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Argentina grows UK exports

Published:  10 February, 2012


The popularity of Argentinian wines continues to forge ahead, with UK exports for 2011 up 8.4% by value, according to the latest figures from Wines of Argentina.

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Torrontés trumps consumer's favourite white wines, says study

Published:  13 October, 2011

Torrontés, the white grape variety unique to Argentina, has trumped consumer's favourite white wines in a study by Wine Intelligence.

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Wines in the Press April 19-20

Published:  21 April, 2009

What our national wine critics had to say for the weekend of April 19-20

Guardian

Victoria Moore's friend thought she hated all Italian white wine, until she realized it's not all Pinot Grigio. Or Trebbiano added Moore, who says, "Trebbiano is even more innocuous than Pinot Grigio, and I don't mean that in a good way."


This realisation that Italy has other whites may not quite be up there with Archimedes' eureka moment, but it is a joyous one, says Moore, as she focuses on wines from the north west.


Piedmont is famous for its Barolo - tannic, acidic, austere, she explains. And red. But it also makes glorious whites from Arneis, Favorita and Cortese (which is responsible for Gavi), while, just to the south, Liguria, with its rocky shorelines and tiny beaches, specialises in Vermentino.


For a good example of the latter, try Laura Aschero Vermentino 2007, Riviera Ligure di Ponente (£18, swig.co.uk)


Financial Times

Bordeaux's powerful consultant winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt genuinely thought he wouldn't be making any wine in 2008 reports Jancis Robinson. "He was far from the only one to suspect that grapes so swollen by summer rains, ravaged by mildew and threatened by rot were unlikely to survive in any flavourful form long enough to be picked and fermented into wine," she says.


As harvest approached, the malic acid in the grapes was so high that they tasted more like cooking apples, explains Robinson.


Robinson also claims the wine commentators and wine merchants who descended on Bordeaux to taste the 2008 vintage did not expect to find such attractive wines, but, she explains, most of the reds are now tasting very well with succulent St Emilions and Pomerol on "better form than ever."


Although the performances of different châteaux vary considerably in 2008 she says, particularly among top wines, there seemed to be no geographical weak spot.


Times

Jane McQuitty also talks about Bordeaux 2008 vintage as being the," the no-go area that economic pessimists feared."


She was likewise surprised at, "just how good some of the wines are."


The finest 2008 clarets are attractive deeply coloured wines with surprisingly sweet, floral and vibrant fresh red fruit ripe flavours, she says. But adds, "there were plenty of disappointments too."


She also explains that "how fine the slow-growing Bordeaux 2008 wines are," is causing heated debate and quotes Robert Parker, as letting it slip that apparently 2008 is better than the excellent 2006 and 2004 claret vintages and nudging the great 2005.


"Absurd," she exclaims. "Last year's is a miraculous, weather-defying vintage of just above average quality, made and saved by a small crop, late-season sun and a fruit-concentrating northeasterly wind."


This is not to devalue the best wines of 2008, she says. "I tasted some gorgeous clarets that were very good indeed, but, overall, while the vintage is much better than the lacklustre 2007, it is somewhere between 2001 and 2006 in quality."


"The big question now," asks MacQuitty, "is how the blinkered Bordelais will pitch their 2008 campaign prices."

Observer


If anybody knows a member of the Comité Régional d'Action Viticole, could you ask him to get in touch? Asks Tim Atkin,


When I say in touch, I'd rather the person in question picked up the phone or sent me an email, rather than use the calling card his organisation usually favours - small explosions and walls daubed with paint.


CRAV is an illegal organisation that targets anyone in the south of France who sells or imports foreign wine, as well as French wineries that are owned by overseas companies.


"It's hard to see what CRAV is trying to achieve," says Atkin. "And its call for more subsidies to prop up a series of under-achieving domaines and co-operatives is crazy."


On the face of it, these are depressing times for the Gallic wine industry, he reports. Recent figures confirm that France is still leaking market share like a splintered barrel and the situation is getting worse.


The irony of this is that France is making better wines today than at any point in its history especially between £4.99 and £7.99.


Try the sun-kissed, plummy, herby 2007 La Différence Carignan, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (£4.99, 13.5%, Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda, Co-op).


Independent


The last time I saw Alvaro Espinoza, Chile's leading organic winemaker, it landed me in a mountain of steaming dung after his four-wheel drive got stuck and so we had to be pulled out by a tractor, recalls Anthony Rose.


He wondered if Charles and Camilla would suffer a similar fate when they visited him at Viñedos Emiliana Organicos in Casablanca recently. "No such luck," he says.


Espinoza has been one of the leading proponents of sustainable vineyard methods in Chile, Rose explains. Having latterly applied his skills to the production of a powerfully rich and spicy Syrah. "

And Syrah," he says, "is Chile's latest big thing."


My current preference is for the more elegant northern Rhône styles emerging, of which the pepper-infused, aromatic 2006 Matetic Syrah, San Antonio Valley, around £18, (Genesis Wines - 020-7963 9062),.

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Wines in the Press, March 7-9

Published:  10 March, 2009

What the national wine critics had to say this weekend, March 7-8

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Wines in the Press, February 28-29

Published:  03 March, 2009

This week's reviews of the national wine writers

 

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Wines in the Press, February 28-29

Published:  03 March, 2009

This week's reviews of the national wine writers

 

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Wines in the Press: Cocktail shaking and blog making

Published:  26 August, 2008

Jane MacQuitty has been getting busy with her cocktail shaker, Victoria Moore has been indulging in a spot of wine blogging, and Jonathan Ray has been on a trip to one of Chile's most exciting prospects, the Limarí region. Meanwhile, for those of us still holding out for some late summer sun, Joanna Simon has dug out some perfect picnic picks, whilst Tim Atkin raves about Riesling.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Which wines pair well with Italian pasta dishes, asks Susy Atkins this week. Valpolicella, Dolcetto and Barbera are all a "clever choice" for the classic combination of tomato sauce and chorizo, she feels. A chilled Pinot Grigio or Pinot Blanco goes well with creamy fettucine, Atkins adds, but it needn't be expensive, as "no one spends a fortune on a wine to go with an easy pasta supper". Among her wines of the week is the 2007 Gavi, Italy (6.99, Sainsbury's), which is "excellent" with a rich tomato sauce.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Your choice of glassware can enhance your wine selection immeasurably, Victoria Moore explains. And while being pernickety on this point will often mean you attract odd looks it is an important distinction to make, she continues. "Wine tastes better out of glasses that taper slightly at the rim" as "the tapering traps more of the aromas," Moore explains. And what has she being cracking open from the cellar this week? The 2005 Domaine du Colombier Chinon (Sainsbury's, 5.49) is commendable for its "gentle fragrance of red berries" while the 2006 Gavi Cristina Ascheri (Sainsbury's, 9.99) needs "a half-decent glass to reap the full benefit of this streamlined lemon- and grapefruit pith-scented Piedmont white".

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Like his contemporary at The Observer, Anthony Rose has also picked up on Anpaa's recent legal case - describing France's alcohol policy as a result of the draconian 1991 Evin Law. He continues: "It does seem odd that myopia and sanctimony should coexist in a nation synonymous with the production and consumption of many of the great wines of the world." Not to be discouraged though he selects the 2006 Porta Chardonnay (5.99, Threshers), the 2006 Gavi Cristina Ascheri (9.99, Sainsbury's) and the 2004 Domaine des Bosquets, Gigondas (14.95, Jeroboams).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Another with a nose for Wine Relief is MATTHEW JUKES. He is sufficiently committed to the event to be devoting two weeks to recommendations from the Wine Relief List. In theory, you can enjoy great wine, have a laugh on Red Nose Day and also do your bit for charity with ease if you follow these wines.'
This week his eight recommendations - all white - include: 2006 Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc (4.49; Sainsbury's); 2006 Pirque Estate Sauvignon Blanc (6.99; Marks & Spencer); 2005 Brown Brothers Dry Muscat (5.29; Somerfield); and 2005 Tesco Gavi (5.99).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Glassware is the topic up for discussion by ANTHONY ROSE this week, because some of the ghastly vessels that pass as wine glasses often fail to do justice to the liquid in the bottle'. For something better than everyday drinking, Rose points readers towards the usual suspects: Schott-Ziesel and Riedel. He also comes up with a couple of alternatives, including Mikasa's Open Up glass (from 20 for four glasses; mikasa-uk.com), made from a new material called Kwarx manufactured by Arc International, which is so durable that he manages to break it only by hurling it at the floor from a great height'. His wine suggestion for under a fiver is 2005 Tesco Finest Gavi (4.49 until 10 October).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

For those with time-consuming commitments such as children, there is often little option except to buy almost everything from supermarkets, and VICTORIA MOORE discovers that Tesco's current wine sale is the perfect place to head for. Bargains include the cool and bracing' 2005 Tim Adams Clare Valley Riesling (5.99 from 7.99) and 2005 Tesco Finest Gavi (4.49 from 5.99), which Moore describes as one of the best-value and most versatile wines that Tesco sells'.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE takes on two of the wine world's heavyweights this week, saying: 'Hugh Johnson and Robert Parker may be the twin colossi of wine writing, but as a weighty biography of one [The Emperor of Wine, by Elin McCoy] and the other's characteristically fine new book [Wine: A Life Uncorked, by Hugh Johnson] make clear, they're poles apart.' Rose is a fan of Johnson's prose, which he describes as 'a window on mouthwatering feasts and intriguing personalities'. Parker is more about numbers, however, and Rose suggests, 'Could it be that the 100-point system for rating wines was in fact Parker's way of compensating for his own lack of vocabulary in the face of Johnsonian eloquence?' For good wine under a tenner, Rose suggests 2004 La Toledana Gavi, Villa Lanata (7.99; Majestic).

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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 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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A flavour of the nation

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Italian Trade Commission (ICE) will hold a UK trade tasting for the first time in eight years on Wednesday. With no generic body, Italian tastings in the UK have focused on single Italian regions that wanted to promote their wines, but now ICE has united more than 60 producers from the north, south and islands. Every producer will send a representative, and there will be a tasting in Dublin two days before the London event.

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The Interview: Richard Walton-Allen, Head Chef, Harvey Nichols, Leeds

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harvey Nichols' first store outside London was opened in the historic Victoria Quarter of Leeds in 1996. The store has five floors with a stylish 85-cover caf and bar on the fourth floor. Three days a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it is open for dinner until 10pm. Close to the dining area is the wine shop run by Michael Dilworth. He and head chef Richard Walton-Allen work closely together on the restaurant's wine list, which is taken from the group's master list and compiled by Harvey Nick's overall head wine buyer, Rob Graves. Richard, a 36-year-old Yorkshireman, was part of the opening brigade at Sir Terence Conran's huge 300-cover Quaglino's restaurant in London's St James's. He also worked at the esoteric Swedish restaurant Anna's Place in north London and in Melbourne, Australia. He has been head chef at Harvey Nichols in Leeds for eight years.
Major drinks suppliers: Playford Ros, Bibendum, Percy Fox, Enotria, Cellar Trends, Coe Vintners

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The Interview: Gianpiero Colucci, Manager, Spaghetti House, Marble Arch branch

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Marble Arch branch is the most recent Spaghetti House restaurant to open (in mid-2005) and the first trialling a more modern look. Spaghetti House has nine venues in London, the first of which opened in 1955.
A native of Bari in Puglia, Gianpiero Colucci worked at Pescatori in London and at the Cranbourn Street branch of Spaghetti House before becoming one of the chain's youngest restaurant managers. This branch was a finalist in the Best Italian Restaurant category of The Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Industry Awards 2006 (www.papa.org.uk).
Suppliers include Berkmann, Vinum
and Alivini.

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The Interview - Angela Hayward and Paul Raymonde, directors, AP Vino

Published:  23 July, 2008

Angela Hayward and Paul Raymonde met in 2002, and discovered that they shared a passion for Italian wines. The couple launched AP Vino in 2004 with input from Angela's stepfather, Fausto Pesci, who worked for many years as a restaurateur, Italian wine consultant, and major importer of Italian wine into Spain and Germany. Last month, AP Vino launched a consumer website, D'Vino, which is also home to The Wine Club of Italy, a scheme that offers mixed cases of wines complete with full tasting notes. AP Vino's portfolio lists 58 wines from 12 producers. Exclusive agencies include La Scolca in Gavi (selected wines), Il Carpino in Friuli, Tenuta di Riseccoli in Greve, and Pinino in Montalcino. A former property developer in Italy, Raymonde is also a well-known cartoonist, whose works have appeared in Punch and Private Eye, among other publications.

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