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Wines in the Press- February 19-21

Published:  23 February, 2010

The Guardian

According to Victoria Moore sweetness in Champagne is not just about personal preference, but is subject to changing fashions.

The Guardian

According to Victoria Moore sweetness in Champagne is not just about personal preference, but is subject to changing fashions.

In the 19th century, people preferred sweeter Champagne than the 20th. But now "we are increasingly being persuaded to try Champagne in its most ear-splittingly dry form - zero dosage."

Moore says she discovered at the recent The Sugar Experience seminar, that adjusting the dosage does not just affect the sweetness but also the development of the wine. "Only at the point of ­disgorgement, when the dosage is added, is the Champagne's future determined," she adds.

Ayala Brut Majeur and the zero dosage Ayala Brut Nature (£25.95, are made from wines drawn from the same stock, says Moore. "But when you try the two side by side, you'd swear they were completely different wines."

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW, says after two big tastings recently she has been left with a newfound admiration for one of Australia's biggest brands, Jacob's Creek.

What most impressed her was how well the older vintages of the most basic bottlings, currently retailing at £5.99 in the UK, had lasted.

She thinks the regular Chardonnay 2007 blend was, unlike most 2007s at the same sort of price, with the current, 2009, bottling tasted as though it had not yet hit its stride.

Further commendation was given at the annual UK generic tasting of Australian wines in a blind tasting of 50 Chardonnays.

Robinson says she ended up giving 16.5 out of 20, to Jacob's Creek regular Chardonnay 2008, and an even higher score to the Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2008.

The Times

Jane MacQuitty says writing off a vintage before the wine has finished fermenting is a big mistake. "So, nul points to those writers and merchants who dismissed the 2008 Burgundy vintage last year."

She says far from being a disaster, Burgundy's Côte d'Or, has, in fact, produced "tiny quantities of sensationally good, steely, citrusy, minerally '08 whites and some surprisingly succulent, delicate, yet vibrant, raspberry-perfumed reds - flavours that Burgundy hunters pay stratospheric sums for every year".

The Telegraph

"Three cheers for the home-made, midweek supper," says Susy Atkin. Having bought a slow-cooker, she says she's majored on classics such as beef braises and lamb tajines, toad-in-the-hole or roast root veg.

They are hearty, warming, no-nonsense meals eaten by the fire, or in front of the telly.

But for a proper soothing supper, you must, have a delicious wine to hand, and for midweek must be good value, Atkins adds.

She recomemnds Old Man Creek Shiraz 2008, South-Eastern Australia (Marks & Spencer, £4.99) for pairing with beef or lamb stews. Or Sainsbury's Californian Chardonnay NV (£4.08) which she says is ideal with pan-fried salmon, garlic chicken or cream-based pasta sauce.

Daily Mail

Olly Smith says: "It's almost time to think about floral white and the breezes of spring... But not quite!" He adds, just before spring is about to make its big entrance, he loves to sip rich white wines that keep out the cold but are bright enough to give a glimpse of the sunshine.

Rich whites occur if the wine producer is prepared to leave the grapes on the vines for a bit longer, says Smith, with Alsace being one such region where the flavours tend to be quite striking in flavour.

Chardonnay, too, can be rich, he says, especially when it grows in warm climates from places such as Argentina and California. He recommends Catena Alta Chardonnay 2007 (£18.39 from