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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE'S dinner schedule takes her to Jerez, Spain, this week.
Although cream and pale cream account for 68% of UK Sherry sales, she suggests trying Fino and Manzanilla. Her recommendations include Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla (6.49 for 75cl; Majestic, Sainsbury's); and Fernando de Castilla Classic Fino (8.99 for 75cl; Hedley Wright, Valvona & Crolla).

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

A tour and tasting at Mot & Chandon's cellars in Epernay is enough to convince JONATHAN RAY that its wines deserve more respect than he has previously given them.
He confesses that he has found its wines unexciting in the past, but a tasting of the past 10 vintages convinces him otherwise. He has a sneak preview of the 2000 vintage, which will be launched in March, but can reveal no more than that it compares well with its forebears.

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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW is a Nebbiolo convert. He used to think that Nebbiolo was overrated: a dry, tannic, old-boot-ish grape whose high prices bore no relation to the stuff in the bottle'. He now compares the wines of Piedmont to heaven on earth.
Modern producers such as Angelo Gaja and Ello Altare, and traditionalists including Bruno Giacosa, have changed his mind, but he admits that Nebbiolo can still be disappointing and inconsistent.
He recommends Sainsbury's 2002 Taste the Difference Barolo, Ascheri (12.99), up to the more costly 2001 Asili di Barbaresco from Bruno Giacosa (59.33; John Armit).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY presents the second week of her Top 100 Winter Wines: 25 bottles under 8. Star White is 2005 Chteau G Guiraud Bordeaux Blanc Sec, France (7.99; Majestic) and Star Red is 2005 Crozes Hermitage Les Gravires, Jean-Luc Colombo, France (11.99, down to 7.99 from 4 December; Waitrose).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

This week JANCIS ROBINSON MW gets involved in politics by hosting two wine tastings at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The reader gets a blow-by-blow account of the tastings. The first features a selection of 30- to 50-year-old clarets, which, in virtually all cases, had mellowed to the most charming, delicate, subtle wines'. The Ukranian Prime Minister was particularly taken with the 1962 Lafite.
The second tasting, of an eclectic collection of wine styles, included the best Indian red wine Robinson has tasted - the 2003 Grover La Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - vinified with the consultancy skills of Michel Rolland.

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

After the success of the 2005 Bordeaux vintage last year, it's Burgundy's time to stand in the spotlight, says JONATHAN RAY. The general consensus from producers and buyers is that the 2005 vintage is more than a match for its counterparts in Bordeaux. And he says they have a distinct advantage: so ripe, fruity and approachable are they, you can open them and enjoy them from the very day you take delivery'.

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

Burgundy is also the topic on JANE MacQUITTY'S lips. She says there are oodles of great 2005 reds on offer, plus a much more limited collection of dreamy whites'. She reviews the vintage in full and declares how much of a pleasure it was to attend Burgundy week.
However, her half-dozen recommendations for readers are all New World and priced at 7.99 or less. They include: 2004 Carmen Wine Maker's Reserve Chardonnay, Casablanca, Chile (down 2 to 7.99; Waitrose); 2005 Finest Hawkes Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, New Zealand (7.99; Tesco); and 2006 Porta Reserva Pinot Noir, Bo-Bo Valley, Chile (5.59; Waitrose).

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

After singing the praises of the 2005 Burgundy's last week, ANTHONY ROSE gives readers a shopping list for the vintage, but warns of a lack of availability. He has plenty of recommendations and welcomes the move to six- packs by merchant Howard Ripley.
His wines of the week include the 2005 La Riada Old Vines Garnacha Campo de Borja (5.99; Thresher) and the 2001 Mount Langhi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz (9.99; Majestic).

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Financial Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

When it is good, white Burgundy is unrivalled and the most sensational treat,' says JANCIS ROBINSON MW. The 1999s, 2000s and 2002s are drinking particularly well now, although few of them are still commercially available. Even the 2003s are becoming difficult to find', apart from the excellent Domaine Cordier'. 2003 Domaine Cordier, Les Vignes Blanches Pouilly-Fuiss (19.95, Lea & Sandeman) is positively exotic, with its aromas of bittersweet orange peel'. Most buyers will be nudged towards 2004, which is looking an increasingly attractive vintage for white Burgundy.'
The 2004 Lequin-Colin, Les Charrires Chassagne-Montrachet (17.95, Stone, Vine & Sun) shows it's quite possible to find delicious Ctes d'Or whites under 20 a bottle'.

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

MATTHEW JUKES looks back at the New Zealand tasting at Lord's cricket ground in London, which he claims was the best ever.
His Kiwi selection includes: 2006 Spy Valley Gewurztraminer from Marlborough (9.99; Highbury Vintners, Grapelands) and 2004 Palliser Pinot Noir from Martinborough (12.99; Justerini & Brooks, Philglas & Swigott). Wine of the week is the 2006 Felton Road Vin Gris Ros from Central Otago (14.95; Lea & Sandeman).

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The Sunday Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the first of a two-part pre-Valentine's special, SUSY ATKINS recommends three sparkling ross in honour of the saint of lurve'. She advises against all pink Cavas and instead opts for 2000 Veuve Cliquot Ros (41.99-48, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Majestic, Selfridges), Mumm Cuve Napa Ros NV (11.99; Majestic) and 2002 Green Point Brut Ros (13.99; Oddbins).

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

With 10 days to go to the commercialised event they call Valentine's Day, JAMIE GOODE gives his recommendations for drinking on 14 February. He says that ros has shed its naff image of late' and picks out four sparkling ross and a still pink, including Taittinger's Prestige Ros NV (32.99; Tesco, Oddbins) and Lindauer Special Select Brut NV, New Zealand (9.99; Oddbins, Waitrose).
He also selects accessories to accompany the wines, including a pair of glasses adorned with a tasteful gold heart'. The accompanying photo of the glasses is enough to put off anyone with an ounce of taste.

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The Sunday Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JOANNA SIMON echoes Tim Atkin's views on the better retailers involved in Wine Relief and encourages readers to trade up, as the more expensive the wine, the bigger the 10% donation will be.
The pair both recommend the 2005 Gobelsburger Grner Veltliner, Austria (6.49; Waitrose) and the 2004 Friuli Merlot Bidoli (7.49; M&S).

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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

JANE MacQUITTY insists that people shouldn't panic about whether they have enough wine for Christmas as most merchants accept orders for guaranteed pre-Christmas deliveries as late as 15 December. For your nearest and dearest, a magnum of Champagne looks especially generous, so plump for 1.5 litres of Pol Roger's delectable non-vintage white foil Reserve (55.95, Lay & Wheeler).'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Great British beers have attracted the attention of MATTHEW JUKES. There is nothing more satisfying than the combination of a pint of local brew and good pub grub, he asserts. And to make his case, he matches beers to a variety of pub dishes provided by the Anchor Inn in Suffolk. Longhorn beef steak with peppercorn sauce is well matched by Brakspear Triple (1.99 for 500ml; Asda, Sainsbury, Waitrose), a dark rummy beer of amazing complexity', while beetroot soup goes well with O'Halon's Wheat Beer (5 for four bottles; Threshers).

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The Guardian

Published:  23 July, 2008

VICTORIA MOORE attempts to overcome her early fear of Vouvray. She tells readers that when she recently opened a bottle with friends, they looked at it with narrowed eyes and asked for assurance that it would be dry. It was. She also expected them to be put off by the news it was made from Chenin Blanc - a difficult grape to get to know, but not to love'. Like Vouvray, she says, you never know how it is going to turn out. It has complex reserves of flavour, which it fills out in a sometimes strange honeyed, vegetal way. A common tasting note is lanolin, the fat found in sheep's wool.'

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The Sunday Express

Published:  23 July, 2008

Another expert looking for winter warmth, JAMIE GOODE turns his attention to malt whisky. Hailing it as Scotland's greatest contribution to the world of drink, he gives a run-through of his five favourites. Heading the list is Sainsbury's Cognac-finish 15-year-old Speyside Single Malt (19.99), which has spent time in Cognac casks to give it a warm, nutty, oaky character and makes it sweet and rounded in the mouth. Number five on his list is Aberlour 10-year-old Highland Single Malt (22.99; Oddbins, Waitrose) - a superb whisky', smooth and rich with complex aromas of spice and vanilla and a fine balance.

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The Daily Telegraph

Published:  23 July, 2008

PETER GROGAN pays a visit to Stevenage, home of The Wine Society, a wine merchant he describes as old-fashioned yet forward-looking'. The Society's chief executive, Oliver Johnson, tells him: No one here earns a bonus, including me, so everyone's focused on quality rather than margin.'

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The Daily Mail

Published:  23 July, 2008

Booze cruise virgin DAVID THOMAS travels with Oz Clarke and Top Gear presenter James May to Calais. They visit La Maison du Fromage et des Vins (Oz recommends a 4.93 2004 Bourgueil), Majestic's Wine and Beer World and the Calais Vins warehouse. Oz says: The best bang for your buck comes from Chilean and Spanish wines.' Looking at 12 Bordeaux wines, he is reported as saying: You'd get more pleasure from six bottles of Chilean than one bottle of Bordeaux.'

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The Independent

Published:  23 July, 2008

Understandably, ANTHONY ROSE, too, has much to say about the 2005 Burgundies. Clearly, the wine merchants and their customers can't get enough of them. Great Burgundies will never be cheap, he says, but in the light of the extravagant leap in prices of 2005 Bordeaux, it becomes increasingly hard to argue that Burgundy is as elitist as it was in the past. Mouthwatering village Burgundies from Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romane and Nuits-St-Georges can be picked up for 200-300 a case.

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