FOOD & DRINK / Grapevine: Kathryn McWhirter's pick of the month's best buys

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
THREE years ago you'd have been best advised to avoid Gateway's wine departments. But since the appointment of a new buyer two years ago, the quality of their wines has been vastly upgraded and they now range from sound to very good indeed. Gateway's new up-market sister-chain, Somerfield, stocks the whole range of 300, while Gateway, Food Giant and David Greg have smaller selections. (Wines labelled 'Somerfield' may also be available in the other outlets mentioned.)

WHITES

*** 1987 Chablis, Cave des Vignerons de Chablis, Somerfield ( pounds 6.95). Rich, honeyed, flowery-grassy Chablis at a very fair price.

*** 1983 Oestricher Doosberg Riesling Kabinett, Schloss Schonborn ( pounds 4.99). Mature, honeyed German wine with a refreshing acidity.

** 1990 Somontano Montisierra Blanco ( pounds 2.99 until 17 August, then pounds 3.25). Crisp, lemony, floral and honeyed, unusually characterful Spanish white from the Pyrenean foothills.

* Baden Dry ( pounds 3.25). Honeyed and crisp, with gentle exotic fruit flavours.

* 1991 Bairrada Branco, Caves Alianca ( pounds 3.15). Appealingly fragrant, orangey, flowery wine from Portugal.

* 1991 Pinot Grigio del Veneto, Pasqua, Somerfield ( pounds 2.89). Excellent value, with food or without, light, spicy, lemony, musky Italian.

REDS

*** 1988 Raimat Tempranillo ( pounds 6.49). Rich, plummy, savoury Spanish red with toasty oak flavour.

* 1991 Merlot, Domaine de la Magdelaine, Vin de Pays des Collines de la Moure ( pounds 2.95). Very fruity, claret-like red with a hint of chocolatey flavour, for food.

* 1991 Oak-aged Syrah, Vin de Pays d'Oc ( pounds 2.85). Dark, spicy, raspberry fruit with hints of coffee and leather and firm tannin that requires food.

* 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon del Veneto, Pasqua ( pounds 3.25). Light but richly flavoured, grassily aromatic Cabernet made near Venice.

OTHER BEST BUYS THIS MONTH

DRY WHITES UNDER pounds 3

** 1991 Rowan Brook Sauvignon, Chile ( pounds 2.99 Asda). Remarkably full for this price, fresh, crisp and fruity.

* 1991 Culemborg Colombard, South Africa ( pounds 2.99 Waitrose). Well balanced, crisp, and fruity, reminiscent of apples and quinces.

REDS UNDER pounds 3

** 1991 Domaine des Fontaines, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Cepage Merlot ( pounds 2.85 Waitrose). Wonderful value, with concentrated cherry and plum fruit.

** Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Quercy Rouge ( pounds 2.95 Co-op). Lively, with a touch of tannin and strawberry fruit and an earthy and smoky character.

WHITES UNDER pounds 5

** 1991 Domaine Lapeyrouse Grenache en Vert, Corbieres ( pounds 3.99 Majestic). Fresh and fruity, with hints of lavender, lemon and spice.

** 1991 Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d'Oc, HDR Wines ( pounds 4.99 Sainsbury's). Young, pineappley, with a hint of oak.

REDS UNDER pounds 5

** 1990 Bourgeuil, Domaine du Petit Souper ( pounds 4.95 Fullers). Concentrated red, raspberry and grassy flavours.

** 1990 Berri Estates South Australian Cabernet Shiraz ( pounds 4.29 Augustus Barnett). Ripe blackcurrant and raspberry flavours, with a hint of leather.

** 1987 Raimat Abadia ( pounds 4.99 Co-op, Leos). Rich, blackcurranty and a strong flavour of new oak.

Comments