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Wines in the Press, August 26-29

Published:  30 August, 2011

The Guardian

If you're cooking for veggie friends, do you think of buying vegetarian- and vegan-friendly wines to go with them? Asks Fiona Beckett.

If you're cooking for veggie friends, do you think of buying vegetarian- and vegan-friendly wines to go with them? Asks Fiona Beckett.

Animal products are commonly used in the winery for fining, a process that makes wine clearer and more stable. Those products include; gelatin, isinglass - derived from fish bladders - egg white and casein - derived from milk. Most sellers flag up suitable wines, particularly retailers who specialise in organic wines such as Vintage Roots and Vinceremos. You could happily pour the gorgeous 2009 Caligiore Malbec (£8.99,, which won the wine category in this year's Organic Food Awards, adds Becektt. She also recommends its Bùcaro Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2009. Great though it is to have more vegetarian wines, it would be good to see retailers stock more wines made from organic grape such as, Château La Rezé Minervois Blanc 2010 (£8.99, A "lush" blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Muscat.

The Observer

Davis Williams puts forward his wines of the week. His first pick is Tapanappa Foggy Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Fleurieu Peninsula, Australia 2009 (£27.90, One of Australia's most respected winemakers, Brian Croser, has been on a mission to find the perfect spot to grow Pinot Noir in Australia and has settled on the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the tip of South Australia. The result, while not (quite) perfect, is very fine indeed, says Williams. "Seductive, graceful, sleek and complex, it's as good as many a pricier Burgundy." His second pick is the Patagonian wine, Domaine Vistalba Viñalba Malbec/Syrah, Rio Negro, Argentina 2009 (£8.48, Asda). "This wine is a really punchy blend of luscious dark fruit towards the plummy end of the spectrum. Few other supermarket wines have this sort of concentration, depth and aromatic lift for this kind of money," adds Williams. Thirdly; The Society's Exhibition Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France 2007 (£13.95, The Wine Society). Made by the acclaimed Hugel family, there are notes of spice and flowers in bloom and a caressing, kept alive by its perky acidity, he says.

The Telegraph

Susy Atkins still remembers her very first taste of Australian Chardonnay, 25 years ago, when Aussie wine was just starting to make its enormous impact on Britain. "Like many people, I was bowled over by the blast of vanilla, wood-spice and ripe, juicy tropical fruit - and that bottle was relatively cheap," she says. Oaky, rich whites don't suit everyone, and these days there are plenty of fresher, more elegant offerings if you've got a tenner to spare. But where are the enticing affordable labels? She asks.

Huge corporate takeovers in Australia and our own crazily low pricing have taken their toll, meaning bargain bins now reek of big-brand complacency, she says. But this is not only at the supermarket, many independent merchants don't stock decent Australian whites below £8 either. Although Barossa Valley's Peter Lehmann can always be relied on to pack in the flavour, and his lemony, smoky Semillons and Semillon blends sometimes come in under £8. Wolf Blass still appeals if you like your whites chunky and fat and Jacob's Creek's limey Riesling is an underrated star, in Atkins opinion. Also of the mass-market Chardonnays, Lindeman's Bin 65 sets a decent standard. As for the independents, Atkins recommends Mullygrubber Semillon-Chardonnay 2010, South-Eastern Australia (, £6.75).

The Financial Times

Cahors has taken a pummelling from history. Prior to the phylloxera crisis, there were almost 48,000 hectares of land under vine. By the mid-20th century, Cahors had almost been annihilated (there were just 208ha in 1962), and its recovery has been slow, says Andrew Jefford. The grape variety that made the region's reputation is Malbec. The appellation of Cahors has just celebrated its 40th birthday. If the region has a hero, it is probably Pascal Verhaeghe, a winegrower whose work Jefford has long admired. A vertical vintage tasting in celebration, showed him just how positive his influence has been on the region. His own wines from Château du Cèdre, together with those he helps to create (such as Château Haut-Monplaisir and Château les Croisille), collared most of Jefford's top scores. In Jefford's opinion the best was the 2008 Château les Croisille "Divin Croisille". "It's a wine of startling aromatic refinement (tea leaf, elderberry fruits, roasted meat, pounded earth, moist vanilla pod and crushed black pepper), with a cascade of fruit on the palate," adds Jefford