Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore evaluates some of the better Champagnes available while pointing out it is "not just for parties and toasting new jobs". Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus NV (35.99, Majestic) is "supremely elegant and full of grace" and worth trading up for from the ordinary Brut Reserve, she says. 1996 Fleury (38, Vintage Roots) rates high in Moore's affections also with its "honeyed, pillowy nougat flavours" and its biodynamic pedigree.

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

This week, French NGO Association Nationale de Prvention en Alcoologie et Addictologie (Anpaa) has really got Tim Atkin's goat. The "alarmingly puritanical" group that deals with the illegal promotion of alcohol in France recently won a case for a Champagne advert in magazine Le Point. "Even in America, the land of pointless lawsuits, this would be regarded as over the top", Atkin argues. On the wine front his recommendations - with alcohol content henceforth included in the column - featured a 2006 Petit Chablis, Jean de Chaudenay (6.99, Sainsbury's) and La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matellica (7.99, Waitrose).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Why sit in a bath of baked beans for charity, when you can have a nice glass of wine instead, asks TIM ATKIN MW? Wine Relief runs until 16 March and until that date 10% of the value of certain wines at participating retailers goes to Comic Relief. Atkin reviews the selections offered by those participating, as well as naming the retailers conspicuous by their absence - Oddbins and Asda.
Tesco, M&S, Majestic and the Co-op are offering an interesting range, whereas Somerfield and Morrison's offering is dull'. Atkin has a dig at the host of branded wines. He says, I suspect some brand owners regard Wine Relief as just another opportunity to promote their wines.' Wherever did he get that idea?

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

No MATTHEW JUKES, just some decanters - from the Admiral (www.aquascutumgifts.com; 295) to the Olivia (www.gobletdirect.co.uk; 28.95).

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW defends Chardonnay - the world's greatest white grape' - against the ABC movement. He says it suffers for its popularity: being easy to grow, pronounce, make and sell, but notes it makes wines that are rarely undrinkable', compared with styles that are popular as well as bad - White Zinfandel and most Pinot Grigio'. He admits that vast plantings of Chardonnay at the expense of indigenous grapes has reduced the diversity of the wine world but has also helped drinkers discover other varieties it is often blended with. And they don't all taste the same or cost a fortune, he notes, selecting four under 14 from Chile, South Africa and France.

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Follow your heart when you choose a red wine, says SUSY ATKINS, who raises a glass (two small ones over dinner, not a whole bottle on an empty stomach) to antioxidants. She goes over the much-repeated facts (see Jamie Goode's feature in Harpers on 12 January) about how the grape skins and seeds of red grapes hold most of the protective properties and how those grown at high altitudes are especially potent because the longer ripening season produces extra pigments in their skins (ergo more antioxidants). She cites Professor Roger Corder's book, The Wine Diet, saying we should concentrate on Sardinian and southern French styles. There's no Italian pick but Atkins likes the 2003 Chteau Peyros Tempo Madiran (4.99 or 3.99 for two; Majestic).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON takes a look at Shiraz/Viognier blends and reminds drinkers that while a small percentage of the white grape enhances the perfume, texture, and colour of the Shiraz, more isn't always better - sometimes 5% is too much. While the idea stems from Cte-Rtie in the Northern Rhne, it's Australia that makes most of these blends. Her best-value pick is 2004 Yering Station (9.99, Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It is time to crack open a full-bodied red, says SUSY ATKINS. Dismissing the namby-pamby drinks she has been sampling recently, she turns her attention to powerful reds that can measure up to hearty cold-weather stews. I've heard of Aussie winemakers refer to them as wines with grunt' - an apt description of red packed with concentrated fruit and chunky, almost chewy tannins,' she observes. The best big reds come from warm vineyard sites in South Africa, Spain, Chile, France's deep south and Australia, she says.

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

As the supermarket leviathans march through Brighton and Hove, JONATHAN RAY suggests oenophiles escape to the small independent merchants in the area. To broaden your (or his) shopping pleasure, he notes that Quaff Fine Wine Merchant, run by ex-Sussex county cricketer Toby Peirce, is by a transvestite's outfitters and, near to an erotic boutique is Festival Wines, specialising in organic - orgasmic? - wines. His weekly choices include 2004 Quinta do Ca (7.99; Butlers Wine Cellar).

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Dedicating her column to the underappreciated winemaker', VICTORIA MOORE hails the very much appreciated (given their multiple plaudits) Alvaro Espinoza of Chile, Portugal's Dirk Niepoort, Australia's Matt Gant and bestselling author Patricia Atkinson. Espinoza's organic 2004 Mareante Hill Cabernet-Merlot (5.99, Marks & Spencer) is a top-value pick.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

What effect does such a fted year as 2005 have on the vintages before and after it? JANCIS ROBINSON MW says it's too early to judge the testing' 2006 vintage, but she notes that classed growth 2004 Bordeaux look even better than they did en primeur' - and a real bargain compared with 2005. Red Burgundy wasn't so lucky: her tastings have been mixed and downright depressing'. But there is joy' from whites, especially Chablis, which seems more successful than in 2005.

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY also goes Grner this week. She disagrees that the variety is boring and bland by giving readers an annotated version of the variety's entry in The Oxford Companion to Wine, citing stats on hectolitres per hectare harvested, its percentage in total Austrian plantings and where best to plant it (the pretty terraced southern banks of the Danube' apparently). Eventually readers find out what it tastes like and where to buy some. When in Vienna, she likes the oh-so popular heurigen inns'.

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Explaining the desirability of the 2005 Burgundies, JANCIS ROBINSON MW says nothing went wrong except for a spot of hail in the growing season. Thanks to a lack of water, the grapes may have been pea-sized, with thick skins full of flavour, tannin and colour, but for most of the red wines, yields were relatively respectable. She agrees with Bernard Dugat-Py's view that 2005 is not like the super-ripe 1989 and 1990 vintages, because it has much more acidity and much riper tannins. If there is one dominant characteristic of the wines, she says, it is their thrilling combination of ripeness with acidity'.

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES picks out seven affordable wines from California this week. Among them are 2004 Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel (8.99; Thresher) and 2005 Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir, Hahn Estates (6.99; Sainsbury's).
His Wine of the Week is 2005 Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay (6.49-6.99; Sainsbury's, Tesco), which he says sits shoulder to shoulder with any other great Chardonnay at a similar price'.

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Rich, fruity full-on wines that go well with Indian curries do not go with Thai food, says SUSY ATKINS.
She thinks Thai dishes need a more delicate touch, and a lighter, crisper style, and suggests trying an exotic wine such as 2004 Preiss-Zimmer's Gewrztraminer (6.99; Morrison's), 2006 Villa Maria Gewrztraminer (7.99; Waitrose, Majestic) or 2005 Pauletts Riesling, Polish Hill River (9.99; Majestic).

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

This week JAMIE GOODE looks for full-flavoured whites and richly fruited red wines to partner sweet and spicy North African dishes this week.
His recommendations range from the 2005 Wolf Blass Yellow Label Riesling (7.49; Morrison's) to the slightly less mainstream Brazilian wine 2005 Rio Sol (4.99; Waitrose). He says it is surprisingly good for a vineyard that produces three crops a year. A Merlot from Moroccan producer, Les Celliers de Meknes, also comes in for praise.

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tawny Port does not have the comfort factor of Vintage Port, says JOANNA SIMON, partly because it should be served chilled. Despite being the colour of terracotta tiles', she praises it for its versatility and as a match for killer chocolate puddings'. Watch out for cheap versions that don't indicate an age, she warns. Her recommendations include 10-Year-Old Marks & Spencer Aged Tawny (11.99), 10-Year-Old Noval Tawny Port (15.59; Waitrose) and Graham's The Tawny (14.99-15.09; Sainsbury's, Tesco, Thresher, Waitrose).

Read more...

The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

The one dark cloud hanging over the UK wine trade is the Chancellor, observes MATTHEW JUKES. We have to pay the same duty rate per bottle for English wines as we do for wines made outside our shores, and it is time to give us a break, he argues.
Biddenden Vineyard, in Biddenden, Kent - his former local vineyard - Jukes says has always made good wines and its 2005 Gribble Bridge Ros (78.60 for 12 bottles) is not to be missed.

Read more...

The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's JANE MacQUITTY's turn to sing the praises of Portugal's native grape varieties and its wines this week. Many bear a hefty price tag, but among the more affordable wines, she recommends: Sainsbury's 2005 Taste the Difference Douro red (6.99), produced by Quinta do Crasto; 2001 Jos de Sousa red (6.29; Waitrose); and 2004 Portal da Aguia Trincadeiro (5.69; Oddbins).

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Although Barbera and Dolcetto might not be as intellectual as Nebbiolo-based Barolo and Barbaresco', VICTORIA MOORE recommends these grapes for value and easy-drinking qualities. So easy that they can be drunk from a Duralex beaker' apparently. Among her recommendations is 2003 Elio Grasso Barbera d'Alba Vigna Martina. But at 18.75 a bottle (Lay & Wheeler), I think I'd be reaching for a glass.

Read more...