Food & Drink: Wines of the Week

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The Independent Culture

1997 Delegat's Proprietor's Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, pounds 8.99, Safeway.

Like many of the Dalmatian settlers who came to New Zealand in the first half of the century, Nikola Delegat founded his winery in Auckland. Now his son and daughter, Jim and Rose, have created the Marlborough Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc label. This is a stylish, golden-hued chardonnay (left) that has rich, buttery overtones from oak fermentation. Its soft, voluptuous style of fruit with undertones of peach and nectarine is underscored by the clean-cut, lemony acidity so characteristic of New Zealand chardonnays.


1997 Delegat's Hawkes Bay Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 8.99, Safeway

ALSO FROM Hawkes Bay, the "Bordeaux of New Zealand", this is the red twin to Jim and Rose's chardonnay. It's a highly-polished blend, with delicately oaky, aromatic notes of vanilla and green pepper. The wine has good concentration of blackcurrant fruit and a ripe, Margaux-like stylishness.