Co-op Argentine Torrontes-Chardonnay 2004 (£3.79 Co-op)
For those feeling a bit of post-Christmas budget squeeze, this week I’m touting three cheap but pleasant wines from Co-op. This unoaked blend of the ubiquitous Chardonnay with Argentina’s own grape, Torrontes, is fresh, bright and aromatic, with nice grapey fruit.

Crow’s Landing Shiraz 2003 California (£3.99 Co-op)
With the decline of the dollar, cheap Californian wines are getting better. This accessible red, made from the fashionable Shiraz grape, shows vivid dark fruits, with a spicy edge. More-ish.

Co-op Cape Chenin Blanc Oak-Aged 2004 (£3.99 Co-op)
This South African Chenin Blanc has seen a bit of oak – it was aged for four months in contact with French oak staves – and if full, rich and herby. More flavour than you’d expect for under £4.

St Hallett Gamekeeper’s Reserve 2004 Barossa, Australia
Three rich, ripe reds this week. First, an unoaked blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Touriga Nacional. It has a lovely, immediate nose of sweet ripe raspberry jam, with some subtle, darker, spicier notes keeping it from being too jammy. The palate is rounded and quite spicy but the dominant theme is lush, forward fruit that is defined by some spicy structure. (£5.99 Waitrose, Co-op, Majestic)    

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is a textbook New Zealand Sauvignon, perfect for modern fusion cuisine. A crisp, intense, grassy nose leads to a savoury, fresh palate packed with mouthwatering fruit. A classy white with lots of zippy impact. (£7.99 Co-op)

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2004 South Australia
I’m very keen on this Viognier. It’s a white grape that can be a bit flabby and fat, but Yalumba have fashioned a c haracterful, individual wine with a fresh, herby edge to the complex peachy fruit. It’s dry, fresh and thought-provoking - and good value. (£6.99 Co-op)

Co-op Argentine Bonarda-Shiraz 2004 Famatina Valley, Argentina
The world needs good cheap wine. Well, I certainly do from time to time, and this juicy, vividly fruited red fits the bill, with an appealing bitter plumy edge to the sweet fruit. (£3.79 Co-op)

Other retailers

Back to shopping list homepage
Back to wineanorak homepage