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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW has a 10ft hole in the middle of his dining room: he is having a wine cellar built.
You don't have to spend a fortune to start a modest wine collection,' he says, and recommends four reds at under 10, including: 2004 Marques de Casa Concha Merlot (7.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Domaine de Fontsque, Corbires (8.99; Marks & Spencer); and 2005 Peter Lehmann Tempranillo, Barossa Valley (7.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

To mark The Independent's retro issue, Anthony Rose is in nostalgia mode. He has managed to overcome his initial thoughts about Sherry, that it was "fit only for vicars, aunts and schoolmasters", and now realises that when it's chilled, and accompanied by salted almonds or olives, a good fino or manzanilla is "hard to beat".
Rose tries hard, but can't muster much enthusiasm for the Seventies, "an era of such cheerless sugar water as Blue Nun Liebfraumilch, not forgetting the awful Hirondelle, rustic Bulls Blood, confected pink Anjou ros, bland Piat d'Or and the pretensions of Mouton Cadet.
Turning his attention to the New World, his selections include 2005 Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel (8.99; Majestic, Oddbins, Waitrose); Jacob's Creek Chardonnay (5.95; widely available); and 2007 Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (5.99, down from 7.49; Morrisons, Sainsbury's).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ignore 2006 Burgundy and lavish all your attention on Australian Pinot Noir, says Jane Macquitty. However this was not always her view, as she admitted "how typically presumptuous of the Aussies, I thought, to pick Pinot Noir as one of their six regional heroes". But on tasting 20 of the featured wines in this category at the Australia Day tasting, MacQuitty begrudgingly says she was "wrong, wrong, wrong". Her recommendations include the "classic" 2006 Ninth Island Pinot Noir (,9.99, Waitrose) and the 2006 Pirie South Pinot Noir (9.99, Majestic) for its spice. Jeffrey Grosset's 2006 Adelaide Hills (26.95, Liberty) is also "deliciously smoky".

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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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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 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

MATTHEW JUKES picks out seven affordable wines from California this week. Among them are 2004 Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel (8.99; Thresher) and 2005 Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir, Hahn Estates (6.99; Sainsbury's).
His Wine of the Week is 2005 Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay (6.49-6.99; Sainsbury's, Tesco), which he says sits shoulder to shoulder with any other great Chardonnay at a similar price'.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

The results of the Wines of Argentina awards are this week's topic of conversation for JANCIS ROBINSON MW. She says the most exciting aspect is that only one of the trophy-winning wines costs more than 10 a bottle, although she expresses disappointment about the lack of white wines entered.
Wines worthy of mention include the 2006 Alamos Pinot Noir, Mendoza (6.99; Majestic) and the 2006 JF Lurton Chardonnay Reserva.

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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 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 Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES looks back at the New Zealand tasting at Lord's cricket ground in London, which he claims was the best ever.
His Kiwi selection includes: 2006 Spy Valley Gewurztraminer from Marlborough (9.99; Highbury Vintners, Grapelands) and 2004 Palliser Pinot Noir from Martinborough (12.99; Justerini & Brooks, Philglas & Swigott). Wine of the week is the 2006 Felton Road Vin Gris Ros from Central Otago (14.95; Lea & Sandeman).

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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 Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW, in giving his pick of 2006, detects a number of trends. He feels that alcohol levels may be falling in response to consumer demand and that oak levels are reducing. His wine country of the year is Spain, most improved is Chile and country to watch is Argentina. His grape variety of the year is Garnacha/Grenache; top winery, Peter Lehmann; winemaker, Aurelio Montes; wine region, Loire; supermarket, Waitrose; off-licence chain, Threshers/Wine Rack; by-the-case merchant, Majestic; mail order, The Wine Society; and independent merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Who is the best wine producer in the world?' TIM ATKIN MW has his work cut out for him after this opening line, but he manages to whittle the possibilities down to six: Chteau Margaux in Bordeaux, Leroy in Burgundy, Chave in the Rhne, Gaja in Piedmont, JJ Prm in Germany and Kracher in Austria. No one from the New World gets a look in with this first line-up, but the tables are turned when the subject switches to dependable brands. Atkin's favourites for quantity, quality and consistency are: Jacob's Creek (Australia), Concha y Toro (Chile), Peter Lehmann (Australia), Montana (New Zealand), Torres (Spain) and Dourthe (France). Readers are urged to put this theory to the test and try a bottle of Peter Lehmann Shiraz, Barossa (7.99; Waitrose).

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Evening Standard

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANDREW NEATHER's white wines for Christmas include: Inycon Chardonnay (4.49; Tesco, Waitrose); 2005 Omrah Chardonnay from Western Australia (7.99; Oddbins); 2005 Sancerre Cuve des Anges, Domaine Foussier (6.66; Waitrose); 2004 Marquesa Valserrano Rioja Blanco (8.75; Stone Vin and Sun); and 2005 Te Mania Riesling from New Zealand's Nelson region (8.95; Swig). He also appears to have a 2004 Sainsbury's Chardonnay from California available from Majestic - surely a mistake...

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES challenge this week is to come up with some perfect wine matches to accompany fish recipes from Jamie Oliver. He pairs squid with black pudding stuffing and sticky tomato sauce with 2005 Foncaussade Ros, Les Parcelles, Bergerac (3.99, down from 5.25 until 1 November; Waitrose). This week's WoW is 2005 Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier, Rapel Valley, Chile (8.49 or 5.66 with the three for two deal; Thresher).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Mendocino County in northern California is more than just a neighbour of Napa Valley, it's home to a group of enlightened and innovative winemakers who embrace the organic/biodynamic philosophy more warmly than, perhaps, anywhere else in the world,' says JONATHAN RAY. He is shown around Fetzer's, Bonterra Vineyards by winemaker Bob Blue and discovers that it's the largest grower and producer of organic wine in the world'. Among Mendocino's other mentioned producers are Handley Cellars and Golden Vineyards.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Pink wine is now in demand throughout the year, says SUSY ATKINS. She says the most impressive of the big, full ross usually come from new wave wineries in Australia, New Zealand and California, but she has spotted a few from Spain and Portugal too'. Her Try These' are: 2005 Tagus Creek Shiraz Touriga Nacional, Portugal (4.99; Booths); 2005 Fetzer Valley Oaks Syrah Ros, California (5.99; widely available); and 2006 Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Ros, Marlborough, New Zealand (6.99; Waitrose).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Now that liquid is forbidden in airline hand luggage, the wine choices on board have assumed considerably more importance, says TIM ATKIN MW. The business class wine list is definitely an improvement on economy, but a recent tasting proved that the overall level of quality is still disappointing'. Fruity examples came out a lot better than tannic wines, due to the dulling of the senses at altitude, and Atkin says: Apart from a good glass of Champagne, the wines that taste good are softer reds and richer whites.' One such example he gives is 2004 Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir, Martinborough (11.99, each if you buy two; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

In terms of wine matching, deli food requires good all-rounders with similarly straightforward qualities,' says JAMIE GOODE, and he has a few suggestions up his sleeve. One possibility is 2004 Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda, Chile (9.49; Waitrose).

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