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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pink is the colour of this week's Wow' from MATTHEW JUKES, and it's the most vibrant ros of the year so far': 2005 Cousio-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Ros, Maipo (5.99; Selfridges, Taurus Wines of Guildford, Castang of Cornwall, Corks Out of Warrington).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW has toppled over to the dark side and declared himself to be a believer. That is to say, he's beginning to think that wines, just like people, have good and bad days' and he is thus prepared to put faith in the biodynamic idea of root', fruit' and flower' days.

He's not the only one who feels so inclined, and a chat with Marks and Spencer's wine buyer, Jo Ahearne, reveals that the retailer is hugely guided by lunar cycles and never holds press tastings on root days any more'. Some of the best from M&S included 2004 Lone Range Pinot Noir, Martinborough (14.99).
Atkin is joined by REBECCA SEAL for an in-depth look at cool summer drinking, and ros continues its winning streak, with top examples including 2004 Tariquet Ros, Vin de Pays des Ctes de Gascogne (5.99; Somerfield). Seal turns her attention to spirts and introduces the results of a blind tasting, which aimed to discover if it's worth paying more for a designer brand. Tanqueray 10 came out well on the gin front, but Bombay Sapphire did not. Reshnoff was the winning vodka.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'For most hosts, the main criterion for wines for large numbers is price,' says JANCIS ROBINSON MW. With the Christmas season in full swing, she recommends the best buys for under 6. Good-value whites include 2005 Casablanca Sauvignon Blanc (4.99; Marks & Spencer), and a red counterpart is 2004 La Serrana Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon (2.99; Majestic).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW has chosen to concentrate on the human element of the wine trade this week, with a column dedicated almost entirely to Steven Spurrier. According to Robinson, Spurrier is not only an under-celebrated' member of the trade, but also a rather unprofitable one: He has had all manner of brilliant wine ideas that other people, never him, have managed to spin into gold.'

This hasn't dampened her admiration of him however. He has enriched the wine world considerably and played a key part in the wine education of such luminaries as Michel Bettane.' The particular reason for this focus on Spurrier is the recent trouncing of France by California at a blind tasting event he organised, but it's the general life decisions made by the wine writer that interest Robinson overall.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

France is playing the New World at its own game, reports ANTHONY ROSE, and it's not doing such a bad job either. Animal labels are currently all the rage, and France is in the thick of it: At Morrisons' spring tasting, I came across four French bottles with, respectively, a cat, a hedgehog, a sandpiper and a butterfly on the label.'

Rose isn't convinced of the need for all this wildlife, but he's happy to see it come with the growing use of grape varieties on the label to help us through the maze of wine styles.' Rose's favourites among the new-style Frenchies include 2004 Blason de Bourgogne Chardonnay (5.99; Morrisons).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Over-rated and over-priced, or a great vintage and great value?' This is the question concerning JONATHAN RAY in his analysis of the mighty 2005 offering from Bordeaux. High prices are sure to exclude the modest buyers from the top end of the market, but this is by no means the end of the world.

Look beyond the properties that you usually buy, either to wines from the cheaper end or to the second wines of the big names, ensuring some fine, slightly-better-than-everyday drinking for years to come.' Recommended cheaper options include Chteau Patache d'Aux and Chteau Cissac.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES cruises through G to L in his 'Modern A-Z of Wine' and I is for Italy with a suggestion to try the 'sensational, top-flight' 2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Ca'del Pipa, Veneto (15.99; Majestic). Wow of the Week falls in L's favour and Jukes goes for a liqueur: De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat South-Eastern Australia (9.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Picnics are the meal of choice for JAMIE GOODE this week, and he's keen for his readers to chuck a few good bottles into the basket with the food.

After all, If you've taken time and trouble over the food, why skimp on the quality of your wine.'

Potential picnic-goers include 2005 Tesco Finest Beaujolais Villages, France (4.99; Tesco).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

The new-look International Wine Challenge (IWC) gets the thumbs up from RICHARD EHRLICH, whose experience with competitions means he thinks he's moderately well qualified to state that when they're well run, they are a largely reliable guide to quality in the bottle'.

This year's changes within the top management and judging panel has resulted in some worthy medals, says Ehrlich, not least because he has already recommended a few of them in the past.

And even if he hasn't, there are many others I would have guessed at'. This week's wine recommendations include 2005 Anakena Chardonnay/Viognier (4.99; Co-op).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

World Cup fever is already in the air for MATTHEW JUKES as he looks back to 1966 and reveals that England's year of glory on the football pitch was a pretty good vintage for wine as well.

Long before the New World's gems started appearing on our shores, Europe's finest wine regions had a wonderful harvest.'

For readers who would rather not fork out hundreds of pounds on the increasingly rare bottled proof of this declaration, Jukes recommends a few more recent examples of fine French wine.

These include 2001 Vosne-Romane, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Burgundy (22.35; Haynes, Hanson & Clark).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Buying a wine in the best possible condition means buying it in a coloured bottle, says JOANNA SIMON.

This proves to be a problem if you're after ros, however, considering that most producers would prefer to show off the pretty pink colours rather than pay attention to a shield against light.

Marks and Spencer is the only retailer to throw caution to the wind with a green ros bottle, and Simon recommends 2005 Bourgogne Ros (8.99; Marks and Spencer).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW investigates the worthiness, or otherwise, of 1998 Bordeaux: 'A vintage that was famously much more successful in St- Emilion, Pomerol and Graves than in the Mdoc.' The most expensive bottle to be put to the test (blind), is Chteau Ptrus, at more than 1,000 a bottle, which Robinson 'liked' but 'no more than a wine that was being sold for 35.'

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

The 2001 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino escaped frost annihilation by the skin of its teeth, and JANCIS ROBINSON MW tasted the results.

She has been slightly disappointed by this classic Italian wine in recent years due to certain producers' tendencies towards a more global style, and this vintage is no different: I'd say a good third of the Brunello di Montalcino 2001 bottlings tasted closer to an archetype of modern red wine than to anything even particularly Tuscan, which seems a shame.'

Guilty producers included La Fornace and Podere Bellarina, while Carparzo and Fuligni were among the traditionalists.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Shiraz has hit Chile and ANTHONY ROSE can't get over the impact.

The progress of wine styles based on the Rhne Valley's Syrah grape has been nothing short of phenomenal.'

Chile's grape-friendly climate has presented the potential for plenty of different styles, ranging from the sumptuous, blackberryish' 2004 Alta Tierra Elqui Valley Syrah (7.49; Laithwaites) to the vivid, accessible' 2005 Torren de Paredes Syrah Reserve Rengo, Cachapoal Valley (7.99; Forth Wines).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

A dodgy early experience with gin has led to JONATHAN RAY having an uneasy relationship with the stuff'.

On the other hand, his wife loves it and he keeps hearing that it's the new in' thing.

To bring himself up to date, he pays a visit to the Hendrick's distillery and finds himself developing a taste' for the quirky gin from William Grant & Sons.

This revelation soon leads to a proper home-made tasting session with 15 friends and 12 gins. Gin of the evening (and my favourite) is Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength (29.99; Harrods, Selfridges),' Ray concludes.

Prize for the most alcoholic option goes to Blackwood's 60 Superior Vintage Dry Gin, 60% abv (24.99; Harvey Nichols and independents).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's the second instalment of the Grard Depardieu-inspired, French special for MATTHEW JUKES this week, and his selection of regional whites shows 'why France still sits at the top of the world's fine-wine league'. This week's particular 'wow' is 2004 Chteau Tour Lognan Pessac-Lognan, Bordeaux (9.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

If there's one aspect of French culture that we find almost impossible to resist, it's their world-class food and wine,' says JAMIE GOODE.

French wine went through bit of a down period a few years ago, becoming the source of wine lake plonk' but there's plenty of value for money available now, such as the beautifully fruity 2004 Stone Road Shiraz, Vin de Pays d'Oc (4.49; Co-op).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

While Spanish whites have previously been considered a little second class by the Spaniards, JOANNA SIMON reports that changes are afoot.

Whites made from the Albario grape in Ras Baixas are now ultra-fashionable, and Rueda's Sauvignon-like Verdejo is coming up fast at comfortingly reasonable prices.'

Other more obscure options can also be worth a try, and these include 2004 Gaba do Xil Godello (6.99; Adnams).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine consumption might be down in France and Australia but it's up in the UK and the US, reports RICHARD EHRLICH.

In the latter two countries, there seems to be no shortage of money sloshing around for the right stuff', he expains.

As far as spending this money goes, the recent vintage from Bordeaux is a good bet and Ehrlich suggests taking a trip to Lea and Sandeman for some expert advice.

For those who want to drink their reds now, he recommends 2004 El Dueo Shiraz (4.99; Marks & Spencer).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Domaine de Chevalier in Bordeaux was sold to the Bernard family in 1982, and JANCIS ROBINSON MW wonders why 'it has failed to maintain its leadership' in recent years. One of the major reasons, she says, is 'its high proportion of young vines', which were planted under the new ownership. But the new vines are growing older, and, according to Robinson, 1996 is the turning point: from then on, 'the wines seemed to get better and better, particularly in 2001, 2003 and 2004.'

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