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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRILICH searches for some products with a real USP and finds a smoothie made with fresh fruit instead of fruit pure, called I Am Fresh (1.95 for 250ml; selected Waitrose) and an exceptionally good' single-estate coffee: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Highlands Coffee (2.89 for 227g; Sainsbury's).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Every January, six independent wine merchants, together called The Bunch, gather for a joint tasting. Their original aim was to highlight 'wines that they have and supermarkets don't'. But it takes a real effort to beat the supermarkets, reports JANE MacQUITTY. She discovers that, while 'weird wines are not always wonderful', The Bunch does have a few real stars, such as the 'sensational, scented, raspberry-stacked' 2004 Vin de Pays Catalan Carignan, Ferrer-Ribire (8.75; Adnams, Tanners).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

There's no theme from MATTHEW JUKES this week, only a mission to pick out the best wines he's tasted in the past seven days: A motley crew, but every one is a first-class drop.' This week's Wow is 2005 Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (9.99; Oddbins), which Jukes describes as nothing short of extraordinary'.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

According to JAMIE GOODE, there's only one type of wine that should be ordered with shellfish: crisp, dry whites'. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Grigio ought to do the trick, he says, before suggesting a few examples to try. First on his list is 2004 Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays d'Oc (4.99; Waitrose, Asda).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Robert Parker's influence could well be on the wane, says ANTHONY ROSE, after a read of Elin McCoy's book Emperor of Wine (20; Grub Street). In McCoy's opinion, wine drinkers are turning to the Internet for more information, and the younger generation have never been enthused about aging gurus'. Rose doesn't let on exactly how much he agrees with McCoy, but he concludes that Parker might take comfort from his contribution towards helping wine drinkers make up their own minds.' His recommendation for weekend wine under a tenner is 2004 Fiano d'Avellino, Feudi di San Gregorio (9.99; Waitrose).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

California does things differently,' says JANE MacQUITTY and she's not very impressed. California has become complacent about the needs of the British palate, most likely because sales of the cheap, sweet, bottom-end Golden State wines are growing like topsy here.' The good news, however, is that a bumper 2005 harvest looks set to create a wine glut similar to those of the early Noughties', she continues, which should see the appearance of a few bargains in the UK. MacQuitty's favourites from California include 2002 Ironstone Cabernet Franc (6.99; Somerfield and Waitrose) and 2004 Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (6.99; Waitrose, Co-op).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW meets Peter Sisseck and asks if it was really such a bad thing that 'a sizeable chunk' of his first vintage (1995) of Dominio de Pingus ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic. Sisseck confides that it was a pretty bad day but admits: 'Obviously, I'd prefer it if the boat hadn't sunk, but the loss of that wine had a crazy impact on the price in the United States. People were desperate to get hold of it.' And it would seem that this hasn't changed, which prompts Atkin to ask, 'Is Pingus worth the 2,500-a-case price tag it commands today?' Maybe, maybe not - 'but it's still a fantastic red that tastes as good in bottle as it does straight from the barrel'. He recommends 2003 Flor de Pingus (32.85; Corney & Barrow).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Summer's coming, the World Cup is almost upon us and according to JONATHAN RAY, there has been no better time to set off on a bargain-hunting booze cruise to Calais. The Ray family head off to France to see what's what and the final verdict is a good one: We've had a great day, stocked up both larder and cellar (making considerable savings) and enjoyed the fleeting experience of being abroad.' The main focus of the outing was Champagne and highlights included Marie Stuart Brut Champagne (14.50/10.15; Carrefour) and Franois Heucq Brut Rserve Champagne (16/11.19; Le Bar a Vins).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW goes to Germany for the evening to attend a Wine Rarity Dinner at the 2006 Rheingau Gourmet and Wine Festival and she discovers two wines fit to
blow apart all preconceptions about German wines: 1897 Steinberger Riesling trocken Cabinet proves that great German Riesling doesn't have to be sweet, and 1947 Assmannshuser Hllenberg Sptburgunder trocken Cabinet proves that Germany can also produce some excellent reds. Robinson concludes: It is surely significant that the two great German wines described above so eloquently vindicate the trend in modern Germany to produce dry wines from the country's greatest red and white grapes.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

On a trip to Tulbagh Mountain Vineyard, South Africa, TIM ATKIN MW discovers that he's not the only fan of the country's grapes. The animals at this winery like the taste of grapes and are prepared to do anything to get at them.' Half the 2005 crop was stolen by baboons and Atkin, for one, is not happy about this state of affairs, saying it's one of the most exciting new wineries I've come across in the past decade'. He singles out 2004 TMV Viktoria (11.49; Richards Walford) as one of his two favourites from the range. He also comes across a producer who makes one of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the southern hemisphere': Wynand Hamman at Fryer's Cove. The 2004 vintage is available (9.68) from Anthony Byrne Fine Wines.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE sweet talks his readers this week, saying forget Liebfraumilch and Lambrusco, 'the fine sweet wines that end a meal beautifully are among the great wonders of the wine world'. If price is a problem, Rose lets slip that 'Australia cunningly replicates the Sauternes experience at a fraction of the price in wines such as the 2002 Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley Botrytis Semillon (5.99-6.99, half-bottle; Booths, Oddbins and Jeroboams). Sweet Riesling from Germany is a classic style, Rose continues, but 'no pantheon of sweet wines would be complete without Tokaji', and one of the best of the best is 1999 Royal Tokaji Tokaji Asz 5 Puttonyos (8.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Is there any point in investing in wine and buying a case en primeur? ANTHONY ROSE certainly thinks there is: I started picking up the odd case or two with the 1982 vintage and I've never looked back.' He concedes that the hype surrounding this year's Bordeaux vintage has driven up the prices more than usual, but he still thinks there are plenty of reasons to buy. He also encourages readers to give other countries a chance to provide a few cellar-worthy bottles: Young Burgundy, Rhne, German Riesling, Chianti Classico and, increasingly, wines from Australia, New Zealand and California can now be snapped up and left to mature, or broached early on.' Rose's top suggestion for a wine under a tenner is 2004 Tesco Finest Denman Semillon (7.99; Tesco).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY was introduced to alcohol the sensible way - wine mixed with water - and she is keen for this sort of moderation to be shown with today's teenager. The more sensible among us attend our teenagers' parties, have a guest list, check arrivals at the door, and issue two drinks vouchers per head for the entire event,' she advises. And for those parents who wish to go one step further and trick their offspring into drinking something which is virtually alcohol-free, she comes up with a few cheat' options: My Cheat's Pimm's is an especially good idea, as you can add more fruit and sparkling lemonade and much less alcohol without any of your teenage guests noticing.' MacQuitty's star buys include 2005 Casillero del Diablo, Sauvignon Blanc, Chile (4.99; Somerfield) and 2005 Sancerre Ros, Cuve Jean Marchal (10.99; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

For those struggling with present-buying inspiration this Christmas, JANCIS ROBINSON MW says 'a good bottle is nearly always an acceptable present for a man - or wine-minded woman'. Of all the bottles on the shelf, it's classic fizz that wins Robinson's vote this time round: 'Absolutely top-quality Champagne is regarded by even the most hard-bitten professional as a treat.' 1990 Dom Prignon and Krug are both recommended. Or if quality red is more your thing, it's difficult to beat top Bordeaux, says Robinson: 'Baron Philippe de Rothschild was no fool when he developed the idea of commissioning a different artist each year to design a unique label for each vintage of Chteau Mouton-Rothschild.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Bordeaux hyperbole machine surrounding the current vintage is in danger of blowing a gasket' says TIM ATKIN MW. Prices will therefore not be cheap and potential buyers should be wary: The 2005 vintage may go up in due course, but wait to see the opening prices before you commit your money.' He also refers to the recent Mayfair Cellars disaster and urges readers to make sure you buy from an established wine merchant with sound finances'. For those who would rather not wait 10 years or so to drink their wine, he recommends a few good, cheap clarets' which are ready to drink now. These include 2003 Chteau Fantin (6.99; Oddbins) and 2002 Le Haut-Mdoc de Giscours Grande Rserve (12.99, down to 7.99 until 21 May; Waitrose).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's Wimbledon, it's strawberry season and there's never been a better time to crack open some ros, says ANTHONY ROSE. Anyone who thought that a passion for ros was just a flash in the pan in the torrid summer of 2003 was wrong, because the buoyancy of the wine market is largely down to ros's popularity.' The major retailers are pushing the discount boat out and Rose discovers that Marks & Spencer has 20% off its entire ros range until 27 June, while Majestic is offering 20% off when you buy two. Highlights include House Wine Ros from Plaimont (down to 2.79; Marks & Spencer) and 2005 La Madone, Chteau de Panery, Ctes du Rhne Ros (4.39, down from 5.49; Majestic).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

The good, old sausage is topic of the week for JAMIE GOODE and as an unpretentious match, he's chosen 'five upfront reds'. These include 2004 Cono Sur Pinot Noir, Chile (4.99; Morrisons, Waitrose) and 2003 Tesco Finest Crozes Hermitage, Northern Rhne (6.99; Tesco).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE gets lost in Kent and, to her shock, finds herself drinking Sherry: 'Who drinks that these days?' But she surprises herself and comments: 'It's the perfect, delicate, not-quite-drinking, no-guilt way to begin a weekend lunch.' Tesco is her top choice for good value, with Tesco Finest Fino and Tesco Finest Manzanilla both selling for 5.06 in 75cl bottles.

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

The public smoking ban (already in Scotland and due to reach England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007) can't come soon enough for RICHARD EHRLICH. 'This column was one of the first of its type to talk seriously about the idea of banning smoking in bars', he reminds readers. This said, he does 'have a certain sympathy for people in the bar industry who fear their livelihoods will be threatened'. Jonathan Downey, owner of London bars such as The Player and Milk & Honey, tells Ehrlich he thinks some places will definitely be in trouble: 'We won't suffer because of our clientele. But good locals or basic bars - some of these places will go to the wall.'

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW has chosen to open up his heart to the nation and admit to a shameful secret. 'There is no denying the truth any longer: I am addicted to Sherry.' He's well aware of its 'bus pass image' and doesn't deny that old people are fans: 'The fastest way to get my grandmother to nod off was to slip her a glass of cream Sherry.' But this hasn't managed to deter him: 'There's always a bottle of Fino in the fridge. When I'm at home, I drink a glass of Sherry most evenings.' For those who would like an introduction, Atkin recommends Solera Jerezana Fino Puerto (5.35; Waitrose) and Lustau Very Rare Old Oloroso, Emperatriz Eugenia (15.89; D Byrne, Green and Blue, Noel Young).

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