Food & Drink: Wines of the Week

THE Australian wine mentioned in this week's main article is Sainsbury's Australian Chardonnay, pounds 3.99.

La Coume de Peyre 1992, Vin de Pays des Cotes de Gascogne, pounds 3.29, Safeway. Made by Plaimont, one of the most go-ahead co-operatives in the south-west, this is typical gascogne dry white, refreshing and piquant, with an assertive, almost grapefruity, citrus zest character.

Domaine Gibault Sauvignon de Touraine Val de Loire 1992, pounds 3.99, Waitrose. Classic aromatic Loire fragrance of gooseberryish sauvignon blanc, lusciously soft and fruity on the palate with zingy, refreshing acidity.

Tesco New Zealand Chardonnay, pounds 4.49, Tesco. From Coopers Creek, a small Auckland winery, this Gisborne chardonnay is fresh and buttery with lingering lemony acidity and an intensity of flavour that suggests good chablis. A light touch of oak rounds it out.

Tesco New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon, Auckland, pounds 4.49. A blend of 85 per cent cabernet sauvignon and 15 per cent merlot, this wine is a bright, pale ruby with herbaceous and delicately spicy aromas reminiscent of the Loire, and soft, juicy, summer-fresh fruits, suggesting raspberry and redcurrant. A light, crisp, fresh summery red.

Collards Chenin Blanc 1992, pounds 4.99, Thresher, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack. Beyond its natural habitat of the Loire Valley, the chenin blanc grape rarely manages to retain the lively acidity of a vouvray. Collards chenin blanc is one of the few exceptions, recalling vouvray's honeyed ripeness and clean acidity.