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

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Malborough Sauvignon Blanc is the most profitable wine in the world, reveals Tim Atkin MW. He adds "it rarely sells for less than 6 and often costs considerably more". What is most surprising about this, he says, is that "if you'd visited the region in the early seventies, you'd have seen enough sheep to set up a knitwear empire". The average bottle price given the high demand is 6.26, which is "the envy of every other wine-producing country". So down to business then and Atkin suggests the "fabulous" 2007 Malborough Blind River Sauvignon Blanc (Oddbins, 10.99) and the "richer, more perfumed" 2007 Fern Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Tesco, 4.99).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon's Sauce column broaches the topic of Chilean wine. Despite sales of the country's wine products booming, it was not the hot favourites that impressed at last month's Wines of Chile Awards in Santiago. Simon said the event where she judged "left producers reeling - not because the results were poor, but because they were not what was expected". No trophies or gold medals were given to Chardonnay, Simon continued, with the 2007 Alta Tierra winning out as the top Sauvignon regardless of its production in the Elqui Valley - "an area that didn't even grow grapes for wine until 2000". Her top picks include the 2007 Viognier, Anakena (8.49, Thresher) for its "seductive perfumes" and a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Luis Felipe Edwards (5.99 Tesco).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

French wine sales are rocketing at present, says Anthony Rose, with exports hitting around 7 billion. Champagne is leading the charge on this front which, he feels, is little wonder when you have the likes of Premier Cru from Mdot's Philippe Guidot and Thierry Lombard (Selfridges, 22.99). Burgundy is on the up with sales increasing 20% as is the Vin de Pays category. He picks out the 2006 Domaine Saint Ros Cabernet Syrah (Majestic, 9.99) from the little-known Ctes de Thongue for its "aromatic, smooth and richly blackcurranty" qualities.

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

Your choice of glassware can enhance your wine selection immeasurably, Victoria Moore explains. And while being pernickety on this point will often mean you attract odd looks it is an important distinction to make, she continues. "Wine tastes better out of glasses that taper slightly at the rim" as "the tapering traps more of the aromas," Moore explains. And what has she being cracking open from the cellar this week? The 2005 Domaine du Colombier Chinon (Sainsbury's, 5.49) is commendable for its "gentle fragrance of red berries" while the 2006 Gavi Cristina Ascheri (Sainsbury's, 9.99) needs "a half-decent glass to reap the full benefit of this streamlined lemon- and grapefruit pith-scented Piedmont white".

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Gewrztraminer, "one of the most highly perfumed wines around", is Susy Atkins' talking point this week. Suited particularly to Asian cuisine the best bottles tend to emerge from Alsace in eastern France, she says, with New Zealand and Chile also producing some good examples. Atkins selects 2006 Vin D'Alsace Gewrztraminer (M&S, 6.99) for its "clean, dry, citrus finish" and New Zealand's 2007 Villa Maria Private Bin Gewrztraminer (Waitrose, 8.49).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Joanna Simon debates the merits of Beaujolais despite her belief that many leave it to one side at this time of year. Suited to "fish, fowl or meat", she mentions it is "the bottles that don't mention the B-word that are the best the region produces". And while we may be familiar with Fleurie, Brouilly and Morgon, it is instead worth investigating the likes of Chnas, Julinas and Chiroubles. She picks out the 2006 Julinas, Domaine du Clos du Fief, (9.99, Wheeler Cellars) and 2005 Chnas, Bernard Sant, (8.50, Stone, Vine & Sun) as good options.

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

When friends pop round for dinner, you'll need to crack open at least a bottle or two, says Jamie Goode. The "expensive" 2005 Maycas del Limari Syrah (Majestic, 10.99) which is a "slightly spicey" Chilean with "ripe fruit flavours" is among his suggestions while the 2003 Muscat & Flora by Brown Brothers (Asda, 5.98) scores highly for being "fruity and perfumed, but not too cloying".

Read more...

Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Slovenia is possibly the most unusual wine culture in the world, certainly in Europe," states Jancis Robinson. It mixes the "distinctively delicious" with "some of the worst" wines to have passed her hallowed lips, she continues, with white wines filling the former category and poor Cabernet and Merlot impersonations the latter. Primorska, Brda, Posajve and Podravje are all on Robinson's list of Slovenian wine regions to look out for. Specific bottles to hunt down include the 2006 Zarja Vipava Mansus and 2003 Vizija Vipava from Batic and the 2003 Klinec Verduc Riserva Brda.

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Anthony Rose touches on the Climate Change debate this week, revealing one of his favourite tricks at tastings is to ask a member of the audience which of two wine bottles is heavier at which point he "pours" their choice over their head. The point of the exercise is to prove the offending item "is the horrendous dark green 1.2kg affair that weighs more when empty than a light bottle that is full of wine". Honing in on some of the alternatives, he says bag-in-box is ruled out of recycling through its use of aluminium, while Tetra Pak is better known as a cheap sake container in Japan. One option that has been adapted by Wolf Blass is the recyclable plastic bottle (PET). And if you're veering in this direction Rose recommends its " crisp and pineappley" 2006 Green Label Chardonnay and the 2006 Green Label Cabernet Shiraz for its juicy blackcurrant notes (Both available from Asda, 7.49)

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Mother's Day is on Sunday and JAMIE GOODE has recommended five lighter wines to serve with late breakfast or brunch, so you can ensure that Mum can celebrate in style. He picks two Champagnes: Mumm's Ros NV (28.99; Oddbins) and Duval Leroy Fleur 1er Cru NV (19.99, Waitrose) and three aromatic varietals under 6: a demi-sec Vouvray, an Argentinean Torrontes and an off-dry Mosel Riesling.

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

There is a distinction to be made between "dead-as-a-dodo, brown, oxidised" Burgundies most drinkers can spot a mile off and paler white Burgundies, which are past their best, says Jane Macquitty. The latter can slip through the net easier, she feels, meaning you may not realise an expensive white Burgundy is out of condition until it's too late. So what steps should we take, muses MacQuitty. The full ten years wine merchants recommend "no longer seems a safe bet," adding "my advice is to shrink the drinking window dramatically". Among her recommendations this week are the 2006 Beerenauslese Riesling from Dr Loosen (Waitrose, 9.99) and the "verdant" 2007 Chardonnay Lindemans Winemakers Release (Somerfield, 3.99).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jonathan Ray recommends a "cracking" Zinfandel in the form of the 2005 Bonterra Vineyards (Waitrose, 9.99) which "is full of luscious brambly fruit, plums, spice, pepper and even chocolate". On his radar also are the Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV (Somerfield, 16.99) for its price and "high proportion of Pinot Meunier," while the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Ned Waihopai River (Wine Society, 8.95) registers for its gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours.

Read more...

The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

Easter seems to have come around particularly early this year and Susy Atkins believes the occasion merits wines of distinction. She does offer one small warning though, "beware relations bearing scary bottled gifts" such as any type of cream liqueur to accompany your chocolate. And what egg-cellent suggestions does Atkins suggest? Well the 2006 Burgundy Mcon Villages (Tesco, 4.96) surpasses its "boring" market alternatives with its "note of citrus and buttery roundness". Also on her list is the 2005 Scheurebe Beerenauslese Darting Estate (Marks & Spencer, 13.50), which is "a crisp sweet wine" that pairs well with desserts.

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Austria is one of the few countries that drinks more of its own wine than it exports, meaning that until recently, all consumers saw were high-end examples poured by sommeliers. But ANTHONY ROSE says the trend away from cheap and cheerless' wines has helped Austria flaunt its Rieslings and Grner Veltliners in the UK. Whether a Pinot Grigio fan looking to upgrade or white Burgundy drinkers wanting something lighter, Rose likes 2006 Kurt Angerer GV Kies (7.99; Noel Young), 2006 Salomon-Undhof Hochterrassen GV (7.95, Lea and Sandeman) and 2006 Schloss Gobelsburger GV (6.49; Waitrose).

Read more...

The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Fairtrade wines are coming of age," says Jonathan Ray. Although he was disappointed with the wines on offer two years ago, Ray insists that the latest vintages are "vastly improved". "You can feel good about drinking them," he adds.
Heaven on Earth Organic Sweet Wine NV (6.99/375ml, Stanton Wine Co) "boasts rich apricot and honey tones that make it ideal for pt de foie, blue cheese or creamy puddings". 2007 Fairhills Ros (4.99, Somerfield, Tesco, Waitrose) is "packed with vivacious, succulent wild strawberry fruit backed by a fine dry finish". And 2007 Origin Fairtrade Viognier (6.99 or 12 for three; Threshers, Wine Rack) is a "charmingly ripe, peachy and aromatic Viognier that goes beautifully with mild chicken curry or apricot-stuffed loin of pork".

Read more...

The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

With most restaurants making their money from drink rather than food - with a convenient 200% mark-up in the process - Jamie Goode recommends enjoying the same bottles at home for far less cost.
His first choice is 2006 Quinta da Azevedo, Vinho Verde (5.99, Majestic, Waitrose), which is "crisp and refreshing, with laser-sharp fruit". He also opts for Asda Alsace Gewrztraminer (5.98), "an off-dry melony example that would go well with stuffed chillis". Finally, as a "big fan" of Grner Veltliner, he picks 2007 Domaine Gobelsburger (6.99; Waitrose), which has a "delicious peppery edge".

Read more...

The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

News of a restaurant-goer who ordered a bottle of 1961 Ptrus at London eatery Zafferano recently, for a mere 18,000, then promptly sent it back because he thought it was a fake, gained numerous column inches in the national press. But what Victoria Moore wants to know is who ended up paying for it?
"With ordinary plonk, the restaurant returns bottles to the supplier, who will stump up for a replacement or pass on the cost to the producer, depending on their negotiated agreement. Fine wine is in another situation altogether, and the situation is never clearcut."
Paul Singer, MD of London Fine Dining Group, which owns Zafferano, tells her: "You can insure against wine being damaged in an accident - if a rack collapses, say. But wine with a fault? Not as far as we're aware. That's why some restaurants, unlike ours, warn the customer that they order expensive wine at their own risk."

Read more...

The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW has a 10ft hole in the middle of his dining room: he is having a wine cellar built.
You don't have to spend a fortune to start a modest wine collection,' he says, and recommends four reds at under 10, including: 2004 Marques de Casa Concha Merlot (7.99; Sainsbury's); 2004 Domaine de Fontsque, Corbires (8.99; Marks & Spencer); and 2005 Peter Lehmann Tempranillo, Barossa Valley (7.99; Waitrose).

Read more...

The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

To mark The Independent's retro issue, Anthony Rose is in nostalgia mode. He has managed to overcome his initial thoughts about Sherry, that it was "fit only for vicars, aunts and schoolmasters", and now realises that when it's chilled, and accompanied by salted almonds or olives, a good fino or manzanilla is "hard to beat".
Rose tries hard, but can't muster much enthusiasm for the Seventies, "an era of such cheerless sugar water as Blue Nun Liebfraumilch, not forgetting the awful Hirondelle, rustic Bulls Blood, confected pink Anjou ros, bland Piat d'Or and the pretensions of Mouton Cadet.
Turning his attention to the New World, his selections include 2005 Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel (8.99; Majestic, Oddbins, Waitrose); Jacob's Creek Chardonnay (5.95; widely available); and 2007 Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (5.99, down from 7.49; Morrisons, Sainsbury's).

Read more...

The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

While at a 1970s-themed party, Susy Atkins skipped the Babycham and Liebfraumilch, and sampled the Mateus Ros on offer. "Quite nice" was her opinion, but she has kinder words for other Portuguese exports.
Pink Elephant (4.99, Booths), which was created to be drunk with Indian food, and is made by top winemakers Jos Neiva and David Baverstock, is a "juicy, aromatic, bright-cerise ros that's already proving hugely popular", says Atkins. Her other favourites include 2007 Tagus Creek Ros (4.99, Tesco), and Vinha da Urze White Table wine (7.99, M&S).
She adds: "Portugal is lauded for its fine reds and fortified wines, but perhaps we should all enjoy more of the affordable and attractive new-wave pinks and, come to mention it, fresh, interesting whites it produces."

Read more...