Tom Cannavan's   

value wine archives 2002-2003

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

white - red - rosé - sparkling - sweet

 white wines

Clearsprings (South Africa) White Wine
Wine of the week 15/06/03. The nose is brimming with fresh summer aromas of ripe pear and crisp apples, and on the palate there is a juicy richness of fruit, hinting at peach and mango, but with a restraining tug of orchard fruit acidity. It is only just off-dry, and finishes with plenty of presence. Don't bother with the red partner, which is a rather washed out effort, but tucking away a few bottles of this is a top summer tip. Iceland stores, £2.99, on offer at £2.39 until July 12th.

Albert Mann (Alsace) Pinot Blanc Auxerrois 2001
Wine of the week 08/06/03. Dry, immensely flavourful wine with an attractively honeyed, spicy, straw and nut nose showing good white fruit character. The palate displays a gorgeous fruit sweetness, with bold, fleshy peach fruit and lots of tangerine cut and verve. Lovely acidity adds a grapefruity tang. Though medium- to full-bodied and full of limpid fruit, it is fresh, crisp, and has an elegant finish. £7.29, Oddbins.

Louis Jadot (France) Bourgogne Chardonnay 2000
Wines of the week 25/05/03. Pleasant background creaminess on the nose, with hints of nuttiness, but mostly clean orchard fruit aromas. On the palate it is precise and focused, with a medium-bodied texture and abundant, crisp white fruit flavours. Beautifully honed acids, but the clarity of fruit pushes through into a clean, firm finish. A nicely grown-up style of Chardonnay. Edencroft Wines, Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Victoria Wine, Sainsbury's £8.99

Villa Maria (NZ) Private Bin Sauvigon Blanc 2002
Wine of the week 11/05/03. Pungent, piercing gooseberry fruit, with an edge of green bean and nettle, just hints of a lychee and tropical fruit ripeness. On the palate it has a great shockwave of mineral and grapefruit acidity running through it, but is layered with sweet tropical fruit and retains that grassy, almost flinty edge. It has full body and plenty of verve. A wine that retains plenty of character, whilst being available on the mass market. Safeway, Booths, Luvian's, Oddbins, Tesco, Majestic, Sainsbury's, Unwins, £7.99.

Cuvée des Amandiers (France) Blanc 2002
Wine of the week 27/04/03. The nose is aromatic and gently floral, with a real purity of pear and downy peach-skin fruit. On the palate it has a sweet fruit attack, with plenty of ripe pear and ogen melon, but also a fine citrus acid backbone that keeps the picture crisp. It is quite full-bodied and has plenty of texture in the mouth, but stays focused and fruity into a long finish. A lovely drop of inexpensive summer white. £3.19 Majestic.

Sainsbury (Italy) Grecanico di Sicilia
Wine of the week 20/04/03. Subtle but very attractive notes of ground almonds, quince and citrus. On the palate that oily texture fills the mouth despite a modest 12% alcohol, with downy peach-skin flavour, that lemon verbena zestiness and again that background suggestion of nuts or wild herbs. The acid balance is perfect for this wine, which finishes with plenty of verve and is delicious well-chilled as an aperitif. £3.99 Sainsbury.

The Organic Vineyard (France) Vermentino
Wine of the week 30/03/03. Beguilingly aromatic, with scents of spring flowers, peach and lemon zest, and just a little marmalade and toast suggestion. On the palate it is fairly straightforward glugging stuff, with a rich, juicy, mouthfilling weight of apple fruit, decent balance and a smidgeon of oak. Aldi, £3.49.

Concha y Toro (Chile) Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2000
Wine of the week 16/03/03. The nose is loaded with fig, quince and exotic peppered mango aromas. There are honeysuckle hints, and notes of toasted hazelnuts. On the palate it is creamy-bodied and smooth, with an elegant acidity tightening tropical fruit flavours, peach and more creamy, leesy, toasty notes on the finish. A powerful, lingering, and impressive wine. Safeway, £6.99.

Unwind (South Africa) Sauvignon Blanc
Wine of the week 23/02/03. Plenty of zing, with crisp gooseberry and nettle aromas, and a hint of lychee, leading on to a palate brimming with pear and tropical fruit. This is a gluggable wine with plenty of ripe, easy-drinking fruit presented in a straightforward fashion, and a nice tongue-tingling acidity to freshen-up the finish. £4.99, Tesco.
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Brookland (Australia) Verse 1 Chardonnay 2001
Wine of the week 16/02/03.The nose is delightfully honeyed, with nutty, leesy opulence, rich honeysuckle notes, and a slick of custardy vanilla. The palate is packed with buttery, rich peach fruit, with some tropical sweetness of pineapple and marzipan. There's a sharpening edge of lemony acidity, but the finish stays quite broad and juicy. Oddbins £7.99. For three pounds less, Snake Creek (Australia) Chardonnay 2002 delivers lovely aromatics, ripe tropical fruit, a touch of honey in the mouth and fine balance. Oddbins £4.99.
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Oyster Bay (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc 2002
Wine of the week 02/02/03. Delightful nose of fresh pear, passionfruit and lime, with just glimpses of grassy, herbal notes and of a richer, tropical core. On the palate there is plenty of pungent gooseberry and nettle zing, with luscious, lightly honeyed pineapple chunk notes and plenty of racy acidity. A real blast of Marlborough freshness and verve at a very reasonable price. Everywine, Luvians, Majestic, Co-op, Safeway, Sainsbury's, Somerfield; £6.99.
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Tyrrell's (Australia) Old Winery Verdelho 2001
Wine of the week 19/01/03. Crisp, mouthwatering dry white brimming with lime and green apple fruit. It is the antithesis of big blowsy Chardonnays, with only 11.5% alcohol and a palate of juicy, nimble flavours, yet it also has some honey and toasty character, and plenty of stuffing as complex fruity flavours persist into a long, pure, finish. Elegant, quite light, but really delicious. From independent merchants including Great Grog, Peckham's, House of Menzies, The Bristol Wine Company, Corkscrew Wines, Philglas & Swiggot, £6.99

The Crossings (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Wine of the week 05/01/03. Elegant white fruit and pepper on the nose, lots of citrus and just a suggestion of oily green bean. A little zesty, glimpse of grapefruit and lychee, but all very cool and stylish. On the palate there's a searing core of tongue-tingling mineral acidity which is razor sharp rubbing against keen citrus fruit. The wine has plenty of weight and a fine, rich texture which broadens out these steely flavours. The impression in the mouth is further softened by a subtle tropicality, but the verve and length of this wine is all about crisp, apple and mineral flavours and purity of fruit into a long, lingering finish. Tesco, £6.99.
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Sainsbury's Mosel Riesling (Germany) 2001
Wine of the week 01/12/02. 2001 is a fabulous vintage in the Mosel, and quality shines out from even a basic wine like this. The nose is deliciously inviting, with lime, lemon and hints of waxiness, and a tiny note of minerals and salts. On the palate it is has sweet, crunchy essence of fresh apple fruit. It is medium-bodied and crisp, with good lemon acidity keeping it quite dry, though there is a hint of sweetness that would make it a great match with spicy foods. Sainsbury's £3.99.
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Inama (Italy) Soave Classico Superiore 2001
Wine of the week 17/11/02. The immediate impression on the nose is of fresh, crisp pears. There's a touch of luscious nectarine, then elderflower, straw and a gentle almond nuttiness. On the palate there is a distinctive mandarin orange note and little herbal nuances of sage and dry, straw-like flavour. Again, a gentle nuttiness adds subtle complexity with good acidity extending the pure, long finish. A lightly-styled, elegant wine. Sainsbury, £7.99, in 150 stores.
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Grove Mill (New Zealand) Chardonnay 2000
Wine of the week 27/10/02. A gorgeous Chardonnay with a soft, alluring honeysuckle, butterscotch and toasted almond nose. There are hints of guava and nectarine, and the palate has a mealy, creamy texture that fills the mouth. There are flavours of stone fruits and hints of tropical richness, with toasty oak filling in beneath, and fine apple acidity to freshen the finish. Safeway, Oddbins, £8.99.
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St Hallett (Australia) Chardonnay (& Shiraz) 2001
Wines of the week 13/10/02. A half-price offer at Tesco from 16/10-29/10 makes these utterly irresistable. The Chardonnay is delicately oaked and suffused with sweet-edged pear and waxy lemon fruit, with medium-body and plenty of smooth-textured, ripe and classy fruit on the palate. Some toasty oak adds depth to the finish. The Shiraz is just delicious, with a warming nose of nutmeg, berries and pepper, leading on to a soft palate of ripe cherry and black fruit, finishing with soft background tannins and oaky spice. Tesco £5.99.
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Capel Vale (Australia) Verdelho 2001
Wine of the week 06/10/02. A little American oak maturation adds just a background of hot-buttered toast on the nose over brazil nut, citrus and fuller, pineapply fruit, as well as subtle hints of aromatic floral notes. On the palate it is juicy and quite richly-textured, with mouth-filling nectarine and tropical pineapple fruit, all sharpened by a cut of fresh lime acidity into a long, powerful, finish where the spice of the oak ageing adds a little enriching note. Everywine, Majestic, Booths £7.99.
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Bleu (France) Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2001
Wine of the week 22/09/02. The nose is delicate and almondy, hinting at flowers, salts and pear-drop fruit. On the palate there is a tiny spritz that brings the wine to life, and along with a rush of zesty citrus fruit makes for a very invigorating, fresh, shellfish-friendly style. There is a little nutty richness on the palate, but this wine is about subtlety and crisp, savoury finesse. Sainsbury's £4.99.
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Alamos (Argentina) Chardonnay 2000
Wine of the week 08/09/02. Toasty, charry, butterscotch and vanilla nose, followed on to the palate with a buttery weight of ripe tropical fruit suggesting guava, pineapple and nectarine, all shot through with a vervy streak of lime acidity. It has a lovely mouth-feel and balance, and a long, delicious, honeyed finish. £5.99 from Bibendum, Majestic, Oddbins.
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Yalumba (Australia) "Y" Series Riesling 2001
Wine of the week 25/08/02. Deliciously easy-drinking wine, with abundent fruit on the nose suggesting limes, lemon zest and hinting at luscious tropical fruit. On the palate the smooth, rich texture gives a fine mouthfeel, and more of that waxy, rich lime fruit comes layered with hints of honey and pineapple. There's a wonderfully taut clarity about this wine in the mouth, with pure fruit flavours and a balance of crisp grapefruit acidity. It lingers on the palate with a lovely sense of precision. Safeway £5.99.
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Domaine de Beraut (France) Cuvée Harmonie 2001
Wine of the week 18/08/02. This terrific little white wine comes from the Côtes de Gascogne, not far from Bordeaux. The nose is wonderfully aromatic and pungent, with distinctive gooseberry and lychee fruit, and notes of succulent tangerine. On the palate it is deliciously juicy and quite full, with weighty passionfruit and waxy citrus flavours, and again that exotic lychee note. There is excellent balancing acidity, and a long, powerful, yet pure finish. Excellent stuff at the price. Safeway £4.49.
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Valle Berta (Italy) Gavi 2001
Wine of the week 21/07/02. Subtle floral fragrance, with plenty of crisp asian pear and melon fruit, and a pear-drop note. On the palate it is refreshingly zesty, with lemon and lime flavours, but quite a broad, weighty appeal. There are subtle undertones of fig and almond, and the finish is quite long and elegant. Very attractive and a nice Sauvigon Blanc alternative. From Virgin Wines £6.99.
Label image. N.B. There's £15 off of your first order with Virgin for wine-pages subscribers. Click here to sign up.

Yangarra Park (Australia) Chardonnay 2001
Wine of the week 14/07/02. Nice balance, with a nose offering lots of limpid, butterscotchy aromas, pure, but clean tropical fruit and a nice nutty undertone from French oak fermentation. On the palate it has a weighty texture, but quite a cool character with citrus freshness cutting through rich, ripe fruit and a mellow background of toasty oak into the clean finish. Waitrose £7.99.
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Lingenfelder (Germany) Bird Label Riesling 2001
Wine of the week 30/06/02. The nose brims with tropical, pineapple, lime-fresh waxy citus, and glacé fruits. There's just a suggestion of punchy gooseberry and something mineral too, that adds up to a deliciously complex but arresting picture. On the palate it has a luscious, freshly-squeezed apricot juiciness with plenty of weight and body, and an almost smoothie richness that is shot-through with a dazzling cut of apple acidity. Will cellar for five years plus. Oddbins, £4.99.
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Castelliere (Italy) Pinot Grigio 2001
Wine of the week 16/06/02. The nose has layers of herbal and buttery notes, with soft, peachy fruit and a little suggestion of hazelnut. On the palate it is crisp and refreshing thanks to vivid citrus flavours, but a just off-dry suggestion and a nutty creaminess adds mouth-appeal, and there's more of that nutty quality. Fresh and appetising, there is good, clean pear and apple acidity into the finish. Virgin Wines £6.99.
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Flagstone (South Africa) Noon Gun 2001
Wine of the week 02/06/02. Crisp and refreshing, though with plenty of weight and texture in the mouth. This sings on the nose with crunchy gooseberry notes, but there's a hint of floral, exotic, waxy lime-leaf too. On the palate creamy, full-bodied fruit is joined by juicy, crisp acidity and there is fine length. A seriously delicious and different white, and highly recommended. Oddbins, £3.99.
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Neil Ellis (South Africa) Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Wine of the week 21/04/02. From low-yielding vineyards in the Groenekloof area, this has punchy, passionfruit and lychee aromas, with lots of luscious ripeness and a little freshening hint of green bean. The palate has apricot and tropical fruit character, with a broad, weighty mid-palate and a fine streak of lime-fresh acidity. Long, pure and oozing finesse, this is world class Sauvignon Blanc. £7.99, Selected Safeway and Everywine.
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Penfolds (Australia) Rawson's Retreat Riesling 2001
Wine of the week 07/04/02. Burst with fresh, juicy lime fruit. There's a little exotic hint of pineapple and tropical fruit, but also floral nuances and a little suggestion of wet stones and minerals. The palate has plenty of richness, with medium-body, but the great cut and thrust is sweet yet sharp lime cordial flavours, with hints of juicy, ripe pear and apple. The finish is crisply-defined by pure, elegant acidity. £4.99 Oddbins, Booths, Tesco, Co-op, Unwins, First Quench.
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Domaine Duffour (France) Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne 2000
Wine of the week 17/03/02. Terrifically punchy nose of gooseberry and greengage fruit. There are nuances of nettles and exotic passionfruit. On the palate it is packed with crunchy fruit and zesty acidity, a rich texture and a good length of tingling, vibrant fruit into the finish. This is straightforward, juicy, delicious quaffing wine with a bit of genuine get up and go. Berry Bros & Rudd £4.85.
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Pewsey Vale (Australia) Eden Valley Riesling 2000
Wine of the week 10/03/02. Delightful, shimmering, limpid beauty of a white wine with a floral and wax nose that heaves with slightly butterscotchy pear and apple fruit. On the palate it is full and smooth-textured, with gorgeous ripe, sweet, pear and peach flavours, and bracing citrus and mineral acidity. At £8.99 it is decent value.
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Undurraga (Chile) Gewürztraminer 2000
Wine of the week 03/03/02. Beautifully balanced and dry, whilst being scented and full of powerful character. It is toffeed and alluring on the nose, with aromas of honey, fig and apricot. Lovely fruit fills the palate, which is dry and full-bodied, yet nicely crisp with citrus acidity. Quite delicious, and a little bit different. £5.99 Peckhams,, selected Tesco and Asda.
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Sacred Hill (NZ) Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Wine of the week 17/02/02. The nose is enticingly aromatic, with plenty of tropical fruit, a zesty lime note and a gentle hint of gooseberry. On the palate there is a blast of zippy acidity up front, adding a cutting edge to powerful, concentrated apple and peach fruit before a long, savoury, tangy finish. £7.99 Unwins,
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Blueridge (Bulgaria) Chardonnay 2000
Wines of the week 25/01/02. A terrific Chardonnay with sufficient oomph to match against even quite hearty foods. The vanilla and butterscotch nose gives way to plenty of juicy plum and apricot fruit, good citrussy acidity and a nutty, spicy finish. I'm also pretty sure it would be £5.99 if the label was Australian. £3.99 Somerfield.
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Domaine de Peyrat (France) Viognier 1999
Wine of the week 06/01/02. Light oak ageing has added a gorgeous, gentle sheen of vanilla and butterscotch on top of limpid pear and nectarine fruit. On the plate it is beautifully juicy with lively apple acidity keeping the ripe apricot and nectarine fruit in check, and lovely medium-bodied balance staying perfectly poised into a long, lightly spicy finish. Only 12.5% alcohol, I would offer a money back guarantee if I was selling this stuff - sensationally good. Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up £5.99.
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 red wines

Castello di Luzzano (Italy) Merloblú 2001
Wine of the week 18/05/03.Totally unoaked to allow the smooth depth and muscularity of the Merlot to sing out. The colour is an intense crimson, and the nose offers aromas of kirsch, plum and chocolate. On the palate there is a rush of dense, chewy, plummy fruit with a great raft of bittersweet, savoury tannins and a lovely lick of acidity. This has great presence in the mouth, with the absence of oak allowing the deep-set fruit and tannic axis to push through into the finish. Booths, Everywine, £5.49.

Château Mirefleurs Bordeaux Supérieur 2000
Wine of the week 04/05/03. Lovely fruit on the nose, which is quite deep and earthy, with a little gamy note and plenty of blackcurrant. On the palate it is ripe and chewy, with a silky texture and deep, plum and blackcurrant fruit. Fine tannins and good acidity complete a balanced, delicious picture. Drink now or over the next five years. £6.49 Oddbins.

Zuccardi (Argentina) "Q" Tempranillo 2000
Wine of the week 13/04/03. The nose has layer upon layer of bursting berry and plum fruit, cinammon, tobacco and chocolate. There's a great blue/black density of fruit that sweeps through onto the palate. Soft and yielding in the mouth, there is plenty of depth to the fruit, with a solid underpinning of sweet oaky tannins, spice and toast into the finish. Good length, with that velvet texture and mouthfilling, expansive quality staying focused as it floods through to the finish. £7.99 Tesco, but only biggest 70-odd stores. Tesco has the also very impressive "Q" Malbec.

Segada (Portugal) Trincadeira Castelão 2001
Wine of the week 06/04/03. This is a big, juicy, fruit-bomb if a wine, with little subtlety, but bags of jammy, mouthfilling flavour. There's a big, deep, baked plum-pie nose, brimming with fruit, a hint of spice and a little touch of something meaty. On the palate it is fleshy and chewy, with a big raft of dry tannin supporting more of the blackbery and baked plum fruit. Forceful and hedonistically fruity, it needs robust food and might well be a love it or hate it style. Sainsbury, £4.49.

Casa Lapostolle (Chile) Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Wine of the week 23/03/03. The nose is gorgeous, soaring from the glass with aromas of damson jam, sour cherries and little background notes of game and fragrant cedarwood. Supple and juicy on the palate, there's a raft of dried fruit, exotic spice and ripe plum flavours. The tannins are ripe and sweet, giving more savoury depth that is softened and broadened in the finish my background oak and crisp acidity. Very sophisticated stuff, well priced, and excellent. Majestic, Everywine, Thresher group, Selfridges, Harrods, Virgin Wines, ChateauOnline, £6.99.

Château La Fleur Plaisance (France) St Emilion Grand Cru 2000
Wine of the week 09/03/03. Lovely Bordeaux from the superb 2000 vintage. 70% new oak barrels, adding a toasty, vanillin note to smooth, chocolate-coated berry fruit. This has a fine, fleshy mouthfeel with quite full body and plenty of berries and ripe, glossy black fruit. This is a voluptuous yet balanced style of claret for drinking over the next five to ten years. Why not tuck away half a case of this and half a case of Louis Latour's fine, creamy, elegant Burgundy, the Marsannay 1999 at £7.49? The dozen will cost you £116, but delivery is free and the UK. Majestic, £11.99.

Fairview (South Africa) Goats do Roam 2001
Wine of the week 02/03/03. Perfumed cherry and violet aromatics soar from the glass, with little hints of gravel and cedary wood. On the palate it is creamy and quite full-bodied, with a great thrusting core of bittersweet raspberry and cherry fruit, all softened and deepened by a hint of chocloate and black plum. There's a grip of tannin into the finish, spice, pepper and plenty of juicy acidity. £4.99, Oddbins, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Somerfield.
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Connubia (Italy) Corvina 2001
Wine of the week 16/02/03. Like an Amarone, this is made from partially dried grapes. There's a juicy black plum and dried-cherry hint about the nose here, with some definite herbal notes and lots of creamy, svelte fruit character. On the palate it is savoury and quite crisp for a red, with some leathery depth, but mostly just a raft of pure raspberry and cherry fruit flavours. This will wash down pastas and grills very nicely indeed. Delicious. Sainsbury's, £4.99, but on offer at £4.49.
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Safeway St-Emilion (Bordeaux) 2000
Wine of the week 26/01/03. The nose is a classic blend of custardy oak, tobacco and plum and cassis fruit. There's a sense of chocolaty depth and damsony richness. On the palate it is quite thickly-textured with plenty of smooth, velvety black fruit character and moderate tannins adding some grip. Acidity is well-judged, with plenty of freshness, but an overall impression of smoothness and svelte, chewy depth. The fruit stays nice and focused into a decent length of finish. A most impressive generic St-Emilion and a bit of a bargain. Safeway £7.99.
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Caliterra (Chile) Arboleda Carmènere 1999
Wine of the week 12/01/03. The nose is decadent with mocha-coffee and dark, dried plum, prune and cedary aromas. There's a fudge and creamy quality, but it is not excessively oaky. On the palate there is impressive concentration and smoothness, with dramatically dark blue/black fruit flavours. Tannins are chocolaty and ripe, and there is good acidity., Luvians, Partridges, Peckhams, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, £7.99. Label image.

Omrah (Australia) Shiraz 2000
Wine of the week 29/12/02. Mellow and creamy, with vanillin aromas intermingled with crushed red berries and a little white pepper. On the palate it is medium-bodied and quite silky, with a subtle coffee background to red fruits and a hint of briary, polished wood and peppery spice. There's a little rasping hit of tannin, and then more of that mellow, dark spice and oak which warms the finish. Very well put together. Somerfield, £7.99.
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Sogrape (Portugal) Dão Reserva 1999
Wine of the week 15/12/02. New oak ageing has given this wine a voluptuously smooth, inviting, dark and mysterious nose of spices, coffee and deep, plummy fruit. There's a wild, herbal and mint quality that is quite intriguing. On the palate it abounds with jammy fruit that again has an aniseed and fennel herbal influence, with liquorice and bitter dark chocolate notes into a spicy, powerful finish. There is just a note of hollowness on the mid-palate here, but a real tonic to jaded palates. Wine Society, Independents, £8.99.
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Terramater (Chile) Zinfandel/Shiraz 2001
Wine of the week 01/12/02. Sweet, thick, glossy black fruit and chocolaty depth, allied to quite muscular, brawny, spice and old leather characteristics. There is some pepper and a lovely fruity definition on the nose, possibly revealing the Shiraz component. On the palate this offers a big mouthful of bramble and blackcurrant fruit, all shot through with a citrus acidity and firm tanninc bite. The finish is spicy and holds on to notes of fudge and vanilla. Quite a mouthful for under a fiver. Safeway £4.99.
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Terra Vitis (France) Corbières 2001
Wine of the week 24/11/02. The nose is creamy, warm and gently spicy, with copious berries and a little hint of old roses. On the palate there's a raft of broad, soft, drying tannin that supports beautifully sweet, ripe cherry and berry fruit. Balanced and long, this is a lovely little red with savoury, food-friendly appeal.
Majestic, £4.99.
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Michel Torino (Argentina) Merlot "Coleccion" 2000
Wine of the week 10/11/02. The nose brims with juicy blackberry fruit that is ripe and glossy, with plenty of depth and wonderful sense of damson jam richness. On the palate it is cool and fruity, with surprisingly crisp tannins and a nicely bittersweet, lean edge of acidity and dark, cherryish fruit. Dry and quite savoury, this has a chocolaty edge to the tannins, and finishes with good length and some style. Safeway, £5.99.
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Errazuriz (Chile) Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2000
Wine of the week 20/10/02. Aromas leap from the glass, of tobacco and mocha coffee, new leather and game. There are distinctly violety floral highlights, and a great, solid core of ripe, minty, blackberry fruit. On the palate this rich, juicy, spicy wine has a medium-bodied texture and is packed with sweet fruit; blackberry again, and hints of jammy raspberry all layered with clove, chocolate and fudgy, toasty oak depth. This is joyous Pinot Noir. Everywine, Sainsbury, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up £9.99.
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Misiones de Rengo (Chile) Carmenère 2001
Wine of the week 29/09/02. This has a classy tobacco, spice and vanilla fudge nose, layered with dark chcoclate-coated berries. On the palate a deep, savoury profile of black fruit, tannin and juicy cherry acidity fills the mouth. There's not huge complexity in this inexpensive bottling, but its a fine example of Carmenère's capacity to make gorgeously smooth, characterful wine with plenty of grip. Somerfield £4.99.
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Beyerskloof (South Africa) Pinotage 2001
Wine of the week 01/09/02. This has a lovely ripe, bright, blackcurrant pastille fruit on the nose with creamy notes and a little briarwood hint. On the palate there's a delicous sweetness to the fruit that suggests really ripe strawberries, or sweet damson plums, a soft, spicy underpinning and a smooth texture. There's a really attractive dark, hint of gaminess and earth too, before freshening acidity wraps up a lovely, easy-drinking yet quite complex picture. Asda; Safeway, £5.99.
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Cassegrain (Australia) Chambourcin 1999
Wine of the week 11/08/02. The nose exudes spicy, deep, concentrated class. There's an element of pleasant, animal rusticity, and some herbal notes, but plenty of deep cherry fruit. On the palate this medium-bodied wine is savoury rather than sweet, with layers of cherry and crisp berry fruit and edgy tannins. It is refined though, with good length and balance, and certainly offers distinctive drinking. Wimbledon Wine Cellars, £9.99.
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Devereux (France) Portan & Carignan 2001
Wine of the week 04/08/02. Summer-fruited red, with spicy notes on the nose set against creamy raspberry and redcurrant fruit. On the palate there are really quite meaty, robust tannins, with a peppery red fruit quality found in more expensive southern reds, and a little leathery toughness showing through. This is absolutely perfect glugging stuff with oodles of bangs per buck. Sainsbury's £2.99.
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Desvignes (France) Morgon "La Voute St.Vincent" 2000
Wine of the week 28/07/02. This is a wine for meditating over as it unravels itself slowly, from an initiallly tight, kirsch and mineral character, to a broader, juicier cherry and grippy plum-skin style. There's a serious charcoally edge to the fruit here, that is dark and dramatic. Without the support of new oak, it relies on supple, muscular acid and tannin structure as well as depths of fruit. This is no shrinking violet, and will be even better around 2006/2007 if you can cellar it well. Berry Bros. & Rudd £8.45 (£8.02 by the case).
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French Kiss (France) Corbières 2001
Wine of the week 06/07/02. Smokily aromatic, with herbs, red fruits and a deep, soft, strawberry and briarwood element. On the palate it has the rich, round, sweet, sun-filled fruit power of the Mediterranean south, with chocolaty nuances and spicy tannins. Good value at £4.99, but reduced by one pound in Sainsbury's, to £3.99 until July 23rd 2002.
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Abdal (Spain) Cabernet Franc/Tempranillo 1999
Wine of the week 23/06/02. Lovely nose, redolent of tobacco, currants, woodsmoke, earth and spices, with a solid underpinning of berry fruit. On the palate it is medium-bodied and quite juicy in character, with plenty of fruit, little cedary nuances and a nice plum skin roughness that adds a savoury dimension. Good length, with balanced acidity and crisp tannins. All in all, a very distinctive and delicious wine. Lay and Wheeler, £5.95.
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Yeringa Ridge (Australia) Shiraz/Cabernet 2001
Wine of the week 09/06/02. Big, warming, mulberry, chocolate and spicy eucalyptus nose. There are little peppery hints, and on the palate there's a leafy element, with a tobacco note to sweet, dark, raspberry and blackcurrant fruit. An underpinning of sweet oak gives way to more of that pepper and spice richness, with warming tannins and a long, dry finish. This is a well-made wine that offers a lot for the money, as does its sibling, the Yeringa Ridge Sémillon/Chardonnay. Both are highly recommended and terrific value.
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Chiwara (South Africa) Pinotage 2001
Wine of the week 26/05/02. Nose of toasty, coffee-bean oak and cocoa-dusted ripe berry fruit. The palate is flooded with intensely sweet blueberry and black cherry fruit, bags of spice and crisp tannins. Medium- to full-bodied, there's a rich, spicy weight that persists through to the finish in this thoroughly impressive and delicious, big-hearted red. Spar £4.99.
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Georges Dubeouf (France) Morgon Jean Descombes 2001
Wine of the week 19/05/02. Beautifully creamy nose of soft strawberry fruit showing fine ripeness, a rounded, caramel undertow, and hints of truffly complexity. It delivers a serious mouthful of firm red and black fruits, with a liquoricy core and fine tannins. Perfectly balanced and long in the finish, this will benefit from a few years in the cellar, but is an explosive, delicious wine that will instantly convert Beaujolais sceptics.Majestic £7.49, buy two @ £6.49 until 02/09/02.
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Peter Lehmann (Australia) Clancy's Red 2000
Wine of the week 05/05/02. Inviting, velvety, mulberry and sweet vanillin nose, which follows on to the palate with mellow, softly-spiced melange of cinnamon, cherries, raspberry and darker nuances of chocolate and damson plum. There is some juicy acidity and a freshening stripe of tannin into the lingering finish. Lovely stuff, and with the current discount at Sainsbury's, a bit of a bargain. On offer through May in Sainsbury's at £5.99, or £6.99 in Asda and Waitrose.
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Las Llanuras (Argentina) Malbec 2000
Wine of the week 14/04/02. In truth, this is not the most stunning Malbec you will find, but it offers plenty of bangs per buck at only £2.99. A lighter colour than many, the nose presents a depth of smoky, spicy, autumnal fruit and earthy nuances. On the palate it is medium-bodied and quite fresh due to just enough tannin and acidity, and the fruit is juicy and sweet. Aldi £2.99.
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Terra Viva (Italy) Vino Rosso NV
Wine of the week 31/03/02. beautifully soft, tobacco-tinged, spicy berry nose, with little notes of cardomum and cherry. On the palate there's plenty of spice and mellow, earthy, damson and plum fruit, a nice nip of tannin and enough acidity to freshen the finish. A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Montepulciano grapes. Tesco £3.99 and Tesco
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Penfolds (Australia) Bin 35 Rawson's Retreat 2000
Wine of the week 17/03/02. Full-on, spice, plum and tobacco drenched wine that presents itself like crushed velvet. On the palate it is generous and full of earthy plum and berry fruit, warm and darkly luxurious, with sweet tannins and soft acidity running into a long, easy-going finish. Will cellar for a few years. On offer at two for £10 in Bottoms Up/Wine Rack until March 25th, though also in Majestic,, Oddbins, and very widely available at £5.99.
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Condado de Haza (Spain) Ribera del Duero 1999
Wine of the week 24/02/02. Wonderfully deep, silky, chocolate and vanilla richness to sumptuous berry fruit on the nose. There are notes of mulberry and clove, as well as juicy sweet blackcurrants. On the palate the same theme of deep, silky black fruit continues, with a warming oak background and a firmness of ripe, sweet tannins. Acidity is moderate, and this approachable, delicious, though oaky wine should drink well for five years. Majestic special purchase at £7.99.
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Domaine des Duc (France) St-Amour 1999
Wine of the week 10/02/02. Saint-Amour is one of ten villages that make up the Beaujolais Crus, usually offering a mind-boggling leap in quality from ordinary Beaujolais. This vibrant cherry-coloured wine has a really lovely nose of rose-hips, strawberry and briar-wood. On the palate it is bursting with fresh red fruits and packs a kick of spices and crisp tannins. Very superior Beaujolais, that will cellar well for several years. £7.49 Majestic.
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Domaine de la Grande Bellane (France) Valréas 2000
Wine of the week 03/02/02. The nose of this organic, vegetarian wine is just gorgeous: a melange of wild herbs, cedar, rich crumbly earth and deep raspberry fruit. There are gamy notes and spicy hints too. On the palate a great thwack of tannins instantly coats the mouth in a drying, chocolaty layer, but that savoury, mellow, spiced plum and red fruit character pushes through. With perfect balance. Terrific stuff. £5.99 Tesco, Sainsbury's, Thresher, Bottoms Up, Unwins.
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Mont Tauch (France) Fitou Les Gueches 2000
This has a dark ruby colour and a wonderfully spicy, peppery, creamy black-fruited nose. On the palate there is masses of chunky fruit with robust tannins and lots of personality, finishing with supple, juicy fruit to the fore. Delicious stuff. £3.99 Sainsbury's.
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Blaise Carron (France) Beaujolais 2000
Wine of the week 13/01/02. Delicate, lifted, floral nose with hints of pear-drop and even ripe banana. There's an undercurrent of rasberry and redcurrant fruit, then onto the palate it offers a medium-bodied but quite silky mouthful of cherryish fruit, with a firm core of tannins. There are quite broad, deep undercurrants of strawberry and plummy fruit, before crisp acidity seizes the finish leaving this moreish and very food-friendly. £6.50 Roger Harris Wines
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Co-op (Spain) Tempranillo Brut NV
Wine of the week 30/05/04. Vividly purple wine with a foaming pink mousse, and a nose showing lots of bold red berries and hints of chocolate and cloves. On the palate the mousse is rich and rolling, though it dies quite quickly. There's a sweetness to the fruit on the palate, and a drying chocolaty texture, then quite a kick of briary tannin pushes through. This is not in the same league as the best Ozzie examples, but it is several pounds cheaper, fun and enjoyable. Co-op, £5.79.

Champagne Carlin 1er Cru NV
Wine of the week 18/04/04. Minuscule bubbles rise in a steady stream across the width of the glass. The nose has lots of toasty, brioche and buttered pecan, with a generous weight of ripe pear and lightly spicy aromas. On the palate it is rich and rolling, with lots of fruit: plummy and peachy notes abound, as well as oatmeal and toast, and a wonderful, shimmering core of acidity. This full-bodied, dry wine is very broad and drinkable, whilst having subtle layers of complexity and great balance. Fantastic value. Aldi £10.99

Veuve Clicquot (France) Reserve 1996
Wine of the week 08/02/04. Already beautifully toasty, rich and nutty on the nose, that richness developing on top of crisp, cool lemon and peachy fruit. The mousse is rich and persists in the mouth, with lots of body and richness and a creamy quality. All the time there's a tang of grapefruit acidity that teases and cleanses the palate. This has fantastic length too, and is an absolutely brilliiant Champagne that should cellar effortlessly for 10 years and more. £29.99 Safeway until March 6th 2004. Also £165.50 for 6 (£27.58 per bottle equivalent) from Bibendum. £36.99-£38.99 elsewhere.

Philippe Michel (France) Crémant du Jura 2000
Wine of the week 14/09/03. Appetising green apple nose, with creamy, nutty autolytic notes. There are plenty of bubbles, rolling and persisting on the tongue. It delivers plenty of crisp, tingling, apple and pear fruit, broad on the mid-palate with some more nut and sour fig nuances, and plenty of incisive acidity. Beautifully balanced and not at all thin or cheap, this is classic, stylish fizz and I defy anyone to find a better value alternative on the market. Aldi £4.99

Tosti (Italy) Sparkling Pinot Grigio
Wine of the week 22/12/02. Sweet, ripe grapy aromas, peach and a tropical hint pineapple. On the palate it is full-bodied and powerful, with loads of peachy, punchy fruit and decent acidity, with no sign of tartness or tightness. No, there is no classic Champagne toast or yeasty complexity, but this is not a vino da meditazione, just a gluggable and yummy wine that should find friends in just about any crowd. Tesco, £5.99.
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La Gioiosa (Italy) Prosecco Spumante
Wine of the week 03/11/02. Aromas of flowers and pear-drops, with crisp notes of freshly-cut apple. On the palate it is lively and deliciously easy to drink, with a hit of intense, sweet fruit, before a dry, tangy finish that is flooded with gooseberry and grapefruit zest. With only 11% alcohol, it is an uncomplicated but delightful wine. Tesco, £5.49.
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Château Tour de Mirambeau (France) Rosé 2002
Wine of the week 10/08/03. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a rosé in an uncompromisingly dry, unfrivolous style. The colour is a deep salmon, and the nose, though rather closed at first, reveals lovely scents of minerals, herbs and redcurrants with a little airing. On the palate it is very dry and savoury, with a steely core of mineral acidity and a touch of tannic bite. Again that quality of redcurrant and tart raspberry fruit begins to show through. Bottled in a screw-cap. £6.49 Oddbins.


St Gisbertus (Germany) Beerenauslese 2002
Wine of the week 16/11/03. The colour is a medium gold, and the nose offers up aromas of honey and musky, floral notes, with some dried fig and herbal, tobacco scents. On the palate it is quite viscous and rich, with decent apricotty fruit and more of that honeyed flavour, and with 109 grammes of residual sugar, plenty of sweetness. There is no great length here, and the acidity rather flattens the finish, but at £2.99 for a very elegantly-packed 50cl, what a little treat this is. £2.99, Aldi.

Michele Chiarlo (Italy) "Nivole" Moscato d'Asti 2002
Wine of the week 21/09/03. 5.5% alcohol and gentley sparkling, this has an uplifting fragrance of blossom, spring flowers, apricot and delicate strawberry or violet creams. On the palate it has a magical sweetness of sherbet and summer fruits, with fresh, chilled grape notes and a sublime balance thanks to impeccable acidity. This is a real treat. Booths & Booths, £4.99 per 37.5cl.

Seppelt (Australia) Rutherglen Muscat DP63
Wine of the week 06/10/02. Gorgeous nose of burnt, crème brûlée nose of caramel, marmalade, toffee and figs. It is dark, and mysterious. On the palate a thick, viscose texture floods the palate with sweet orange and toffee flavours, with nutty undertones and a chocolaty, treacle-pudding depth. Smooth, rich and intensely concentrated, it has terrrific length and quality. Oddbins, £7.49 per 37.5cl.

Value Wine Archives 1999-2001

Bordeaux WI
Great Western Wine
EuroCave UK

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