Spicy reds from Australia, France, South Africa & Spain

Cape Heights ShirazCape Heights Shiraz 2015, Western Cape, South Africa (£5.69-£6.95 Rannoch Scott, D&D Wine, Worth Brothers, Connollys)
Dark earthy chocolate, gentle generous berry and plum, very much in that soft warm earthy South African feel, with a bit of the Cape bake and a savoury plum/tomato edge. Maybe the finish is just a touch sweet but overall a very good glug at <£7. B+
(PS The Cape Heights Sauvignon at the same price is also a snip – never too big, never too tart, perfect seafood fodder)

2 PrioratsConvey Priorat 2013, Catalonia, Spain (£10 Morrisons)
An interesting contrast between this and the more modern style of the following wine, this is in that relaxed, old-fashioned style, with a raisinny edge to the plummy berry fruit, some warmth (not OTT) from alcohol, and a gentle, spicy finish. B+

Torres Salmos Priorat 2012, Catalonia, Spain (£22 Waitrose, Partridges of Sloane Square, Soho Wines, Vintage House, The Wine Chambers, Smiths, Auriol Wines, Lewis and Cooper, Great Horkesley Wines, Italian Continental Stores, Taurus Wines, Swift Wines, Telegraph Wines, vintagemarque.com, Dylans Wine Merchants, Corking Wines)
Intense, juicy blackcurrant and berry to the fore, leaps out of the starting gate with plenty of power and spicy weight, but calms down with time, leaving a deep, dark, steak-friendly wine of some class. S(-)

CairanneBoutinot La Côte Sauvage Cairanne 2012, Rhône, France (£11.95- £14.99 N D John, Rannoch Scott, D&D Wine, Oxford Wine Company)
Rich and supple but always fresh, notes of black pepper and a hint of oak alongside the bramble, plum and blackcurrant flavours, bold but never brash. S-

Leeuwin SyrahLeeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2012, Margaret River, Australia (£28 Domaine Direct, D Byrne, Fortnum & Mason, The Good Wine Shop, Hailsham Cellars, Yorkshire Vintners Ltd)
Sprightly youngster, rich and juicy, with plenty of hearty liquorice, berry and blackcurrant flavour backed up by taut tannins, fresh acidity and lots of peppery spice character. Very impressed with this, and would even say I’d take it over the more famous Chardonnay. S(+)

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