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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tasting notes are not what they used to be, according to Tim Atkin MW. This thought crossed his mind when skimming the cellar notebook of 19th century wine writer Thomas George Shaw whose one-word scribblings mean he "wouldn't last five minutes in today's wine world". Atkin admits a "lack of space means that I can't write a small essay on each bottle" and he "can only give you a (necessarily subjective) snapshot of its flavours". It is for this reason that the he applauds the upcoming changes to Sainsbury's own-label range, which will use colour coding to give the consumer a fuller picture. His pick of the Taste the Difference (TTD) range, all available at Sainsbury's, includes the 2006 Gewrtztraminer Alsace (4.99), the "lively" 2006 Chianti Classico Cecchi (7.99) and the "fruitcakey, full bodied" 2006 Amarone Cantina Valpaneta.