Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wines in the Press, September 8-10

Published:  10 September, 2012

The Guardian

The space devoted to wine and other drink writing in the national press may be dwindling, but nobody seems to have told the bloggers, muses Fiona Beckett.

She says new wine blogs are popping up weekly, they get book deals and in the rare case of Gary Vaynerchuk, they even become celebrities. "Doesn't sound like a lack of interest to me", she adds. Three home-grown talents to look out for are Matt Walls Wine (, which has spawned a book, Drink Me!; ex-supermarket buyer Helen McGinn's Knackered Mothers' Wine Club and Juel Mahoney's; Wine Woman & Song, says Beckett. Bloggers are also now being courted by producers, who think they'll get a better deal from them in terms of column inches and Oddbins has even launched a Bloggers' Case , with the six bloggers who came up with the idea getting a small cut of sales. Beckett says people often ask her how to become a wine writer - the answer is simple; blog, she says.

The Observer

When there are so many thousands of wines available in the world, it can sometimes seem a bit of a wasted opportunity to drink the same wine more than once or twice, says David Williams. He recommends Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde, Portugal 2011 (£7.49, or £4.99, if you buy two bottles, Majestic) as "always brilliant - in both senses of the word". He says as a light white, it displays scintillating freshness and verve, and is one of the few wines he returns to. Another of Williams' long-term favourites is; Tesco Finest Tingleup Riesling, Great Southern, Western Australia 2011 (£8, reduced from £9.99 until 2 October). His third recommendation is Italia Collezione Gavi Supmante Brut, Italy NV (£8.49, reduced from £10.99, Waitrose), with its "lemon zest zip and its spiced apple-and-pear flavours".

The Telegraph

Anyone who professes a love for full-bodied, rich, white wines must get pretty bored with Chardonnay, says Susy Atkins. But what else is there? The answer is Viognier.
In fact there are a few who prefer Viognier to Chardonnay, because it doesn't tend to be as heavily oaked, she adds. On the downside; it has naturally low acid, and poor examples can taste bland, flabby and lacking in definition. Not so the finest Viogniers of France such as the top wines of the Condrieu region and Château-Grillet in the Rhône. Rare and very expensive gems can be bought from the likes of specialist merchants Yapp Bros ( More affordable Viognier from the Languedoc has embraced the grape's sunny, fruit-driven style. Atkins recommends Laurent Miquel Vendanges Nocturnes 2011, Sud de France (Waitrose, £8.06) which is "hugely juicy, exuberantly scented white with plump apricot fruit and a full texture."

The Financial Times

For Nahe producer Schönleber the most thrilling phenomenon of the past decade has been the slow realisation that his wines have come to be recognised as some of the finest in his home region, says Jancis Robinson MW. As a wine region the Nahe has never had the international fame of the Mosel, nor the long history of the Rheingau, and was recognised as an individual wine region only in 1930. There doesn't seem to be a single magic geographical ingredient in the Schönlebers' success, she says. The only really dramatic was its acquisition in the early 1990s of some choice portions of Monzingen's two most famous vineyards; Halenberg and Frülingsplätzchen. Both have benefitted from the effects of global warming to fully ripen Germany's Riesling vines. Robinson tasted 24 of its dry Rieslings and says they were "excellent on any level".

The Mail on Sunday

Anyone can taste wine, says Olly Smith. The most important rule is: if you enjoy it, drink it, he adds. Whites that are very pale are generally crisp (such as Laithwaites Campanula Pinot Grigio 2011, Hungary (£6.99), whereas whites with lots of dark gold are going to be richer, for example the "excellent" Australian Xanadu Chardonnay 2011 (M&S, £16.99). One of the key things wine experts look for is length; higher quality wines tend to last longer on the palate. He recommends the "superbly complex" M Chapoutier Gigondas 2007 (Tesco, £16.79.) Bringing all of the senses together is where the pleasure really kicks in, he says.