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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE has kind words for NV Billecart-SalmonDemi-Sec (24.99; Oddbins), which is 'gloriously rich and honeyed, with overtones of nougat, yet it's still fresh and graceful.'

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

After tasting 53 2003 Vintage Ports, JANE MacQUITTY's hunch on 'these densely coloured, hugely aromatic, seductively sweet, black and red berry-laden Ports is that they have a shade less grip and acidity than most Vintage Ports need for a long 20- or 25-year evolution, putting the 2003s on the next rung down from great'. Her favourites were: 'the massive beefy Warre's; the luscious, rose-scented Graham's; Taylor's perfumed floral charmer; Fonseca's raisiny persistence; the sweet, plummy Quinta do Vale D Maria; plus the concentrated plummy Noval and its almost as impressive second wine, Silval.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the annual 'Ask the Experts' issue, TIM ATKIN MW replies to a host of readers' questions:

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

A rant from JANE MacQUITTY this week. Miffed that judging her Top 100 Wines list 'gets harder instead of easier', she despairs at fine wine merchants, who 'put forward a clutch of ropey old has-been bottles, thereby forcing me to reject some 19 20 red Burgundies and dismiss most of the clarets before I could find a trio of each to recommend'. This week, she highlights 2004 Jindalee Chardonnay (3.75; Somerfield until 5 July; 2003 Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc (two for 3.99 each; Majestic); and 2004 Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc (4.99; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW highlights a number of up-and-coming wine regions. Queensland is 'the state with the fastest-growing wine industry in Australia', with 150 producers and even a minister for wine. Philadelphia in South Africa (in the Tygerberg region between Stellenbosch and the west coast) 'has already established itself as a source of top-quality Bordeaux grape varieties'. Other profiled regions include Valle de So Francisco in Brazil, the Upper Agly Valley in Roussillon and the Limar Valley in Chile.

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

A touch ruffled by being two hours late, JONATHAN RAY eventually arrives at the Sutton Grange estate in central Victoria, which also doubles as a stud farm. Total production is a mere 1,600 cases, and Ray describes the wines as 'elegant and restrained', which is not surprising, given that the winemaker, Gilles Lapalus, is French. Lapalus tells Ray that the wines destined for the domestic market differ considerably from those for export, as 'many Australians still think that anything under 15% alcohol is a girl's drink'. He adds that as Sutton Grange is a biodynamic winery, insect control has been a problem. However a novel solution was found. 'The other pests are grasshoppers, but in true French fashion, I put some garlic down and I haven't seen them since,' explains Lapalus.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

A call-to-arms from JOANNA SIMON, who is uncomfortable with Tesco's 2 billion annual profits and would much rather us punters buy our wine from independent merchants than supermarkets. 'There is a growing sense that it is these leviathans, not we, the consumers, who control our diet, liquid as well as solid,' she says. 'Increased ranges? Greater choice? You have to be kidding.' Recommended merchants include The Flying Corkscrew, Indigo Wine and Stone, Vine & Sun, but Simon stresses that it's up to the merchants to lure wine drinkers away from supermarkets. 'Lists and websites have to be stylish and useful: a tired photo of a vigneron and his labrador with a description of his fermentation vats won't win over any new customers.'

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME's favourite sub-8 Pinot Noirs include 2004 Cono Sur (4.99; Majestic); 2003 Penmara (5.98; Asda); and 2003 Stoneleigh (7.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH is almost embarrassed to admit that he hates ros: 'Saying you don't like ros is a bit like saying you don't like Christmas, or kittens, or The Sound of Music.' Ehrlich finds most of them 'bland, anodyne, and inoffensive except when they're sickeningly sweet and pallid of flavour'. But after attending a number of tastings he relents, and is surprised at the 'depth and variety there is in ros nowadays'.

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH is delighted with the news that the European distributors of Corona have lost an attempt to trademark the act of serving beer with a lime wedge shoved into the bottleneck: 'This has long been the cool way of serving Corona, possibly because the lime gives flavour to what would otherwise lack it almost entirely.'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES highlights his cheapest-ever Wine of the Week: 2004 Gran Tempranillo, Cariena (2.99; Sainsbury's), a 'hearty, funky red that doesn't break the bank, chills well and goes perfectly with red meat'

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

They said it couldn't be done, but JAMIE GOODE has achieved the impossible, and matched wine with ice cream. His first recommendation, which has 'the look and consistency of engine oil' is Hidalgo Pedro Ximnez Viejo Napoleon NV (9.99; Majestic), 'perfect for pouring onto your ice cream'. Next up is 2004 Macaulan Dindarello (7.89/375ml; Oddbins), which 'would work best with fruit-based puddings'. Finally, if you crave 'a rather odd whiff of paint thinner', then look no further than 2002 Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora (5.99/375ml; Budgens, Co-op).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Apparently, there are far more ross on the shelves since JOANNA SIMON 'gave a thumbs-up to a batch of French ross last May', she announces modestly. But she is concerned that ros wines too often 'have the bouquet of the bandwagon about them... too many producers are churning out jammy-sweet, alcoholic wines that are anything but the lively, refreshing liquids ross ought to be'. Her recommendations include 2003 Ctes du Rhne Ros, Domaine de la Mordore (6.357.95; A&B Vintners, Lea & Sandeman); 2004 Touraine Ros, Domaine de Chzelles (5.656.99; Roberson, The Food Co, H&H Bancroft Wines); and 2004 Ros de Tourelles (99/case; Bibendum).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Whisper it, but VICTORIA MOORE may be turning into a Pinotage fan. She tries a bottle of 2004 Diemersfontein (6.99; Waitrose, Asda): 'The first time I tried it, I hated it. I loathed the intrusively powerful smell, and I couldn't stand the way its wild taste marched across your tongue and overwhelmed your senses. The second time I realised I was in for a sip, I felt a little differently mildly intrigued to see if I would react as strongly. By the third meeting, I had a masochistically joyful sense of anticipation and, I have to admit, that warm feeling of familiarity you get when welcoming a noisy and flirtatious acquaintance.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Staying in Italy, ANTHONY ROSE points out that while the mass market is 'still enamoured of international bestsellers such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, wine made from indigenous grapes are increasingly alla moda'. His recommendations include 2004 Angelo Negro Arneis (8.95; Great Western Wines); 2004 Sannio Falanghina (9.49; Berkmann Wine Cellars); and 2003 Colle Morino Montepulciano (6.96; John Armit Wines).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

When he's not tearing round Grand Prix racetracks, F1 driver Jarno Trulli takes it easy on the 75-acre Podere Castorani wine estate in central Italy, writes ANTHONY PEREGRINE. 'I'm a quiet man and I like simple things,' Trulli says. Peregrine notes that the estate was 'once owned by a law professor who advised not only Mussolini but Emperor Hirohito, too. The connection appears on Trulli's wine website. Some might be a little nervous about using Mussolini to market their wines, but Trulli has no such qualms. It's simply a strong image from the past, he says.'

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Believe it or not, the mighty Shiraz grape was dubbed'The Sultana of the Barossa'in the mid-1980s, says JANCIS ROBINSON MW. 'This meant that it was fit only for dried fruit and table grapes. The local Shiraz was scorned. Growers could hardly give it away. Winemakers bleached the colour out of it and blended it into cheap whites.' It was only when a group of MWs arrived and told winemakers how they admired Barossa Shiraz, at a time when the locals were obsessed with Cabernet Sauvignon, that Shiraz took off. Robinson's favourite Shirazes include 2002 Heritage (11.49; Australian Wine Club of Datchet); 2002 Glaetzer Shiraz (28.99; Noel Young); and 2002 Rusden Black Guts Shiraz (36.95; Cellar Door of Overton).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chuffed to bits that the case of 1982 Margaux that cost 295 just a year later is now worth three grand, JANCIS ROBINSON MW recommends wines to pass on to children for a special birthday. She says it's still too early to recommend 2005 wines, but for 2004, red Bordeaux is a good bet, and for 2003, vintage Port is the choice. And for special birthdays this year, Robinson recommends the following:

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Berated by a neighbour for recommending too many expensive wines, JOANNA SIMON selects 2004 Vineyard X Garnacha (3.99; Thresher); and 2004 Picpoul de Pinet, Chteau de Branger (4.29; Booths).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

A trio of summery wines from RICHARD EHRLICH: 2004 Torresoto Unwooded Rioja (down 1 to 3.99 until end of July; M&S); Zind, Domaine Zind- Humbrecht (13.99; Waitrose); and 2001 Chablis Premier Cru Cte de Lchet producer unspecified (down 1 to 9.99 each when two bottles are bought; Majestic).

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