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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

There is a certain amount of hyperbole utilised in the industry to weigh up vintages from different years, says Tim Atkin. However, one important factor to bear in mind is that "you should buy from top producers in lesser years and lesser producers in top years". This, he continues, allows purchasers to skip the pricey great vintages' and grab themselves a bit of a bargain in the process. Atkin adds this approach makes even more sense given he would "take issue with the general perception of what constitutes a great vintage anyway". Several bottles fit the bill of diamonds in the rough with his recommendations including a 2002 Era Costana Rioja Reserva (8.99, Sainsbury's) and a 2002 Vajra Barolo, Le Albe (27.95, Liberty Wines).