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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE congratulates herself for tempting her dieting friends to get stuck into a plate of Manchego cheese and a glass of Warre's Otima 20 Year Old Tawny (18.4920; Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Cambridge Wine Merchants) 'they knew it was too delicious a taste sensation to miss' and also recommends the 10 Year Old (9.9910.99; widely available), which is 'lighter and much less serious'.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES' discounted selections include 2003 Clos de los Siete (8.99 each, down from 10.99 when two bottles are bought; Majestic) and 2003 Avila Chardonnay (7.99, down from 9.99; Oddbins). His Wine of the Week is 2003 St Hallett Faith Shiraz (7.99; Tesco).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the rash of spring tastings in full swing, ANTHONY ROSE compares the offerings from Waitrose, Oddbins and Majestic: 'Waitrose has always taken wine just that bit more seriously than the other supermarkets. There's a sense in which the if it ain't broke, don't fix it mentality could be playing to its disadvantage.' He notes a sense of dj vu with the Australian, Argentinian and California wines, but praises the retailer for its Austrian Grner Veltliners and German Rieslings. Oddbins fares better with its 'strong' South African, Australian, New Zealand and Chilean ranges, as well as its new range of white Burgundies. And Majestic 'looks in better shape than ever', with a 'young but experienced wine-buying team and the sort of enthusiastic sales staff that once characterised Oddbins'.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW is impressed at the progress made by Spain in such a short space of time: 'It was not long ago that good-quality Spanish wine meant Rioja. Then Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Then Priorat had to be added to the pot, plus Albario from Galicia for white-wine drinkers.' She then adds a dozen names to this list, including Campo de Borja, Navarra and Peneds. But the hottest new red wine region, in her eyes, is Toro, which has seen a quadrupling of producers in the past seven years. She recommends 2003 Muruve Roble Toro (3.99, down from 5.99; Sainsbury's); 2002 Garnacha Vias Viejas Baltasar Gracin (6.99; Adnams); and 2003 Tempranillo La Serrana Vino de la Tierra Castilla y Lon (2.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the VE Day celebrations fresh in our minds, JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON reports on how French winemakers did their utmost to stop the onslaught of German weinfuhrers during WWII. He says: 'The French efforts to thwart the Nazis are reminiscent of the greatest tales of the Resistance.' For instance, a Parisian restaurant owner frantically built a wall to hide his finest 20,000 bottles; certain winemakers draped cobwebs over their cheaper wines to give the impression they were more desirable; and Nazi wine-transporting trains were successfully sabotaged. Bracey-Gibbon says that in time, many of the weinfuhrers realised that 'to plunder and pillage was self-defeating, and, for many, was an affront to their professional, rather than political, ethics'. In terms of vintages, he says that 1940 was a good year, 1941 and 1942 were fairly poor, 1943 was good, 1944 was average, but 1945 was 'the vintage of the century'.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE's recommendations include 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (4.24 each when two are bought; Majestic); 2003 Vergelegen Chardonnay (7.99; Oddbins, Majestic); and 2003 The Chocolate Block (14.99; Waitrose)

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME picks his favourite dry and spicy malt whiskies. First up is Bruichladdich 10 Year Old (24.99; Oddbins), 'pronounced "brook-laddie", or simply "the Laddie" if you wish to sound like an expert'. He also chooses Highland Park (24.24; Tesco), a 'quirky beauty from Orkney with a wonderful heathery aroma created by drying the barley over peat from nearby Hobbister moor'. Finally, he goes for Bowmore Legend (19.99; Waitrose): 'If you associate Islay with the austere character of distilleries like Laphroaig and Lagavulin, then try this richer malt from Bowmore on the shores of Loch Indaal.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

If you spot a delicate hint of wet dog, mouse or sticking plaster in your wine, then it's a fair bet you've had your first encounter with Brett, says TIM ATKIN MW. 'Brett can be difficult to spot,' he says. 'For certain wines - such as Napa Valley Cabernet, traditional red Bordeaux, northern Rhne reds and oak-aged Australian Shiraz - Bretty characters are almost part of the style.' He adds that with the trend towards unfiltered wines and riper styles, Brett 'may make cork taint look like a comparatively minor problem', seeing as reds made in hot climates, where natural acidity is low and a little sweetness is not uncommon in the finished wine, 'are asking for a visit from Mr Brett'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

The multifaceted joys of Riesling are examined by VICTORIA MOORE, who says she was a little perturbed when a friend tried one and asked her: 'Is it meant to smell slightly like a stairwell or public toilet?' Moore admits that Riesling is a 'startling grape to encounter for the first time'. Her recommendations include 2003 Margarethenhof Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett (5.99; Majestic); and 2000 Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Hochgewachs Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium (5.49; Majestic).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY despises the 'ugly pink charge' of Mateus Ros and ros d'Anjou, and considers it 'apt' that the former was Saddam Hussein's favourite wine. Instead of these offerings, she recommends heading to the south of France: 'One of the advantages of cracking open a dry, tasty and pretty jewel-pink ros is that this is one of the few wine styles that is guaranteed to put you in a summery mood, even if it's pouring with rain outside. The good news is the arrival of the fresher, crisper 2004 European ross, with heaps more fruit and finesse than the sunburnt and sometimes flabby 2003 pinks.' She opts for 2004 Chteau Guiot Ros (5.29; Majestic) and 2004 Domaine de Pellehaut Vin de Pays des Ctes de Gascogne (4.49-4.99; Booths, Waitrose).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

To celebrate the launch of its 1966 vintage, Dom Prignon invited members of England's World Cup-winning team to a slap-up meal in London - and JONATHAN RAY went along, too. He asked fullback Ray Wilson if any Champagne was drunk after the final, and Wilson replied: 'I can't remember what we were drinking. But there must have been plenty of something, because I didn't sober up for about a week.' Fellow fullback George Cohen is related by marriage to Alsace producer Andr Ostermann, and he tells Ray that he's moved on from his 'Piesporter Michelsberg and jellied-eel days'.

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

According to RICHARD EHRLICH, 1.6 billion units of wine packaged in Tetra Pak have been sold around the world. And while Ehrlich admits that it's 'easy to sniff and sneer', he says that the medium has a number of benefits: 'Tetra Pak offers the possibility of packaging wine in a range of convenient sizes'; 'it is perfect if you value ease of storage over elegance of presentation'; 'it's a pleasure to open if you don't require the popping of a cork or even the turning of a screwcap'; and 'it makes it easy to store leftovers without exposure to oxygen'.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE was on the same trip, but admits that tasting unfinished wines makes predicting their future only a little more reliable than a village fte palmist'. But he does believe that the vintage has tended to favour chteaux with the best locations and resources', adding that prices need to be cut to 2002 levels or below.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Completing her round-up of 2004 Bordeaux tasting, JANCIS ROBINSON MW recommends her pick of dry and sweet white wines. She says that 2004's 'prolonged growing season, unplagued by tropical temperatures, together with increasing skill in white winemaking, has resulted in some delicious dry white Bordeaux which combine wonderful freshness with real intensity of flavour'. On the sweet side, she says that the vintage lacks consistency, and the weight of the past couple of years. However, most wines display 'very refreshing acidity', and a 'good level' of botrytis.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE recommends a Lambrusco - 2003 Ermete Medici Concerto Lambrusco Reggiano (7-10; Booths, Les Caves de Pyrene, Harrods, House of Fraser, Valvona & Crolla) to be precise - and gives readers a fascinating insight into her psyche at the same time: 'I'd like to open the bottle on the first properly warm Saturday in spring. On such days, my cousin and I used to scramble through her kitchen window on to her tiny balcony, sip a cool beer, and gossip and watch everyone walking up and down the street and wonder again whether the two men in the flat opposite, very clearly naked from at least the hip up, ever wore clothes when at home.'

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY seems to be making up for lost time. Despite giving up booze every January, he ended up in a 'bit of a haze' during a recent stay in Venice to sample Prosecco, and this week, throws his heart and soul into a cocktail class in Brighton: 'With regular sampling, I get confused as to which cocktail is being made. I am not alone.' Ray passes his multiple-choice exam at the end of the class, although he admits that it 'is not exactly conducted under exam conditions... one student raising his hand, not to ask how much time we have left, but to order another strawberry and balsamic Mojito'.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY's weekly selection includes 2004 Hardy's Stamp Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (down 1.64 to 3.82 until 10 May; Tesco); 2004 Chilean Chardonnay (2.99; Asda); and Lanson Black Label Brut Champagne (down 4.20 to 16.79 until 8 May; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME's pick of wines to suit beef dishes includes 1998 Navajas Reserva Rioja (7.99; Morrisons); 2002 Marqus de Casa Concha Merlot (7.99; Sainsbury's); and 2003 Leaping Horse Shiraz (4.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON explores the 'minefield' that is choosing a wine to take to a dinner party: 'If you play safe with something achingly familiar, such as Chablis or Chardonnay, you'll look unimaginative. If you go for something more esoteric, you risk your host not knowing what to serve it with: anyone for Monbazillac with herrings?'

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InBev seals A-B merger for $52bn

Published:  23 July, 2008

Stella brewer InBev has drawn to a close its acquisition of Budweiser manufacturer Anheuser-Busch with a $52 billion offer being accepted early this morning (July 14).

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