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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW discovers a whole new category of wine known as Vinos Atlnticos 'all of them bracing wines with very different local personalities but all given tension by the cooling influence of the Atlantic'. She goes on to give some background on the four main members of the Atlantic club: Vinho Verde ('to me smells like laurel leaves'), Ras Baixas (manage[s] to pack an impressive amount of pure & fruit into the bottle'), Txakoli ('as an apritif it is in a class of its own') and Iroulguy ('if Txakoli is the white wine of Spanish Basque country, Iroulguy is its French counterpart').

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH, on the other hand, is not nearly so sure about Matt Skinner's Thirsty Work. 'What worries me about the book is that it tries to do something that perhaps can't be done: to give wine the bash it up and bung it in the pot treatment that Jamie Oliver used so successfully for cooking.' And not content with taking a swing at Skinner, Ehrlich continues, 'some problems could have been remedied by more attentive editing such as eliminating the dozens of exclamation marks that litter the pages'. However, Suzy Atkins's Cocktails and Perfect Party Drinks (4.99; Quadrille) gets the thumbs-up, and The Wines of the Napa Valley by Larry Walker (20; Mitchell Beazley) is 'a real treat'. For

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

The only way to really understand wine is to carry on tasting, says JONATHAN RAY. 'Tastings might range from hushed and highbrow ticket-only black-tie events hosted by a Master of Wine, to a few chums around the kitchen table comparing notes over a Chardonnay or two, and they are an essential part of any wine lover's journey.' In an attempt to avoid an organised tasting session turning into a drunken debacle, Ray recommends keeping the number of wines to a minimum (four of each colour) and following a set procedure white before red and unoaked before oaked, for example.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW's selection includes 2000 Samos Nectar (9.7010.59; Tanners, SH Jones) and De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat (10.99; selected Oddbins).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Rich, aromatic and white is the order of the day from GILES KIME and he suggests trying a 2004 Villa Maria Private Bin Gewurztraminer (8.05; Waitrose) or a Brown Brothers Pinot Gris (6.99; Waitrose). n

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH advocates the homemade smoothie but if you prefer to buy, he recommends three from James White, including Apple and Cinnamon Juice (www.jameswhite.co.uk).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE is seduced by ros and picks out a few favourites, including 2004 Castel Syrah Ros, Vin de Pays d'Oc (4.99; Oddbins) and Marks & Spencer Cava Rosado (5.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Aligot is what to order if you like your wine to resemble 'a slap in the face', according to VICTORIA MOORE. The lesser white grape of Burgundy can have 'the freshness of crisp apples', she says. Bourgogne Aligot Guy Chaumont (7.99, Adnams) is recommended.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

'The Aube is the hidden gem of Champagne,' says ANTHONY ROSE. He acknowledges the difficulties of being a late arrival in this famous appellation (the Aube wasn't made an official part of Champagne until 1927), saying: 'Nearly a century on, a sniffy, de-haut-en-bas attitude from Champagne's heartland of Reims and Epernay prevails.' But he happily defends the Aube and points out the inconsistency of the doubters, saying: 'Some three quarters of all the Aube's grapes end up an hour's drive north in brands as renowned as Mot, Lanson, Veuve Clicquot, Laurent Perrier and Billecart-Salmon.' His recommendations include Andr et Michel Drappier Brut Nature (19.99; Anthony Byrne Fine Wines) and Fleary Brut (21.99; Waitrose).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE ditches her usual, conversational-style column and replaces it with a series of food/wine matches. For Angela Hartnett's crostini, she recommends 2004 Torresoto (4.99; M&S), 'a lovely ros from Rioja with a truly hideous Barbie pink and ochre label'; for a chilled courgette soup with garlic and yoghurt, she opts for 2003 Teroldego Rotaliano Endrizzi (7.99; Adnams), 'a red with summery, berry flavours and a charming, country feel'; while for fricassee of Scottish girolles with Parmesan, Moore pushes the boat out with 2000 Ettore Germano Barolo (31.95; Uncorked, italianwinesdirect.com, Thameside Wines), which is 'hauntingly beautiful'.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES raves about Riesling this week and provides his own choice of five, ranging from the driest 2004 Felton Road Dry Riesling, Central Otago (12.70; Jeroboams & Layton's of London) through to the most 'luscious and juicy, but not sweet' 2004 Dragonstone Riesling, Rdesheimer, Drachenstein, Josef Leitz, Rheingau (7.59; Oddbins, 7.34; Weavers of Nottingham).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON comments on the wisdom, or otherwise, of including the term 'old vines' on wine labels. 'Unless you are in the know, the term probably has about the same level of appeal as old socks'. Conversely, she points out that 'growers are right to draw attention to the age of their vineyards, because vines produce grapes of increasingly fine quality the older they get.' She recommends three good-value, old-vine red wines from Spain, including 2003 Casa de las Ermita Monastrell, Jumilla (6.69; Oddbins).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW puts his wine column to one side this week

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

'The rockocracy is moving into wine,' reports JONATHAN RAY. And some of it might actually be quite good. Cliff Richard's Vida Nova from the Algarve was apparently too successful for Tesco, which has declined to stock the current vintage 'not because it is no good, but because the winery can't produce enough to satisfy the supermarket's demands'. Although, speaking to Bruce Cohn of the Doobie Brothers, Ray sees the downside of this hobby for the rockers. Cohn says, 'The great tragedy is that half the band haven't tasted [their wines] and never will. They drink only Perrier now, thanks to their past excesses.' Ray looks forward to a Chteau Oasis in the future.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Long live the gang of 12,' announces JANE MacQUITTY. She is referring, of course, to the association of New Zealand winegrowers covering every major region and all the main grape varieties. 'Some commentators have grumbled about the elitism of the 12, whose wines are mostly priced around 925 a bottle, but provided the wines deliver great value for money at these prices, and most of them do, I cannot see what the problem is.' Her favourites include 2004 Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc (8.99; Vintage Roots), which displays 'soft, spritzy, peach, pineapple and citrus-layered fruit'; 2004 Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc (Lay & Wheeler; 8.95), spicy, gooseberry, nettle and fresh lime delight'; and the same winery's 'gorgeous rose and lychee-charged' 2004 Gewurztraminer (Lay & Wheeler; 9.95).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME goes where few wine writers dare to tread and matches wines with chocolate. For orange-flavoured chocolate, he recommends Henriques

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

A trio of picks from RICHARD EHRLICH. First up is 2003 Stella Bella Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (40.79 for six bottles, down from 51.24; Sainsbury's), a 'great wine with Riesling-like lime intensity. A steal.' Next is 2004 Terre da Vino Roero Arneis (5.99, or 5.09 each when two are bought; Majestic), 'a fresh, citrussy and nutty white from a distinguished producer of Barolo'. His final choice is for 2004 Dourthe No.1 Sauvignon Blanc (4.99; Waitrose).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE chooses a brace of white Burgundies. The first, 2002 Domaine des Chazelles Vir-Cless Cuve Vieilles Vignes (10.75; Stone, Vine & Sun), 'smells of honeyed blossom and has an opulent mouthfeel with a fresh acidity'. The second, 2004 Mcon-Fuiss Vieilles Vignes (10.99; Majestic), is, Moore adds curiously, 'more leonine in nature'.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

There's a plea from JOANNA SIMON for us Brits to get stuck into Spanish ross. And while ros sales in the UK are soaring (one in every 20 bottles sold in the off-trade is a ros double the figure in the late 1990s), the Spanish drink far more. Simon's favourites include 2004 Torresoto Ros (4.99; M&S), 2004 Otto Bestu (6.95; Great Western Wines) and 2004 Vineyard X Garnacha Ros (3.49, or 2.33 each when three are bought; Thresher).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Turn up unannounced at any of the world's great wineries and, more often than not, as a friend of TIM ATKIN MW can testify, you will be greeted with a polite 'Non, Monsieur'. Atkin understands their point: 'If the likes of Ptrus, Vega Sicilia or Domaine de la Romane-Conti gave tastings to every passing wine lover, they'd run out of booze in weeks.'

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