Wines of the week: Chilean charmer

IT MAY sound more Scottish than Latin American, but Rowan Brook Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 1991, ( pounds 2.99, Asda) is a youthful blend of Bordeaux's two major grape varieties from Chile's Mataquito Valley.

Made at the Canepa Winery near Santiago, the wine is a vivid ruby-purple and has a slightly stalky, blackcurrant fruitiness on the palate. It resembles a light, summery claret in style, with an added hint of cinnamon-like spice in the aftertaste.

Buy up stocks while they last, because I cannot see many Chilean wines remaining at under pounds 3 for much longer.

When the Couillaud brothers in Muscadet realised that their gros plant vines were a commercial dead duck, they turned to chardonnay. The result, Domaine Petit Chateau 1991 ( pounds 4.75, Waitrose), is an elegant, clean chardonnay closer to young chablis than macon in style, with aromas of pineapple sweets and a fresh, honeyed richness on the palate.

The Briars Chardonnay 1990 ( pounds 5.49, Wine Rack, Bottoms Up) is rather different in style. Produced by Garry Crittenden, of Dromana Estate in Australia's Mornington Peninsula, this is a lusciously peachy chardonnay fine-tuned in oak cask for extra complexity.

As I seem to be steeped in chardonnay this week, I may as well go the whole hog and recommend Chateau Tahbilk Chardonnay 1990 ( pounds 5.99, Oddbins).

Chateau Tahbilk, established on the east bank of the Goulburn river in Victoria in 1860, is a Victorian institution in both senses. Bought by the Purbrick family in 1925, Tahbilk - an aboriginal word signifying a place of many watering-holes - is probably best known for the uncompromising, long-lived shiraz and cabernet sauvignon produced by Eric Purbrick, who died early this year.

Tahbilk also pioneered the Marsanne, which was served to the Queen when she visited the winery in 1953. Both whites are on offer at Oddbins, but I prefer the chardonnay for its big, rich oaky character and distinctive full flavour.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk