Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wines in the press, March 21-22

Published:  24 March, 2009

The national wine critics pass their judgements on the wines that have crossed their paths in recent weeks

The Financial Times
The Bordeaux 2008 en primeur campaign is just about to kick off, but the wine world is riddled with uncertainty, says Jancis Robinson MW.

It's traditional that every February the British fine wine traders issue a warning to the Bordeaux wine trade that they must lower their prices - which the Bordelais perennially ignore.

Yet this year, reports Robinson, they have been given the ultimate snub by Britain's biggest traders in fine wine - Farr Vintners who are not going to Bordeaux to taste the 2008s.

Robinson is going, however, "because I believe there will be a thirst for information".
But she's deeply sceptical because for the third year in a row the weather in Bordeaux was, "less than auspicious", and she feels the campaign could be a damp squib.

And then there's the small matter of the economic malaise.

Good for buyers. But they are also concerned about what would happen to their wines that are being stored by wine merchants, if the merchants fail.

In fact there's uncertainty across the board with large casualties such as Paragon ceasing trading, gloomy world currencies, duty etc, says Robinson.
"At least," she concludes. "We're much better informed than we used to be."

The Guardian
"This is the column I never thought I'd write, because I've always hated Torrontes," confesses Victoria Moore. She explains why: "it's so intensely floral and is passable, only on the grounds that it tried to pass itself off as another grape."

Then she found herself dreaming of it during a trip to Argentina. "You'll find it all over vineyards here.
You smell it before you see it," says Alejandro Nesman, viticulture manager of Michel Torino in Cafayate.

"I like a chilly glassful at the start of an evening, but then I move on," stresses Moore.

The high altitude of Cafayate, in the province of Salta, produces sharper cleaner wines than grapes grown in Mendoza, so look for those names on a label, she says.
Moore recommends Colomé Torrontes 2007( 13.5% abv, £7.99-£8.99
"Like a cloud of soft, white blossom."

The Times
What if I told you that you could still pick up one of the world's greatest and most aristocratic wines for a song? asks Jane MacQuitty.

She discusses the benefits of German single estate Rieslings - offering low prices in cash-strapped times, the perfect partnering with subcontinental and oriental-inspired food and its natural low alcohol levels.

"Too much sugar water masquerading as wine continues to be sold here as Liebfraumilch and it's even more ersatz relation, Tafelwein Hock, but a Riesling revival has been on the cards for some time," reports MacQuitty.

She explains that German wine is evolving, outrageously high yields are being slashed and if they don't over complicate the labels with Gothic script and unpronouncable names their wines will "continue to be sold to a tiny, but appreciative audience."
MacQuitty recommends the 2005 and 2007 vintages.

The Observer
Tim Atkin MW questions what it was that persuaded Bob Dylan to allow the Co-op to use 'Blowin'in the Wind' as the soundtrack for its new TV and cinema ads.
And he hopes that it's because Dylan's a fan of the so-called ethical capitalism, at a time when supermarkets are "screwing their suppliers as never before."

Whereas the Fairtrade-friendly Co-operative Group, "occupies a higher moral turf," says Atkin.
He writes of the Co-op's 450 bin-selection under Paul Bastard, which he asserts has been steadily improving for a decade.

And it's an interesting selection he says, unusually for a supermarket the Co-op listens to its suppliers and treats them with respect.

Sales of Fairtrade wine have grown by 20% in the past 12 months.

"Not all delicious," he concedes. But recommends amongst others Fairtrade Argentina Organic Malbec Reserve, La Riojana 2008 (The Co-op £6.49, abv 13.5%).

The Independent
White wine with fish, red with meat, simple as that, but is it? asks Anthony Rose.
Maybe in the halcyon pre Delia days when our choice of food was pretty simple, but now, Rose says food is much more eclectic as shown on the Independent's recipe pages of Mark Hix, and there are so many exciting wines to choose from.

Fresh oysters, moules marinières or grilled Dover sole, want something that's dry and crisp. You can go for traditional French, explains Rose, or think laterally and try a light Australian Hunter Semillon, Vinho Verde from Portugal or a Greek Assyrtiko.

Buttery, creamy textures might need a Premier Cru Chablis, Meursault, or with your "lateral hat" on, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Clare Valley Riesling or a Semillon Sauvignon blend.