WhiteLittle Boomey Verdelho 2001 - £5.69
Lindemans Cawarra Chardonnay 2001 - £4.74
If you are a fan of the best-selling Lindemans Bin 65, try this, which adds an intriguing note of powdered ginger on the nose, and a sophisticated, crisp character.
Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay 2000 - £5.69
Moderately juicy, exotic, honeysuckle and vanilla with peach and melon fruit. Balanced palate of ripe, luscious fruit and sufficient acidity. Good, and a great deal on the current offer for fans of this reliable Ozzie Chardonnay.
Tim Adams Clare Valley Semillon 1998 - £7.12
An old favourite that never disappoints, this has a beautifully waxy, full, straw and butter nose, with a lovely fruit quality and a slick of creamy vanillin. There's a complex herbal edge to the fruit on the palate, which is otherwise fat and buttery, with good citrus acidity adding a fresh edge to an altogether charming wine. Very good indeed.
Banrock Station Petit Verdot 2001 - £4.59
This is a wonderful chance to try something truly different: a rare, single-varietal bottling of Petit Verdot, one of the noble, but least well known grapes of Bordeaux. A few other Petit Verdots have appeared in recent years, but few as cheaply as this, from the ever-reliable Banrock Station (a label of BRL Hardy). This is absolutely typical, with a nose of unbelievable spiciness; like opening a spice cupboard of clove, cinammon and pepper, with a dash of toasty oak layered on top. On the palate a lovely soft, ripe, summer berry fruitiness pushes through, with a little chocolate character, and gentle tannins giving support. This is a bit of a treat for palates fed-up with Cabernet and Shiraz!
Little Boomey Shiraz 2001 - £5.69
Big, flashy, attractive nose of pepper, spice, toast, woodsmoke and berries. The palate has lots of spice and warm, fudgy nuances, with a layer of black fruit that plays second-fiddle to all that peppery extravagence. Big style, but very good at the price.
Brown Brothers Tarrango - £5.69
I have tasted this wine in several vintages. It is a cross of Portugal's Touriga Nacional and the humble Sultana grape, and has a nose that is just brimming with cherry bubblegum (Bazooka Joe?) and confectionery notes. The palate has a pleasantly earthy quality with a silky texture and berry fruit. Decent length and both enjoyable and a bit strange. Surprisingly, this is Brown Brothers biggest seller in the UK and worth trying as a super-charged Beaujolais-style quaffer.
Ninth Island Pinot Noir - £7.59
From Tasmania, this is a wine that rather splits the jury, but some swear it is amongst Australia's best Pinots Noir. I last tasted the 1998 and said: "has smoke, strawberries and minerals on the nose, and a charcoally quality. Quite firm on the palate with highish acidity. Easy to drink".