Ripe, smooth reds

This category offers an enormous range of wines. In the past many of them would have been considered full-bodied and rich, but in recent years with developments in winemaking techniques and the influence of New World wine styles, an "intermediate" category has emerged. The pedigree and quality is in no way less than the rich, dense reds - considering these wines to be lesser would be impolite.

Use of barrels in ageing varies, from small barrels (the smaller barrique and the larger tonneaux) to large barrels. Colour is expected to range from garnet through to dark cherry at the core. The rim may be lighter ruby to tile red. Aromas are intense, with black fruits, dried herbs, sweet spices, and leather. Taste exudes a harmony of ripe fruit and tannins, with a good balance of alcohol. Long, satisfying finish is typical.

It is not essential to decant, but we suggest leaving our ripe, smooth reds to breathe for at least half an hour.