HUGH Ryman, English wine guru with his team of itinerant Australian winemakers, was also in Spain for the first time last vintage. His Santara white and red come from the lovely, green, rolling countryside of the little-known Conca de Barbara region not far from Barcelona. *1993 Santara Dry Red ( pounds 2.79 Majestic and from late June, pounds 2.99 Oddbins, Thresher, Wine Rack and Bottoms Up) is a soft, very fruity young red with fresh, plummy fruit, a hint of almond and just a touch of tannin, and the *1993 Santara Dry White ( pounds 2.79 Majestic) is very attractive, appley and aromatic. Another delicious Ryman white, this time from the South of France, is **1992 Chardonnay, Domaine de la Tuilerie, Vin de Pays d'Oc ( pounds 3.99 Victoria Wine, Gateway and Somerfield). And Safeway has his *1993 Oak- matured Hincesti Chardonnay ( pounds 2.99) from Moldova, soft and buttery-oaky - this will benefit from six months' maturation, though it's nice now. The pineappley, deliciously fruity 1993 vintage of **Gyongyos Estate Chardonnay ( pounds 3.49 Davisons, Sainsbury's, Safeway, Majestic, Unwins, Somerfield and William Low, pounds 2.99 special offer at Majestic from 31 May ) is also made by a member of Hugh Ryman's team. More delicious still (and rather more expensive), made by yet another Australian, Brian Walsh, is the ***1992 La Porcii Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d'Oc ( pounds 5.99 selected Tesco), which is crisp, minty and slightly grassy, with lovely fruit and subtle oak.
A DELICIOUS new summery red wine, *Merlot Cuvee Cathare, Vin de Pays d'Oc, is on offer at Victoria Wine Shops at pounds 2.99 until 6 June (after that date it will still be excellent value at pounds 3.29). This is remarkably rich wine for the price, ripely fruity, grassy and honeyed.Reuse content