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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

To mark English Wine Week, MATTHEW JUKES picks his favourite home-grown fizzes, including 1996 Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs (19; selected Waitrose); 2001 RidgeView Bloomsbury Cuve Merret (14.99; Waitrose); and 2002 Camel Valley 'Cornwall' Brut (14.9916.75; selected Waitrose, Wadebridge Wines).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

How soon is too soon to drink a bottle of vintage Port, wonders JANCIS ROBINSON MW. She says that there is always an assumption that Ports 'start to come into their own from about 20 years old', but Paul Symington tells her that the British need to be 'more adventurous', and he berates the Brits for 'sneering' at Americans who serve vintage Port young. Robinson, who puts 2003 Fonseca and Quinta do Portal as top of her 2003 list, adds: 'Vintage Port, while being impressively concentrated, extremely alcoholic, pretty tannic and deeply coloured, is very sweet. I cannot imagine glugging a bottle of Port with any main course in my culinary vocabulary, and the modern wine drinker seems to have a strange aversion to opening a bottle of something grand and sweet at the end of a meal.'

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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

Finding the right occasion to crack open a bottle of 1995 Masi La Mezzanella Recioto della Valpolicella, which she bought six years ago for her boyfriend, 'proved harder than you might think', says VICTORIA MOORE. 'If I had known more about wine six years ago I wouldn't have chosen something that was not dry,' she admits. The recioto, drunk with cheese, was 'rich, bittersweet and dried fruity' but also 'like cough mixture plus'. The moral of the tale, she concludes, is: 'Do buy the odd bottle to save for a rainy day; do seek advice from a local wine merchant; and, if you're making a bigger outlay than usual, make sure it's on a style of wine you enjoy.'

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Easy-drinking whites are the order of the day, says GILES KIME. He opts for 2004 Sainsbury's Classic Selection Muscadet (4.99): 'Even those with a deep-seated prejudice against Muscadet would find it hard to deny the lightly honeyed charms of this thirst-quenching white.' Next up is 2004 Lizards of Oz Reserve Viognier (5.97; Asda), 'a crisp white from the Clare Valley with an apricot-like freshness'. Finally, he picks 2003 Gavi Madonnina Araldica (6.99; Waitrose), a 'delightful wine that is vibrant and citrussy without being overpowering'.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

With summer on its way, JANE MACQUITTY picks her favourite summer drinks, and also recommends 2004 Spy Mountain Sauvignon Blanc (down 3 to 4.99 until 31 May; Sainsbury's); 2003 Misiones de Rengo Carmenre (down 1.50 to 3.49 until 17 May; Somerfield); and 2003 Warwick Estate Chardonnay (8.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH is convinced that's it's spring: firstly, the Chelsea Flower Show kicks off in a week's time; secondly, 'G&Ts are back'; and, finally, the days are getting longer, 'which means more time to be outside drinking delicious cocktails'. Ehrlich recommends Fevertree Tonic for his G&Ts (1.30/200ml, call 020 7349 4922 for stockists), describing it as 'fresh, clean, and complex'.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW reports back from Bordeaux, and believes that the best reds will make the wine lovers of the world fall in love with tannin again'. The great thing about the tannins in the most successful 2004 red Bordeaux is that they are not bitter or rasping but refreshing. They are not the dry, obtrusive sort that characterised so many wines made in the drought year of 2003, nor the green, underripe ones that plague the least successful 2002s.' Robinson already rates the 2004 offerings from Chteaux Latour and Margaux as excellent', with honourable mentions to Cheval Blanc, Haut-Brion, Mouton and Palmer. She adds: Many winemakers the world over, and particularly in the Americas, seem scared of tannins. Perhaps the superb quality of the best Bordeaux 2004 tannins may encourage some of these producers to return to picking the grapes when a little less ripe so that the tannins are perceptible, possibly refreshing, and alcohol levels are less embarrassingly high.'

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fed up with the anodyne nature of certain wines and wine labels 'great with red meats'; 'made from specially selected red grapes' VICTORIA MOORE is delighted to discover a wine from Jean-Luc Matha ('a winemaker who resembles a character from an Asterix cartoon'), 2002 Le Vieux Porche, Cuve Lairis Marcillac (6.95; Les Caves de Pyrene). Made with the Fer Servadou grape variety, 'its high acidity makes it very refreshing, especially for a red, it has a lovely, rustic fullness of fruit, and underlying all that is a sort of twitching minerality'.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

In a similar vein, JOANNA SIMON encourages her readers to be more adventurous with Chilean wine, with new varieties such as Pinot Noir and Riesling and new areas like the Limar and Elqui valleys making waves. She recommends 2004 Concha y Toro Winemaker's Lot Syrah (6.99, down to 5.94 when two bottles are bought; Majestic); 2002 Tabal Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (6.99; Sainsbury's); and 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (4.99; Majestic, Somerfield).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Antioxidant-rich' South American wines get the JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON treatment this week. He picks 2003 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec (9.49; Selfridges); 2003 Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay (6.49; Sainsbury's); and 2002 Anakena Merlot (6.49; Threshers).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY tries food matching with sweet Champagne and is pleasantly surprised by the results. Pt de foie gras with Pol Roger demi-sec 'goes down an absolute storm', and after a selection is tried with an Eton Mess pud, Ray and his guests are convinced that 'sweet Champagne is the best thing since sliced bread'. He explains that in the past Champagne was much sweeter than we are used to, and that the drier styles only took over since the 1920s.

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Recounting a tale whereby a customer at a New York restaurant once asked for a Ketel One vodka with orange juice and ginger ale in the same glass, RICHARD EHRLICH examines the world of brand calling. When I ask for a Beefeater Martini, I do so not because of certainty that Beefeater is the best gin on earth, but because I know that this gin is of excellent quality and always produces a good Martini.' But he admits that when you're ordering a spirit and a mixer, it's an entirely different matter': If you're mixing the stuff with OJ and ginger ale, you won't be able to distinguish between Ketel One and Battery Acid Two.'

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Being a 'thoroughly nasty piece of work at heart', VICTORIA MOORE is cynical about branded supermarket wines. However, she is a big fan of 2004 Tesco Finest Gavi (5.99), 'a delightful wine' that 'feels like a river pebble that has been smoothed and rounded by the flow of water'. Another supermarket number that comes up trumps is 2003 Sainsbury's Classic Selection Alsace Gewurztraminer Cave de Turckheim (6.99), which displays lychees 'so clearly you can almost feel your tongue slipping over their eyeball-like white flesh'.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

In an Observer Food Monthly feature entitled '50 foodie things to do before you die', TIM ATKIN MW's contribution is 'make love in a vineyard' but not just any vineyard, all five of the Bordeaux first growth vineyards 'at night', he adds. He also recommends treading grapes in a lagar, 'having consumed a bottle of vintage Port before you start'. When he's finished fantasising, Atkin tries his hand at being a sommelier at Gordon Ramsay restaurant in London. 'For the first hour or so, I poured mineral water rather than wine.' And then, when a diner asks for something 'crisp and refreshing', Atkin suggests a 2001 Chablis Grand Cru, which is rejected for being 'far too oaky'. 'We'll serve it by the glass, so don't feel too bad,' says the restaurant's head sommelier Ronan Sayburn.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Some 'offbeat' reds from GILES KIME: 2004 Brown Brothers Cienna (4.97; Tesco); 2002 Sainsbury's Reserve Carmenre (4.99); and 2003 Albet I Noya Lignum (6.98; Asda).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

A trio of ross from JOANNA SIMON: 2004 Domaine de Pellehaut Ros (4.494.99; Booths, Waitrose); 2003 Chteau Guiot Ros (4.50 each, down from 5.29, when two bottles are bought; Majestic); and 2003 Bergerie de l'Hortus Ros (7.95; Lea & Sandeman).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW picks a number of wines that ber wine consultant Michel Rolland is involved with: 2002 Chteau Belgrave (19.99; The Wine Society, Enotria); 2001 Clos Apalta, Casa Lapostolle (37.50; Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, EH Booth); and 2001 Ornellaia (60; John Armit, Justerini & Brooks, Fine and Rare).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON picks wines to go with Thai food, including 2003 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling (5.59; M&S); 2002 Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon (6.99; Selfridges); and 2003 Zonnebloem Chardonnay (5.99; Oddbins).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY's weekly selections include 2004 Clos Petite Bellane (6.99; Oddbins); 2002 Yering Station Pinot Noir (9.99; Majestic); and 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (3.994.49, Budgens, Somerfield).

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