£14.50, Tanners Wines
It was a hard choice: Tanners Côtes du Rhône, an absolute charmer from the very good 2016 vintage, or this Douro red. In the end I settled on the dark, full-bodied, oak-matured Reserva, partly because it went irresistibly well with a magret de canard and Pyrenees sheep's cheese that I was eating. It's made by Duorum Vinhos with input from Tanners, using classic port grapes led by Touriga Nacional, and is aged in French oak, which gives depth and toasty expression to the concentrated damson richness and the spicy roast meat, black pepper, cedar and liquorice notes. In addition to its affinity with duck, it's a great steak-on-the-barbie wine but doesn't overwhelm lighter meats and dishes such as the Portuguese Arroz de Pato (duck, rice and chouriço, or chorizo) or recipes with a bit of spice, and the tannins are ripe and smooth enough for cheeses such as Manchego, Comté and aged Gouda. 14.0%.
Tanners Super Douro Reserva 2015, Douro, Portugal