Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wines in the press, November 8-12

Published:  13 November, 2012

The Guardian

As Fiona Beckett staggers towards the end of the autumn tasting season, there is one country that has stood out for offering characterful wines at a fair price: Portugal.

It's partly because they have some weird and wonderful grape varieties, but also because don't have a long-established fine wine culture (José Mourinho's favourite Barca Velha aside)m she says. Beckett recommends the "exuberant, brambly" Marco de Pegões Terras do Sado Tinto 2010 (Majestic, £6.49 if you buy two or more bottles). Waitrose has the more expensive F'OZ (£9.99), from Alentejo, which displays a supple, sexy blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira and Castelão. Tanners has a juicy Douro Red (£7.90) under its own label - that would make excellent cold-weather drinking. Plus now that Spanish Albariño has become so pricey, it's time to look over the border to the Vinho Verde region, where you frequently find the same variety, Alvarinho, a couple of quid cheaper. She recommends Marks & Spencer's citrussy Tercius Alvarinho 2011 (£7.49 instead of £9.99).

The Daily Telegraph

Victoria is judging Best Drink Producer category of Radio 4's Food and Farming Awards with fellow judge, beer writer Pete Brown. She says she and Brown are looking for flair and attention to detail, and for people who were making a wider contribution to drink in this country as well as something that tastes good. The three finalists they picked are a cider, apple juice and perry specialist (Once Upon a Tree, Herefordshire), a small farm Scottish whisky distillery from Islay (Kilchoman) and the Kernel Brewery in London. All three finalists are relatively new businesses, and all three are "revivalists". Simon Day is intent on capturing the taste of old apple varieties in his still ciders and Anthony Wills at Kilchoman has its own floor maltings and also uses barley grown by the farm next door. While Evin O'Riordain, at The Kernel, is making beer to centuries-old recipes retrieved from archives by "obsessive bloggers". Moore says his dark Export Stout (7.8%abv), smells of cocoa nibs and roasted coffee, and was originally made by a brewery in the capital back in 1890.

The Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards will be given out on Nov 28,

The Financial Times

Vintage 2012 will go down in history as quite extraordinary for all the wrong reasons. Plus for the first time in half a century, the world may have a shortage rather than a surplus,
says Jancis Robinson MW. Europe's growing season has been "horrible", she says. Bad weather has resulted in an exceptionally small, uneven fruit set and relatively few bunches. In June Burgundian producers frantically tried to keep the mildew at bay. On June 30 came hailstones the size of ping-pong balls that ravaged some vineyards in Volnay. Robinson says it's been an expensive and demanding vintage to make. Throughout southern Europe a major part of the problem was drought, and in England acid levels were generally still worryingly high. Some producers have announced that they will not be producing a 2012 vintage at all. They include: Nyetimber, and Médoc Cru Bourgeois Ch Hourtin-Ducasse. The head of the OIV, (the United Nations of wine), announced that in 2012 global wine production will be at its lowest level since 1975. Robinson says there are of course exceptions: West Coast vignerons, in Oregon and Washington and California, reported the best-quality harvest they can remember, with decent quantity too. The South Africans, are also thrilled with their 2012s because not only was the crop 7% higher than the previous year, but grapes reached full phenolic ripeness early.

The Independent

An invitation to join in the blending of González Byass' new Palmas range doesn't come along every day, so it didn't take Anthony Rose long to say "yes please". Antonio Flores, González Byass' chief winemaker, has made Tio Pepe since 1980 and Rose was asked to help blend the four special finos that make up the Palmas range. Tasting 20 barrels for each of the Una, Dos and Tres Palmas, they first selected their favourite 10 samples of each, then whittled them down to four in the analytical setting of the tasting room. The idea for cherry-picking the best of Tio Pepe to create these four genuinely traditional styles is in line with the vogue for appetisingly food-friendly dry styles of fino -  thanks in part to the tapas bar phenomenon, says Rose. The Palmas will be on sale this month through the Wine Society, Justerini & Brooks, Berry Bros and Lea & Sandeman.