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Wines in the press, July 27-30

Published:  31 July, 2012

The Guardian

Fiona Beckett says, there have been so many occasions this year to invoke patriotic drinks that to do so again for the Olympics seems redundant.

So, she's decided to look instead at the 2008 medal tally. The obvious choices would be wines from China or the US, she says, but she's not going to start recommending Echo Falls or Blossom Hill, and Chinese wines are few and far between in the UK. She opts for a Bordeaux, such as the "smooth, plumy" Château Vieux Manoir (most Co-op stores; £6.99). The fact Germany did pretty well last time with 16 golds, could be an excuse to crack open a Riesling and suggests the Sybille Kuntz Estate Riesling 2008, Mosel (£13.41, OW Loeb) which is a mature, dry Riesling, that Beckett thinks would make superb TV sipping.

The Observer

David Williams lists his three picks of the week, firstly; Taboexa Albariño, Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain 2011 (£9.99, Waitrose) which he considers to be fresh without being austere, and fleshy and round without being fat. There are layers of aromatic white peach and white flowers, a subtle herbal streak and the cooling freshness that marks out all the best wines of Atlantic Ocean-cooled Galicia, he says. Secondly; Le Citronnier Colombard Sauvignon Blanc, IGP Côtes de Gascogne, France 2011 (£7.99, Laithwaites). It displays a nostalgic label that to Williams looks like the kind of thing you'd stumble on in a Parisian flea market or a scene from Amélie. It also gives a very good idea of the contents which he says is a zippy, grassy dry white. Thirdly; The Co-operative Les Pionniers Brut Champagne, France NV (£15.99, reduced from £19.99) is an example of a great producer working undercover, says Williams. Régis Camus, head winemaker for the Charles and Piper Heidsieck brands, has produced a perfectly balanced Champagne with an intensity and precision that Williams says you almost never find at this sort of price.

The Daily Telegraph

Despite all the samples Victoria Moore opens at home and the wines she gets to taste and drink when out and about, she says when it comes down to it, her everyday drinking habits are just the same as anyone else's. Moore has a "comfort zone and styles of wine that she goes for over again. She likes her first drink to be a pick-me-up: such as a G?&?T, or a sparkling Chenin Blanc from the Loire or a gentle Prosecco from northern Italy. She consumes an "awful lot" of Riesling, mostly German and unlike many of her wine trade comrades adores the "brain-rinsing" qualities of Sauvignon Blanc, especially if it's from the Loire. She adds a pale rosé from Provence, never lasts long in her fridge and she goes in for sherry in quite a big way. In reds, she seeks freshness; the tilt of Gamay, or the redcurrant leafiness of Cabernet Franc or a good value Malbec or comforting Shiraz. But the reds she most longs for are Italian: Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and the rest.

The Financial Times

Ancient vines, stunning landscape, and a balmy climate it is hardly surprising that the north-eastern corner of Spain has been getting its wine act together, says Jancis Robinson MW. The recent evolution of the official denomination - known as Ampurdán-Costa Brava, but now restyled in Catalan as Empordà - reflects what has been happening throughout so much of the wine world, she says. Empordà has perhaps been slower to evolve than more cosmopolitan wine regions, but on the plus side had it been faster, more of its old vines of traditional varieties would have been ripped out to make way for "inappropriate", international ones. Robinson tasted more than 50 wines from some of the more dynamic producers and while she found they varied hugely in style and winemaking competence, the raw ingredients could hardly have more personality, she says. Robinson found some of the best-value examples are made from ancient Garnatxa vines by the Espelt family winery. Another favourite was Roig Parals, Camí de Cormes 2007 which is made from a single vineyard of very old Carinyena, the oldest vines dating back to 1896.