A legendary red wine from France’s southern Rhone Valley, Châteauneuf-du-Pape may be a splurge, but it’s suited for the kind of hearty fare we tend to enjoy in winter. Grenache, mourvedre and syrah are three of the 13 authorized grape varieties, and the resulting blends tend to be full in body and ultra-savory. Perhaps overshadowed by the 2016 vintage, 2015 is outstandingly ripe and far more ready to drink now, and these three options are highly recommended.
Paul Autard, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2015
This estate is somewhat unusual in the region for aging its wine in new barrels—instead of old, larger vats—for more than a year. The result is a smooth, round-style red, with spicy mineral and anise notes. Pour it 30 minutes before drinking so it can mellow a bit, and enjoy with a pork loin or lamb stew.
$40, Common Vines, Boston
Pierre Usseglio, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2015
Brilliant, bright blackberry flavors define this classic Châteauneuf,
which is balanced by notes of clove, cinnamon and wild mushrooms. Its rustic tannins are an ideal match for a rib roast and also complement aged cheese enjoyed after dinner by the fireplace. Keep in mind: This will age in the cellar for several years.
$57, Upper Falls Liquors, Newton
ChÂteau La Nerthe, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2015
La Nerthe, a historic property dating to the 16th century, is an organically farmed estate with extremely rocky topsoils. This cherry-scented wine has earthy, cracked black pepper and dried fruit flavors, and its silky, lingering finish is a great choice for a grilled tuna steak.
$60, Bauer Wine & Spirits, Boston