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Wines in the press, August 2-5

Published:  07 August, 2012

The Telegraph

Muscat is one of the few grapes to make wines that actually smell like fresh grape juice, and there are some really delicious styles that are lovely to drink on a warm summer's day, says Victoria Moore.

Plus it's low in alcohol. The key word to look for on the bottle isn't Muscat but Moscato. Moscato isn't just another way of saying Muscat, it has become a shorthand term used for a wine made in a style similar to that of a Moscato d'Asti or Asti from Piemonte. It's not only Italian Moscato that people are buying either, but versions that are made on a vast scale in Australia and California. Tesco plans to sell one, called Vinni, from Australian Vintage, by the pint, which is due to hit the shops in October. Moore will always prefer the fragrance and detail of Moscato d'Asti made by small producers, but they're more expensive and harder to find. She avoid the likes of Barefoot but says Jacob's Creek and Gallo's versions are "very good" She recommends Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti 2011 Italy (5%, The Wine Society, £6.50) and Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato 2011 California (8.5%, Sainsbury's, £6.79).

The Mail on Sunday

Olly Smith says you may have sipped Côtes du Rhône in the 1980s, but what you may not realise is just how superb recent vintages have become and what value for money these reds currently offer. He adds where 2009 made him sit up and take note, the 2010 unleashed the full force of a near perfect vintage. Smith recommends Marks & Spencer's Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône Villages 2010 (£6.99). In addition he says the great news is that the "equally stellar" 2011 Rhône reds are also currently perched on the supermarket shelves. For 2011 Côtes du Rhône, the value on offer has never been better, he adds. "Those hillsides of the southern Rhône in recent vintages are showing just how incredible and competitively priced French wines can really be when the weather repeatedly blesses the vineyards."

The Independent

According to Anthony Rose it's heartening then to see so many new wine merchants thriving in the face of the supermarket onslaught. Rose mentions how supermarkets were recently exposed via Twitter for promoting price slashes for wines that are worth nowhere near their stated price. It was recently brought home to Rose the sheer numbers of quality wine merchants both new and established. In London he mentions Lea & Sandeman, Philglas & Swiggot and Roberson, plus new name Bottle Apostle, and two "pioneering" try-before-you-buy operations, The Sampler in Islington and South Kensington, and Vagabond Wines in Fulham. He can't see a supermarket stocking wines such as the "richly concentrated apple and honey-flecked" Domaine de la Noblaie, Chinon Blanc, 2010 (£16.40). Rose thinks locals should be delighted to have the services of wine merchants such as Cambridge Wine Merchants, Butler's Wine Cellar in Brighton and the Secret Cellar in Tunbridge Wells, along with Hangingditch in Manchester, Exel Wines in Perth and Direct Wine Shipments in Belfast. "Long may these antidotes to the supermarkets flourish," he adds.

The Sunday Telegraph

Summer drinking trends may come and go, but Kir, and Kir royale, will always be popular on both sides of the Channel - there is no aperitif so redolent of high summer, says Susy Atkins. For a classic Kir, you need about one fifth good-quality Crème de Cassis with four fifths cold Burgundian white wine, usually a crisp Aligoté, or an unoaky Chablis. Kir Royale is the same idea, but made up with Champagne or sparkling wine instead. Some may call it 'Kir Pétillant' if the sparkler is not actually Champagne, Atkins calls it "prudent" and uses Crémant or Cava instead. You can make Crème de Cassis, but it's easier and less messy to buy it in and the "excellent" Gabriel Boudier and Védrenne brands are widely available, and Boudier also makes the Tesco Finest and Marks & Spencer own-label versions. Atkins recommends Le Prieuré de Saint-Céols, Pierre Jacolin, Saint-Céols (Majestic, £9.99 for 20cl) or Gabriel Boudier, Dijon (Sainsbury's £9.95 for 50cl).