One of my favourite growers is Hubert Lapierre. His 1993 Chenas, Vieilles Vignes, pounds 7.34, and Moulin a-Vent Vieilles Vignes, pounds 7.85, should develop into something truly special. The offer, with a 55p-per-bottle discount on listed wines, closes on 31 October.
At Majestic Wine Warehouses, Tony Mason has snapped up the 1993 Chardonnay, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Bessiere, pounds 3.69, from a co-operative in Beziers. This crisp, unoaked chardonnay has rapidly become one of Majestic's top 10 sellers. Equally good, the 1993 Red Cliffs Estate Colombard Chardonnay, pounds 3.99, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack, from Victoria's Sunraysia district, is a lightly spiced blend of colombard and chardonnay, combining freshness and richness.
Australian riesling continues to work wonders for the revival of arguably the world's greatest white-grape variety. From the Adelaide Hills, the 1993 Pewsey Vale Rhine Riesling, pounds 4.99, Tesco, is tangy, with mouthwatering tropical fruit and lime-like flavours.
Talking of flavour, Thresher has located a clutch of surprisingly clean and fruity modern Spanish whites. One is the 1993 Senorio de Los Llanos, Valdepenas, pounds 3.79, Thresher, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack, a wine with characterful, peachy fruit and the added complexity of a year's oak ageing.
From modern Spanish whites to new- wave rioja and the 1993 Valdemar Rioja Tinto, pounds 3.99, Thresher, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up. Made from the tempranillo grape with the emphasis on fruit rather than oak, this has a delightful pepper- and-plum fruitiness. For those for whom rioja without oak is like eggs without bacon, the 1992 Tempranillo Oak-Aged Rioja, Berberana, pounds 4.29, Safeway, combines the vanilla-oak sweetness of traditional rioja with strawberry fruity tempranillo.
Meanwhile, from Chianti-shire, the handsome 1990 Chianti Classico Quercia al Poggio, pounds 4.99, Asda, offers a fine combination of concentrated sangiovese fruit and stylish, cedary French oak. A more unusual find is an Italian shiraz - shiraz is the Australian name for the Rhone valley's syrah grape and one suspects an Australian hand in the 1993 Casale del Giglio Shiraz, Vino da Tavola del Lazio, pounds 3.49, Tesco. This fresh, exuberant, berry-fruity red is one of several experimental wines from a converted Roman co-operative.
Back in London, the Australian Wine Centre, along with its South Australia House home, shuts at the end of 1994; but it is to be reincarnated as the Australian Wine Club. To mark the launch it has just released an offer of 12 estate shiraz for pounds 89.95, including delivery. Goodies include the 1992 Chapel Hill, Charles Melton and St Hallett Barossa Shiraz, not forgetting the 1992 Rothbury Estate, 1991 Tim Adams, 1990 Primo Estate and 1991 Capel Vale Shiraz.Reuse content