French and blended the varieties, with the most popular style these days simply labelled as GSM short for Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre. Sounds a bit Chateauneuf to me!

Cotes Du Rhone Rouge, Guigal

Rich, warm and spicy with lashings of dark fruits. Perfect with hearty autumn dishes. It's a cracker for the price but then again, Im a sucker for anything by this producer.

Waitrose £9.59

Gérard Bertrand, Chateau L’Hospitalet Grand Vin Rouge, La Clape, 2018, France

Wow, what a mouthful,,,, a statement that's equally suited to the name and the wine itself. Bertrand is the rock star of French wine at the moment and this SGM blend is intense, powerful and yet perfectly balanced with spicy notes and brambly fruits on the finish.

Pop Wines Glasgow £30.00

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