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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY also departs from the norm and breaks out of her comfort zone to visit her local corner shops. She describes her Food, News Booze and Lottery Londis store in Fulham, south-west London, as 'enlightened' compared to the 'grim collection near me'. She sees 'two Chardonnay girls revving up for a night out with expensive pink dross, Blossom Hill White Zinfandel and Gallo Sierra Valley Grenache', while a knowledgeable-looking middle-aged male customer walks out with his usual, 'two bottles of 2004 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz'. She visits a Costcutter with a 'miserable range of Dark Ages wines', a Netto with 'wall-to-wall upright branded wines of ancient lineage' and a Spar, where the 'competent wine buyers spend most of their time sourcing the group's lengthy, constantly changing own-label range'. She concludes by commending her own top 100 Winter Wines. Both the red and the white star buys are Blason de Bourgogne wines: 2005 Pinot Noir (4.99-6.49; Asda, Co-op, Morrisons); and 2005 Chardonnay (4.99-6.43, widely available).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES' selection of festive choices is, he says, the easiest column of the year to write, as more effort has been put into perfecting sparkling wine than any other category of wine in the world over the past few years. Good cava is hard to come by outside its native country,' but 2001 Marqus de Monistrol Vintage Cava, Peneds, Spain (7.99, reduced to 3.99 until 31 December, Co-op) is a top wine, with a discount that seems very bizarre to me. This is the party wine of the year. I put my name on it, and as you know, I am a very fussy taster.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

However much we talk dry, we clearly adore drinking sweet,' says ANTHONY ROSE, and few countries churn out affordable sweet wines quite as cheerfully and cheaply as Australia'. He's thinking of 2005 Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora, 37.5cl (4.79 to 7 January, Morrisons). Or for rich and voluptuous flavours, 1999 Chteau Filhot, Sauternes, 37.5cl (9.33 buy two get one free, Thresher) is a complex and stylish sweet Bordeaux white'. But Germany and Austria have every right to fight over the sugar-coated crown', too. For the quintessence of sweet white finesse, the 2003 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Riesling Auslese, Scharzhofberger, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, 37.5cl (14.80, Jeroboams, Laytons) displays opulent yet delicately balanced sweet and sour tropical zest.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE admits to not only having once been an avid supporter of Cava, but also to making pyramids of the lead capsules from Sainsbury's Cava bottles. Having got that sad admission out of the way, he goes on to recommend 2001 Marqus de Monistrol Cava (3.99; Co-op) as one of this month's bargains in his Christmas fizz round-up. Healso likes Montana's Lindauer Ros (8.99; Threshers), Marks & Spencer's basic Oudinot Champagne (12.99), Sainsbury's 2000 Taste the Difference Vintage Champagne (22.99) and Waitrose's 1999 Vintage Champagne (21.99).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

SUSY ATKINS recommends Alsace wines, Gewrztraminer, Beaujolais, New Zealand Pinot Noirs and Tuscan reds as food-friendly wines for a 'newly liberated palate'.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY presents a case for Port. She recommends Graham's Crusted Port, bottled 2000 (9.99; Sainsbury's); 1996 Taste the Difference Quinta do Crasto (19.99; Sainsbury's); and Graham's 1996 Malvedos Vintage Port (24.99; Oddbins).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

cranks up the stereo with Led Zeppelin, Mahler or Bruckner when caterwauling carol singers knock at the Ray mansion. His Christmas recommendations include: Lindauer Ros NV (8.99; Threshers); Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne NV (14.66; Co-op); 2005 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon (20 per jeroboam; Asda); Le Petit Caboche, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse (5.95; Yapp Bros); 2005 Simmonet-Fbvre Chablis (6.99; Waitrose); 2003 Exhibition Haut-Mdoc (9.95; The Wine Society); and 2004 Saint-Julien Private Reserve (9.95; Lea and Sandeman).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW, in giving his pick of 2006, detects a number of trends. He feels that alcohol levels may be falling in response to consumer demand and that oak levels are reducing. His wine country of the year is Spain, most improved is Chile and country to watch is Argentina. His grape variety of the year is Garnacha/Grenache; top winery, Peter Lehmann; winemaker, Aurelio Montes; wine region, Loire; supermarket, Waitrose; off-licence chain, Threshers/Wine Rack; by-the-case merchant, Majestic; mail order, The Wine Society; and independent merchant, Berry Bros & Rudd.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Victoria Moore drinks her way through the day, starting with 1999 Bloomsbury RidgeView, Cuve Merret (16.99; Waitrose); 2005 Taste the Difference Chablis Cuve Ste Celine, Brocard (7.99; Sainsbury's); and 2005 Domaine de la Tourmaline Muscadet de Svre et Maine Sur Lie (4.99; Majestic) for breakfast. She finishes the day with the 2004 Matetic EQ Syrah from Chile's San Antonio Valley (13.59, when you buy two from Majestic; 16, The Wine Society).

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Who is the best wine producer in the world?' TIM ATKIN MW has his work cut out for him after this opening line, but he manages to whittle the possibilities down to six: Chteau Margaux in Bordeaux, Leroy in Burgundy, Chave in the Rhne, Gaja in Piedmont, JJ Prm in Germany and Kracher in Austria. No one from the New World gets a look in with this first line-up, but the tables are turned when the subject switches to dependable brands. Atkin's favourites for quantity, quality and consistency are: Jacob's Creek (Australia), Concha y Toro (Chile), Peter Lehmann (Australia), Montana (New Zealand), Torres (Spain) and Dourthe (France). Readers are urged to put this theory to the test and try a bottle of Peter Lehmann Shiraz, Barossa (7.99; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sweet wines are the subject of JANCIS ROBINSON MW's column. Among her recommendations are 2004Tesco Finest Botrytis Semillon (5.49 for 37.5cl); 2005 Casa de la Ermita, Dulce Viognier (6.99; Bibendum); 2002 ChteauHaut-Bergeron Sauternes (9.56 for 37.5cl; Asda); 2004 Alvear Pedro Ximnez Aada, Montilla-Moriles (8.96 for 50cl; Genesis); and 2004 Domaine de Montesquiou, Grappa d'Or, Juranon (12.30; Leon Stolarski, www.lsfinewines.co.uk).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

New Zealand Sauvignons and Chardonnays are delicious, but don't overlook the reds, says SUSY ATKINS. Her Try These' are 2005 Marks & Spencer Clocktower Pinot Noir from Marlborough (9.99); 2004 Craggy Range Gimlett Gravels Merlot, Hawke's Bay (14.99; Waitrose); and 2004 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, Marlborough (from 11.99; Threshers, Booths, Fresh & Wild, www.everywine.co.uk).

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Evening Standard

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANDREW NEATHER's white wines for Christmas include: Inycon Chardonnay (4.49; Tesco, Waitrose); 2005 Omrah Chardonnay from Western Australia (7.99; Oddbins); 2005 Sancerre Cuve des Anges, Domaine Foussier (6.66; Waitrose); 2004 Marquesa Valserrano Rioja Blanco (8.75; Stone Vin and Sun); and 2005 Te Mania Riesling from New Zealand's Nelson region (8.95; Swig). He also appears to have a 2004 Sainsbury's Chardonnay from California available from Majestic - surely a mistake...

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ten favourite tipples from Jamie Goode include 2005 Gran Tempranillo from Spain (2.99; Sainsbury's) as his budget red and 2005 Vielle Fontaine Blanc from Gascony (2.99; Tesco) as his budget white.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES challenge this week is to come up with some perfect wine matches to accompany fish recipes from Jamie Oliver. He pairs squid with black pudding stuffing and sticky tomato sauce with 2005 Foncaussade Ros, Les Parcelles, Bergerac (3.99, down from 5.25 until 1 November; Waitrose). This week's WoW is 2005 Anakena Single Vineyard Viognier, Rapel Valley, Chile (8.49 or 5.66 with the three for two deal; Thresher).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY picks out a 'classy tipple' or two for Christmas, and majors on Burgundy. Her star white is the 2004 Saint-Aubin, La Prince from Hubert Lamy (15.95; Berry Bros & Rudd) which is 'overflowing with sweet, ripe, smoky, hazelnut-charged fruit'. Her top red is the 2004 Rully, En Guesnes from Vincent Dureuil-Janthial (16.99; Wimbledon Wine) - 'Blow your socks off with this gorgeous Burgundy from a hugely talented young producer,' she says. Other recommendations include 2004 Howard Park Chardonnay, Western Australia, (14.15; Bibendum) and the 'delectable, fine, floral and faintly marzipan-redolent' 1996 Quinta do Crasto Vintage Port, Portugal (19.99; Sainsbury's).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE divides his Christmas picks into wines 'for the budget conscious' and '12 more worth splashing out on'. The 2005 Vineyard X Garnacha from Campo de Borja (4.49; Thresher, Wine Rack or 2.99 when you buy two get three) 'punches way above its weight for the fresh, vibrant, gluggy fruit quality on display'. Higher spenders should try 2004 Schfer Frhlich Riesling Trocken Vom Porphyr, which 'has been gaining recognition for its invigorating freshness' (11.25; The Wine Keller).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Some of the best-value wines around the 5 mark are coming out of Chile,' says VICTORIA MOORE. Hence, her 'everyday winter reds' include two from the South American country: 2005 Doa Dominga Carmenere/Shiraz, Colchagua Valley (5.59; Waitrose until 3 December) and 2005 Errazuriz Merlot (5.99; Tesco). 'I like cheap Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with old-fashioned food such as stews made with root vegetables.'

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Mendocino County in northern California is more than just a neighbour of Napa Valley, it's home to a group of enlightened and innovative winemakers who embrace the organic/biodynamic philosophy more warmly than, perhaps, anywhere else in the world,' says JONATHAN RAY. He is shown around Fetzer's, Bonterra Vineyards by winemaker Bob Blue and discovers that it's the largest grower and producer of organic wine in the world'. Among Mendocino's other mentioned producers are Handley Cellars and Golden Vineyards.

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many "mulls" turn out all wrong,' says SUSY ATKINS. 'They're either cloyingly sticky, or rendered almost medicinal by too many pungent cloves.' Then there's the wine: frequently 'cheap and nasty plonk'. For a good mulled wine base she picks 2005 Namaqua Shiraz/Merlot, South Africa (3.69; Tesco), 2005 La Diffrence Carignan, Vin de Pays des Ctes Catalans, France, (4.99; Sainsbury's) andMarks & Spencer Red Mulled Wine (5.99).

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