Casa Santos Lima Fernão Pires 2003 Estremadura, Portugal
Three unusual whites this week. This Portuguese white is a versatile food wine, with a bright lemony, fresh nose with a fruity anise note. The palate is full and rounded, nutty and fruity. Quite distinctive but still with a nice modern fresh feel. (Oddbins £6.99)

Flagstone ‘The Berrio’ Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Elim, South Africa
Elim is one of South Africa’s cooler (in terms of temperature) wine regions, and this delicious aromatic white shows rounded grassy fruit and plenty of flavour. Sealed with a screwcap, which emphasizes the wines freshness. (£9.99 Oddbins)

Fetzer Valley Oaks Syrah Rosé 2004 California
Perfect for summer. It’s a very deep colour for a rosé: almost a light red wine. Very full, weighty nose with lots of bright cherry fruit. The palate is fresh, fruity and rather appealing. A big, fruity rosé. (£5.99 Oddbins, Thresher, Unwins, Asda, Sainsbury, Somerfield, Tesco, Waitrose)

Avila Côtes d’Avila Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah 2002 Santa Barbara County, California
This Rhône-style red from California has a lot going for it. Lovely vivid, spicy raspberry fruit dominates. Good density and lovely balance, relying on the fruit for its character. (£10.25 Berry Bros & Rudd, Oddbins)

Vergelegen Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Helderberg, South Africa
Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape that, over the last five years, has emerged as a bit of a star in the Cape. This first wine is expensive, but worth it. It has a bright, complex, taut nose with some classy, seamless fruit and even a bit of minerality on the palate. (£11.99 Sainsbury, Majestic, Oddbins)

Vale de Clara 2002 Douro, Portugal
This is a good, affordable introduction to the fantastic red wines of Portugal’s Douro valley. It has a perfumed, almost aromatic nose and the palate is fresh, savoury and well balanced, with a sappy texture and some supple red fruits. (£6.29 Oddbins)

Oracle Pinotage 2004 Western Cape, South Africa
£4.99 Oddbins
Classy stuff with a lovely spicy, vanillin sheen to the ripe, silky plum and berry fruit. Tasty and very drinkable – again, this displays just enough funk to make it interesting without it being a distraction. Very clever winemaking.  

Flagstone ‘The Berrio’ Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Elim, South Africa
From the trendy cool climate region of Elim, this is a deliciously rich and fruity interpretation of Sauvignon. Bold, full flavoured and attractively grassy. (£9.99 Oddbins)

Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2003 Constantia, South Africa
The name’s a bit of a mouthful, but this is a lovely white with a precise, assertive grassy nose and great balance to the subtly herby fruit on the palate. From Constantia, one of South Africa’s prettiest wine regions.
(£7.99 Oddbins)

Lingenfelder 'Hare Label' Gewürztraminer 2003 Pflaz, Germany
Think German wine sucks? Then you should try these three elegantly packaged beauties from quirky winemaker Rainer Lingenfelder. They’re named after animals. This Gewürztraminer is boldly flavoured with thick, peachy, lychee-like fruit and is best drunk alone or with Asian-influenced food. (£6.49 Oddbins)

Lingenfelder 'Fox Label' Dornfelder 2002, Pfalz, Germany
This second wine is a lovely, sweetly fruited supple red with an amazingly soft texture. But it’s more serious than it seems on the first sip. Thought provoking and very approachable. I bet you won’t have had many German red wines before. (£6.99 Oddbins)

Lingenfelder Pinot Grigio 2003 Pfalz, Germany 
This is a delicious full-flavoured food-friendly white that offers great value. Much more intensity than most Italian Pinot Grigio, with a c risp, dry finish. There are two Rieslings in this series of wines that are also good (the Fish label Mosel version is medium sweet; the Bird label drier). (£5.99 Oddbins)

Domaine Clavel 'Les Catalognes' 2003 Coteaux du Languedoc Terroir de la Meanjelle, France
This savoury, southern red has a r
ich, aromatic spicy earthy nose with hints of savoury garrigue-like character. Dry and dusty. The palate is savoury and earthy with soft, slightly sweet herb-tinged fruit, but with a dry, tannic clamp: a signature of many 2003s (an unusually hot vintage across most of Europe). (£6.49 Oddbins)

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