AS THE standard of the tasting was extremely high, readers should feel confident with all starred wines.


Chateau La Rose Chevrol 1989, Fronsac, pounds 4.99, Sandiway Wine, Cheshire (0606 882101). PB's favourite, and close to being NB's and mine, too. Highly aromatic merlot nose, mature, almost raspberry-like fruitiness, like a mini-St Emilion.

Chateau de Parenchere 1989, Bordeaux Superieur, pounds 4.69, Asda. Very different, this was NB's top and SC's joint-top wine for its youthful damsony nose and concentrated, 'serious' style; a fine, austere claret, needing time to soften.

Tollana Black Label 1990 South East Australia Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 4.99, Thresher, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack. Deep purple and 'brilliant nose', thought PB, one of the most intensely flavoured in the ripe Australian blackcurrant-and-vanilla-oak styles.

Errazuriz 1992 Maule Valley Merlot, pounds 4.89, Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up. This classy Chilean merlot was my New World favourite. Grassy, peppery aromas with succulent flavour.

Chateau de Monreceuil 1989, Cotes de Castillon, pounds 4.99, Noble Rot, Bromsgrove (0527 575606). An austere, claret style with good underlying fruit and classically dry finish.


Concha y Toro Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 3.65, Waitrose. Appealing, easy- drinking, soft berry fruitiness with good acid/tannin structure. Exceptional value.

Montana Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon 1991, pounds 4.99, Oddbins, Tesco, Victoria Wine, Thresher, Fullers. Herbaceous cabernet franc-style bouquet with intense fruit.

Seaview 1990 South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 3.99, coming soon to Oddbins. Sweet American oak and blackcurrant pastilles. MS loved it, PB hated it.

Special Reserve Claret 1989, Fronsac, pounds 4.75, Waitrose. Typical merlot/cabernet aromas with austere blackcurrant character.

Chateau Gossin 1990, Bordeaux Superieur, pounds 4.49, Noble Rot, Bromsgrove. Simple, straightforward, attractively blackcurranty claret from the giant Rauzan co-operative, finishing just a little rustic and short.

Orlando 1989 South East Australia Bin 37 Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 4.99, Marks & Spencer. Nicely balanced medium-weight aromatic wine whose soft, blackcurrant jam fruit and deft touch of oak was particularly favoured by AR and MS.


Hardy's Nottage Hill 1991 South East Australia Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 3.99, Augustus Barnett. MS liked the sweet cassis fruit and alcoholic warmth while SC declared it was commercial, yet simple. Good value none the less.

Domaine de Rivoyre Cabernet Sauvignon 1991, pounds 3.99, Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up; and, as Cabernet Sauvignon Vin de Pays d'Oc, pounds 3.99, Waitrose. This non- claret French joker in the pack had a pleasant, slightly grassy cabernet bouquet with a light touch of oak and fresh fruit. Good value.

Trapiche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1990, pounds 2.99. This soft, Argentinian red with its unusual liquorice/tarry note did not quite make the one-star grade, but gets a special mention for its price.

We also tasted but were disappointed with: Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 1989; Russe Bulgarian Cabernet Sauvignon 1988; Chateau Laurencon 1990 Bordeaux Superieur; Chateau Beausejour 1988, Bordeaux Superieur.