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Wines in the press- October 13-16

Published:  19 October, 2011

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett has set out to debunk the myth that wine doesn't go with chocolate.

The most useful approach in her opinion is to firstly think of fruits that go with chocolate. Top of her list, therefore, are wines that taste of raspberries, cherries or plums. A good example of the last is Waitrose's new Seriously Plummy Maury a "vin doux naturel" from the south of France that at 16% abv, is similar to, but quite a bit lighter than port (rrp £9.99, 50cl). Sparkling reds such as Brown Brothers' off-dry Cienna Rosso (Waitrose, £9.99) work well with dark chocolate, she says. Dark chocolate and orange (think Terry's chocolate orange) is another good pairing. Beckett's favourite is the rich, "marmaladey" Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro (£8.99 for 50cl Morrisons and Waitrose).

The Observer

David Williams chooses three wines at £5, £10 and £20. Just short of the £6.00 mark is Marks & Spencer Negroamaro, Salento, Puglia, Italy 2010 (£5.99, There is something bittersweet about this great-value red that is distinctively, authentically southern Italian, says Williams, which is full of dried and fresh cherry and plum with a twist of dark coffee. Coming in just under £10.00 is a wine from the Western Australia producer that built its winery on Feng Shui principles. He adds whether that makes a difference or not is a mute pint, but the Howard Park Madbay Shiraz, Western Australia 2008 (£9.99, Tesco) is a very attractive red all the same. The "good value" Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay, Auckland, New Zealand 2008 (£19.92, Tanners)is Williams' third choice, if you came across this sort of quality Chardonnay in Burgundy you'd be paying much more, he says.

The Telegraph

Moore went along to a small tutored tasting of 11 vintages of the Left Bank, "cult buy", Haut-Bailly, from 2000 to 2010, at Berry Brothers. What's fascinating about a vertical tasting of a wine so consistently itself is that the vintage is written into it, says Moore. The 2000, a feted Bordeaux year, was a touch disappointing. The 2002 seemed leaner and acidity was more pronounced. The 2003 (the year of the European heatwave), as expected, was an anomaly that tasted of heat. Though being Haut-Bailly it certainly wasn't perspiring, Moore adds. The 2005 was "magnificently monolithic". "I think of '08, '09 and '10 as a trilogy," says Véronique Sanders, its directrice generale. You could see why, agrees Moore. The '08 had beautiful poise, balance and verve. The '09 was ripe, and didn't have so much of Haut-Bailly about it, for which I liked it less. But the rich '10 was back on form.

The Financial Times

The image that Australian wine is an over-processed, over-marketed and over-discounted, thoroughly industrial product is a view still promulgated by many a French winemaker, but not by any who have actually been to Australia's wine regions, says Jancis Robinson MW. Robinson says she can remember when there was just one practitioner of organic viticulture in the whole of Australia, but now producers as admired and garlanded as Cullen of Margaret River and Jasper Hill of Heathcote are openly practising biodynamics. There are even Australian practitioners of "natural" winemaking practices. Last week Les Caves de Pyrène, showed off its new Australian imports. There were some stunning wines, such as Sorrenberg's 2009 Chardonnay from Beechworth. But there were also some seriously strange wines, at high prices. All in all Robinson thinks it is a very healthy sign that, more and more winemakers are prepared to step off the well-trodden paths of conventional, by-the-book wine production.

The Daily Mail

Is there such as thing as good-value Champagne? Asks Olly Smith. Perhaps not if you compare the price of a bottle of Champagne for £20 or more, with the average spend on a bottle of wine which is less than £5. Then again if you compare Champagne - with its massive prestige and reputation - with bottles from top Bordeaux , then Champagne is proportionally far less of a thump in the wallet. Some of the best value on the shelves right now comes from supermarket own-label Champagne, adds Smith. He adds, if you're looking for value, they're a great place to kick off the party.