Wines Of The Week


1998 Hardy's Banrock Station Chardonnay, pounds 3.49, on special offer until next Saturday (normally pounds 3.99), Sainsbury's, Somerfield

Gold medals are not handed out lightly at the International Wine Challenge and most wines that do strike gold cost a tenner or more. Every year there's the odd exception that proves the rule. This year it's a modestly priced, lightly oaked, tropically fruity blockbuster of a chardonnay which finds itself, possibly to its producer's surprise, in the illustrious company of premier cru chablis and Batard-Montrachet.


1998 Simonsvlei Reserve Shiraz, pounds 4.99, Safeway

This co-operative-turned-wine company near Paarl in the Cape keeps improving under the stewardship of cellarmaster Phillip Louw, who, in this vintage, has produced a typically robust, toasty-oaky shiraz full of earthy, spicy black fruit flavours. One for Indian summer char-grills on the barbecue, if we should be so lucky.