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Wines in the press, July 8-10

Published:  11 July, 2011

The Guardian

According to the UK wine trade, Alsace wines don't sell, says Fiona Beckett.

Some say it's down to the Germanic bottles, but Beckett thinks it might be unpredictable sweetness, of its Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. But if you enjoy the country's drier styles, it pays to experiment with the other varieties the region has to offer, such as a dry Sylvaner. The Léon Beyer Sylvaner 2009 (£7.95, The Wine Society), is refreshing and compliments seafood, salads and meze, she adds. Dry Riesling, is Alsace's great glory, says Beckett and she found a "brilliant bargain" in the Luss Riesling 2008 (£13.40, Vine Trail), which she thinks bears comparison with a Grand Cru.

The Telegraph

Susy Atkins is looking at wines to go with Diana Henry's pepper dishes. For a raw, green bell pepper the wine should carry the same green, sappy character - a clean, crisp Sauvignon Blanc preferably from the Western Cape is the clear choice, she says. Sweeter red, orange or yellow peppers can take on a riper Sauvignon and you can marry this same wine with all cooked peppers, too. With Henry's herby, Macedonian grilled vegetable salad, the Cabernet Franc grape of France's Loire Valley has exactly the right build. As for the chickpea and onion purée with sizzling peppers and lamb, it's got to be a lively Spanish Tempranillo. Atkins recommends Vino de la Tierra de Extremadura 2010, Spain (Marks & Spencer, £5.99) which she thinks is asking to be quaffed with lamb and pepper meze dishes.

The Financial Times

Wine is supposed to be the lifter of spirits, but acrimony has characterised the 2010 primeur campaign, says Jancis Robinson MW. Merchants have struggled to interest their clients because of the protracted and unpredictable nature of the campaign, and by Bordeaux negociants' attempts to bundle less desirable wines with the most sought-after. Plus some over-optimistic price rises, have resulted in many wines being ignored. Last March Robinson suggested considering a "mass boycott" - or at least to delay publishing scores until the prices had been announced. She adds, some of the Brits were, and are still, interested, but she failed to persuade the Americans, including Robert Parker. Quite how many individuals are buying with actual consumption in mind is the big mystery, she adds - especially for the top wines currently being offered at £8,000-plus per dozen bottles.

The Mail on Sunday

With Argentinian wines, you can generally expect vivid wines with good concentration, fruity flavours and a bit of oomph, says Olly Smith. Chances are you've tasted one of their mighty Malbecs - but there's a whole lot more awesomeness to revel in, he adds.
Torrontés is a white grape with alluring lemony, elderflower and lychee aromatics, Pinot Grigio has settled there, too and Bonarda produces juicy reds that are great fun. You can also find Chardonnay of decent quality, varieties from Tempranillo to Chenin planted and rich red blends. But Smith's mind was blown this week by Argentina's potential for fine wine when he tasted Chacra Pinot Noir '32' 2009, Patagonia (£58.50, The wine convinced him in a single sip that Argentina is able to make serious, fine and age-worthy wines.

The Independent

Terry Kirby picks his wines of the week. For Sunday lunch he opts for, Bertani Sereole Soave 2010, reputedly the wine served at the Coronation dinner of King George VI. Made using Garganega grapes grown on the eastern side of the Veneto. It's full-bodied, complex and packed with flavours of melons and peaches, with a slight almond twist to the finish, and works best with white fish (£9.65, For a mid week meal it's Domaine Hegarty Chamans 2008 (£7.99, In the bargain basement Kirby goes for Marques de Alarcon Rosado 2010, which he says demonstes the versatility of the Tempranillo grape (£6.99, Marks & Spencer).