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The Observer

Published:  24 July, 2008

Tim Atkin MW is back from his several-week hiatus and he is in a combative mood. "Castel's ownership of Oddbins has been a disaster," he rages, and the recent press tasting has done little to allay his fears.  Atkin's main bone of contention seems to be Alain Favereau, a Castel buyer, who "has no understanding whatsoever of what UK consumers (and wine writers) like to drink". Thankfully there are "one or two decent wines" remaining. As examples, he chooses the "herbal, aromatic, multi-dimensional blend" 2007 De Grendel Winifred (£9.59, Oddbins) and the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc Matahiwi Holly (£10.99, Oddbins) with its "remarkable complexity".