Food & Drink: Bottles that reward a sense of adventure: Don't stop in France: Moldova and Chile can offer good, cheap wines, says Anthony Rose

Anyone for red burgundy? Moldovan pinot noir, known locally as pinot franc, has been there ever since the Tsars demanded something palatable to drink. My first taste of it was in the subterranean complex of Cricova in Moldova, which houses Hermann Goering's captured wine cellar. A French journalist piped up patronisingly that Moldovan pinot noir was not bad, but dismissed any comparison with red burgundy. The uncomplicated raspberry fruitiness of Sainsbury's Moldova Pinot Noir, Cricova (pounds 2.99) certainly beats burgundy on price and, given Western European input, Moldovan pinot could develop into something more exciting.

Red burgundy from Chile? Cono Sur may sound like a limp pun dreamt up by a tired copywriter, but it is the name of one of Chile's best up-and-coming wine estates in Chimbarongo, producing good-value pinot noir. The 1993 Cono Sur Pinot Noir (pounds 4.49, Oddbins) is juicy-fruity with smooth raspberry character, while the more serious 1993 Cono Sur Pinot Noir Selection Reserve (pounds 5.99, Oddbins) is a weightier version with extra richness and spicy oak.

It is unusual for Burgundy's pinot noir and Bordeaux's cabernet sauvignon to coexist happily, but the 1992 Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon Selection Reserve (pounds 5.99, Oddbins) is equally good. Its classy vanilla oak is seamlessly integrated with concentrated blackcurrant-like fruit. These three wines will also be available at the Fuller's chain from the end of the month.

From Chile, a short hop across the border to Argentina and the Gauchos Lurton Cabernet Sauvignon (pounds 5.75, Tanners of Shrewsbury, 0743 232400). The gauchos in question are a dynamic French duo, Jacques Lurton and his brother Francois. Lots of spicy oak in no way detracts from the suppleness of texture and smooth, ripe blackcurrant fruit of this deep-coloured Argentinian red. Although the label does not carry a vintage, it is in fact 1992.

Peatlings, a traditional mail-order wine merchant based in Bury St Edmunds, has carried out its own bottling of some fancy 1992 burgundy domaine names at relatively unfancy prices - for burgundy. I would pass over the more rustic appellations and head for a mixed case of three of the best: the voluptuously fruity and spicily oaked 1992 Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru, Domaine de l'Arlot (pounds 11.99); a delightfully seductive, strawberryish 1992 Lucien Boillot Volnay 1er cru, Les Angles (pounds 11.99); and the loganberry-scented, youthful 1992 Lucien Boillot Gevrey-Chambertin (pounds 9.99), the firm tannins of which could do with an extra year in the bottle to soften.

Since tasting the 1992 Stellenzicht Noble Late Harvest Weisser Riesling (half-bottle, pounds 3.99, Victoria Wine) at the Wine Challenge in May I have been waiting for it to make an appearance in the shops. A unanimous panel agreed that only two sweet wines in a category spanning a pounds 3.99-pounds 70 price range were worthy of gold medals. This was one. A long time coming, but well worth the wait, this sweet, intensely flavoured wine, with its crystallised-citrus-fruit richness, is one of the year's great bargains.

At Thresher, Jon Woodriffe, an ex-Sainsbury's wine buyer, has unearthed a grand cru chablis, which is unusual not only for its under-pounds 10 price tag. The 1989 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros (pounds 9.99, Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up) is intensely flavoured, with lots of honeyed concentration, nutty richness and crisp acidity. Drink it now by all means or hang on to it for a year or two.

Chablis lovers will also enjoy the delicately honeyed, minerally edge of the unoaked 1992 Chablis Domaine de Vauroux (pounds 6.99, Fuller's), a real contrast in style to the grand cru. For a contrast in price, the 1994 Tesco Robertson Chardonnay (pounds 3.99) from South Africa has just started filtering into the bigger stores. With its lemon-fresh acidity and vanilla-tinged oak, it is restrained yet intensely flavoured.

Big Frank's Red (pounds 3.99, Victoria Wine, arriving this month) comes with a garish orange-and-burgundy label, which hardly does justice to the Polish-American winemaker Frank Chludinski, a painter of some distinction. On the other hand, like the man himself, accused of employing a French winemaker when his minervois won a local competition, Big Frank's Red is sure to make an impression. The wine, a peppery and spicy blend of mainly syrah with some grenache and carignan, is not too heavy, an ideal summer red.

From a cast list of more than 1,000 New World wines from 264 wineries tasted by an international panel in Sydney in January, the 1992 Cono Sur Cabernet Sauvignon Selection Reserve is one of the gold-medal winners to make it into the Sydney International Wine Competition's top 100 wines. Warren Mason, the organiser, who is taking the top 100 on a travelling roadshow around the world, stops off in London for four tastings at the Churchill Intercontinental between Friday 19 and Sunday 21 August, and a gourmet dinner on 22 August. Tickets (pounds 18 for tastings, pounds 50 for dinner) are available from Justin Sharpe, Australian Trade Commission, Australia House, London WC2B 4LA (071-887 5152).

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map