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Xmas wines in the press December 16-19

Published:  20 December, 2011

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett thinks Beaujolais Nouveau comes a month too early and is more fitting for a Boxing Day, with leftover turkey, ham and cold stuffing.

The Guardian
Fiona Beckett thinks Beaujolais Nouveau comes a month too early and is more fitting for a Boxing Day, with leftover turkey, ham and cold stuffing.

But by then it's all sold out, although Beckett says, to be honest, that's no great hardship - the current vintages - 2010 or, the excellent 2009 - are much more rewarding. She suggests the Wine Society's Exhibition Moulin-à-Vent 2009 (£9.50). Or a lightly chilled bottle of Asda's Extra Special Beaujolais Villages 2010 (£5.97) would hit the spot nicely, too.If Pinot Noir rocks your boat Beckett says Morrisons has its Best Chilean Pinot Noir (down from £7.99 to £5.99 or two for £10). Beckett always like to have a couple of Italian reds on hand, and recommends the "supple" Tuscan Avignonesi Rosso 2009 (Majestic; down to £7.99 from £9.99 if you buy two or more bottles). Or, if you fancy a glass or two of rosé, try Geoff Merrill Mount Hurtle Rosé 2009 (Morrisons, £6.99) - it's almost a red, she says.

The Observer

Reviews two wines from the Old World, and one from the New World. Old World first with Flor de Nelas Seleção, Dão, Portugal 2009 (£7.99, Sainsbury's) is a delightfully aromatic red, with violets and red berries, a succulent plummy flavour, the merest hint of sandpaper tannin and a lively acidity that makes it work wonders with duck. From Italy he suggests Guerrieri Rizzardi, Bardolino Classico Tacchetto, Italy 2009 (£14.50, Fortnum & Mason) with its an ethereal feel of soft strawberry fruit. Almost every shop you go into seems to have an offer on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at the moment, no less Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand (£9.99 or £7.99 if you buy two bottles, Majestic), but few examples offer the exuberance of this vivacious, racy white, says Williams.

The Daily Telegraph

Up in the mountains north of Cape Town, the revolutionaries are massing, says Victoria Moore. But The Swartland Revolution is about grapes, not war. It's a weekend-long wine festival, now in its second year, and is a showcase for the radical, buccaneering spirit burning through the region's vineyards, she adds. When it comes to wine, nowhere in South Africa is as exciting as Swartland right now, due to a new generation of winemakers hunting out precious parcels of gnarled old vines. Among the revolution's key figures are; Adi Badenhorst, previously the winemaker at Rustenberg; Chris Mullineux and his Californian wife Andrea; and Marc Kent, of Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek who has a new project called Porcelain Mountain. Moore says it carries a surfers-and-cowboys vibe that's exhilarating to be around. The new wave of winemakers are focused on producing wines without too much intervention - or, as one of them puts it, "the people who sell yeast aren't really that welcome in Swartland. We have a little set of rules: no adding acidity, and we like natural ferments, too."

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW, recommends her Xmas sweet wines beginning with Val d'Orbieu, Taste the Difference NV Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois which she deems to be great value, really fresh, different, explosive and not at all industrial. (Saunsbury's £4.79). She also likes Rustenberg, Straw Wine 2010 Coastal Region which is a blend of 56% Viognier, 41% Chenin Blanc and 3% Crouchen which is laid out to dry and concentrate the sugars on straw, then aged in barrel for five months. (Majestic £9.99). The New Zealand Seifried, Sweet Agnes Riesling 2010 Nelson, is also on her list which she would wake you up after a nap by the fire ( Waitrose £13.99).