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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Vin de pays often offers good value and a more subtle alternative to the generally bolder flavours of the New World," says Anthony Rose. One of the main reasons for this is that vin de pays wines are able to mention the grape variety on the label thus better communicating with the consumer, he adds. Rose's choices this week include the 2006 Domaine de L'Hortus Grande Cuve Blanc, (14.70, Les Caves de Pyrne) and the 2004 Domaine Guillaume Vin de Pays du Franche Comt, (22, Theatre of Wine, Greenwich).

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Published:  23 July, 2008

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Published:  23 July, 2008

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Published:  23 July, 2008

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Published:  23 July, 2008

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon admits she dislikes the low alcohol "nanny tendency as much as anybody," but concedes it makes sense to know how much you are drinking given the stronger wines available nowadays. And for all those ridden by guilt by their weekend activities, she helpfully points out a 250ml wine glass is only one fluid ounce off a half pint. It's not all doom and gloom though, as Simon suggests consumers swat up on low-alcohol wines. Ctes de Gascogne, Riesling, English and German wines, Vinho Verde, Australian Semillon, Prosecco, Cava and Txakoli from Spain all feature on the worthy wine drinkers list.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

The link between music and wine is an interesting one to Tim Atkin MW, particularly after hearing a recent record by Austrian winemaker Willi Opitz. The imaginatively-titled The Sound of Wine' became a bestseller in Austria and was "one of the weirdest bits of music I have ever heard," he said. The article is in reference to recent research, which found the style of music we listen to affects the way we taste wine. Atkin ran this past an Oxford academic friend of his and they were sceptical. Nevertheless, just in case the findings hold any stock he picked several wines that "taste equally good with anything playing in the background. Even the Spice Girls". The 2007 Watervale Riesling KT & The Falcon (14.95, Berry Brothers) is an "intense" wine while the 2006 Ribera del Duero Nos Riqueza (9.99, Marks & Spencer) is "sweetly oaked and well structured".

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Published:  23 July, 2008

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's English Wine Week until June 1 - something that has not escaped Susy Atkins' notice. "I recommend everyone else gets out over the next few days and makes their way to the nearest English winery (preferably by foot, bus or taxi, so you don't have to do that awful spitting-out)," she quips. If you fancy trying a local tipple, Atkins picks out the 2006/07 Madeleine Angevine Sharpham Estate (9.95, Waitrose), which is "a modern, young white with notes of lemon and grapefruit".

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jancis Robinson MW is aware everything is laid on for wine writers so on a recent trip to Napa she decided to rough it with the hoi polloi and "pose as a wine tourist to see what is available to the casual visitor". The main theme from her piece is that the term casual' is in fact misplaced as "the wine tourist has to organise things well in advance". And her top prize for Napa Valley wine tourism experience? The Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, of course.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jamie Goode's choices are nothing if not extravagant this week with a "state banquet" theme providing his inspiration. The 2004 Corton-Charlemagne Bouchard (79, Waitrose) comes highly recommended, as "no state dinner would be complete without a serious white Burgundy". Elsewhere, he flags up the "stunning" 2000 Barolo Mascarello (43.50, Berry Bros & Rudd) with its "lovely fresh acidity and grippy tannins".

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Ros is capable of being so much more than just an alcoholic refresher," Victoria Moore tells us. This is especially true when talking about the buying level, "more or less a fiver or a tenner", at which we operate, she adds. Her personal favourites this week include the "big beast" that is the 2007 Ros Vinha da Urze (5.99, M&S) and the 2007 Malbec Ros Altosur (5.99, Majestic) with its "rich, summer pudding flavours".

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sauvignon Blanc "rarely improves with age, so almost all should be drunk young," says Joanna Simon. For her this is one of the main attractions, she adds, but this is not the case amongst her UK sommelier friends. Regardless of their views, Simon selects a few of her current favourites. The 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Clos Henri (14.40, Les Caves de Pyrne) has a "smoky, gooseberry intensity" with potential to age while the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Iona (9.99, Waitrose) has "exceptionally pure fruit".

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

"The South African wine industry is aware there is a problem, even if it's not very good at detecting it," says Anthony Rose. He is referring to a recent industry talking point concerning an "unpleasant off-odour and taste in some bottles" of South African wine. Described variously as burnt rubber, rhubarb or sun-dried tomato, Rose states the problem is not a new one. A British MW trip to the Cape in 1976 "set the Pinotage cause back by years" when they discovered a rusty nails smell to the wines, he reveals. It's not all bad news though as the issue is being looked into, Rose assures us, while he praises the region on its progress over the last decade. "It's heartwarming to see that a new generation of savvy winemakers has expanded the frontiers of wine to select the right match between location and grape variety."

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Given the paucity of talent when it came to last summer's Tetrapack and PET wine offerings "[it's] no wonder discerning festival-goers took to decanting their best outdoor swigs into plastic bottles," says Jane MacQuitty. All is not lost this summer, however, with some eco-friendly options getting her thumbs up. La Baume's one-litre pouches for Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc (7.49, Waitrose) come most highly recommended. MacQuitty rounds off with the ultimate compliment for alternative packaging. "Even the notoriously traditional French, who so hate screwcaps, have embraced wine cartons with gusto," she concludes.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Recent UK market research has found British consumers to consider German wines "cheap, sweet and basic". Anthony Rose admits it's "tough for German wine to extricate itself from the mire" but thankfully "the quality of its trump card, estate-produced Riesling, has never been better". Good vintages could be seen in 2003 and 2005 but it is 2007 that is "producing wines of great purity, balance and class". For this year, Rose recommends consumers should investigate dry styles from Leitz and Knstler in the Rheingau, Karthuserhof in the Mosel, Wittmann in the Rheinhessen, Mller-Catoir and Brklin Wolf and von Buhl in the Rheinpfalz.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

If we sideline Jane MacQuitty's rant about the stratospheric prices for the "mediocre" 2007 Bordeaux vintage, there remain some interesting recommendations this week. The 2006 Malbec Alamos (5.24, Bibendum) is a "tasty, top dog Argentinian red" while the 2004 Burgundy Meursault Jean-Marc Bouzereau (19.99, selected Tesco stores) is "complete with lots of burnt, buttered toast flavours on the finish".

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

"The easiest way to destroy your enjoyment of a red wine is to drink it at the wrong temperature," warns Victoria Moore. Her personal sticking point is reds being served too hot, something which should be clearly apparent "if the wine tastes soupy, seems not to have a defined shape or rushes up your nostrils like the haze that evaporates from a pan of stewing fruit". As such, Moore has chosen several reds, which benefit from a spot of light chilling. The 2007 Nerello Mascalese (4.99, M&S) needs to be drunk with food "but the clearest flavour is the classic Italian one of cherries". Italy's Valpolicella NV (3.18, Sainsbury's) is light in alcohol and thus "ideal for a lunchtime glass".

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the Chelsea Flower Show underway this week, Susy Atkins is weighing up which wines have the most detectable floral hints. Gewrztraminer is the obvious first choice, she says, with its "distinctive rose-petal fragrance" but there are also other varieties with garden scents. "German Rieslings lean towards a light, generally flowery whiff, while French Viogniers sock it to you with a heady perfume," Atkins explains. The 2007 Torrontes La Esperanza Estate (5.99, Marks & Spencer) is mentioned for its notes of "orange-blossom, roses and lychees" while the 2006/07 Viognier Yalumba Organic (5.99, Waitrose) features for its "honeysuckle and white blossom".

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's picnic season and Susy Atkins is concentrating on the important topic of which wines should populate your hamper. "A summer picnic is meant to be relaxing, refreshing, easy - so avoid heavy, powerful wines," she advises. Instead, opt for fresh fruity flavours, crisp acidity and a smooth texture - probably a screwcap - and more importantly, nothing too expensive. "I'm after wines that don't cost a fortune - it's plain pretentious to crack open fine wine when sitting on a rug in a field," Atkins quips. She recommends the "refreshing" 2007 Pinot Grigio Palataia (6.99, M&S) and the "easy-drinking" 2006 Pinotage Fairtrade (5.15, Sainsbury's).

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