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Wines in the Press, August 12-14

Published:  16 August, 2011

The Guardian
After visiting the pop-up tapas bar Cavaville, in Bristol, and Spanish chef José Pizarro planning to open a cava bar at his new London restaurant when it opens in Bermondsey, Fiona Beckett wonders we're due for a cava revival.

There is, of course, still some bad cava on the market, but classy cava does exist, she adds. At a recent Berry Bros & Rudd tasting, Beckett was impressed by the Gramona range from a fifth-generation producer, who uses traditional, Champagne-style methods. The most affordable is the Gramona Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2007 (£16.95, or £15.25 if you buy a case of six), which, like an increasing number of Champagnes, has no dosage added and it's richer and peachier than most Champagne. Equally delicious is the Mas Bertran Balma Cava 2007 (£13.50 she says. Asda's award-winning Mas Miralda Cava Brut (£4.49), is the best of the cheap supermarket cavas that Beckett has tasted recently, and says it would hit the spot with some takeaway fish and chips.

The Telegraph

Picpoul de Pinet would really seem to be having a moment, says Susy Atkins. With its refreshing, bone-dry mineral and grapefruit tang, you might imagine such a wine could only come from a cool climate, but no, it's mostly grown in the sun-baked vineyards of Languedoc, near Montpellier. It's one of those previously obscure varieties that used to be blended but is gaining far more respect, especially among those of us who are bored with Sauvignons and Chardonnays. It's a splendid wine for fish, says Atkins. She recommends Picpoul de Pinet Prestige 2010 Domaine Cabrol, Languedoc, France (£7.99, or £6.99 when you buy two until 29 August, Majestic).

The Financial Times

Andrew Jefford is imagining a word without red Bordeaux, which he says after the "queasily" high prices asked for the region's top 2009 and 2010 wines, many are doing just that. He's looking at Rioja, the region where Bordeaux merchants turned to fill their empty vats after the 19th century phylloxera epidemic. Jefford says although it wines are made principally from Tempranillo, it is one of the few wine regions in the world whose appeal shares something of the universality and centrality of red Bordeaux. For textural opulence, he thinks it would be hard to better Remírez de Ganuza's Reserva, 2005 Reserva: (£44.99, Indigo Wine).

The Independent

This week's wines from Terry Kirby are sparklers for late summer celebrations - whether it's exam results due this month, a birthday or just a beach gathering. For
Sunday lunch he recommends, Tribaut Brut Cuvée de Réserve. Tribaut proves that great Champagne does not have to always come from such famous names, he says. (£24.99, For a Midweek meal, he opts for Miguel Torres Brut NV which is made in the heart of the Andes entirely from pre-phylloxera Pinot Noir vines using the Champagne region's methode traditionelle. He thinks it's perfect with all canapés, particularly those involving smoked salmon, but would also be great with light fish dishes and rich desserts such as summer pudding. (£13.99, or £11.89 each for order of six or more His Bargain basement wine is Château Moncontour Sparkling Vouvray 2009. A French fizz from the Loire Valley and made from Chenin Blanc. "The characteristic Chenin style of an immediate crispness on the palate, mingled with honey and melon flavours, is given added complexity here from a little aging in the bottle." (£8.99, reduced from £10.99 until 4 September, M&S).

The Mail

Olly Smith is strolling through the white-washed and charmingly scruffy southern Spanish port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the home to the lightest and driest of all sherries - Manzanilla. He's heading for lunch with Javier Hidalgo, the man behind La Gitana Manzanilla. "Breezy, tangy and crisp, this chilled, pale drink is about as far away from the traditional image of sherry as it's possible to get," he says. There are many styles of sherry, but if you're a fan of the savoury tang of Marmite or adore the salty hint of a bone-dry Martini served with an olive or two, then Smith reckons you'll love Manzanilla.
This crisp refreshing style of sherry is created thanks to a blanket of yeast known as flor, which rests on top of the liquid in the barrel keeping the wine bright and fresh while imparting a subtle bitter tang. Smith recommends La La Gitana Manzinilla (£8.35