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Wines in the Press, February 27-28

Published:  02 March, 2010

Here's what the national wine scribes had to say over the last weekend of February in this week's WINES IN THE PRESS


Jane Macquitty recommends the "big, bold, oaky Boardeaux- apeing southern French red" the 2005 Domaine Tranquillite, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Bernard Magrez (£7.99, Majestic, or two for £4.99 each); the 2007 Marsannay Blanc, Louis Latour (£12.99 from Majestic or two for £9.99), which she concedes may not be the best '07 Burgundy she's tasted, "but there's easily a tenner's worth of fine, waxy, marzipan fruit here" nonetheless. She's also keen on the 2009 Gruner Veltliner, Terraces, Domane Wachau (down £2 to £5.99, Waitrose), which she urges her readers to snap up while they can.



Olly Smith loves the sheer variety of Italian wines and the wealth of grape varieties. "Rich reds, crisp whites, sweet wines, fizz, you name it, Italy can do it - and with fierce pride in the quality of regional diversity," he says. He's won over by Ombra Prosecco (£9.99 or £7.99 as part of a mixed case from Oddbins). "Brilliant bubbly with a fruity refreshing character that makes it perfect as an aperitif," he enthuses.


He suggests it would be the perfect match with some top quality buffalo mozzarella cheese. While Pinot Grigio can be "overwhelmingly neutral", Smith says the finest examples come from the north, particularly Alto Adige, which can be "a world away from the water-like offerings that are all too often sloshed into our glasses".


He suggests trying Tesco's Finest Finao (£5.99 Tesco), which is "soft, white with a subtle aromatic twist....keep it on stand by in the fridge for a fun, refreshing welcome home."


Smith also recommends the 2008 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay (£14.31, Bibendum) which is also from Alto Adige. "Sensationally refreshing and pure white wine," he says. "Think crisp pear fruit with citrus brightness and pristine fresheness. Superb."


Victoria Moore can't wait for spring to arrive, so in anticipation of warmer weather has already uncorked a bottle of Provencal rosé. In this spirit of welcoming new beginnings, she concurs with Macquitty and also recommends Oddbins cut price Gruner Veltliner - "an Austrian white wine that I would recommend even at the full price", and enthuses about Averys Selection 2007 Alsace (£7.49, Averys).  "A white wine with a bit of everything - it reminds me of a soft of chef's salad. There's pinot blanc, sylvaner, pinot gris, gewurtztraminer, Muscat and chasselas too."


A white with more impact, she says, is Ca dei Frati Lugana 2008 (around £23.49, Roberson, Harvey Nichols, Highbury Vintners), from the shores of Lake Garda. "Who would have thought that Lugana could be so thrillingly good?" asks Moore.



This week Tim Atkin MW recommends the 2006 Cotes du Rhone Domaine Pierre Usseglio (£10, Lay & Wheeler), which is sourced from vineyards on the edge of Chateauneuf du Pape. "This blend of Grenache and 20% Mourvedre is brooding and slightly raisiny with notes of dark chocolate," he says. He also admires the 2007 Crozes-Hermitage, Domaine des Lises (£15.95, Berry Bros), describing it as a "svelte, sexy cool-climate Syrah, showing aromas of violets, raspberries and white pepper."