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Wines in the press - September 2-5

Published:  07 September, 2010

The Guardian
Victoria Moore found herself staring into a glass of Champagne the other day, wishing she was drinking something else.

The Guardian 
Victoria Moore found herself staring into a glass of Champagne the other day, wishing she was drinking something else.

"There are times when only bubbles are sprightly enough to capture and celebrate a moment. But there are also times when a bottle of fizz is opened as a treat or reward, and oh how I wish that £25 had been spent on something else." She says the Champenois have been clever in training us to think of a bottle of Champagne as an event, not a drink. But how much more fun we'd have if occasionally we moved away from the Champagne - or the Cava or Prosecco, and upgrade our choice of still wine instead. Instead of Cava Moore recommends Tesco's Finest Palestra Rueda Verdejo 2009 (£6.99). Climbing upwards, Moore says there is no contest between a supermarket own-label glass of Champagne and the fragrant joy of this Pinot Noir, St Aubin 1er Cru 2006 (£17.99, Marks & Spencer).

The Telegraph

Some dishes strike fear into the whizziest of wine-and-food-matching wizards and smug sommeliers, says Susy Atkins. It seems at first glance Daniel Boulud's chop chop salad looks like one of them. It contains sugar, salt, rice-wine vinegar, soy, orange juice, mayonnaise, pickled mushrooms. "You get the picture." But Atkins is determined to track down its partner. Her solution is a modern, young, nearly dry Australian Riesling, drenched in fresh lime and with a floral note. With his sea bass Atkins recommends a contrast such as a decent Mâcon-Lugny or Pouilly-Fuissé such as Louis Latour Macon-Lugny 2009 Burgundy, France (Majestic, £8.99). For Boulud's mocha tart a splash a cold, newly opened, straight from the fridge, Tawny Port is the perfect way to toast a fabulous dinner. Which Atkins says is made even more magical by your wine-pairing mastery.

The Independent

At a time when southern France's growers are up against the competitiveness of New World wines owning a Languedoc vineyard is by no means a guarantee of a living, says Anthony Rose. Mont Tauch's English sales and marketing director, Katie Jones, saw the potential in the Maury Valley and last year made her first wines from the vineyard's 70-year old vines. The results are Domaine Jones Blanc, 2009 (£14.99) and Jones Muscat, (£9.99, Stevens Garnier). The scenic beauty and gnarled vines of the Maury Valley appealed equally to ex-Waitrose wine buyer Justin Howard-Sneyd, and his wife Amanda, when they chanced on the region during a holiday the in 2003. They found three small blocks of old, low-yielding vines that now make up the Domaine of the Bee's four hectares. He's not making a profit yet, says Rose, but is hoping if all goes well to net a modest €10,000 a year from the project.

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW says Anne Gros is one of the most respected, and most fortunate, wine producers in the world having inherited all of her father François' three hectares of prime Côte d'Or vineyard in Vosne-Romanée. Now she has done something apparently crazy: established an entirely new domaine in arguably France's most challenging wine region, the Languedoc, where local growers are being bribed to pull up their vines. It seems that however sought-after Gros Burgundies are (the average price for her 2005s is £250 a bottle), the Languedoc wines have been a tough sell and the UK market has been disappointing. The wines are sold in the UK, (£12.95- £26.75 at Lea & Sandeman), the US, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Australia. They have so far sold half of the 60,000 bottles of 2008. The 2009s are not yet bottled. There is clearly work to be done, she adds.

The Times

Tim Atkin MW says he'd like to speak up for acidity, because the older he gets, the more he appreciates it. Intuitively at least, most people accept that white wines need acidity. Imagine Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Albariño, Riesling or Chenin Blanc without it. But producers are less keen on acidity in their reds. Over the last twenty years there has been a trend towards bigger, bolder, later-picked styles where acidity is sacrificed for extra ripeness. Balanced wines with natural acidity nearly always taste better to Atkin. That's why he prefers to drink New World reds from cooler climates such as the Ascencion Malbec, 2008 Salta (£7.99, Laithwaites).