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Wines in the press, April 20 -23

Published:  24 April, 2012

The Guardian

Fiona Beckett says she's not a great one for flag-waving, but St George's Day gives her an excuse to focus on some of the great drinks we make.

Take English sparkling wine, for example - it is now giving Champagne, a good run for its money. South Ridge Blanc de Noirs 2009 (£19.99, Laithwaites) has all the weight of a vintage Champagne, but has actually been made in an off-dry style and is perfectly designed to drink with a slice of celebratory cake, she says. She thinks Perry, also deserves a place on the table and Beckett recommends Oliver's Classic Perry (£2.75, Bristol Cider Shop). She also suggests celebrating with a "well-made" G&T such as Portobello Road No 171 Gin (£24.95 Gerry's, of Old Compton Street). It's a classic London gin, with a big hit of juniper and a rich, soft, citrussy flavour, she says.

The Observer

For years the drinks most associated with hip-hop were distinctly aspirational and expensive symbols of the high life, says David Williams. Busta Rhymes rapped about Courvoisier and Jay-Z about Louis Roederer Cristal. But in the past couple of years, a more down to earth drink has cropped up in songs by Kanye West, Drake and Lil' Kim; Moscato. It's a slightly sweet, fizzy, low alcohol and inexpensive white wine with origins in Piedmont, Italy, and has become the hip-hop community's new favourite drink, he adds. At its best, Moscato is pure, aromatic and unforced, and light at around 5.5% abv, qualities that make it perfect for a summer's afternoon. Plus the low alcohol is natural, so the wines taste good rather than artificial. The best Moscatos tend to be the Italian originals, sold under the protected name of Moscato d'Asti, he says. Williams's favourites include: Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti (£6.75, The Wine Society), Suri Sandrinet, Cerutti, Cassinasco Moscato d'Asti (£11.95, Berry Bros & Rudd) and Dezzani Morelli Moscato d'Asti (£10.99, Oxford Wine Company).

The Sunday Telegraph

White wines are described as 'perfumed' or 'scented' more than reds. Yet if you lunge straight for the sip with a red, you lose a good deal of its appeal, says Susy Atkins.
Reds often have more interesting aromatics than whites; there's more pummelling of the fruit skins in red winemaking, and it's likely there's been oak-ageing, too giving intricate fragrances. Spices, roasted nuts and ripe cassis are typical aromas from a glass of Syrah. Cabernet Sauvignon has distinct blackcurrant, mint, chocolate aromas and Carmenère; mocha, soy and cinnamon. Cask-ageing adds vanilla or cedarwood and cigar-box and maturity in reds introduces earthy, savoury, leathery notes to the scent. She suggests Castillo La Paz Tempranillo Syrah 2010, La Mancha, Spain (Waitrose, £7.49, down to £5.46 until May 8) and Rigal The Original Malbec 2010, Pays d'Oc, France (Asda, £7.47, down to £5 until May 5) for all the nuances that make up what used to be called, quaintly, the 'bouquet'.

The Daily Telegraph

Victoria Moore asked herself how low would prices have to drop before she'd consider buying any 2011s en primeur? As release prices begin to seep out, back-vintages are looking quite tempting, and the 2001 and 2004 Bordeaux are drinking beautifully right now, and are relatively well-priced, she says. Two years ago the supermarket Tesco sent their buyer James Griswood into the "en primeur fray" - he spent over 4million euros. These 2009s will soon go on sale, mostly online, adds Moore. "We wanted to make fine wine more accessible," says Griswood, "so we'll be selling it in six-packs." It will certainly bring Bordeaux to the attention of more people, but Moore says she prefers to buy from traditional merchants. Tesco is competitive with the current market which means they'll make a small fortune selling Pichon Baron '09, whose price has risen very sharply and its Chateau Margaux's Pavillon Rouge '09, at £99.99 a bottle would have cost about the same en primeur, so looks quite a buy, she adds.