|Wines in the Pres, July 10-11, 2010|
|Tuesday, 13 July 2010 14:07|
What have the national wine critics had to say this week? Find out with our round up of Wines in the Press for July 10, 11.
Bob Tyrer takes time off from jury service to nip down to the 100th anniversary celebrations of the German VDP, which fights to maintain wine standards. There he sampled a glass of 1943 Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling Auslese Weingut Geheimer Rat Dr von Bassermann-Jordan, and a 1921 Rudesheimer Hinterhaus Riesling Hessische Staatsweinguter Kloster Elerbach, which he describes as a "fabulous survivor".
However, persuading consumers to fork out high prices for little known wines with such tongue-twisting names is a difficult business for the wine industry, he concedes. Nonetheless, he recommends the Reiterpfad Ruppertsberg Riesling Trocken 2008 GG Reichsrat von Bhul, Pfalz (£28.50, Great Western Wine), which he describes as "the VDP equivalent of a grand cru, it's dry, racy spicy and substantial enough to drink with roast beef."
The Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Kabinett 2007, Moselle (£17.27, OW Loeb) also gets the thumbs up for its "intense, waxy nose.... In which minerally-lemony acidity balances the off-dry fruit."
Average prices rose by 57% over the great 2005 vintage and 200% above 2008. Ironically, says Rose, the ambitious prices make earlier vintages appear cheaper, and in some cases even cheap. "Inconceivable as it seems today, could we one day look back on 2009 and marvel at what great value it was?" he asks.
Prize for the most ambitious price rises this year goes to the Haut-Brion stable whose opening price of €540 for La Mission Haut-Brion is nearly three times more than the 2005 opening price, while, as usual, the LVMH effect has inflated the price of Cheval Blanc to a "truly luxurious level".
Very pure, fresh fish flavours like sashmi are best suited to Italian whites, and grape varieties such as Verdecchio, he maintains, while smoked fish is better suited to lightly oaked whites such as a Rhone wines blended with grapes such as Marsanne and Roussanne. "A dose of oak goes a long way to stand up to the pungency of flavour," says Smith, pointing out that smoked haddock goes perfectly with a rich oaky Chardonnay from South Africa.
As for meaty fish such as monkfish, tuna or swordfish, you could try lighter reds such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, or even Sicilian Nero d'Avola. "I've even been served red mullet matched with Blaufrankisch, which was a surprisingly successful match" he says.
While MacQuitty concedes that deciphering wine labels can be challenging, "such stories reinforce that traditional, elitist view that drinkers cannot tell the difference between good, bad and appalling wines," she says "I maintain that our wine drinkers can tell the difference and are happy to pay extra for better bottles when they want to splash out."
Her best buys this week include the 2008 Red Burgundy Pinot Noir Reserve, (down to £5.12, Asda), which she says is a "bargain basement red burgundy that oozes light, lively summer damson, plum and spice," and the 2008 See Saw Semillion-Sauvignon Blanc, (£7.99, Waitrose), a "mouthwatering, bold, grassy blend."