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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON launches a campaign this week, imploring everyone to drink French wine: 'Perhaps you don't drink French wine because you prefer the easy, fruity taste of New World wines or Italian Pinot Grigio, and you like the way these wines are always on promotion. One day, though, you may want a change from yet another Identikit Chardonnay, Shiraz or Merlot. You may want something more individual and authentic, something that goes better with food - and it may be too late.' She recommends 2003 Ctes du Rhne Blanc Les Gendrines (15.35; Jeroboams); 2003 Arrogant Frog Cabernet/Merlot (5.99; Unwins); and 2002 Chablis Les Serres, Oudin (9.75; Stone, Vine & Sun).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

As the weather heats up, JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON turns his attention to picnic wines. 'Picnics spell dry, fruity, fresh wines, usually white and occasionally with a sprinkling of bubbles,' he says. Sauvignon Blanc or 'a fine Chablis if you're feeling slightly indulgent' are good choices, but he also recommends 2004 Three Choirs Variations (4.98; Asda); NV Jacob's Creek Sparkling Ros (7.99; Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda); 2004 Graham Beck Viognier (6.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (7.49; Tesco); 2004 Chteau Pierrail Bordeaux Blanc (4.49; Booths).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's the right time to make a 'song and dance' about 2004 ross, says JANCIS ROBINSON MW. Many of the 2003s were 'casualties of the heatwave summer', she says, adding that 'a ros without the thorn of acidity is a sorry thing'. Robinson says that producers in the Languedoc 'have been putting an increasing amount of effort into their pink wines'; in the Loire, 'acidity levels are high, but very pale pink Pinot from Sancerre and refreshing pink Cabernets from much further downriver can be satisfying if there is enough ripe fruit to counterbalance the acidity'; Italy provides 'some toothsome examples' from Lake Garda; Spain and Portugal are 'enthusiastic producers of particularly fruity, bumptious rosado'; while 'many New World producers are showing signs of real creativity in their offerings for this renascent wine category'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

When asked to pick a 'glass of good red wine', VICTORIA MOORE picks three: 2000 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (15.99; Oddbins); 2001 Crozes-Hermitage Cuve Alberic Bouvet, Domaine Gilles Robin (12.95; Lea & Sandeman); and 2004 Excelsior Paddock Shiraz (5.99; Sainsbury's, Waitrose).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

'There is every reason to believe that Argentine wine will soon outstrip the Andean potato as the country's finest contribution to lunch and dinner,' says RORY ROSS.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

During a brief stop-off in London, consultant winemaker Michel Rolland meets JANCIS ROBINSON MW. Naturally, her first enquiry is about Mondovino, which painted Rolland as a laughing cavalier. He tells her: 'It showed only a very small, unexciting part of my work. I'm not the greatest fan of micro-oxygenation. The guy [director Jonathan Nossiter] has been really dishonest. On the soundtrack, for instance, he makes my voice seem stronger than it is. But I do admit that I have a Mercedes and a driver.' Robinson thinks that Nossiter's attack on Rolland is both 'unnecessary and foolish': 'Firstly, he is immensely likeable and is therefore widely liked, so he makes an extremely unpopular target. Secondly, he is obviously extremely able.'

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME recommends five Viogniers this week: 2003 D'Arenberg Last Ditch, Australia (8.49; Oddbins); 2004 The Maverick, South Africa (7.99 as part of a case; Majestic); 2004 Brampton, South Africa (7.99; Waitrose); Lizards of Oz Reserve, Australia (5.99; Asda); and 2004 Trivento, Argentina (4.99; Waitrose).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY chooses her 25 favourite wines under 8 this week as part of her Top 100 Summer Wines series. The star white is 2004 Mcon-Milly-Lamartine, Vieilles Vignes, Christophe Cordier, France (8.99 or buy two for 7.99 each until 9 June; Majestic), and the star red is 2003 Seigneurs d'Aiguilhe, Ctes de Castillon, France (7.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Ros isn't naff any more and it's perfectly acceptable for the alpha male to be seen in the pink,' proclaims ANTHONY ROSE. Retailers have expanded their ranges to meet an increase in demand for ros from UK wine drinkers, with Tesco doubling its ros listings from 15 to 30 following a 54% growth in sales between 2003 and 2004, he notes, and the UK wine drinker has 'moved on from cloying sweet stuff to crisper, dry styles.' Top bargains on offer include: Asda Ros d'Anjou (2.81); 2004 Big Frank's Ros, Vin de Pays d'Oc (3.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Laurent Miquel Cte Sauvage Dry Ros Coteaux du Languedoc (3.99; Somerfield); and 2004 Domaine de Pellehaut Vin de Pays des Ctes de Gascogne (4.494.99; Booths, Waitrose).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON picks the best party wines, including 2003 Kendermann Dry Riesling (15.99/3l box; Waitrose); 2004 Corbett Canyon Grenache Ros (2.84; Tesco); and 2004 Cuve de Richard Vin de Pays de l'Aude (3.05; Majestic).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Likewise, GILES KIME's New Zealand Sauvie selection includes 2004 Asda Marlborough (5.48); 2004 Jackson Estate (8.99; Waitrose); and 2004 Sanctuary (6.99; Sainsbury's).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON's pick of Sauvignon Blancs includes 2004 Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc (7.99; Majestic); 2004 Dashwood Sauvignon (7.59; Oddbins); and 2004 Alta Tierra Sauvignon/Semillon (7.65; Laithwaites).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY's recommendations include 2003 Palma Real, Rueda (5.85; Jeroboams); 2002 Las Almenas, Utiel-Requena (5.49; Marks & Spencer); and 2003 Otto Bestu Tinto, Somontano (6.95; Great Western Wine).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Angered by the price of a glass of house Champagne in most London restaurants, RICHARD EHRLICH looks for alternatives. 'My top choice will always be a bone-dry Fino or Manzanilla Sherry, whose mouth-watering acidity gets the salivary glands racing just as efficiently as fizz,' he says. He would also opt for a glass of vermouth with a touch of sparkling water, and he is 'edging towards' a glass of dry cider, particularly Sheppy's Dabinett Cider (1.59/500ml; Booths).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

As a judge for the annual Andr Simon book awards, RICHARD EHRLICH names a few of his favourites, including Cognac by Nicholas Faith (20; Mitchell Beazley): 'It ranges so widely through history, politics and economics that you can never take another sip without thinking about Cognac in a more globally enlightened way. Faith loves Cognac as much as any drinker on the planet, but he is not a purist. He likes to mix the stuff when it's appropriate, either in cocktails or with a mixer - but not tonic, which he and I both consider to be one mixer with which the amber nectar is totally unsuitable.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

One of TIM ATKIN MW's golden rules is never to trust a wine that you've enjoyed on holiday: 'The most obvious example is retsina, a resin-flavoured wine that has fuelled more hangovers than the Munich Beer Festival.' He admits that until recently he would have included ross in the same category, but thanks to a new-found 'quality and diversity', ros sales in the UK have shot up 60% in the past two years. Atkin says that modern ross are 'a lot better made than the pallid, over-cropped fare we used to drink', and that most styles these days are 'dry, fruity and extremely good with food'.

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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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