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Wines in the press October 2-4

Published:  06 October, 2009

The Guardian

Victoria Moore took two bottles and used them as a starting point for dinner, marshalling the food round the wine.

The Guardian

Victoria Moore took two bottles and used them as a starting point for dinner, marshalling the food round the wine.

They were different vintages of the same wine: Clos de L'Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2007 (£25.49, Threshers) and the 2005 (£19.99, Majestic).

Both already taste delicious, says Moore. "But will be even more so if tucked away for a few years and allowed to develop and melt into themselves."

She says if she was choosing one now, she'd go for the 2007, "which has all the glory and roaring vigour of youth - its smooth-edged, sweetly ripe red fruit is ample as a plump cushion".

Moore drank them with lamb cooked with Mediterranean herbs, a wild mushroom sauce and chive mash.

The Observer

Tim Atkin says, October is the time when he starts raiding his "stash of Grenache".

Grenache is a sun worshipper, Atkin explains. "If it were a holidaymaker, Grenache would be the first grape on the poolside loungers, elbowing the likes of Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet Franc to one side."

He says if it's not ripe, or verging on the over-ripe at times, then it isn't really Grenache. "For bashful and retiring, go elsewhere."

Atkin recommends Spain's Gran Tesoro Garnacha Red, Campo de Borja 2008(£3.54, Tesco), or the "firmer, more powerful", Garnacha, Cruz de Piedra, Calatayud 2007 (£5.99, Adnams).

Winter may be upon us, says Atkin, "but who cares when we've got red wines like these in our glasses?"

The Times

Jane MacQuitty says the future of wine after recession will see people wanting "more bang for their buck".

"The perfect wine shop has a great range of tasty, classic and not-so-classic wines, on sale at a wide range of prices," she adds.

Although MacQuitty thinks "innovation" has never been the wine trade's strong point, she sees "signs of a vinous recovery to characterful wines sold in an inspiring environment".

She recommends Adnams Cellar & Kitchen Stores where "foodies will enjoy the wacky kitchen and wine ware sold alongside racks of Adnams distinctive, eclectic, terroir-led wines, of which a handful are open to taste".

MacQuitty says wine drinkers are "smitten" with North London's, The Sampler where there are 80 wines - priced at 32p-£10 for a "generous tasting slurp".

The Independent

Fred Panaiotis, the winemaker at Ruinart Champagne invited Lyn Harris, the perfumer at Miller Harris, to visit Ruinart's cellars in Reims, says Anthony Rose.

He adds, "she had two small problems to overcome: an aversion to bubbly and nervousness as to whether she'd 'get' the wine- tasting or not."

Rose says "they're two of the best noses in the business, both devoted to creating luxury products, although with very different objectives."

"Our worlds are different on a lot of levels," says Harris, "but there are so many parallels too. Tasting the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs with Fred was a revelation. It was extraordinary how we connected."

Panaiotis' conclusion was that "We don't work the same way but we came to the same conclusions. It was like two different languages merging."

"She has a more trained nose than I do and can find descriptors that go beyond what I'm looking for."

But the experience opened Panaiotis' eyes - and nose - to the possibilities of new descriptors for his blends.

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson flew to Hamburg last month to take part in a blind tasting of a dozen Tuscan 1999s.

Robinson comments how notable it was that many of the wines tasted like super-lush red Bordeaux, "and not just the four composed exclusively of Bordeaux grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and/or Petit Verdot".

She says Castello di Rampolla's 1999 Sammarco, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, "tasted like a super-ripe Pomerol to me when I tasted it blind. I even wondered whether the most famous wine consultant of Pomerol had been involved".

Robinson's conclusion was the range of 1999s was much more successful and pleasurable than the range of 1999 red Bordeaux she had tried earlier in the year - although she adds the vintage is acknowledged as a much greater success in Tuscany than in Bordeaux.