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Wines in the Press, May 18 - 24

Published:  22 May, 2012

The Guardian
Nothing gets the wine world hotter under the collar currently than the subject of natural wine, says Fiona Beckett.

She says she has an above-average interest in the subject, having started a natural wine blog,, a couple of years ago. But doesn't like them all. Yet neither does she like all conventional wines, particularly ones made with a liberal dose of chemicals. The natural wine flavours may be unfamiliar to begin with, but that's the way it is with taste, she says. Who starts off liking olives or drinking double espresso? In the green camp, recommends; Domaine Guillot-Broux 2010 Maçon Les Combettes (£22, Aubert & Mascoli), which is a "lovely, creamy" white Burgundy that's been organic since 1953. The flavours in Le Jonc Blanc ClassIK Bergerac 2008 (£15, Aubert & Mascoli) might be slightly "funkier".

The Telegraph

Victoria Moore says she has the Queen to thank for Moët & Chandon currently tasting good. The Brut NV had long been an "unfavourite" of hers. But she's noticed it had improved over the past couple of years. But didn't realise quite how much until she cracked open one of Moët's Diamond Jubilee bottles that will be served at the Buckingham Palace garden party on June 4 (rrp, £33.49 from Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Berry Brothers). Benoît Gouez has been gradually lowering the sugar levels. Five years ago they were 12g/litre. Now they're 9g/litre - which helps to give a cleaner, brisker finish. Moët is not the only celebratory label around at the moment, she says. On the other hand Tesco has produced a Diamond Jubilee Brut Reserva Cava, (reduced from £14.99 to £6) but it it is "absolutely revolting," she adds. "Really soapy - like having little divots of Imperial Leather stuck around your mouth. Horrible." A far better bet for a party is a wine made by Three Choirs vineyard in Gloucestershire called Regalia, which is exclusive to Asda (on offer £6 from May 29 to June 23), she says.

The Sunday Telegraph

The urge to chill red wine is seasonal, says Susy Atkins. Chilling emphasises the fresh snap of acidity, refreshing, mouth-watering qualities, and that's something to draw out of a red only in warm weather, she adds. So, which styles are best for a light chill?
Certainly not the heavy, tannic ones, she advises. Or very savoury reds. You need to keep serving Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Carmenère and other robust grapes at room temperature. But light, soft, juicy reds, those with very low tannins and tangy, red-berry fruit flavours can certainly benefit from a little cold. Pinot Noir is the obvious candidate and Beaujolais is another fresh, succulent red that can take a chill. So can inexpensive, easy-going Italians, such as simple Chiantis, Bardolino and Teroldego. But don't let any red get too iced up, she warns, half an hour in the fridge is enough, much more and the aromas and flavours can seem muted. Atkins recommends Marks & Spencer Beaujolais Lantignié 2010, France (£7.99) or Tesco Finest Teroldego 2009, Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Italy (£7.99).

The Financial Times

The 2011 Bordeaux primeurs campaign is one of the most sluggish so far, says Jancis Robinson MW. So she's decided to look at Burgundy. Nicolas Potel son of the late Gérard Potel, was raised on the family's property, Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, says Robinson. He now makes his own negociant wine under the name Roche de Bellene, with 15 plus hectares of organic vines which supply his own Domaine de Bellene wines. His latest addition is the Collection Bellenum, which Robison says is a wonderful treasury of serious older Burgundies. He has assembled his collection from a total of 26 different domaines that "magnificently" reflect the reality of Burgundy through variety whilst providing a useful overview of how different vintages are developing. She says they include some "completely stunning" wines that are not Grands Crus, but simple village wines. A 1959 Meursault and 1999 Volnay spring particularly to mind, she says. The youngest wine Robinson tasted was an "incredibly pure" 2005 Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet; the oldest a 1959 Meursault. But most were red and from vintages in the 1990s and early years of this century. Robinson describes them as a treasure trove for Burgundy lovers without a well-stocked cellar of their own.