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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
14 Oct 2002

St Hallett was one of the first champions of the Barossa to emerge on to the international wine market. Its Old Block Shiraz from old vines has been much admired and a magnum of the 1992 was tasting pretty good, and still rather youthful recently. Now that the firm is no longer a private concern but owned by one of the bigger players in Australian wine it is playing the promotion game with the big retailers. This may be a rather dreary way to sell wine but it is possible to make it work for you by seizing on the best bargains and refusing to be lured into spending lots of money on everything else in the store (the overarching aim of the supermarkets).

At Tesco 16-29 October St Hallett is offering a half-price promotion on its South Australian Chardonnay 2001 and South Australian Shiraz 2001, each usually £5.99. I wouldn't pay £5.99 for either of them, I must say. In fact I wouldn't pay anything for the Shiraz, but the big, broad, very competently made Chardonnay is a very fair buy at this special offer price which works out at less than £2.99 per bottle. And what a welcome novelty to find a bottle of Australian wine at this price which comes from somewhere (slightly) more specific than 'South Eastern Australia'.