Food & drink: Wines of the Week

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The Independent Culture

1998 Fairview Chardonnay pounds 4.99, Co-op (reduced from pounds 5.99 until 16 January). Intensely flavoured chardonnay from the Cape made by Charles Back at Fairview, with smoky oak and toffee-fudge aromatic overtones and rich butterscotch and raisin fruit, topped off by crisp, refreshing acidity. I doubt whether it's possible to get more flavour for your rands at this price.


1996 Poggio A'Frati Chianti Classico Riserva, pounds 9.99, Waitrose.

As chianti classico in general, and riservas in particular, start to hit the price stratosphere, it's encouraging that sense prevails in some quarters, notably this smoothly textured chianti with its liquorice and oak, spice bouquet and deliciously textured, cherryish fruitiness.