£12–£14.99, Tesco, The Wine Society, Great Western Wine, ND John, Winepig
Unashamedly full-throated Aussie Shiraz from a family-owned and run winery that never seems to put a foot wrong. D'Arenberg produces a whole range of wines – white, red, traditional, innovative – and offers great value too. Hats off to the inimitable fourth-generation boss and winemaker Chester Osborn.
The Footbolt is made artisan-style in open-top vats with foot-treading, basket-pressing and a mix of old and new French oak barrels to finish the fermentation and it's neither fined nor filtered. The oak gives a glossy, chocolaty richness and cedary spice, but nothing detracts from the sumptuous blackcurrant and raspberry fruit and the freshness delivered by an undertow of cracked pepper and leafy herbs.
While it's an obvious candidate for barbecued and slow-roast meat and casseroles, it doesn't have the muscular tannins that are only comfortable with a rare steak, so it sits happily with Mediterranean vegetable dishes, Middle Eastern flavours and creamy/cheesy gratins. 14.5%
d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2017, McLaren Vale, South Australia