Buenos Aires (Argentina) Brut NV £4.99, Buy 6 @ £3.99
Quite coarse, but persistent bubbles, with a very nice, fresh nose with lots of creamy, apple aromas and a little toastiness on a broad, juicy, base. Lovely mouthful of just off-dry, peach and pear fruit with a rolling, soft mousse. Really quite delicious and easy to drink. Great buy at £3.99 and only 12% alcohol. Very good.
Conegliano-Valdobbiadene (Italy) Prosecco Extra Dry £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.59
Steady stream of moderately small bubbles. Crisp, lemon-sherbetty nose with a little pear-drop and sour plum. Zippy, fresh and crisp palate lots of crunchy apple fruit. A very crisp style, but vibrant and enjoyable. Good/very good.
Heidsieck Brut Champagne NV £16.49 Buy 3 @ £10.99
Plenty of small, steady bubbles. A touch of nettles and crisp asian pear and melon, just a background of yeastiness. Quite explosive, juicy fruit on the palate; star-fruit and peach, with a moderate mousse and a fresh, citrussy finish. Very good.
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne NV £17.99 Buy 3 @ £11.99
Deeper gold colour, with a steady stream of small bubbles. Herby, nutty nose that is quite refined, with a suggestion of toastiness. Very fresh palate; zippy with a suggestion of custard and apples, savoury, peachy fruit and decent acidity. Very good.
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne 1994 £23.99 Buy 3 @ £15.99
Cheap for vintage Champagne, but 1994 was a poor year. There are steadily streaming bubbles and a tight nose with a touch of creamy, autolysis character and a hint of caramel. Lively, bittersweet palate with a herbal edge to citrus fruit. Definite nettle quality and hints of complexity. Very good.
There is 15% off any six Italian wines (@ £3 and over). Second price quoted is the offer price.
Pasqua, Chardonnay Puglia 2001 £2.99
Very lemony and fresh with hints of buttery richness. The palate is juicy and citrussy, then a butterscotch note develops. Very good at the price.
Coste del Molino, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2001 £4.99 – £4.24
Lovely creamy, yeasty, baked apple pie nose with lemony highlights. Delightfully sweet-edged apricot and ripe pear fruit, with a tiny hint of lively sparkle, then dry, nutty nuances and fine acidity. Medium-bodied and quite rich, this is lovely stuff. Very good.
Castello Banfi, Pinot Grigio San Angelo 2001 £6.99 – £5.94
From top Chianti producer Castello Banfi, this has a fat, aromatically rich nose, with aromas of nuts, figs, berries, custard, melon and orchard fruits. After that entrance, it holds up pretty well on the palate, where a medium-bodied, chewy texture supplies plenty of nutty, sweet-edged apricot and peach kernel fruit, and a wrapping of oily lemon acidity. Very good indeed.
2000 Bourgogne Aligoté, Jayer-Gilles £3.99
Clean citrus nose, with hints of more complex pear and straw. Moderate richness of fresh, minerally citrus and surprisingly weighty fruit. Crisp and clean on the finish, this is good Aligoté (perfect base wine for making Kir: add crème de cassis).
2001 Maçon Villages, Cave Co-operative Prissé £4.49 Buy 2 @ £3.99
Quite modest orange, straw and herby nose, a hint of melon. Nice fruit on the palate; juicy apple and hint of peachiness. Moderate weight, with fresh, tangy acidity. Very nice stuff. Good – very good value indeed at £3.99.
1999 Bourgogne Blanc, Cave Co-op de Buxy £4.99 Buy 2 @ £4.49
Clean, citrussy nose, with apple and a mineral cut. Juicy, fresh lemon palate, with crisp minerality. Modest length. Good.
2001 Maçon Prissé, Cave Co-operative Prissé £5.49 Buy 2 @ £4.99
A little more richness here, with a suggestion of honeysuckle and ripe pear fruit. There is even a little suggestion of tropical fruit, that follows onto the palate with bright citrus acidity and very fine quality at the price. Correct, and very good.
2000 St Véran La Solitude, Cave Co-operative Prissé £5.99
Concentrated, rich, surprisingly oaky nose with a hint of coffee and vanilla. The palate is rich and satisfying, with a buttery, nutty quality and a good weight of ripe fruit. Very good/very good indeed.
2000 Rully “La Bergerie”, M Dupasquier £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.99
Concentrated and rich, there’s a definite honeysuckle and straw-like aspect, then a nicely nutty, leesy, concentration. The palate has good fruit, with weight but a crisp mineral edge freshening the finish. Very good.
2000 Rully 1er Cru “Les Cloux”, Vincent Girardin £9.99 Buy 2 @ £8.99
Nutty honeysuckle and a lightly toasty nose. Clean, attractive melon and orchard fruits. Nice palate too, with a very juicy, mouthwatering quality of fruit constrained by crisp pear and citrus. There’s a creamy suggestion to this, and some complexity as well as good length. Very good indeed.
1999 Santenay 1er Cru Clos Beauregard, Vincent Girardin £13.99
Big, bold, cream and butter nose with leesy weight and lots of walnut and coffee. Very attractive. The palate displays ripe, sweet-edged peachy fruit, with hints of exotic fruits and then a sharpening citrus and mineral acidity. Long and lovely, this is very good indeed. Girardin seems to be on very good form over the last few vintages.
2001 Chablis, Vocoret £8.99 Buy 2 @ £6.99
Quite subdued, mineral and straw-like aromas. There is some restrained apple fruit. Quite full-bodied on the palate though, with mineral-edged orchard fruits and a fine spine of lemony acidity into a fresh finish. Really rather good, classic Chablis. Very good.
2000 Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Vocoret £9.49 Buy 2 @ £8.49
Much more leesy, forward, nutty and buttery qualities on the nose. Very concentrated and dense. There is no shortage of crisp lemon fruit on the palate, but it is underpinned by a lush breadth of sweet fruit. Good acidity too, and suggestions that it might develop some honeyed weight with cellaring. Very good/very good indeed.
2000 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains, Vocoret £10.99 Buy 2 @ £9.49
A little closed on the nose. Straw-like aromas and a little salty minerality, with subtle nettle notes. Crisply defined palate with a great core of minerality and plenty of lemony fruit. Really steely and tight, but showing lovely purity into a long finish. Very good indeed.
2000 Protocolo Blanco, Dominio de Eguren £3.99
Juicy, sweet peach notes on the nose that are quite sherbetty. Modest, fruity, pear and gently peachy palate with lowish acidity. A nice summer glugger and moderate 11.5% alcohol. Good.
1999 Cosme Palacio, Rioja Blanco £5.99
Nice, quite old-fashioned and classic vanilla, marzipan and orangey nose with an Amaretto note and waxy character. The palate is herbal and nutty, with again an orange fruitiness and lightly oxidised quality. Good length and fine style, but one you might love or hate. Put me in the former bracket! Very good indeed.
2001 Albariño Rias Baixas, Martin Codax £7.99 Buy 2 @ £6.49
An old favourite that is displaying youthful, crisp, elegant ripe pear fruit that is sweet and lush, with a hint of mealy quality. Plenty of crisp, pungent gooseberry and zippy melon and asian pear crunch. Fine quality, with citrus acidity extending the finish. Very good indeed.
2000 Fairleigh Estate, Single Vineyard Chardonnay £7.99 Buy 2 @ £6.99
Big honey and warm peach nose, with a toasty layering of sweet oak. Very lush and rich onto the palate, with apricot fruit and a definite hint of pineapple. The palate quite full-bodied, but is underpinned by good acidity into a very stylish finish. Very good indeed, and well-priced.
2001 Zondernaam, Sauvignon Blanc £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.99
Sauvignon in the decidedly ripe, tropical spectrum with juicy pineapple and lush guava and lychee notes. The palate is pure and quite crisp thanks to lemon and lime joining that ripe tropical fruit. Good length, though the acidity kicks in quite abruptly. Very good.
2001 La Mira, Sauvignon Blanc £3.99 on offer £3.79
There is quite a slatey, schisty quality about this on the nose (and a touch of sulphur), but then very attractive, quite herbal fruit emerges, showing gooseberry and melon character. Fine and racy on the palate, with a little mineral edge. A tad short, but balanced and refined in style. Very good.
2001 Vistasur, Sauvignon Blanc £4.99 Buy any 6 Vistasur save 15% £4.24
Usually one of my favourite Chilean Sauvignons Blanc, this has an elegant, moderate mid-way style between the herbal and tropical. Some leafy nettle character, but plenty of expressive passionfruit. Clean, crisp palate, with lots of citrus and just a hint of tropical lychee and sweet, exotic fruit quality. Long and very good.
2001 La Mira, Chardonnay £3.99 on offer £3.79
Clean, crisp honeysuckle and melon fruit, with a richer note of sweet apricot fruit. Good quality on the palate, with quite weighty tropical fruit and plenty of concentrated ripeness. Very nice Chardonnay at a bargain price. Very good.
2000 Vistasur, Chardonnay £4.99 Buy any 6 Vistasur save 15% £4.24
Big, buttery, coffee and nut oak on the nose, with a suggestion of green bean, then a luscious, waxy lemon fruit. Cool palate that doesn’t quite deliver on the promise of the nose, but good style and decent length. Very good.
2001 Montes, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc £5.99 Buy 2 @ £5.49
Powerful, pungent, herbaceous nose with loads of green bean and zippy grapefruit, Fine sweetness and a hint of tropicality on the palate, with lychee and passionfruit, then an interesting undertow of vanilla into a powerful, long finish. Very good.
2000 Montes, Alpha Chardonnay £9.99 Buy 2 @ £8.99
Very Burgundian nose of toasty oak, honeysuckle and butterscotch with a fine weight of well-defined peach fruit. Lovely sweet richness onto the palate, full and poised with lots of pure, powerful fruit and good length. Very classy stuff, and very good indeed.
2001 Cono Sur, Vision Chardonnay £7.49 on offer – will be £8.99
High-toast, quality French oak nose with notes of honey and sweet, fantastically opulent, butterscotchy fruit. There are notes of ginger and tropical fruit. On the palate this is very rich and juicy, with some mineral acidity adding fine definition into a long, focused finish. Excellent.
Offers include: buy any six Rosemount wines for £30, and buy any six of Lindemans Bin 65, Bin 45 or Bin 50 and save a third.
2001 Oxford Landing, Sauvignon Blanc £4.99 Buy 2 @ £3.99
Moderate style with hints of herbaceous nettle and gooseberry, and richer tropical nuances. Very soft, gentle, crowd-pleasing peachy fruit with decent balance. Good/very good.
2001 Rosemount Estate, Sauvignon Blanc £6.99 six for £30 = £5.00
Modest nose. Rather featureless middle of the road style, with decent fruit, a little herbaceousness and a sweetish, commercial finish. Not my cup of tea and £5 makes more sense than £6.99. Good.
2001 Amberley Estate, Sauvignon Blanc £9.99 Buy 2 @ £6.99
Huge green bean nose, with notes of asparagus and plenty of chunky concentration. Pungently herbaceous passionfruit and gooseberry fruit pushes through onto the palate, where a streak of grapefruity acidity adds drama to weighty, juicy peach fruit. Impressive if you like your Sauvignons in the herbal spectrum, and very good.
2001 Oxford Landing, Y Series Viognier £6.99
Lovely nose redolent of buttery peach and pear, with a little hint of sherbet. The palate has moderate, clean, juicy fruit which is fresh and citrussy, with a sweet fleshiness on the mid-palate. Medium- to full-bodied, there’s a suggestion of caramel into the finish which is long and sweetly-fruited. Very good.
2001 Capel Vale, Riesling 2001 £7.49 Buy 2 @ £6.99
Screwcapped bottle. Quite a big, waxy, petrolly nose, with lemon zest and crisp green apple fruit. The palate is very cool and crisp, with citrus fruit and juicy pear. Good acidity and overall balance, though perhaps lacking a little complexity on the palate. Very good.
2001 Oxford Landing, Chardonnay £4.99 Buy 2 @ £3.99
Flawless commercial style, with lightly-honeyed and vanilla-slicked orchard fruits and good mouthfeel. Balanced and fine. Very good.
2001 Lindemans, Bin 65 Chardonnay £5.99 six save 33% £3.99
Similar formula, adding a little more toast on the nose and a zestier, lemon character cutting in on the finish. Another very attractive wine of its style and unlikely to disappoint – especially at the multi-buy price. Very good.
2001 Kangarilla Road, Chardonnay £7.99 Buy 2 @ £6.49
Lovely style here; citrus and lime-fresh aromas, some developing toastiness and suggestion of richer peach fruit. Quite nutty too. Medium- to full-bodied and rich in the mouth, with good length and a long, toasty, very moreish finish. Very good/very good indeed.
2001 Tyrrell’s, Old Winery Semillon £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.99
A touch of honey over clean, bright, citrussy fresh aromas. There’s a little gravelly quality too. Round, rich palate, with lots of chewy fruit quality and concentration, but still crisply delineated by fresh acidity and tight, focused fruit quality into the finish. Very good.
2001 Amberley Estate, Semillon £9.99 Buy 2 @ £6.99
Nuttier, toastier, hot buttered crumpet aromas with a waxy quality of buttery lemon fruit. Very attractive. Beautiful palate, softly layered with nutty flavours, smoke and butterscotch over medium-bodied lemony fruit. Weighty and long, this has fine balance and is delicious. Unoaked, but with a rounded, warming, toasty quality. Excellent.
2000 Riesling Ruppertsberg Pfalz £4.49 Buy 2 @ £3.74
Modest nose of honey and citrus, with a little peachy, creamy note. Just off-dry, there’s a searing core of lemony acidity against sweet, musky, peachy fruit. Quite elegant, but simple and only moderately long. Good.
1996 Piesporter Goldtröpchen Kabinett, Weller-Lehnert £4.99
Quite distinctive nettly quality on the nose; lots of herbal character over ripe apple fruit. Off-dry, with sweet grape flavour, as well as crisp apple and asian pear. Medium weight, and the finish has plenty of citrus zip. Good/very good.
1991 Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett, Christoffel Prüm £4.99
Distinctly mineral quality here, with undertones of petrol and wax, a little green bean, vegetal quality. Off-dry again, the fruit is modest, with a mineral core of acidity dominating on the palate. Pleasant stuff, with a balanced finish, but lacking a little fruit. Good.
1997 Trierer Deutschherrenberg Spätlese, Deutschherren-Hof £5.49
Modest herbal nose over orchard fruits. Medium-sweet, with a clean mineral sense over crisp green apple, granny smith flavours. Quite good length, but lacks complexity. Good.
2001 Rosé d’Anjou, La Jaglerie, France £3.49
Delicate pale pink, with an attractive soft nose of strawberry fruit, and a confectionery and floral lift. Quite vibrant on the palate; just off-dry, with a cherry and sweet strawberry fruitiness and moderate acidity. A bit sweetie-commercial in style, but easy-sipping garden rosé and only 11% alcohol. Good.
2001 Côtes du Ventoux, Le Passe Colline, Rhône, France £3.99
Subtle nose, with a gravelly quality and some raspberry fruit. The palate is dry and a bit flat, with a slightly alcoholic astringency on the finish. Moderate.
2001 Abbaye de Sylva, Plana Faugeres France £4.99
Nicer nose, with an added edge of herbal complexity to stony, gravelly aromas and modest red fruit. Perhaps a little bitter stalkiness on the palate, but quite grippy and has character. Dry. Good.
2001 Château Guiot, Costières de Nîmes, France £4.99 Buy 2 @ £4.49
A little more sweetness and brighter focus here, with strawberry fruit and a hint of pleasant earthiness. The palate has moderate berry fruit, and a fine core of citrussy acidity. Quite long, and very good.
2001 Chiaretto, Cavalchina, Italy £4.99 Buy 6 Italian save 15% £4.24
Rounded, creamy, much softer nose, with lots of herbs, flint and good fruit. Nicely weighted fruity palate too, with lots of cherry and raspberry flavours and good acidity. Very good.
2001 Rioja Rosado, Muga, Spain £5.99 Buy 2 @ £4.99
Cream, flowers, and a warming impression of sweet strawberry pulp. There’s a decent weight of fruit on the palate, that is peachy and soft, with red fruits and a hint of rose-hip. Modest length, and could do with a bit more acidity to freshen, but good.
2001 Château Méaume, Bordeaux, France £5.49
Vibrant pink colour, with a slightly odd, oily-fish quality on the nose, but also quite rich fruit. The palate is very dry, with tart raspberry fruit and a touch of lemon. Quite long and clean as a whistle, but not my cup of tea really. Good.
2001 Château de Sours, Bordeaux, France £6.99
Sweet and instantly intense, with a fine quality of strawberry fruit and a little hint of fudge. Mouthfilling, fresh, vibrant fruit on the palate, with a lovely quality of ripeness, good balance. A rosé with emphatic character. Very good indeed.
2001 Sancerre Rosé, Domaine Roger Neveu, Loire, France £7.99
Fascinating nose of herbs, nettles, vivid, soft strawberry fruit and a hint of mineral and earth. Pure, zippy red fruits on the palate crisply constrained by citrus acidity. Tangy and a bit of complexity. Very good.
2001 Sancerre Rosé la Guiberte, Alain Gueneau, Loire, France £9.99
There’s an earthy, almost slightly animal complexity on the nose of this 100% Pinot Noir rosé. On the palate a great thrust of grapefruity acidity overpower nettle and herbal flavours, then some earthy strawberry fruit emerges. Decent length. Good/very good.
2001 Beaujolais Villages Domaine de la Plaigne £5.99 Buy 2 @ £5.49
Real strawberry pulp juiciness about this, with hints of cranberry and redcurrant. Quite a dry, earthy palate, with some tannic heft underpinning soft fruit and a balanced, medium-length finish. Very good.
2000 Morgon Printemps Georges Duboeuf £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.49
Creamy, soft, slightly tobacco-tinged berry fruits. The palate has fine weight and plenty of smooth, fine, juicy red fruits. Dry and quite savoury, the finish is moderately long in this stylish, well-made Beaujolais. Very good.
2001 Morgon Jean Descombes Georges Duboeuf £7.49 Buy 2 @ £6.49
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. Excellent.
2000 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains Cave Co-op Buxy £3.99
Quite a crisp, lively, raspberry-fresh nose. Just a hint of earthiness. The palate is moderately fruity, with a suggestion of sweet strawberry ripeness and decent length. This is balanced and really a very nice example of Passetoutgrains – a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir. Good/very good.
2000 Mâcon St-Gengoux £4.99 Buy 2 @ £4.49
This is a 100% gamay wine from the southern part of Burgundy, before hitting Beaujolais. It is a tiny bit reductive, then some charcoally, minerally notes and raspberry fruit. There is decent, gently sweet red fruit on the palate, with moderate tannins and a food-friendly dry finish. Good/very good.
1999 Marsannay Louis Latour £7.49
Sweet cherry and vanillin, fudge notes. A nice sweetness of fruit. The palate is balanced and moderate, with red fruit and some creaminess. It is ripe and has decent weight, in a very soft, easy-drinking style. Good/very good.
2000 Chassagne-Montrachet Blain-Gagnard £10.99 on offer £9.99
There’s a definite sweetness about the nose, with creamy strawberry, smoke and vanilla, as well as spicy nuances. It has good fruit on the palate, quite rounded berry flavours and a little leafy quality. Finishes with good length and balanced acidity. Very good.
2000 Pernand-Vergelesses Domaine Nicolas Rossignol £9.99
Very ripe fruit on the nose with lots of juicy raspberry and redcurrant, a little toffeed quality and a minty edge. This has good fruit on the palate that is quite savoury and pleasantly rough, with good tannins and acidity adding a nice bite. Quite long, and very good.
2000 Aloxe Corton Domaine Rossignol Jeanniard £13.99
Slightly stalky/woody quality about this, then some raspberry fruit. The palate is rather acidic, without enough flesh about the mid-palate before spicy, smoky elements broaden the finish. There’s a rather under-fruited quality about this, but I do wonder if the bottle was a touch corked. Good.
1999 Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Marc Roy £14.99
Some nice, earthy, damp leaves and mushroomy complexity about this, with sweet oak notes and soft, rich fruit beneath. The palate has good weight and a rounded, juicy fruit quality. Finishes well, with good structure and plenty of power, if only moderate length. A wine I’m familar with over several vintages, and this is the best yet. Very good.
2001 Cuvée de Richard Red VdP de l’Aude £2.89
Displays plenty of jammy, fresh red fruit on the nose. The palate is zesty and crisp, with zippy strawberry and red cherry fruit, gentle acidity and a soft, easy-drinking finish. This is turning out to be a very reliable quaffer over the past couple of years.
2001 Cuvée des Amandiers VdP d’Oc £2.99
Quite a nice, rounded, soft and creamy fruit quality with jammy strawberry sweetness. Good fruit on the palate, with good balance and plenty of easy-drinking quality. Very good.
2001 Domaine Plantade Syrah Merlot VdP d’Oc £4.49 Buy 2 @ £3.99
Cherry sweets and round, jammy, slightly bubble-gummy fruit. Lots of ripe berries. Nice herbal edge to the fruit on the palate, although just a touch of hollowness about the mid-palate, but then that rounded, concentrated ripeness of fruit pushes through. Good/very good.
2001 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes £4.99 Buy 2 @ £4.49
Really quite creamy and brightly-focused, with a thick jammy sweetness and just a little note of schisty minerals. The palate has a leathery, savoury streak and good tannins, which along with good acidity leaves this a little sinewy, but the components are of very good quality and this might well come together nicely. Very good.
2001 Terra Vitis Corbières £4.99
Very jammy, aromatic, rose-hip and floral nuanced raspberry fruit, and even a gooseberry character. A little drying on the palate, perhaps lacking a touch of flesh, but there is decent sweet fruit and a finish that is moderately long and balanced. Good/very good.
2000 Faugères Abbaye Sylva Plana La Closeraie £6.49 Buy 2 @ £5.99
Tiny bit of sulphur blows off to reveal a good quality of schisty, quite powerful cherry-edged black fruits and a peppery note. The palate is fruity and bold, with a ripe, sweet quality of fruit and plenty of savoury acidity and balanced tannins. Quite long, and very good/very good indeed.
2000 La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Ventoux, Perrin £4.99 Buy 2 @ £4.49
Modest, raspberry-fruited nose. A little note of herbs and redcurrants. Decent palate, with fresh, clean, raspberry fruit and crisp acidity. Tannins are soft, but this is fresh, light and savoury. Good/very good.
2000 Beaumes de Venise La Chapelle Nôtre Dame £5.49 Buy 2 @ £4.99
Very aromatic and sweet on the nose, with an almost minty quality and some vanillin overtones to black fruit. Good sweet attack on the palate, with a nice quality of fruit, medium weight, and a nice, fresh, lip-smacking finish with good tannin/acid balance. Very good.
2000 Sablet Domaine de Piaugier £5.99 Buy 2 @ £5.49
Sablet is one of the top Côtes du Rhône Villages, and this wine has a classy touch of briarwood and old roses about the nose, with good red fruit quality. The creamy palate is medium weight, with quite a rich texture and a thick, sweet fruit quality. There’s a touch of pepperiness into the finish, and good length with dry tannins. Very good indeed.
2000 Vacqueyras Cave de Beaumes de Venise £5.99 Buy 2 @ £5.49
Definite cherry fruit here with a nice edge of minerality. A bit lightweight on the palate, with fine balance and a very pleasant, correct style, but just a little bland. Good/very good.
2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Grandes Serres £8.99 on offer £8.49
There’a mint humbug and fudgy sweetness of new oak here over ripe fruits, with plenty of cherry and a hint of chocolate-coated berries. The palate is bold, big and dustily dry, with powerful tannins gripping damson and black fruits. Powerful, and just a tad disjointed at present, but fine quality componenets and should come together very nicely. Very good/very good indeed.
2000 Gigondas Domaine des Chênes Blancs £9.99 on offer £8.99
Quite earthy, with a nose of red berries, a touch of woodsmoke and some herbal nuances. Sweet, ripe, chunky red and black fruits on the palate, with a little leathery character and solid, chocolaty depth. Good quality and balanced by fine tannins and acidity. Very good/very good indeed.
2000 Château de Nardon Bordeaux Supérieur £5.49 Buy 2 @ £4.99
Nice, ripe, raspberry and blackcurrant nose, with a little hint of cedar. Quite powerful, and good fruit, though needs food as the dry palate has a very dominant tannin/acid axis that rather blunts the finish. Good/very good.
1999 Moulin de la Lagune Haut-Médoc £12.99 on offer £10.99
Second wine of 3rd growth Château La Lagune. Some sweet, fudge-like, minty oak quality dominating black fruit. Quite svelte on the palate, with smooth, juicy, blackcurrant fruit and balanced tannins. Modest length, but quite classy. Very good.
1998 Château Grand Faurie Larose St-Emilion GC £13.99 on offer £12.99
Pleasantly herbal edge to quite a meaty nose, with cedar, black fruit and a touch of tobacco. Nice complexity. Dense, smooth, chocolaty black fruits on the palate, with good texture and juicy acidity leaving a long, cool finish. Very good indeed.
1997 Château La Grave Figeac St-Emilion GC £16.99 on offer £14.99
Rounded, ripe, quite lush nose of sweet berry and plum fruit and a background of creamy vanillin. Very nice palate, with lots of creamy blackcurrant, some tart raspberry edges, and underpinned by smooth tannins. Very good indeed. Same owners as Châteaux Nenin and L’Evangile in Pomerol.
1998 Les Pagodes de Cos St-Estèphe £17.99 on offer £15.99
Second wine of 2nd growth Château Cos d’Estournel. There’s a classy hallmark St-Estèphe quality about this, with plenty of meaty, animal, gamy complexity, leather, plum and blackcurrant fruit. The palate has a creamy texture and nice sense of sweet, thick fruit. There are fine tannins, good acids and a lovely ripe, long finish. Very good indeed.
1999 Duque de Viseu Dao £4.99 Buy 2 @ £4.49
Intriguing nose, with tobacco, almonds, minerals and zippy red fruits. There are little notes of blackurrant too. Good quality here, with a palate displaying some custardy sweetness, good fruit, fine tannins and a sense of poise and balance. Very good.
1999 Duas Quintas Tinto Douro £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.99
Soft, earthy black fruit and autumnal berry aromas, with hints of tobacco and spice. Round, rich and satisfyingly chewy palate of robust, earthy berry fruits and key tannins. Weighty and nicely textured, this is long and balanced. Very good indeed.
NV Protocolo Tinto Dominio de Eguren £3.99 Buy 2 @ £3.49
Immediately vanillin nose with full-on new-sawn aromas (probably from staves or chips rather than barrels). Lots of mint-humbuggy intensity. There is creamy, chewy, berry fruit on the palate that is rich and opulent, with gently tannins and acidity leading to a big, easy-drinking mouthful of wine for the money. Very good.
1997 Rioja Reserva Viña Alberdi £9.99 on offer £8.99
Layers of depth and complexity here, with custardy oak, spice, sweet nutty aromas and warm, earthy, berry fruit. The palate has juicy damson and blackberry fruit, a raft of soft tannins and little hints of coffee and rose-hips. Quite long, this finishes with balance and some style. Very good indeed.
15% off any six Italian wines priced £3 or over. Discounted price is also shown.
2000 Valpolicella Terre del Sole Pasqua £3.99 – £3.39
Vibrant, juicy cherry fruit; quite bright and light, with a sherbetty quality. The palate is modestly fruited, with red berries and chewy tannins, but quite a juicy, supple finish. Good/very good.
1999 Chianti DOCG Casellino Fratelli Grati £4.49 – £3.82
Light, herbal, juicy cherry fruit with a hint of raspberry and leafy redcurrants. Sweet, light, zippy fruit on the palate with good acidity adding a tart, food-friendly sense of savouriness. Good/very good.
2001 Bardolino Cavalchina Estate £4.99 – £4.24
I found this bottle very sulphury and reductive.
2000 Valpolicella Classico Santepietre £4.99 – £4.24
Light, sweet, slightly soapy nose with soft strawberry fruit emerging and a hint of minerality. Quite a nice palate here, with ripe red fruits, clean, precise cherry flavours, and moderate tannins and acids into a pure, fresh finish. Very good.
2000 Cabernet Montello, Venegazzu Loredan Gasparini £5.49 – £4.67
There’s an attractively dank, vegetal quality here of leafy black fruits, but it is very fine. Chewy, medium-bodied blackcurrant and lightly toffeed savoury fruit. Decent balance and length, and that fruit sweetness persists into the finish. Very good/very good indeed.
2000 Barbera d’Asti Alfredo Prunotto £5.99 – £5.09
Cherry and currant fruit, little hints of woodsmoke, herbs and earthy, damp leaves. Nice quality of medium-bodied, juicy red fruits suggesting cherry and redcurrant. Nice wine, with decent length and ripe tannins adding savouriness, along with pleasantly sour acidity. Very good.
1999 Rosso Conero Conti Cortesi £5.99 – £5.09
Quite elegant nose of velvety fruit, some blackcurrant and a touch of bittersweet dark chocolate. Quite dense and chunky, this has plenty of stuffing and character, and though only moderately long, has balance and great appeal. Very good.
2000 Santa Christina Antinori £5.99 – £5.09
From the heart of the Chianti Classico area, this adds 10% Cabernet Sauvignon to Sangiovese. It has a very sweet, rounded, quite custardy oak quality on the nose over moderate fruit. The palate is sweet, clean and very stylish, with well-defined cherry fruit flavours and a touch of toastiness into a long, elegant finish. Very good.
2000 Chianti Classico Banfi £7.99 – £6.79
A lovely warmth of briarwood and tobacco on the nose over cherry fruit. Lots of crisp acidity on the palate, with keen-edged cherries and a light-bodied juiciness. Savoury, with elegant length, this is a modern but restrained style that is solid, but doesn’t really excite. Good/very good.
1999 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, Righetti £7.99 – £6.79
Some sweet vanillin oak softens bold, black cherry fruit and jammy blackurrant notes. Very juicy and ripe, with lovely sweetness of plum and cherry, a suggestion of prune and fig. Balanced and very delicious, this has fine quality. Very good indeed/excellent.
2000 Barbera d’Alba delle Vigne Vecchie De Forville £8.99 – £7.64
Big, deep, full oak nose with nuts, custard and hints of coffee. There’s a really toffeed sweetness of oaky dark fruits on the palate, that is deep and warm with jammy ripeness and impressive style. Good balance and very good indeed.
1999 Poderuccio Camigliano Tuscany £8.99 – £7.64
Big, powerful, earthy nose of dank woodland, briarwood and cherry. Juicy, dry, beautifully delineated fruit on the palate that whilst thick and sweet, has a plummy depth and savoury blueberry quality. Lovely tannins and good length. Very good indeed/excellent.
2000 Rosso di Montalcino Banfi £9.99 – £8.49
Nose of sweet, ripe, dark brown sugar and chocolate-coated cherry and blackcurrant fruit. Hints of pleasant mushroomy notes. The palate has broad, soft, juicy black fruit and tart cherry skins with ripe tannins and good balance. Very good indeed.
1997 Barolo La Mora £13.99 – £11.89
A little dumb at first, this has a suggestion of chestnuts, sweet, damp earth, then firm black fruits. The palate displays much more sweetness and openness, though firm tannins and a rasping acidity cut in on the finish. This may improve and become more intergated, but it seems a bit unbalanced. Only good for now, but possibly deserves better.
1999 Aglianico del Vulture Val del Trono £9.99 – £8.49
Fine quality of juicy black cherries, minerals, briar and polished old wood, some deep, smoky notes. Dense and chewy palate, with very sweet-edged black fruits. Keen acidity again, giving an edge to the fruit, and ripe tannins kick in on the savoury finish. Very good/very good indeed.
1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Tedeschi £12.99 – £11.04
Loaded with sweet, dense, black cherry, damson and dried plum fruit on the nose, there is also an underlying suggestion of dusty, dry earthiness. Very dense. The palate has a bittersweet quality, with sweet fruit edged by charcoally nuances and tart cherry acidity. There is plenty of power and depth here, with good tannins and lots of spice in the finish. Very good/very good indeed.
1995 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Cà del Pipa £15.99 – £13.59
Distinctive, high, licquorice, truffle, dried-fruit and currant elements on the nose. Quite complex. The palate is concentrated and has a beautifully sweet edge to raisins, cherry, kirsch and chocolate. A real chocolaty, fudgy depth emerges on the mid-palate, with dried berries and tight tannins into a long finish. Very good indeed.
1995 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Cà del Pipa Le Vigne £17.99 – £15.29
This is the single-vineyard version of the wine above. Enhanced, almost Porty richness with sweet dried cherries and chocolate. Sweet and dark flavours flood the palate, with bitter espresso, blueberry and more cherry fruit. Silky and mouthfilling, a substantial weight of plum and dark, sweet fruit is bolstered by good acidity and gentle tannins into the finish. Very good indeed.
2000 La Mira Merlot Rapel Valley £3.99 on offer £3.79
Slightly dank, tinned tomato note at first, but then an infusion of sweeter fruit. The palate has drying tannins, but again there is a ripeness about the fruit and decent balance. A fine quaffing wine in the end. Good.
2000 Vistasur Merlot Rapel Valley £4.99 Buy 6 Vistasur save 15% £4.24
More depth here, and a more herbal, aromatic quality. Modest fruit on the palate, but pleasant and correct, with a reasonably long finish. Good.
2000 La Mira Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley £3.99 on offer £3.79
Charcoally nose and suffused with sweet cherry and blackcurrant fruit. Quite creamy and ripe on the palate, this has good fruit quality and fine, savoury tannins. There’s a purity about this, and it finishes stylishly. Very good.
2000 Vistasur Cabernet Cachapoal Valley £4.99 Buy 6 save 15% £4.24
More fudgy oak sweetness here, with a slick of vanilla wrapping black fruits, which have a ripe cassis quality. The palate is cool, with medium weight and good quality of fruit. Quite dense and ripe, tempered by chewy tannins and some solid structure. Quite long, and very good.
2000 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir £10.99 on offer – will be £11.99
Scented nose, with a perfume of flowers, violets, smoke, vanilla and a truffly undercurrent. Rich in the mouth, with a silky quality to the fruit, but then firm tannins adding some backbone. Quite a tight, structured, chewy palate with good length. Balanced finish. Very good.
2000 Montes “Limited Selection” Pinot Noir £7.49 Buy 2 @ £6.99
Much more obvious, flashy toast on the nose, with French oak complexity over cherry fruit with a touch of briar. The fruit is a little underpowered onto the palate, though it finishes with warmth and a bit of tannic structure. Good/very good.
1999 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon £9.99 Buy 2 @ £8.99
Dominated by sweet, mint-humbuggy, toasty oak over plush blackcurrant fruit. The sweet and rich cassis palate shows no shortage of concentration, with deep, silky fruit and texture melting into a chocolate-rich finish. Sweet, luscious and delicious. Very good indeed.
1998 Montes Alpha Merlot Curico Valley £9.99 Buy 2 @ £8.99
Subdued nose compared to the Cabernet, but still sweet, deep and fudge-like quality to the fruit. A great density about the palate, with thick fruit and chewy concentration of plummy depth. Dense, savoury and lush, this is impressive again and very good indeed.
2000 Montes Alpha Syrah Apalta Valley £11.99
Super-ripe nose of chocolate, mulberry, mint and coffee, with a great swathe of black fruit. The palate doesn’t quite deliver that volume, but has plenty of punch and heft, with sweet blackcurranty fruit and balancing ripe tannins and acids. Good length and very good/very good indeed.
1999 Casa Lapostolle – Cuvée Alexandre Merlot £14.99 on offer £12.99
Another fine showing for a wine I’ve raved about in several vintages, with copious quantities of thick, sweet, jammy black fruits, hints of damson and bitter cocoa, dry tannins and a multi-layered texture. Dense, soft and long in the finish with sweet tannins, this is very good indeed/excellent.
Buy any six Lindemans Bins 65, 45 or 50 and save 33%, Buy any six Rosemount for £30
2000 Tyrrell’s Old Winery Pinot Noir £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.99
Massively creamy nose, with a concentration of sweet, fudge-like oak and dense, dark, black fruits. No shrinking violet. Sweet, ripe fruit palate, not too jammy, with sufficient savoury tannin and juicy acidity to counteract all that smooth, rich fruit and decent length. Maybe not a Burgundian style, but very good.
1999 Pirramimma Cabernet McLaren Vale £7.99 Buy 2 @ £6.49
This has a bright, juicy, raspberry tinge to ripe blackcurrant fruit. There’s an underpinning sweetness of oak. Rich, full palate of dense black fruit, with fine blackcurrant richness and cool, composed finish. Very good.
1999 Pirramimma Reserve Cabernet McLaren Vale £9.99 Buy 2 @ £7.99
There’s a terrifically rich, super-ripe, super-concentrated mulberry and eucalyptus depth here, with cherry fruit and lots of sweet, thick, juicy cassis. The palate is dense and bold, with good weight and a solid background of toffeed oak. Very rich and mouthfilling, this is hedonistic in style and very good/very good indeed.
1998 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet £9.99 Buy 3 save 33.3% £6.66
Big, savoury, rich mulberry and cassis nose. Plenty of oomph and stuffing here. The quality of fruit on the palate is pure and bold, with a firm backbone of ripe tannins and lots of purity of flavour. Good length, and very good.
1999 Amberley Estate Cabernet Merlot £9.99 Buy 2 @ £7.99
There’s a nice red cherry and raspberry hint of light and elegance about the nose, though no lack of blockbuster ripe, dark fruit too. It just has a little suggestion of being nicely tempered and restrained. The palate too is fine, with broad, rich fruit, but avoids any sense of being cloying through spritely acidity and crisp tannins. Very good indeed.
1998 Pirramimma Petit Verdot McLaren Vale £8.99 Buy 2 @ £7.99
Classic sweet oak, spice and pepper nose with lots of clove, cinnamon and crushed blackberry. The palate has a touch of leather, but then a full, creamy, ripe black fruit quality takes over with the sweetness of the fruit playing nicely against dry tannins and moderate acidity. A very impressive example of Petit Verdot. Very good indeed.
2000 Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz £5.99 Buy 6 £3.99
Slightly non-descript nose after the impressive Pirramimma, but decent fruit quality. Palate is juicy and has good black cherry and plum fruit, and quite a stylish appeal with fine tannins and good acid balance. Very good.
1999 Oxford Landing Y Series Shiraz £6.99
This has a very, very fine nose of ripe, eucalyptus-tinged, minty black fruit with a dense, chocolaty weight. The palate is a little more restrained, with medium body and a nice peppery zip to black fruits. There is good balance, with ripe tannis and a depth of fruit flavour into the finish. Very good/very good indeed.
2000 Rosemount Estate Shiraz £7.49 £5.00
Fantastically sweet, lifted, crowd-pleasing nose with juicy ripe berries, a jammy quality and no edges. The palate offers more of the same, with plenty of ripe blackcurrant fruit and an almost confectionery sweetness. Some will like the style more than me I’m sure, but still good/very good.
1999 Kangarilla Road Shiraz McLaren Vale £8.99 Buy 2 @ £7.99
There’s a deep vein of chunky, broad, blue/black fruit with only a background suggestion of oak. Jammy and sweet on the palate, there is blackurrant and pepper, with a great dark sweetness of ripe tannin and balanced, juicy acidity. Delicious to drink and very good indeed.
1999 Pirramimma Stocks Shiraz McLaren Vale £6.99 Buy 2 @ £5.99
Bouyant, juicy, cherry-cola and sweet fudge on the nose. Quite ripe and sweet onto the palate, with a moderate toasty background and plenty of svelte blackberry and redcurrant fruit. There’s just a suggestion of bittersweet plumskin and chocolate. Long, and very nice quality and balance for the price. Very good indeed.
1999 Pirramimma Premium Shiraz McLaren Vale £9.99 Buy 2 @ £7.99
Big, much more oaky nose than the regular Shiraz. Toasty, custardy opulence, with notes of toffee and chocolate. The palate is big and chunky, though perhpas a touch astringent; over-extracted? There is plenty of power and ripeness, but I feel this is a tad unbalanced and actually prefer the cheaper bottling. Still, very good.
Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana Hidalgo £6.99 on offer – will be £7.99
Aged in American oak butts and aged for 10 years before release. There’s a mass of walnut, butter, raisins and a hint of tangerine peel. Bone dry on the palate, this is elegant with a walnut-shell dryness and a touch of flinty acidity. Long, pure and tangy into the finish. Very good indeed.