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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fed up with the anodyne nature of certain wines and wine labels 'great with red meats'; 'made from specially selected red grapes' VICTORIA MOORE is delighted to discover a wine from Jean-Luc Matha ('a winemaker who resembles a character from an Asterix cartoon'), 2002 Le Vieux Porche, Cuve Lairis Marcillac (6.95; Les Caves de Pyrene). Made with the Fer Servadou grape variety, 'its high acidity makes it very refreshing, especially for a red, it has a lovely, rustic fullness of fruit, and underlying all that is a sort of twitching minerality'.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

In a similar vein, JOANNA SIMON encourages her readers to be more adventurous with Chilean wine, with new varieties such as Pinot Noir and Riesling and new areas like the Limar and Elqui valleys making waves. She recommends 2004 Concha y Toro Winemaker's Lot Syrah (6.99, down to 5.94 when two bottles are bought; Majestic); 2002 Tabal Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (6.99; Sainsbury's); and 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (4.99; Majestic, Somerfield).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Antioxidant-rich' South American wines get the JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON treatment this week. He picks 2003 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec (9.49; Selfridges); 2003 Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay (6.49; Sainsbury's); and 2002 Anakena Merlot (6.49; Threshers).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY tries food matching with sweet Champagne and is pleasantly surprised by the results. Pt de foie gras with Pol Roger demi-sec 'goes down an absolute storm', and after a selection is tried with an Eton Mess pud, Ray and his guests are convinced that 'sweet Champagne is the best thing since sliced bread'. He explains that in the past Champagne was much sweeter than we are used to, and that the drier styles only took over since the 1920s.

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Recounting a tale whereby a customer at a New York restaurant once asked for a Ketel One vodka with orange juice and ginger ale in the same glass, RICHARD EHRLICH examines the world of brand calling. When I ask for a Beefeater Martini, I do so not because of certainty that Beefeater is the best gin on earth, but because I know that this gin is of excellent quality and always produces a good Martini.' But he admits that when you're ordering a spirit and a mixer, it's an entirely different matter': If you're mixing the stuff with OJ and ginger ale, you won't be able to distinguish between Ketel One and Battery Acid Two.'

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Being a 'thoroughly nasty piece of work at heart', VICTORIA MOORE is cynical about branded supermarket wines. However, she is a big fan of 2004 Tesco Finest Gavi (5.99), 'a delightful wine' that 'feels like a river pebble that has been smoothed and rounded by the flow of water'. Another supermarket number that comes up trumps is 2003 Sainsbury's Classic Selection Alsace Gewurztraminer Cave de Turckheim (6.99), which displays lychees 'so clearly you can almost feel your tongue slipping over their eyeball-like white flesh'.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

In an Observer Food Monthly feature entitled '50 foodie things to do before you die', TIM ATKIN MW's contribution is 'make love in a vineyard' but not just any vineyard, all five of the Bordeaux first growth vineyards 'at night', he adds. He also recommends treading grapes in a lagar, 'having consumed a bottle of vintage Port before you start'. When he's finished fantasising, Atkin tries his hand at being a sommelier at Gordon Ramsay restaurant in London. 'For the first hour or so, I poured mineral water rather than wine.' And then, when a diner asks for something 'crisp and refreshing', Atkin suggests a 2001 Chablis Grand Cru, which is rejected for being 'far too oaky'. 'We'll serve it by the glass, so don't feel too bad,' says the restaurant's head sommelier Ronan Sayburn.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Some 'offbeat' reds from GILES KIME: 2004 Brown Brothers Cienna (4.97; Tesco); 2002 Sainsbury's Reserve Carmenre (4.99); and 2003 Albet I Noya Lignum (6.98; Asda).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

A trio of ross from JOANNA SIMON: 2004 Domaine de Pellehaut Ros (4.494.99; Booths, Waitrose); 2003 Chteau Guiot Ros (4.50 each, down from 5.29, when two bottles are bought; Majestic); and 2003 Bergerie de l'Hortus Ros (7.95; Lea & Sandeman).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW picks a number of wines that ber wine consultant Michel Rolland is involved with: 2002 Chteau Belgrave (19.99; The Wine Society, Enotria); 2001 Clos Apalta, Casa Lapostolle (37.50; Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, EH Booth); and 2001 Ornellaia (60; John Armit, Justerini & Brooks, Fine and Rare).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON picks wines to go with Thai food, including 2003 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling (5.59; M&S); 2002 Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon (6.99; Selfridges); and 2003 Zonnebloem Chardonnay (5.99; Oddbins).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY's weekly selections include 2004 Clos Petite Bellane (6.99; Oddbins); 2002 Yering Station Pinot Noir (9.99; Majestic); and 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (3.994.49, Budgens, Somerfield).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE congratulates herself for tempting her dieting friends to get stuck into a plate of Manchego cheese and a glass of Warre's Otima 20 Year Old Tawny (18.4920; Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Cambridge Wine Merchants) 'they knew it was too delicious a taste sensation to miss' and also recommends the 10 Year Old (9.9910.99; widely available), which is 'lighter and much less serious'.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES' discounted selections include 2003 Clos de los Siete (8.99 each, down from 10.99 when two bottles are bought; Majestic) and 2003 Avila Chardonnay (7.99, down from 9.99; Oddbins). His Wine of the Week is 2003 St Hallett Faith Shiraz (7.99; Tesco).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the rash of spring tastings in full swing, ANTHONY ROSE compares the offerings from Waitrose, Oddbins and Majestic: 'Waitrose has always taken wine just that bit more seriously than the other supermarkets. There's a sense in which the if it ain't broke, don't fix it mentality could be playing to its disadvantage.' He notes a sense of dj vu with the Australian, Argentinian and California wines, but praises the retailer for its Austrian Grner Veltliners and German Rieslings. Oddbins fares better with its 'strong' South African, Australian, New Zealand and Chilean ranges, as well as its new range of white Burgundies. And Majestic 'looks in better shape than ever', with a 'young but experienced wine-buying team and the sort of enthusiastic sales staff that once characterised Oddbins'.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW is impressed at the progress made by Spain in such a short space of time: 'It was not long ago that good-quality Spanish wine meant Rioja. Then Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Then Priorat had to be added to the pot, plus Albario from Galicia for white-wine drinkers.' She then adds a dozen names to this list, including Campo de Borja, Navarra and Peneds. But the hottest new red wine region, in her eyes, is Toro, which has seen a quadrupling of producers in the past seven years. She recommends 2003 Muruve Roble Toro (3.99, down from 5.99; Sainsbury's); 2002 Garnacha Vias Viejas Baltasar Gracin (6.99; Adnams); and 2003 Tempranillo La Serrana Vino de la Tierra Castilla y Lon (2.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the VE Day celebrations fresh in our minds, JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON reports on how French winemakers did their utmost to stop the onslaught of German weinfuhrers during WWII. He says: 'The French efforts to thwart the Nazis are reminiscent of the greatest tales of the Resistance.' For instance, a Parisian restaurant owner frantically built a wall to hide his finest 20,000 bottles; certain winemakers draped cobwebs over their cheaper wines to give the impression they were more desirable; and Nazi wine-transporting trains were successfully sabotaged. Bracey-Gibbon says that in time, many of the weinfuhrers realised that 'to plunder and pillage was self-defeating, and, for many, was an affront to their professional, rather than political, ethics'. In terms of vintages, he says that 1940 was a good year, 1941 and 1942 were fairly poor, 1943 was good, 1944 was average, but 1945 was 'the vintage of the century'.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE's recommendations include 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (4.24 each when two are bought; Majestic); 2003 Vergelegen Chardonnay (7.99; Oddbins, Majestic); and 2003 The Chocolate Block (14.99; Waitrose)

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME picks his favourite dry and spicy malt whiskies. First up is Bruichladdich 10 Year Old (24.99; Oddbins), 'pronounced "brook-laddie", or simply "the Laddie" if you wish to sound like an expert'. He also chooses Highland Park (24.24; Tesco), a 'quirky beauty from Orkney with a wonderful heathery aroma created by drying the barley over peat from nearby Hobbister moor'. Finally, he goes for Bowmore Legend (19.99; Waitrose): 'If you associate Islay with the austere character of distilleries like Laphroaig and Lagavulin, then try this richer malt from Bowmore on the shores of Loch Indaal.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

If you spot a delicate hint of wet dog, mouse or sticking plaster in your wine, then it's a fair bet you've had your first encounter with Brett, says TIM ATKIN MW. 'Brett can be difficult to spot,' he says. 'For certain wines - such as Napa Valley Cabernet, traditional red Bordeaux, northern Rhne reds and oak-aged Australian Shiraz - Bretty characters are almost part of the style.' He adds that with the trend towards unfiltered wines and riper styles, Brett 'may make cork taint look like a comparatively minor problem', seeing as reds made in hot climates, where natural acidity is low and a little sweetness is not uncommon in the finished wine, 'are asking for a visit from Mr Brett'.

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