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Wines in the press- September 29-October 2

Published:  03 October, 2011

The Guardian

Everyone Fiona Beckett knows who's passionate about wine, has had a life-changing moment when they tasted one and thought, "so that's what wine is all about".

For her it was a basic Coche-Dury Bourgogne, but if you only ever buy wine on price, you deprive yourself of that pleasure, she adds. The other day Beckett went to the Dirty Dozen tasting, where she says the wines weren't cheap, but were "life-affirming". She recommends Becker Estate Spätburgunder, Pfalz (£13.95) from the Wine Barn. Or the "pristine" , Domaine de Pattes Loup Chablis 'Vent d'Ange' 2009 (£15.26 Vine Trail, Bristol). Many readers may feel that these prices, are over the top, but Beckett's not saying you should drink this kind of wine every day. However she does urge consumers to splash out from time to time - it's no more than a ticket for a football match or a good seat at the theatre, she says.

The Observer

David Williams recommends three wines; a white, a pink port and a red. For white he opts for Tesco Finest Torrontés, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina 2010 (£8.99, Tesco). Musky and scented with floral, talcum-like notes, it's also pleasingly grapefruit and zesty on the palate. When pink port came out a couple of years back, Williams thought it was a bit of a gimmick. However trying it again over ice recently, he had a change of heart and its "ample" strawberry-raspberry flavours make for a great autumnal aperitif, he says and recommends, Croft Pink Port, Portugal NV (£10.88, Sainsbury's, Co-op, Selfridges). Pigeoulet en Provence, Vignobles Brunier, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, France 2009 (£10.50, Goedhuis & Co, his red of choice which he says is excellent with a roast.

The Daily Telegraph

Victoria Moore is visiting Islay, the home to eight working whisky distilleries, it's perhaps overly romantic to say you can find the smells of the place in the spirit, but there is no doubting you can its peat, she says. Smoke from the peat fires, used in the drying kilns for the malted barley from which malt whisky is made, that gives Islay spirit its distinctive character. Of the standard offerings, Ardbeg's "beautiful" Ten Years Old, is one of the most heavily peated. In its advertising campaigns Laphroaig has made a virtue of the fact that the medicinal TCP peaty twang is not to everyone's taste. Bunnahabhain is "where you might want to start" and is "just lightly peated," according to distillery manager Andrew Brown. Moore recommends Ardbeg 10 Year Old (46%, £40 Cambridge Wine Merchants).

The Financial Times

In the super-sensual world of wine, scientists tend to lurk in back rooms, says Jancis Robinson MW. But there is one obvious exception, Dr Jamie Goode. Along with Sam Harrop MW, he has published his second book : Authentic Wine - Toward Natural and Sustainable Winemaking. Robinson says she learnt a humbling amount from Goode's book, and by no means all of it scientific. The subject of biodynamics is discussed extensively in a host of interesting case studies of high-profile growers who have converted to the voodoo (cow horns and lunar cycles), but at the end Goode seems to nail his colours firmly to the much more middle-brow mast of sustainable viticulture, she says.

The Daily Mail

The exact location of the vineyard and the climate conditions have a massive impact on any wine, so when you taste a wine you love, make a note of the place it came from and try exploring other vino from that region, says Olly Smith. In the simplest sense, a vineyard in a hot place will tend to produce boldly flavoured, fruity wines with plenty of alcohol, whereas cooler-climate vineyards tend to produce wine with lower alcohol and more acidity. A vineyard's climate will dictate which grape varieties are most likely to thrive there and what kind of wine to expect. The aspect of a vineyard is also important - a sloping vineyard with a southerly aspect in the Northern Hemisphere will get more sun. Some vineyards are famed for their relationship with the soil and there's also the human element to consider. The impact of the individual on winemaking is enormous. If you like a certain wine from a particular brand or winery, you should definitely have a crack at further wines from their range, adds Smith.