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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Australia's Clare Valley produces some of the world's finest dry Rieslings' says Joanna Simon. One of her favourites is the mouthwatering' 2005 Knappstein Hand-picked Riesling (6.99-7.29; Majestic, Oddbins).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW states her case for the 2004 vintage in Bordeaux. She says: 'No matter how many times a right bank producer might reiterate how much better they felt 2001 was than 2000 for them, or how inexpensive the 2002s were, or the doubt expressed by so many producers about the effects of the 2003 heatwave summer - the market has decided that 2000, 2003 and 2005 are the vintages to buy.' She describes the best of the 2004s as 'delicious, even if they may not have the intensity of of the 2005s, and offer refreshment rather than opulence'. She also flags up the '04 Sauternes and Barsacs as 'impressive indeed'.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW returns to Brunello di Montalcino after a bad tasting experience in a badly heated tent four years previously. This time the experience is altogether more pleasant, with Turneresque sunrises and wines with prices 'north of 20'. He commends the 2001 vintage, but describes 2002 as 'awful'. Nevertheless, Atkin reckons the average Brunello is better than the other Sangiovese regions, Chianti and Montepulciano. He recommends: 2004 Rossi di Montalcino, Talenti (11.20; Bibendum); 2001 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio alle Mura, Castello Banfi (22; Majestic); Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria dei Barbi (26; Swig); and the 2001 Brunello di Montalcino, Costanti (34.95; Liberty).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

When it comes to claret, VICTORIA MOORE suggests eschewing St Emilion for the likes of Ctes de Castillon, which borders the more famous, similarly Merlot-based region. Her recommendations include: 2004 Seigneurs d'Aiguilhe, Ctes de Castillon (7.99; Waitrose); 2003 Domaine de Courteillac, Bordeaux Suprieur (8.95; Magnum Fine Wines); 2001 Chteau Greysac, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc (6.99 down from 9.99, when you buy two or more; Majestic); and 2003 Chteau Caronne Ste Gemme, Haut Medoc (10.50; Jeroboams).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE visits Tokaj in Hungary, home of one of the most famous wines in the world. He recommends: 2003 Disnk, late harvest, Tokaji Furmint (10; The Wine Society, Harrods); 1999 Royal Tokaji Asz 5 Puttonyos (8.99 for 25cl; Waitrose); 1999 Oremus Asz 5 Puttonyos (30 for 25cl; Flying Corkscrew, Philglass & Swiggot, Theatre of Wine): and 1993 Disznk Tokaji Asz 6 Puttonyos (35; Halifax Wine Co, Harrods).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Where once Chardonnay was a synonym for wet, white and wine, now Pinot Grigio has become the latest shorthand for another bland and vacuous style of dry white,' remarks ANTHONY ROSE. But this does't mean that it all deserves to be washed down the sink, he counters. To be fair, Pinot Grigio is so imitated because it is capable of such good things.' Examples picked out to back this up include 2005 Da Luca Pinot Grigio(4.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

JAMIE GOODE does his best to match wines with the leftovers from the Sunday roast. His recommendations include: 2005 Cao Cosecha, Toro, Spain (4.49; Tesco) and 2005 Bellingham The Maverick, Chenin Blanc, South Africa (8.99; Majestic, Waitrose).

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Who ate all the pies?' Well, MATTHEW JUKES admits to being 'a massive fan of the pie in all its forms' and chooses wines to match. This week's WoW is 2003 Le Grenache de Chteau Maris, Minervois La Livinre (11.99; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW attends a tasting of 1996 red Bordeaux to see how the top bottles are faring 10 years on. The right bank is dismissed straight away and she comments: It was decided to focus on the left bank, Mdoc and Graves, as the 1996 vintage was so much more successful there than in St-Emilion and Pomerol.' A number of examples from Margaux and the southern Mdoc suffer from under-ripeness', although Graves leaves Robinson very impressed'. The first growths and the best of St-Estphes and St-Juliens are worth hanging on to, she says, whereas the Pauillacs are ready to drink now. Robinson's overall favourites include all five first growths, as well as Pichon Baron, Domaine de Chevalier and Loville Poyferr.

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

ANTHONY ROSE revisits Chianti and asks if it's ready to shed the image of the old straw-clad bottle for good. He remarks: This unlikely style icon of every trattoria table in the country was a fitting symbol of just how far Chianti's reputation has fallen in the sixties and seventies.' Improvements in vineyard and winemaking techniques have made a big difference, he discovers, which has all been in favour of Chianti Classico's main ingredient: Sangiovese. Planted in the right locations and properly handled, the Tuscan grape is now producing some superb quality wines.' Rose singles out a few examples to illustrate the point, including 2004 Taste the Difference Chianti Classico (7.59; Sainsbury's).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MACQUITTY was one of the nine judges present at the recent rerun of the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting comparing the top wines of France and California, and she didn't 'expect the Californians to come out on top'. She was to be proved wrong and commented: 'There was no denying the grace and refinement of the California wines. Other New World wine producers such as Australia and Chile are not in the same league.' The overall winner was Ridge's Monte Bello and the 1999 vintage can be found at Berry Bros and Rudd (102).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

JONATHAN RAY visits the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms for an atmospheric tasting of Pol Roger, the great man's favourite fizz. Churchill liked to drink his Pol Roger by the pint and it is reckoned that in the last 10 years of his life more than 500 cases of the stuff passed through his cellars', reveals Ray. He is treated to both a recent vintage (1998) and a very old one (1914), in the company of Bill Gunn, managing director of Pol Roger. The former Champagne is described as crisp and vibrant, with wonderful creamy fruit' and although the older vintage is struggling to keep its bubbles, it is still remarkable'.

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008


Chablis is the subject for VICTORIA MOORE this week, in her new-style Guardian column. It might be one of the wine world's most well-known names but that doesn't mean it's consistent, warns Moore. There are so many different Chablis tastes, it's hard to know which you might be getting,' she says. To give readers a head start, she recommends four examples of different styles, including the approachable' 2004 M&S Chablis (8.99; Marks & Spencer).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Sherry's time has come,' declares JANE MacQUITTY, but it's no thanks to the latest release from Harvey's: On sale for a steep 7 or so in Tesco and Sainsbury's next month, it [Harvey's Orange Aperitif] smells of Terry's Chocolate Orange and tastes of orange cough sweets.' The overall category, however, is enjoying a resurgence, she reports: The average price that British drinkers are prepared to pay for a bottle of Sherry is up from a rock-bottom 4.64 in 2002 to 5.55 in 2006.' For a winter aperitif, she recommends Old Amontillado Sanlucar, Hidalgo (8.60; Tanners).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the current spell of tropical weather, VICTORIA MOORE concedes that 'talking about Port might appear to be an exercise in contrariness'. But not if it's chilled, she argues, and this is what they do with aged Tawny Port in the Douro. 'It's a delicious thing to pull out for the cheese course', she remarks and her top suggestions include M&S 20-Year-Old Tawny Port (21.99).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Viognier is not for everyone, says SUSY ATKINS, and cheap examples should be avoided as a matter of course. She advises: Trade up to well over 5 for a true taste of this exotic grape.' One example is 2003/4 Ctes du Rhne Blanc, Guigal, France (7.99; Waitrose).

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

According to JOANNA SIMON, chancellor Gordon Brown is considering increasing the duty on higher-alcohol wines exceeding 14% abv. In the meantime, she suggests trying a bottle of 15% 2004 Show Reserve Shiraz, McLaren Vale (6.49; The Real Wine Co).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

In terms of wine matching, deli food requires good all-rounders with similarly straightforward qualities,' says JAMIE GOODE, and he has a few suggestions up his sleeve. One possibility is 2004 Santa Rita Floresta Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda, Chile (9.49; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANCIS ROBINSON MW celebrates the launch of the third edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine with a special tasting evening'. She picks out nine wines for a mention in her column, which she thinks are so good they could become classics of the future, yet did not exist in 1999 when the last edition of the Companion came out'. Among the chosen ones is the very vivacious' 2003 Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa (23; Hic Wines of Castleford).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY goes to work on celebrity winemakers and the result isn't pretty. Anyone willing to shell out for the 2005 Vida Nova from Cliff Richard needs their head examined' and Francis Ford Coppola's Californian offering doesn't fare much better. Actors Gerard Dpardieu and Sam Neill are the only two famous vignerons to escape a roasting. According to MacQuitty, Neill's Central Otago Pinot Noirs are sublime' and Dpardieu's collection is characterful but erratic'.

A 66-page Real Food Guide gives MacQuitty an extra two pages this week and she advises readers on how to choose wine and where to find it.

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