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

Wines in the Press- April 15-19

Published:  20 April, 2010

From the 2010 vintage, Victoria Moore says the vin de pays classification will fully disappear and will instead be known as Indication de Géographique Protégée, IGP for short.

It is part of the EU's reform of wine-labelling laws, in order to simplify labels across Europe.

Moore says she's already seen her first new label - a wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon that instead of being called a Vin de Pays d'Oc has become Pays d'Oc Protected Geographical Indication.

"It's certainly not charming; the sort of language a utility board or local government might use."

In the meantime, she suggests a Vin de Pays to drink; the Domaine Tranquillite 2005 Vin de Pays d'Oc (£4.99, on offer at Majestic). "For a fiver, it's an impressive, bold, enveloping red with hints of dried figs, pomegranate juice and maple, whose imperfections you readily forgive."

The Times

Tim Atkin MW says: "When I first heard about a French government proposal to hold wine tastings on university campuses, I assumed it was a belated April Fool's joke."

In France, wine is under attack as never before with the anti-alcohol lobby trying to demonise the country's national drink as dangerous and unhealthy, adds Atkin. Plus the country has some of the most stringent anti-alcohol laws in Europe, as well as a president who is famously teetotal.

Promoting the benefits of moderate wine drinking to students makes sense, says Atkin, although predictably it has been dismissed as a "shocking" publicity stunt.

He thinks education is important, "teaching teenagers how to drink responsibly is as important as teaching them about safe sex".

The Independent
Anthony Rose thinks "hyperbole is such a natural accomplice to each new Bordeaux vintage that the 'vintage of the century' cliché is now routinely trotted out at the slightest sign that the new claret might at least be drinkable."

He says the problem is, how do you sort the hype from the reality? Regardless of what people are saying, Rose points out that the proof will be in the tasting.

But it will be up to two years before the wines even see a bottle and much can change within that time.

In his opinion the week's tasting brought home that 2009 is a potentially great vintage, and although many Châteaux have excelled, the quality is by no means even across the board.

His silver lining lies in the plethora of wines soon to be offered in the £10-£25 range.


Marchese Lodovico Antinori is at it again with his new project Tenuta di Biserno, says Jonathon Ray. After knocking our socks off with his so-called 'Super Tuscans', Ornellaia and Masseto  -Italy's most prized and expensive wines - he's now repeating the feat."

Ray says this time it's in cahoots with his brother, Piero. Now in their early seventies and late sixties respectively, they are working together for the first time, both at Biserno and Mount Nelson in New Zealand where they make Sauvignon Blanc.

Lodovico Antinori says "Cabernet Franc is the key at Biserno, just as Merlot was at Ornellaia."

The wines are overseen by a Swede, Helena Lindberg, with Michel Rolland acting as consultant. Ray says the wines are remarkable, with "rich damson and mulberry-like fruit and silky soft tannins".

He adds, they are pricey too, with Insoglio at around £20; Il Pino at £35; Biserno £90; and Lodovico; £150.

"Our wines are like Sophia Loren," says Lodovico Antinori, "if our wines age as well as she has, I'll be more than happy."

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW, says interest in the Bordeaux 2009 vintage, is so great that when Farr Vintners, sent out an e-mail just over a week ago alerting their customers to their just-published report its website crashed and remained offline for several hours.

She says thanks to unprecedented demand from Asia, prices of the first growths are likely to be several thousand pounds a dozen and rumour has it that most prices of the 2009s will be announced at the end of next month around the time of Vinexpo being held in Hong Kong.

Robinson explains, earlier in the year Hong Kong overtook the US in terms of the total value of fine wine auctioned there, and London is now trailing in third place with many UK merchants and traders depending heavily on their Hong Kong outposts for turnover.

With the 2003 vintage being the last in which the US was a major player, Robinson says despite the strong dollar, few are confident that the US will represent a major market for 2009s, however lavishly they may be praised by Robert Parker.