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Wines in the press- November 24-27

Published:  28 November, 2011

The Guardian
The media would have us believe that Christmas involves huge family get-togethers, but we all know that isn't true, says Fiona Beckett.

There are many couples who choose to spend Christmas together, and others; quietly alone. The ideal solution is a selection of half-bottles, that new company,, has cottoned on to and includes one of Beckett's favourites, Qupé Syrah 2008 (£10.60). Other companies that stock half bottles are the Wine Society with its, The Society's Exhibition Crozes-Hermitage 2009 (£5.75) and Yapp Brothers offers a Delicious Demies 12-bottle case (£95) that includes bottles of Menetou-Salon, Saumur-Champigny, Lirac, Chablis and Champagne. Then there's Champagne, Beckett would be thrilled if Santa brought her some half-bottles of Gosset Grand Reserve (£26.49, Wadebridge Wines). Pricey, maybe, but when was Champagne ever about value for money?

The Observer

David Williams recommends two great-value French wines and a and a Canadian ode to tarte tatin. His first white; Les Andides, Saumur, Loire Valley, France 2010 (£7.49, Waitrose), is a squeaky clean and fruit-driven modern white, he says. Louis Latour Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine, Vin de Pays des Côteaux du Verdon, France 2009 (£9.99 Majestic) uses Burgundian grape varieties in more southerly French locations and comes at a very decent price for a Pinot. While Neige Apple Ice Wine Première, Quebec, Canada 2008 (£28, Harvey Nichols) is produced by filmmaker François Pouliot who has made a "gorgeous golden elixir" made from apples that have been left to freeze after harvest. Like a Calvados without the fire, it comes across as tarte tatin in a glass: lusciously sweet and toffeed, but with refreshing acidity, adds Williams.

The Telegraph

Victoria Moore never tires of refreshing whites but in winter also likes wines with layers, texture and, whether oaked or not, are perhaps a little richer than the ones she'd seek out at the end of a summer's day. From her pick of winter whites, there's a zingy, clementine-scented house white to drink cold from the fridge, a Sauvignon Blanc that has been partially fermented in the barrel, a sit-up-smart white Burgundy and a marzipan-paste-like Roussanne that Moore says, glows with flavour. She'd choose the Barbeito Malvasia Single Cask 2001, while nibbling away at a plateful of cheese. Although the chef Fergus Henderson, who prefers his Madeira for elevenses, has alerted Moore to the fact that it also goes perfectly with a slice of caraway seed cake.

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson's, 100 festive wines begins with two sparklers. The Philippe Michel 2008 Crémant du Jura (£6.99, Aldi ) is an interesting choice for a mass-market supermarket, says Robinson MW. Made by the Crançot co-op, it has bottle fermentation, a clean nose, is pretty dry and is recognisably sub-alpine. Plus, it is so light it's almost difficult to believe it is 12% abv. While the Roche Lacour, Brut 2009 Crémant de Limoux is a not-too-frothy traditional method blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc from the Languedoc hills and offers great value. (£11.99, Laithwaites).

The Mail on Sunday

British wine and English wine are two very different things, says Olly Smith, and it's all too easy to get them confused. British is fermented and bottled on our shores, but the grape juice comes from abroad. English wine, on the otherhand, is made from grapes grown in England. Smith confesses to being a massive fan of the rising quality of English sparkling wine. For the second year in a row, Camel Valley in Cornwall won the International Sparkling Rosé Trophy, for its Pinot Noir Rosé 2009 (£24.99) and Smith has just ordered a case. In the same competition Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2006 bagged fourth place, with Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2002 and Ridgeview Grosvenor 2007 named in the top 25, he says. English wine is here to stay. But so, it seems, is British wine, he adds.