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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 Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bordeaux has finally released its prices for the 2005 vintage and ANTHONY ROSE reports: 'Just when everyone thought that the big-name chteaux couldn't get more expensive, many of them have surpassed themselves in an orgy of exorbitant pricing.' The good news is that some of the lesser chteaux have kept things affordable, and when it comes to getting hold of them, Rose says: 'Among the specialists, Farr Vintners has one of the best-priced selections.' His recommendation for wine under a fiver is 2005 Palandri Pinnacle Semillon Sauvignon (4.99; Waitrose).

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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 Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME rises to the challenge of finding a wine match for green minestrone with pesto, recommending 2004 Barbera (6.49; Marks and Spencer).

The wonderfully dry, sotto voce flavours of this Italian red are a perfect match.'

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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 Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

The wines of Yorkshire have been winning medals and SARAH TODD speaks to one of the northern entrepreneurs. George Bowden bought a south-facing patch of land, within Leeds' city boundaries in 1985 and turned it into Leventhorpe Vineyard. Since then, Todd reports that he has progressed in leaps and bounds', as well as setting something of a trend, with three other Yorkshire vineyards now in existence'. The sparkling wine has caught the imagination most', she continues, but overall, the wine has won too many medals to be a novelty'. Todd particularly likes 2004 Leventhorpe Madeleine Angevine (7; Leventhorpe Vineyard). Another English classic is 2003 Chapel Down Pinot Noir, Kent (12.99; Chapel Down Winery).

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Time Out

Published:  23 July, 2008

An anonymous contributor recommends Cointreau (16.99), Fragoli Wild Strawberry Liqueur (14.95; www.thedrinkshop.com), The King's Ginger Liqueur (14.45; Berry Bros); and Pama Pomegranate Liqueur (17.44; www.thedrinkshop.com).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY heads to the Cape and falls in love. 'The country is beautiful, the welcome effusive and the wines utterly bewitching.' Bruce Jack's Flagstone winery is one of the stop-off points and Ray comments: 'Innovative, daring and provocative, Jack has long been the enfant terrible of the South African wine industry'. Charles Back of Fairview is next on the list and Ray gets a chance to taste his three labels (Charles Back, Fairview and Spice Route) including the Goats do Roam series, which has been extended to include the Bordeaux-style red: Bored Doe. And in Ray's view, 'there's not a poor one among them'.

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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'.

Read more...

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'.

Read more...

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).

Read more...

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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