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week beginning 29/10/2007

Bery Bros & Rudd

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the Times - Jane MacQuitty

2006 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling, Dr Wagner, Waitrose, £6.49

lively, racy palate makes a perfect off-dry winter aperitif.

2006 Feiler-Artinger Beerenauslese, Austria, Waitrose, £9.99 half

elegant, grapey Austrian; delivers unusual spicy, aromatic oomph

2006 Les Vignes de Nicole Chardonnay-Viognier, Majestic 2 @ £5.99

hoover up its delicate, peachy fruit

2006 Cabernet de Cabernet, Paul Mas, Majestic 2 @ £4.99

Terrific new combo; tailor-made for roasted red meats

2006 Morellino di Scansano, Serpaia, Adnams, £7.99.

a welcome change from chianti; lively, cherry-charged fruit

2002 Chassagne-Montrachet, Henri Germain, Adnams, £17.50

chunky red displays some delicious rich, ripe, beetrooty fruit

the Sunday Times - Joanna Simon

Barnaut Grande Réserve Brut, £17.95 Lea & Sandeman

Luscious, full-bodied, pinot-noir Champagne from the grand cru of Bouzy

Bonnaire Blanc de Blancs, £21.95 Berry Bros.

Biscuity, creamy, floral; from the grand cru of Cramant

Alain Bergère Réserve Brut, £17.99 Adnams

Spicy, round fruit with crisp acidity; pinot-meunier-based

the Independent - Terry Kirkby

Masi Tupungato Passo Doble '06 £7.99 Oddb, Tesco

powerful mouthful of rich black fruits, liquorice and a long finish.

Domaine de la Janasse Terre de Bussière '06 £7.49 Majestic

herby, spicy wine. Available from next month.

Elliot Estate Bushy Road Malbec '06 £9.99 Laithwaites

aromas of leather give way to flavours of vanilla and baked fruits

Chateau de Pennautier Cabardes '05 £5.99 Wine Discoveries

brilliant mix of cedary cabernet sauvignon grapes with spicy syrah

Palacio del Déan Reserva Navarra '01 £7.99 Averys

aromas of violets and pears are followed by velvety berries

Cerro de la Mesa Rioja Crianza '04 £8.99 Waitrose

benchmark crianza, with melting autumnal fruit flavours

Massaya Silver Selection '04 £9.95 Tanners

terrific subtlety, deceptive in its depth of flavour

Ravenswood Old Vines Lodi Zinfandel '04 £8.49 Somerfield

full bodied, meaty, with just enough succulent fruity smoothness

Domaine des Garennes Minervois '04 £8.99 M&S

big, intense and well structured; rich black fruits

Garnacha Baltasar Gracian '04 £7.50 Adnams

intense cherry fruits and a lengthy finish

the Observer - Tim Atkin

2005 Domaine Huet Le Mont Sec Vouvray (£14.99, Waitrose)

teeny bit of sweetness here, but it is balanced by acidity

2006 Stamford Brook Viognier (£5.99, Sainsbury's)

intensely aromatic; creamy yet well-proportioned; enough zip

2006 Tesco Finest Ribera del Duero (£6.99)

subtle oak, sweet tannins; guts and concentration to develop in bottle

2004 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre (£12.99, selected Majestic)

stylish, complex and judiciously oaked; remarkable intensity

the Telegraph - Jonathan Ray

2003 Inniskillin Oak-Aged Vidal Icewine (£47.50 Fine & Rare, some Waitrose)

great finesse and mango and pineapple flavours, this is a rare treat

Pol Roger Rich Demi-Sec NV (£26.99; Booths, Hedley, F&M, Taurus)

outrageously decadent and delicious

2003 Royal Tokaji Blue Label Aszú (£19.99 Bibendum, Montrachet, Lea & S)

full of marmalade sweetness, nuts, apricots and caramel

2005 Darting Dürkheimer Spielberg Scheurebe BA (£13 Marks & Spencer)

full of ripe, honeyed citrus fruit

2002 Château Doisy-Védrines, (£13.50 Berry Bros & Rudd)

luscious, almost spicy barley sugar sweetness to it and fine balance

2005 Andrew Quady 'Elysium' Black Muscat (£7.99 Averys)

lightly fortified and darkly seductive; serve well chilled

2005 Rive Haute Reserve Pacherenc (£8.99 Playford Ros, Coe, Wheeler)

hints of lemon and apricot. Great with fruit tart

Sainsbury's 'Taste the Difference' Pedro Ximénez (£6.99)

Nutty, raisiny and full of Demerara, fig and liquorice flavours

Torres Moscatel Oro NV (£6.99-£8.99 Mallards, Roberts & Speight)

packed with flavours of honey, raisins, orange blossom and cloves

2005 Domaine Bellegarde 'Cuvée Thibault' Jurançon (£15.95; Yapp Bros)

peachily, lemony sweet with a long honeyed finish

the Guardian - Victoria Moore

Looking at a clatter of representative bottles from the top (that's top as in top-selling, not as in most delicious) 10 French brands is reminiscent of walking into the kitchen with a fuggy head and seeing all the wine your friends brought to the party the night before that were then disgracefully slid to one side, unopened, in favour of something nicer. You'll recognise some of the names immediately - French Connection, JP Chenet, Piat d'Or ... I used to believe no one actually drank Piat d'Or. I thought it owed its existence to an elaborate social experiment in which a few thousand bottles were released into the country years ago, and the journey of each was charted as it was received with faux gratitude by one host before being palmed off on another at the earliest opportunity. How many times would each be recycled? How long would it take for every household to be visited by one? And so on. You get the picture. But this is not the case: according to recent ACNielsen figures, Piat d'Or sells 7.8m bottles a year. Someone must be swallowing. I just wish they wouldn't. I tasted the top-selling French brands recently and it was, with some exceptions, a desultory experience.


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