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Wines in the press February 12-14

Published:  15 February, 2010

The Guardian


Once upon a time Cloudy Bay was so hard to get hold of, says Victoria Moore. It was the wine that forged New Zealand's glittering reputation for Sauvignon Blanc, and each shipment sold out before it even arrived.


But now as its 25th vintage is released, the stuff seems ubiquitous, and is stacked up in Majestic and Waitrose, she adds.


"So is it still stand-out good?" Moore confesses, not in her view. She says in a blind tasting of six New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs Cloudy Bay "failed to shine."


"It lacked vigour and excitement, and had a ­certain anonymity (fans might define it as "purity", but to me it tasted too dilute for the £18 price tag) common in crowd-pleasers."


Moore says she much prefers Greywacke 2009 (£12.99,


She concludes: "The truth is, there are now so many good New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, there's no ­reason to pay through the nose for Cloudy Bay's."

The Times


On the subject of what wines to choose for Valentine's Day, Jane MacQuitty says the conventional gambit is pink Champagne, but she says she can't think of a more disheartening wine style.


Of the ten MacQuitty tasted for the article she says only two passed muster.


The winner was Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé Brut 1999 ( £60, Majestic Wine).

MacQuitty recommends the next best thing as a fine French sparkler, made from the Champagne method and from at least one of the region's grapes. She says Waitrose has dropped the price of its sparkling Burgundy, Blanc de Blancs from the Cave de Lugny, to £7.99 until Tuesday.


The Observer

Tim Atkin is talking about Valentine Day wines and how according to Alessandra Rotondi wine is "the perfect weapon of mass seduction".


Rotundi claims on her website (, that she can turn a wine lover into a wine seduction expert in just one night.


Atkin says wine and seduction appear to be in vogue in the US. "One winery in the Napa Valley, O'Brien Estate, sells an Attraction Chardonnay, a Flirtation rosé and, best of all, a Seduction red, tastefully packaged in a diaphanous gift bag for Valentine's Day. All you've got to do is part with $45."


He says two wines that would seduce his palate are Champagne Larmandier Bernier Extra Brut 2004 (£55, Berry Brothers) and Sancerre Rosé, La Moussière, Alphonse Mellot 2008 (£14.29, Sainsbury's).


The Telegraph


Susy Atkins says the new Fundi wines from South Africa have some seriously right-on credentials. The brand which was inspired by the 2010 Fifa World Cup (hosted by South Africa) will donate its profits from all sales to train 2,010 wine waiters from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Cape.


Atkins says the project aims not only to help them progress in the hospitality trade, but also to build a new group of 'ambassadors' for South African wine.

"Great, but the wines had better taste good, says Atkins, "and, hurrah, they do."

They're not cheap at £14.99, but Atkins believes they compete well with other premium South African reds.

The Express


Drinking pink was once deeply unfashionable, but rosé has surged in popularity over the last few years, says Jamie Goode.


It not only looks inviting but tastes good too. Goode adds the majority of bottles are wonderfully easy to drink, making them perfect for thosewho are new to wine, or averse to drier whites and reds. "Some say it's for summer only - but I say bring on the rosé whatever the weather."


He recommends Griffith Park Rosé NV, Australia (£6.98, Asda), which he says is utterly delicious, and affordable and Champagne Duval Leroy Rosé NV( £29.99, M&S).


Goode says: "Pink champagne is coloured by adding a touch of red wine to get the desired hue. When enjoying this lovely example, you'll taste strawberry and herb fruit and a lovely freshness. It's a pure refined fizz to share with that special person."