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week beginning 15/12/2008

Carmen

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the Times - Jane MacQuitty

2007 The Wallops Marlborough Chardonnay, Allan Scott, Hedley Wright £13.50

bold, rich, toasty, oaky white’s elegant hazelnut palate

2008 Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, N Young, £13.79, Wimbledon, £15.99

floral, white peach-stashed, yet herb and gooseberry-laden

2007 Château Doisy-Daëne, Sec, Bordeaux, The Wine Society £14.50

powerful, citrussy, oaky white; superb Christmas Day apéritif.

2004 Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons, Billaud-Simon, Whitebridge £14.99, Montrachet £17.99

ripe, elegant, leafy, minerally flavour and finesse you would expect

2007 Domaine Georges Vernay, Viognier, Le Pied de Samson, Yapp £16.95

seductive scent and flavour, heavy with spicy, peach and hawthorn

2006 Gigondas, Cuvée Tradition, Dom des Espiers, Hicks & Don £12.75, Stone, Vine £14.50

delicious, spicy, red-fruit flavours that will win it many festive fans.

2006 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico, Agricola Cos, Caves Pyrène, £13.70, Philglas, £17.25

gorgeous, unadorned, faintly chocolate and morello cherry-spiked fruit

2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée des Antiques, Caves du Fournalet, Majestic, £13.99

a lot of ripe, inky, briary, herby bang for your buck with this one

2006 Maverick Greenock Rise, GSM, Australia, Lea & Sandeman, £15.75

intense, complex, briary fruit; as bold and burly as they come

2005 Moulin d’Angludet, Margaux, Bordeaux, Waitrose, £15.99 until January 6

fine, ripe, leafy, spicy, almost chocolatey claret flavours

the Sunday Times - Joanna Simon

Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny, £15-£17.99 (Tesco, Majes, Sains, Booths)

Classic tawny with an enticing fillip of freshness

Warre’s Otima 10, £10.34-£11.99 for 50cl (Asda, Thres, Tesc, Sains, Wait, Booth)

Stylish, contemporary bottle for an equally polished tawny

Noval 10 Year Old Tawny, £15.99-£18.50 (Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason)

Textbook nutty, dried-fruit and chocolate flavours

the Independent - Anthony Rose

2007 French Syrah Grenache. £4.49, Marks & Spencer

moreishly juicy; dark berry-fruit flavours and damsony freshness

2006 Tabali Encantado Syrah Reserva, Limari. £7.59, Waitrose

Vibrant, dark and spicily aromatic; rich blackberry-fruit qualities

2006 Block 14 Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Craggy Range. £19.95, Jeroboams

milled-pepper scents add complexity to a textured, flavoursome wine

the Observer - Tim Atkin

Graham Beck Non-Vintage Brut, Western Cape (£12.99, Waitrose)

light, refreshing

2008 Diemersdal Eight Rows Sauvignon Blanc (£11.95, Jeroboams)

complex, concentrated, crisply acidic

2007 Ken Forrester The FMC Chenin Blanc (£16.99, Tesco)

rich, exotic, honeyed, nutty, oak-fermented

2006 TMV Syrah, Swartland (£12.99, Waitrose)

smoky, peppery, softly fruity

Fleury Père et Fils Champagne (£34.99, Marks & Spencer)

ripe, flavoursome, all-Pinot Noir from a brilliant biodynamic grower

2007 Sancerre, Domaine Hubert Brochard (£12.99, Marks & Spencer)

crunchy, minerally, refined

2006 Pouilly-Fuissé, Terroir de Vergisson, Olivier Merlin (£21.50, Berry Bros)

toasty, multidimensional as good a white Burgundy as I've had all year

1995 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 (£20 each for two, Majestic)

utterly delicious: scented and gamey with subtle vanilla oak

the Telegraph - Jonathan Ray

Sainsbury's Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois (£3.99 Sainsbury's)

luscious

2006 Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine (£13.15 per 25cl, Laithwaites)

strikingly voluptuous

2006 Groote Post Noble Late Harvest Chardonnay (£13.95 Quaff; Willoughby)

rewardingly gloopy

2001 Hilltop Neszmély Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos (£12.98 per 50cl, Asda)
1990 Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina, Villa di Monte (£14.99 per 37.5cl, Marks & Spencer)

both great examples of two famous sweet wines at friendly prices

Dow's Midnight Port (£6.99-£7.99, Asda, Morrisons, Thresher, Waitrose)

punches well above its weight and is cracking value.

2003 Taylor's Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV) (widely available)

you'll fool many a connoisseur into thinking it's a full-blown vintage

2001 Whytingham's Vintage Port (£27.99, Selfridges)

rich, dark, brooding and spicy.

Warre's Otima 10 Year Old (£10.34-£11.99, Asda, Morr, Sains, Tesco, Wait)

lighter and nuttier; can bear being chilled

the Guardian - Victoria Moore

André Carpentier Brut NV (£11.98, until January 6, Tesco)

lithe, sappy, easy-drinking

Bredon Brut NV (£11.99 until January 6, Waitrose)

excellent, bolder, more biscuity and more of a mouthful

H Blin Brut Tradition NV (£15.99, Oddbins)

80% pinot meunier that's unusually spicy and good with rich food

Waitrose Blanc de Blancs Brut NV (£19.99)

soft yet structured as falling snow or a new blanket on a warm bed

Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Cuis 1er Cru BdB Brut NV (£20.16 Armit)

Such extraordinary precision! Such beautifully picked out hints of brioche!

Ayala Brut NV (£19.99, down from £24.99, Marks & Spencer)

vigorous and in-control swoosh

H Blin Brut 2002 (£19.99, Booths)

like a mouthful of panforte, but not sweet

Taittinger Brut NV (2 @ £21.99, Majestic; Oddbins)
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV (£23.19, Waitrose)
Caves St Pierre Préférence Vacqueyras 2006 (£6.99 Tesco)

On offer, it's just right for injecting warmth into chilly evenings


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