Tom Cannavan's   

value wine archives 2007-2008

Current value wines are here. Link to older archives at bottom of page.

white - red - rosé - sparkling - sweet

 white wines

Luis Felipe Edwards (Chile) Chardonnay Gran Reserva 2007
Wine of the week 23/12/07. A nice Chardonnay, very modestly oaked as only 15% spent time in wood, and with very juicy, fat, lemon and nectarine fruited nose that is really quite elegant, with just a subtle, creamy support from the oak. In the mouth there is plenty of orange and grapefruit acidity to offset the sweet, tropical fruit, with a certain lusciouness counter-balanced by a freshness. £3.99, the Co-op, on offer.

Winegrowers of Ara (New Zealand) Composite Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Wine of the week 09/12/07. This has a typical Marlborough nose expressing a vibrant melange of ripe, lychee and mango tropical fruit, with a streak of herbaceous, asparagus and nettle character. There's a hint of a peachy, ripe stone fruits holding this together in the middle. On the palate there's a bursting, vivid fruitiness, with plenty of sweet-edge tropical fruit, edged with a pithy lemon and grapefruit acidity. This is a nicely made wine, that is typically Marlborough, but avoids the excessively sweet/sour character that can make the wines a little disjointed. £9.95, Wine Direct.

Waitrose Chablis (France) 2006
Wine of the week 18/11/07. A touch of mealiness on the nose but it is mostly driven by cool, crisp apple fruit and an expressive touch of mineral, almost salty character. On the palate there is good fruit concentration, though that fruit is dry and savoury, suggesting under-ripe pear and apple and a pithy note of lemon. The acidity is very good, and again hints at an underlying minerality in this wine, and leaves the finish clean, dry and well-balanced. Good quality Chablis and a decent buy at £8.99.

Tabalí (Chile) Chardonnay 2004
Wine of the week 04/11/07. Availability of this wine is limited, and it can only be ordered by calling the hotline number below - whilst stocks last. Sensational nose for fans of big, buttery and luscious Chardonnays, with layers of green fig and hazelnut, hot buttered toast and Brazil nuts, and a lush, tropical fruit character. In the mouth the toasty, creamy oak is evident, with a broad, juicy ripeness of fruit, but this has balance and freshness too. Terrific. £9.49, but £8.33 in Laithwaites' offer. Telephone 0870 444 8282.

Domecq (Spain) La Ina Fino Sherry
Wine of the week 14/10/07. Delicate and inviting aromas of walnut husks, Cox's Pippins and orange peel. On the palate this is bone-dry without being aggressive, with plenty of lemon and orange peel zest, that fine, mealy layering of ground almonds, and a fresh tang of saltiness. The dry, English apple fruitiness comes through, and the balance of this wine is impeccable into the finish. Long, savoury and fresh on the palate. A very good buy at the price. £7.49, Sainsbury's.

Pewsey Vale (Australia) Riesling 2006
Wine of the week 16/09/07. Alluring nose, marrying aromas of blossom, wax and minerals, with stony, schisty notes, to a fruitiness reminiscent of passionfruit and mango, but streaked with a vivid lime intensity. On the palate it is a very similar story, with that core of mineral, delicately salty and stony flavour cutting through expressive fruit, which is concentrated and intense on the mid-palate, with limpid suggestions of honey and nectarine juice but always given life by mouth-watering citrus acidity. £8.99, Oddbins Fine Wine, Selfridges, Le Pont de la Tour, Reserve Wines, Berkmann, Everywine.

Dominio del Plata (Argentina) Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés 2006
Wine of the week 19/08/07. Haunting, alluring nose, with a gentle suggestion of honey and spices, and a soft, peach down fruit quality. There's a hint of dried apricot, and a little lemony zest too. On the palate this is a beautifully tempered example of Torrontés, brimming with bright oranges and lemons fruit, with a lovely core of acidity but none of the harsher edges that sometimes show up with this variety. Gorgeous stuff, with a long finish showing hints of spice and lemon zest. £5.99 - £6.99,, Majestic.

Blue Nun (Germany) Winemaker's Passion Riesling 2006
Wine of the week 05/08/07. The nose has an attractive peach blossom and citrussy fruitiness, with a hint of minerality, but no overtly slaty or petrolly qualities. On the palate it is off-dry in a Kabinett style (though this wine is only a QbA), with some delicate tropical and ripe, pear and nectarine fruit, and a nice core of lemony acidity. It has good texture and a hint of honeyed weight, but stays quite crisp into the finish despite relatively low acidity. This wine needs a touch more acidity and zing to really stand out, but it is a good Riesling, and it would be nice to see the popular Blue Nun brand introduce people to the Riesling grape. £5.99, Morrisons.

Cantine Settesoli (Italy) Mandrarossa Fiano 2006
Wine of the week 29/07/07. Typically fresh, appetising yet rich nose, with succulent pear and ripe, fragrant melon and that little touch of buttery weight. On the palate this is quite a powerful wine, with a real full, mouth-filling waxiness and textural weight. It is a more forceful and concentrated style than some other Fianos I've enjoyed, with a grippy, skin-contact intensity, but that fragrant, summery quality of the variety comes through nicely. £5.99 - £6.99,
D'Vino, The Wine Society, Valvona & Crolla, Noel Young, Cambridge Wine Merchants. (more).

Domaine Chevallier (France) Chablis Cuvée Prestige 2005
Wine of the week 15/07/07. Wonderfully 'proper' Chablis, showing both ripe, elegant fruit and a certain - and very welcome - austerity. On the nose juicy green apple and pear aromas are joined by suggestions of yellow plum and more succulent fruit, but there's an underlying minerality and citrus-pith firmness too. On the palate this has lovely poise, elegance and balance, with a racy palette of orchard fruit and citrus flavours, and that clean, savoury, but poised and refined acidity and stony, cool minerality. £9.99, Wine Discoveries.

Joostenberg (South Africa) Chenin Blanc 2006
Wine of the week 24/06/07. The nose is a lovely melange of crisp orchard fruit, oatmeal and honeysuckle, with tiny nuances of summer flowers and a very delicate spiciness. On the palate there's a full, sweet attack of very ripe apple fruit, that is quite rolling and expansive, with touches of ripe melon and apricot. But a fine, decisive acidity pushes through the mid-palate, along with a warming touch of vanilla, to leave this tangy and fresh, yet with a textural quality and plenty of fruit. £8.50,
Berry Bros, or £7.65 by the case. (more).

Capel Vale (Australia) Mountain Duck Semillon Chardonnay 2005
Wine of the week 17/06/07. Vivid lychee, pineapple and tropical fruit brightness, but also a big honeyed core that is luscious and alluring. There's a little leafy aspect too, with a hint of gooseberry and elderflower. On the palate this is bold, fruity and delicious, and it is brimming with the same luscious but bright and exotic fruit cocktail of flavours. The acidity is really nice here, with a soft edge to lemon and lime, but it stays nicely focused and crisp. £7.99 or £5.32 if you buy three, Thresher.

Tamar Ridge (Australia) Chardonnay 2004
Wine of the week 21/05/07. This screwcapped wine captures an almost Sauvignon Blanc-like edge of vibrancy. That little herb and grassy note is soon outplayed by a mealy, almond and orchard fruit creaminess on the nose, with just a hint of toast from barrel fermentation and 10 months in French oak. On the palate there is a lovely juiciness and zesty citrus fruit quality, with just hints of sweeter, more exotic fruit. But the whole wine is checked and balanced by a tight core of dry, lemony acidity. £11.95 Laithwaites, Ameys Wines, Harrow Cellars, Edward Sheldon.

Chapel Down (England) Flint Dry
Wine of the week 07/05/07. Extended lees contact adds richness and texture to a wine made from a blend of grapes including Reichensteiner, Rivaner, Bacchus and Schonburger. The nose zings with crunchy apple, Sauvignon-like hedgerow aromas and zesty citrus. On the palate it broadens slightly, with a little oatmeally character to quite fat, mouthfilling fruit. But this wine is all about clean, crisp, mouthwatering freshness, and a green apple bite of juicy fruit and acidity makes sure of that. £6.99, Waitrose.

La Forêt Hilaire Semillon Sauvignon 2006
La Forêt Hilaire Cabernet Merlot 2005
Wine of the week 15/04/07. The white has a pretty, pear drop and lemon nose with a hint of gooseberry, and a palate of crunchy citrus and white fruit, that is very clean and fresh, and has a nice core of acidity extending through a tangy finish. The red, normally retailing at £6.99, has a very appealing currant and ripe cherry character on the nose, with nicely savoury, crisply-defined black fruit on the palate and a dry, slightly earthy and gravelly finish. I'm not sure either of these wines would make "wine of the week" at full price, but very pleasant drinking @ £3.99 each until May 15th 2007, Tesco.

Hours, Charles (France) Jurançon Sec Cuvée Marie 2004
Wine of the week 11/03/07. Quite pungent herbal nose, with nutty and nettly notes before deep, lush peachy fruit comes through. The palate is filled with fruit sweetness, with a beautiful honeyed, limpid character and plenty of apple and lemon-rind giving some real tenacity. The acidity is refined bit powerful, giving lots of cut and bite in a truly delicious wine with real vivacity and personality. £9.95 from H&H Bancroft.

Shelmerdine (Australia) Chardonnay 2004
Wine of the week 04/03/07. This has a hugely pungent, vividly aromatic nose, with masses of honey and hazelnut, very ripe green fig and a touch of mint, with all sorts of exotic incense, sandalwood and fruity notes. Quite a blockbuster. The palate has plenty of toasty sesame seed and nutty oak too, but there's a fine core of lemony, and quite steely acidity that keeps this fresh. There's also a fine core quality of fruit and good acidity, all adding up to a flamboyant, personality-packed wine that is drinking very nicely. £9.99, Oddbins.

Castro Martin (Spain) Albariño Rias-Baixas Family Reserve 2005
Wine of the week 25/02/07. There is a distinct salty minerality on the nose, with a whiff of seaside ozone, then no shortage of pure, clean, limpid white fruit aromas. The palate almost shimmers with tang and vibrancy, and though it has a steely precision, there is just loads of fruit too that has a peachy, pear-like quality backed up by a vivid streak of lemon and mineral acidity. Delicious stuff at £9.00 when bought by the half case from
Bibendum. (more)

Huia (New Zealand) Marlborough Riesling 2004
Wine of the week 28/01/07. The nose has a fairly ripe, fruity style rather than anything overtly mineral or 'pertroly', with a certain floral edge and plenty of juicy lemon and lime. The palate has a richness, with apple and very gently honeyed notes, and a big succulent background of grapefruit that gives this definition and length. With less than 6g/l of residual sugar this is basically dry, but has just enough limpid weight to make for delicious drinking. £10 Bibendum, House of Menzies, Wine Buy The Case, New Zealand House of Wine, Everywine.

Ken Forrester (South Africa) Hand-made Chenin Blanc 2005
Wine of the week 14/01/07. Toffeed, honeyed nose, with orange and some lanolin, buttery notes and fine, pear skin fruit qualities. The palate has lovely limpid fruitiness, with real richness of guava and passionfruit, but all cut by shimmering apple acidity and a hint of custard in the finish. With good length and perfect, succulent balance, this is delightful stuff. £5.99, or £3.99 when you buy three, Thresher and Wine Rack.

 red wines

Il Fagiano IV (Italy) Rosso
Wine of the week 30/12/07. The nose is just crammed with pure, burstingly ripe berry fruits, with a certain chocolaty richness, but focused on succulent, fat, cherry and black berry aromas. There is real fruit sweetness, but the whole picture is tempered by a very intelligent reining back, as just enough tight, grainy tannin and fresh acidity kicks in, giving this a chewy bite and crisp, food-friendly appeal. The intensity of the fruit is excellent, in terrific little wine that is bound to please. £4.00, Averys.

La Rose Peyrière (France) Montage St-Emilion 2006
Wine of the week 16/12/07. Vanilla and gently spicy note on the nose, as well as dense, creamy black fruits. In the mouth this medium-bodied wine has plenty of oomph, with a full palate of plum and blackberry fruit that has a slightly baked plum pie quality. This is backed up by more of that creamy vanillin oak, but with a nicely edgy axis of crisp tannin and moderate acidity keeping the picture fresh. £7.99, but £4.99 until January 6th 2008 at the Co-op.

Bodegas Castaño (Spain) Hécula 2004
Wine of the week 25/11/07. Probably the world's cheapest wine to regularly achieve scores in the 90s from super-critic Robert Parker. There's a wonderful purity of silky black fruits on the nose: the sweet, essence of damson plum and black cherry, with a wrapping of delicate vanilla and all sorts of subtle nuances of violets, spices, game and earth. On the palate it is filled with fruit, yet there is an immediate sense of structure and concentration too, with ripe, smooth and spicy tannins and a tang of cherry acidity. This wine is layered, with spices and creamy oak building on the mid-palate. Astonishing value for money. £6.49, Averys.

Berry Bros & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret 2005
Wine of the week 28/10/07. Typical aromas of ripe berry fruits, cedar and a hint of game and truffly vegetation. On the palate it is silky and medium-bodied, with a very refined palate showing plenty of black fruit, but also tight-grained, polished tannins, a deal of spice and tobacco and crisp, refreshing acidity. Very good "everyday" Bordeaux, and what a bonus that it is also available in handy half-bottles and magnums. £7.20, or £6.48 by the case, Berry Bros & Rudd
(half bottles are £3.78 by the case, magnums are £13.50 by the case). (more)

Ferrer-Ribière (France) Empreinte du Temps 2005
Wine of the week 07/10/07. Domaine Ferrer-Ribière is a biodynamic estate in Roussillon, that makes a bunch of fascinating wines. This comes from a parcel of 128-year-old Carignan vines, and has dense, dark, concentrated blackcurrant and berry fruit. But there's a lovely blue/black glossiness with hints of Parma violet and white pepper. The palate has a firm, juicy structure, with a massive, dry concentration of fruit. There's a liquoricy grip of tannins too, and along with a taut acid structure, this is a serious, complex wine with layered complexity that unravels slowly. £9.15, Yapp Brothers.

Moris (Italy) Morellino di Scansano 2005
Wine of the week 30/09/07. Lovely, creamy density on the nose, with abundant black fruit that is sweet and ripe. On the palate this is a medium-bodied wine with that same, delicious quality of glossy black fruit flooding across the palate, but with some complex layering of tobacco and spice notes, a touch of chocolate and black plum, and a very nice, supple, rich tannin profile. Acidity is good too, in a wine that has a certain openness and lushness, but some very good structure and definition. £10.45, Corney & Barrow.

Cono Sur (Chile) Pinot Noir 2006
Wine of the week 23/09/07. Even with 14% alcohol it is far from a bruiser, the gamy, truffly scents of dried blood, mushrooms and damp vegetation fused with sweet vanilla and a rich berry fruit. On the palate a robust, chewy and dense fruitiness comes to the fore, with masses of spice and a huge dollop of smoky, charry oak flavour. But there is acidity here too, and beneath the rather obvious smoky fatness, there are enough nuances of game and leather, tobacco and soft strawberry pulp to keep this interesting. £5.99, Sussex Wine Co, Tesco, Waitrose, Majestic and widely available.

Piccini (Italy) Selezione Oro Chianti 2004
Wine of the week 09/09/07. The nose offers modest red fruits, with cherry and lighter, raspberry notes, and a background of creamy, slightly gamy nuances. On the palate it is fresh and light-bodied, with a slightly harsh character on the mid-palate, where the modest fruit is rather dominated by some rustic tannins and acidity. There is fruit there, and spice and some toasty oak notes do bolster the finish, which is moderately long ending in pepper and spice. I wouldn't recomend this at full price, but it is on offer at £4.99 in Tesco, September 12th - October 9th 2007.

L'Olivier (France) Minervois 2004
Wine of the week 26/08/07. Full, creamy nose of ripe black fruits with a touch of raisin and chocolate, and plenty of spicy richness. On the palate the fruit is quite crisp and racy, reminiscent more of raspberry and cranberry, but still that touch of spice and little briary note adds some warmth and interest, and that creaminess of flavour and texture persists. This is a well-balanced and very drinkable wine. £4.99, Booths.

Concha y Toro (Chile) Reserva Privada 2005
Wine of the week 13/08/07. Beautifully leafy, cassis fruit, with complex nuances of herbs, smoke and black tea, and a little liquoricy note. On the palate it has real life about it, with refined but delicious blackcurrant fruit sweetness, backed up by the fragrant smokiness of the oak. The tannins are very refined and chocolaty, and the wine has good balance. Around 45,000 cases have been produced (as opposed to two million cases of Casillero del Diablo for example). £8.99, Morrisons, but on offer at £6.99 until September 9th 2007.

Canto de Flora (Chile) Merlot 2006
Wine of the week 22/07/07. 100% Merlot from the high-quality Colchagua region. It has a nose of spiced black fruit compote, and a palate that has a flood of sweet, but rich and quite densely concentrated black fruit. There's a typically plummy merlot character here, with hints of chocolate and smoky spice, in a wine that won a Silver medal at the International Wine Challenge this year, yet sells for just a tad over £3. Not complex, but a little bargain. £3.19, Morrison's.

M.Chapoutier (France) La Croix des Grives Côtes du Rhône 2004
Wine of the week 08/07/07. The nose is flooded with a voluptuous creamy berry fruit. There's a juicy plum depth to this, but also attractive little violet and herbal notes that add interest. On the palate this has a thick-textured, very creamy mouthfeel, with plenty of mouth-coating black fruit, but all edged by a nicely tangy plum skin and cherry acidity, and a noticeable tannic grip and plenty of fruit concentration. £9.81, Laithwaites, but Laithwaites are currently offering wine-pages readers £20 off of any case worth £64.99 or more. Follow
this link for the offer code. (more)

de Loach (California) Pinot Noir 2005
Wine of the week 01/07/07. This wine is on offer from July 3rd - 13th 2007 in the summer sale from Bibendum at £6.36. It has an attractively creamy and bright nose of silken black fruits, with black cherry and juicy damson plum, and plenty of smoky, spicy, briar and earthy sweetness. On the palate the sweetness and svelte, supple ripeness of both fruit and tannins is immediately seductive, but there's more to this wine than just flatteringly ripe fruit: it does not lose its 'Pinosity', with a swirling, smoky oak character and those earthy, lightly truffly notes present and correct. £6.36, Bibendum.

Santa Julia (Argentina) Bonarda Sangiovese 2005
Wine of the week 10/06/07. Very brightly focused, floral-edged fruit character, with cherry and little violet aromas to the fore and a background of creamy vanilla. On the palate it is forward, juicy and sweet-fruited, with plenty of jammy, very ripe red fruit notes but a nice bit of structure creeping in. The tannins are firm, and the acidity is very good, giving this a keen, savoury edge. £4.49, Waitrose.

Blason de Bourgogne (France) Pinot Noir 2005
Wine of the week 28/05/07. The nose offers a charming, nicely expressive Pinot profile of cranberry and redcurrant, a touch of minerality, and a suggestion of gentle earthiness. On the palate this is dry and savoury, with those flavours of small, red berry fruits persisting and a slightly plummier depth on the mid-palate. Spice and a little tobacco note kicks in, and the tight, quite elegant tannins and very fresh acidity cleanse the palate and leave this quite crisp and moreish. £6.99, Somerfield.

Bethany (Australia) Grenache 2005
Wine of the week 14/05/07. Immediately rich, fruitcake aromas with glimpses of orange peel and toasted almond, but a dense, jammy red fruit at the core. On the palate there is a mouth-coating flood of ripe, creamy raspberry and red plum fruit. This is thick-textured and the fruit is so sweet that some might find it cloying, but the spiciness of the grape and the older, cedary oak begins to kick in. There's plenty of heft from the alcohol too (14.5%), but then a reasonable acid structure adds an edge. A big, expansive, buxom take on Grenache for those who like the style. £6.99, The Co-op.

Salentein (Argentina) MCM Winemaker's Selection 2004
Wine of the week 27/04/07. This Bordeaux blend has a dense but bright ruby colour, and an appealing nose of cedarwood. There's a lovely soft blackcurrant and plummy fruit, and a gentle background of toasty, high quality oak. On this palate this is medium-bodied, with a good balance between quite crisp, lively, fresh black fruit, and a stripe of charry, liquoricy backbone from the oak and tight, firm tannins. Acidity is good too, in a very well balanced and intelligently made wine with savoury appeal. £7.99, Tesco. On offer at £5.49.

Cloof (South Africa) Cellar Blend 2004
Wine of the week 07/04/07. A joyous mouthful of a wine. High-toned, Porty and deeply fruity, the nose has little notes of Eucalyptus and mint, and a solid black berry core. On the palate it is almost jammy in its fruit concentration and ripeness, but there's a fairly massive, inch-thick slab of tannins layered underneath, and all sorts of spice, cedar and smoky nuances. This one takes no prisoners, but is a cracker. £9.99 exclusively from, but note that delivery on a case is only £4.99 to the UK. (more)

de Bortoli (Australia) Windy Peak Sangiovese 2005
Wine of the week 31/03/07. Bright, briar and cherry-focused nose, with nicely punchy fruit and a lovely red fruit glossiness. There's quite a lot of vanillin, creamy oak, but it sits quite nicely with the fruit. On the palate there's a nice hint of something tobacco, leathery and animal, in amongst some really good berry fruit. This is balanced and chewy, with low tannins and moderate acidity. £7.29, Oddbins.

Berberana (Spain) Etiqueta Negra Rioja Reserva 2003
Wine of the week 25/03/07. The colour is a very dark but mellow ruby, and the nose is flooded with creamy vanillin, tobacco, spices and a warming, earthy core of fruit. This is classic Rioja, but clean and letting the fruit come through. On the palate there is a real juiciness to this wine, with sprightly tannins and cherry acidity, and a bit of tension between that and the crisp, poised fruit and spicy oak background. This will appeal to lovers of "traditional" Rioja, but also has a more modern, fruity character. £8.99, Tesco.

Poggio Torselli (Italy) Chianti Classico 2003
Wine of the week 18/02/07. Alluring and fragrant nose of black cherries, tobacco and touches of sweet, smoky vanillin. Clove spice and a hint of gamy character add interest. On the palate there is full, ripe, glossy Morello cherry fruit, but the suggestion of sweetness is immediately cut by a terrific backbone of acidity, a supple, cedary quality and finely-wrought, sinewy tannins. This wine has plenty of structure and definition, but no lack of mouthfilling fruit. £10.95 Flying Corkscrew.

Montecillo (Spain) Rioja Reserva 2000
Wine of the week 11/02/07. Wonderfully evocative nose, expressing something of spicy, tobacco and rich black fruit laden classic reserva character, with a more modern feel of charry French oak and gamey, cedary and truffly personality. On the palate it is smooth, silky, and medium-bodied, with a lovely weight of black fruit that is mellow and ripe, whilst retaining a layering of meaty, chewy, firm-edged power. From around £10.99 to £12.99, see all UK stockists on

CAVIT (Italy) Terrazze Della Luna Novello di Teroldego 2006
Wine of the week 04/02/07. The nose has a touch of Beaujolais-like watercolour paintbox, but a mass of blueberry and Morello cherry with a really bright fruit quality. On the palate there is nothing complex or layered about this wine, it just offers a big, juicy mouthful of burstingly ripe cherry and liquorice-tinged blackberry fruit, with sufficient tannin and acidity to keep it fresh and very gluggable. £5.00-£6.00, WoodsWinters, Partridges, Hoults, Bacchanalia, Glug, Anne et Vin, Corkscrew Wines, Scratchards, Martinez Wines.

Massaya (Lebanon) Classic Red 2004 Wine of the week 07/01/07. Terrifically creamy blackcurrant fruitiness and little notes of anise, grilled meats and floral hints of violet and roses. On the palate it is concentrated and ripe, with plenty of that slightly perfumed, parma-violet character to solid, rich, berry fruits. This has a meaty texture and plenty of substance, with lovely tannins roughening up the edges, and excellent length and balance. There is very fine quality in evidence here. £8.99 Berry Bros & Rudd. See all stockists of this wine on (more)


Château Cavalier (France) Rosé 2006
Wine of the week 25/11/07. A blend of no less than seven grape varieties, mostly Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. It has a gorgeous peachy-pink colour and a nose balanced between spices and strawberry fruit, with a hint of old rose. On the palate there is plenty of oomph, with a great sweet, ripeness of fruit but then dashing, crisp, lemon zest acidity. £7.49, Oddbins; £7.95 Nicolas.

Mas Oliveras (Spain) Cabernet Sauvignon Rosado 2006
Wine of the week 02/09/07. Vivid pale crimson colour and a nose of cherry bubblegum and soft strawberry pulp, with a clean, crisp character. On the palate there is really nice fruit intensity, with a burstingly fresh, juicy cherry fruitiness, but at the same time a fresh, dry character with some tart raspberry acidity and a little suggestion of pithy citrus keeping things mouthwatering and moreish. A very nice style of dry rosado, with not too much extraction or sweetness, and a fresh, crisp appeal. £5.45, Corney & Barrow.

Miguel Torres (Chile) San Medin Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2006
Wine of the week 01/06/07. Rich Pomegranate colour and a warm, earth and spice nose of berry fruits that is more red wine-like than some pinks. On the palate this is rich and robust, but there is a definite sweetness here that takes the edge off of the deep, very intense fruit. This is a full-bodied and weighty, and is definitely a more structured and food-friendly style of rose, but the acidity is crisp and this is a fine rendition of the style. £5.99, Waitrose and Booths.

 sparkling wines

Nicolas Feuillatte (France) Champagne Brut
Wine of the week 02/12/07. In the run up to Christmas there is plenty of "special offer" Champagne around. Often these are not quite the bargains they seem. As Majestic have a "half-price offer" when you buy two, the selling price of £12.49 still makes this one of the best deals on fizz this Christmas. Crisp and elegant, there are also lightly toffeed aromas, with a hint of pear and apple. The palate has very good, slightly toasty weight, with a persistent mousse and nice, ripe fruit. £12.49 on offer, Majestic. Asda have Martel Brut Prestige with £10 off. It has a broadly similar combination of racy, crisp fruit but enough depth and richness to elevate it above many of the cheaper brands being promoted at the moment. £14.00 on offer, Asda.

Tosti (Italy) Carino Sparkling Pinot Grigio
Wine of the week 21/10/07. Bright, fruity nose of fresh apples and ripe, tropical fruits. On the plate the mousse is lively but soft and gives way quickly, whilst the freshness of the off-dry fruit powers through. Acidity is good, meaning this wine stays crisp and attractively easy to drink, making it an ideal party sparkler or aperitif wine. £5.99 Somerfield, £5.96 Asda.

 sweet wines

Niepoort (Portugal) LBV Port 2001
Wine of the week 22/04/07. The nose is slightly spirity, but that's soon overtaken by peppery, spicy aromas and a bright, violet and cherry fruitiness. On the palate there's a rush of sweet, rounded, juicy plum and red cherry fruit, with a smooth texture and building impression of spices and Cognac-like spirity warmth on the finish. Around £7.00 per half bottle. For stockists see
wine-searcher. (more).

UCWS (Greece) Samos Nectar Muscat 2002
Wine of the week 18/03/07. Wonderfully deep walnut, rum-soaked raisin and fig character. There is honey and quince, and notes of stewed tea, but with a great warm, toasty richness at its core. On the palate the raisin and nutty character comes through, with a huge infill of creamy cappuccino coffee and plenty of sweetness. A bright orange fruit acidity really adds some cut and definition, in a wine that delivers a helluva lot at its modest full bottle price. £9.25, Berry Bros & Rudd, or £8.32 if bought by the case.

Blandy's (Portugal) Madeira Alvada 5 Year Old
Wine of the week 21/01/07. An aromatic wine, it displays little floral notes and quite delicate stewed fruit and nut aromas. On the palate it is sweet, but there's a tart orangy quality to the acidity, like Oxford English marmalade, that gives it more tang and a more vivacious character. The finish is bright and the acidity is crisp in a wine that is both modern and classic, but above all, delicious. £8.99, Waitrose. See all stockists on
wine-searcher. (more).

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