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Top 10 wines in the UK press

David Williams’s Valentine recommendation comes with a not-so-subtle label warning, while Matthew Jukes says of his pick “in this arena there are very few wines on the planet as perky and enchanting as this star”.

Valentine’s Day wines are very much the focus of the wine writers in the UK press this week, and while there are a number of pink sparklers recommended there are also other styles to choose from.

Jukes’s “enchanting star” is an Australian rosé sparkler, but he also recommends an English sparkling blanc de blancs, which he describes as a “thoughtful and rewarding way to woo your lover”.

In The Times Jane MacQuitty writes that she has enjoyed several Burgundy tastings over the last month, she wrote: “There were particularly notable successes at the cheaper end of the Burgundy spectrum, with Bourgogne blanc and Bourgogne rouge showing surprisingly well.

She added: “Other best buys include such unsung spots as St Aubin and Pernand-Vergelesses in the Côte de Beaune and Marsannay in the Côte de Nuits, plus, at the upper end, Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits-Saint-Georges in the Côte de Nuits.”

Find out which wines these and other writers have recommended in the last week, and why David Williams has a warning about that label.

The Exquisite Collection Touraine Sauvignon 2011

In the Daily Telegraph Victoria Moore stays away from pink fizz, recommending this Sauvignon instead, about which she writes: “If what you like is a refreshing, faintly lemon-tasting, slightly grassy white with a trace of sherbet pips, this should fit the bill. I’d drink it any day over a ‘half price’ £5 bottle of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. Honest, clean stuff.”

Domaine des Forges Coteaux du Layon 2010

Moore also picks out this wine, writing: “Delectably sweet, made from Chenin Blanc grapes – and boy, can you taste it. Dry Chenin reminds me of apples – this is like nothing so much as slices of eating apple sprinkled with sugar, drizzled with honey and gently cooked in butter until they caramelise. Try it with cheese.”

Tesco Finest Vina Mara Rioja Reserva 2007

In the Mail on Sunday Olly Smith is not shy of admitting that he is a big fan of this wine, as he wrote: “I could bathe in this wine, such is its gentle warming glory. Excellent earthy richness, boldly warming with intensity, spice and joy.”

Sainsbury’s NV Rosé Champagne

Smith does pick out some pink sparkles, which he says can work beyond just Valentine’s Day. He wrote: “Pale and delicate with a zesty character that cleanses the palate and invigorates the senses for food, a feast – or a banquet of romance. Your call.”

Mas Coutelou Classe 2011, Languedoc-Roussillon,

So what was it about the wine that David Williams recommended in The Observer? Well, he warns: “If you’re thinking of buying this for Valentine’s Day, beware – your loved one may think you’re dropping a none-too-subtle hint when they see the diamond on the pink label. I’m guessing it’s tongue-in-cheek, like the name and the strapline (“A touch of class in a glass”). But this is an uncut diamond of a red wine.” He added: “It’s bright, effortless, fluent and full of life.”

2011 Brown Brothers, Moscato Rosa, Victoria

This is Matthew Jukes’s recommendation in the Daily Mail, a wine which he highlights is a bit of a multi-tasker. He wrote: “It is meant to be drunk ice cold as a cheeky aperitif, but I prefer it as a light pudding wine to be twinned with chocolate dishes. In this arena there are very few wines on the planet as perky and enchanting as this star.”

2009 Marksman, English Sparkling Blanc de Blancs

Jukes also recommended this wine, writing: “I am such a fan of this sparkler and it really does knock similarly priced Champagnes into a cocked hat. With gorgeous purity and a lifted aroma this is a thoughtful and rewarding way to woo your lover with a stunning aperitif wine.”

Oeil de Perdrix Rosé Brut Champagne, Veuve Devaux

Jane MacQuitty, writing in The Times, picked out this low-budget pink fizz, about which she wrote: “This bargain, rather good partridge-eye pink, comes from the outlying Côte des Bar yet still manages to pack an elegant, ripe, lemon-zest punch.”

2011 Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Spätlese, Rheingau, Weingut Spreitzer

Each week MacQuitty also recommends a wine as a “keeper” and this week she picked one from Germany. She wrote: “Lightly chill this 8% alcohol Rhine Riesling from this estate, widely regarded as one of the best in Oestrich. Full of lime-honey, white flowers and mint-spiked flavours: delicious now or tuck away for five years.”

Santa Digna Estelado Rosé 2011

For Terry Kirby in The Independent this week’s wine recommendations are all about Valentine’s Day and pink fizz. He picks out this as one to enjoy with your Valentine’s meal, which he says is a “sensationally good Chilean Fairtrade sparkler made from Pais grapes grown on pre-phylloxera vines in the Curico valley”. He adds: “Very dry, fine bubbles and a real liveliness on the palate – perfect with crustacea, such as a grilled lobster or big prawns.


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