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Italy wins top spot in TripAdvisor Wine Destinations Awards

Published:  17 October, 2012

Online travel website TripAdvisor has announced the European winners of its 2012 Travellers' Choice Wine Destinations Awards.


European Commission lends weight to minimum pricing opposition

Published:  02 October, 2012

The European Commission has added its weight to the list of countries that have objected to Scotland's plans for minimum unit pricing.


European Commission lends weight to minimum pricing opposition

Published:  02 October, 2012

The European Commission has added its weight to the list of countries that have objected to Scotland's plans for minimum unit pricing.


Government's zeal for minimum pricing means 'pause' in industry co-operation, warns WSTA

Published:  27 September, 2012

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale has warned that the government's U-turn on minimum pricing would lead to a "pause" in the industry's co-operation.


Rolling update: Wineries make harvest predictions

Published:  29 August, 2012

As September looms, the wine industry in the northern hemisphere is keeping an anxious eye on its crops, with many having experienced unusual weather conditions earlier this year.


Morrisons adds Caviro wines to range

Published:  28 June, 2012

Morrisons is to take on two new wines from the Italian wine co-operative Caviro - Pinot Grigio Blush delle Venezie IGT and Garganega Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT.


Chianti classico board agrees on major revamp

Published:  11 June, 2012

Chianti Classico is set for a major overhaul which will see the creation of a new icon level of wine above Riserva.


June tasting events

Published:  07 June, 2012

June 12-14

Stevens Garnier Trade Tasting Roadshow


At Your Service blog

Published:  30 May, 2012

Bargain-basement branding and boredom blog by Christopher Piper, chairman of Christopher Piper Wines in Ottery St Mary, Devon.


Michael Stoddart explores the 'economic deception' behind supermarket wines

Published:  21 May, 2012

Vino Ignobile?


Chianti classico could have own 'icon' wine

Published:  18 May, 2012

Chianti classico's governing body is considering proposals to introduce an "icon" top-level wine above riserva.


Leading Italian producer calls for greater professional standards

Published:  20 April, 2012

A leading Italian wine producer says there is too much confusion with labelling, and called for greater professional standards to be introduced, given the industry's rapid expansion.


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.


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.


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


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,

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.


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."


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).


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),.


Wines in the Press, March 7-9

Published:  10 March, 2009

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


Wines in the Press, February 28-29

Published:  03 March, 2009

This week's reviews of the national wine writers



Wines in the Press, February 28-29

Published:  03 March, 2009

This week's reviews of the national wine writers



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.


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.