Bringing you stories from the world of wine and beer.
Fiona Beckett says she occasionally gets asked what is her favourite red?
It’s an impossible question that usually results in the lame answer of an unaffordable red Burgundy. But if pressed, she comes up with a Mourvèdre which she says is a grape you don’t hear much about, but its one that adds an air of mystery to a wine. Beckett recommends Domaine Sainte Rose ‘Les Dernières Cépages’ 2010 Côtes du Thongue (£7.99, or £6.99 if you buy two or more bottles, Majestic), which is an unusual blend of late-ripening Petit Verdot and Mourvèdre. Or her idea of a real treat would be a stash of half-bottles of the “sensuously earthy” Domaine Tempier Bandol Classique 2008 (£14.95, Lea & Sandeman). “Once hooked on Mourvèdre, I’m afraid there’s no going back”, she adds.
The Daily Telegraph
Every so often an unfamiliar grape sneaks onto the supermarket shelves, says Victoria Moore. At the moment that grape is the Italian grape Falanghina, and it is well worth paying it some attention.
Forget Pinot Grigio, it’s so last decade. It may account for four out of every 10 bottles of Italian wine sold in this country but once you have tasted some of the lower-priced Falanghinas, you’ll wonder why you bothered with anything as insipid as a £6 bottle of Pinot Grigio, she adds. It has taken a while for it to make an appearance in the supermarket, but now you can find it on the shelves at Asda, M & S, Co-op and Waitrose.
Moore recommends La Guardiense Falanghina Beneventano 2010 Italy (M&S, £5.49) as one of the best cheap whites she’s tasted this year.
Terry Kirby recommends his wines of the week starting with Sunday lunch and the Ridgeview Grosvenor Blanc de Blanc 2007 (£23.95, Berry Bros & Rudd). He says as it’s English Wine Week, we have to start with this “stunning celebration wine”, made in traditional méthode Champenoise style using Chardonnay grapes grown on the Sussex Downs For a midweek meal he chooses Champteloup Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2009 (£5.99, Waitrose) as a perfect match for almost any type of white fish – so long as the sauce is not too spicy. While in his bargain basement he opts for Villa Pani Chianti Riserva 2007 (£4.99 until 31 May; normally £9.99), Co-operative stores.
The Financial Times
Earlier this month, early adopter of biodynamics , producer Michel Chapoutier gave Janicis Robinson MW and the wine trade and press the first sniff of his latest collection of individual vineyard bottlings, the Sélections Parcellaires. British merchants are just starting to offer them, at between £130 and £1,000 per six-bottle case in bond. She says he began by declaring, “What can I say? Winemakers are always liars. We said 2009 was amazing but 2010 is so good, we’re just trying not to say it in the same way.” The 2010 vintage in the Rhône was, he said, “really surprising. We all knew 2009 would be a vintage to produce powerful, sunny wines – like 2000, 1990 and 1995. But 2010 was cooler, with rain at good times. It has less power than 2009, more room for terroir expression.” When Chapoutier racked the young wine, Robinson said he was increasingly surprised. “These are very mineral wines. You have to make an effort to discover them, but behind this there is complexity and they carry perfectly the terroir. If 2009 expressed the grape, 2010 expresses the soil.”
Olly Smith says he felt like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory at the LIWF among the 20,000 wines on show. As ever, he says, the question on everyone’s lips is, what’s the next big thing in wine?
Smith says he found a lot of boutique wine from Greece, to get excited about. Dawn Davies, the sommelier at Selfridges, says what’s hot for her right now is Koshu from Japan. Noel Scanlan, chief executive officer, of Southbank Estate in New Zealand, is adamant that the grape to watch is ‘Sauvignon Blanc 2011 because it’s an interesting style, due to La Nina weather patterns. Smith adds, the range of opinions is as broad as the range of wines at the fair, “but there’s one thing everyone agrees on at the end of a long day’s tasting and that is, “nothing beats a crisp, cold beer!”
Courtesy of Harpers Wine and Spirit Trades Review