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Wines in the press - January 1-4

Published:  05 January, 2010

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW tells us some of her hopes for in 2010 in the world of wine.

Firstly, she says she would like to see better storage for the fine wine market with reliably constant cool temperatures and reasonable humidity, such as Octavian at Corsham. Where she says its underground storage is more energy conscious than expensively controlled above-ground warehouses.

Robinson also hopes that people responsible for shipping and storing wine would take their responsibilities seriously because wine can be fatally damaged if kept too hot or too cold. She sites Berry Bros as aiming to be the first London wine merchant with a verified global Fine Wine Cold Chain that will be working with the firm eProvenance that has measured temperatures in their cellars and shipments.

Her personal wish for 2010 is to drink more Riesling, because she says "it's relatively low in alcohol, high in flavour, develops beautifully in bottle, expresses terroir and goes very happily with so many of the foods we eat now." 


The Guardian

Victoria Moore is advising how to choose wine in a supermarket without having had the benefit of tasting them first.

She says: "There is no failsafe way." But puts forward a few rules which she applies when selecting unknown wine.

Her first rule is to never risk buying a bottle with a bird, insect or animal on the label, which she says will keep the consumer, "mercifully clear" of Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon, Little Penguin wines and many others. 

Another piece of advice Moore gives is to be wary of bottles bearing words "Imported by Constellation Europe Ltd" on the back label. She says this is because their wines include the "execrable" Banrock Station, Stowells and Hardys. But she makes an exception for Flagstone Noon Gun Dry White 2009 (£6.99, Tesco).

Avoid bottles sold at "half-price." Moore concludes, "the lure of such wines is only ever supposed to be their promotion excitement. It's never good when taste is secondary, or even tertiary."


The Independent

Anthony Rose is looking ahead and predicting some of 2010's wine trends. He says: "To look forward in wine - reculer pour mieux sauter, as the French would have it - is the way".

One of the big events this year Rose predicts is likely to be the sale of Bordeaux 2009 vintage this spring, on the back of reliable suggestions coming from the region that 2009 could rank alongside the great 2005 vintage.

In the New World, Rose says: "Nothing can rain on New Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc parade." He adds Burgundy and Rhône lovers looking for value will do well to turn their attention to New Zealand's Pinot Noirs and its aromatic Syrahs from Hawkes Bay.

Rose also predicts Australia's regions will come into sharper focus this year, Chile's Pacific-influenced, aromatic white wines will remain hard to beat for good value and Argentina's strong suit will continue with Malbec as, "one of the world's brightest and most accessible reds". 

He says rosé will remain at least as popular as it's become, with more than one in 10 bottles of wine sold now is pink. "Yes", says Rose. "The future is looking distinctly rosé".


The Times

"People love a bargain, especially in a credit crunch," says Jane MacQuitty. She advises that if anyone's still flush with funds after Christmas they should contact Montrachet (020-7821 1337), a small fine wine merchant with a gem of a Bordeaux and Burgundy list.

MacQuitty recommends Château Quinault l'Enclos 1999 (down £8 to £24.91), which she says is an average Bordeaux vintage but good on the Right Bank.

She adds, the same price brings you a terrific red Burgundy, Domaine J. Confuron-Cotetidot 2003 Vosne-Romanée, "again it's from a lesser year, but from the grandest red wine village of the Côte d'Or".