Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Against a background of widespread admiration for New Zealand's wines, JANCIS ROBINSON MW takes a sideswipe at New Zealand Chardonnay. She observes that, while the typical New Zealand Chardonnay does show prominent acidity, it is too rarely accompanied by really interesting flavours'.
Robinson accepts, though, that there are some glorious exceptions, such as those produced by Michael Brajkovich MW at Kumeu River on the outskirts of Auckland. She also admits that some of the Hawkes Bay Chardonnays have greater subtlety than the norm.
The good news, says Robinson, is that the few growers who are putting new Chardonnay plants into the ground are choosing the more interesting, so-called Dijon' clones.

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tim Atkin's offensive on Pinot Grigio continues in his weekly column. "I've been conducting a none-too-subtle, one-man campaign against this innocuous but generally palate-numbing Italian white for more than two years now." But sales continue to boom, he moans, so it is with renewed vigour that he suggests a number of "infinitely superior varieties" as alternatives. A lavish option would be the 2005 Le Mal Hermitage Blanc (122, 14.5%, Fine & Rare) cited by Atkins as one of the best whites he has tried in the last five years. For the more frugal amongst you the 2006 Tahbilk Marsanne, Nagambie Lakes (9.99, Wine Rack) may fit the bill.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore feels that wine writers often hit sticky ground when trying to describe sweet wines. She argues "we have such a paucity of words that we are forced to fall back on overstretched compounds". This shouldn't put off the sweet toothed amongst you, however, with a fine selection available on the high street. Moore points to the 2004 Chteau Jolys Cuve Jean (9.99, Waitrose) for its "gently honeyed" perfumes and Tesco Finest Pedro, Ximenez (4.99, Tesco) which is "good value" but for "sugar hounds only".

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sales of the Douro Valley's new wave of table wines have increased by 43% in the last year, Jonathan Ray comments. Established port houses such as Quinta de la Rosa, Quinta do Noval, Symington Family Estates and Real Companhia Velha are a good place to start, he says. Douro wines represent "exceptional value" and "burst with character, intensity and freshness". Ray concludes that with many supermarkets stocking Douro table wines for under a fiver, it is not without reason the area is called "the Valley of Gold".

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Full-bodied wines for English food is JAMIE GOODE's mission this week. His choices are 2003 Chteau de Targ Saumur-Champigny Les Truffeaux (7.49, Majestic); 2002 Weinert Malbec, Argentina (7.49, Sainsbury's); 2005 Tesco Finest Old Vines Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain (5.99, Tesco); 2006 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (7.99, Waitrose) and 2005 Fiano di Avellino dei Feudi di Santa Gregorio, Campania (9.99, Waitrose). No English wines?

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

With Valentine's Day lurking around the corner, Jane MacQuitty focuses on pink champagne and tries to cover all bases whatever the budget. Avoid the "evil and sweaty" 2007 Darling Sauvignon Blanc (4.99, Tesco), she pleads and "all those sickly chocolate and champagne combos" while you're at it. Instead, the frugal amongst us should opt for Prosecco Raboso, (5.49, Tesco) while the Heidsieck Monopole Brut Ros Top Champagne, (19.99, Tesco) is "surprisingly good". Those lotharios with a slightly bigger budget are advised to seek out the 2002 Louis Roederer Brut Vintage Ros (54.95, Harrods.)

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson considers diversification in New Zealand's North and South islands to avoid the trap of becoming "a one-trick pony" with an over reliance on Sauvignon Blanc. The marked shift to Pinot Noir has already begun and there are a number of other interesting examples cropping up also, she says. The 2007 Marlborough, Astrolabe Riesling retails for around 13 a bottle in the UK and is a good example of "today's New Zealand Rieslings increasingly seem to be modelled on Australia's bone dry Clare Valley examples". Robinson also picks out the 2007 Pinot Gris Wairarapa, Gladstone Vineyard (11, Great Western Wine) for its Alsace weight. "All in all, New Zealand whites are much more varied than they used to be," she concludes.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Discount the cheapie" at your own peril is the message from Victoria Moore this week. The subject is house wines and she feels "a bottle that's tasty and not too particularis a far more useful buy than anything extreme". As such, there are a couple of interesting highlights that emerge. Moore embraces a 2005 Riesling, Peter Lehman Eden Valley (7.99, Noel Young) for its "elusive" quality and 2006 a Campo de Borja, Vineyard X Garancha (4.99, Thresher) which offers "outrageous" flavour for the price point.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Founder of Wine Relief, JANCIS ROBINSON MW, takes the opportunity to promote the cause in this week's column. She says that we can [and presumably should] buy wine to solve some of the world's mainfold injustices'.
She believes that M&S, Majestic and Waitrose have the most sophisticated Wine Relief selections on offer, while Tesco has the widest range, starting at 1.27 for a bottle of Lambrini (on which the donation to Wine Relief would be 12.7p).
Robinson's recommendations include 2006 Eaglevlei Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape (5.49; Sainsbury's) made by Englishman Tony Hindhaugh.

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Nouveau Beaujolais reaches Tim Atkin's attention this week. The "quintessential young wine's" fall from grace has seen it go from "front page news" in the mid-Eighties to a current "non-event" in the UK. The problem with Nouveau stemmed from the fact that it undermined the Beaujolais reputation as a whole, he argues. And while Atkin concedes "there's nothing wrong with Nouveau" it is the "hilly area north of Lyon" that in fact produces the best wines. There are ten crus but it is usually easier to split these into three groups, he says. These comprise of: "The light, fragrant ones (Chiroubles and St Amour), the middle-weight ones (Cte de Brouilly, Chnas, Brouilly, Fleurie, Rgni) and the more serious ones (Julinas, Morgon and Moulin Vent)." His recommendations include a 2006 Fleurie, Domaine de la Madone (11.99, Thorman Hunt) for its "crunchy, summer-pudding-like" nature and a "complex and structured" 2006 Morgon, Marcel Lapierre (14.73, Bibendum).

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson's musings focus on Davos and a tasting she recently organised there. Her brief was "to choose some notable wines from countries or regions with a tradition of mining". In between visits from the president of Israel and Forbes magazine's seventh most powerful woman in the world, she even found time to identify the best of the bunch. 2001 Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon (12.99, buywineonline.co.uk) fared well - particularly notable as the only South African red at the tasting and also the least expensive. The tasting group's favourite and Jancis' third choice wine was the 2001 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (43, winesearcher.com).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Like his contemporary at The Observer, Anthony Rose has also picked up on Anpaa's recent legal case - describing France's alcohol policy as a result of the draconian 1991 Evin Law. He continues: "It does seem odd that myopia and sanctimony should coexist in a nation synonymous with the production and consumption of many of the great wines of the world." Not to be discouraged though he selects the 2006 Porta Chardonnay (5.99, Threshers), the 2006 Gavi Cristina Ascheri (9.99, Sainsbury's) and the 2004 Domaine des Bosquets, Gigondas (14.95, Jeroboams).

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Poor VICTORIA MOORE is not a happy journalist, complaining that the samples she had to try this week were not all that nice'. As a consequence she decides to use two of her four recommendation slots to list wines not to buy'. One wine she thinks is quite nice isdoes give the thumbs up to is 2004 Bastide Saint Vincent Vacqueyras Pavane (10.75; Berry Bros & Rudd).

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ignore the "good but rarely great" 2006 Burgundy vintage at your own peril, states Jane MacQuitty. While the heavyweight 2005 vintage "slumbers on", we can be enjoying the "fruity, forward 2006" in the meantime. And her choices for doing so? Well, there are several but Lamy's St Aubin ler Cru Les Frionnes. Barthod's Bourgogne Rouge and Chambolle-Musigny all make the list as does Rossignol-Trapet's Chapelle-Chambertin. (120 - 900 per case from specialist merchants).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Warming winter reds are the order of the day for Jamie Goode. Among his picks are Churchill Estates 2005 Douro (8.99, Majestic) for its "warmth and intensity" and Mont Tauch Fitou 2005, Languedoc (3.98, Asda) for its price point and its suitability "with any winter casserole".

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore evaluates some of the better Champagnes available while pointing out it is "not just for parties and toasting new jobs". Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus NV (35.99, Majestic) is "supremely elegant and full of grace" and worth trading up for from the ordinary Brut Reserve, she says. 1996 Fleury (38, Vintage Roots) rates high in Moore's affections also with its "honeyed, pillowy nougat flavours" and its biodynamic pedigree.

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

This week, French NGO Association Nationale de Prvention en Alcoologie et Addictologie (Anpaa) has really got Tim Atkin's goat. The "alarmingly puritanical" group that deals with the illegal promotion of alcohol in France recently won a case for a Champagne advert in magazine Le Point. "Even in America, the land of pointless lawsuits, this would be regarded as over the top", Atkin argues. On the wine front his recommendations - with alcohol content henceforth included in the column - featured a 2006 Petit Chablis, Jean de Chaudenay (6.99, Sainsbury's) and La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matellica (7.99, Waitrose).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Why sit in a bath of baked beans for charity, when you can have a nice glass of wine instead, asks TIM ATKIN MW? Wine Relief runs until 16 March and until that date 10% of the value of certain wines at participating retailers goes to Comic Relief. Atkin reviews the selections offered by those participating, as well as naming the retailers conspicuous by their absence - Oddbins and Asda.
Tesco, M&S, Majestic and the Co-op are offering an interesting range, whereas Somerfield and Morrison's offering is dull'. Atkin has a dig at the host of branded wines. He says, I suspect some brand owners regard Wine Relief as just another opportunity to promote their wines.' Wherever did he get that idea?

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

No MATTHEW JUKES, just some decanters - from the Admiral (www.aquascutumgifts.com; 295) to the Olivia (www.gobletdirect.co.uk; 28.95).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW defends Chardonnay - the world's greatest white grape' - against the ABC movement. He says it suffers for its popularity: being easy to grow, pronounce, make and sell, but notes it makes wines that are rarely undrinkable', compared with styles that are popular as well as bad - White Zinfandel and most Pinot Grigio'. He admits that vast plantings of Chardonnay at the expense of indigenous grapes has reduced the diversity of the wine world but has also helped drinkers discover other varieties it is often blended with. And they don't all taste the same or cost a fortune, he notes, selecting four under 14 from Chile, South Africa and France.

Read more...