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Wines in the press, June 8 - 11

Published:  12 June, 2012

The Guardian

One of the things that winds Fiona Beckett's readers up is when she recommend a wine that isn't available in a branch near them.

If you've made a special trip to buy a bottle, it must be maddening, she says. But it's not quite that simple. Tesco lists around 1,400 wines in more than 2,300 branches. The whole range may not be in the smallest Express stores, but you could reasonably expect to find most of it in a fair number of larger shops, especially the own-brand Finest range. But Finest runs to 800 different lines, that are distributed according to an "affluence overlay" into "price sensitive, upmarket and super-upmarket" stores, according to Tesco's category director Dan Jago, she adds. Waitrose has a new range of El Guia Spanish wines (£3.99). The Rosado is available in 267 of its 277 branches, the Garnacha 241, but the white Blanco only 156. Beckett says the best advice she can give is to ring the stores' customer care line. Let's hope they have the answer, she says.

The Telegraph

Jan Konetzki is one of three finalists alongside Clement Robert of Medlar and Laurent Richet of Sat Bains in Nottingham in this year's Moët UK Sommelier of the Year, which Victoria Moore is one of the judges. It's set on a brightly lit stage, with former winners acting as troublesome restaurant-goers. Konetzki, who is head sommelier at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is doing a very good job of appearing unruffled, she says. Her fellow judge, Brian Julyan, British chief executive officer of the trade's international professional body the Court of Master Sommeliers, is "learning to be more of a stickler for good service. Apparently he tuts when a cork is placed across the table from the guest who ordered the wine, rather than just to his right and sighs grumpily if a bottle is presented with the words, "Your Champagne, sir," rather than, "Moët & Chandon Imperial." In the end it's almost a dead heat and Konetzki who lost marks for running out of time in the restaurant round, manages to take it by a whisker.

The Financial Times

The 2011 Bordeaux primeurs campaign has turned out to be not just a damp squib as a squib so sodden it is completely ineffectual, says Jancis Robinson MW. The quality of the wine is, B+ compared with the 2009 and 2010 A ratings and prices have not been low enough to attract a serious level of buying. To Robinson it would be "crazy" to invest in smart 2011s when there are so many keenly priced 2009s lower down the pecking order that are already "delicious" and will continue to improve over the next five to 10 years. Now is the time to pounce on these, she says. For a supermarket buy she recommends Sainsbury's Ch la Tulipe de la Garde 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur (£10.15) and Ch Barreyres 2009 Haut-Médoc (£11.49).

The Mail on Sunday

Olly Smith is shortly returning to BBC1's Saturday Kitchen. But there's one type of wine guaranteed to raise an eyebrow with Smith's live colleague James Martin, and that's a rosé.
Fair enough, he says, it's not James's cup of tea. Smith himself has grown a bit bored of rosé recently as he thinks too many of them are a bit too weedy. There are all sorts of different rosés on offer from very dark butch styles through to very light pale styles that are virtually white, he explains.  In terms of flavour, you can get a very sweet White Zinfandel from California to a very crisp and classy Provence rosé. To Smith rosé is about simplicity. Rather than a complex fine-dining type experience, it's more of a "miniature decompression chamber in a bottle". Think of it as a portable holiday and chill out, he says.