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Wines in the press - July 16-18

Published:  20 July, 2010

The Guardian

Victoria Moore is visiting the winery and cellar for the Cave de Saumur - the cooperative that is now part of the wine-producing giant, Alliance Loire.

The Guardian

Victoria Moore is visiting the winery and cellar for the Cave de Saumur - the cooperative that is now part of the wine-producing giant, Alliance Loire.

She explains how the Cave de Saumur alone handles fruit from 160 growers, each with an average holding of 10 hectares.

"Even if you don't see the subterranean bulk of this production iceberg, the enormous, stainless-steel tanks standing proud against the blue sky outside the modern winery give an idea of the scale."

She adds that even more impressive, is the quality of the wine.

One of her "always have a bottle in the fridge" is made there; Les Andides Saumur 2009 (£4.99 Waitrose, down from £6.99 until August 3). Moore says this 100% Chenin Blanc is blended in several tanks, a million litres at a time, then bottled and left lying in the Cave de Saumur tunnels to settle and recover until an order is placed.

The Telegraph

Susy Atkins is currently enjoying Bruno Loubet's recipes as they are a welcome change from the summer barbecue and reminder that the very best summer food is elegant, fresh, and delicate.

"Bring on M Loubet's exquisite cuisine, et vite! And, of course, some wonderfully restrained, well-balanced light wines to match."

For the pea soup she recommends an Italian unoaked, slightly off-dry white, preferably with a fresh, grassy streak. She thinks the petits farcis de Provence are perfectly suited to the dry, pale pink rosés of that region, and the pudding wines from cooler climates, such as Germany, Austria or Canada marry well with the lemon, elderflower and fruit jelly dessert.

She suggests the Darting Estate Scheurebe Beerenauslese 2007, Pflaz, Germany (£18 for 50cl Marks & Spencer).

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW says Beaujolais has had a fall from grace and popularity since the Beaujolais Nouveau "hoop-la" of the 1980s, but the 2009, vintage is such an exception, it should change that.

In her opinion Beaujolais may suffer from the fact that its defining grape, Gamay, doesn't have a reputation outside the region and it has been dogged by a scandal or two affecting some of the more commercial producers. But it's meant the modest price of its wine, has remained static for the past five years or so.

Robinson adds it is important to know that the style of Beaujolais has evolved quite considerably too and quality wines are a long way from the aromas of pear drops, nail varnish remover and/or bananas that resulted from hastily fermented grapes.

"I am delighted to see that some UK merchants have already responded to the obviously superior quality of the 2009 vintage with many special offers of 2009 Beaujolais."


Anthony Rose says if he had £1 for every time he read that the Riesling revival was just around the corner, he'd be laughing.

The wine has had its personality problems and is often mistaken for the lesser Rieslings of central Europe, it's been derided and debased, dismissed as a bland, sweet wine and has been much misunderstood, he adds. Baptised as German, it's missed out on French kudos, has been given incomprehensible names on unfashionable labels and has been ignored.

"Character, purity, freshness, moderate alcohol and a sense of place: these are what good Riesling stands for."

In his opinion it scores handsomely over Chardonnay in its versatility, having the capacity to be both deliciously dry and sweet

Rose recommends Georg Mosbacher's 2009 Pechstein Forst Grosses Gewächs, (£17 Howard Ripley).

Daily Mail

Why don't we drink more gin straight up? Asks Olly Smith.

Smith likes its purity, but also likes it with water or Martini and says spirits such as gin are being set free by a wider range of serious quality mixers, he recommends the work of Fever-Tree.

Gin can be divided up into London gin, which is very dry, Plymouth Gin, which tends to be a touch more fruity, and what Smith terms as 'novelty gins', that have quirky headline botanicals.

For him Whitley Neill takes the prize in this category, with its African slant and botanicals including baobab fruit and Cape gooseberries. "Grab it in Waitrose" he says.