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Wines in the press - October 30-November 1

Published:  02 November, 2009

The Guardian

You may well stumble across a bargain if you avoid star names in the grape world says Victoria Moore.

"If you avoid glittering names that attract high premiums - Chablis, Pouilly Fumé, Ribera del Duero, Barolo, Chianti and so on - or grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon that are wielded like trophies and charged for accordingly, you very often get a better deal," she adds.

Moore recommends Domaine Yves Cuilleron Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhôdaniennes 2007 (The Wine Society, £11.95). "As the name suggests, it comes from the Rhône Valley and smells utterly, soaringly magnificent, minerallic and pure. It may not be a cheap bottle, but as a humble vin de pays it costs far less than you'd pay for a similar wine from one of the Rhône's highfalutin apellations, and the quality is still there."

The Sunday Telegraph

"Bonfire night is a great time, I think, for a warming, powerful drink," says Susy Atkin. "But - let's be clear about this - not if you are the person lighting the bonfire or setting off the fireworks. No. Those folk should be on caffeine only before marching away with the matches."

Atkins suggests if it's a chilly and dark evening not to "pour anything delicate".

She recommends, a "beefy red", ripe and intense, preferably with hints of spice and black pepper possibly a premium Malbec from Argentina, or Carmenère from Chile. Both of which she says, "would fit the bill". She adds, hot mulled wine is also a good idea, "but make sure you use a decent bottle of red, go easy on the pungent cloves and never let it boil fully, or else the alcohol will steam away into the night".

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW is talking to a "the most important father and son in wine", of whom she says "you have probably never heard".

Client Bruno Eynard of Château Lagrange in St-Julien says Jacques Boissenot, 71, and his 40-year-old son Eric "make the greatest wines of the world".

They are the Médoc's leading consultants, reports Robinson and responsible for the great majority of the region's famous classed growths, and all the first growths. Yet, she adds "they never court publicity and rarely receive it, so entrenched are they in this, the greatest concentration of fine red wine estates in the world".

She says, the Boissenots operate from a "modest house" in Lamarque and "like Michel Rolland they also run a laboratory whose two employees conduct the analyses of all those tanks, vats and barrels full of purple liquid".

Robinson asked what was the sign of success for them? "We're not the only actors, it's a team thing. Eric Boissenot replied, "perhaps we're more important than some others - you can never attribute a wine to one person. But the fact that we see so many properties means that we have more of a vision than someone who knows only their property."

The Telegraph

Jonathon Ray is talks to actress Emma Thompson about her love of wine. He says "Thompson knows more about wine than she admits. In fact, I had heard that she was hoping to become a Master of Wine.

Thompson agrees: "Yes, I was thinking of attempting the Master of Wine course, but having done an intermediate course at Berry Bros, I realised how technical a subject wine can be. It was a bit like learning my lines and to be honest it took some of the romance out of it."

Ray says, Thompson buys wine regularly from just three merchants: Berry Bros & Rudd, Genesis Wines and Argyll Vintners in Dunoon, Scotland, where she has a house.

"Argyll Vintners has to be my favourite place on earth," Thompson explains. "It's a wine shop which also, bizarrely, sells wool."

She adds, "Such independents deserve to be supported and I flatly refuse to buy any wine from supermarkets. They might have very good buyers but it's just not fair how much power over us the supermarkets have."

Thompson married fellow actor Greg Wise in a low-key wedding in Dunoon in 2003 and says, "All the money I would otherwise have spent I invested in wine," she says. "Among many other treats we bought a case of stunning 1982 Chateau Léoville-Lascases and some gorgeous 2000 Meursault. We managed to entertain 20 friends for an entire week and whenever we opened a bottle the whole party would let out a collective sigh of joy. It all passed in a very agreeable haze and I'll never forget it. What I remember of it."