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

Wines in the Press- July 24-27

Published:  28 June, 2010


The Australians originally persuaded us to drink their wine by making it flatteringly easy, says Victoria Moore.


The Australians originally persuaded us to drink their wine by making it flatteringly easy, says Victoria Moore.

They didn't have tongue-twisting appellation contrôlées, the wine was fruity, straightforward and consistent and people knew what to expect from one bottle to the next.
Then a combination of plummeting exports and huge overproduction changed the picture. Suddenly, the cheap wines with a kangaroo on the label, didn't look quite so cheerful. Now it's the R-word that's emerging from the fallout: regionality. It has always been there, says Moore, and there's finally a feeling that more drinkers of Australian wine are beginning to be curious enough to pay as much attention to the country's geography as to its brands.

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW has compiled a list of her favourite wines. She says the first duty of a wine at any time of year is to refresh and which is even more necessary in summer. A sparkling recommendation is; Ridgeview, Knightsbridge Merret Blanc de Noir Brut 2006, England, (Cooden Cellars and others, £24.95). She compares it to a kind of "rustic Bollinger".

She picks Domaine Fontanel 2007, Côtes du Roussillon (Stone, Vine and Sun, £10.95) as one of her favourite whites. Made mainly from Grenache Blanc she says it's big and bold at 14%, with a light, smoky nose and some fresh lime blossom character. For a red Robnison mentions the; Afros Vinhao Vinho Verde Tinto 2009 (Les Caves de Pyrène, £12.99). It has "lively fruit whose acidity seems to speak straight to the kidneys".


The British win trade is currently all a twitter about the quality of the 2009 Beaujolais, eulogising its drinkability. It's time to take Beaujolais seriously again, they chorus. To see for himself, Jonathon Ray heads off to visit Domaine Henry Fessy, producer of wines from all 10 of the Beaujolais Crus. "2009 was a marvellous vintage and the perfect way to put Beaujolais back on the map," says winemaker Laurent Chevalier. "Forget all about Beaujolais nouveau. That was then and this is now." He adds: "We see ourselves as a proud little Gaulois village holding out against outsiders thanks to our magic potion."

"I can't vouch for its magical properties," says Ray, "but on this evidence the potion's an extremely drinkable one".


As a rule Australians don't do pessimism. Says Tim Akin MW. But adds, he's never known so many Australians sound so miserable. The fundamental problem is that Australia is making way too much wine and to regulate supply and demand, the Aussies will have to uproot 20% of their vineyards.
What about the UK market? On the face of it, things aren't so bad here, says Atkin. One in five of the bottles of wine we drink is Australian and with an average price of £4.56 it's still ahead of the market (£4.39).

Yet the image of Australian wine is not what it was. Most of it is flogged on promotion, and to many consumers, commercial Australian wines have become virtually interchangeable. On the plus side, Atkin says small and medium-sized wineries are making better and more diverse wines than at any point the country's history. In a time of adversity, he adds, it has the chance to tell a different story.


Olly Smith says mention the word barbecue to most Brits and they immediately think of rain and scorched meat. But he thinks there's a lot to get excited about and the same is true for wine. When the sun is shining, he recommends polishing your tastebuds with a cool, clean glass of Italian white or, if you're feeling jazzy, Prosecco.

Another option is to serve green olives, nuts and a selection of cured meats to match a glass of Tio Pepe Fino En Rama (£11.95, He reckons once your guests are sorted with nibbles and aperitifs, you can consider the main event - the blaze! Avoid going too heavy on the reds, is Smith's advice. "I'm currently a massive fan of southern Italian reds with my BBQ as they match a wide range of foods and aren't so chunky that you need a toothpick to prize out the grapeskins after every sip."