Wines of the week

BEFORE a grape has even reached petit pois proportions on this side of the equator, the first fruits of the southern hemisphere, bottled and ready to drink, have appeared. My current favourite is Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc 1992, pounds 3.99, Oddbins, an aromatic and bracingly fresh Chilean dry white with a snappy gooseberry- grapefruit crispness. Sauvignon blanc's cool, grassy, pungent aromas and tangy, citrus fruit flavours is a made-for-summer grape variety. Also from Chile, Rowanbrook Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 1991 may not have quite the oomph of the Caliterra, but at pounds 2.99, Asda, its zesty, refreshing fruitiness represents excellent value. Chateau de la Jaubertie in Bergerac has carved itself, under the stewardship of the Englishman Nick Ryman, a reputation for the intensity of flavour of its sauvignon blanc. Try the Domaine de Grandchamp Sauvignon 1991, pounds 5.69, Sainsbury's vintage selection, for a fine example of the penetrating, citrus flavours that can be wrung from the hand of a man clearly happier with grapes than with paper clips and ring binders. For the ripest grapefruit-and- gooseberry flavours, Konocti Sauvignon Blanc 1990, pounds 4.98, Bibendum, London NW1 (071-722 5577), is a delightful Californian sauvignon, and surprisingly affordable. It would normally take wild horses to drag me near something labelled soave in a three-litre wine box. My prejudices have been temporarily shown up by Marks & Spencer's new 3- litre soave in a box, pounds 11.50. I liked its soft, dry but fruity, honeyed flavours.

Sauvignon apart, another of the great summer wines is Portugal's vinho verde - in Portugal. Too often it arrives here so saccharine-sweet that it loses its zip. Not Asda's Dry Vinho Verde. At 9 per cent alcohol, it is ultra-light, and the fruit so dry and refreshing, you feel as though you are crunching slightly under-ripe grapes, which then explode like fermenting sherbet lemons in the mouth. Recommended for hot days and heavy thirsts. Last month I mentioned the unusual 1991 Redwood Valley Chardonnay from New Zealand. Now in at Wine Rack and Bottoms Up, pounds 8.99, its pungent, zesty tropical fruit aromas are given added complexity by a touch of 'noble rot', which just goes to show that the French have no monopoly over things seriously and nobly rotten.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot