The arrival of fall has me seeing red.
That said, there's a flood of very good red wines on racks and shelves right now. Consider these an early-autumn sampler.
The 2012 Davies Nobles Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($55) is a harvest of berries, with spice notes and a long finish. It's very good now and should age well for a few years. The wine is a match with roasted chicken or duck, broiled salmon, grilled tuna and turkey.
From the producer known so much for sauvignon blanc comes a terrific pinot noir: the 2011 Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir Central Otago ($75). This is a powerful, layered varietal from New Zealand, intense and full of ripe fruit. "Te Wahi" means "the place" in Maori. It also means ideal company for venison, roast beef, roast lamb.
Sangiovese stars in the versatile, balanced and flavor-packed 2011 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rufina Riserva ($30), which offers more than a suggestion of cherry and strawberry, plus spice notes. Try it with red-sauced pasta, especially lasagna, rigatoni Bolognese, or meat-stuffed cannelloni.
The 2011 Francis Ford Coppola Archimedes ($60) is a stirring Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon, named for the ancient Greek mathematician. The wine includes 22 percent petit verdot. The result is full-bodied, concentrated, delightful, with hints of cassis. Ideal with lamb.
And the bargain-priced, plummy 2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Carmenere ($11) from Chile is right with red meat, from burgers to fajitas to steaks.