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

Wines in the press - February 18-20

Published:  22 February, 2011

The Guardian
Sherry may have taken off in stylish tapas bars, but when did you last get offered some at a friend's house? Asks Fiona Beckett.

A couple of generations ago, this much lampooned drink would have been poured automatically. Fino, the most versatile style is in some ways the hardest to like for a sherry newbie. Easier on the palate is manzanilla, with its fresh, salty tang. The other underrated style is dry amontillado, which is a world away from the "medium-dry" sherry our grandparents were addicted to. Becektt recommends Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Amontillado (£7.01-50cl), made by Lustau.

The Financial Times

Flint Wines Burgundy 2008 tasting was one of the most "distracting" Jancis Robinson MW, had ever attended. Firstly there were so many bottles, tasters and spittoons and to make matters worse there was a dispute between two fellow MWs about the level of fruit, she says. Whatever your point of view, Robinson says it is certainly true that 2008 is a very, very different vintage from the plump, cheerful, easily accessible fruit stuffed 2009 Burgundies. The dominant feature of the 2008s was high acidity and a lack of body, which led Robinson to suggest that they wines might best be drunk relatively young. But now they seem to have gained a bit of weight, she adds. Robinson therefore suspects she was too conservative in her original suggested lifespan, and that indeed many of the wines will demand quite a long time in bottle for the tannins to recede while the complex tertiary flavours develop.

The Telegraph

One of the questions of Victoria Moore's New Year quiz was; how much of the price of a bottle of wine on sale at £5 is swallowed by duty and VAT at its new 20% rate. The answer, is £2.52, which leaves a "pitiful" £2.48 to cover everything. Moore's response is that we need to spend more money on wine. "The trouble with wine is that the status symbol is: is it a bargain?" said Tim Finn of Neudorf Vineyards to Moore over dinner. "It's a mentality that's reinforced by the promotional and discounted way wine is sold on the high street. Another trade source told her no one is making any money, certainly not the producers and not even the supermarkets. Moore believes we need to think of wine as something special, not just alcoholic fuel. She adds we need to savour it and, yes, pay a little more, too.

The Daily Mail

Malbec is a little like Robbie Williams, says Olly Smith, it has a career as part of a famous ensemble, but it's also a success in solo ventures. It's one of the grapes that forms the blending of red wines from Bordeaux and on its own has a reputation for producing hefty wines. But it can also produce more svelte and elegant styles such as Le Malbec du Clos Triguedina 2008 Cahors (£7.49 Waitrose). Or you could go to the other extreme and experiment with Malbec's fruitier side by with a Malbec rosé, says Smith. But Argentina is where Malbec has really started motoring and the inaugural Malbec World Day will take place on April 17. Whichever Malbec you choose, Smith believes you don't have to spend a fortune.

The Sunday Telegraph

Susy Atkins says she went along, to a "curious" tasting of Savoie wines. She was intrigued that wine is made at all in the snowy, ski-resorty Mont Blanc region of France. The vineyards are in the lower Alps, where it's cool but not cold, and where there's plenty of bright sunshine, according to Robin Kick, wine buyer for Goedhuis & Co, which started importing Savoie wines 18 months ago. Atkins says she likes the delicate floral whites made from the Jacquère grape." Waitrose delisted its one Savoie wine recently, which she says is a shame, especially now we're developing a taste for more elegant, lower-alcohol whites. For the time being you'll have to rely on independent merchants, Atkins adds. She recommends Les Abymes 2009, André & Michel Quenard, Savoie (Goedhuis & Co, £106.80 for a case of 12).