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Wines in the press, April 9-11

Published:  11 April, 2011

The Guardian

At almost every supermarket tasting, the first wine you'll come across is a line-up of Pinot Grigios, as they tend to be the white wines with the least personality, and almost act as a palate cleanser, says Fiona Beckett.

It's true that sometimes all you want is something light, crisp and quaffable - but Pinot Grigio - or, rather, its alter ego Pinot Gris - is capable of much more than that. The only problem is, you never quite know how sweet it will be, she adds. To make it clear a Pinot Grigio, is made in the dry Italian style. Beckett recommends La Finca Pinot Grigio, Argentina 2010 (£6.49, Marks & Spencer), as a good example. However, if a winemaker uses the name Pinot Gris, it's more likely to be made in the Alsace style, which is fuller and richer, with a slightly musky edge. New World, especially New Zealand, wine makers tend to be fans of this style, says Beckett. She suggests to try the Te Whare Ra Pinot Gris 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand (£16.60, Swig ). It has 7g of residual sugar, which makes it off-dry and recommends it as the perfect pairing for Thai food.

The Sunday Telegraph

Susy Atkins says this year, Marks & Spencer's spring tasting was a must-go, having bagged the supermarket of the year award at the International Wine Challenge competition three years in a row - great things were expected. Atkins recommends the new Falanghina, Fiano and Greco whites and Puglian reds in the Italian section, says Atkins. While she's still not convinced about the store's Cavas, its new Champagne Blanc de Noirs is a real "gem". She says the Californian range has been extended successfully and Atkins likes its Freedom Ridge wines and another newbie, the intensely flavoured, peppery Los Nucos Carmenère-Shiraz from Chile, (£5.49). The most interesting wine of the day for Atkins, was a delicious red from Majorca, Macià Batle Tinto 2010 (£9.99). "This fresh, well-balanced wine with unusual hints of violet, plums and thyme proves that M&S is not so conventional, after all."

The Daily Telegraph

I was thrilled to hear about the latest wine scandal involving counterfeit bottles of Jacob's Creek, says Victoria Moore. The glorious element in the story of the hundreds of bottles of fake Jacob's Creek Chardonnay that have been seized by Trading Standards officers from shops in north London was that people could tell, she adds. The scam came to the attention of owner Pernod Ricard, when customers started phoning to complain. Moore says she has always maintained that people are better tasters than they think and has noticed that most are pretty sharp and instinctive. It's just things just go wrong when they're asked to express an opinion. She thinks that knowing what to expect from their Jacob's Creek and not finding it gave them the confidence to make a fuss.

The Independent

Terry Kirby's recommendations include for Sunday lunch: The Bernard Series Whole Bunch Roussanne 2009 (Sainsbury's £9.99). He says if you've had a surfeit of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, then this South African wine made using a French variety normally found in Rhône blends, is a big, rich mouthful and spot on with anything fishy and garlicky. For weekday supper he suggests Côtes de Saint-Mont, Les Vignes Retrouvées 2008 ( £7.50) is a wine where grape varieties; Arrufiac, Petit Courbu and Gros Manseng combine to produce an unusual, aromatic, complex white, with a mixture of apple and grapefruit flavours. In Kirby's bargain basement he recommends Cuvée de Richard 2010 PGI du Comté Tolosan, France (£4.79, Majestic stores) which is made from a blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc, together with a little Sauvignon, and "is a great buy", and perfect as an aperitif or for spring party glugging.