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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

The powerful and perfumed charms of the Viognier grape are exulted by TIM ATKIN MW. Frustrated by the high prices of Condrieu wines of the northern Rhne ('a licence to print euros'), Atkin looks to California, Australia and the Languedoc as cheaper alternatives. He also believes that Viognier 'belongs in the same exalted company' as Chardonnay, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc'.

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON selects wines to go with vegetarian dishes. His choices include: 2004 Heartland Stickleback Semillon/Chardonnay/Verdelho (5.95; Great Western Wine), 'a great party wine with relatively low alcohol'; and 2002 Montana Reserve Riesling (7.99; Oddbins), which displays a 'mildly perfumed aroma with subtle petrol hints, lychees and citrus fruit and a floral finish with firm acidity'. His final choice, a good match with mushroom dishes, is 2003 Home Ranch Pinot Noir (7.99; Marks & Spencer): 'Strawberry and raspberry fruit aromas prevail here, but the wine is predominantly smooth and chocolatey on the palate and finish.'

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON was also at the masterclass, and recommends three screwcapped wines, on the basis that 'I have never had a corked screwcap wine'. They are: 2003 Tim Smith GMS Grenache/Mataro/Shiraz (14.99; Oz Wines); 2003 Arrogant Frog Ribet White (5.99; Unwins); and 2003 Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc (6.99; widely available).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

To mark English Wine Week, ANTHONY ROSE takes his Argentinian friend Marcelo to Kent for his first-ever taste of English wine. Arriving at The Swan at The Vineyard in Lamberhurst, Rose admits he was anticipating 'wine glasses clinking to the sound of Greensleeves', and was duly surprised to see 'Sunday lunches being washed down with pints of beer and the odd bottle of Rioja'. Moving on to the nearby Vineyard Bistro, Rose was greeted with a full selection of the Curious Grape range from the English Wines Group on the list, at least: 'Marcelo was keen to tackle the wine tasting. But when he asked if the wines had been opened today, he was told: Some are and some aren't; we can't just open a new bottle every day.'

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

The growing popularity of ros may be good news for producers in the south of France, but this trend, VICTORIA MOORE explains, 'has completely discombobulated those upper-middle-class types who still rely on there being a difference between a sofa and a settee to buttress their egos'. So much so, evidently, that an anxiously penned letter was sent to the Spectator, demanding to know the rules and regulations on how to drink ros. 'Out of doors and in company' was the reply, to which Moore's retort is 'stuff and nonsense'. 'I have been swigging back ros in earnest for seven years, ever since hooking up with the man to whom I am now married,' she says. She also recommends 2004 Chteau Guiot Ros Costires de Nmes (5.29, or 4.50 each if two bottles are bought; Majestic) and 2004 Turkey Flat Ros (7.999.99; Tanners, Noel Young, Bottle & Basket, Nidderdale Fine Wines).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

RICHARD EHRLICH recommends three current 'bargains' from Marks & Spencer: 2004 Saint Mont (3.99); 2003 Minervois Grard Bertrand (3.99 from 5.49); and 2004 El Dueno Chardonnay (3.99).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON launches a campaign this week, imploring everyone to drink French wine: 'Perhaps you don't drink French wine because you prefer the easy, fruity taste of New World wines or Italian Pinot Grigio, and you like the way these wines are always on promotion. One day, though, you may want a change from yet another Identikit Chardonnay, Shiraz or Merlot. You may want something more individual and authentic, something that goes better with food - and it may be too late.' She recommends 2003 Ctes du Rhne Blanc Les Gendrines (15.35; Jeroboams); 2003 Arrogant Frog Cabernet/Merlot (5.99; Unwins); and 2002 Chablis Les Serres, Oudin (9.75; Stone, Vine & Sun).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

As the weather heats up, JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON turns his attention to picnic wines. 'Picnics spell dry, fruity, fresh wines, usually white and occasionally with a sprinkling of bubbles,' he says. Sauvignon Blanc or 'a fine Chablis if you're feeling slightly indulgent' are good choices, but he also recommends 2004 Three Choirs Variations (4.98; Asda); NV Jacob's Creek Sparkling Ros (7.99; Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Asda); 2004 Graham Beck Viognier (6.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (7.49; Tesco); 2004 Chteau Pierrail Bordeaux Blanc (4.49; Booths).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

It's the right time to make a 'song and dance' about 2004 ross, says JANCIS ROBINSON MW. Many of the 2003s were 'casualties of the heatwave summer', she says, adding that 'a ros without the thorn of acidity is a sorry thing'. Robinson says that producers in the Languedoc 'have been putting an increasing amount of effort into their pink wines'; in the Loire, 'acidity levels are high, but very pale pink Pinot from Sancerre and refreshing pink Cabernets from much further downriver can be satisfying if there is enough ripe fruit to counterbalance the acidity'; Italy provides 'some toothsome examples' from Lake Garda; Spain and Portugal are 'enthusiastic producers of particularly fruity, bumptious rosado'; while 'many New World producers are showing signs of real creativity in their offerings for this renascent wine category'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

When asked to pick a 'glass of good red wine', VICTORIA MOORE picks three: 2000 Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot (15.99; Oddbins); 2001 Crozes-Hermitage Cuve Alberic Bouvet, Domaine Gilles Robin (12.95; Lea & Sandeman); and 2004 Excelsior Paddock Shiraz (5.99; Sainsbury's, Waitrose).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

'There is every reason to believe that Argentine wine will soon outstrip the Andean potato as the country's finest contribution to lunch and dinner,' says RORY ROSS.

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

During a brief stop-off in London, consultant winemaker Michel Rolland meets JANCIS ROBINSON MW. Naturally, her first enquiry is about Mondovino, which painted Rolland as a laughing cavalier. He tells her: 'It showed only a very small, unexciting part of my work. I'm not the greatest fan of micro-oxygenation. The guy [director Jonathan Nossiter] has been really dishonest. On the soundtrack, for instance, he makes my voice seem stronger than it is. But I do admit that I have a Mercedes and a driver.' Robinson thinks that Nossiter's attack on Rolland is both 'unnecessary and foolish': 'Firstly, he is immensely likeable and is therefore widely liked, so he makes an extremely unpopular target. Secondly, he is obviously extremely able.'

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

GILES KIME recommends five Viogniers this week: 2003 D'Arenberg Last Ditch, Australia (8.49; Oddbins); 2004 The Maverick, South Africa (7.99 as part of a case; Majestic); 2004 Brampton, South Africa (7.99; Waitrose); Lizards of Oz Reserve, Australia (5.99; Asda); and 2004 Trivento, Argentina (4.99; Waitrose).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY chooses her 25 favourite wines under 8 this week as part of her Top 100 Summer Wines series. The star white is 2004 Mcon-Milly-Lamartine, Vieilles Vignes, Christophe Cordier, France (8.99 or buy two for 7.99 each until 9 June; Majestic), and the star red is 2003 Seigneurs d'Aiguilhe, Ctes de Castillon, France (7.99; Waitrose).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Ros isn't naff any more and it's perfectly acceptable for the alpha male to be seen in the pink,' proclaims ANTHONY ROSE. Retailers have expanded their ranges to meet an increase in demand for ros from UK wine drinkers, with Tesco doubling its ros listings from 15 to 30 following a 54% growth in sales between 2003 and 2004, he notes, and the UK wine drinker has 'moved on from cloying sweet stuff to crisper, dry styles.' Top bargains on offer include: Asda Ros d'Anjou (2.81); 2004 Big Frank's Ros, Vin de Pays d'Oc (3.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Laurent Miquel Cte Sauvage Dry Ros Coteaux du Languedoc (3.99; Somerfield); and 2004 Domaine de Pellehaut Vin de Pays des Ctes de Gascogne (4.494.99; Booths, Waitrose).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN BRACEY-GIBBON picks the best party wines, including 2003 Kendermann Dry Riesling (15.99/3l box; Waitrose); 2004 Corbett Canyon Grenache Ros (2.84; Tesco); and 2004 Cuve de Richard Vin de Pays de l'Aude (3.05; Majestic).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Likewise, GILES KIME's New Zealand Sauvie selection includes 2004 Asda Marlborough (5.48); 2004 Jackson Estate (8.99; Waitrose); and 2004 Sanctuary (6.99; Sainsbury's).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON's pick of Sauvignon Blancs includes 2004 Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc (7.99; Majestic); 2004 Dashwood Sauvignon (7.59; Oddbins); and 2004 Alta Tierra Sauvignon/Semillon (7.65; Laithwaites).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY's recommendations include 2003 Palma Real, Rueda (5.85; Jeroboams); 2002 Las Almenas, Utiel-Requena (5.49; Marks & Spencer); and 2003 Otto Bestu Tinto, Somontano (6.95; Great Western Wine).

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The Independent On Sunday

Published:  23 July, 2008

Angered by the price of a glass of house Champagne in most London restaurants, RICHARD EHRLICH looks for alternatives. 'My top choice will always be a bone-dry Fino or Manzanilla Sherry, whose mouth-watering acidity gets the salivary glands racing just as efficiently as fizz,' he says. He would also opt for a glass of vermouth with a touch of sparkling water, and he is 'edging towards' a glass of dry cider, particularly Sheppy's Dabinett Cider (1.59/500ml; Booths).

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