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Wines in the Press: Spirit of the summer

Published:  12 August, 2008

Summer is in full swing this week, with Tim Atkin MW getting into the holiday spirit, Jane MacQuitty going on the hunt for the perfect summer red and Jamie Goode giving his run down of the best wines to enjoy in the warm weather.

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Wine trio become LEAF accredited

Published:  05 August, 2008

Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) has authorised the world's first LEAF Marque wines.

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Wines in the Press: Of sherry, spittoons and sparkling wines...

Published:  04 August, 2008

Jane MacQuitty sings the praises of fino and manzanilla, Joanna Simon discusses her spittoon technique, Anthony Rose visits Cahors and Tim Atkins gets busy with his wand.

Meanwhile, Andrew Jefford discusses the plan to increase Champagne's grape-growing area, and Susy Atkins is on the pomegranate juice.

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The Independent

Published:  24 July, 2008

In these times of credit woe we should take note that Aldi has taken the "discount mantle" from Kwik Save, says Anthony Rose.  "Aldi's low wine prices are all the more remarkable, given that the euro is so strong and the government now takes £1.72 in tax on every bottle of wine," he adds. The 2007 Chardonnay Torrontes Tierra del Sol (£3.49) "would not disgrace the dinner table" while Aldi's flush shoppers might want to try the 2007 Latuilière Sancerre (£8.99) which "offers the requisite herbaceous quality to customers in search of a treat".

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Last week Anthony Rose organised a themed wine tasting for a select group of Independent hacks at the stipulation of his magazine editor. Using the game of options - where teams of participants have to answer multiple-choice questions on the wines to remain in the tasting - was, he said, "the only way of holding the attention of a bunch of rowdy journalists". Each round Rose quizzed the teams on two bottles of wine, which were linked by factors such as grape type and price. The chief sub at the newspaper spotted the link between the 2005 Trimbach Riesling (8, The Wine Society) and 2001 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling (11.99, Selfridges). Rose said the former had a "dry and youthful" character while the latter displayed the "kerosene undertone of age". And who were the overall winners? The magazine editor's team, funnily enough.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon debates the merits of Beaujolais despite her belief that many leave it to one side at this time of year. Suited to "fish, fowl or meat", she mentions it is "the bottles that don't mention the B-word that are the best the region produces". And while we may be familiar with Fleurie, Brouilly and Morgon, it is instead worth investigating the likes of Chnas, Julinas and Chiroubles. She picks out the 2006 Julinas, Domaine du Clos du Fief, (9.99, Wheeler Cellars) and 2005 Chnas, Bernard Sant, (8.50, Stone, Vine & Sun) as good options.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Nouveau Beaujolais reaches Tim Atkin's attention this week. The "quintessential young wine's" fall from grace has seen it go from "front page news" in the mid-Eighties to a current "non-event" in the UK. The problem with Nouveau stemmed from the fact that it undermined the Beaujolais reputation as a whole, he argues. And while Atkin concedes "there's nothing wrong with Nouveau" it is the "hilly area north of Lyon" that in fact produces the best wines. There are ten crus but it is usually easier to split these into three groups, he says. These comprise of: "The light, fragrant ones (Chiroubles and St Amour), the middle-weight ones (Cte de Brouilly, Chnas, Brouilly, Fleurie, Rgni) and the more serious ones (Julinas, Morgon and Moulin Vent)." His recommendations include a 2006 Fleurie, Domaine de la Madone (11.99, Thorman Hunt) for its "crunchy, summer-pudding-like" nature and a "complex and structured" 2006 Morgon, Marcel Lapierre (14.73, Bibendum).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

According to JAMIE GOODE, there's only one type of wine that should be ordered with shellfish: crisp, dry whites'. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Grigio ought to do the trick, he says, before suggesting a few examples to try. First on his list is 2004 Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays d'Oc (4.99; Waitrose, Asda).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

A rant from JANE MacQUITTY this week. Miffed that judging her Top 100 Wines list 'gets harder instead of easier', she despairs at fine wine merchants, who 'put forward a clutch of ropey old has-been bottles, thereby forcing me to reject some 19 20 red Burgundies and dismiss most of the clarets before I could find a trio of each to recommend'. This week, she highlights 2004 Jindalee Chardonnay (3.75; Somerfield until 5 July; 2003 Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc (two for 3.99 each; Majestic); and 2004 Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc (4.99; Waitrose).

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Exclusive: Latour signs Beaujolais deal

Published:  23 July, 2008

Burgundy negociant Louis Latour has taken over Beaujolais producer Henry Fessy for an undisclosed sum.

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Mas continues expansion with 10 new wines

Published:  23 July, 2008

Languedoc producer Domaines Paul Mas is carrying on a programme of growth with AOC wines released from the south of France.

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Tour de France

Published:  23 July, 2008

When: Wednesday 14 March, 10am-5.30pm
Where: The Nursery End Pavilion, Lord's Cricket Ground, London NW8
Contact: Tina Coady on 01638 614 775 or register at www.franceunderoneroof.co.uk

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Sauvignon Blanc wins out over rot

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fum are undoubtedly the most successful of the 2006 wines from the Loire Valley, combining ripe fruit balanced with acidity.

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How to increase wine list gross profit by 20%

Published:  23 July, 2008

Will Duke, director of on-trade sales at HBJ Wines, told his business clinic session that nothing in his presentation was rocket science', but whatever you do in business, it is about making customers happy.

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Sweet & sour

Published:  23 July, 2008

Say no to oak - help put the fruit back in wine.' This sign, posted up behind the tasting bar at Trimbach, is a neat summation of the charms of Alsace. Wines with great poise, a good structure of acidity and, of course, some of the best food wines you'll ever taste. Why, then, does it appear to be an underappreciated wine region, one that never grabs the headlines?

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My sweet love

Published:  23 July, 2008

The most baffling thing about Sauternes is how its producers survive. It's not just the unpredictability of Botrytis cinerea; in 2004 the yield at Chteau Climens was less than four hectolitres per hectare (4hl/ha). At Chteau Suduiraut in the same year they left three-quarters of the grapes behind. The opening price of the wine, what there was of it, was 32 at Climens, 22-26 at Suduiraut. Both prices were less than the cost of production.

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Chile 2010

Published:  23 July, 2008

Talking to dozens of winemakers on a recent trip to New Zealand, a common topic of discussion was Sauvignon Blanc and what a double-edged sword it has become for the Kiwi industry. Sure, being known as the place that does brilliant Sauvignon' is a coup that gives a small wine country enormous global visibility, but it is also a potential glass ceiling that could stifle other aspects of the New Zealand industry.

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Stratford's goes cool

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paul Stratford, managing director of Stratford's Wine Agencies, has decided to focus the attention of the business on searching for new wines from cooler climates.

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Wonderful world of Oz (Clarke)

Published:  23 July, 2008

Oz Clarke is one of the best-known names in the wine trade.

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John Power Head Sommelier, Prestonfield

Published:  23 July, 2008

Prestonfield
Priestfield Road
Edinburgh EH16 5UT
Tel: 0131 662 2305
www.prestonfield.com

John Power began his career at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, where he trained as a sommelier before moving to the Witchery by the Castle in 1998. Earlier this year he took on the new role of central wine buyer for all of James Thompson's Edinburgh restaurants, including the Witchery by the Castle, Tower restaurant in the Museum of Scotland and Rhubarb at the five-star Prestonfield hotel, where he is now based.

Key suppliers: Raeburn Fine Wine, Cheviot Wine, Corney & Barrow, Justerini & Brooks, Fine & Rare Wines.

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