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Wines in the Press: Biodynamic wines and barbeques

Published:  19 August, 2008

Tim Atkin has been firing up the barbeque, Jamie Goode has been getting stuck into biodynamic wines and Andrew Jefford has been seeking out some hidden gems in Romania. Meanwhile, the Nicholas chain of wine stores take a battering from Jane MacQuitty and Anthony Rose investigates the "vineyard virus" of South Africa.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Variety is the spice of life, or so Victoria Moore thinks. "This is why I am suggesting a spring clean of your vinous buying habits," she reasons. We should all abolish wines from our shopping lists if, upon sipping them, "you still feel the dim, comfort-blanket recognition of something you once loved but now fail to respond to". For broadening your drinking horizons, says Moore, try the 2007 Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch (7.49, Majestic) for its "light-sabre intensity" and the 2005 Valpolicella Ripasso (6.12, Tesco). One word of warning from the Guardian critic this week, however: avoid 2007 Bordeaux Chteau de Sours Ros (8.49, Majestic) at all costs.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many UK consumers make a beeline for supermarket reds when they think South African but it is in the white wine aisles where this country is really accelerating, says Jancis Robinson MW. It is "one of the very few non-European wine producing countries with an outstanding track record for white wine production," she argues. Chenin Blanc is the country's most planted variety and not without good reason, Robinson feels, adding that while "South Africa's best reds are admirable" the "lesser ones can taste strangely earthy". On a recent tasting trip, the MW awarded eight South African wines more than 17 out of 20 points representing a "very good mark" on her sliding scale. Robinson's white recommendations with approximate retail prices include; the 2006 FMC Chenin Blanc, Ken Foster, Stellenbosch (17); the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve, Vergelegen, Stellenbosch (13); the 2006 Chardonnay, Oak Valley, Elgin (15) and the 2006 Vergelegen White, Stellenbosch (22).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson's musings focus on Davos and a tasting she recently organised there. Her brief was "to choose some notable wines from countries or regions with a tradition of mining". In between visits from the president of Israel and Forbes magazine's seventh most powerful woman in the world, she even found time to identify the best of the bunch. 2001 Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon (12.99, buywineonline.co.uk) fared well - particularly notable as the only South African red at the tasting and also the least expensive. The tasting group's favourite and Jancis' third choice wine was the 2001 Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (43, winesearcher.com).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

As part of the launch of the Cloudy Bay locator', JONATHAN RAY has lunch with Tony Jordan, CEO of Cape Mentelle, Cloudy Bay and Green Point.
Ray gives a blow-by-blow account of his meal, from eel fillet to kangaroo loin, as well as a glowing report of the various Jordan wines served with each course. It reads like a LVMH advertorial.
However, Jordan makes an interesting point: The New World is expected to be constantly on the move but nobody asks when Chteau Margaux will produce a Syrah or Chardonnay ... our parent company in France demands innovation from us then when I ask what's new with Dom Prignon, they go all Gallic, shrug and mutter, "That's different."'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

South Africa is the least exciting red wine producing country in the New World, states TIM ATKIN MW. Why are their red wines so mediocre when their whites are increasingly impressive, he asks. Except for likes of Vergelegen, Thelema, De Toren, Tokara, De Trafford, Boekenhoutskloof, Rustenberg, Bouchard Finlayson, Graham Beck, Fairview and Tulbagh Mountain, he says there is a huge lake of underwhelming reds. On the other hand, the Cape whites are getting better and better with old vine Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Viognier, Riesing and especially Sauvignon Blanc proving exciting for Atkin.

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

'English wine is no longer the joke it once was,' says Owen Elias, winemaker at Chapel Down in Kent, talking to JONATHAN RAY. Ray is keeping Elias company on a visit to Jean-Philippe Archambaud, winemaker at Simonnet-Febvre in Chablis, but ends up feeling a little out of his depth once the chatter turns to rainfall, sunlight hours, sugar levels and acidity. Although he's back in the frame when the tasting of 2003 and 2004 Chablis begins: 'The wines differ across the quality levels, but their hallmark remains a soft, gentle butteriness with elusive hints of honey and an appealing freshness.' A return match is on the cards for next week, with France putting England to the test. Wines of the week include 2004 Vergelegen Chardonnay, South Africa (7.99 as part of a case; Majestic).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

If you're looking for a wine to go with bruschetta of red pepper and goat's cheese, GILES KIME says you can't go far wrong with 2005 Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc (7.99; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE is bowled over by South Africa, saying, 'The wine scene is so vibrant here that it's hard to keep check of what's going on.' He advises on a few top bottles such as 2005 Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc, Helderberg (7.99; Tesco, Sainsbury's) and 2004 Porcupine Ridge Syrah, Coastal Region (6.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME is rooting for Riesling and his drinks of the week include 2003 Bassermann-Jordan Pfalz (6.99; Waitrose) and 2003 Tesco Finest Great Southern (7.99; Tesco).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE's recommendations include 2004 Cono Sur Viognier (4.24 each when two are bought; Majestic); 2003 Vergelegen Chardonnay (7.99; Oddbins, Majestic); and 2003 The Chocolate Block (14.99; Waitrose)

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Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation appoints new board

Published:  23 July, 2008

The make-up of the new Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) Board has been announced by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, The Hon Tony Burke.

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Australia wins a third of all Gold medals

Published:  23 July, 2008

IWSC awards the country with 44 Best in Class and six Golds.

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Nyetimber set for huge expansion

Published:  23 July, 2008

Nyetimber Vineyards, the English sparkling wine company, is considering building a new winery to cope with its heavy planting programme.

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Special delivery: SITT?2007

Published:  23 July, 2008

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White Grange' to be bottled with screwcap

Published:  23 July, 2008

Penfolds Yattarna - dubbed white Grange' - will be bottled under screwcap for the 2004 vintage, released in May.

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New year, new show

Published:  23 July, 2008

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Football boss to open restaurant

Published:  23 July, 2008

Outspoken Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan is to open a restaurant on the site of the former Sugar Club in Warwick Street.

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New from Boschendal

Published:  23 July, 2008

South African wine producer Boschendal has introduced a new range of premium wines for the off-trade made up of three single varietals and two dual varietals.

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Which? barbecue wines

Published:  23 July, 2008

A Vergelegen Chardonnay from South Africa (9.49, Majestic) and a French Old Vines Grenache Noir from Marks & Spencer (5.49) are the top scorers and among the best buys in the Consumers' Association's Which? magazine On Test: Wines for Barbecues'.

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