Food & Drink: Wines Of The Week

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The Independent Culture

1997 Savennieres Chateau Varennes, Chateau de Fesles, pounds 7.99, selected Unwins

The chenin blanc grape of the Loire Valley is at its best in Vouvray and the lesser-known appellation of Savennieres, where it makes rich, long-lived, bone-dry white wines.

From Chateau de Fesles, one of the best producers in the Anjou region, this is a classic example of chenin, both honeyed and rich but elegantly dry, with undertones of angelica spice and a lemon and grapefruit-like zestiness.


1997 Bright Brothers TFN Douro, pounds 6.99, selected Tesco stores

This is a blend of the two premium port grapes of the Douro Valley, touriga francesa and touriga nacional, made at Quinta des Frades by Australian Peter Bright, a man who has championed Portugal's grape varieties since going native over a decade ago.

There's plenty of smoky, vanilla oak here infusing the powerful jam and damson fruitiness with an extra dimension of spice and a good smoothness of texture.