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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

High-street outlets are awash with pink wines,' says JANE MacQUITTY.

Better red grapes have helped the quality and wishy-washy alcohol levels of 11% have also now popped up to a more flavoursome 13% and more'.

For something nice and cheap, MacQuitty suggests trying 2005 Neblina Merlot Ros, Chile (4.99 or 3.99 each when you buy two; Majestic).

Or, a little further up the price scale, MacQuitty's favourite ros for two years running is 2005 Lawson's Dry Hills, Marlborough Pinot Ros, New Zealand (9.99 or buy two for 7.99 each; Majestic).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

If you switch off as soon as anybody mentions German wines, you're showing your age,' says JOANNA SIMON. When tasted blind, Riesling often scores higher than Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, she says, and sceptics are pointed towards 2005 Mineralstein Riesling (5.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY was one of the nine judges present at the recent rerun of the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting comparing the top wines of France and California, and she didn't expect the Californians to come out on top'. She was to be proved wrong and commented: There was no denying the grace and refinement of the California wines. Other New World wine producers such as Australia and Chile are not in the same league.' The overall winner was Ridge's Monte Bello and the 1999 vintage can be found at Berry Bros and Rudd (102).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH turns his attention to the role of the mixer this week and comments: You can't make a good cocktail unless every single ingredient is high quality.' One possibility with vodka is Grove Fresh Original Tomato and Vegetable juice (2.39-2.79; selected Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Booth's and independents), which is described as all organic, improbably good for you, and entirely delicious'.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

The final instalment of MATTHEW JUKE's Italian series looks at how its grape varieties have fared away from their homeland. 2005 Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Pinot Gris, Eden Valley, South Australia (7.99 down to 6.99 each if you buy two bottles; Majestic) benefits from oodles of green apple and pear notes', and 2005 Norton Barbera, Mendoza (4.99; Waitrose) is one of the best-value Barberas on the planet'.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW has just read Elin McCoy's biography of Robert Parker and he wonders what the world of wine would be like without his Bobness'.

According to Atkin, Parker is the most powerful critic of any kind on the planet'. He's a bit too sensitive to criticism, mind, and tends to react with the venom of a cobra poked with a stick'.

Atkin doesn't entirely go for the same fruit bombs' as favoured by Parker, but he does think the American critic has improved the quality of what we drink'.

This said, his wine recommendations of the week reflect the sort of genuinely elegant' wines that don't receive enough attention from Parker and his followers.

These include 2003 Rosso Riva Vecia (7.49; Majestic) and 2004 Southern Right Pinotage, Western Cape (9.99; Oddbins).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Oliver Haag of the Weingut Fritz Haag estate tells JANCIS ROBINSON MW that Germany's 2005s combine the minerality of 2004 with the body of 2003' and she is the first to agree. Most 2005s are looking so delightfully bright now that they make the 2004s, which seemed so impressively classical and finely etched a year ago, appear rather surly when tasted alongside,' she comments. This is the result of a near-perfect growing season, she continues, and although she hasn't turned her attention to an in-depth tasting yet, what is already on show is a very convincing herald of what promises to be one of Germany's most glorious vintages'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the current spell of tropical weather, VICTORIA MOORE concedes that talking about Port might appear to be an exercise in contrariness'. But not if it's chilled, she argues, and this is what they do with aged Tawny Port in the Douro. It's a delicious thing to pull out for the cheese course', she remarks and her top suggestions include M&S 20-Year-Old Tawny Port (21.99).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW decides to take on Sainsbury's Taste the Difference' Challenge and decides that the 33-strong range will be hard for other supermarkets to beat: It's not in my nature to hand out lavish praise to supermarkets, but this is the best own-label range I've ever tasted.' This also gives him a chance to bring up the International Wine Challenge (IWC) again - which awarded a couple of wines from the range - although he fails to point out to readers that he's actually chairman of the event. Tesco's bigger selection of 71 own-labels are used as the point of comparison and while some of the wines are very good indeed, the quality is considerably more varied'. One of his favourites from Sainsbury's is 2005 Taste the Difference Pouilly-Fum (8.99), while Tesco shines with 2004 Tesco Finest Marlborough Pinot Noir (9.99).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE tries the Nero d'Avola grape from Sicily and discovers that simple Italian food shows it off at its best: A beautifully plain, tomato-sodden pizza suits this wine far better than some dollied-up thing that's piled with all manner of fancy toppings.'

To keep the cost down, she recommends 2005 Cusumano Nero d'Avola (5.59; Oddbins).

This week's reader's question deals with supermarket discounts, and when Moore asks a few buyers in the multiple retailers if promotions are ever genuine deals, the response is: Most are engineered.'

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

You won't find a more suitable partner for fruity dishes than fruity wines,' says JAMIE GOODE, and he recommends 2005 Cono Sur Limited Release Gewrztraminer, Bo-Bo Valley, Chile (5.49; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Red wines from the Loire Valley are always considered chic' in Paris, and according to JOANNA SIMON, Cabernet Franc is looking better than ever. Chinon is her favoured appellation for suggestions such as 2004 Chinon, Chteau de Coulaine (8.95; Jeroboams).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Who would choose to go into the wine business?' Generally, people who love wine, concludes RICHARD EHRLICH. One such person is David Bolomey, who has set up a website offering a breakdown of how the critics rate the 2005 Bordeaux vintage: www.bordoverview.com. Ehrlich also speaks to James Bercovici, who launched The Big Red Wine Company and his wine recommendations from here include 2003 Cairanne Vendange Chabrille', Ctes-du-Rhne Villages, Domaine Brusset (11.35).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES is concentrating on Italy again this week, and he begins by recommending everything from Planeta in Sicily: Their wines are amazing and their olive oil is an absolute treat, too.' Other winners include the chocolate-scented' 2005 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Moncaro, Abruzzi (4.49 or 3.59 when you buy two; Majestic). This week's WoW is 2004 Lacrima di Morro d'Alba, Fonte del Re, Umani Ronchi, Marche (10.95; SWIG of London).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

IAN WISNIEWSKI takes the helm this week and gives whisky a turn in the spotlight. Malt whisky has become the most innovative and specialised catagory', according to Wisniewski and even cool, urban consumers from their late-20s are discovering malts'.

Peated malts have been the fastest-growing style in recent years and one to try is Ardbeg 10 Year Old (27.49; Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Oddbins). Or for those who prefer a bit more maturity, he recommends Old Pulteney 21 Year Old (69.99; Oddbins).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Come on, England,' urges JANE MacQUITTY. But, unlike the rest of the country, she's talking to the winemakers, rather than the footballers. MacQuitty started tasting English wine in the 1970s and
a lot has happened since then. Back then, the best we could offer was an undistinguished, off-dry, grapey, pseudo-Teutonic white made from hardy German cross-breeds.' Luckily, things are looking an awful lot better these days, and MacQuitty's recommendations include 2004 Denbies Redlands (7.99; Denbies).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's the second column of JONATHAN RAY's two-part summer series, and picnics are on the agenda. A picnic is all about being carefree, and the weather is really its least important element. Good company, good food and good wine are all that matter... come to think of it, all that matters is the wine.' For festive picnics, where it's important to impress, he advises packing a bottle of 2004 Chassagne-Montrachet Vielles Vignes, Vincent Girardin (21.99; Waitrose). For something romantic, try Taittinger Ros NV (35.99; Majestic, Selfridges, Oddbins, Tesco), or if you're having a party, he suggests 2005 Brown Bros Tarrango, Australia (5.99; Asda, Budgens, Co-op, Tesco)

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Climate change is affecting wine growers across the world but nowhere more so than Germany, argues JANCIS ROBINSON MW. All that extra sunshine has been translated into extra stuffing in the trocken Rieslings that tasted so unappealingly meagre a decade or two ago.' Another noticeable change, she says, is the new wave of reds: Germany is now well and truly a red wine-producing country even if the most usual grape is Pinot Noir, or Sptburgunder.' According to Robinson, 2005 was as good to Germany as it was to France, and her top producers include Dr Crusius, Fritz Haag, Keller and Stefan Winter.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE turns his attention to spicy foods this week and picks out wines to bring out a synergy of flavours far greater than the sum of is parts'. A good bet for chilli fans is 2004 Pinot Blanc Auxerrois Albert Mann, Alsace (8.49; Oddbins), which is a rich, concentrated, fat white wine with melon and apricot fruit' or the fresh, lemony' Tesco Finest Vintage Cava, Spain (5.93). Question of the week for Goode is: Will the effects of global warming mean that the UK could be producing wines as serious as those from France in 50 years time?' He replies that nobody can be sure of the consequences so it could be good news or bad news for the 200-odd vineyards currently operating in the UK'.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Beer sales are likely to soar during the World Cup weeks, says JAMIE GOODE, but 'before you grab a couple of crates of your regular lager, why not think out of the box a bit?' Among his suggestions are Duvel, Belgium (1.65; Tesco, Oddbins).

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