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week beginning 07/05/2007

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the Times - Jane MacQuitty

2006 Finest Denman Vineyard Semillon, Australia, Tesco £3.99 on offer

fine, ripe, perfumed, lime juice-smacked semillon

2005 Finest Howcroft Merlot, Australia, Tesco, £3.99 on offer

fat, ripe, spicy, plummy merlot from South Australia

2006 Garmendia Verdejo y Viura, Spain, Vintage Roots £5.99

lively, floral, lemony white; verdant, summery fruit

2005 Garmendia Tempranillo, Spain, Vintage Roots £5.99

fine, ripe, 14 per cent alcohol fruit, with a juicy, plummy, finish.

2005 Puligny-Montrachet, JL Chavy, Majestic, £18.99

splendid ripe, nutty, pineapple-scented fruit

2005 Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir, New Zealand, Majestic, 2 @ £12.99

fat, ripe, spicy, sappy fruit; distinguished

the Sunday Times - Joanna Simon

Piper-Heidsieck Brut, £21.99 (widely available)

Consistently fresh, fruity, lightly nutty nonvintage champagne

St-Germain, £20 (70cl) (Harvey Nichols)

A new, full-strength (40% abv) elderflower liqueur; ideal for cocktails

Pinot Rosa Frizzante del Veneto di Paola, £6.89 (therealwineco.co.uk)

Light, fruity and gently frizzante; an essential summer rosé

the Independent - Anthony Rose

I wasn't part of the media circus in Bordeaux this year, but a pretty good picture of the 2006 vintage was painted by the bordeaux wine merchant Bill Blatch. His detailed annual vintage report transcends commercial interests, pulling no punches in its insights into the growing season and its likely implications for quality. He points out that the hype over vintages like 2005 can overshadow a subsequent vintage, which may turn out better than expected. And it was looking as though 2006 might be such a vintage after a hot, early summer. But cool, damp August weather swelled and weakened the grapes. When it rained in mid-September, "picking decisions had to be made quickly … and the ripening was induced by the rain rather than the sun, and that brought with it a slight pinch to the tannins". Mr Blatch concludes that 2006 red wines vary considerably from region to region, estate to estate and even within each estate. The merlot grape often shows traces of unripe characters and the later-ripening cabernet sauvignon clearly needed time, money and work in the vineyard. Tasting a handful of the new wines in London last month, it was hard not to disagree with the critics.

the Observer - Tim Atkin

2005 Mas Arnaud Syrah/Grenache, Côtes du Rhône (£5.49 oddbins)

juicy, fine-grained, unoaked

2005 Quinta de la Rosa Vale de Clara, Douro (£6.99 Oddbins)

dense, flavoursome, sun-drenched

2006 Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, Awatere Valley (£9.99, Oddbins)

fresh, subtle, beautifully restrained; one of my favourite Kiwi whites

2006 De Grendel Winifred, Durbanville Hills (£8.99, limited Oddbins)

complex, nutty, seductively oaked Semillon, Chardonnay and Viognier

the Telegraph - Jonathan Ray

2005 Marmesa Vineyards Edna Valley Syrah. (£8.99; Bibendum)

intense, concentrated, peppery, ripe fruit

1999 Chateau Musar (£14.95; Wine Society)

This silky, dense, full-bodied blend; exceptional vintage

Fortnum & Mason Théophile Roederer NV Champagne (£21.50)

soft, ripe fruit and fine acidity, it's the perfect apéritif

2006 Le Cassiane Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (£7.99; Somerfield)

juicy bitter cherries on the nose and palate

the Guardian - Victoria Moore

Gazur Ribera del Duero 2005 (£7.50 Adnams)

unoaked, with a dark side underscoring the warm fruit

Chassagne-Montrachet Henri Germain 2002 (£18.99 Adnams)

beautifully transparent, and with a lingering, autumnal smell


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