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Wine Box

VICTORIA WINE has some excellent reductions this month, such as the modern, lightly oak-aged Spanish red, 1988 Chivite Reserva, down from pounds 4.49 to pounds 3.99. It is also has some good-value newcomers, notably the fragrant, gooseberryish 1993 Villa Montes Sauvignon Blanc, pounds 4.29; and another Spanish red, the chocolatey rich 1990 Carchelo, Jumilla, pounds 3.59 (from mid-October).

Gateway/Somerfield features Italy this month, with a useful reduction on the cool, crisp north Italian 1992 Chardonnay del Piemonte, pounds 3.35, down from pounds 3.69, and two excellent reds, the traditionally Calabrian, raisin-rich 1990 Librandi Ciro Rosso, pounds 3.99, down from pounds 4.25, and the modern Sardinian red, 1990 Carignano del Sulcis, Santadi, reduced to pounds 4.45 from pounds 4.75.

Sainsbury's has two Peter Bright Argentine wines on its shelves: the red is a respectable Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon, but I prefer the white, the delicately scented, Torrontes Argentinian Dry White, introductory offer price pounds 2.99 ( pounds 3.49 from Sunday week).

Meanwhile The Catalyst, pounds 5.99, Oddbins, is back. This is the latest vintage of Rhone Ranger Randall Grahm's successful, Rhone-like Californian red. Made from syrah, grenache and mourvedre, it is a highly aromatic, raspberryish, dry red with notes of pepper and cinnamon.