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Wines in the press - October 15-17

Published:  18 October, 2010

The Guardian

You know that moment in a restaurant when you open the wine list and feel the pinpricks of a cold sweat: "they're charging how much for that bog-standard Claret?"

So what to do when cornered? Asks Anthony Quinn. Don't order the house, instead go for a Barbera. It's the poor relation to Nebbiolo, but its reputation has changed over the last two decades, particularly in the hills of Alba. Most Barberas are made to be drunk young, but such is the grape's natural acidity, some can keep for years. Quinn recently drank a Giuseppe Cortese Barbera d'Alba from 2003 - a very warm year - and still found it wonderfully fresh.

The Telegraph

Pub wine often leaves Victoria Moore clutching at her hair and groping for the hip flask she wished she'd slipped into her handbag. After visiting The One Bull in Bury St Edmunds, Moore says the beauty of its list isn't so much the wines on it as the way it's written. It's arranged by style, i.e dry, crisp, fresh, aromatic & herbaceous or full flavoured, fruity & big. Every single one of the 39 reds, whites and rosés is offered by the glass and the measures come in four sizes. Moore adds she would also give it an award for its sandwich menu, which she says is short and almost perfect. "I can't help but think we'd all know a lot more about wine if others took this approach, too."

The Financial Times

The heat-wave vintage of 2003 has always been controversial, especially for red Bordeaux, says Jancis Robinson MW. So diametrically opposed were the views of Robert Parker and Robinson on one particular wine, she adds that in the world of wine "Pavie '03" became shorthand for a "perceived mid-Atlantic rift in wine appreciation". Robinson's advice for the great majority of 2003 Bordeaux is to drink them before the fruit recedes altogether. As for the first growths, Château Latour was the "single most outstanding "wine at the recent Farr Vintner's 2003 tasting - more successful, than its usually dependable stablemate Les Forts de Latour. She adds, this wine should still be drinking well in 20 years' time - "more than can be said for most of the wines we tasted".

The Daily Mail

Olly Smith says there are a number of ways to spice up your everyday drinking. The first is to keep a few different bottles on the go so you can mix and match with your food, mood and budget. Smith likes having at least three bottles chugging along for weeknight tippling, and always has a bottle of bubbly in the fridge. A bottle of good-value Cava or Prosecco can be a welcome treat at the end of a tough day, and you can pick up a wide range of Champagne stoppers to ensure brisk bubbles every time you re-open the bottle, he says. Don't get stuck drinking the same old wine week in week out, branch out, experiment and your week nights will be more colourful.

The Independent

For £50k, you could have snapped up the 60-bottle collection of every vintage from 1945 to 2003 (1948 apart) of Château Mouton Rothschild at Sotheby's recent 40th anniversary auction says Anthony Rose. The significance of the collection lies in the artists' labels, commissioned for each new vintage by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and painted by, among others, Miró (1969), Chagall (1970) and Picasso (1973). The latest to receive the broad-brush treatment is Dom Pérignon 2002. Central Saint Martin's Design team has created a Pop Art-label Andy Warhol version in red, blue and yellow, £140 a pop at The Champagne Company.