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wines of January 2002

Dona Paula

These might be wines that have been reviewed during the month on wine-pages, or have appeared in my newspaper column, or they may be wines from a recent tasting that hasn't yet been written-up in a full-length report. There is a growing archive of these four of the best choices each month.

under six pounds
Undurraga (Chile) Gewürztraminer 2000
The nicest New World Gewürztraminer I have tasted, this is a deep golden colour and has a lovely toffeed nose with light honeyed nuances and plenty of apricot fruit. There are hints of rose petal and spices. beautifully rich, mouth-filling, lusciously fruity palate with waxy texture. Good acidity, quite crisp in the end, with citrussy fruit pushing through and good length. Distributed by Cheviot Wine Agencies, phone 0141 649 9881. £5.99

under a tenner
Roger Belland (Burgundy) Santenay Blanc 2000
Classy nose here, with fine fruit quality of limpid pear and ripe apple and a sheen of custardy oak, with little floral nuances. Quite complex, and the palate is long and cleanly-fruited, very smooth and has good definition. Poised and long. Very good indeed. One of the stand-outs on value for money terms of my recent tastings of the 2000 Burgundies. On offer through Berry Brothers and Rudd by the case, equivalent to £9.40 per bottle.

under twenty
St. Aubin Le Charmois 1er Cru, Michel Colin-Deléger
Big, powerful, toasty new-oak nose. Lots of nuttiness and toasted sesame seeds. The palate is very cool and classy. There is lovely clear orchard fruit and a definite mineral acidity. Juicy fruit, and really quite long and fine. Very good indeed. On offer through Berry Brothers and Rudd by the case, equivalent to £15.00 per bottle.

sky's the limit
Leeuwin (Australia) Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Nose of firm, glossy, ripe black fruit. Plenty of black cherry and spice, with undertones of tobacco and smoke. The palate has terrific poise, with a dusty blue/black fruit quality and fine, ripe, sweet tannins biting but not aggressively. It has a very smooth texture and lots of bittersweet damson fruit floods the finish, which is balanced and long. Very good indeed. From Domaine Direct, phone 0207 837 1142. £30.00