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1993 Colonnade Chardonnay, pounds 5.99, Victoria Wine Shops, is an elegant Australian dry white made from the pressings of the grapes used for Domaine Chandon's fizz, Green Point. It has a delicate oaky butteriness and refreshingly clean-cut, citrus flavours. It is a thoroughly stylish, modern Yarra Valley chardonnay. From the Clare Valley in south Australia, the 199l Wakefield Crouchen/Chardonnay pounds 4.99, Waitrose, is an unusual blend of chardonnay and the obscure crouchen grape, known as Clare (Valley) riesling.

With plenty of life and character, this appealing blend tastes not unlike a deliciously mature, toasty, Hunter Valley semillon. From Chile, the 1993 Santa Carolina Special Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, pounds 5.49, Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up, Thresher, is grapefruity and refreshing with a touch of asparagus. Also from Chile, the 1991 Rowanbrook Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 4.99, Asda, is a sumptuously fruity red with a ripe blackcurrant-flavour and a balancing dash of vanilla from maturation in French oak barrels. From the northern Rhone, Jean-Luc Colombo's 1992 Cotes du Rhone, pounds 5.99, Fuller's, is a good example of this up-and-coming winemaker's style. Using new oak barrels, he manages to capture the smoky, peppery character of the syrah grape.

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