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Less showy and concentrated than the heat-affected 2003s, the 2004 vintage has that extra nip of fresh and vibrant acidity. This southern French red from close to the Pyrenees is a young, typically spicy and blackberryish glugger.

Under a Tenner: 2003 Yering Station Chardonnay, Yarra Valley £9.99, Majestic

The cool climate of Australia's Yarra Valley helps keep chardonnay restrained and melon-like. Wine makers can exploit this crisp acidity for burgundian-style rich, creamy-textured fruitiness and complexity.

Splash Out: Drappier Carte D'or Champagne NV, £10.99 down from £17.99, Co-op (offer ends tomorrow)

Remarkably full-flavoured and refreshing champagne from the family firm of Drappier in the Aube region. The bronze-pink little beauty is dominated by pinot noir's raspberryish, summery flavours.

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