Wines of the week

With a marginal climate for grape growing, Germany appears to have become Europe's unlikely success story of 1993. The summer was warm and dry in much of Germany, and a recent foretaste of the vintage showed that, in parts at least, 1993 may well be the equal of the much-vaunted trio of 1988, 1989 and 1990.

Freddy Price of Summerlee Wines, a specialist in fine German estate wines, brought a clutch of German wine producers to London recently to show examples from the 1993 vintage and earlier. He also has a special offer of 1993 and earlier vintages.

Among the stars of the show were Dirk Richter's classic 1993 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese and Auslese, and a mellow, honeyed 1992 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett. For a contrast in style, the racy, green-apple wines of Schloss Saarstein offer refreshingly crisp fruit aplenty, particularly in the 1993 Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auslese.

Equally full of character, the 1993 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhof Riesling Spatlese is a delicately spicy white from Karthauserhof, a Ruwer estate named after the Carthusian monks who, in 1335, were presented with the vineyards by the Elector Balduin of Luxembourg.

For full details of the 1993 offer, contact Freddy Price at Summerlee Wines, 48 Castlebar Road, London W5 2DD, or at 64 High Street, Earls Barton, Northamptonshire NN6 0JG (0604 810488).

What else is cooking this month? One of last year's star chardonnays, the 1992 Chardonnay delle Tre Venezie, blended by Angela Muir with GIV, the Italian wine giant, pounds 3.59 at Sainsbury's, can be snapped up at Morrisons, under the Teresa Rizzi label, for a remarkable pounds 2.99. Good chardonnay at this price, still ultra-fresh and extremely fruity, with just a touch of oak, is reason enough to visit one of Morrison's northern supermarkets.

At a tasting in October, Sainsbury's tantalised wine writers by showing one of the more accomplished South African chardonnays, Danie de Wet's 1993 Grey Label Chardonnay, pounds 4.99, then telling us that the wine would not be available for general consumption in time for Christmas. Now, at last, it is in the shops (234 branches) and well worth seeking out for its rich, intensely flavoured fruitiness, and for a hint of cleverly handled oak fermentation, which adds complexity to the zippy freshness of the new vintage.

Another excellent dry white from the 1993 vintage, Casablanca Lontue Valley Sauvignon Blanc, pounds 4.99 at Oddbins, is Chile's riposte to New Zealand. It may not shriek the pungently grassiness of Marlborough sauvignon, but instead it offers an aromatic, piercing grapefruit and lemon-like citrus flavours, leaving the palate gratefully revived and refreshed.

Expect to hear more this year of viognier, the Rhone grape variety that makes the rare and expensive condrieu. This newly fashionable grape makes a full-bodied dry white, sometimes reminiscent of the spicy Alsace white, tokay pinot gris, and often with intriguing flavours of apricot or peach.

Enterprising southern French growers have started to plant viognier, with mixed results so far. The 1992 Viognier Domaine Saint- James, Vin de Pays d'Oc, pounds 4.99 at selected Tesco stores, is one of the better examples, from Henri Gualco in Corbieres. It is delightfully fruity with a hint of apricot and almond.

Thanks to the influence of its pioneering winemaker, Ignacio Recabarren, Santa Carolina has become one of Chile's more interesting wineries. His 1988 Santa Carolina Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 4.99 at Sainsbury's, is a typically modern new world style. Its sweet, fruity blackcurrant flavour and classy oak are nicely softened by age and the wine is thankfully free from the stalky, astringent character that can mar inferior examples of the variety.

Before winter finally relaxes its grip, try the 1990 Quinta de Pancas, around pounds 5.99 at Thresher, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack, Gateway/ Somerfield and Safeway. This is an untamed, strong-flavoured, richly fruity, robust Portuguese red with bags of oak and cherry-plum fruitiness, which has improved considerably with age.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the Jurassic World trailer
film

Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environment
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Investigo: Group Financial Controller

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital