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

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Screwcaps have turned respectable,' declares JANE MACQUITTY. She concedes that 'a fair few winemakers continue to argue that the finest and rarest vintages, destined for many years ageing, should not be bottled under this closure', but this doesn't stop her finding some great examples to 'twist open'. These include the 'zingy and gooseberry-laden' 2005 Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, Malborough (9.99; Oddbins) and the 'fruit-driven' 2002 Morgon Domaine des Souchons from Condemine-Pillet (8.99; Oddbins).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE takes on two of the wine world's heavyweights this week, saying: 'Hugh Johnson and Robert Parker may be the twin colossi of wine writing, but as a weighty biography of one [The Emperor of Wine, by Elin McCoy] and the other's characteristically fine new book [Wine: A Life Uncorked, by Hugh Johnson] make clear, they're poles apart.' Rose is a fan of Johnson's prose, which he describes as 'a window on mouthwatering feasts and intriguing personalities'. Parker is more about numbers, however, and Rose suggests, 'Could it be that the 100-point system for rating wines was in fact Parker's way of compensating for his own lack of vocabulary in the face of Johnsonian eloquence?' For good wine under a tenner, Rose suggests 2004 La Toledana Gavi, Villa Lanata (7.99; Majestic).

Read more...

The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH has two things to share with his readers this week. First, the news that Waitrose is in the midst of a large-scale French wine promotion, which involves taking over the central portions of its selling space' and filling them with French wine. According to Ehrlich, the top bargain to be found is the own-label Blanc de Noirs (down to 13.99 from 15.99). The second part of this column is a giveaway: three pairs of tickets to the Chelsea flower show courtesy of Laurent-Perrier. A few other recommendations to make the most of at Waitrose include 2004 Pouilly Fum, Jean Vincent (7.99 from 10.69), which has fine mineral flavours' and 2004 La Bgude Chardonnay (6.99 from 8.99) - an impressive, generously oaked but apple-fresh Chardonnay from the Limoux.'

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY and his wife don't live in the best area of Brighton. 'The phone box outside my window is appreciated by our neighbourhood smack-heads.' There's also no friendly Waitrose nearby, making Co-op and Somerfield the next best option. It turns out that this isn't such a bad thing, however, and Ray pays a visit to head wine buyers, Paul Bastard

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

The average bottle price for Kiwi wine may be down to 5.68 from more than 6, but there's no need to panic, says ANTHONY ROSE. New Zealand is 'still way ahead of its closest rival with only Australia and France hurdling 4 a bottle, while the rest of the world languishes on a puny 3.85'. One of the reasons for this success, he continues, is 'because it plants only two hectares to every 15ha in Australia, it has had to make its voice heard by putting quality before big brands'. Malborough is still the region in the starring role with wines such as Jackson Estate Sauvignon (9.99; Tesco), although Rose discovers that other regions and varieties are beginning to make an impact. One example is 2004 Vidal Riesling (7.50-8.24; Kingsgate Wines, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Noel Young Wines).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Eastern Europe is still struggling to shed its grey, Communist-era image,' says JAMIE GOODE, but this shouldn't deter us from buying its wines. Try 2003 Firebird Legend Cabernet Sauvignon Vulcaneshti, Moldova (4.99; Waitrose).

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES recommends sparkling wine and Champagne for Christmas and the New Year. They include NV Jacob's Creek Sparkling Ros (7.99; Asda, Sainsbury's); NV Deutz Marlborough Cuve (11.99, Oddbins; 10.99, Waitrose);

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

The average bottle price for Kiwi wine may be down to 5.68 from more than 6, but there's no need to panic, says ANTHONY ROSE. New Zealand is still way ahead of its closest rival with only Australia and France hurdling 4 a bottle, while the rest of the world languishes on a puny 3.85'. One of the reasons for this success, he continues, is because it plants only two hectares to every 15ha in Australia, it has had to make its voice heard by putting quality before big brands'. Malborough is still the region in the starring role with wines such as Jackson Estate Sauvignon (9.99; Tesco), although Rose discovers that other regions and varieties are beginning to make an impact. One example is 2004 Vidal Riesling (7.50-8.24; Kingsgate Wines, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Noel Young Wines).

Read more...

The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH has generally assumed that 'the cosmopolitan sophisticates of London are more receptive

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

As yet another 'down-at-heel local' bites the dust in favour of a 'spatchcocked quail-serving gastropub', VICTORIA MOORE wonders what on earth happens to the 'old men seemingly welded to the old, sticky-topped bar'. It is in deference to these 'honest folk who know their place' - and in defiance of the 'arriviste middle-class riffraff' - that Moore finds herself recommending 2004 Cao (2.99, down from 4.49; Tesco). 'So outrageously cheap', she says, 'that it prices no one out of the market. And it comes from a cooperative, too. How much more egalitarian can you get?'

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON talks cheese in honour of a new report from the Department of Enology & Viticulture at the University of California. The report says that wine and cheese don't go together; Simon asks: 'What took them so long?' One of her exceptions to this rule is 2003 Domaine des Schistes Cuve Tradition (9.45; Berry Bros & Rudd).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

A wine drinker is more likely to get laid than a beer drinker, so says TIM ATKIN MW. It's all about compounds in wine that resemble human pheromones, so dab some behind your ears - particularly Pinot Noir if you are a man.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY goes green this week and pays homage to the environment-friendly, organic end of the market. 'Think of the synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that might have been used in the vineyards,' he warns. 'Perhaps we should now be thinking organic?' Unfortunately, it isn't always that simple, he discovers. Due to reasons such as differing regulations across markets and a desire to be judged purely on quality, a lot of producers choose not to advertise their organic side. To give his readers a helping hand, Ray picks out some organic greats, such as 2004 Bonterra Chardonnay, California (8.99; Sainsbury's) and 2004 Domaine de Pontcher, Sauvignon de Touraine, France (5.99 as part of a case; Majestic).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

'You'd think I'd questioned the manhood of half the blokes in South Australia,' says TIM ATKIN MW of the Aussies' rather hostile reaction to his suggestion that 'cheap Australian wine was in danger of turning into the Liebfraumilch of the 21st century'. But Atkin is undeterred, declaring: 'Any consumer who buys one of the big Aussie brands at its full retail price is a fool.' It's not all bad news, though: Atkin cushioned the blow with a visit to the recent Australia Day tasting and the concession that, while the big brands may have let things slip in the cheap stakes, the more expensive (10+) category 'illustrated the complexity, diversity and downright quality of what Australia has to offer'. Good examples include 2003 Suckfizzle Sauvignon/Semillon, Margaret River (15.99; Alliance Wines) and 2002 Penley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra (25; Moreno Wines).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Anthony Rose muses over Madonna's new wine range, launched despite the material girl's usual advocacy for 'bottled Kaballah water': 'Not all so-called celebrity wines are simply monuments to their egos,' says Rose. 'Sir Cliff is serious about his Vida Nova as are England cricketing legends Ian Botham and Bob Willis with their BMW Chardonnay and Shiraz.'

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's been 150 years since the 1855 classification of Bordeaux, and JONATHAN RAY is only too happy to raise a glass in celebration. Dewey Markham, author of 1855: A History of the Bordeaux Classification, tells Ray: 'The list serves as a fascinating snapshot of Bordeaux in that year, and when it comes to setting Bordeaux apart from other wine regions, it is a unique tool.' While David Roberts MW adds: 'Despite such occasional quirks, which I equate with Wigan Athletic's current form in the football Premiership, I'd say that the list is still relevant and accurate.' But Ray doesn't need to be convinced, saying: 'The mere fact that it is 150 years old this year is good enough for me.' Readers are given a chance to order a 220 case of five cru class wines and one cru bourgeois, including 2001 Chteau Mouton-Rothschild.

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY also went along to the Australia Day tasting, and, in her view, what Australia needs is far more 'superior 6-10 swiggers'. They've tried this, she says, with 'a quest for regionality', but this 'has not gone far enough to woo British drinkers'. Although she agrees with Atkin and finds a number of winners on the higher-priced 'Iconic Australia' table. Two examples are 2003 Cullen Chardonnay, Margaret River (24.95; Liberty Wines) and 2002 Tamar Ridge Batman Selection Pinot Noir (19.50; Vinus Vita).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jonathan Ray completes

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon gives praise to those high-street shops that give space to Austrian wines - stand up Oddbins, Majestic and Marks & Spencer. 'It hasn't been an easy sell, and it is hard to pinpoint exactly why: I can't believe that the notoriously misnamed "antifreeze" wine scandal of 20 years ago is still

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE just can't quite get his head round Australia's Clare Valley. 'How is it that an evidently warm wine region has developed a reputation for Australia's most powerful, aromatic yet delicate Riesling?' Either way, the reputation's justified, concludes Rose, and his favourites include 'brilliant newcomer' Kilikanoon's 2005 Morts Block Riesling (11.99+; D Byrne, Clitheroe, Noel Young Wines) and 'top of the range' 2004 The Florita, from Jim Barry (14.99+; Handford).

Read more...