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

Wines in the press - November 11-14

Published:  14 November, 2011

The Guardian

There's an odd term sometimes used in the trade about bottles that aren't particularly showy, and that is "food wine", says Fiona Beckett.

But aren't most wines designed to go with food? Well, yes and no. Typically, they tend to have more moderate levels of alcohol and more pronounced levels of acidity than many contemporary wines. Italy is a master of the style: neutral whites such as Orvieto, Verdicchio, Vermentino and even Pinot Grigio will breeze along with antipasti, she says. Reds that have a touch of sharpness can also be welcome with lighter, unsauced meat and fish dishes. The other type is one that's tough to drink on its own because of its tannic structure - high-alcohol young reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon that need red meat or full flavours. An example is the "muscular" Castillo de Jumilla Monastrell 2009, (£7.49, Laithwaites). It's a bit of a monster on its own, but fantastic with a roast shoulder of lamb or Spanish-style pork stew with beans, she adds.

The Observer

David Williams lists his 20 best Christmas reds that includes: Mauregard Bordeaux, France 2010 (£5.99, Marks & Spencer). Williams says, for many people, Christmas dinner still means Claret but it's rare to find a decent example under a tenner. In his opinion Marks & Spencer deserve considerable credit. From Spain he thinks Pasico Old Vine Monastrell Shiraz, Jumilla, Spain (£5.99, Sainsbury's) has far more character, texture and depth than you'd expect at this price. The Tesco Finest Argentina Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2010 (£6.49, Tesco) is produced by Catena Zapata and is just made for Boxing Day roast beef, he says.

The Daily Telegraph

The received wisdom is that the best Pinot Noir in New Zealand is made in Central Otago. It certainly has a distinctive style, says Victoria Moore. "It's sturdy, powerful, redolent of autumn fruits roasted almost to charring point, with a whisper of the scent of coffee being ground in the room next door," she adds. But if Moore had to choose one New Zealand region whose Pinot Noir she would drink for the rest of her life, she says it would be Marlborough. There is something about the thought of a good Marlborough Pinot Noir that makes her stomach do a little twist. There are many different styles of Pinot within Marlborough: some more textured, some more layered, yet you can still feel its Marlborough character pulsing through, she adds. This has got to be about terroir, about soil and weather - but never mind how it's made - you really need to taste some to get the point, she says.

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW, says she took part in a blind tasting 2009 Clos Vougeots from 57 different producers followed by a tasting organized by Wines of Germany to see how well German Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder, stands up to competition from elsewhere. On balance, she thinks the average quality of what tasted from Germany was a little higher than the average quality of the Clos Vougeots. Does this mean that German Pinot Noir is better than red Burgundy? She asks. Robinson says she would not go quite that far, as Clos Vougeot is a notoriously underperforming Grand Cru. But she was left in no doubt that Germany is now making some truly fine Pinot Noir that can be compared with some of the best middle-ranking red Burgundy.

The Mail on Sunday

Autumn is a buzzing time of year for the wine trade as suppliers offer a tantalising glimpse of new blends and exciting varieties that'll be available in the coming months, says Olly Smith. Smith says there are some "brilliant" wines emerging from southern Europe. He recommends Tesco Finest Vermentino 2010, (£6.99). Or how about a white Rioja? Or, alternatively, try some Chacolí from the Basque country. As for reds, in his opinion Portugal is producing some outstanding wines, and port producers in the Douro creating deep and complex dark red blends based on the grape varieties that go into making port, such as Trincadeira and Touriga Nacional. If you're a fan of bold, spicy wines such as Shiraz, Smith recommends checking them out. His advice is that with fabulous new blends and varieties romping onto the shelves, it's the perfect time to "dive in and glug for glory".