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Wines in the press, October 27-31

Published:  31 October, 2011

The Guardian

Fiona Beckett is looking at wines that are regularly good value when they're not on promotion.

In her view, the top countries for delivering good drinking at a reasonable price are Spain, Portugal, southern France and Chile. The least good value in her opinion are; South Africa, Australia and California, all of which are dominated, at the lower end, by three for £10 offers, she says. Own brands are worth seeking out include: Asda Corbières 2010 (£3.56). Beckett also likes Asda Chilean Merlot and Asda Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (£4.06), both of which are made Luis Felipe Edwards, a winery that seems to have cornered the market in cut-price Chilean. Independents, often match supermarkets for value once you reach the £7-8 mark. A good example is Château Sainte Eulalie Minervois 2009, (Tanners, £7.83). "A delicious, easy-drinking all-rounder for which I could find a lot of use over the coming months," she adds.

The Daily Telegraph

Lindsay McCall made his first vintage from Paringa Estate on Australia's Mornington Peninsula in a glass fish tank wrapped in an electric blanket to keep it warm, says Victoria Moore. McCall's Pinot Noirs have since won award after award, and he's now one of the most respected names in an area established as one of the best cooler climate regions in Australia. If you're interested in seeing just how well Aussies can do finesse then I'd urge you to start on this spit of land, she says. Other producers to look for are; Ten Minutes by Tractor, Kooyong; Main Ridge; Yabby Lake; Stonier; Ocean Eight. She recommends the "joyously clean-cut" Stonier Chardonnay 2009 Australia (£ or Bibendum Wine).

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW was at the annual London showing of the 119, 2009 classed growth Bordeaux's. Where they showing signs of going sweet and jammy? She asks. Only two of the 56 Left Bank wines Robinson tasted seemed to lack refreshment value, both from Margaux, Châteaux Prieuré-Lichine and Lascombes. Her fellow Master of Wine Julia Harding tasted the Right-Bank 2009s and found herself looking for the refreshment factor more often than Robinson, although she was impressed by how bright the fruit in the St-Émilions was. Robinson noticed that the tannins were pretty insistent in a number of the reds. But in general, these are wines to drink long before the 2010s and probably before the 2008s, she says.

The Sunday Telegraph
Susy Atkins won a large cut of deer not so long ago at a village-hall auction. Since then she's had ample opportunity to find out which wines work with venison. The answer, in short, is Barolo and Barberesco, north-west Italian reds made from the Nebbiolo grape, she says. They're top-notch with venison steaks and roast venison. But for a richly sauced, peppery casserole, cheaper Côtes du Rhône-villages and southern French Syrah and Syrah blends are almost as good. Pheasant also works well with Italian reds, only this time it's the Sangiovese grape in Chianti Classico, or a similar style such as Montepulciano D'abruzzo, she says. Atkins recommends: Taste the Difference Barolo 2006, Piedmont, Italy (Sainsbury's, £16.29) and the Passoni San Gimignano Sangiovese 2008, Italy (Majestic, £10.99).

The Mail on Sunday

If you're a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, chances are you're in love with its zingy citrus flavours, says Olly Smith. But what if you're in the mood for a change? Picpoul de Pinet remains a huge alternative favourite of Smith. He recommends Tesco Finest Picpoul de Pinet 2010 (£7.29). Or you could snap up a sharp and zesty bottle of Cuvée Pêcheur 2010 (Waitrose, £4.35). A blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard, it's incredibly zingy and splendid value for money, he adds. The breezy upbeat crisp wines made from the Albariño grape are also a good bet, try Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Albariño 2010 (£7.99). But you might be surprised to discover another great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc... Chenin Blanc. Smith plumps for Zalze Chenin Blanc 2011 (Tesco, £6.99). It may never be as widely available, but in his opinion "Chenin deserves its day in the sun."