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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

For those of you planning to start your own wine cellar, Matthew Jukes has chosen a selection of wines, each with its own drinking date.
For wines that will last up to 4 years, he recommends 2005 Marques de Casa Concha Merlot, Concha y Toro (7.99, Sainsbury's) and 2005 Petaluma Chardonnay (14.99, Tesco). For wines that will drink well for a good seven years, he goes for 2005 St Hallett Blackwell Shiraz (12.99, Sainsbury's) and 2002 Veuve Cliquot (45.99, Wine Rack). And for a real staying power, he picks 2000 Quinta da Roriz Port (29.99, Wine Rack), "a complete and utter bargain", says Jukes.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Anthony Rose questions whether wine under the 10 mark is really California's strongest suit, following the recent annual California wine tasting in London. While he understands why the region feels the need to show it can compete at the everyday price point with other new world regions, he is unconvinced that this is what California does best. "The under a tenner price point doesn't begin to reflect the innovation, diversity and quality of today's thriving California wine industry," he complains. While there are some good stalwarts in the under 10 bracket, such as Ravenswood's Lodi Zinfandel, and the " tropical, grapefruity" Bonterra organic 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, Rose believes the reality is that you need to pay more for quality. He recommends Cline's "spicy, rich" 2005 Ancient Vines Mourvedre, Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay (24.50, Berry Bros), Joseph Phelps "spicy, rich, blackberryish" Le Mistral (27.50, Waitrose) and Calera's "elegant" Central Coast Pinot Noir, (16.99 Waitrose).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite the recent snow falls, Victoria Moore focuses on crisp whites for spring, but encourages her readers to be adventurous and try something other than the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc; Verdejo from Rueda, Assyrtiko from Greece and Vermentino all tick the right boxes for fans of clean unoaked whites with good acidity.

She likes Tesco's Finest Palestra Rueda Verdejo (5.99, Tesco) and describes it as "dry, lithe and prickly. The 2007 De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc (799, Oddbins) also wins her vote, as does the "crystalline" Weingut Pfarre Weissenkirchen Grner Veltliner (6.99, Majestic).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW profiles winemaker Pierre-Yves Colin, who, unlike some of his Burgundy colleagues, enthuses about other wine regions around the world.
"Balding with intense eyes, a healthy outdoor mien, well-etched features and dramatically dark eyebrows that are in constant motion" is how Robinson describes Colin, who has gained respect for his "dense, pure" white Burgundies. And although he buys in around 30% of his total production, he refuses to show the growers the wines he has made from their grapes: "It would be a bit like taking a child away from their parents and then showing them how nice the child looked with a new haircut." he says.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bridge the gap between winter and spring with sweet wine, suggests Jane MacQuitty, who doesn't believe it's yet warm enough to drink pink wines or spring whites such as Sauvignon or Riesling, nor cold enough to continue glugging big whites such as oaked Chardonnays. "Step forward sweet wines, whose high alcohol level and sugar content make wonderfully comforting aperitif and first course bottles," she says. Sweet wines also make the perfect partner for the strong salty flavours of powerful blue cheeses such as Roquefort or Stilton. Chill the bottle for a couple of hours to mask some of the sweetness, and even the most confirmed sweet wine hater will be won over, she asserts.

She recommends Sainsbury's "gorgeous, golden honeyed" 2005 Taste the Difference Sauternes (8.49 a half bottle), the 2003 Chteau Filhot with its "crystallized pineapple palate", (9.99 a half bottle, Majestic Wines) and Tesco's 2004 Finest Sauternes (12.20 a half bottle).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Despite common perceptions to the contrary, Australia is capable of producing elegant, subtle restrained wines along with the best of them, says Tim Atkin. And Tasmania, for long dismissed as a credible wine region, is now producing some impressive wines in a more elegant style than the traditional in- your- face- Aussie headbangers. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir all have a "bright future" here, according to Atkin, who even had an "impressive" Cabernet Sauvignon, a grape that used to struggle in Tasmania's climate.
Three wines that grabbed Atkin's tastebuds include the "New Zealand-like" 2007 Tasmania Sauvignon Blanc, Tamar Ridge Estates (7.99, Marks & Spencer); the "honeyed, refreshing, stylishly oaked" 2006 The Society's Exhibition Tasmanian Chardonnay, (9.95, The Wine Society); and the "youthful, structured, multi-dimensional, Burgundian-style" 2005 Apsley Gorge Pinot Noir (15.42, Justerini & Brooks). However, Tasmania's strength still lies in its sparkling wines, and Atkin particularly likes the "fresh, strawberryish, all -Pinot Noir" 2005 Clover Hill Ros (16.99, Oddbins).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jane MacQuitty is fuming because "after almost a decade of research and effort", winemakers appear no closer to eradicating the taints caused by corks and screwcaps. "The truth is," she adds, "that no one in the wine industry understands completely why these faults occur, or how to solve them."
Corked wine tastes "musty and malodorous", while some screwcapped wines can "suffer from bitter finishes, flat, jammy aromas and reduction-caused odours, which start with the hydrogen sulphide pong of bad eggs and work up to the full cabbagey stench of sewers and rotting garlic".
Her preferred screwcapped wines include the "wondrous, ripe, spicy, rose-scented"
2006 Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir (19.99, Waitrose); the "fat and minty" 2005 Cape Mentelle Cabernet/Merlot (11.99; Majestic, Tesco); and 2006 Chablis Premier Cru from Labour-Roi (12.99, Tesco), which displays a "steely, mineral pizzazz".

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Rioja is a wine that can often be found to have a multiple personality disorder, Victoria Moore states. Sometimes slick, sometimes traditional and sometimes even sneaky, she feels it is often hard to know where you stand with this Spanish variety. Things are set to get even more confusing, she continues, with the Rioja Regulatory Council's recent approval of six additional native grape varieties. "Expect things to get more complicated still," Moore warns. The 2004 Muriel Rioja Crianza (Sainsbury's, 5.99) features for "pure, sweet, clean fruit" while she also recommends the 2001 Contino Rioja Reserva (Waitrose, 25), which is a "gorgeously nuanced, old-school, noble Rioja that's rich and fulfilling".

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jane MacQuitty touches on the expansion of the Champagne region but poses the question of whether quality will go up in turn? "Production is likely to jump from 330 million bottles to 430 million bottles," she says, but if 2002 is anything to go by consumers will be disappointed. MacQuitty adds some examples from this year were "so nauseously evil I only just made it to the spittoon in time". Thankfully, there were a few notable exceptions in 2002 with Roederer's vintage (Fortnum & Mason, 60) gaining her praise, as does the 2002 Chanoine (Tesco, 36.99) for its "gorgeous, floral, crystallised lemon fruit".

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ordinarily you might think a pint of beer would be a more suitable accompaniment to a pie but Jamie Goode feels that with the "upmarket ingredients" they are often cooked from nowadays, wine is the perfect choice. He recommends the 2007 Malbec Mendoza (Tesco, 2.99) for its "smoky" qualities while the 2004 Ripasso di Valpolicella (Waitrose, 8.99) is "satisfyingly complex" and a good match for steak and kidney pie.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fitting wine choices around vegetarians is a challenging but important aspect of catering nowadays, according to Victoria Moore. This is exacerbated in winter when "it's not easy to add a wine into the mix without it getting in the way". Pasta and risotto are good options but often seen as a "cop-out" so instead opt for butternut squash with Ros or couscous with Tempranillo. Other potentials include the 2006 Origin Organics Vin de Pays d'Oc (6.99, Wine Rack) to go with mushrooms or the 2006 Chteau du Cray Bourgogne Aligot (6.49, Majestic) for its partnership with macaroni cheese.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tim Atkin MW seems to have more than just the initials after his name coordinated with Jancis Robinson MW - as his weekly column is also devoted to the delights of South African whites. "I feel South Africa's white wines are still vastly superior to its reds," he writes, adding that Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chenin Blanc are the stand-out varieties. He picks out the "intense" 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Springfield Special Cuve (Sainsbury's, 8.99) and the 2006 Late Harvest Riesling, Elgin (Jeroboams, 11 per half bottle).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many UK consumers make a beeline for supermarket reds when they think South African but it is in the white wine aisles where this country is really accelerating, says Jancis Robinson MW. It is "one of the very few non-European wine producing countries with an outstanding track record for white wine production," she argues. Chenin Blanc is the country's most planted variety and not without good reason, Robinson feels, adding that while "South Africa's best reds are admirable" the "lesser ones can taste strangely earthy". On a recent tasting trip, the MW awarded eight South African wines more than 17 out of 20 points representing a "very good mark" on her sliding scale. Robinson's white recommendations with approximate retail prices include; the 2006 FMC Chenin Blanc, Ken Foster, Stellenbosch (17); the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve, Vergelegen, Stellenbosch (13); the 2006 Chardonnay, Oak Valley, Elgin (15) and the 2006 Vergelegen White, Stellenbosch (22).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Yes, Jonathan Ray is also on the chocolate matching search. While a Recioto della Valpolicella works a treat, beer seems a better option. Try Brakspear Triple or Worthington White Shield with everyday chocolate like Cadbury's Fruit & Nut or even Ferrero Rocher. Pick of the beers is Belgium's Bacchus Raspberry Beer (2.34 per 37.5cl bottle, Sainsbury's).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the second part of her Valentine's special, SUSY ATKINS leaves pink bubbly behind for the second most seductive drink' - luscious, golden dessert wine.
Her recommendations include the 2003 Concha y Toro Private Reserve Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc (6.99 for 37.5cl; Majestic); 2003/4 Chteau Liot, Sauternes (9.99 for 37.cl; Waitrose) and Hidalgo's Pedro Ximnez Viejo Napoleon (9.99 for 75cl; Majestic).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sommeliers might have become less "snooty", says Susy Atkins but that doesn't mean it's any easier to order a bottle of wine in a restaurant. She recommends heading for the mid-section of the list which, in her opinion, offers the best value and starting with a glass of fino or manzanilla while you are trying to make your mind up. In her "Try These" section Marks & Spencer's 2005 Valpolicella Ripasso (7.49) is worthy of mention for its versatility with rich pasta dishes, steak, duck and mature cheeses.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Hats off to Rioja for doing so darned well, but what a shame for other Spanish regions that don't get a look in. Joanna Simon concedes that Ribera del Duero and Priorat are well established, and Rias Baixas has become fashionable but it's worth trying Campo de Borja, Jumilla and Yecla amongst other, she says. Recommendations for this week include the 2006 Piedra Azul, Toro (7.95, BBR).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore is dismayed that German Riesling can still be a lottery. The German wine grades don't give you much help on the sweetness level of the wine so you don't know what you're going to get until you've actually opened the bottle. Having paired a number of German wines up with food to find a bottle to match with dinner, she was even more disappointed: "in some cases it was like trying to dress a wrestler in Alberta Ferretti - we have to give up altogether on some very good wines because none of the food we were tasting did them any favours at all." Oh dear indeed. However she does manage to find a few that tickle her fancy including the 2006 Prinz Riesling Trocken, Rheingau (9.99, The Winery) and top scoring, roll-off-your tongue 2005 St Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Sptlese Feinherb from the Mosel (17.20, The Winebarn).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fierce drought in South Australia has left the wine industry in a state of flux, says Jancis Robinson this week. Although there has been a slight rally in the levels of the 2007 harvest "it is still likely to be much smaller than the 21st-century average". Robinson feels her long-standing belief that consumers must familiarise themselves with "the interesting nooks and crannies on Australia's wine map," is now a reality. So with cheap Australian wine a "thing of the past" she precedes to recommend the 2004 and 2005 Crawford River Rieslings and Lusatia Park Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (17.95 at Noel Young, also from Oddbins Fine Wine).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Following the recent Climate Change and Wine Conference in Barcelona, Tim Atkin MW discusses the consequences of global warming on the world's vineyards. He warns that in fifty years time the likes of red Bordeaux, Mosel Riesling and Barossa Shiraz could be "unrecognisable". Viticulture in hotter regions such as southern Italy may no longer be viable by 2050. If this is the case, get drinking the 1006 T Toro Covitoro (6.99, Wine Rack) before it's too late. Ok, so there are ways of mitigating the effects of climate change such as planting at altitude or picking earlier, but he does not seem convinced this will be enough to save some areas. However, it's not all bad news for cooler countries that have never even had a vine growing culture. He claims Denmark and Sweden could have a future making drinkable wines. Typically cool wine growing regions may no longer be able to make the steely wines they can so enjoy Marks and Spencer's 2005 Leitz Rdesheimer Berg Roseneel Sptlese Old Vines Riesling (17, M&S) now.

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