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

Wines in the press - November 5-7

Published:  09 November, 2010

The Guardian

The biggest buzz in the wine world right now is about "natural" wine, says Fiona Beckett, but there's some confusion about exactly what that means.

The Guardian

The biggest buzz in the wine world right now is about "natural" wine, says Fiona Beckett, but there's some confusion about exactly what that means.

Most are organically grown, some are biodynamic, but it's what happens in the winery that counts. For purists, it means no chemical additions whatsoever, including sulphur. A good thing, you might think, says Beckett, but it's sulphur that helps to keep wine bright coloured, fresh and stable. Plus unsulphured wines can be weird, she adds, especially the whites, which can taste more like scrumpy. Beckett advises to give them a try. She recommends the wine bar and restaurant Terroirs, just off Trafalgar Square in London, which "kicked off the natural wine craze in this country" and is part-owned by Caves de Pyrène. Others include Artisan & vine, Bar Battu and Galvin Café à Vin, in London, and The Three Coqs in Bristol.

The Telegraph

You might have heard wines described before as having a whiff of farmyard, or sweaty saddle about them, says Victoria Moore. It's a pong the French translate as the "taste of the land". These days it has a different name: "brett" - and where once it was generally regarded as an attractively authentic smell, not so any more.

It has nothing to do with the elegant notion of terroir and is from a genus of yeast called, Brettanomyces. The anti-brett movement started in the New World, when show judges marked down wines they perceived as being "infected" with brett. Yet tests show some of the world's greatest wines, including Penfold's 1990 Grange contain it. Moore says she's always had time for the occasional bottle and sometimes she seeks it out, especially when eating game, "as its feral scent knits together so well with the wilder flavours you find in venison, pheasant and grouse."

The Mail
Ah, the roast: big flavour, butch texture - which surely a roast calls for the maximum hoof in your vino? Think again, says Olly Smith. First of all, every roast is different, but whatever the specifics, selecting the perfect wine is essential.

For lighter game, including birds such as pheasant and grouse, Pinot Noir is a safe bet, but if you're serving your roast with a creamy sauce or a fruity accompaniment, Pinot Gris from Alsace can provide the right texture and flavour. Where duck is concerned, Syrah from the northern Rhône is a winner, and pigeon is a treat with Rioja. Turning to darker game, such as venison Mourvèdre can work, as can Malbec - both are grapes you can find in south-west France. There are some who swear by the uniquely savoury tang of South African Pinotage, he adds. Smith recommends Tesco Finest Beyers Truter Pinotage 2008 (£7.99).

Financial Times

Twenty years ago wine producers around the world measured their success by the number of new oak (generally French) barrels they had in their cellars, says Jancis Robinson. Today "oaky" is a term of distaste. Partly in response to the change in consumer tastes, an increasing proportion of winemakers are eschewing the traditional small barrel size, for bigger barrels in which the proportion of wine in direct contact with wood is reduced. Larger casks are also "invading" the classic French wine regions which have traditionally only used the classic smaller barrels. Robinson adds, less obvious oakiness is by no means restricted to Europe - Australia's reduced oak flavour has played a major part in perhaps the biggest and fastest stylistic turnround the wine world has ever seen. A lower cooperage bill seems in tune with current austerity, but the tonneliers are not doing too badly, says Robinson. The latest toys for trendy winemakers are fine wooden fermentation vats to be used, just once a year, before the wine goes into whichever barrels are chosen for it.