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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANDREW JEFFORD profiles Chteau Faugres, a producer that has gone from being a 'little minnow' to a 'legend of the future' (according to Robert Parker) in little more than a decade. In 1987, every drop of Faugres was 'sold in bulk to a single merchant', but then Michel Rolland got on board and a 'low-acid, ripe and softly extracted' wine was created. This year, Faugres was sold to Swiss perfume entrepreneur Silvio Denz, who has no plans to change the flavour profile: 'Parker likes heavier wines, more extracted wines, and those kind of wines are to my taste, too.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE is happy to dispel the old line about Australian wines 'all tasting the same'. At an Australian Wine Club tasting, he was hugely impressed with the line-up. Highlights included 2002 Basket Press Shiraz (23.99), which ages 'into a majestic Hermitage-like red'; 2004 Poverty Hill Riesling (9.99), which is 'in the keroseney mould'; and Peter Lehmann's 1998 Stonewell Shiraz (30), which displays 'immensely rich liquorice spice and bittersweet chocolate characters'.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's wines for sunsets, not salads or sandwiches, forJAMIE GOODE this week. Top 'sundowners' range from Plymouth Classic Fruit Cup (12.99; Sainsbury's) to Asda Ros d'Anjou (2.81),best decanted into a jug with ice cubes.

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH is another fan of La Basca Uvas Blancas (4.99), M&S's 'tangy' mix of Verdejo and Viura by Telmo Rodriguez. Other summer wines he likes include: 2004 Sterling Rocks Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (4.99; Asda) and 2004 Mas Las Cabes Muscat Sec (6.49; Majestic).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Though TIM ATKIN MW is 'more of a Burgundy than a claret man', he reckons that 'Margaux is consistently the most elegant of the first growths'. Atkin is not 'entirely convinced by the 2003 Margaux, which seems atypically tannic and overblown to me, especially at 2,300 a case, but the much cheaper 2004 vintage (950, available en primeur from Farr Vintners) is delicious. The 2004 Pavillon Rouge [Margaux' second wine] is also a steal at 210, but if I had the money I'd be tempted by the sublime 1990 (a mere 3,700 a case). Tasting this at the chteau, I very nearly fainted.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Fancy a walk-on part in Desperate Housewives? All you need to do is cough up $7,500 to enter Auction Napa Valley, bid a few thousand more, and your 15 seconds of fame is assured. ANTHONY ROSE reckons that as wine auctions go, the event 'supplants the annual Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy both for munificence and ostentation': 'A litany of extraordinary lots included the opportunity to buy 60 special bottles and taste, eat and drink with its creators, Napa luminaries Robert and Peter Mondavi. Only in America.' Rose also recommends 2003 El Dueo Chardonnay (4.99; M&S); 2004 Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc (9.99; Waitrose); and 2003 Petaluma Adelaide Hills Viognier(19.9924.50; Oddbins Fine Wine, Harvey Nichols).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the first of a six-part series examining grape varieties, MATTHEW JUKES chooses his favourite Sauvignon Blancs. His Wine of the Week is the 'very laid-back, mellifluous' 2004 Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough (10.49; D Byrne, Connolly's of Birmingham, Hoults of Huddersfield, Philglas & Swiggot). Other examples of this 'cheery, cheeky category of wine' to get the Jukes seal of approval include 2004 Quincy, Cuve Villalin, Domaine Jacques Rouz (8.40; Haynes, Hanson & Clark); and 2005 Dolphin Bay Sauvignon Blanc (3.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Among JONATHAN RAY's wine picks are: 'Wine of the Week' 2000 Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs (10.99; Bibendum); 2003 Chteau Plaisance, Ctes du Frontonnais (6.50; Les Caves de Pyrne, Bedales); and Taylor's Chip Dry White Port (9.99; Budgens, Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Has the 'Brett police' gone too far? ANDREW JEFFORD suggests it may have. He points to a controlled blind tasting of Syrahs from around the world, conducted by consultant Sam Harrop MW for his MW thesis, as evidence that Brettanomyces-infected wines need not necessarily be, as Tom Carson of Yering Station and many other Australian winemakers believe, 'undrinkable'. Only one of the 25 wines in the tasting was free of Brettanomyces, but Harrop's conclusion was that 'while excessive levels of volatile phenols can have a negative impact on wine quality, lower levels can enhance wine complexity and quality'. The benevolent effects of Brett, of one strain or another, can also be seen in the beer world, with makers of Belgian lambic and gueze beers, and traditional British stock ales, actively seeking out strains of the yeast. Jefford is concerned that the obsession with 'cleanliness' in today's winemaking, and the eradication of Brett and other 'faults' such as volatile acidity and dimethyl sulphur ('a principal aroma key for Carling' lager), will lead to 'acute boredom' for wine drinkers. As he says: 'The wine regarded as a hot contender for the greatest of the 20th century, 1947 Cheval Blanc, has levels of volatile acidity that would see it banned from sale were it produced today.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW loves an al fresco drink. 'Just as wines taste different in pressurised cockpits duller, as a rule so they seem to assume different aromas and flavours in the open air. There's something about drinking in the sunshine that makes even the dullest bottle taste good.' And Riesling come top of that list, as Atkin recommends 2004 Eitelsbacher Karthuserhofberg Riesling Sptlese (14; Charles Taylor Wines); 2000 Josmeyer Riesling 'Les Pierrets' (18; Pol Roger UK); and 2003 Cono Sur Visin Riesling (7.99; Sainsbury's).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Drinking Greek wine, for VICTORIA MOORE, recalls 'the land of Homer and the Oracle of Delphi, rather than, say, Suntours and all-night ouzo-drinking competitions'. Moore reckons this is 'because many Greek wines are made with very distinctive native varieties (many of them totally unpronounceable), so when you drink them they don't kickstart associations with other wines and places. They also have a fierceness and intricacy that seems to suit the land they come from.' Greece's atavistic qualities can be found in 2003 Ambelones Vassiliou Dry White (6.49; Booths); 2004 Biblia Chora White (8.49; Booths); and 2002 Naoussa Boutari (6.49; Oddbins).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Initially unimpressed by the drab surroundings at Maison Krug ('just a yard, cellar and offices'), LYNN BARBER relents after getting stuck into a trio of vintages with lunch. The 1989 is 'completely different to any Champagne I have ever tasted'. The 1988 and 1990 also meet with Barber's approval, but things turn nasty when she asks Rmi Krug if he watched Sideways. He says he is 'fed up' with 'California back-label syndrome': 'It started in the late 1980s in the US people being obsessed with types of grapes, percentage of this, percentage of that. It's like if you talk about Mozart and say it is x per cent cello and y per cent violin. Pah!'

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME's chillable red wines include 2003 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir (7.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Monastier Cabernet Franc (4.99; Majestic); and NV Hardy's Crest Shiraz (9.99; Tesco).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Viognier,' announces JAMIE GOODE, 'is the new Chardonnay.' Tell us something we don't know, Jamie! The wine in question is 2004 Excelsior Viognier (5.99; Waitrose), one of Jamie's 'full-impact, boldly flavoured bruisers' that work well with Moroccan food. He also selects 2002 Bernard Germain Anjou Chenin Blanc (5.99; Sainsbury's) and 2003 Goats do Roam in Villages (5.99; Tesco).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

In an attempt to capture the 'flavour of the summer', ANTHONY ROSE orders a 'wagonload' of Prosecco and Funkin White Peach Pure (3.95/300g; Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Harrods, selected Waitroses). 'When I obediently followed the instructions by coating the Champagne flute with the sticky liquid, then pouring in the fizz, it gave the Prosecco a suggestion of peach but little more. It was only when I went the whole hog and made it one-third peach pure, two-thirds Prosecco that it became something of which its namesake would have been proud.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Spanish wines with the ANTHONY ROSE seal of approval include 2004 Jean Leon Terrasola Muscat (6.88; Bibendum); 2004 Bodegas Fillaboa Albario (11.99; Ballantynes Wine Merchants); and 2002 Raimat Abadia(6.99; Oddbins).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY is suspicious of the fact that British drinkers 'pretend to loathe sweet wines, but secretly we love them'. Culprits named and shamed include Croft Original ('Sherry that looks dry but tastes sweet'), and Gallo's White Zinfandel ('with its whopping 30 grams per litre of residual sugar').

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE has kind words for NV Billecart-SalmonDemi-Sec (24.99; Oddbins), which is 'gloriously rich and honeyed, with overtones of nougat, yet it's still fresh and graceful.'

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

After tasting 53 2003 Vintage Ports, JANE MacQUITTY's hunch on 'these densely coloured, hugely aromatic, seductively sweet, black and red berry-laden Ports is that they have a shade less grip and acidity than most Vintage Ports need for a long 20- or 25-year evolution, putting the 2003s on the next rung down from great'. Her favourites were: 'the massive beefy Warre's; the luscious, rose-scented Graham's; Taylor's perfumed floral charmer; Fonseca's raisiny persistence; the sweet, plummy Quinta do Vale D Maria; plus the concentrated plummy Noval and its almost as impressive second wine, Silval.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the annual 'Ask the Experts' issue, TIM ATKIN MW replies to a host of readers' questions:

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