Wine box

1992 Macon-Villages from Cottin Freres ( pounds 2.99, Gateway/Somerfield). Spicy, nicely oaked bargain, down from pounds 4.49 (from Monday).

Domaine St Julien Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc ( pounds 3.59, Co-op). Claret-

like fruitiness with a smoky touch of oak make this juicy southern red something of a bargain.

Tesco Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon ( pounds 3.99). Plenty of rich, almost chocolatey sweetness cocoons this Chilean red, with its typically grassy, cabernet character.

1990 Barbera d'Asti Cantine Gemma ( pounds 4.49, Asda). A distinctive nose reminiscent of tea-leaves and the spicy aromas of gingerbread, with supple fruitiness.

Stratford California Pinot Noir ( pounds 4.89, Victoria Wine Shops). Pinot noir with the sweet raspberry fruit.

1988 Conde de Valdemar Rioja Crianza, Martinez-Bujanda, ( pounds 4.99, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up). A lovely strawberryish rioja with the characteristic oak touch of vanilla.

1990 Crozes-Hermitage, Cave des Clairmonts ( pounds 5.75, Waitrose). Hugely aromatic, fabulously juicy syrah with typical northern Rhone pepper and blackberry.

1989 Chateau Vieux-Bonneau, Montagne St Emilion ( pounds 5.75, Fullers). This St Emilion satellite red is good old-fashioned merlot with lots of sweetly ripe fruit and an earthy, rustic character.

1991 Backsberg Chardonnay ( pounds 5.99, Majestic Wine Warehouses; Cellar 5). With a touch of vanilla and spice from new oak, a fresh, full-flavoured, chardonnay made by Michael Back from South Africa.

1992 Franciscan Monterey Chardonnay ( pounds 5.99, Oddbins). Ripe, peachy, California chardonnay.

1990 Chateau Beaumont, Haut-Medoc (reduced to pounds 5.95, Sainsbury's). Medium-bodied claret, well made with sweet, almost chocolatey aromas.

1987 Beaune Domaine Latour, Louis Latour ( pounds 9.99, Majestic Wine Warehouses). There are few good red burgundies under pounds 10, but this mature, gamey pinot noir is an exception.

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