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Wines in the press, March 30 - April 1

Published:  02 April, 2012

The Guardian
The end of March marks the beginning of a shift to lighter, fresher flavours, says Fiona Beckett.

The clocks have gone forward, the supermarkets are stuffed with Easter offers, so it's time to snap up a few spring bargains. Own-label and big brand offers are the areas to look at. Tesco, has deals on most of its Finest range and Beckett recommends Picpoul de Pinet 2011 (on offer at £5.79) - "roughly the price it ought to be in the first place", she adds. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is reduced to £6 from £9.79, which Beckett says "must be as cheap as it was when I first drank it in the early 1990s." Plus, in her opinion it's tasting better than it has done for years. Other good offers include the "gutsy" Tagus Creek Shiraz/Trincadeira 2010 (£4.50, down from £5.99), which she thinks would be great for the first of the season's barbecues.

The Daily Telegraph

There will be quite a lot of flocks full of little baaing lambs roasting in ovens and Agas up and down the country next Sunday, says Victoria Moore. She gives a few suggestions for bottles to open when your lamb is on the plate. If it is rare, choose Pinot Noir: the fluency of Burgundy and the juice of a New Zealand Pinot Noir both underscore the glorious, tender pinkness of the meat. Lamb with Provençal flavours: thyme, olives, garlic or tomatoes is "delicious" with a pale Provençal rosé such as Château Minuty M Rosé 2011 Provence, France (Roberson, £12.95). Jason Yapp of Yapp Brothers likes garlic lamb and ratatouille with a Château Simone 2007 France (, £33.50). A slow-roasting breast or shoulder with waxy potatoes and onions that caramelise into sweetness? Then it's a Rioja for Moore, where it too has reached the stage where it seems to melt, she says.

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW is frequently asked to tackle is which Bordeaux vintages are ready to drink. If Robinson had her pick to drink now she would head straight for 1990, 1982, 1961 and 1945. Although, many of the super-ripe 2009s are rather delicious already, she adds. It's a waste to drink any of the grand ones at this early stage, though do choose 2009 if confronted with basic Bordeaux Rouge. The youngest vintage she would contemplate would be from the "relatively weak" 2007 vintage. The 2006s have much further to go and the 2005s need a very long time. There is no point in considering the "great but tannic" 2005s and, the "mild-mannered", 2004s are another story. But, it should be just about the right time to be broaching smarter 2002s and 2001s, she says.

The Mail on Sunday

Convenience is king, when you want your wine purchase to be quick, good value and to pair perfectly with dinner, says Olly Smith. But there are many who believe that wine from a specialist importer can bring amazing flavours that don't necessarily cost more than your average bottle from the supermarket and are especially good if you want something a little more absorbing than your everyday bottle. It may take you a bit more time and effort but it can be enlightening too. Smith was browsing through the latest catalogue from Yapp ( and soon found himself reading about wines from Cassis and Thouraias and other corners of France. It made him want to head across the channel at once. Smith recommends Domaine Achard-Vincent Clairette de Die Tradition NV (£14.95), which for him is the wine of the summer - "like sherbet buzzing in a glass", he says.

The Sunday Telegraph

Remember Cava? Asks Susy Atkins. It was the affordable alternative to Champagne that everyone was happy to be seen with before the obsession with Prosecco set in. Atkins is of the mind that Spain's national sparkling wine - still beats the Italian one, hands down. They are crisper, more refreshing, more versatile with food and better value for money. Spain shipped out 152 million bottles of cava in 2% up on the year before and 50% more than a decade ago. So, we may talk about how we adore Prosecco, but we're still drinking a lot of Cava, she says. She recommends Vilarnau Cava Brut Nature NV (£10.79,, Partridges and independents).