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

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's picnic season and Susy Atkins is concentrating on the important topic of which wines should populate your hamper. "A summer picnic is meant to be relaxing, refreshing, easy - so avoid heavy, powerful wines," she advises. Instead, opt for fresh fruity flavours, crisp acidity and a smooth texture - probably a screwcap - and more importantly, nothing too expensive. "I'm after wines that don't cost a fortune - it's plain pretentious to crack open fine wine when sitting on a rug in a field," Atkins quips. She recommends the "refreshing" 2007 Pinot Grigio Palataia (6.99, M&S) and the "easy-drinking" 2006 Pinotage Fairtrade (5.15, Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jamie Goode's weekly column seems particularly timely given Rafa Nadal's epic win in this year's Wimbledon final. "If tapas is on the menu, there's no reason to look any further than Spain for your drinks," he says. Instead, we should pursue the "mouthwateringly diverse" range of wines the country now produces. Examples include the "very tasty" 2007 Rioja Faustino V Rosado (8.49, Thresher) and the 2006 Menca Bierzo The Pilgrimage (7.19, Tesco), with its "hint of roast coffee and a nice spicy bite on the finish".

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

It is the first year that white grapes have been outlawed from the "quintessential" Tuscan wine Chianti Classico and this is a reason to celebrate, says Jancis Robinson MW. "The great majority of white wine grapes that used to go in Chianti, blanching its colour and diluting its flavour, were the most basic sort of Trebbiano," she adds. This week's recommendations are broken down into two categories, those recommended 2006s and superior 2005s. Badia a Coltibuono and Villa Calcinaia, both from 2006, are highlighted for their "lively style" as is the 2005 Castello di Ama.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite the government's best efforts, the UK is a glorious home for wine drinkers, says Jonathan Ray. "The range of wine available in Britain is finer than anywhere else in the world," he raves. This is regardless of the "bird brained chancellor and health police" determined to stop his fun. Ray concludes: "When will someone in authority stand up and say that wine is positively good for us?"

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Avoid second cheapest syndrome when it comes to selecting wine in restaurants, urges Joanna Simon, as it is "invariably a poor-value plant for the unwary". Making the choice when dining out is something both men and women dread, she continues, although the latter group do so quietly. There are tricks, however, to ease the experience. "Take your time," Simon pleads, before advising us to "venture off piste" in the choice and - most importantly of all - "stand your ground" should it taste unpleasant or mouldy. As for her own selections this week, she plums for the 2005 Lirac, Domaine du Joncier (Waitrose, 5.99), the "zesty and grassy" 2006 Cheverny, Le Vieux Clos (Majestic, 6.49) and the "nutty" 2005 Fiano di Avellino, Guido Marsella (Burgundy Wines, 12.50).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

"American ros is very popular with British consumers, for whom life seems just that little bit sweeter when a dollop of sugar helps the medicine slip down," observes Anthony Rose. The key to enjoying the much-improved selection of ros currently on the market revolves around honing in on the drier varieties, he adds. In this vein, this week's recommendations include the 2007 Prendina Estate Ros Cavalchina (7.99, M&S) with its "fresh berry fragrance" and the 2007 Champteloup Selection Ros d'Anjou (4.99, Waitrose), which has a "juicy strawberry and bubblegum off-dry style".

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore thought the traditional booze cruise was dead, that was until she discovered family owned outfit Calais-Vins. The business has been operational for six years and in discovering it she has managed to put to bed "a deeply unsatisfying trip [to Calais] last Christmas" where she ended up paying through the teeth for claret. All her weekly recommendations are available though her new discovery (www.calais-vins.com). The 2002 Haut-Mdoc Chteau Lamothe-Cissac (9.20) is a "classic Cabernet Sauvignon-based claret, with a leafy, refreshing edge". Moore also flags up the Crmant de Bourgogne Charles Roux Brut NV (7.14) as "perfect for summer parties".

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

The great British summer is upon and thus we must promptly dust off our BBQ implements and set about cremating sausages post-haste. But what wine should we enjoy for the occasion, asks Susy Atkins this week. Serving Aussie wines at a BBQ is something of a cultural clich, she adds, so "it's worth looking further afield". In this instance, Atkins opts for Old World "to buck the New World trend". Her selections include the 2006 Les Collines du Paradis Minervois (7.99, Tesco) and the "gutsy" 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon La Baume Supreme (5.99, Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jane MacQuitty is in a solemn mood. "It's just not going to be Australia's year," she sympathises. "Alas, there are lots more dire Aussie 07s and 08s in the pipeline," MacQuitty feels, adding the recent price increases may well put consumers off. As always, the critic has delved among the current offerings to find the best, in both price and taste, that Australia has to offer. She recommends the 2007 Verdot-Shiraz Ros Gnarly Petit (6.99, Waitrose) from Southern Australia for its "wonderful ripe, sweet, perfumed peppery" flavours. The 2006 Shiraz-Cabernet Andrew Peace Limited Release (4.49, Co-op) merits a mention for its "jammy, briary 14% alcohol spice," although it does need to be paired with a "big food to show it at its best".

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chardonnay has been coming under a bit of flack recently what with the Bridget Jones connotations and the well-known Anything But Chardonnay (ABC) movement, says Anthony Rose. "It would be doing Chardonnay a disservice," to overlook it though given that it's "responsible for the greatest diversity of styles and range of qualities of any white wine variety". France is a good starting point with many "moreish examples", Rose says, but venture further abroad if you're feeling adventurous. He mentions the 2006 Chardonnay Pierro (28.50, Jeroboams) from Margaret River and the 2007 Chardonnay Lone Ranger Heretaunga (9.99, M&S) from New Zealand.

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

"One of the most striking features of ros is that our consumption of it is no longer purely seasonal," says Joanna Simon. The craze began in the heatwave of 2003, she explains, but an image makeover and soaring choice and quality have helped to cement its position. A final word of warning from Simon though: "At least half the market is cheap, sweet California brands."

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore was recently struck by how rarely the "classic grape" Cabernet Sauvignon is appreciated. "Well, it's to get over that," she pleads, as "there are some very good examples around". The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra (7.99, Sainsbury's) should be drunk with a rib-eye steak and possesses "a profound sense of place, gravelly authority and intellectual mass". Moore also selects a Cab Sav blend, the 2005 Haut Mdoc Chteau Cambon La Pelouse (17.99, Waitrose) which gets brownie points for pressing "all the ah, Bordeaux' buttons".

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

"What I really want to know is which sparkler to quaff this summer?" mulls Susy Atkins. It is a question we should all ask ourselves, she urges, as "affordable fizz" for summer parties is essential and "there are plenty that don't measure up". Supermarkets options while "not the most stylish proposition" certainly seem to come out on top when fitting the brief. Top prize goes to the Sparkling Pinotage Ros First Cape (7.99, Sainsbury's), which "looks commercial but tastes fab".

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore says canny knowledge of the big wine brands has saved her bacon on more than one occasion. "A bit of brand savvy can make the difference between paying through the nose for wine you realise too late you'd prefer not to drink, and a glass of something quite good actually." Villa Maria is one such label that has often acted as her white knight, she says. Others tips include the 2005 Jacob's Creek Riesling Steingarten (13.19, Tesco) and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Casillero del Diablo (4.49, Sainsbury's). "Easily dismissed by wine snobs, not all brands should be written off," Moore concludes emphatically.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jonathan Ray has been visiting a French vigneron who set up shop in Mendoza, Argentina. The move makes sense, says the Telegraph critic, because Mendoza is fast becoming the "spiritual home" of the Malbec grape variety. His choices this week include the 2006 Viognier LuLu-V Hewitson (8.95, Berry Bros & Rudd) which is "silkily scrumptious, full of the expected peach, apricot and guava aromas" that come with a true Viognier.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW is on the topic of Riesling this week. Interestingly, she says the average Bordeaux 2007 "played nicely into the hands of those growing Riesling on the banks of the Mosel and the Rhine". This is because the weather pattern that scuppered the French helped the growth of Germany's favourite varietal. The good news is that these great wines should not simply collect dust. "The 2007s are - glory be - wines to enjoy drinking rather than wines to notch up ripeness and auction records," she enthuses.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chile is the talking point for Jancis Robinson MW as she notes "the vineyards of the long thin countryhave been extending south in recent years". But this is less in response to climate change and "more because Chilean winemakers have been seeking cooler climates in which to grow a wider range of grape varieties," she adds. Aromatic Rieslings and Gewurztraminers have been the stars here, Robinson feels. Particular mention goes to the 2007 Riesling Concha Y Toro Winemaker's Lot 158 (6.99, widely available).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

"I would be lying if I said I had nothing against Italian Pinot Grigio," admits Joanna Simon. However, you'll be pleased to know the Sunday Times critic has "better things to do than rant about a dreary wine". This is partly because there are many more impressive, if lesser-known, Italian varieties on which to focus, she continues. Among these are grapes such as Arneis, Fiano, Falaghina, Grechetto, Favorita and Peccorino. Continuing in this vein, Simon recommends the 2007 Fiano Finest (6.13, Tesco) for its "floral aromas" and the 2007 Roero Arneis Marco Porello (9.99, Majestic) which is "lively and lingering with sappy pear and apple flavours".

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

"The best 2004s [Barolo] are so good I wanted to break into song," raves Tim Atkin MW. However, the Observer critic is not stopping there. "This is the greatest vintage I have ever tasted, more approachable than the almost as impressive 2001s, and just as complex, nuanced and perfumed." Consumers wishing to share Atkin's excitement should opt for the "silky scented" 2004 Barolo Serralunga, Paolo Manzone (21.75, Adnams) or the "stylish, sweetly-oaked" 2004 Barolo Massolino (30.49, Liberty Wines).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Susy Atkins is thinking outside the bag-in-box this week with her analysis of pairing wine with Asian salads. Her first tip is to stay away from the cold lager usually drunk with Asian cuisine as "wines work so much better when you've got a fresh dish that lines up, say, chicken with salad leaves, peas, chilli and lime juice". The "unusual" 2006/07 Rueda Cuatro Rayas Verdejo (6.49, M&S) is mentioned for its "dry, snappy edge" making it great with salads.

Read more...