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Welcome to Majestic

Gloucester

Contact Information
T: 01452 303 949
F: 01452 303 949
E: glo@majestic.co.uk
Opening Hours
Monday 10am - 7pm
Tuesday 10am - 7pm
Wednesday 10am - 7pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Bank Hol 10am - 5pm
Store Address
The Lighthouse
Westgate Retail Park
Gloucester
GL1 2RD
United Kingdom

Store facilities

  • Fine wine available
  • Free local delivery
  • Free chiller bin loan
  • Free Wine Courses
  • Free glass loan
  • Free tasting every day
  • Free parking
Store News(398)

Winter Wine EveningDate published: 25/10/14

Join us on Wednesday the 19th of November for our HUGE Winter tasting!

We'll open wines from all over the world, from old favourites to new kids on the block.

It's all free, it starts at 6.40pm and we'll even treat you tom some delicious cheese and other nibbles!

Don't say we don't do anything for you!

Ask in store or call us on 1452 303949 for your space

Celebrating Spain: Spanish Spotlight WeekDate published: 10/10/14

Celebrating Spain: Spanish Spotlight Week

Today marks the start of our Spanish Spotlight tasting week. In-store we will be showcasing a range of Spanish wines on our tasting counter. While many will be familiar with our great range of Riojas, this week offers an opportunity to try wines from some of Spain's lesser-known regions and grape varieties. Highlights include the MO Monastrell from Alicante, named for the grape variety from which it is made (known in France as Mourvedre), Matsu el Picaro from the hot, high altitude Toro region and Emilio Moro's famous Ribero del Duero blockbusters.

Feel free to pop in and give them a try, the tasting week runs from 10th to the 16th October.


All of our Argentinian wine at 33.3% for this weekend only!Date published: 19/09/14

All of our Argentinian wine at 33.3% for this weekend only!

Great news for Argentina fans! For this weekend, we are extending our fantastic 33% off deal to all Argentinian wines. This deal allows you to mix and match a mixed case of your favourites as well as perhaps try something new, all while saving 33% off the base price. Check online for our full range or come and see us in-store, we'll be happy to talk you through our favourites. If you want to take advantage of this fantastic promotion do hurry; prices stand until the end of Monday 22nd September. Hope to see you soon!


The Last Week of SummerDate published: 26/08/14

Although it may not seem that summer has already ended our summer specials have not. You have just less than one week to snap up our last days of summer prices before the 1st September. 

How about a nice relaxing Jean Vincent Pouilly Fume for only £9.99

An Italian buzz of Barbera D'Alba Sucule for only £7.99

Or a fancy party fizz of Prosecco La Marca Treviso for only £8.66

These and many more lovely wines at 33% off when you buy at least any two bottles from the range.

Be quick or you may just miss them, just like the sun!

A Focus on the Price of a WineDate published: 15/08/14

Do you want to know what goes into deciding the price of your bottle of wine? Well look no further. Here is a quick guide into the factors that affect the price you pay! 

Production Costs

There are many costs that go into the production of a wine from the soil its grown on to the type of grape grown. To keep costs low the land needs to be harvested easily with access to labour. The yield of grapes needs to be high to spread cost and overall there must be a demand for the type of wine you are making. The cost of land can be expensive such as the Champagne region. The equipment used can also cost greatly and is sometimes shared between vineyards and producers. 

Packaging, Distribution and Sale

All the extras are included as well, such as the bottle, closure, the label and the packaging it comes in are all factors. If you want to be individual and change the style in any way such as a different shaped bottle this also increases the cost. Other factors can include labour. storage and transport costs. 

Taxes and Levies

Most countries add an excise tax on to wine along with value-added or sales tax. The amount of tax can depend on the style of wine from still to sparkling, light or liqueur.  

The Market

Overall the price of a wine will depend on the market for that particular kind. The production of wine is limited by laws to stop one producer from being a sole supplier of a type of wine so prices cannot be undercut between producers. 

Wine of the Week - Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2013 MarlboroughDate published: 13/08/14

We have one of our all time most popular wines open to try on our tasting counter today, the beautiful Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. If you haven't had chance to try this wine before, then now is your chance as it's currently reduced to an unbelieveable £6.99 per bottle (when you buy 2 or more as part of your mixed case). Pop in an join us for a taste:

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough

£10.49

Buy 2 bottles save 33.3% = £6.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

The Giesen brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel started the winery in the 1980s and today have 13 vineyards covering the length and breadth of the Wairau Valley. This wine is blended from 32 separate vineyard parcels, vinified in the winery in the town of Blenheim.

Taste

A richly tropical nose, dominated by youthful aromas of lime, lemongrass and green herbs. Fruit on the palate leans more toward gooseberry and citrus, with a zesty acidity.

Enjoy

Drink with a seafood risotto or paella.


Wine of the Week - Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2013 MarlboroughDate published: 13/08/14

We have one of our all time most popular wines open to try on our tasting counter today, the beautiful Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. If you haven't had chance to try this wine before, then now is your chance as it's currently reduced to an unbelieveable £6.99 per bottle (when you buy 2 or more as part of your mixed case). Pop in an join us for a taste:

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough

£10.49

Buy 2 bottles save 33.3% = £6.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

The Giesen brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel started the winery in the 1980s and today have 13 vineyards covering the length and breadth of the Wairau Valley. This wine is blended from 32 separate vineyard parcels, vinified in the winery in the town of Blenheim.

Taste

A richly tropical nose, dominated by youthful aromas of lime, lemongrass and green herbs. Fruit on the palate leans more toward gooseberry and citrus, with a zesty acidity.

Enjoy

Drink with a seafood risotto or paella.


Sweet German ParcelDate published: 12/08/14

Currently in stock we have a parcel of sweet German WIne, Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese 2005, Dr. Hermann. Grown on the banks of the Mosel, this region in Germany devotes most of their vineyards to the Riesling Grape making it the world's number one largest region for the grape. The slaty soil produces a soft and elegant wine with rich acidity and wonderful citrus flavours to add to the sweetness of the wine. Enjoy this terrific wine with lightly spicy dishes such as Chinese or Thai. 

Barbera d'AlbaDate published: 10/08/14

Barbera d'Alba

The eagle-eyed among you may well have noticed a new addition to our 33% off selection this month. Featured for the first time is one of my favourite wines from our Italian range, lo Zoccolaio's superb Sucule Barbera d'Alba. Often taking the form of light, snappy table wines, Barbera from both Alba and neighbouring Asti is renowned for it's versatility and can partner an enormous range of foods. While the clay-based soils of Asti virtually guarantee high levels of acidity, wines from Alba can often be much softer owing to the sandy soils found there. An increasing number of producers are looking to create wines with greater concentration, more structure and body and increased potential for ageing. Our Sucule Barbera d'Alba, although intense and full-bodied is best consumed young, thanks to it's silky smooth tannins and (for a Barbera) comparatively low acidity. This combination makes for a wonderfully accessible yet engaging food partner that develops in the glass to reveal spice and dark fruit aromas. It is an absolute treat with a beef stew and a steal at £7.99 (when you buy any 2 or more 33% offer wines).


A Little Bit About BeaujolaisDate published: 26/07/14

Here's a little bit of background to Beaujolais to help you get into this perfect summer red:

The reds from Beaujolais are light, fruity and refreshing and can even be slightly chilled.

Beaujolais is a sub-region of Burgundy, to the south of Maconnais.

The key ACs within Beaujolais are:

Beaujolais NouveauBeaujolaisBeaujolais Villages10 'Cru' villages, including the likes of Chenas, Fleurie, Morgon, Brouilly among others.

The grape variety is gamay and the wine is usually made by the method of carbonic maceration.  This is where complete bunches of uncrushed grapes are placed in fermentation vats and the enzymes within the grapes begin the fermentation process naturally.  The grapes burst and normal fermentation then takes place.  Essentially this results in colour extraction but not tannin, so the wines are soft and fruity.


New Craft Beers at Majestic Wine GloucesterDate published: 26/07/14

Here is a selection of just some of our more interesting Craft Beers. We currently have some to try in store!

MAJESTIC WEBSITE BIRTHDAY FESTIVITIES - COME AND CELEBRATE WITH USDate published: 22/07/14

Dear Loyal Customers, New Customers and anyone in between,

Its Majestic.co.uk's Birthday and to celebrate we have some unbelievable offers for you, the customer, so you can celebrate with us. We're very generous like that at Majestic and we don't like to keep all the fun for ourselves. 

Our first festive fiscal dream is The Ned Sauvignon Blanc back down to £6.99 from £10.49 - undeniably amazing value for one of our favourites, and one of yours too! Beautifully light and fruity, with gooseberry prominent on the nose and pallet - It its New Zealand Sauvignon after all, but this wine gives so much more, hints of minerality and herbaceousness and complexity and depth to this stunning wine.

Next we have 'Les Galets' Cotes du Rhone down from £8.49 to £5.66. A beautiful blend of Syrah and Grenache makes this wine soft, smooth and velvety. The most prominent characteristics of this wine are red and black berry fruits with a subtle hint of spice for added depth. Made in an early drinking style low in tannin and medium bodied - the perfect accompaniment to any summer BBQ.

Staying with the French our next offer is in the from of Vallée de Pins Rosé - down from £9.99 to £6.66 - now that's what I call value for money. Delicate and light in appearance with red fruit and hints of stone fruit on the pallet. Sit back in your lawn chair, play some light jazz and drink nice and cold and all your troubles will melt away - just like your ice cream in this weather!

Finally we are offering the Jean - Vincent Pouilly-Fumé at £9.99 down from £14.99, another incredibly strong offer on an incredibly good. From the Loire Valley this wine really showcases the quality you can expect from this region - at a rather affordable price too. Gooseberry and Citrus fruits take the spotlight here with minerality coming through on the steely clean finish. A deal not to be missed.

These are offers are all on until the 4th of August some and see us quick while stocks last! And whilst you're here we have plenty open on the tasting counter so come and get stuck in!

Australian Tasting Week! Date published: 10/07/14

Fancy trying something Aussie? We have a range of Australian wines open on our tasting counter from tomorrow for one week! 

We have all your traditional grapes from chardonnay to viognier, shiraz to cabernet sauvignon and a few blends in between so make sure you pop down to try your favourite grape from a different country!

Look forward to seeing you all


Abbie's Top Prosecco for JulyDate published: 08/07/14

Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Extra Dry NV DOCG, Italy

La Marca winery is located in Oderzo, in the Veneto region. Its members own about 8,000 hectares of vineyards on the hills and the plain. Advanced technologies are used in the vineyards and the cellar to aid the continual improvement of wine quality. A pale straw colour with a fine mousse and typical fruit characters of apples and pineapples.

Abbie's Champagne Selection for JulyDate published: 06/07/14

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2009 England

Nyetimber are located in West Sussex, and since their original plantings of classic varieties in 1988, have established themselves as England's premier sparkling wine house, making world class wines to rival (and often beat in blind tastings) the big names of Champagne. A beguilingly Champagne-like nose of citrus fruit, brioche and shortbread. The mousse is finely pearled, soft, yet mouth-filling and persistent. Elegantly shaped and supremely poised.

I have gone for this English Sparkling wine instead of a Champagne. English sparkling wine is really mixing it with the best these days and Nyetimber is doing better than most!

Matt's Top White for JulyDate published: 04/07/14

Muscadet 2013 Jean Sablenay

Muscadet comes from the area around the city of Nantes, where the Loire Valley region nears the Atlantic coast, and has therefore developed a famous association with seafood. This example is made by Lacheteau, a family winery based in nearby Anjou. Clean, crisp and refreshing, this classic Muscadet has a backbone of lemon and lime flavour with a hint of minerality, fresh acidity and a delicately herbaceous edge.

I will be treating myself to a glass or two of this whilst watching the Tour de France this month!


Provence Rose Spotlight WeekDate published: 03/07/14

Its the Provence Rose Spotlight Week starting tomorrow (4th July) to the 10th July!

We've got some great Rose wines to open there is sure to be something for everyone. I personally cannot wait to decide which one will be my favourite for the week! I will keep you posted. 

So why not pop in and try them out on our tasting counter, open all day throughout store hours! 

See you soon! 

Matt's Top Red for JulyDate published: 03/07/14

Rustenberg RM Nicholson 2010 Stellenbosch

This wine was named in honour of one of the estate's former owners, Reg Merriman Nicholson, who lived and worked as winemaker at Rustenberg for 30 years. Small batches of each variety are vinified separately, blended, then aged in oak for 7 months for good integration. Blackcurrant aroma complemented by notes of dried herbs and black pepper. The palate is fleshy and firmly structured, with weighty red fruit flavours and bold tannins.

Right up there with some of the best Bordeaux!

Joey's Top White for JulyDate published: 02/07/14

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2012 Nicolas Potel

Made from a blend of grapes grown on mature vines in a number of different vineyard sites in the Mâcon, Côte Chalonnaise and the Côte d'Or. Fermented and matured in stainless steel, no oak is used in production, maintaining the wine's elegance and minerality. The classically citrus-led nose also offers notes of marzipan and acacia flowers. Initially straightforward and nicely rounded on the palate, with an almondy complexity on the finish. 

Why buy Chablis when you can have this for half the price??

Okay, well it's not quite up to Chablis standards but it would run most very close in a blind tasting...


Joey's Top Red for JulyDate published: 01/07/14

Edna Valley Pinot Noir 2012

Edna Valley is one of the few valleys in California to enjoy an east-west orientation. This allows Pacific mists to drift inland and cover the whole length of the valley, cooling the vineyards, thereby creating a longer ripening season ideal for temperamental Pinot Noir. Aromatically complex, offering subtle notes of rose petal, cola and earth against a backdrop of bright cherry fruit. Fine yet ample tannins provide a mouth-filling texture and plenty of length.

Be quick though because this is a small parcel from America and it is sure to run out fast!!

White wines open to try this weekendDate published: 13/06/14

Open on the tasting counter today is an interesting summery white wine from one of the most beautiful places on earth! Custoza is a blend of five different grape varieties, each contributing something different to this complex yet still fresh and fruity wine. We will be tasting this against the Falanghina 2013 Terredora which is one of my favourite wines. The lees ageing adds richness and complexity, but still retains the essential fresh fruit driven style.

Come and have a try over this weekend to see which one you prefer.

Custoza 2013 Cantina di Custoza

Grape

Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Garganega, Friulano, Riesling Italico

Origin

Cantina di Custoza was started by a group of local winemakers in 1968. Today the Cantina has well over 200 members, who contribute grapes from over 1000 hectares of vineyards, from the south and west of Lake Garda all the way to the outskirts of Verona.

Taste

A light and easy-going white, with a gentle citrus fruit backbone accompanied by soft flavours of melon and subtle tropical fruit. Delicately aromatic, dry and refreshing.

Enjoy

Serve chilled with prawn linguine or a herb salad.

Falanghina 2013 Terredora

Grape

Falanghina

Origin

One of Italy's great unsung white wines. 3 months' lees ageing before bottling imbues the wine with added depth and texture, but no oak is used, so the wine retains a light and fruit-driven character.

Taste

A brilliant all-rounder, with plenty of citrussy fruit and faint notes of apple and quince, with the merest hint of nutty complexity.

Enjoy

The balance of crispness and texture means this accompanies a huge range of foods, from roasted vegetables to fish and poultry.


Italian Spotlight Tasting - 3pm - 3:30pm on Saturday 14th JuneDate published: 12/06/14

Italian Spotlight Tasting - 3pm - 3:30pm on Saturday 14th June

In celebration of Saturdays England World Cup opening game we will be opening a selection of fantastic Italian wines. We will be trying some classic Prosecco, some unusual all lesser known white styles, a comparison of different Chianti and an quick taster of some interetsing reds from a couple of exceptional producers.

If you would like to come along, just let us know by phone or email.

Craft Beers at Majestic Wine GloucesterDate published: 22/05/14

Craft Beers at Majestic Wine Gloucester

As summer is just around the corner we thought that we should give you the lowdown on craft and local microbrewery beers, so you know what to buy for your next BBQ. We have been making a real effort to source local and interesting ales, lagers, stouts and wheat beers and hopefully we've succeeded in providing an interesting range. If you have any suggestions about local beers you would like us to stock then please let us know and we'll do our best to get them in for you.

We will also be posting a range of articles about the brewing process and about the different kinds of beer, so you can tell Mild from Porter and lager from pale ale.


Mud House Sauvignon BlancDate published: 16/05/14

The Mud House Sauvignon Blanc is already beginning to fly out of the door here at Majestic Gloucester. By common consensus it tastes somewhere between Ned Sauvignon and Oyster Bay Sauvignon; a little more citrus than the Ned but with more tropical fruit than the Oyster Bay. This has to be the best deal on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for years! 

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc – The Next Big Thing!Date published: 13/05/14

Established in 1996, The Mud House name reflects the origin of all wine and its links to the earth. The vineyards are nurtured to ensure that the grapes reach optimum ripeness, varietal character and flavour. The winemakers then finely craft the wine to capture the essence of its origin.

There has been a steady rise in the price of wine from New Zealand over the last few years. Majestic has managed to do a fantastic deal will the suppliers which will allow us to promote the wine at £6.66 all summer (or at least until it sells out, and if you are a regular shopper with Majestic you know how quickly the popular wines disappear from our shelves).

Tasting Note: Pale straw yellow, with heady aromas of fresh grapefruit, guava and hints of nettles. Crisp, concentrated and vibrant on the palate, combining citrus and tropical fruit with green vegetal undertones.

Food Match: Chill well and enjoy on its own or with light summery rice or pasta dishes.


Wine of the Week - Panamericana Merlot 2012 Central ValleyDate published: 07/05/14

This weeks Wine of the Week is:

Panamericana Merlot 2012 Central Valley

£8.99

Buy 2 bottles save 25%

£6.74

Grape

Merlot

Origin

This wine is made by Viña El Descanso, a winery based in Sagrada Familia in the Curicó Valley. This Merlot comes from a cool climate area and has been cool fermented, with only a small portion experiencing oak contact, to maintain a fruit-focused style.

Taste

Ample red berry fruit combining fresh acidity with ripeness and warmth. Offers good concentration and depth, a soft and plummy texture, and hints of vanilla and spice.

Enjoy

Best enjoyed with flame grilled lamb kebabs, goose or venison.


Summer Wine EveningDate published: 06/05/14

So here's a picture of our wine selection for tomorrow nights Summer Wine Evening. We have gone for a mix of old favourites and a selection of interesting wines from our new arrivals. Should be a fun night, so if you haven't already booked a place, let us know and we'll add you to the list.

Oyster Bay down to £7.99!Date published: 22/04/14

The Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is now on a third off and is down to the fantastic price of £7.99! So visit us in store or place an order online to take advantage of this great offer.

Wine of the Week - Oyster Bay Sauvignon BlancDate published: 22/04/14

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough

unit price £11.99

Buy 2 selected wines save 33.3% £7.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

Marlborough has been at the heart of a winemaking revolution without modern precedent, and Oyster Bay is one of the region's most dynamic wineries. Cool fermentation in stainless steel vats brings out every last ounce of flavour and concentration in the grapes.

Taste

Showing pronounced aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruits, alongside a subtle herbaceousness. Crisp, elegant and refreshing.

Enjoy

Suitable for all occasions, this is anything from classic apéritif wine, to white meat and seafood partner.


Wine of the Week - Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Ara, MarlboroughDate published: 19/04/14

Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Ara, Marlborough

unit price £11.99

Buy 2 selected wines save 25% £8.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

Ara's head winemaker Jeff Clarke was among the first wave of producers in Marlborough, establishing an early understanding of the local terroir alongside the Marlborough Research Institute. He has twice been named International White Winemaker of the Year.

Taste

This wine's single-estate source is evident in its purity of fruit, with defined gooseberry and grapefruit flavours delivered with vigour and ripeness, and a refined, dry finish.

Enjoy

Enjoy on its own or with fresh haddock or monkfish.


The Sun is out and we are stocking up on beer and cider!Date published: 17/04/14

Seeing as the sun is out and everyone is dusting of their barbecues we have decided to get in a range of beers and ciders that we don't normally stock:

Box Steam Brewery

Butcombe

Hook Norton Brewery

Purity Brewery

Wadworth Beer Kitchen

Wickwar Brewery

Bespoke Brewery

Thatchers Cider

Westons Cider

If there are any others that you might be interested in, send us a message on Twitter (@majesticglo) and we will see if we can get them in for you.

Wine of the Week - Muscadet 2013 Jean SablenayDate published: 17/04/14

Muscadet 2013 Jean Sablenay

unit price £5.99

Grape

Melon de Bourgogne

Origin

Muscadet comes from the area around the city of Nantes, where the Loire Valley region nears the Atlantic coast, and has therefore developed a famous association with seafood. This example is made by Lacheteau, a family winery based in nearby Anjou.

Taste

Clean, crisp and refreshing, this classic Muscadet has a backbone of lemon and lime flavour with a hint of minerality, fresh acidity and a delicately herbaceous edge.

Enjoy

At its best with simple white fish and seafood dishes. Try with smoked haddock.


Tonight's line up for our wine courseDate published: 12/04/14

We are trying something a bit different for our wine course tonight.

Starting off with a Sauvignon Blanc comparison - New vs Old World and Chile vs New Zealand

Then my favourite: Chardonnay and Oak - yay or nay?

Matt will then discuss his favourite Italian reds and we will be opening the Valpolicella Ripasso La Cassetta among others.

For me the most interesting part of the evening is the food and wine matching where we will match our wines with different style of foods including 3 cheeses.

Finally, saving the best till last, some Royal Tokaji

If this sounds like your idea of a fantastic free night out, give me a call on 01452 303 949 and we'll book you in on our next course. 

Wine of the Week: As Caixas Godello 2012 Martin CodaxDate published: 08/04/14

As Caixas Godello 2012 Martín Codax

unit price £9.99

Buy 2 bottes save £4 £7.99

Grape

Godello

Origin

Grown throughout the north-west of Spain, in the past Godello has most often been used as a constituent for blends, but has gained increasing recognition as a quality varietal in its own right. It still accounts for only a small fraction of the production of Rías Baixas.

Taste

A delicate yet multi-faceted nose of lemon, crunchy pear, melon and subtle floral notes marries with a palate of remarkable texture and a lengthy, citrus zest finish.

Enjoy

Drink with grilled sardines or salt cod.


Wine of the Week - Leon PerdigalDate published: 03/04/14

Côtes-du-Rhône 2012 Léon Perdigal

unit price £9.99

Pick 'n' Mix any 2 bottles save 33.3% £6.66

Grape

Grenache, Syrah Carignan Mourvedre

Origin

This is a classic blend sourced from several sites in the southern Rhône. It has been named in honour of Léon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at Ogier's now famous cellars, when they were founded in 1859 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Taste

The nose has intense aromas of red fruits and spice, with subtle pepper and garrigue notes. The spice-tinged red fruits continue on the palate, which is medium-bodied and has a pleasing length.

Enjoy

Enjoy with all spiced Mediterranean lamb dishes or barbecued meats such as pork.


Portillo Malbec is Wine of the Week!Date published: 21/03/14

Portillo Malbec 2013 Bodegas Salentein, Mendoza

Bodegas Salentein has one of the largest cool-climate estates in Argentina, with 2000ha of vines, at up to 1700m above sea level. Their Malbec is grown at around 1050m. This multi-award-winning wine recently won Decanter's 'Best Argentinian Malbec under £10' trophy.

Come in store and try it with us on the tasting counter.

Hook Norton Beers back in stock!!Date published: 21/03/14

We now have in stock all the following beers from Hook Norton:

Old Hooky

Twelve Days

Haymaker

Hooky Bitter

Hooky Gold

#comeandexplore

Beat the BudgetDate published: 20/03/14

With the increase in alcohol duty for wine and beer soon to hit and inevitably drive up prices be sure to stock up on your favourite wines before the end of the month, get in before the budget hits!

Barolo 2010 vintageDate published: 20/03/14

With Lay and Wheeler about to hold their Piedmont tasting it is time to get excited about the release of the 2010 Barolo vintage. When I was talking to a number of producers at a recent tasting they were clear that 2010 would be a show stopping vintage which would produce both massive approachable wines in the modern style to drink young, and graceful and complex wines which would age like the classic Barolos of the past. So watch this space, hopefully it won't be too long before we start seeing this vintage filter into the store, and when this happens be sure to stock up as all the signs at the moment are that it will be a modern classic vintage.

The Ned at £6.99!Date published: 11/03/14

The Ned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, our best selling cult favourite is down to the incredible price of £6.99 until Monday of next week, so if you love it make sure you stock up, and if you haven't tried it yet, firstly where have you been? and secondly drop by the store, give it a try (it's open on the tasting counter) and I can virtually guarantee that you will walk out with a box. Not to be missed.

Fine Wine Focus: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana' 2008Date published: 06/03/14

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made in the hills surrounding the town of Montepulciano (not be to be confused with the grape Montepulciano, which is of no connection). The wine is so named because in the eighteenth and nineteenth century it was a particular favourite both of local noblemen, and those visiting Italy on the grand tour. Vino Nobile is made from Sangiovese, which is the grape that produces the best of Tuscany's traditional wines, used in both Brunello de Montalcino and Chianti. Having been maturing now for six years this wine has a fascinating complexity. Garnet in the glass on the nose it has a raisined and sweet spice character which resembles a top quality old Rioja. These flavour characteristics carry over to the palate where the classic Italian red fruits and acidity combine with savoury and sweet spice elements combine to create a beguiling and enchanting wine that would be perfect with bolognaise.


https://www.majestic.co.uk/Vino-Nobile-di-Montepulciano-La-Ciarliana-zid13676?tracking=|searchterm:ciarliana

Fine Wine Focus: Greywacke Sauvignon 2013Date published: 05/03/14

Everyone knows Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and everyone knows Cloudy Bay, but this gem of a wine, made by Kevin Judd, the chief wine maker at Cloudy Bay for 25 years, has come in under some people's radars. Named after the grey sedimentary rock that characterises the estate's vineyards Greywacke has both a riper fuller flavour and mouthfeel, alongisde a more refined mineral streak than is typical among New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Small parcels of oak fermented grapes are used to add both texture and body. Judd has deliberately avoided creating an aggressive Sauvignon, but instead created a wonderfully round wine which combines the powerful varietal characteristics which New Zealand has made famous with the elegant minerality of Sancerre. As has so often been the case Judd is leading the way when it comes to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and  I would highly recommend you give this wine a try.

https://www.majestic.co.uk/Greywacke-Sauvignon-zid37287?tracking=|searchterm:greywack

Wine of the Week - Mocha Java MerlotDate published: 05/03/14

Bellingham Mocha Java Merlot 2013 Coastal Region

unit price £8.99

Pick 'n' Mix any 2 bottles save 33.3% £5.99

Grape

Merlot

Origin

This wine owes its coffee-house name to the savoury coffee bean aromas that the winemakers have actively sought to bring out of the wine. The grapes are sourced from several parcels, many of which are of low-yielding bush vines, producing intensely flavoured fruit.

Taste

Pronounced aromas of coffee, cocoa and black cherry characterise the intense nose. Smooth and full-textured on the palate, with harmonious oak, and a long finish.

Enjoy

Will partner a range of barbecued meats, grilled lamb chops or meaty pasta sauces.


Fine Wine Focus: Crittenden ChardonnayDate published: 04/03/14

The new Crittenden Chardonnay Chardonnay comes from the Mornington Peninsula, which is an increasingly exciting wine growing region. Located near Melbourne the peninsula has, by Australian standards, a cool maritime climate. It's coastal position means it enjoys plenty of cloud cover, allowing it to grow elegant examples of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This offering by Crittenden certainly displays an elegance with which Australian chardonnay is rarely associated, with melon fruits overlaying a citrus core, with hints of orchard fruits in the flavour profile as well. The delicate use of oak is also a far cry from the stereotypical Aussie chardonnay of old. 10 months in French oak has given the chardonnay fantastic depth and complexity, with a nutty richness from lees aging. This wine really demonstrates the future of Australian chardonnay, as increasingly fantastic examples emerge from cooler climate regions such as the Mornington Peninsula and Tasmania. Make sure you get your hands on this wine to see what all the fuss is about and to experience the future of New World Chardonnay.

Have you tried Ondine Sauvignon?Date published: 04/03/14

Have you tried.....Ondine Sauvignon Blanc?

Our latest price change has shifted some of the best Sauvignon deals away from the trusted stacks of New Zealand boxes and so there really is no better time than the present to cast the net a little wider and fish for a viable variation.

One such alternative that springs immediately to mind is Ondine Sauvignon from South Africa's Western Cape. The cooler growing conditions in Darling give this wine an oft sought after crispness and delicacy and a complexity which belies its bargain price. Tending towards the herbacious rather than the tropical, Ondine Sauvignon still has enough refreshing fruitiness to satisfy the most ardent of Marlborough fans.

I urge you to give it a try, it may just become your new everyday drinking white.


Fine Wine Focus: Natale Verga Barolo 2009Date published: 03/03/14

Barolo is one of the most names wines in Italian wine and is ma from the delicate grape Nebbiolo, named after the nebbia fog which frequently blankets the hillside vineyards on early October mornings, when the Nebbiolo harvest is in full swing. Barolos used to need up to a generation of aging for their tannins to soften and become approachable. With modern winemaking techniques this has changed, and this Barolo from Natale Verga beautifully demonstrates this modern and approachable style. Made from ripe fruit, and aged in casks of French oak smaller than the traditional botte this wine has a gorgeous garnet colour in the glass with masses of blackberry on the palatte along with subtle rose petals and wood smoke. Of that classic barolo tasting note of tar and roses this wine leans very much more towards the latter. This wine is still very young by Barolo standards and so the fruit flavours and the tannins are large, but paired with rich food it really shines, and is a great showcase for modern Barolo.

https://www.majestic.co.uk/Barolo-zid13184

Brief Guide to Pinot NoirDate published: 03/03/14

We thought it was high time to briefly delve into the world of a red grape variety that has become the 'Holy Grail' to winemakers and wine fanatics alike. As Oz Clarke puts it “While a host of talented but mainstream producers are perfectly happy to try and excel at Cabernet and Chardonnay in accepted styles, Pinot Noir attracts a much wilder bunch. A crowd who don't like being told what to do, a crowd who don't like a marketing manager to have more say in a wine than the winemaker. A self-indulgent crew of men and women who love flavour, who love perfume, who love the silky tactile experiences of a wine like Pinot, seductive, sultry, steamy, sinful if possible, but always solely there, solely made, to give pleasure.”

With that in mind you'll find more uncertainty amongst growers and winemakers about what they think they should be doing with it than almost any other grape. How to trellis it? How to prune it? How to crop it? When to pick it? What style of wine to make? This results in a myriad of styles which stems from its homeland in Burgundy and amplifies across the globe. Pinot Noir claims to dislike hot climates yet many of the most exciting wines in Burgundy have come from hot vintages, and world-class Pinot being grown in fields next to Shiraz in the Margaret River.

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest cultivated vines in existence, probably originating from north-east France or south-east Germany. It holds one of the most complex genetic codes with over half a billion DNA 'letters' The Pinot family (Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris (a.k.a Pinot Grigio), Pinot Blanc and Pinot Meunier) are different mutations of the same variety. They are prone to constant mutation which on the one hand can be a great advantage to the grower since it means the grape will adapt to local conditions, on the other hand it means that it makes it harder to retain the desirable characteristics of certain clones.

Pinot Noir has even been determined to be the ancestor the 16 modern grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Aligote, Melon de Bourgogne and Auxxerrois. Pinot Noir was also crossed with Cinsault in 1925 to create Pinotage, which has become South Africa's signature grape variety.

Pinot Noir is used in the production of Champagne and Sparkling wines from around the world. In sparkling wines Pinot Noir is prized for its body and longevity. In Champagne, Pinot Noir never reaches what any other region would describe as full ripeness. This is why it is enjoying great success in England and there are now wide plantings across Sussex, Kent, Cornwall and Devon.

Key Pinot Growing Regions:
France: Burgundy often referred to as Bourgogne (Cote d'Or, Cote Chalonnaise, Cote de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne-Romanee, Nuits-St-Georges, Chassagne-Montrachet); Loire (Sancerre, Mentou-Salon); Alsace.

California: (Carneros, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley)

Australia: ( Yarra Hills, Mornington, Tasmania)

New Zealand: (Martinborough, Marlborough, Central Otago, Hawkes Bay)

Chile: (Casablanca, Leyda valley, Patagonia)


Spirits Spotlight: RumDate published: 02/03/14

Rum must be made from sugar cane, and not sugar beet. It is generally made from molasses but sugar cane juice (the sweet juice that comes directly from crushing freshly harvested sugar cane) can also be used. Spirits distilled from cane juice are noticeably more grassy and pungent; Cachaca from Brazil is a perfect example of this.

The length of the fermentation has a huge impact upon the nature of the rum produced. The longer the ferment the more aromatic compounds are produced and the more weighty and pungent the resulting rum.

Distillation is also important; column still tend to produce lightly coloured light rums whilst pot stills result in darker, more strongly aromatic spirits. In the heat of the Caribbean those rums aged in oak rapidly develop a golden colour and flavours of cinnamon, vanilla, dried tropical fruit and sweet spice.

Rums can be broadly identified in three broad categories:

White rums - white rums are generally fermented in a column still so are highly rectified and are light in intensity, though they usually retain elements of their base material including grassiness, sugar cane and cinnamon. Very few see any oak, and those that do are gnerally just left to rest fr a short period before having any colour filtered out.

Golden Rums - these are becoming increasingly fashionable. They can come in a huge range of different intensities of colour and styles. Their flavours range from light and grassy to deep, pungent and estery, and the best have a marked vanilla and cinnamon note from the oak.

Dark Rums - again these vary a lot but most have a typical taste of burnt treacle from both their aging and the inclusion of caramel to add to their colour. The best have an intense aromatic character from well aged estery pot still rums.

Minuty Rose Back in StockDate published: 02/03/14

The sun is shining and the new vintage of rose's are slowly making their way into store, led by everyone's favourite - M de Minuty!

Château de Minuty is located on the St Tropez Peninsular, with its vineyards virtually overlooking the Mediterranean. This rosé is quintessential of the local style, with the blend employing the little-known Tibouren grape, a variety grown almost exclusively in Provence (alongside the more typical Grenache and Cinsault)

Pale honeysuckle pink, and offering a clean nose of citrus fruit, offset by subtle floral and candied notes. Fresh acidity makes for an incisive and lively palate, with a rounded feel.

The 2013 M de Minuty is currently at £10.99 (reduced from £14.99 when you buy 2+)



FREE delivery on ALL ordersDate published: 02/03/14

Our outstanding delivery service is second to none because everything is managed here in Bath, from the moment you order until the moment our Majestic van arrives at your door. We'll give you a call to arrange delivery at a convenient time for you, including evenings and weekends.

Now this remarkable service is free for ANY order of six bottles or more on mainland UK. There's no longer a delivery charge for orders under £40. That means you can choose any wines you like, including our most budget friendly wines under £6(http://www.majestic.co.uk/wines-under-six) and benefit from this unbeatable service. 

Isn't it time we came to yours?


Spirits Spotlight: BourbonDate published: 01/03/14

Bourbon is quite different again from other whiskies. By law at least 51% of the grains used to make Bourbon must be corn, with the remainder being made up of rye, malted barley and sometimes wheat. Furthermore it must be matured in new, charred oak barrels. Bourbon uses a process of sour mashing, where the acidic residue from the previous distillation is added to the wort. This serves to promote the growth of the individual yeast culture particular to each distillery. Indeed unlike Scottish distilleries Bourbon producers intend for the yeast to have a significant impact upon the final flavour of the whiskey and go to significant lengths to nurture their own "house" yeast.

Unlike Scottish malt distilleries Bourbon producers use a column still, called a beer still, for the first distillation of the wort. A pot still, called a doubler is then used for the second distillation so as to preserve the concentration of flavours which makes Bourbon distinctive. The use of new charred American oak, alongside the warmer temperatures in Kentucky produce an accelerated maturation process. The oak introduces sweet flavours of coconut and vanilla, but compounds in the wood also break down into sugar, producing one of the world's few naturally occurring off-dry spirits. This creates a spirit full bodied and off dry with a warming alcohol and pronounced flavours of vanilla, coconut and spice.


Tennessee whiskey, as made famous by Jack Daniels, is produced in exactly the same way as Bourobon except that the spirit is slowly dripped through maple wood charcoal. This helps to soften the character of the whiskey, and imparts a smkoey sweetness.

Spirits Spotlight: Irish WhiskeyDate published: 28/02/14

Irish whiskey differs from Scotch whisky not only in its spelling. The Midleton distillery in the Republic of Ireland produces most of the brands of Irish whiskey and so it is its style which has come to be most associated with this spirit. Midleton uses triple distillation, which produces a lighter whiskey with less intensity of flavour. It does not use peat in its kilning and so tends to lack the smoky flavours characteristic of many Scotch whiskies. Instead Midleton makes extensive use of unmalted barley. Unmalted barley gives the whiskeys their spicy and fruity flavour and an oily firmness on the palate to balance the softness of the malted barley. This gives Irish whiskey both a flavour profile and a mouth feel which is quite distinct form that of Scotch whisky

Spirits Spotlight: Single Malt Scotch WhiskyDate published: 27/02/14

A malt whisky is produced by partially germinating barley grains, so that they produce enzymes which convert the starch in the grains to sugar, then mashing them in water to produce a sugary solution known as wort. This is then distilled in a pot still, usually twice though a few produces use triple distillation to produce a lighter spirit, and matured in oak for at least three years. To be called a malt whisky the work must be made only from barley, whilst to be considered a single whisky it must be the product of one distillery.

There are three key factors which effect the style and flavour of Malt Whisky:

The first is the use of peat. If peat is used as a fuel source when the barley is kilned to stop the germination process then it gives the final spirit a smoky flavour. The intensity of the peat flavour can range from light to pronounced depending on the amount of peat used. Islay whiskies in particular are noted for their peat characteristics.

The second is the distillation process, and in particular the size and shape of the still used. The size and shape of the still influences what alcohols and flavours are able to make it through the distillation process and influence the final spirit. The stills used can vary markedly from one distillery to the next.

The third factor is the barrels used to age the whisky. Barrels can contribute up to 70% of the final flavour of the spirit so producers place great emphasis upon the type of wood used. New oak is almost never used as it imparts too overtly woody characters to the whisky. Instead American oak is used primarily in the form of barrels previously used to mature Bourbon, and European oak in the form of barrels previously used to mature sherry. Bourbon barrels give flavours of vanilla, coconut and spice, and their impact upon the whisky tends to be lighter, giving a more aromatic nose and more subtle palate than European oak. European oak tends to produce a deep colour and a palate rich with dried fruit flavours. It is common now for whiskies to spend much of their maturation in American oak before being finished in more intensely flavoured barrels.

It is the itneraction between these three factors which makes the huge range of whiskies possible, and is what makes exploring the world of whisky such fun.

CRAZY ARGENTINIAN MALBEC OFFER! ENDS MONDAY 3rd MARCHDate published: 27/02/14

We currently have a massive 33.3% discount available on our range of Argentinian Malbec wines. This amazing offer ends on Monday 3rd March so hurry on down and stock up before we run out!

Have a look at some of our most popular offers:

Callia Bella - Now £5.99 

Portillo - Now £6.66 

Santa Ana - Just One Week Left At  £5.99

Alamos - Just One Week Left At £6.66

Spirits Spotlight: ArmagnacDate published: 26/02/14

Like Cognac Armagnac is produced from a dry wine. The vineyard area is divided into three crus; Bas-Armagnac, Tenareze and Haut-Armagnac. Bas-Armagnac produces what are said to be the most elegant spirits and accounts for 65% of total production.

A key difference between Armagnac and COgnac is that whilst Ugni Blanc dominates COgnac production Armagnac is produced primarily from both Ugni Blanc and the hybrid Baco 22A. Baco produces fuller bodied spiritsthan Ugni Blanc, and that combined with the tendency of the base wines to be higher in alcohol and lower in acid than those in Cognac produces the full bodied style of Armagnac.

Whereas Cognac is distilled in a pot still, a column still is used to produce Armagnac. These column stills are shorter than is typical elsewhere and run at a higher temperature, producing a less rectified spirit which has that classic fire and intensity. Alcohols and flavours produced at the beginning of the distillation process which would be considered impurities in cognac are regarded as part of the character in Armagnac, and are kept in the final spirit, rather than being discarded. Young Armagnac is a fuller bodied spirit than a more mature cognac and possesses earthy and prune aromas. As a result of this body it is generally regarded as necessary to age Armagnac for longer than Cognac.

The following terms have legal definitions:

*** or VS - 1-3 years old

VSOP - 4-9 years old

Napoleon - 6-9 years old

Hors d'Age or XO -  10-19 years old

XO premium - 20 years +

Age indicated – the youngest spirit is the age indicated

Vintage – all spirit from that year and must be at least 10 years old.

Because Armagnac production is much more fragmented than Cognac, and there are many more producers, there are many more single estate vintage releases, which provide an important point of difference from Cognac.

Spirits Spotlight: CognacDate published: 25/02/14

Cognac is one of the most prestigious spirits in the world. The grapes that make up the base wine are grown to the north of Bordeaux, and there are six cognac crus, which in descending order of prestige are; Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Ordinaires (it is important to note that the term Champagne has nothing to do with the Champagne region). Most top producers source there grapes from the Grande Champagne Cru through to Fins Bois, which is the largest  area, though top Fine Champagne Cognacs are produced from just the two prestigious Chapagne crus.

Cognac is produced from a dry wine, primarily derived from the grape Ugni Blanc. This wine is high in acidity and low in alcohol. This low alcohol means that the wine has to become highly concentrated to reach sufficient alcohol levels, and this also concentrates the flavours in the spirit. Cognac copper pot stills are fairly uniform, and this means that differences in quality and style in cognac derive primarily from the grapes used and distillation and maturation processes used. The base wine is distilled twice in pot stills to produce the required alcohol levels and flavour concentration. The spirits are then matured in barrel, which gives them flavour and structure, and are often moved between new and old oak to achieve the desired style. Blending is a key component of Cognac production, as produces blend spirits from across multiple vintages to produce a consistent house style.

Young cognac typically has an amber colour and a pronounced grape and floral aroma balanced by vanilla and oak spice. With age the spirit develops the dried fruit and forest floor flavours of rancio.

The following labeling terms have legal definitions:

*** or VS - The youngest spirit in the blend is at least 2 years old

VSOP - The youngest spirit in the blend is at least 4 years old

XO - The youngest spirit in the blend is at least 6 years old.

Hors d'Age - The youngest spirit in the blend is at least 6 years old.

Napoleon - The youngest spirit in the blend is at least 6 years old.


MadeiraDate published: 24/02/14

Madeira is a highly misunderstood wine but our 10 year old Malmsey is stunning. Malmsey Madeira is made from the grape Malvasia, which is one of the four rare noble Madeira varieties. These noble varieties together make up just 25% of plantings on Madeira, so you can appreciate how rare good Malmsey is! The grapes are partially fermented then fortified with grape spirit to retain sweetness n the wine. The wine then used to be "madeirafied" on the long sail to export markets. In the high temperatures in the ships' hulls the ageing process would be accelerated and caramalise the sugars. Modern producers recreate this effect by maturing the wine in casks in the lofts of their lodges, where temperatures can regularly exceed thirty degrees. This helps to produce a beautifully concentrated and sweet wine, with flavours of rich honey, raisin and caramel. Due to the scarcity of the wine we rarely have it in stock but keep checking the twitter feed to see when we get it back in and make sure you pounce quickly if you want to be able to enjoy this extraordinary wine.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/10-year-old-Malmsey-zid17038?tracking=|searchterm:madeira

What is the difference between Tawny and Ruby Port?Date published: 23/02/14

I recently presented a wine and cheese matching evening, and what struck me was the universal love for ruby port. Yet whilst many of us are familiar with the full fruity flavours of a reserve of late bottled vintage ruby port, tawny ports are far less well known, though equally exquisite. So here I will give you a quick run down of what the difference between the two is and how the tastes differ.

Ruby port is traditionally shipped down the Douro river to the warehouses of the port shippers in Villa Noava de Gaia. The mild damp conditions here are perfect for slow maturation and the preservation of the primary fruit flavours which dominate most reserve and late bottled vintage ruby ports. They are increasingly being aged in stainless steel containers or large oak vessels to further preserve their fruity flavours.

Tawny port, on the other hand, is usually stored at the vineyards in the Douro valley, where it is much warmer. This heat accelerates the ageing process, allowing the port to more rapidly develop it's characteristic oxidative characteristics. Tawny ports are aged in 550 litre oak pipes, which expose more of the port to oxygen. Where Tawny ports have an age indication, as in the case of our Taylor's ten year old tawny port, this shows the average age of the ports blended together . This oxidative aging leads to the development of flavours of walnuts, coffee, chocolate and caramel, accompanied by faded and developed versions of the berry fruit notes of young ruby ports. If you would like to try the extraordinary complexity of a tawny port check out our Taylor's Ten Year Old Tawny Port to see what all the fuss is about.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/Taylor-s-10-year-old-Tawny-Port-zid16133?tracking=|searchterm:

FREE WINE TASTING! Date published: 19/02/14

Our next FREE Wine Tasting is on Saturday 15th March at 5.30pm. 

These wine courses last around 90 minutes and are a great fun introduction to wine tasting. We also do a little bit of food and wine matching.

If you would like to come along, please ether book via the events section of our webpage or contact the store. 

Wine of the Week - Bellingham 'The Bernard Series' Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012 Western CapeDate published: 19/02/14

WINE OF THE WEEK

Today I have opened a wine from one of our all time favourite producers. The Bellingham Old Vine Chenin Blanc is truly an exceptional wine for the money. Don't lump this in with simple  supermarket Chenin Blanc, this is a completely different prospect. Bellingham have managed the ultimate trick in wine making, the balance of rich intensity and subtle minerality with acidity to produce a wine that is both powerfully rich with tropical fruits and soft vanilla, while also showing hints of citrus and fine mineral complexity. This is a fantastic alternative for lovers of rich Burgundy or more powerful Condrieu style Viognier.



Bellingham 'The Bernard Series' Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012 Western Cape

£11.99

Buy 2 bottles save £4

£9.99

Grape

Chenin Blanc

Origin

Winemaker Niël Groenewald's exceptional pocket of old, low-yielding Chenin bush vines produces a wine deserving its own unique identity. The Bernard Series celebrates the legend of Bernard Podlashuk, the founder and the original winemaker, and is matured in French oak.

Taste

Tropical fruit and citrus, limestone and oak aromas give way to a refreshing, powerful and rounded palate. Vanillin spices with honeysuckle, layers of fruit and a lingering finish.

Enjoy

Enjoy over the next two years with pan fried fish, pork chops or scallops.


Fine Wine Friday - Crittenden Estate ChardonnayDate published: 14/02/14

Crittenden Estate Chardonnay 2011 Mornington Peninsula

unit price £22

when you buy 2 selected fine wines £17.00

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

Crittenden's first five acres were planted in 1982, a time when Mornington Peninsula had little association with wine, having only around 10 acres of vines. Garry Crittenden and his family have since developed the estate into one of the region's definitive wineries.

Taste

Plush, generous Chardonnay, full of ripe melon and citrus with a rounded, buttery mouth-feel. 10 months in French oak has given this wine remarkable depth, harmony and nutty lees-derived nuances.

Enjoy

Superb with homemade pasta garnished liberally with herb butter and freshly shaved parmigiano. 


Wine of the Week - Alain Grignon CarignanDate published: 05/02/14

Alain Grignon Carignan Vieilles Vignes 2012


Unit Price £5.99

Grape

Carignan

Origin

An indigenous grape variety of the Languedoc, Carignan produces dark ruby red wines with plenty of body, and are said to be a great expression of the rugged heathland terroir around Carcassonne. This example is from low-yielding vines aged around 40 years.

Taste

Deep and inky red in colour, the wine is crammed with black cherry fruit, lifted by subtle vanilla aromas from a touch of oak ageing. Bold, meaty tannins provide satisfying texture and length.

Enjoy

Drink with traditional and hearty southern French cuisine like cassoulet and duck confit. 


Producer Focus: CVNEDate published: 29/01/14

CVNE

The “Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) is a family winery which was founded in 1879 in Haro, La Rioja, Spain. It belongs to the DOCa Rioja Rioja (wine). Since 1879, CVNE has at all times belonged to the direct descendants of the Real de Asua family. CVNE has always focused in vinegrowing and winemaking in Rioja. Its first exports started in 1880 to Europe and America. 

THE WINES:

• CUNE: The original name for this wine was supposed to have been CVNE, like the company, but an early misspelling decided this wine’s name for good. It was the first wine produced by CVNE in its winery in Haro.

• Imperial: This wine was first made in the 1920s and only made on vintages of exceptional quality. Depending on it, certain vintages undergo cask and bottle ageing to achieve ‘Reserva’ category, while others which are thought to be more suitable for an even longer maturation process are eventually released as ‘Gran Reserva’. All grapes are sourced from CVNE’s own vineyards at Villalba.

• Monopole: First produced in 1915, it is currently the oldest existing fresh white wine in Rioja, and possibly in the whole of Spain.

• Corona: Another rarity that goes back to the dawn of Rioja as a winemaking region, this semi sweet white is the only existing example in Rioja of a partial noble rot wine, in a country where Botrytis cinerea only occurs very seldom. This wine is typically made in minimal amounts, fermented in American oak barrels and obviously made only in those unusual years of high humidity conditions.

• Real de Asúa: A fairly recent addition to the CVNE range, the first vintage of which was 1994. Named after CVNE’s two founders, this wine is made from the same grapes as Imperial but the winemaking and cask ageing processes follow a completely different route, ending up in an entirely different wine.

• Viña RealThe Viña Real wines were first launched in 1920, made from grapes from the Rioja Alavesa area. Since then, these wine have typically been named as ‘Plata’ (Crianza), ‘Oro’ (Reserva), and Gran Reserva. A Viura based Barrel Fermented white is also made.

• Pagos de Viña Real: The first vintage was 2001, at the same time as the start of the building work for Viña Real’s new winery. This wine is made from a selection of Tempranillo grapes hand-picked at Viña Real’s oldest vineyards in Rioja Alavesa. A further selection is carried out later on at the winery followed by winemaking in small wide oak vats and both malolactic fermentation and ageing in oak casks.

• Contino: This wines are made exclusively from the stocks planted on its 62 hectares located in Laserna, near the town of Laguardia in the Rioja Alavesa wine making region.

THE WINERIES:

CVNE: CVNE is the winery where the company began in 1879. And today it still sits on its original site, in the wine district, Barrio de la Estación, in Haro, Rioja Alta. The Haro winery comprises a collection of structures and cellars, most dating from the 19th century, arranged around a central patio. Above the cellars are the winemaking, bottling, and shipping facilities, conserved to this day.

With the time, a serial number of structures have been built, which reflect the vinicole history of the winery. The Eiffel ‘s Cellar, designed by the architecture practice of the legendary Alexandre – Gustave Eiffel; The Real de Asúa cellar, a winery inside another winery.The Real de Asua cellar is an independent winery inside the original historic quarters of Cune. This cellar allows for a fully traditional winemaking process subject to the strictest quality controls. The greater wines of the Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, namely, Real de Asúa and Imperial, are made in this cellar.

Viña Real: The Viña Real winery is located 10 minutes away from Logroño. It was designed by Philippe Mazieres.. His Majesty the King of Spain Juan Carlos I inaugurated the Viña Real winery in 2004, and was the first winery in Spain to be adapted for the physically handicapped and blind.

Viñedos del Contino: Viñedos del Contino was set up jointly by CVNE and the Contino estate owners in 1973, establishing the first properly speaking “château” in Rioja. Contino is a 62 hectare estate along a meander on the northern bank of the river Ebro, near the village of Laserna (Rioja Alavesa). The estate is sheltered from the north and northeast by the Cerro de La Mesa hill, and from the south by the high cliffs of the southern river bank, making this property one of the sites in Rioja where to find some of the oldest vines of Graciano, one of Rioja’s very rare indigenous varieties, and a very distinctive feature of this estate’s wines. The winery itself is in the 14th century estate’s manor overlooking the entire property.

Voluptabilis means voluptuous in LatinDate published: 29/01/14

Wine of the Week

Tournelles Voluptabilis 2010 AOC Buzet

This wine is from Buzet in the South West of France. It's a traditional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot with the addition of Malbec. The Tournelles vinyard has a great location on slopes overlooking the Garonne river. The cuvee is called Vuluptabilis which is the Latin word for voluptuous. A velvety smooth, well-structured, medium-to-full-bodied and approachable red, offering a wealth of blackcurrant and summer berry flavour, surrounded by rounded tannins for a pleasing sense of weight. This wine can be enjoyed on its own or to accompany grilled duck or roast lamb.

£9.99 or £6.66 when you buy 2 or more


Producer Focus: Louis JadotDate published: 28/01/14

Maison Louis Jadot

Maison Louis Jadot (or Louis Jadot) is a winery that was founded by Louis Henry Denis Jadot in 1859. The first vineyard bought by the Jadot family is theBeaune vineyard, Clos des Ursules, in 1826. The family wine company produces and markets Burgundy wine. It operates both its own vineyards and buys grapes from other growers. It controls 270 hectares (670 acres) of vineyards in Burgundy (including Beaujolais Crus), and produces only Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wines. Louis Jadot also owns vineyards in theMâconnais region: Domaine Ferret in Fuissé and in the Beaujolais region in Moulin à Vent: Château des Jacques.

The History of Majestic WineDate published: 27/01/14

Majestic Vintners opened its first Wine Warehouse in Wood Green, North London, in 1980. The manager of this first store was Tony Mason. This store was followed in May 1981 by another in Battersea, and by the end of 1985 there were 13 stores in the Majestic estate.

In January 1986 Tony Mason left Majestic to set up Wizard Wine which was bought in 1987 by frozen food retailer Bejam. When Bejam was purchased by rival Iceland a year later, Chairman John Apthorp, Managing Director Tim How and Trading Director Tony Mason purchased Wizard.

In 1991 Wizard purchased Majestic, and the two operations were merged under the Majestic Wine Warehouses banner in 1992. Since then Majestic has expanded continuously, floating on the Alternative Investment Market in 1996 before opening its hundredth store in 2002.


Majestic Party ServicesDate published: 26/01/14

We can help you plan a party, however big or small, from start to finish. We offer free glass, chiller bin and ice bucket loan, plus cubed ice and sale-or-return arrangements in order to help take the stress out of your party planning. Visit our parties and weddings pages for more details.

Veuve Clicquot and the invention of RiddlingDate published: 26/01/14

In 1772, Philippe Clicquot-Muiron established the original enterprise which, in time, became the house of Veuve Clicquot. In 1775, it was credited to be the first Champagne house to produce Rosé Champagne, and the method of adding red wine during the production of Rosé Champagne.

Philippe's son, François Clicquot, married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin in 1798 and died in 1805, leaving his widow (veuve in French) in control of a company variously involved in banking, wool trading, and Champagne production. She became the first woman to take over a Champagne house. Under Madame Clicquot's guidance, the firm focused entirely on the latter to great success.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Madame Clicquot made strides in establishing her wine in royal courts throughout Europe, notably that of Imperial Russia, thus becoming the first Champagne House to ship Champagne past The Blockade to Russia in 1811. By the time she died in 1866 Veuve Clicquot had become both a substantial Champagne house and a respected brand. Easily recognised by its distinctive bright yellow labels, the wine holds a royal warrant of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Madame Clicquot is credited with a great breakthrough in champagne handling that made mass production of the wine possible. In the early 19th century, with the assistance of her cellar master, Antoine de Müller, Clicquot invented the riddling rack that made the crucial process of dégorgement both more efficient and economic. Clicquot's advance involved systematically collecting the spent yeast and sediments left from the wine's secondary fermentation in the bottle's neck by using a specialised rack.

Composed much like a wooden desk with circular holes, the rack allowed a bottle of wine to be stuck sur point or upside down. Every day a cellar assistant would gently shake and twist (remuage) the bottle to encourage wine solids to settle to the bottom. When this was completed. the cork was carefully removed, the sediments ejected, and a small replacement dose of sweetened wine added.



Rioja Reserva 2008 Marqués de Riscal Offer Ending!Date published: 26/01/14

You can still get Rioja Reserva 2008 Marqués de Riscal at £9.99 when you buy two or more bottles as part of your mixed case, but hurry; this offer ends at the beginning of February! 

In 1858, Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga, the Marqués de Riscal brought groundbreaking winemaking techniques from Bordeaux and transformed the face of Rioja. The Reserva is one of their iconic wines, widely regarded as one of the top examples of traditional Rioja. A classic Rioja Reserva. Full bodied and muscular, yet smoothly polished and embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak, combined with summer fruit flavours. This wine goes well with ham, cheeses, and spicy casseroles. Will age for a further 5+ years.

Bollinger Special Offer EndingDate published: 26/01/14

We are currently offering Bollinger Special Cuvée NV at £30 if you buy a case of six. This offer is set to end at the beginning of February.

Bollinger is made from first-run juice only, and the majority of vineyards used have Premier and Grand Cru status, resulting in a full-bodied Champagne of great class. Delightful pale gold in colour, the mousse is light and persistent.

Bollinger was modernized under the direction of Claude d'Hautefeuille, who acquired additional vineyards and developed the brand internationally. Following Claude, his cousin Christian Bizot took over the Bollinger house. In addition to expanding the world distribution of Bollinger, Bizot developed a Charter of Ethics and Quality in 1992. Since 1994, Ghislain de Mongolfier has managed Bollinger. A great-grandson of the founder, Mongolfier has also served as president of the Association Viticole Champenoise since 2004, after leading the Commission of Champagne for 10 years. The winemaker has also used the popular James Bond film series as a marketing device. In the 1973 film Live and Let Die, James Bond (played by Roger Moore) is heard asking for a bottle of Bollinger after entering his hotel. In the 1985 film A View to a Kill, James Bond recognizes the champagne served at the top of the Eiffel Tower as "Bollinger, 75." In the 1987 film The Living Daylights, James Bond (played by Timothy Dalton) delivers a gift basket to General Koskov who, seeing the champagne, exclaims "Bollinger R.D....The Best!" In the 2002 film Die Another Day, James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) is heard asking for a bottle of Bollinger immediately after being released from a North Korean prison. In the 2006 film Casino Royale, James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) also requests a bottle of Bollinger. There is also a bottle in his car at the end of the car chase at the start of GoldenEye.

Hunter Valley Semillon Date published: 26/01/14

Alex and I have been getting stuck in to Hunter Valley Semillon recently. It is very hard to come by at the moment, especially the complex older vintages. We are currently offering an online exclusive for the Arrowfield Show Reserve which is at a fantastic price. Use this link to place and order: http://www.majestic.co.uk/Arrowfield-Show-Reserve-Semillon-zid19066x08

The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's best known wine regions. Located in the state of New South Wales, the region has played a pivotal role in the history of Australian wine as one of the first wine regions planted in the early 19th century. 

Hunter Valley Semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of the region. First planted in the region in 1830, the grape has been produced and variously labelled as Hunter Valley Riesling, Shepherd's Riesling, Hock, Rhine Gold, White Burgundy and Chablis. In its youth it is exhibits austere lemon, grassy notes but with 10 plus years in the bottle it develop into a rich, minerally wine with biscuit notes.The character of the wine changes so much that it often even fools professional tasters of being an oak aged Chardonnay that has gone through malolactic fermentation, this despite the fact that it likely hasn't seen a touch of oak or lactic acid bacteria. In the Upper Hunter there has been some experimentation with oaked aged Semillon but remained more the exception rather than the norm.

Described by Oz Clarke as one of the "wine world's enigmas", the grapes unique profile is attributed to the harsh climate and humidity of the Hunter which coax this low acid grape to higher acid levels than it achieves in the cooler climate of Bordeaux. Typical harvest figures for Hunter Valley Semillon are between 6.8–7.4 g/l acidity and 2.8-3 pH while in Bordeaux the grape is usually harvested at around 4.8–5.5 g/l and 3.1–3.3 pH.

It is the unique climate that shapes the Hunter Valley's distinctive Semillon. While the textbook profile of Semillon is that of a thin skin, neutral grape that is prone to low acids and fatness in the Hunter it matures over decades into a honeyed wine with toasty biscuit notes and a mineral backbone. Despite almost always being unoaked, a mature Semillon gives the textural impression of spending years in the barrel.


Fine Wine at MajesticDate published: 25/01/14

Majestic are the specialists when it comes to fine wine. Most of our stores have dedicated fine wine shelving where you can find all the big name fine wines from across the world. There is always something new and exciting to discover on our fine wine shelves and our people can help advise you what makes each bottle particularly special.

Welcome to your local Majestic StoreDate published: 24/01/14

If you've never visited a Majestic store you might be surprised. We're not like a traditional off-licence; our stores are large, with bottles displayed on boxes, tasting notes for every wine, and an impressive display of fine wines. You'll find a prominent tasting counter (help yourself!), and of course a member of the Majestic team to greet you and help carry your purchases to your car (parked for free, right outside).

Huge Range: The first thing you'll notice when you walk inside are the boxes - piles and piles of them, neatly arranged, with bottles displayed on top. Displayed by country, look up and you'll see signs showing which section you're in. Each store has over 800 wines for sale, and to cater for large orders and parties we hold much more stock than traditional wine retailers.

Free Tasting Every Day: Upon entering you're likely to be greeted by one of our Majestic people, who'll guide you straight over to the tasting counter located prominently in each store. Not many retailers welcome you with a glass of wine, but our stores are all about making wine buying refreshingly down to earth. There's often a national themed tasting week and a range of other wines chosen by the manager open to taste.

The Cabernisation of Pinot NoirDate published: 24/01/14

How light should Pinot Noir Be? Fashion in all other red wines currently focuses on big, rich flavours - like those of Cabernet Sauvignon. To be certain of selling in the international marketplace, wines must have huge bust soft tannins, massive fruit, colossal intensity. Light reds are for wimps; they don't grab headlines, and they don't grab headlines and they don't win blind tastings. 

A Closer Look at Château CoufranDate published: 24/01/14

Château Coufran

Often described as the 'Pomerol of the Médoc' due to the unusually high percentage of Merlot in the blend, Château Coufran is one of the most esteemed and highly regarded Cru Bourgeois Châteaux. Situated in the town of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne on the Northern border of St. Estéphe, the vineyard was replanted in the 1920's following a series of crises where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines became very difficult to sell.The wine is an archetypal mature Claret; the antithesis of jammy and overtly sweet young wines with very elegant, perfume and restrained aromas of black berries, wood smoke, plum and Cassis. The perfume and structure of the 2004 vintage comes to the fore in the palate, with ripe and soft tannin, earthy and spicy dark berry flavours and lingering finish.


Champagne at MajesticDate published: 23/01/14

Behind every counter at Majestic are our famous Champagne displays. We are known for offering a wide range of great champagnes from great value non-vintage and vintage styles right up to the high end prestige cuvees. If you are looking for a specific style or a Champagne for a special occassion our people can help you find the right wine for you.

Muscadet, Loire Valley, FranceDate published: 22/01/14

Muscadet

The Muscadet region is located at the westernmost edge of the Loire Valley near the city of Nantes. In the 17th century, Dutch wine merchants laid the foundation for the Muscadet style by encouraging the villagers of Nantes to plant the early ripening Melon de Bourgogne grape to use in the production of their brandewijn-distilled wine with brandy added to it. Following the devastation in 1709 of winter frost to many of the vineyards in the Loire-Atlantique, King Louis XIV ordered that the frost resistant Muscadet grape be given preferential treatment in the replanting of the area. Despite the inference of "Muskiness" in its name, Muscadet is a neutral flavor wine and the Melon de Bourgogne grape has no relation to the Muscat family of grapes. The area's four appellation all produces white wine made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. The appellations are-

Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine 

Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu

Muscadet-Coteaux de la Loire

Muscadet- A generic appellation covering the whole of the Loire-Atlantique department.

The wines of the Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine and Muscadet-Côtes de Grand Lieu appellation are often bottled sur lie straight from the tank that they are fermented in without any racking or filtering. This create wines that can be very cloudy and require decanting to remove sediments but also produces wines that can be fuller bodied and show extra dimensions of freshness.

Château du Cléray Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2012 Sauvion

Château du Cléray have 30 hectares of vineyards which stand on the characteristic sandy soils of the commune of Vallet. The estate has been run by the Sauvion family since 1935, and is today run by winemaker Pierre Sauvion, graduate in oenology at Bordeaux University. Steely and focused, this shows its class from the very first aromas of well defined citrus and stone fruit, flowing seamlessly into notes of wet stone. Dry and incisive on the palate, with great length. A must with haddock, crusted sardines and other fresh classic fish dishes.


Fine Wine Focus: Cote RotieDate published: 22/01/14

Guigal has done more than any other producer to popularise Cote Rotie, so it only seems right that we give his fantastic wine from this region some attention. Cote Rotie literally means roasted slope and the vineyards in this area are the northernmost in all of the Rhone, and are primarily planted with the Syrah with which the northern Rhone is so famous for. 

Cote Rotie is subdivided between the Cote Brune in the north, and the Cote-Blonde in the South. The Cote Brune has an iron-rich dark soil whereas the Cote Blonde has a paler soil made up of schist and granite. Generally Cote Blonde wines are considered to be more elegant whilst Cote Brune wines are more tannic and austere, with greater aging potential. Guigal blends selected parcels of wine from both the Cote Brune and Cote Blonde to achieve the perfect balance between these two different terroirs. 

Cote Rotie is unusual for a red wine in that up to 20% of the wine can be made from a white grape, Viognier. In practice blends very rarely contain these levels of Viognier because the grape ripens so much earlier than Syrah, making effective co-fermentation difficult. Guigal does however typically use 8-10% Viognier in his Cote Rotie, and this helps to make it both elegant and lightly perfumed. The perfect balance is struck between the different terroirs and the different grapes in this blend and Guigal's Cote Rotie is a complex yet delicious wine which rightly earned 91 points from Robert Parker.

Majestic: Our PeopleDate published: 22/01/14

The big difference at Majestic is our staff. We only employ people who are friendly, enthusiastic and refreshingly down-to-earth. The world of wine can be a little stuffy, but Majestic never is. We want you to feel relaxed when you explore wine with us, because that's how we like to work.

But that doesn't mean our staff don't know their stuff; everyone you meet at Majestic has been professionally accredited by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). This ensures you get informed answers to your wine questions and some very savvy recommendations from people who enjoy drinking and learning about wine every bit as much as you do.

We're eager to learn because we're all personally passionate about wine. We live and breathe it, and we taste our fair share too. Naturally, we think experimenting with wines is a good idea. We've never fallen in love with a wine so much that we'd stop trying new ones.

We believe that a visit to Majestic should be a very special experience and we always try to go the extra mile. Everyone in the company is happy to roll their sleeves up and work hard to achieve this, and that's how it should be.


Central Otago, New ZealandDate published: 22/01/14

Central Otago

The most southerly wine producing region in the world. The vineyards are also the highest in New Zealand at 200 to 400 metres above sea level on the steep slopes of lakesides and the edges of deep river gorges, often also in glacial soils. Central Otago is a sheltered inland area with a continental microclimate characterised by hot, dry summers, short, cool autumns and crisp, cold winters.

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2012 Central Otago

The most southerly wine producing region in the world, Central Otago is home to some of New Zealand's most perfumed and delicate red wines. Vintner Rudi Bauer produces elegant, bright, vibrant wines of almost Chambolle-Musigny style and elegance. Elegantly perfumed with aromas of red cherry, raspberry, violet, plum and spice. Layers of vibrant fruit and bright acidity wash over a rounded palate of richness and spice, subtle oak and tannin.

Barossa Valley, AustraliaDate published: 22/01/14

Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley is one of Australia's oldest wine regions. Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is about 56 km (35 miles) northeast of the city of Adelaide. Unlike most of Australia whose wine industry was heavily influenced by the British, the wine industry of the Barossa Valley was founded by German settlers fleeing persecution from the Prussian province of Silesia(in what is now Poland). The hot continental climate of the region promoted the production of very ripe grapes that was the linchpin of the early Australian fortified wine industry. As the modern Australian wine industry shifted towards red table wines (particularly those made by the prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon) in the mid-20th century, the Barossa Valley fell out of favor due to its reputation for being largely a Shiraz producers whose grapes were destined for blending. During this period the name "Barossa Valley" rarely appeared on wine labels. In the 1980s, the emergence of several boutique family specializing in old vine Shiraz wines began to capture international attention for the distinctive style of Barossa Shiraz, a full bodied red wine with rich chocolate and spice notes. This led to a renaissance in the Barossa which catapulted the region to the forefront of the Australian wine industry.

Peter Lehmann Shiraz 2011 Barossa Valley

Peter Lehmann, known as the 'Baron of Barossa,' selects this classic Shiraz from some of the best vineyards in the region, some of which remain ungrafted due to an absence of phylloxera. Ageing in French and American oak for 12 months occurs before bottling. Plenty of flesh and spice on the palate, with concentrated blackcurrant and bramble fruit as well as hints of mocha and dark chocolate. Full bodied and rich, a classic Aussie Shiraz. A great partner for beef and richly flavoured, peppery meat dishes, drink this over the next couple of years for maximum pleasure.

Wine of the Week - Errazuriz CarmenèreDate published: 22/01/14

Errazuriz Carmenère 2011 Aconcagua Valley


Unit Price£9.99

Buy 2 ChileanWines, save 20% £7.99

Grape

Carmenère

Origin

Sourced from our vineyards in the Valle de Aconcagua. This region features a Mediterranean climate. From hand picked grapes, fermented in stainless steel and aged in French and American oak barrels.

Taste

On the palate, this medium-bodied wine is structured by big, mouth-filling tannins. Spicy notes linger on the palate, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee, through the long, pleasant finish.

Enjoy

Enjoy with a perfectly grilled rib eye steak. 


Gigondas, Rhone, FranceDate published: 22/01/14

Gigondas

Gigondas is a French wine Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the southern Rhône wine region of France. It is primarily a Red wine region, with a very small amount of rosé wine produced. No white wines carry the Gigondas appellation. Being a little brother ofChâteauneuf-du-Pape, the wine is moderately prestigious and can yield beautiful results when treated with care. Gigondas, along with the rest of Southern Rhône has a Mediterranean climate that differs from its northern neighbour, which has a more continental climate. The main geographical feature in Gigondas is the Dentelles de Montmirail, a small range of mountains that divide the appellation into two distinct areas – one with a cooler climate and one with a hotter. But elevation is also an important factor, as wine is being harvested as high as 600 meters.

Gigondas 2011 La Bastide Saint Vincent

This domaine's Gigondas vineyards are located on south-facing slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail, where the soils are chalky clay and grey quartz. The grapes are fully hand-harvested and vinified without oak, the wine maturing for 12 months in tank before bottling. A big and powerful wine typical of the appellation, with a backbone of dense black fruit, finely balanced with complex and savoury accents suggesting charcuterie and forest floor. Will stand up to rich game dishes and all barbecued meats.

Sonoma County, USADate published: 21/01/14

Sonoma County

Sonoma County's large number (15) of American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) reflect the wide variety of climate and soil conditions in the County, the large production in the County, and the prominence of Sonoma County in the wine market. The difference in climate and soil (terroir), means that cooler climate grapes grow well in certain regions and in others warm climate grapes are more suitable. The large production of the County means that each AVA is significant in its own right.

Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011

Superb Chardonnay made by husband-and-wife team Walt and Joan Flowers, the aptly-named nursery owners turned winemakers, who have been developing their Sonoma Coast vineyards since 1989. 100% barrel fermented, the wine spends a total of 10 months in French oak. Aromas of lemon drop, pear, apricot and a wet stone minerality. This vintage shows crispness and intense fruit on the palate; lush and balanced citrus finish with roundness in mouth feel.

Stellenbosch, South AfricaDate published: 21/01/14

Stellenbosch

The Stellenbosch district is the second oldest wine region in South Africa, after Constantia, and is responsible for around 14% of the country's annual wine production. First planted in 1679, Stellenbosch is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of Cape Town. The region is surrounded by the Helderberg, Simonsberg and Stellenbosch Mountains and receives some climatic influences from nearby False Bay. The bay tempers the climate and keep average temperatures during the summer growing season to around 20 °C (68 °F), just slightly warmer than Bordeaux. Vineyard soil types range from decomposed granite on the hillside near the mountains to sandy alluvial loam in the valleys near the rivers.

The seven wards of Stellenbosch-Banghoek, Bottelary, Devon Valley, Jonkershoek Valley,Papegaaiberg, Polkadraai Hills and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch are well known for their red wine production that demonstrate terroir distinction-particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,Pinotage and Shiraz. Simonsberg was the first wine ward to gain individual distinction. White wine production centres around Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc which are often blended together. The western reaches of Stellenbosch, such as Bottelary and near Elsenburg also include a sizeable portion of Chenin blanc plantings in areas rich in light, sandy soils.

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2010 Stellenbosch

The name commemorates John Xavier Merriman (1841 - 1926), who purchased a farm in 1892 which later became Rustenberg Wines. He was the last Prime Minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Intense blackberry, blackcurrant, undertones of mint, spice and cigar box on the nose. On the palate are plenty of blackcurrant and cassis, fresh mint, subtle oak and soft tannins. This wine suits robust meat dishes, especially beef and lamb.


Toro, SpainDate published: 21/01/14

Toro

Wine has been made in Toro since the end of the 1st century BC, when the ancient Greekstaught the local Celtic tribes. In the Early Middle Ages, the wines from Toro were the first to be traded in the region of the River Duero.

King Alfonso IX granted lands to several religious orders with the understanding that they would plant vines, and many of the 40 churches that exist in the town of Toro today were built thanks to the wealth generated by the wine trade. The reputation of the wines from Toro grew and it began to be sold in other cities further afield such as Seville and Palencia. At this time the wine producers built underground wineries (bodegas) in order to obtain better quality wines and to have more effective temperature control.

At the end of the 19th century great quantities of wine were exported to France during thephylloxera crisis, which did not affect the local vines as they were protected by the sandy soil. For this reason, the vines of other regions of Spain were replaced by vines from Toro. For this reason, Toro still has a number of very old vineyards with pre-phylloxera Tinta de Toro, which in recent years have been used to source grapes for special cuvées.

The Toro DO was created in 1987.

Matsu El Picaro 2012 Toro

Picaro means 'rogue' or 'rascal', and this rapscallion of a wine is a youthful interpretation of the Toro region's style. The grapes come from mature vines of over 50 years of age, but the wine spends only three months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile. Vivid crimson-purple in the glass. Aromas are of ripe blackberries and raspberries, with subtle hints of fresh cocoa. The palate is bold yet supple, with ripe tannins and a mineral grip. Enjoy on its own or with boldly flavoured pasta dishes or spicy meat skewers.

Colchagua Valley, ChileDate published: 21/01/14

The Colchagua Valley

Colchagua Valley is one of the best-known wine regions of Chile. It occupies the southern part of Rapel Valley, running from the Andesin the east to the Coastal Range in the west. Most of the important Colchagua vineyards lie in the foothills of the Coastal Range. The area is best known for its full-bodied Malbecs, Cabernet Sauvignons, Carmeneres and Syrahs. Colchagua has a cool Mediterranean climate, with 592 mm (23.1 in) rainfall, and soils of clay, sand and decomposed granite.

Montes Twins 2012 Colchagua Valley

The Twins in question are this wine's two constituent grape varieties which are more often seen as single-varietals in South America. A 50/50 blend of the two grapes, matured over 10 months, with 60% of the blend spending this period in new French oak. This wine combines the smooth texture and raisin-like notes of Malbec with Cabernet Sauvignon's firm structure, intense bramble fruit and subtle minty nuances. Decant at least 30 minutes before serving. At its best with rare sirloin steak.

Wachau, AustriaDate published: 21/01/14

Wachau

This narrow valley of the Danube around Melk is reminiscent of the great wine areas of the Rhine, with steep terraces that produce world-class Grüner Veltliner andRiesling wines. Climatically and geologically it marks the transition from the Alps to the Hungarian plains, leading to a diverse array of microclimates and terroir, with the river moderating the effects of the cold Alpine winds. The Vinea Wachau Nobilis Districtus still clings to its own classification of Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd, reserved for wines that are made 100% from Wachau grapes.

Grüner Veltliner 2012 Weingärten Weissenkirchen, Wachau

The Wachau region of Austria comprises of a 33 kilometer long gorge overlooking the Danube river. Produced from vines grown around the Weissenkirchen parish including the hamlets of Joching and Wösendorf. Grüner Veltliner is an aromatic variety primarily from Austria. The colour of fresh straw, an alluring nose of gooseberries with a hint of green apple and flowers. Well balanced acidity and citrus fruits leading to a spicy, lively wine of minerality and elegance. Drinkable at any time over the next six years. An excellent accompaniment to Prosciutto, seared scallops, bisques or gorgonzola.

Prosecco. What's all the fuss about?Date published: 21/01/14

What is Prosecco? A light, fresh, usually non-vintage sparkling wine made mainly from the Glera grape - formerly known as Prosecco - in the Alpine foothills of the Veneto region in northern Italy, some 30 miles from Venice. 

Can any other grapes go in to the blend? Prosecco must be made up of at least 30% Glera, but the remaining 15% can include native Verdiso, Bianchetta, Perera and Glera Lunga grapes, or even Champagne grapes Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

How is Prosecco made? Wines are usually non-vintage and made by the tank or Charmat method. Base wines are put in to large steel tanks known as autoclaves, which keep the wine under pressure during its second fermentation. Once the carbon dioxide reaches the right pressure, fermentation is halted by cooling the wine to -5 degrees centigrade. Dosage is added and the wine is bottled under pressure. The aim is to capture the fresh fruitiness of the grapes rather than the yeasty characters of Champagne. 

Are there any different types of Prosecco? Prosecco is made under three different denominations. Ordinary Posecco is made in the Prosecco DOC, which covers 20,000ha; Prosecco Superiore, which is of higher quality, is grown in the 6,000ha of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG; and Cartizze comes from a small but celebrated hilly zone of some 100ha characterised by stony terrain and humidity. Semi-sparkling and still versions of the wine are also made.

When should you drink it? In Italy, Prosecco suits any occasion and is often drunk with food. In this country it is most commonly drunk as an aperitif or for a celebration.

How should you serve it? Chilled, in Champagne flutes.  

Veneto, ItalyDate published: 21/01/14

Veneto

Veneto is a wine region in north-eastern Italy, one of a group of three highly productive Italian regions known collectively as the Venezie (after the ancient Venetian Republic) and the biggest DOC producer of the three. Although the Venezie collectively produce more red wine than white, the Veneto region produces more whites under DOC and is home to the famous Soave wines.

The region is protected from the harsh northern European climate by the Alps, the foothills of which form the Veneto's northern extremes. These cooler climes are well-suited to white varieties like Garganega (the main grape for Soave wines) while the warmer Adriatic coastal plains and river valleys are where the renowned Valpolicella, Amarone and Bardolino DOC reds are produced.

Soave Classico 2012 Inama

The Inama estate was founded in 1960. Their Classico wine is made from Garganega grown on 17 hectares of basaltic lava. The vines are up to 30 years old and are hand-harvested. Stainless steel fermentation is followed by up to eight months' maturation before bottling. From lower yields and the best slopes in the region this wine is generous, revealing apricots, honey, flowers and almonds. Generous acidity and a rich texture enforce the elegant finish this wine has. Drinking now but will be fine with another couple of years' ageing. The creamy finish lends itself perfectly to a match with fish pie.


Mendoza, ArgentinaDate published: 21/01/14

Mendoza

Despite total acreage planted declining from 629,850 acres (255,000 hectares) in 1980 to 360,972 acres (146,081 hectares) in 2003, Mendoza is still the leading producer of wine in Argentina. As of the beginning of the 21st century, the vineyard acreage in Mendoza alone was slightly less than half of the entire planted acreage in the United States and more than the acreage of New Zealand and Australia combined. The majority of the vineyards are found in the Maipú and Luján departments. In 1993, the Mendoza sub region of Luján de Cuyo was the first controlled appellation established in Mendoza. Other notable sub-regions include the Uco Valley and the Tupungato department. Located in the shadow of Mount Aconcagua, the average vineyards in Mendoza are planted at altitudes 1,970-3,610 feet (600-1,100 meters) above sea level. The soil of the region is sandy and alluvial on top of clay substructures and the climate is continental with four distinct seasons that affect the grapevine, including winter dormancy.

Historically, the region has been dominated by production of wine from the high yielding, pink-skinned varieties of Cereza and Criolla Grande but in recent years Malbec has become the regions most popular planting. Cereza and Criolla Grande still account for nearly a quarter of all vineyard plantings in Mendoza but more than half of all plantings are now to premium red varietals which beyond Malbec include Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Italian varieties. In the high altitude vineyards of Tupungato, located southwest of the city of Mendoza in the Uco Valley, Chardonnay is increasing in popularity. The cooler climate and lower salinity in the soils of the Maipú region has been receiving attention for the quality of its Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine producers in the region are working with authorities to establish a controlled appellation.

Santa Ana Malbec 2013 Mendoza

Great value Malbec from Bodegas Santa Ana, one of Argentina's oldest wineries, founded in 1891 By Italian wine pioneer Luis Tirasso. This is their benchmark Malbec, which offers great value and has previously been the recipient of several IWSC awards. Lively ruby colour with the violet hues that typify this grape. Plum and cherry characters predominate on both nose and palate. Medium-bodied, with supple tannins and a pleasantly soft finish. Ideal red for any barbecue, or for pairing with medium-strength firm cheeses.

UnderDog Atlantic Lager, Flying DogDate published: 21/01/14

UnderDog AtlanticLager, Flying Dog

ABV: 4.7%

Hops: Perle, Goldings

Origin: The Flying Dog brewery was originally set up as a brew pub in Denver however the popularity of its beers caused them to move to their current site in Baltimore,Maryland. The name Flying Dog was conceived whilst the founder was in Pakistan climbing K2. Showing inspiration can be found anywhere!

Taste: this is a crisp, hop driven lager. Pale gold in the glass but bursting with flavour. Flavours of citrus and a powerful hop bitterness dominate this beer. These flavours linger on the palate.

Enjoy: Well chilled as an aperitif or with simple salads.

Why 6 Bottles?Date published: 21/01/14

Why 6 Bottles?

Whether it's mix of six great value bottles for every day drinking, or a case or two of great vintages for laying down, we have a rule: a minimum purchase of 6 bottles.

This rule allows us to do things differently. We have friendly, enthusiastic and properly trained staff on hand to help and advise you in each of our 190+ stores. We have wines open on our tasting counter every day for you to try, and if you'd like to join us at one of our many Taste and Explore events they are of course free. Finally, if your order is over £40*, we deliver for free – including evenings and weekends at a time to suit you.

It's doing things this way that's made us the biggest, and we think best, wine retailer in the UK.


We are MajesticDate published: 20/01/14

The Proposition

Majestic specialises in selling brilliant wine by the case. We believe wine – whether you’re buying it or selling it, and especially when you’re drinking it – should be full of fun.

There are plenty of places where you can buy decent wine. What gets us really excited is interesting wine – the wines you taste that are just a little special. They’re difficult to find in the supermarkets but we’ve got hundreds of them for you to explore, and we don’t want you to pay over the odds to find them. Majestic makes interesting affordable, so everyone can enjoy it.

We live and breathe wine, and we taste our fair share too. We love to share our knowledge with people and help them to discover and explore new wines, and we always tell it straight. None of us could ever recommend a wine we didn’t believe in.

Naturally, we think experimenting with wines is a good idea. We’ve never fallen in love with a wine so much that we’d stop trying new ones. And it’s how we run our business. Majestic doesn’t stand still; we’re always trying new ideas and looking for the next big thing in wine. That’s how we stay one step ahead of the competition.


The Cost of Producing ChampagneDate published: 20/01/14

The average price of a kilogram of grapes gas risen steadily every year for the past two decades. Since 1993 it has gone up from 3.13 euros per kg to stand at 5.80 euros per kg in 2013. One of the cheapest areas to source grapes in the whole appellation is Cote des Bar, south east of Troyes, where the price might be as low as 5.30 euros per kg. Given it takes 1.2kg of grapes to make a single bottle of Champagne, that brings the cost up to 6.36 euros. Add in around 1 euro for pressing and bottling, plus another euro for labeling and disgorging, and this takes us to a minimum production cost of 8.36 euros, or just under £7, at a very conservative estimate. With the addition of transport costs, duty , VAT and retail overheads it would be virtually impossible for any store to sell that on the UK market for £10 and make a profit.

A to Z of Grape Varieties: PDate published: 19/01/14

Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the SAME grape varitey!!!! I just wanted to clarify that.

Petite Sirah

This grape is sometimes wrongly, and confusingly, spelled Petite Syrah - confusingly because some growers in the Rhone Valley refer to a small-berried version of their Syrah as Petite Syrah. Well, Petite Sirah is not real Syrah. 

Blood of the BullDate published: 19/01/14

Sangre de Toro 2011 Torres, Catalunya
Torres have been at the forefront of Spanish winemaking since their foundation in 1870. Innovators and pioneers, they have invested heavily in other countries, most recently China where they have invested a huge amount of money. The vineyards for this wine, a blend of Garnacha and Carinena were found by Torres in 1954 after an extensive search for the finest terroir. High on the hills and with chalky, free
draining soils, Sangre de Toro is a representation of land and varietal intensity. Unlike many Spanish wines where oak ageing and elevage are key, this wine is made with minimum intervention. It only sees oak barrels for 6 months and is designed to let the powerful grapes do the talking.
Tasting Note:
Fruit on two levels, jammy and ripe...... Blackcurrant and black cherry, damson and a little spice and tannin from the Carinena. Named in homage to Baccus, god of wine, who was also known as 'Son of the bull'. A classy affair, perfect for autumn drinking, it just nods with
the faintest hint towards Christmas.

A to Z of Grape Varieties: NDate published: 18/01/14

Nebbiolo

The classic description of the scent of Nebbiolo is tar and roses, immortalized in Michael Garner's and Paul Merritt's 1990 Barolo study of the same name. It sounds like and improbable combination , but then Nebbiolo is an improbable grape, combining as it does high levels of tannin with high acidity and some of the most complex, exotic scents to be found on any red wine. 

Our Trainee, Alex, is loving the Bargain Hunt!Date published: 18/01/14

Our Trainee, Alex, is loving the Bargain Hunt!

A to Z of Grape Varieties: ODate published: 17/01/14

Oremus

A Tokaji grape with good susceptibilty to botrytis and good sugar levels at harvest. It is a cross between Furmint and Bouvier. 

A to Z of Grape Varieties: MDate published: 17/01/14

Malbec

Still my favourite grape variety! Epitomises the modern palate preference. At its best, carfully grown and skilfully vinified in Argentina. Malbec has a dark purple colour, a thrilling damson and violet aroma, a lush fat rich fruit flavour and a positively soothing ripe tannic structure. It can take new oak ageing, but it's a pity to smother its natural delicious ripeness with wood. In Cahors the flavour is more likely to be raisins, damson skins and tobacco. In both Chile and Australia you occasionally get the violet perfume and you usually get the soft rip lush texture. 

A to Z of Grape Varieties: LDate published: 17/01/14

Limnio

One of Greece's most important red vines, this is still found in its original home of Lemnos, though for some reason is not used for appellation wine there. It is also found in the north-east of the country, where it contributes to colour, weight, aidity and a flavour of bay leaves to a blend.

A to Z of Grape Varieties: KDate published: 16/01/14

Kotsifali

Cretan variety giving soft, spicy, broad wines.

Beer Brief - Curious Brew Lager, Chapel DownDate published: 16/01/14

Curious Brew Lager,Chapel Down

ABV: 4.7%

Hops: Casacde, Saaz and Nelson Sauvin

Origin: From Chapel down winery in Kent this is an award winning beer. The product of two fermentations, this beer receives not only a "dosage" of champagne yeast in its second fermentation but a shot of Nelson Sauvin hops,famed for their intense aromas.

Taste: Vivid gold in the glass, the nose is packed with floral and stone fruit aromas. Like any good Champagne this wine has citrus and biscuit flavours that are enhanced by a refreshing bitterness.

Enjoy: Cold on a hot sunny day with barbecued meats and fish.


A to Z of Grape Varieties: IDate published: 15/01/14

Inzolia

A good quality, low-yielding grape found in Sicily, where it is part pf the blend, along with Catarratto and perhaps Trebbiano, in many of the island's white wines.

Wine of the Week - Oxford Landing ChardonnayDate published: 15/01/14

Oxford Landing Estates Chardonnay 2013 Yalumba, South Australia


Unit Price £7.99

Buy 2 Australian Wines, save 20% £6.39

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

Established in 1958, the Oxford Landing estate lies on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia. Always pioneering, Oxford Landing ferments parts of their Chardonnay using wild yeasts natural to the area.

Taste

Full flavoured Chardonnay brimming with ripe grapefruit and tropical fruit characters integrated with subtle toasty oak.

Enjoy

Very versatile, this will match most poultry and even spicy dishes


A to Z of Grape Varieties: JDate published: 14/01/14

Jaen

Early ripening, easy to growvariety that is the second most planted grape, after Baga, in Portugal's Dao region. 

A to Z of Grape Varieties: HDate published: 13/01/14

Humagne Blanch

One oh the less aromatic Swiss varieties. The wine does, however, have some attractive plumpness and freshness. It seems to have been cultivated in the Valais region since at least the 12th century. On recent travels in Switzerland I was very impressed with the quality and differentiation of Swiss wine and hope to see more of it in the UK.

Matching Pinot Noir With FoodDate published: 12/01/14

The great grape of Burgundy has taken its food-friendly complexity all over the wine world. However, nothing can beat the marriage of great wine with sublime local food that is Burgundy's heritage, and it is Burgundian dishes that spring to mind as perfect partners for Pinot noir; coq au vin, chicken with tarragon, rabbit with mustard, braised ham, boeuf bourguignon....the list is endless. Pinot Noir's subtle flavours make it a natural choice for complex meat dishes but it is also excellent with plain grills and roasts, and with most dishes based on mushrooms. Richer examples are the ideal match for roasat or casseroled game birds, and in its lighter manifestations from say the Loire or Oregon, Pinot Noir is a good match for slamon or trout. 

A to Z of Grape Varieties: GDate published: 11/01/14

Garnacha Tinta/ Grenache Noir

Grenache is the world's most widely planted red variety but most of the vines are in one country - Spain - and its colonization of the rest of the world has been decidley patchy. The only French classic wine in which it is included as part of the blend is Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhône; elsewhere Grenahce has a;ways been most famous as a reckless provider of alcohol in a blend. So long as you had some good hot weather you could plant Grenache, and every time the sun winked - hey presto, another degree of alcohol. Grenache can easily ripen to 16 per cent alcohol all by itself which meant blenders loved it. 

All this being said; look out for it as a single varietal as my palate has always been pleasently suprised. 

Bordeaux Vintage Guide 2000-2006Date published: 10/01/14

2000 Feted as the millennium vintage, described as 'one in a lifetime' and heaped with superlatives, 2000 produced wines of spectacular quality on both banks of the Gironde. Hindsight has not diluted the enthusiasm for the vintage, but the press and trade have lost some of the restraint shown when initially describing the 2000, so almost every subsequent appears to be superior! Wines of power, elegance and concentration abound. Long ageing potential.

2001 A vintage of quality that was under-hyped following the millennium vintage, best described as Classic Bordeaux. Superior to 1999, akin to the 1988 vintage. Elegant and aromatic wines at a fraction of 2000's price. Wines have potential for ageing, most however will never attain sweetness and weight of warmer vintages.

2002 Another year of 'Classic' Bordeaux, with Cabernet based wins on the Left Bank providing many of the highlights. Left Bank wines had potential for extended aging, whereas Right Bank wines provided early drinking highlights. Many wines of interest and quality from this often overlooked vintage. Wines are much lighter than previous 3 years, more perfumed, providing for medium term ageing (up to about 15 years for most wines).

2003 There is only word needed to describe 2003; Hot. Extremely concentrated wines, high alcohol levels and reduced acidity levels prevailed across Bordeaux. Initially thought of as superior to 2000, lack of acidity and over-concentration has led to diminishing interest. Many wines enjoyable after 5 years in bottle, questions abound about long term ageing potential.

2004 A return to a 'Classic' vintage after the over-ripe and somewhat Port-like wines of 2003, 2004 was a somewhat dark vintage of high tannin levels and perfumed Cabernet. The 2004s have somewhat been forgotten compared to its predecessor and successive vintage, but many charming and elegant wines are available. Comparisons to 1988 abound, due to leafy Cabernet Sauvignon aromas and flavours. Great wines have long ageing potential.

2005 Compared to outstanding and legendary vintages such as 1990, 1982 and 1959, the first 'Vintage of the Century' after 2000 and 2003, wines were initially very high in tannin and extract, yet still sweet and elegant on release. Many of the Left Bank wines require prodigious aging before realising their full potential. Most wines are enjoyable now due to sweetness of fruit and tannin but have further development in bottle over 10+ years.

2006 A very good quality vintage, similar in style yet slightly superior to 2004. Described as another 'Classic' vintage of leafy Cabernet, more approachable and elegant when young than previous 'Classics'. Left bank produced powerful wines, very dark fruit flavours and slightly sour tannins.

Below is one of my favourites from this era:

Château Tayac 2006 Margaux - One of this famous appellation's less well-known châteaux, Tayac has been quietly producing great quality wines over the last four generations of family ownership, and has established itself as a benchmark for well-made, good value Margaux. A medium-bodied, well-structured claret, with good ripeness and fruit concentration, and harmonious savoury characters. Fine-grained tannins and good length.


A to Z of Grape Varieties: FDate published: 10/01/14

Furmint

This is a very high quality grape that, having survived the poor handling it received in Hungary's Tokaji region under communism, has really started to come into it's own. Furmint delivers complexity of flavour, finesse, longevity and high acidity. Furmint forms the backbone of the outstandingly complex sweet wine Tokaji. It is also increasingly being bottled as a dry varietal wine, which has flavours of steely smoke, lime peel and pears. Both as Tokaji and dry Furmint this grape continues to go from strength to strength and is definitely worth exlploring.

A to Z of Grape Varieties: EDate published: 09/01/14

Ermitage

Northern Rhone synonym for Marsanne...which you will have to wait for!

A to Z of Grape Varieties: DDate published: 08/01/14

Dolcetto

One of Piedmont's less well known grape varieties Dolcetto should usually be drunk young and is a great everyday wine. Cherry flavours are typical of Dolcetto: ripe black cherries on the nose and palate, and bitter cherries on the finish for that characteristic Italian twist. There can even be flavours of prunes and licorice in particularly complex examples. Great with cold meats or even pizza, though it is light enough that it is very enjoyable on its own.

Bordeaux Vintage Guide 2007- 2010Date published: 08/01/14

2007 The curse of seven struck again, following on from 1987 and 1997 as the lesser vintages of the decade. An early drinking vintage, many 2007’s are at their best now and provide easy drinking medium weight wines. 

2008 A vintage that was slated before it was even harvested, both because of a poor spring and early summer, and the onset of the world's financial difficulties. Robert Parker awarded higher scores to the 2008 wines than to many of the 2005s (although these ratings have subsequently softened). Right Bank wines were generally superior to the Left.

2009 Excellent vintage, the greatest vintage of the decade, and in comparisons with other outstanding and exceptional vintages, 2009 is now the only year from the 'naughties' that gets a mention next to '59, '61, '82 and '90. Platitudes that were first espoused in 2000, refined in 2003 and honed in 2005 were brought forth with gusto to describe the quality of 2009 that the wines are living up to, showing seductive and opulent fruit characteristics.

2010 Another fantastic vintage, as good as 2009 for different reasons; where 2009 produced wines georgeous in their youth, 2010 produced more powerful, intense and concentrated wines.

Below is one of my favourites from this era:

Château La Croix de Gay 2007 Pomerol - This small estate of 13 hectares only produces around 3000 cases a year and Majestic has snapped up a direct parcel at cracking prices. Comprising 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, these wines are usually dark and direct. With an aromatic nose of raspberries, cherries, smoke and espresso, the palate is rich and opulent with loads of fruit and a plush texture. 

A to Z of Grape Varieties: CDate published: 07/01/14

Canaiolo

A perfumed red grape that seems to have been the main constituent of Chianti until the late 19th centuary. It is found in one of our most popular wines here in Gloucester - Valpollicella La Cassetta. No longer used in the Chianti blend and has been in decline since the onset of Phylloxera, when it proved a tricky vine to graft. Some Tuscan growers still treasure their Canaiolo, and blend it with Sangiovese. 

A to Z of Grape Varieties: BDate published: 06/01/14

Barbera

Barbera often has to walk in the shadow of it's more famous relative Nebbiolo, particularly in Barolo and Barberesco. Yet this grape has much to offer both as a varietal and within blends. Barbera can be young and cherry fresh or weight and moreish with a sour-cherry twist at the end. If aged in oak barriques Barbera tends to become plummier and rounder with a touch of spice, offering vibrant armoas and lots of body. Of the two most famous examples of Barbera Barbera d'Alba has the most complexity and power, with a deeper colour, whilst Barbera d'Asti is a brighter lighter wine with elegance and finesse. If you enjoy red fruit flavours but with great complexity Barbera is well worth trying.

An Introduction to the Wines of Chile & ArgentinaDate published: 06/01/14

An Introduction to the Wines of Chile & Argentina

Originally introduced by Spanish and Portuguese colonial priests and permitted strictly for consumption at mass, wine-making in South America is over 500 years old. From the earliest plantings of European varieties in the Dominican Republic and later Peru, South American wine has grown enormously in reputation and international significance with Chile and Argentina now the continent's leading producers.

Whilst social and political conditions in Chile and Argentina initially delayed their emergence as major exporters of wine, the fantastic growing conditions found in both countries' primary wine-producing regions have helped establish them as producers of remarkably consistent and high quality wines. Sandy soils, low levels of rainfall and lots of sunlight mean that in both countries, irrigation is widely used with glacial melt-water from the Andes providing a vital source of pristine water. The dry soils and lack of precipitation also mean that pests and infections are not as much of a problem as in other parts of the world. Chile and Argentina are also mostly phylloxera-free and with a reduced need for pest-control, many vineyards are effectively organic.

In Chile, the same Humboldt current that cultivates the Pacific coast's rich marine ecosystems also provides cooling breezes that ensure the grapes do not overheat under the persistent sunshine. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the main red varieties grown along with Carmenere. This old Bordeaux variety was long considered to be extinct and after a period of being mistakenly mistaken for Merlot in Chile, it has emerged as Chile's signature grape. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the most commonly grown whites but as in Argentina a huge range of varieties are grown.

Malbec is king in Argentina in terms of red and the floral and aromatic, indigenous Torrontes has long been the dominant white variety. Many of the vines are grown under desert conditions and irrigation is a critically important aspect of wine-making in Argentina.

Both regions are able to use their natural and climactic elements to produce great value and high quality wines. It stands as likely that Chilean and Argentinian wines will only grow further in importance and reputation.

Fine Wine Focus: AmaroneDate published: 06/01/14

Amarone Classico ‘Vigneti di Roccolo’ 2010 Cantina Negrar

INTRODUCTION: Amarone is one of the iconic red wines from Italy, from the Veneto region in the north-west. It is a blend of three grape varieties, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The grapes are harvested and dried for around 120 days on straw mats, where they lose around one third of their weight due to evaporation, concentrating the flavours. The wine's name was used to distinguish between the sweeter Recitio styled wines from the same region, and translates as the great bitter.

FACTS: Cantina Negrar is a co-operative based in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region which was formed in 1933 when a group of 6 winemakers banded together to fight off speculators who wished to buy up land and make Valpolicella using imported grapes. The group realised that by joining forces they were able to afford new facilities and therefore produce better wines.

TASTE: Very rich, with aromas of Christmas cake, cooking spices and sweet fruits, leading to a thickly textured wine with soft tannin and a powerful fruit driven finish.

FOOD MATCH: Slow cooked lamb or beef casserole, as well as blue cheese.


A to Z of Grape Varieties: ADate published: 05/01/14

Albariño

Imagine Viognier, but lighter - all apricots and white peach, but with less weight and richness and more acidity. The grape has thick skins and a high prportion of skins and pips to flesh,which means lots of aroma, but a slight tendancy to bitterness. Greater ripeness might eradicte the latter, but would reduce the wines ethereal lightness. Great with any light sea-food dishes!   

Italy continues to impress!Date published: 05/01/14

From bright, fresh Pinot Grigio to the deep reds of Barolo, Italy has something for everyone, especially given our great range of wines. I will always look here if I want to explore something new especially when matching with food. I could spend years trying to get my head around this fascinating giant of the wine world and still be surprised by what it has to offer. Our range here at Majestic is always expanding and diversifying so, if like me you are always looking for something new and exciting, look no further than Italy!

Fine Wine Focus: 'Angels' ShareDate published: 05/01/14

'Angels' Share' Shiraz 2012 Two Hands, McLaren Vale

INTRODUCTION: The Australians have always done their utmost to be different - even changing the name of the grape varieties. The distinction between Shiraz and Syrah is not just in name, but in style, as instead of the Northern Rhône's white pepper and rose petals characteristics, the Australian style is typified by black pepper spices with black fruit and berry aromas and flavours, resulting in a more fruity style. This more 'forward and fruity' style of wine was, along with some drastic vine pulling and focus on quality grape varieties in the 1980's, responsible for the rise in popularity of Australian wines. Vines were introduced into the McLaren Vale in 1838, including the original Hardy Winery vineyards, and many of the oldest vines in the world still producing viable crops are in and around this region.

FACTS: Two Hands was established in 1999, with the intention of producing wine from all the growing regions of Australia, highlighting and exemplifying the characteristics of each region. The first vintage was in 2000, and over the years the winery built up a reputation as producing beautifully crafted, expressive Shiraz. The Angel's Share wine comes from the McLaren Vale, in South Australia, where the influence of the Indian Ocean tempers the climate, producing earthy, spicy wines. All the wines in the Two Hands range have playful names; the Garden series named after the proprietors' children and the Picture series, with names such as Angel's Share, Gnarly Dudes and Fly By Nighters. Angel's Share relates to the wine 'drunk by angels' during evaporation, and Fly By Nighters is a tongue in cheek reference to the criticisms aired when the winery opened.

TASTING NOTE: Peppery nose of cassis, plums and hints of leather, leading to a full, rich and concentrated body of ripe black fruits, soft tannins and spice.

FOOD MATCH: Steak is an obvious choice, although a great partner to any red meat, either grilled or in a rich sauce.


Wine of the Week - The Shortlist Riesling 2005 McGuigan, Eden ValleyDate published: 05/01/14

The Shortlist Riesling 2005 McGuigan, Eden Valley


Unit Price £14.99

Buy 2 bargain hunt wines, save 33.3% £9.99

Grape

Riesling

Origin

Eden Valley offers a cooler climate than the neighbouring Barossa Valley, making it ideal for growing white grapes, and Riesling has become one of the region's favourites. This is a single-vineyard example from the multi-award-winning McGuigan winery.

Taste

A fresh, crisp and mouth wateringly dry wine, displaying a citrus backbone and a floral bouquet. With good intensity and length on the palate, and a lime-zest character to the fruit.

Enjoy

At its best with simple fresh shellfish dishes.


Tasting Counter UpdateDate published: 27/12/13

So, I'v just arrived back from Christmas to find the tasting counter bare and have chosen six wines to take us in to the New Year. Wine of the Week is the Puy de Dome Pinot Noir; a gorgeous Pinot from the Loire which sees no oak and as a result is a very fruit driven style. The other two reds are the Striking French Merlot and the Berberana Reserva. With the whites, I am drinking a lot of Chardonnay at the moment and have selected an oaked (Latour, Macon Lugny) and an un-oaked (Luis Felipe Edwards) style to go with the Giesen Sauvignon Blanc for all you Marlborogh fans out there. #comeandexplore

Wine in Focus - Matsu El Picaro 2012, ToroDate published: 23/12/13

Matsu El Picaro 2012, Toro
Matsu are an inspirational new producer. Described as a modern project of sustainable viticulture, they practice biodynamic winemaking, and their name means 'to wait' in Japanese, which is their ethos, to wait for the cycles of the universe to align before they carry out certain practices. Toro is a very hot region of Spain, where long hot summers see regular temperatures of 37 degrees or more. As such the best vineyards are planted at high altitude where the winds are stronger and the temperature not quite as hot. Picaro means rogue or rascal, and this wine is designed to be a fun, lively interpretation of the region. From young Tempranillo vines, the wine sees little oak (3 months) and the intensity of the fruit is the focus for the winemaker. 
Tasting Note:
Very fruity, almost slightly confected and charred, there is a lot of deep black fruit, but also some raspberry, like fruits of the forest. It's intensity is impressive, and for a straight up obvious expression of Tempranillo it is hard to beat.

Opening Hours Over ChristmasDate published: 23/12/13

Our opening hours over the Christmas period are:

  • Monday 23 December: 9am - 8pm
  • Tuesday 24 December: 9am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 25 December: CLOSED
  • Thursday 26 December: CLOSED
  • Friday 27 December: 10am - 8pm
  • Saturday 28 December: 9am - 7pm
  • Sunday 29 December: 10am - 5pm
  • Monday 30 December: 10am - 7pm
  • Tuesday 31 December: 10am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 1 January: CLOSED

We're open our normal opening hours from Thursday 2 January onwards.

Do you run a Pub, Restaurant, Hotel or Bar? We can help...Date published: 22/12/13

Do you, or someone you know run a bar, pub, hotel or restaurant?

If so, then it may interest you that as well as retail sales, Majestic Wine also supply to trade accounts.

The same great service you get from your local store can extend to your business, and we can also provide staff training too, so your team can talk confidently and communicate your new range of wines to your customers.

As the wines will be provided by your local Majestic store, we will be available seven days a week, just a phone call away, and because your order will be delivered by a team member in our own van, we can deliver at a time that suits you and answer any questions you have!

If this sound like a good idea and makes sense to you, then don't hesitate to get in touch, by phone, email or pop into the store and have a chat with us.


Wine of the Week - Mâcon-Villages Blanc 'Les Pierres Blanches' 2012 Cave de LugnyDate published: 16/12/13

Wine of the Week - Mâcon-Villages Blanc 'Les Pierres Blanches' 2012 Cave de Lugny

£8.99

Buy 2 bottles save £4

£6.99

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

Situated in the heart of the Mâconnais, Cave de Lugny produces great value white Burgundy from its 1,450 hectares of vineyards and is the third largest producer in Burgundy, producing in excess of 6 million bottles per annum.

Taste

Pale lemon coloured, with citrus and apple notes, hint of blossom and faint traces of butter. Apple and citrus predominate on the palate along with a hint of pear, finishing on a lovely mineral streak.

Enjoy

An easy-drinking White Burgundy, enjoyable now and over the next 18 months. Enjoy with butternut squash and roast garlic soup. Also great with chicken and seafood.


Fine Wine Focus: Pioneer BlockDate published: 14/12/13

Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough

INTRODUCTION: Although Kiwi Pinot Noir is making headlines, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah based wines are gaining a reputation for quality; Sauvignon Blanc is still the first wine that comes to mind when talking of New Zealand. Cloudy Bay put New Zealand on the map in the late 1980's with success in international competitions and the vibrant, powerful flavours fruit forward flavours that introduced people to a new style of Sauvignon. Before the arrival of the wineries, the Marlborough region, and Cloudy Bay in particular, was historically one of the most significant areas of New Zealand, having been the site of early settlement by both the Maori and Europeans. One of Montana's earliest vintages of Sauvignon Blanc was so much better than most of the white wine being produced in New Zealand at the time that within a decade many of the existing Riesling and Müller Thurgau vineyards were grubbed up and replanted with Sauvignon Blanc.

FACTS: Saint Clair began growing grapes in 1978 to supply local wine companies before establishing their own winery in 1994. Over time their understanding of the different vineyard sites led to the Pioneer Block series; wines that represent the individual terrior of the many vineyards owned and managed around Marlborough. Vintner Matt Thomson's aim it to showcase the variety of flavours that each of the carefully selected vineyards exhibit by vinifying the wines in individual stainless steel tanks before bottling them under block numbers, often with historic or descriptive names. Block 18 "Snap Block" is named after the variety of apples grown before the orchard was replanted with grapes and Block 3 "43 Degree" is named after the vineyard's 43 degree North angle of planting.

TASTING NOTE: Incredibly intense and powerful aromas of limes, gooseberries, capsicums and a hint of green herbs. Very vibrant, fresh and invigorating, the citrus flavours are augmented by hints of Tropicana, with a very long, zesty finish.

FOOD MATCH: The vibrancy of the wine is the perfect match for seafood, especially oysters, or spicy Asian cuisine.

Fine Wine Focus: AmaroneDate published: 14/12/13

Amarone Classico ‘Vigneti di Roccolo’ 2010 Cantina Negrar

INTRODUCTION: Amarone is one of the iconic red wines from Italy, from the Veneto region in the north-west. It is a blend of three grape varieties, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The grapes are harvested and dried for around 120 days on straw mats, where they lose around one third of their weight due to evaporation, concentrating the flavours. The wine's name was used to distinguish between the sweeter Recitio styled wines from the same region, and translates as the great bitter.

FACTS: Cantina Negrar is a co-operative based in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region which was formed in 1933 when a group of 6 winemakers banded together to fight off speculators who wished to buy up land and make Valpolicella using imported grapes. The group realised that by joining forces they were able to afford new facilities and therefore produce better wines.

TASTE: Very rich, with aromas of Christmas cake, cooking spices and sweet fruits, leading to a thickly textured wine with soft tannin and a powerful fruit driven finish.

FOOD MATCH: Slow cooked lamb or beef casserole, as well as blue cheese.

Fine Wine Focus: JermannDate published: 14/12/13

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2012 Friuli

INTRODUCTION: Pinot Grigio's reputation as an easy drinking, very light or often flavourless white wine that is refreshing but not much more is debunked by Silvio Jermann's wine. The wine heralds from the Friuli region in the North Eastern corner of Italy, bordering Slovenia, in the mountainous inland part of the region, from vineyards founded by Silvio's Great-grandfather in the 1900's. In the early 1970's Jermann participated in the profound change in Italian wine making, as he was one of the first winemakers to use stainless steel fermentation vats, adopting the practice of blending 'native' grape varieties with grapes from outside the region. Silvio Jermann has been considered an artist, as he has elevated Pinot Grigio into a serious wine that demands respect, which requires the touch and inspiration that comes from thinking and acting outside the traditional norms!

FACTS: The estate extends over 150 hectares, 130 dedicated to grapes and the remaining 20 dedicated to seed and horticultural crops. The winery and vineyards are not exactly what one would expect; the winery contains quotes from Dante, translations of Rudyard Kipling and the Japanese author Masaru Emoto, the vineyards have organ pipes installed that 'play' a haunting music when the wind blows. One of the iconic wines of the estate, now called W....Dreams, was first named in homage to the U2 song 'Where the Streets have no name' as 'Where the Dreams Have No End'. A new cellar was inaugurated on 07/07/07, marrying technical innovation and tradition, with oak barrels providing a link to the past.

TASTING NOTE: Un-oaked, with an intense and powerful nose of peaches, cream, hints of spice leads to a weighty, yet vibrant body fruit flavours and a rich texture.

FOOD MATCH: Char grilled seafood, pan fried mushrooms or creamy soups.

Fine Wine Focus: 'Angels' ShareDate published: 14/12/13

'Angels' Share' Shiraz 2012 Two Hands, McLaren Vale

INTRODUCTION: The Australians have always done their utmost to be different - even changing the name of the grape varieties. The distinction between Shiraz and Syrah is not just in name, but in style, as instead of the Northern Rhône's white pepper and rose petals characteristics, the Australian style is typified by black pepper spices with black fruit and berry aromas and flavours, resulting in a more fruity style. This more 'forward and fruity' style of wine was, along with some drastic vine pulling and focus on quality grape varieties in the 1980's, responsible for the rise in popularity of Australian wines. Vines were introduced into the McLaren Vale in 1838, including the original Hardy Winery vineyards, and many of the oldest vines in the world still producing viable crops are in and around this region.

FACTS: Two Hands was established in 1999, with the intention of producing wine from all the growing regions of Australia, highlighting and exemplifying the characteristics of each region. The first vintage was in 2000, and over the years the winery built up a reputation as producing beautifully crafted, expressive Shiraz. The Angel's Share wine comes from the McLaren Vale, in South Australia, where the influence of the Indian Ocean tempers the climate, producing earthy, spicy wines. All the wines in the Two Hands range have playful names; the Garden series named after the proprietors' children and the Picture series, with names such as Angel's Share, Gnarly Dudes and Fly By Nighters. Angel's Share relates to the wine 'drunk by angels' during evaporation, and Fly By Nighters is a tongue in cheek reference to the criticisms aired when the winery opened.

TASTING NOTE: Peppery nose of cassis, plums and hints of leather, leading to a full, rich and concentrated body of ripe black fruits, soft tannins and spice.

FOOD MATCH: Steak is an obvious choice, although a great partner to any red meat, either grilled or in a rich sauce.

Fine Wine Friday's Hangover Rolls Over to TodayDate published: 14/12/13

We are running yet another FREE fine wine tasting today as our customers responded so well to the one Alex did last weekend. He has got some real treats for you all today. Its going to be the battle of the beasts - think Margeaux, Valpoliccella, Two Hands and Vintage Port. There will also be some whites open and Alex will be justifying to you their hefty price tags!

Fine Wine Tasting today at 5pm #comeandexplore

Sparkling Saturdays are back!!!Date published: 14/12/13

Following on from the success of last SAturday's Prosecco and Champagne comparison tasting we are running another free Champagne tasting today. This time I will be comparing some of our entry level Champagne's against the finest the South-East of England has to offer. Please pop in to store an join me today from 12!!

Wine of the Week - Rioja Reserva 2008 Lagunilla Date published: 13/12/13

Wine of the Week - Rioja Reserva 2008 Lagunilla

£10.99

Buy 2 bottles save £6

£7.99

Grape

Grenache, Tempranillo

Origin

This famous Rioja bodega was founded in 1885 by Don Felipe Lagunilla San Martín, who is credited with rescuing Rioja's vineyards from the phylloxera epidemic, through his pioneering work in grafting vines onto American rootstocks.

Taste

A classic Reserva wine, striking a balance between meatiness and elegance. 24 months in oak casks has endowed it with an enjoyable smoothness and mellow, spicy aromatics.

 

Enjoy

Partner with roast shoulder of lamb, or any number of game dishes.


Wine of the Week - Rioja Reserva 2008 Viña EguíaDate published: 10/12/13

Wine of the Week - Rioja Reserva 2008 Viña Eguía

£9.99

Buy 2 bottles save £6

£6.99

Grape

Tempranillo

Origin

Bodegas Eguia is located in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa subregion, in the village of Elciego, one of the area's winemaking hotspots. The traditional reserva style is achieved through 24 months' ageing in French and American oak and 2 years' cellarage before release.

Taste

Beautifully deep ruby coloured, with subtle cedar hints to the rim. The bouquet is an intense mix of dark fruit, toasted oak and clove aromas. The palate has weight yet an elegant profile.

Enjoy

Match with a mature steak, lamb or with a board of chorizo and manchego cheese.


Thank you to everyone who came along to our Fine Wine Tasting yesterdayDate published: 08/12/13

Thanks once again to everyone who attended our Fine Wine Spotlight Tastings Yesterday. We had 15 guests in total turn up specifically for the tasting, plus loads of others who joined in when they saw what we were drinking. The favourite wines of the day were the Meursault Potel at £22 and the Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva at £18.50 (when you buy 2 or more). We also opened up some Champagne throughout the day and discovered that the Heidsieck Cuvee Prestige is fantastic, especially at the current offer price of £16 (when you buy 2 or more selected fizz). 

If you missed out on our Fine Wine Tasting then make sure you follow us on Twitter @majesticglo or like us on Facebook

Spotlight Tasting - Fine Wines, Bordeaux and Fizz! Date published: 06/12/13

We have TWO tastings for you on Saturday 7th December!

At 12pm we will be trying a selection of Prosecco, Champagne and English Sparkling Wine. Joe will be taking us through the different styles and methods of production. It's not every day that you get to directly compare Champagnes. 

At 5pm we will be trying a fantastic selection of Bordeaux including at least two Fine Wines. Alex will be entertaining us with the history behind these wonderful wines, as well as providing us with some food and wine matches and information on production techniques. 

Please let us know if you would like to attend either of these tastings.


Wine of the Week - Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough NZDate published: 06/12/13

The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough

£9.99

Special Offer £8.74

Buy 2 New Zealand wines save 20%

£6.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

The vineyards of The Ned are located on the banks of the Waihopai River and on the southern side of the Wairau Valley. The river runs the length of the 268ha vineyard and is the origin of the shingle-based soil.

Taste

A nose of nettles and grass leads to generous gooseberry flavours with a smoky herbal twist on the palate. The stony terroir gives the wine a subtle gunflint minerality which delivers extra complexity.

Enjoy

Drink now with fresh summer salads, seafood or oriental food.


Australia & New Zealand Tasting Week Starts Today!Date published: 29/11/13

Australia & New Zealand Tasting Week starts today and runs until Thursday 5th December.

We will be showcasing some of the best and most interesting wines from our antipodean wine making friends. We'll have plenty of Barossa Shiraz and Marlborough Sauvignon to taste, but as well as the old favourites we always do our best to put some new and interesting wines for you to try. Have a look at our webpage www.majestic.co.uk/gloucester to see exactly what we have open to taste each day. Please pop in any time to try the wines.

Wine of the Week: Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Cuvée des Antiques' 2012Date published: 28/11/13

And our Wine of the Week this week is....

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Cuvée des Antiques' 2012

Unit Price £14.99

Buy 2 bottles save £8 £11.99

Grape

Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault

Origin

13 different white and red grape varieties are permitted for the making of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This wine has been aged in the famous cellars of Ogier Caves des Papes in the heart of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Taste

This wine is dark ruby with a complex nose of spices and hints of pear. A smooth and lingering finish.

Enjoy

Enjoy this with rich, rustic flavoured dishes, especially meat and game


Look how excited Alex is with our Tasting Counter!Date published: 22/11/13

With Christmas just around the corner we have decided that it's only fair to make sure that there is a good selection of Christmas wine open to try every day on the tasting counter. As you can see Alex is very excited about which one to try next!

Thank you to Andy from Wadworth Brewery Date published: 22/11/13

Just a quick thank you to Andy from Wadworths Brewery who came along last Tuesday to let us all try the truly fantastic Beer Kitchen selection matched to a beautiful range of canapés. I can tell you all right hear and now that Beer and Food matching is here to stay, al teast when the beer is this good. Thanks also to Wadworths development Chefs for producing all the food, we didn't go hungry! 

Thanks to all who attended our Winter Wine Evening on TuesdayDate published: 22/11/13

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Winter Wine Evening last Tuesday. We had a fantastic time and we're pretty sure everyone else did too. We had over 80 guests on the evening tasting a selection of our favourite reds, whites, fine wines, Port, Sherry, dessert wines and even a fantastic selection of Beers presented by Andy from Wadworth, who let us sample the quite simply fantastic Beer Kitchen selection with canapés to match! 

We hold two of these tastings per year, one in the summer and one in the winter, so if you want to make sure you don't miss out on the next one, let us know your details by email, phone or next time you're in the store and we will make sure we let you know about the the next event personally.

Wine of the Week - Beringer Founders' Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Central CaliforniaDate published: 14/11/13

Wine of the Week

Beringer Founders' Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Central California

£11.99

Special Offer£11.24

Buy 2 USA wines save 20%

£8.99

Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Syrah

Origin

Beringer source their grapes mainly from Central California, with a small percentage coming from selected vineyards in the cooler North Coast region, to achieve a more elegant and balanced style. The wine is aged in seasoned French and American oak barrels for 8 months.

Taste

A lush and deeply coloured wine, which is also soft and easy-drinking. A backbone of intense cassis-like fruit is complemented by notes of baking spice and cedar, held together by polished tannins.

Enjoy

Pair with anything from duck breast to barbecued pork ribs.


Bordeaux Vintage Guide 2007- 2010Date published: 08/11/13

2007 The curse of seven struck again, following on from 1987 and 1997 as the lesser vintages of the decade. An early drinking vintage, many 2007’s are at their best now and provide easy drinking medium weight wines. 

2008 A vintage that was slated before it was even harvested, both because of a poor spring and early summer, and the onset of the world's financial difficulties. Robert Parker awarded higher scores to the 2008 wines than to many of the 2005s (although these ratings have subsequently softened). Right Bank wines were generally superior to the Left.

2009 Excellent vintage, the greatest vintage of the decade, and in comparisons with other outstanding and exceptional vintages, 2009 is now the only year from the 'naughties' that gets a mention next to '59, '61, '82 and '90. Platitudes that were first espoused in 2000, refined in 2003 and honed in 2005 were brought forth with gusto to describe the quality of 2009 that the wines are living up to, showing seductive and opulent fruit characteristics.

2010 Another fantastic vintage, as good as 2009 for different reasons; where 2009 produced wines georgeous in their youth, 2010 produced more powerful, intense and concentrated wines.

Below is one of my favourites from this era:

Château La Croix de Gay 2007 Pomerol - This small estate of 13 hectares only produces around 3000 cases a year and Majestic has snapped up a direct parcel at cracking prices. Comprising 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, these wines are usually dark and direct. With an aromatic nose of raspberries, cherries, smoke and espresso, the palate is rich and opulent with loads of fruit and a plush texture. 

Fine Wine of the Week: Saintsbury Carneros Pinot NoirDate published: 08/11/13

Saintsbury Pinot Noir 2009 Carneros


Unit Price £25.00

Buy 2 bottles save £10 £20.00

Grape

Pinot Noir

Origin

The ethos of producing wine that maintains the hallmark of the vineyard rather than simply the mark of the producer dominates the winemaking philosophy for the Carneros Pinot Noir. Gentleness and restraint are critical in the selection of the grapes and in the élevage.

Taste

Ripe red-fruit aromas with bitter black cherry, spice, cigar tobacco, mocha and vanilla. A ripe and textured palate of integrated tannins, red-fruit and spice with a fresh, weighty finish.

Enjoy

Drinking well over the next four years, partner with duck, lamb and game.


Bordeaux Vintage Guide 2000-2006Date published: 07/11/13

2000 Feted as the millennium vintage, described as 'one in a lifetime' and heaped with superlatives, 2000 produced wines of spectacular quality on both banks of the Gironde. Hindsight has not diluted the enthusiasm for the vintage, but the press and trade have lost some of the restraint shown when initially describing the 2000, so almost every subsequent appears to be superior! Wines of power, elegance and concentration abound. Long ageing potential.

2001 A vintage of quality that was under-hyped following the millennium vintage, best described as Classic Bordeaux. Superior to 1999, akin to the 1988 vintage. Elegant and aromatic wines at a fraction of 2000's price. Wines have potential for ageing, most however will never attain sweetness and weight of warmer vintages.

2002 Another year of 'Classic' Bordeaux, with Cabernet based wins on the Left Bank providing many of the highlights. Left Bank wines had potential for extended aging, whereas Right Bank wines provided early drinking highlights. Many wines of interest and quality from this often overlooked vintage. Wines are much lighter than previous 3 years, more perfumed, providing for medium term ageing (up to about 15 years for most wines).

2003 There is only word needed to describe 2003; Hot. Extremely concentrated wines, high alcohol levels and reduced acidity levels prevailed across Bordeaux. Initially thought of as superior to 2000, lack of acidity and over-concentration has led to diminishing interest. Many wines enjoyable after 5 years in bottle, questions abound about long term ageing potential.

2004 A return to a 'Classic' vintage after the over-ripe and somewhat Port-like wines of 2003, 2004 was a somewhat dark vintage of high tannin levels and perfumed Cabernet. The 2004s have somewhat been forgotten compared to its predecessor and successive vintage, but many charming and elegant wines are available. Comparisons to 1988 abound, due to leafy Cabernet Sauvignon aromas and flavours. Great wines have long ageing potential.

2005 Compared to outstanding and legendary vintages such as 1990, 1982 and 1959, the first 'Vintage of the Century' after 2000 and 2003, wines were initially very high in tannin and extract, yet still sweet and elegant on release. Many of the Left Bank wines require prodigious aging before realising their full potential. Most wines are enjoyable now due to sweetness of fruit and tannin but have further development in bottle over 10+ years.

2006 A very good quality vintage, similar in style yet slightly superior to 2004. Described as another 'Classic' vintage of leafy Cabernet, more approachable and elegant when young than previous 'Classics'. Left bank produced powerful wines, very dark fruit flavours and slightly sour tannins.

Below is one of my favourites from this era:

Château Tayac 2006 Margaux - One of this famous appellation's less well-known châteaux, Tayac has been quietly producing great quality wines over the last four generations of family ownership, and has established itself as a benchmark for well-made, good value Margaux. A medium-bodied, well-structured claret, with good ripeness and fruit concentration, and harmonious savoury characters. Fine-grained tannins and good length.

Bordeaux Vintage Guide 1995-1999Date published: 06/11/13

1995 A fantastic vintage, often overlooked in comparison to the 1996. Uniform quality and consistency across the appellations. Wines have potential to continue to develop into their third decade.

1996 Fantastic vintage, especially on the Left Bank, as Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wines excelled. Often described as 'Backward' due to success and propensity of intensely concentrated and tannic Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. Many wines have potential to age for another decade, but lesser wines drinking now.

1997 A 'Light' and 'Forward Drinking' vintage, blighted at en primeur due to excessive prices charged by Châteaux. Most wines past their best, but still offer enjoyment but not a powerful experience.

1998 One of the great vintages for Right bank wines and excellent Graves. Often overlooked in comparison to 2000, but many St. Emilion wines are superior. On the Left bank comparisons were made to the 1988, with hard tannins early on before the wines put on weight and fleshed out over time.

1999 Sandwiched between one of the greatest right bank years and an excellent vintage all over, when many things that could go wrong went right, 1999 was the converse. Almost every commune produced both wines of great quality as well as dilute and thin wines. Vineyard management, wine making skill and luck were paramount! Many comparisons with 1988 as a ‘sleeper’ vintage requiring 10+ years cellaring to ‘wake up’.

Below is one of my favourites from this era:

Château Bourgneuf 1999 Pomerol - An intense and fleshy Pomerol, now fully mature and mellowed with age, yet still displaying plenty of power and muscularity. A core of ripe bramble fruit, shaped by well-integrated tannins, and topped off with aromas of dried scrubland herbs, cocoa and earth. Drinking well now.


A Closer Look at Château CoufranDate published: 06/11/13

Château Coufran

Often described as the 'Pomerol of the Médoc' due to the unusually high percentage of Merlot in the blend, Château Coufran is one of the most esteemed and highly regarded Cru Bourgeois Châteaux. Situated in the town of Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne on the Northern border of St. Estéphe, the vineyard was replanted in the 1920's following a series of crises where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines became very difficult to sell.The wine is an archetypal mature Claret; the antithesis of jammy and overtly sweet young wines with very elegant, perfume and restrained aromas of black berries, wood smoke, plum and Cassis. The perfume and structure of the 2004 vintage comes to the fore in the palate, with ripe and soft tannin, earthy and spicy dark berry flavours and lingering finish.

For more information about this wine please follow this link - http://www.majestic.co.uk/Chateau-Coufran-zid01035?tracking=|searchterm:Coufran

Beer Brief - Curious Brew Lager, Chapel DownDate published: 31/10/13

Curious Brew Lager,Chapel Down

ABV: 4.7%

Hops: Casacde, Saaz and Nelson Sauvin

Origin: From Chapel down winery in Kent this is an award winning beer. The product of two fermentations, this beer receives not only a "dosage" of champagne yeast in its second fermentation but a shot of Nelson Sauvin hops,famed for their intense aromas.

Taste: Vivid gold in the glass, the nose is packed with floral and stone fruit aromas. Like any good Champagne this wine has citrus and biscuit flavours that are enhanced by a refreshing bitterness.

Enjoy: Cold on a hot sunny day with barbecued meats and fish.

Fine Wine Friday - Brunello di Montalcino, BANFI Date published: 31/10/13

Brunello di Montalcino 2008 Banfi

Tomorrow we will opening the Brunello di Montalcino 2008 from BANFI coinciding with our Pick n Mix offer. It is now down to £19.99 a bottle. 

Castello Banfi is a family owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany. The grapes for this Brunello are sourced from hillside sites with calcareous sandy topsoil and rounded stones. A full bodied wine with hints of liquorice and chocolate complements the concentrated, velvety cherry fruits on the palate. Very well integrated tannins and long finish. Enjoy over the next 5 to 10 years. This wine is an ideal partner to a roast garlic and thyme seasoned lamb with braised red cabbage and red wine sauce.

To see a full list of all the wines open on our tasting counter, please follow this link - http://www.majestic.co.uk/gloucester

Wine of the Week: Montagny Vieilles Vignes 2010 BuxyDate published: 27/10/13

Montagny Vieilles Vignes 2010 Buxy


Unit Price £9.99

Buy 2 bottles save £2 £8.99

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

The Cave des Vignerons de Buxy is the result of collective enterprise and the work of 120 wine-growers and 40 employees. It was founded in 1931 with the collective aim of finding a solution to their problems relating to making, storing and selling wines.

Taste

This Montagny offers ripe lemon aromas, accompanied by subtle hints of white blossom. More refreshing citrus flavours on the palate, and an elegant, steely dry finish.

Enjoy

Drink now and accompany with salad or fish.


Fine Wine Friday - Amarone Classico Date published: 24/10/13

Amarone Classico ‘Vigneti di Roccolo’ 2010 Cantina Negrar

Tomorrow we will be opening this gorgeous wine from Northwest Italy. 

INTRODUCTION: Amarone is one of the iconic red wines from Italy, from the Veneto region in the north-west. It is a blend of three grape varieties, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The grapes are harvested and dried for around 120 days on straw mats, where they lose around one third of their weight due to evaporation, concentrating the flavours. The wine's name was used to distinguish between the sweeter Recitio styled wines from the same region, and translates as the great bitter.

FACTS: Cantina Negrar is a co-operative based in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region which was formed in 1933 when a group of 6 winemakers banded together to fight off speculators who wished to buy up land and make Valpolicella using imported grapes. The group realised that by joining forces they were able to afford new facilities and therefore produce better wines.

TASTE: Very rich, with aromas of Christmas cake, cooking spices and sweet fruits, leading to a thickly textured wine with soft tannin and a powerful fruit driven finish.

FOOD MATCH: Slow cooked lamb or beef casserole, as well as blue cheese.

If you get the chance, I highly recommend that you pop in and try it with us. 

For a full list of all the wines open on our tasting counter please follow this link - http://www.majestic.co.uk/gloucester

Wine of the Week - Alamos ChardonnayDate published: 21/10/13

Alamos Chardonnay 2012 Catena, Mendoza



Unit Price - £8.99

Buy 2 bottles save £4 -  £6.99

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

Chardonnay is the wine that everyone wants to produce and the Argentines are no exception. Alamos is produced by Nicolás Catena, Decanter Man of the Year 2009, and focuses on ripe, varietal fruit.

Taste

This wine displays a stunning array of ripe peach, pear and apple flavours which marry harmoniously with toasty oak.

Enjoy

Try this with creamy pasta dishes, poultry or fish.


New Rieslings InDate published: 19/10/13

Riesling has to be one of the most under appreciated and misunderstood grape varieties in the world. German Riesling's are one of my favourite wines, and they are fantastic value for money, so I became very excited when I saw that we had a new special parcel arrived from the Dr Herman vineyards, as well as having the Fritz Riesling back in stock. So for all those who know how great Rieslings can be, come into store and take advantage of these new arrivals

Matua - the new Ned?Date published: 19/10/13

For those who are after a great New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc the Matua is a must try. It's on offer at the moment, down to just £7.99, and offers many of the same great fruity characteristics as the Ned. Here are our tasting notes for it to whet your appetite:

A great all-round Kiwi Sauvignon, combining tangy grapefruit and gooseberry flavours with hints of passion fruit and capsicum, all delivered with an explosion of refreshing acidity.

Fine Wine Friday: Château Sénéjac 2010Date published: 18/10/13

Today we have open for you to try the fantastic Château Sénéjac 2010 vintage. Here is a little information about the wine for you so you can know what to expect:

Château Sénéjac 2010 Cru Bourgeois, Haut-Médoc

Price: 

£18 when you buy 2 or more selected fine wines

Unit price: 

£23

Grape:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot

Origin: 

Located on deep gravelly soils in the village of Le Pian, Sénéjac is a 39-hectare property with vines averaging 35 years of age. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vessels, then aged for 12-15 months in 30%-new oak barrels.

Taste:

With a black fruit backbone and hints of graphite and mocha, this wine offers a sense of pedigree and opulence. Polished tannins and good balance make it immediately approachable.

Enjoy:

Drinking well now, but should cellar well for up to 10 years



Fine Wine FridayDate published: 17/10/13

Tomorrow we are running another Fine Wine Friday here in Gloucester and we will be opening the Chateau Senejac 2010, Cru Borgeois, Haut-Medoc. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Located on deep gravelly soils in the village of Le Pain, Senejac is a 39-hectare property with vines averaging 35 years of age. The  wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vessels, then aged for 12-15 months in 30% -new oak barrels. With a black fruit backbone and hints of graphite and mocha, this wine offers a sense of pedigree and opulence. Polished tannins and good balance make it immediately approachable. It drinks very well now, but should cellar well for up to 10 years. 

The Ch Senejac is currently on offer at £18 when you buy two or more bottles and will be available to taste tomorrow and on Saturday. Please feel free to come in and join Alex and I on the tasting counter. 

A Closer Look at the Angel's Share ShirazDate published: 16/10/13

Angel's Share Shiraz 

INTRODUCTION The Australians have always done their utmost to be different - even changing the name of the grape varieties. The distinction between Shiraz and Syrah is not just in name, but in style, as instead of the Northern Rhône's white pepper and rose petals characteristics, the Australian style is typified by black pepper spices with black fruit and berry aromas and flavours, resulting in a more fruity style. This more 'forward and fruity' style of wine was, along with some drastic vine pulling and focus on quality grape varieties in the 1980's, responsible for the rise in popularity of Australian wines. Vines were introduced into the McLaren Vale in 1838, including the original Hardy Winery vineyards, and many of the oldest vines in the world still producing viable crops are in and around this region.

FACTS Two Hands was established in 1999, with the intention of producing wine from all the growing regions of Australia, highlighting and exemplifying the characteristics of each region. The first vintage was in 2000, and over the years the winery built up a reputation as producing beautifully crafted, expressive Shiraz. The Angel's Share wine comes from the McLaren Vale, in South Australia, where the influence of the Indian Ocean tempers the climate, producing earthy, spicy wines. All the wines in the Two Hands range have playful names; the Garden series named after the proprietors' children and the Picture series, with names such as Angel's Share, Gnarly Dudes and Fly By Nighters. Angel's Share relates to the wine 'drunk by angels' during evaporation, and Fly By Nighters is a tongue in cheek reference to the criticisms aired when the winery opened.

TASTING NOTE Peppery nose of cassis, plums and hints of leather, leading to a full, rich and concentrated body of ripe black fruits, soft tannins and spice.

FOOD MATCH Steak is an obvious choice, although a great partner to any red meat, either grilled or in a rich sauce.

New Wine of the Week - Invivo Sauvignon BlancDate published: 16/10/13

Invivo Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Awatere Valley, Marlborough

Invivo is the brainchild of winemaker Rob Cameron, and his old school friend and marketing expert, Tim Lightbourne. Together they have created the Invivo range of unmistakably Kiwi wines. This Sauvignon comes exclusively from their vineyards in the Awatere valley. Bold and intensely tropical, with an immense bouquet of guava, passion fruit and lime. Crisp and crunchy on the palate, which is awash with a lingering citrussy zest. Chill well and enjoy with a noodle and fresh vegetable stir fry.

For a full list of every wine currently open on our tasting counter, please follow the link - http://www.majestic.co.uk/gloucester


The Beer Kitchen Confirmed for Winter Tasting Evening Date published: 15/10/13

I am very happy to announce that Wadworth's Beer Kitchen will have a stand at this year's Winter Wine Evening on Tuesday 19th of November. The Beer Kitchen is a unique range of beers, brewed in limited batches from the finest hand selected ingredients. The range were specifically created to complement food, or to be savoured on their own. They are now available to buy here in the Gloucester store and will be available to taste at our Winter Wine Evening. 

For details of all our upcoming tasting events follow the link - www.majestic.co.uk/gloucester 

A New Arrival From St EmillionDate published: 15/10/13

Chateau Berliquet 2006, St-Emillion Grand Cru Classe

The Relatively small size of  Berliquet's vinyard, which covers 9 hectares, made an 'a la carte' harvest possible with a small team of picjers. This flexible approach was crucial for making the most of the terroir's potential, plot by plot, at exactly the right stage of ripeness. The harvest began on the 20th of September with the Merlots, followed by the Cabernet-Franc and finally the Cabernet-Sauvignon that were picked on the 29th of September. Chateau Berliquet 06 was aged for 15 months in barrels, 55% of which were new. Each batch and grape variety were aged seperately in the estate's undergground cellars. The final blending took place a few weeks before bottling at the chateau on May 28th 2008. The dazzling, lively robe unveils a complex, very fresh aromatic bouquet of fresh fruit higlighted with discreet wodd. The fruit keeps coming back on the palate, where the wine displays its elegance, great pruity, and mineral aftertastes. The grape tannins are distinctive and very refined, announcing a great future. Enjoy this wine now or over the next 3-4 years, ideally with a game pie!

Wine Course FeedbackDate published: 15/10/13

On Saturday evening Alex and I hosted the increasingly popular Wine Course here in store. A lively group of 8 attended and I can safely say a wonderful evening was had by all. Guests were greeted with a glass of Prosecco to whet their appetite for was to come. We started off with a brief introduction to the WSET tasting method and a discussion ensued on whether or not 'whistling with wine' is appropriate to do in a restaurant. We then tasted three reds and three whites with a Champagne in between. Alex gave a fantastic insight in to the production method and the difference between Vintage and Non-Vintage styles. As promised the highlight of the evening was saved till last as we carried out a food and wine matching experiment. As well as being a good bit of fun I think everyone found it very educational and there was certainly something to take home. The favourite wine of the evening was the ever impressive Peter Lehman Cabernet Sauvignon; full, fruity and very smooth on the palate. Thank you to all who attended. It was great to meet you and hopefully we will see you back at the tasting counter soon. 

There are still spaces available on our next Wine Course on Friday 15th of November. For information on all our FREE tasting events follow the link - majestic.co.uk/gloucester

Lagunilla top of the Rioja tree!Date published: 12/10/13

Rioja Reserva 2008 Lagunilla

Since Spain has been on the 20% offer we have been trying plenty of Rioja's and other Spanish reds here in store but I always find myself coming back to the Lagunilla. This famous Rioja bodega was founded in 1885 by Don Felipe Lagunilla San Martín, who is credited with rescuing Rioja's vineyards from the phylloxera epidemic, through his pioneering work in grafting vines onto American rootstocks. It is a classic Reserva, striking a balance between meatiness and elegance. 24 months in oak casks has endowed it with an enjoyable smoothness and mellow, spicy aromatics. The 08 vintage is even better than the 07 and for me, it's the best Spanish red under a tenner!

Argentina at it Again!!Date published: 12/10/13

Our Argentinian tasting week has brought to light another fantastic Malbec that would rival the value of the ever-so-popular Callia Bella. New in this week, the Santa Ana Malbec from Mendoza, completely blew me away. Similar to the Callia Bella, it is not the most tannic wine but still has all those full, juicy plum flavours that you would expect. It also had a very satisfying finish which lingered beautifully on the palate. At £5.99 it is once again testament to the quality of wine coming out of Argentina. We currently have it open to try on out tasting counter and will do all weekend and early next week.

Come and ExploreDate published: 11/10/13

#comeandexplore

Dare I say it but here at Majestic Gloucester we are already starting to think about our Christmas wines and there is no better place to discover new delights than at the tasting counter. As we move in to the Autumn months our preferences are naturally changing from refreshing fruity whites to deep, rich and spicy reds. So expect to see more from Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley open in store. Alex, Matt and I always love discussing our favourites with you so don't be shy,  come taste with us! 

Salentein Prosecco Finally Arrives!Date published: 11/10/13

Having tried this last year at the London International Wine fair I could hardly wait for it to arrive here in store. After the huge success of Salentein's Portillo Malbec I knew that their Prosecco would prove to be just as popular. But wait is what I have done; 6 month's later it has finally arrived and is just as good as I remember it. Currently on a fantastic offer at £9.99 down from £14.99 this is and excellent opportunity to try another fantastic product from Salentein. Bodegas Salentein has one of the largest cool-climate estates in Argentina, with 2000ha of vines, at up to 1700m above sea level. Their Malbec (currently on offer at £6.99) is grown at around 1050m. This multi-award-winning wine recently won Decanter's 'Best Argentinian Malbec under £10' trophy. It will be open to taste in store all weekend. #comeandexplore

Fine Wine FridayDate published: 10/10/13

Tomorrow we will be opening the Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough.

Saint Clair Family Estate is rapidly becoming one of the most reputed wineries in Marlborough, despite producing their first wines as recently as 1994. The Pioneer Block wines are sourced from outstanding parcels of fruit, identified by chief winemaker Matt Thomson. An almost otherworldly intensity of fruit, with pungent aromas of gooseberry and passion fruit, with a steely dryness, herbaceous characters, underlying minerality and a long, lingering finish. Asian-inspired cuisine is ideal, as the wine echoes the lemongrass and fresh coriander often used in these dishes. 

Special offer - £19.99 or £15.99 when you buy 2 or more!

Malbec MadDate published: 10/10/13

Think red teeth, big steaks and that  fuzzy feeling inside that helps keep you warm during the Autumnal months. IT'S MALBEC TIME!!!

Tomorrow sees the start of our legendary Argentinian tasting week and we are all very excited by the wines we will be opening over the next seven days. We have everything from great value entry level quaffers to complex and sophisticated giants from Mendoza. So make sure you pop in at some point and Alex and I will be more than happy to talk (and taste) you through range. #comeandexplore

Malbec MadDate published: 10/10/13

Think red teeth, big steaks and that  fuzzy feeling inside that helps keep you warm during the Autumnal months. IT'S MALBEC TIME!!!

Tomorrow sees the start of our legendary Argentinian tasting week and we are all very excited by the wines we will be opening over the next seven days. We have everything from great value entry level quaffers to complex and sophisticated giants from Mendoza. So make sure you pop in at some point and Alex and I will be more than happy to talk (and taste) you through range. #comeandexplore

Paulaner OktoberfestbierDate published: 09/10/13

Paulaner Oktoberfestbier

ABV: 6%

Hops: Hallertau

Origin: Paulaner is the largest brewery in Munich and the eighth largest in Germany. Originally founded by monks in 1634 the brewery was intended to produce beer for the monks during Lent. Oktoberfest beer is based on a recipe from 1872 and in Germany only six breweries are legally allowed to call their beer "oktoberfestbier"

Taste: A deep amber gold colour, this is a full bodied style of lager. The nose has biscuit and subtle toffee characters.The palate is more rounded than a traditional lager and has a subtle malty sweetness. Flavours of bread and biscuit are also apparent.

Enjoy: Well chilled with pork dishes.

Italy continues to impress!Date published: 09/10/13

From bright, fresh Pinot Grigio to the deep reds of Barolo, Italy has something for everyone, especially given our great range of wines. I will always look here if I want to explore something new especially when matching with food. I could spend years trying to get my head around this fascinating giant of the wine world and still be surprised by what it has to offer. Our range here at Majestic is always expanding and diversifying so, if like me you are always looking for something new and exciting, look no further than Italy!

Wine of the week: DMZ Syrah 2011 De Morgenzon, StellenboschDate published: 09/10/13

DMZ Syrah 2011 De Morgenzon, Stellenbosch

Unit Price £10.99

Buy 2 South African Wines save 20% £8.79

Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Origin

This youthful and expressive wine comes from young vines in De Morgenzon's own estate, grown on its weathered granite soils. Hand-picked, the grapes are then fermented in stainless steel, before transfer to French oak barrels for 11 months' maturation.

Taste

An abundance of bright and youthful plum and berry fruit is the main feature, surrounded by touches of violet, cinnamon and vanilla. Rounded and supple in texture.

Enjoy

Drinking well now, or over the next 5-6 years. Great with pasta in a traditional marinara sauce.


UnderDog Atlantic Lager, Flying DogDate published: 08/10/13

UnderDog AtlanticLager, Flying Dog

ABV: 4.7%

Hops: Perle, Goldings

Origin: The Flying Dog brewery was originally set up as a brew pub in Denver however the popularity of its beers caused them to move to their current site in Baltimore,Maryland. The name Flying Dog was conceived whilst the founder was in Pakistan climbing K2. Showing inspiration can be found anywhere!

Taste: this is a crisp, hop driven lager. Pale gold in the glass but bursting with flavour. Flavours of citrus and a powerful hop bitterness dominate this beer. These flavours linger on the palate.

Enjoy: Well chilled as an aperitif or with simple salads.

Star buy from ItalyDate published: 08/10/13

Guidalberto 2011 Tenuta San Guido, IGT Toscana

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and is the 'little brother' to the winery's celebrated Sassicaia, from three vineyard sites surrounding Bolgheri. The varieties are vinified separately before blending and maturation in French and American oak. The wine has an intense violet colour and a soft and rounded fruit profile, and can be enjoyed immediately or over the next 3-4 years. 

I rarely can afford to splash out on something like this but find myself making excuses to do so regularly. 

Beer Brief - Brooklyn LagerDate published: 07/10/13

Brooklyn Lager

ABV: 5.2%

Hops: Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, Vanguard and Cascade.

Origin: Founded in 1987 this brewery is one of the bedrocks of the American craft beer scene. Current brewmaster and world renowned beer author, Garett Oliver, joined in 1994 and is largely responsible for developing this beer into the one we know and love today.

Taste: This beer is a great all rounder. Styled as a Vienna lager it has a complex malt edge as well as a refreshing hop bitterness. Flavours of biscuit and caramel on the palate are joined by subtle floral notes on the nose. 

Enjoy: chilled with grilled meats or with your cheese course

Matua gets two thumbs up from me! Date published: 07/10/13

Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough

Since arriving to the range at the beginning of the summer, I have been really impressed but the quality of the Matua Sauvignon and think it is an excellent wine at £7.99. It is a great all-round Kiwi Sauvignon, combining tangy grapefruit and gooseberry flavours with hints of passion fruit and capsicum, all delivered with an explosion of refreshing acidity. Matua is a Maori word which translates as 'head of the family', and is somewhat appropriate for this winery, which was part of New Zealand's first wave of modern winemakers who began making great Sauvignon Blanc in the mid-1970's. The wine shows very favorably against others I have had at this price and I would strongly reccomend it to any Sauvignon lovers!

Beer Brief - Anchor SteamDate published: 06/10/13

Anchor Steam

ABV: 4.8%

Hops: Northern Brewery 

Origin: A classic hybrid beer. Lager yeasts are used in a brewing process that is traditionally associated with the production of English bitter. This is a unique style of brewing that originated in the gold rush era of the West coast of America.

Taste: A wonderful amber colour in the glass, a rich caramel malt flavour dominates this beer. This is then rounded off by subtle citrus flavours that are the result of careful use of hops.

Enjoy: Chilled with Mexican food or it is equally at home with good company.

Beer Brief - Cooper's Pale AleDate published: 05/10/13

Cooper's Pale Ale

ABV: 4.5%

Hops: Pride of Ringwood 

Origin: Coopers were founded in 1862 by Thomas Cooper,when he was trying to find a restorative drink for his sick wife. His beers were so successful that a full time brewery was established in 1881 and this brewery has remained in Cooper hands ever since.

Taste: The beer uses the Australian hop Pride of Ringwood,noted for both its floral and citrus characters, both of which are present in this beer. It also undergoes a natural second fermentation which causes sediment which gives a fine cloudy appearance and depth to the beer.

Enjoy: Cold with barbecued meats.

New Wine of the Week!Date published: 05/10/13

Bellingham 'The Bernard Series' Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012 Western Cape

Origin

Winemaker Niël Groenewald's exceptional pocket of old, low-yielding Chenin bush vines produces a wine deserving its own unique identity. The Bernard Series celebrates the legend of Bernard Podlashuk, the founder and the original winemaker, and is matured in French oak.

Taste

Tropical fruit and citrus, limestone and oak aromas give way to a refreshing, powerful and rounded palate. Vanilla spices with honeysuckle, layers of fruit and a lingering finish.

Enjoy

Enjoy over the next two years with pan fried fish, pork chops or scallops.

Wine of the week: Bellingham 'The Bernard Series' Old Vine Chenin Blanc Date published: 05/10/13

Bellingham 'The Bernard Series' Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2012 Western Cape

Origin

Winemaker Niël Groenewald's exceptional pocket of old, low-yielding Chenin bush vines produces a wine deserving its own unique identity. The Bernard Series celebrates the legend of Bernard Podlashuk, the founder and the original winemaker, and is matured in French oak.

Taste

Tropical fruit and citrus, limestone and oak aromas give way to a refreshing, powerful and rounded palate. Vanilla spices with honeysuckle, layers of fruit and a lingering finish.

Enjoy

Enjoy over the next two years with pan fried fish, pork chops or scallops.

The New Sherry Range has Landed!Date published: 05/10/13

Pedro’s Almacenista Selection!

The sherries come from small, boutique, family-owned cellars (called Almacenista's in Jerez) and carry a great degree of weight and complexity. I have tried a couple of them already and I think they are going to go down very well this winter. The range starts with the dry Fino and continues through the spectrum to the caramelised Palo Cortado. 

Pedro’s Fino £8.99

Pedro’s Amontillado £9.99

Pedro’s Olorosso £11.99

Pedro’s Palo Cortado £14.99

Beer Brief - Krombacher Wheat BeerDate published: 04/10/13

Krombacher Wheat Beer

ABV: 5.3%

Hops: Tettnanger, Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, Spalt, Saaz

Origin: Krombacher are an established premium brewery in Germany. Given the rise in interest in the Wheat beer style this is a new addition to the Krombacher range. New brewery equipment was purchased to ensure that Krombacher's high standards were maintained after the introduction of this beer.

Taste: The appearance is cloudy and a vivid amber gold.The nose contains the traditional wheat beer aromas of clove, banana and bubblegum. The palate is tangy and refreshing with a pleasing mixture of citrus and spice.

Enjoy: Well chilled and with spicy food.

Chablis 1er Cru Open on the Tasting CounterDate published: 04/10/13

Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Seguinot-Bordet 

INTRODUCTION: All over the New World wines have been made and labelled as Chablis, but very few ever come close to the original. The concept of Terrior, or specific attributes of geography, topography soil and climate have a significant impact on the character and style of the wines of Chablis. After Champagne and Alsace, Chablis is the most northerly wine making region in France, the cooler temperatures results in fresher and lighter bodied wines than the regions further south. The cooler climate and Kimmeridge clay soils and chalk sub-soils extend through Chablis and the Loire Valley to the White Cliffs of Dover results in a unique expression of Chardonnay. The Romans introduced vines to the region in the first century AD, but the fame and desirability of Chablis stems from the 15th and 16th Century; the proximity to Paris and ease of transporting barrels via the Yonne River led to sales of Chablis flourishing. Amongst the longest lived of White Burgundies, Chablis can age for decades in the case of the Grand Cru wines. The Chablis style of Chardonnay is characterised by vibrant green apple acidity, flinty and mineral aromas with floral undertones.

FACTS: The family Domaine of Seguinot-Bordet can be traced to the 1590's from the Maligny commune on the outskirts of Chablis. The wine making philosophy is exemplified by the work in the vineyard, with a rigorous program of de-budding, pruning, harvesting and selecting the best quality fruit in order to allow the terrior to express itself. The vines are very densely planted, with the vines aged between 45 and 60 years old (in contrast to 'old' vines in New Zealand, where many have not even made it to 30 years old). The wine is fermented and aged in temperature controlled tanks to maintain freshness and vibrancy.

TASTING NOTE: Powerful aromas of white florals, wet river stones, gun flint, and green apple leads to a body of fresh and racy vibrancy, minerality and ripe citrus fruits.

FOOD MATCH: Oysters in the half shell, seared scallops or king prawns in a chili sauce.

Sparkling Saturdays are back!!!Date published: 04/10/13

Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Extra Dry NV DOCG, Italy

Tomorrow, to celebrate our new November deals, we are bringing back Sparkling Saturdays and will be opening the Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene. La Marca winery is located in Oderzo, in the Veneto region. Its members own about 8,000 hectares of vineyards on the hills and the plain. Advanced technologies are used in the vineyards and the cellar to aid the continual improvement of wine quality. A pale straw colour with a fine mousse and typical fruit characters of apples and pineapples. Ideal as an apéritif or to accompany a light lunch. 

Please come in store and try it with me on the tasting counter!!

Thanks to all who attended our Spotlight Tasting today on Shiraz/SyrahDate published: 28/09/13

Thanks again to all who attended our Free Spotlight Tasting today on Syrah/Shiraz.

We tasted a range of wines from around the world all containing Syrah. There was a fantastic Chilean Syrah from Louis Felipe Edwards, which is an absolute steal at £5.99, a couple of really fun Australian Shirazs and a lovely South African Syrah Viognier blend, which is out of the ordinary and a must try. All the wines will be on the tasting counter for the next few days so please do drop into the store, and I would love to take you through them.

Alex

Syrah/Shiraz and Pinot Noir Tasting WeekDate published: 26/09/13

Syrah/Shiraz and Pinot Noir Tasting Week

This week in-store we are tasting a range of wines produced using these two important grape varieties. Throughout the week, there will be a variety of wines open to try on the tasting counter as well as a spotlight tasting tutorial taking place on Saturday 28th September and 15:00. To book your place on Saturday's tutorial (free of charge!) please call us in-store on 01452 303949.

Wine of the Week - Rioja Reserva 2008 LagunillaDate published: 26/09/13

Rioja Reserva 2008 Lagunilla

This is yet another of our favourite every day reds which punches well above its weight! The emphasis here is on depth of flavour instead of intense fruitiness. The oaking has given the wine a beautiful spicy, herbaceous almost resinous flavour which is supported by the primary fruit of bramble, cherry and fig.  

£10.99

Special Offer £8.74

Buy 2 Spanish wines save 25% = £6.55

Grape

Grenache, Tempranillo

Origin

This famous Rioja bodega was founded in 1885 by Don Felipe Lagunilla San Martín, who is credited with rescuing Rioja's vineyards from the phylloxera epidemic, through his pioneering work in grafting vines onto American rootstocks.

Taste

A classic Reserva wine, striking a balance between meatiness and elegance. 24 months in oak casks has endowed it with an enjoyable smoothness and mellow, spicy aromatics.

Enjoy

Partner with roast shoulder of lamb, or any number of game dishes.


Viva EspañaDate published: 25/09/13

Check out our new Spanish display, celebrating our improved offer! Spanish wines are now 25% off across the range.


Something a little different from the DueroDate published: 22/09/13

Conde de San Cristobal 2010, Ribero del Duero

Founded by iconic Rioja producer Marques de Vargas in 2000, Cristobal is a small boutique winery producing seriously good Ribera. Their first release was in 2006, so they spent 6 years producing but not selling in order to perfect their wine. Ribera del Duero can be very hot, but it is the fluctuations in temperature that are most important. Cold nights and hot days, coupled with the winds flowing through the valley make it an ideal spot for the production of quality wine. The winery only produce one wine, this one, which means a lot of effort goes into it.Interestingly the wine is aged in Russian oak, as well as French and American, which gives it huge complexity. Cabernet and Merlot lend it serious structure. Big, a bit of alcoholic burn, and so much going on. Warm spice, like clove andcinnamon..... Toast, vanilla and butter from the oak, then red and black fruit, maybe some plum, cherry and blackberry. Long, precise, acidic and balanced, a really impressive bottle that tastes plush like Pomerol and could age for ten years.

Spotlight Tasting Thank You!Date published: 22/09/13

Thanks once again to all of you who attended our Sauvignon Blanc Spotlight Tasting yesterday. This was Alex's - our trainee -  first solo tasting presentation and I think he did a really good job.

We tried a whole range of Sauvignon Blanc from around the world - although we excluded New Zealand on purpose as they are already some of our most popular wines - and concentrated on lesser known producers. We also had a look at some alternatives to Sauvignon which still provide fresh, crisp and fruity wines, but with slightly different flavours and textures. 

The two most popular wines on the day were the Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa and the Jose Pariente Sauvignon from Rueda in Spain. Both of these wines offered truly astounding quality for the price and even more importantly an alternative to the more popular New Zealand Savignons' which which we are all familiar. 

Next Saturday 28th September we will be tasting a selection of Shiraz/Syrah from around the world to see how this classic grape variety can produce such fantastic diversity in style. Come and join us at 3pm for this Spotlight Tasting.

If you can't make the tasting at 3pm, please contact us and we can always arrange an alternaitve time to run through the wines with you. The wines from the tastimg are almost always available to taste until the end of the day following the tastings, so feel fee to pop in and have a try then. 



A Riojan RivalDate published: 21/09/13

Cillar de Cilos Crianza 2009, Ribero del Duero

Described by the Oxford companion to wine as a serious contender to the top wineries of Ribera del Duero, Cillar de Silos is a Family affair, which began in 1970 when Amalio Aragon was getting such compliments for his 'back garden' private production. Located in Quintana del Pidio, which in years gone by has been a centre of the local wine industry. Growers used to bring their best bottles to the monastery there in order to receive blessing for the following harvest. In order to increase the quality of the grapes, Silos employ a technique called cluster thinning, which is literally removing healthy bunches from the vines and discarding them so that all the nutrients and intensity is concentrated in fewer bunches. Vibrant, mouth filling blackcurrant, cherry and spicy, vanilla laden oak. It's tannic but soft,voluptuous but subtle, a really well balanced big wine, so much complexity. It has a chocolate note on the finish which is very long. Would be great with roast lamb or beef.

The Face - MatsuDate published: 20/09/13

Matsu El Picaro 2012, Toro
Matsu are an inspirational new producer. Described as a modern project of sustainable viticulture, they practice biodynamic winemaking, and their name means 'to wait' in Japanese, which is their ethos, to wait for the cycles of the universe to align before they carry out certain practices. Toro is a very hot region of Spain, where long hot summers see regular temperatures of 37 degrees or more. As such the best vineyards are planted at high altitude where the winds are stronger and the temperature not quite as hot. Picaro means rogue or rascal, and this wine is designed to be a fun, lively interpretation of the region. From young Tempranillo vines, the wine sees little oak (3 months) and the intensity of the fruit is the focus for the winemaker.
Tasting Note:
Very fruity, almost slightly confected and charred, there is a lot of deep black fruit, but also some raspberry, like fruits of the forest. It's intensity is impressive, and for a straight up obvious expression of Tempranillo it is hard to beat.

A Closer Look at Hacienda ZoritaDate published: 20/09/13

Hacienda Zorita Tempranillo 2009, Arribes del Duero

Now a luxury hotel and home to one of Marqués de la Concordia's cellars, Hacienda Zoritais a beautiful 14th century monastery and vineyard estate, that can list Columbus amongits historic visitors. He stayed there while raising funds to travel to the Indes. In Salamanca, home to Europe's third oldest university behind Bologna and Oxford, this isas far along the Duero valley as quality wine producers have travelled. The hotel is apopular tourist attraction for wine loving foodies. 100% Tempranillo, this wine is another expression of the famous grape. At Zorita there is afocus on canopy management, the process of manipulating the vines so just the rightamount of sunlight and wind hit the grapes. Very fruity, red fruits such as cranberry and cherry and a little blackcurrant. A light toastyoak and vibrant acidity, this would go well with a rich chorizo dish, it would cut through thefat. A good food wine, but also drinkable on its own. Great versatility. 

Free Spotlight Wine Tasting - Sauvignon Blanc and Alternative OptionsDate published: 20/09/13

We will be holding our third Spotlight Tasting tomorrow at 3pm, and we're really excited about this one. We will be looking at our most popular white wine variety 'Sauvignon Blanc' and the potential alternatives available to those of you who might be willing to experiment, but would still like a similar light, fresh and zingy wine.

We'll be showing you the delights of Spanish white wines, including a stunning Sauvignon Blanc from the vineyard which provided the famous El Bulli with it's house white. We will explore South African Sauvignon and Chenin Blancs before showing you some exciting Australian alternatives, including one grape variety which you might not be expecting...

So come on down to try some exciting wines for free, expand your wine vocabulary and hopefully surprise yourself with the variety of alternatives to your favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.


Focus on Concordia Reserva Date published: 19/09/13

Marques de la Concordia Rioja Reserva

Winner of 136 international awards since 2004, Concordia was started by Jose Abascal in1812. He was granted the title of Marques de la Concordia on account of his work bringingSpanish culture to their South American colonies and acting as a diplomat. The beauty of Rioja is that, like Champagne, they age the wines for so long. There isnever the philosophy of getting the wine to market quickly. Some producers will wait 10years before releasing their wines, and as such quality is always on their mind. Like in Bordeaux, 2007 was not a fantastic vintage in Rioja, which means wines such asthis are drinking superbly now. Yes they don't have the cellaring potential of 2001, 2004 or2010 (yet to be released) but this is not necessarily a bad thing for wines to be drunk now. This Reserva shows complex aromas of ripe fruit, cedar and spice, which develop into asmooth, velvety palate with powerful dark fruit flavours, hints of coffee and an almostchocolatey richness. Classic, good looking, impressive with lamb.

Still spaces left on our Sauvignon Blanc Spotlight...Date published: 19/09/13

This Saturday sees the return of our most popular Tasting Tutorial (or Spotlights as we now like to call them). We will be opening a range of Sauvignon Blancs from all over the world as well as some suggested alternatives from our team. If you would like to book a place please give me a call on 01452 303 949 or send me an email at glo@majestic.co.uk


A Special Treat Open on the Tasting Counter Tomorrow...Date published: 19/09/13

Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir 

INTRODUCTION: Of all grape varieties, Pinot Noir tells the most stories; the story of the vineyard and the terrior in which the grapes were grown, the story of the vintage and the signature of the vintner. The label and name of Coney's Pinot Noir also tells a story; the treble clef logo on the label (and the names of all the wines Coney produce) heralds from the Coney's love of music and harks back to Tim Coney's days gigging with a band, whilst his wife Margaret danced and helped carry all the gear after the event. The wine making philosophy is one of minimal intervention, in order for the fruit and terroir to express as much character as possible.

FACTS: Martinborough was formally a service town for the sheep farms in the Wairarapa before the 'Martinborough Terrace' was identified by studies in the 1970's as ideal for quality grape growing. This lead to wineries becoming established in the town and people such as Tim Coney, the elder brother of former New Zealand cricket Captain Jeremy Coney, making the hour long drive from Wellington over a treacherous and narrow mountain road. The Tararua mountain range shelters Martinborough from the winds and weather that buffets nearby Wellington; on days where the rain is horizontal in Wellington it is often balmy and sunny in Martinborough. Although young in comparison with France, Martinborough boasts the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in the country and due to this vine age, Martinborough wines have a distinct style; more structure and subtle earthy undertones than the fruit driven styles of Marlborough and Central Otago.

TASTING NOTE: A fruity aroma of predominantly black cherries, with sweet spice, vanilla and a hint of savoury, leads to a vibrant body of juicy sweet fruits, soft tannins and vibrancy.

FOOD MATCH: Pinot Noir is a great match for many varied foods, but is at its best when matched with either roasted game or duck, or wild mushroom risotto.


Wine of the Week - Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc Date published: 19/09/13

Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc 2012/2013 Coastal Region

£8.99

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£6.55

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

The Boschendal vineyards cover an area of 254 hectares, extending for 6 kilometres along the slopes of the Groot Drakenstein Mountain to the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. A large proportion of the estate is planted with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Taste

Cool fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the delicate fruit flavours, this Sauvignon shows tropical fruit, citrus and herbs on the nose, crisp acidity and a clean, lingering finish.

Enjoy

Superb as an apéritif or enjoyed with smoked fish or seafood.


El Chaparral - A Tasty SurpriseDate published: 18/09/13

El Chaparral Old Vine Garnacha 2010, Navarra
The Nekeas Winery are based on an ancient property. They own papers dating from 1572 that outline the production of 142,000 litres of wine and the processes involved. They are also a big producer of olive oil. The Nekeas Valley is covered with vines. It is thought that French pilgrims planted wines here many centuries ago. It is situated as far north as any Spanish wine region, at the foothills of the Pyrenees. 100% Garnacha, this grape tends to lead to big wines, both in Rioja and the southern Rhone. The winds that come off the mountains cool the vineyards which leads to elegance and grapes that haven't baked in the heat of the Spanish sun.
Tasting Note:
Lots of bright red fruit such as Raspberry and cranberry. A little bit of creamy warmth from the oak, it has brilliant texture, very silky, and the tannins are evident but in no way intrusive. 90 Points from Parker, who calls it a brilliant value wine.

My Favourite New Arrival de EspanaDate published: 16/09/13

Montecrastillo 2011, Ribero del Duero
Finca Torremilanos are a very famous winery in the Ribera, dating back to 1903. Their range of wines is not huge, which allows them to put intense focus into the bottles they do produce, and as such they're some of the most revered. Unlike a number of holiday destinations, the locals in Ribera are amazingly friendly and hospitable. They take such pride in their food and wine and the underground caves are
always available for tourists to visit. The wine is macerated with the must for nine days, which is quite a long time. The skins
are effectively stirred around to extract as much of the colour as possible which leads to the intensity, however the wine only ages in oak for 7 months, so adds a seasoning as opposed to any real flavour.
Tasting Note:
Rich and dense and very deeply flavoured, it remains pure and natural-seeming, with flavours of black cherries and red and black berries. Michael Franz of Grapes of Spain, a famous council on Spanish wine, described it as the best value red he tasted in 2013.

Blood of the BullDate published: 16/09/13

Sangre de Toro 2011 Torres, Catalunya
Torres have been at the forefront of Spanish winemaking since their foundation in 1870. Innovators and pioneers, they have invested heavily in other countries, most recently China where they have invested a huge amount of money. The vineyards for this wine, a blend of Garnacha and Carinena were found by Torres in 1954 after an extensive search for the finest terroir. High on the hills and with chalky, free
draining soils, Sangre de Toro is a representation of land and varietal intensity. Unlike many Spanish wines where oak ageing and elevage are key, this wine is made with minimum intervention. It only sees oak barrels for 6 months and is designed to let the powerful grapes do the talking.
Tasting Note:
Fruit on two levels, jammy and ripe...... Blackcurrant and black cherry, damson and a little spice and tannin from the Carinena. Named in homage to Baccus, god of wine, who was also known as 'Son of the bull'. A classy affair, perfect for autumn drinking, it just nods with
the faintest hint towards Christmas.

Waimea Breaks New Ground With Its Latest Gold!Date published: 16/09/13

Waimea Estates is delighted to announce its latest Gold Medal is for a new grape variety – with an interesting background. Waimea Sauvignon Gris 2013 was awarded Gold in the New Zealand International Wine Show 2013 announced over the weekend.

Even the wine media have been a little confused over this wine style. Sauvignon Gris is not a hybrid variety – a cross between Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, it is a grape variety in its own right. The variety has its home in Bordeaux, France but very few examples of the wine are exported. New Zealand and Chile have had some traction with the style however and there are only a dozen or so examples of the wine in the country. It has a definite pinkish hue to its skin, and has similar levels of acidity to Sauvignon Blanc but generally produces fruit with higher sugar levels, greater aromatics and a rich round mouthfeel to the final wine. 


A Hit at the Tasting - Seniorio del Aguila Gran Reserva 2006Date published: 15/09/13

Seniorio del Aguila Gran Reserva 2006

The Aguila wines are named after a Spanish bird, a little like an eagle, which used to fly over the vineyards and keep pests away. It's a range made by one of the finest cooperatives in Carinena. Carinena as a winemaking region dates back to Phoenician times, and interestingly the
grape variety Carignan or Carignena in Spain was named after the region. The wine is unique as alongside normal Spanish grape varieties, they put a decent dose of Cabernet in the blend, which adds power and structure. Robert Parker is a big fan - he regularly gives 90+ points to this wine.

Tasting Note:
Black fruit..... Savoury...... Slightly inky, balsamic and nuts...... Light in colour, but deep in flavour and structured. A fantastic wine for the money, to have a wine consistently praised by Robert Parker is one thing, but to have it at this price is quite another.

A Closer Look at Paul Mas 'Vignes de Nicole' Chardonnay Viognier 2012Date published: 15/09/13

Paul Mas 'Vignes de Nicole' Chardonnay Viognier 2012

The Heron on the label of Paul Mas wines is named ‘Vinus’ and was known for eating all the Chardonnay grapes from the vines on the riverbank. The Nicole vineyards are surrounded by trees and are only 6 miles from the Thau basin, famous for being home to thousands of Flamingos. The Chardonnay undergoes long skin contact and is vinified separately from the Viognier. Fermentation lasts 1 month at low temperature. The wine is not initially identifiable as Old world as you are at first hit with a tropical nose. But then the rich buttery and nutty notes come through with the peachy and floral characteristics from the Viognier rounding it all off superbly. It’s different, you can definitely tell each part of the blend apart, but a real classy number which would be brilliant with roast chicken.

A Closer Look at Domaine Begude 'Le Bel Ange' Chardonnay 2012 PGI Pays d’OcDate published: 15/09/13

Domaine Begude 'Le Bel Ange' Chardonnay 2012 PGI Pays d’Oc

Taken over by an English family in 2003, Domaine Begude is now a standout property. Robert Parker even described the wines as beguiling! In the foothills of the Pyrenees, Begude is set in rolling hills and Limoux has been touted as possibly the best Chardonnay region in Southern France. Interestingly there is a little Chenin Blanc in the blend. The wine is totally tank fermented and undergoes immediate pressing, with no resting on the skins. This creates a very elegant style with a nose of tangy lemon and hints of florality. On the palate there are notes of pip fruit such as apple or pear. Because of the vibrant acidity this is definitely a food wine, and few would go better with a rich fish dish.

An Old Favourite - Muriel ReservaDate published: 14/09/13

Rioja Reserva 2008, Muriel
The name Muriel is a combination of the winemakers' family name of Murua, and Elciego, the name of the village where the winery is located, in the chalky soils of the Rioja- Alavesa. The Rioja-Alavesa is one of three areas in Rioja, alongside Rioja-Alta and Rioja-Baja.
Each is renowned for imparting different characteristics. The Alavesa region is known for wines with full body and high acidity. This wine is racked 4 times in its 24 months ageing in US and French oak. Racking is the process of siphoning wine off its lees and sediment which helps avoid off flavours and keeps the fruitiness of the wine dominant.
Tasting Note:
Deep fruit, both red and black...... Vanilla and toast from the oak, quite spicy too. It's fuller than the most, but has great levels of acidity and would be very good with a roast of lamb and trimmings as its so juicy and refreshing.

Rioja Tasting ReviewDate published: 14/09/13

Today a small crowd of 15 wine enthusiasts gathered with me in store for a brief spotlight tasting of the wines of Rioja and the surrounding areas.  We compared different Rioja producers from the 08 vintage, value reds from lesser known regions and two of our new arrivals from the Riber del Duero. It was great to sample such a diversity of wines based around the Tempranillo grape, which the country has so famously continued to export. The highlight of the tasting would have to be the Muriel Reserva 08 from Rioja. The complexity of the wine really thrilled us all and it proved so popular that we comlpetely sold out today. We are hoping to get some more in soon so keep an eye out for it when you are next in. I would like to thank everyone who attended this afternoon as I thoroughly enjoyed your company. To those of you who were unable to attend this weekend, I would like to invite you to our Sauvignon Blanc tasting next Saturday at 3pm. #comeandexplore

New Arrival - Septimo Día Chardonnay 2012 MendozaDate published: 14/09/13

Septimo Día Chardonnay 2012 Mendoza

Bodega Septima are a very new, yet state of the art winery established by Codorniu, of Cava fame, in 2001. They spent 60 years finding the perfect place; Mendoza, famous for olive oil as well as wine is high up in the mountains and one of the 9 Great Wine Capitals of the World. The wines has seen a good bit of oak ageing, which is music to my ears. 40% is aged in new barrels for 8 months. On top of that, malolactic fermentation is used - malic like vinegar to lactic like milk. The wine is not quite as complex as a Meursault but has the same intensity to it. If, like me, you are a lover of big brutish oaked Chardonnay this will be a treat. Indulgent and unashamedly large. Like a Bruce Willis movie.

Fine Wine of the Week - Beaune 1er Cru Rouge 2010 Louis JadotDate published: 14/09/13

Beaune 1er Cru Rouge 2010 Louis Jadot

Its not every day we get to open Fine Wine so don't miss out on the chance to try this fantastic offering from one of Burgundy's top producers.

£25.00

Buy 2 selected Fine Wines save £10

£20.00

Grape

Pinot Noir

Origin

Made from a blend of wines from a range of Premier Cru vineyards, this is an excellent quality Pinot Noir, and a great all-round representation of Beaune. Matured in French barriques for 16 months, the wine displays a fine balance between tight structure and softness.

Taste

Hints of violets on the nose are followed by delicious savoury, fleshy redcurrant fruit on the palate, held together with remarkably approachable tannins.

Enjoy

Drinking now, or cellar for 5 years or more.

Lagunilla Reserva - One of the Summer's Best Sellers!Date published: 13/09/13

Rioja Reserva 2008, Lagunilla
Lagunilla was founded in 1885 by Don Felipe Lagunilla San Martín, who rescued Rioja's vineyards from the phylloxera epidemic through his pioneering work in grafting vines onto American rootstocks. He was given the prestigious title of Commendador for his work. Rioja wine production was a struggling industry for many years until the 1970's when a renaissance of sorts occurred, placing a much firmer emphasis on quality over quantity. The wine is kept in large vats after fermentation for 12 months. This allows the wine to settle and develop a softer, more developed fruit character before beginning ageing in new oak barrels.
Tasting Note:
Red fruit..... Spice..... Vanilla..... This is a really well balanced Reserva. Too much oak and it would be sickly, not enough and the typical leathery fruit on show here would be ripe and austere. Super value, impressive looking and easy to drink.

A Closer Look at Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2011/2012 North CoastDate published: 13/09/13

Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2011/2012 North Coast

The boutique Clos du Bois winery is powered by 4000 solar panels, which if laid side by side would cover 4 acres of land. Sonoma in California is 45 minutes from San Francisco and home to 375 wineries including the iconic castle of Francis Ford Coppola which makes amazing wine. The philosophy is to make French style wines using old barrels, battonage and malolactic as opposed to heavy seasoning in new American barrels. The nose is full of really ripe tropical fruit, pear, peach and apple blossom. On the palate it is silky sweet but not overtly oaky. Well balanced, it’s typically Californian in it’s fruit, but has the elegance of an old world wine. A great link between the New and Old world of wine!

New Arrival - Chardonnay Saint Roch 2011 Puy de Dome, LoireDate published: 13/09/13

Chardonnay Saint Roch 2011 Puy de Dome, Loire

Puy de Dome is a winery named after one of France’s youngest volcanos. Hailing from the same area as Michelin, the labels are a homage to the automotive giant. As Auvergne, is the home of Volvic water as well as Michelin, it is often referred to as the Green Lung due to it’s forests, volcanoes and rivers. The wine undergoes a long, slow ferment, 100% malolactic, with 9 months lees ageing in tank, but it is completely unoaked. This specific technique give the wine a unique complexity. Incredible minerality on the palate is backed up by citrus fruit a little lemon and possibly some pear. It's quite nutty too! Loire Chardonnay of such quality is very hard to come by, it’s a style unto itself, somewhere between Chablis and Burgundy. If you are a Chardonnay fan then this is a wine that you have to discover and try for yourself.

New Arrival - Giesen Chardonnay 2012 MarlboroughDate published: 13/09/13

Giesen Chardonnay 2012 Marlborough

Giesen was set up by three German brothers in 1981. They made the bold decision to move from their homeland in order to make great wine in New Zealand. The Wairau Valley is home to an ancient riverbed with extremely good soil for winemaking of which  Giesen own 720 acres. State of the art equipment is the key - There are no lavish properties, in fact the winery is outdoors, and is full of the finest technology. A traditional elegance, as is often seen in Marlborough, shines through on a creamy palate with hints of white peach. It’s a lovely wine, very well made, reminiscent of a young white burgundy.

New Arrival - Los Boldos Chardonnay 2013 CachapoalDate published: 12/09/13

This new Chilean Chardonnay has really impressed us here in the Gloucester store!

With a strict mission to deliver wine made in a French style, but still representing Chile’s terroir, Ch Los Boldos are renowned. Chile is a great place to make wine with temperature differences effected by the heat, the Humboldt current, and unlimited water off the Andes. In recent years a big drive has been made to make Chilean terroir famous.

This wine received careful oak seasoning for 4 months. It has been made to show varietal character therefore minimal intervention went in to the winemaking with the grapes left to sing for themselves. There is plenty of clean fruit on the nose, with a slightly zesty, but mainly stone and pip fruit based palate. There is a little minerality too and creaminess. Very good value for money, it’s a typical Chilean Chardonnay with oak, fruit and clean acidity. Would be great with a BBQ.

My Old Favourite South African ChardonnayDate published: 12/09/13

Eikendal Chardonnay 2011 Stellenbosch

Ever since I first tasted this wine on the tasting counter it has been my favourite white. It's big and powerful but most importantly it is very well balanced and hits all the right notes on my palate.

As part of their work with a cheetah charity, Eikendal have given over an area of land for a group of young cheetahs to move into. The vineyard is situated in the Golden Triangle of winemaking around Stellenbosch. The Cape Doctor wind plays a huge role in cooling the vineyards in what is generally a very warm area. The character of the wine is created by picking the grapes at different times. The initial pick lends acidity and freshness to the wine whereas any subsequent picks give the wine it's richness. Notes of lemon, vanilla, butter and bread reach your nose before you have even picked up the glass. On the palate the experience is equally complex - good acidity fronts a savoury and long finish. It’s in no way bruising, but you get a bit of oak, actually a little like young Grand Cru Chablis. Delicious!

A Closer Look at the Aspen Chardonnay 2012 South Eastern AustraliaDate published: 12/09/13

Aspen Chardonnay 2012 South Eastern Australia

This wine was made for Majestic by Warburn Estate, a superb producer with the philosophy; ‘Find out what people want and make it for them’. Unlike a lot of Australia, the proximity to the Murray-Darling river means drought is never an issue in Riverina . Many vineyards are cultivated to make this wine, all to the exacting specifications of the producer. The idea is to show simple varietal and regional quality. With little oak influence you get a nose of confected apple and pastry, like a packet apple pie. On th palate some spice and creaminess comes through from the oak. It's an easy drinking style and a thoroughly inoffensive Chardonnay.  A great sunshine bottle!

Wine of the Week - Laurent Miquel L'Artisan Chardonnay 2011 PGI Pays d'OcDate published: 12/09/13

Wine of the Week - Laurent Miquel L'Artisan Chardonnay 2011 PGI Pays d'Oc

This week we have chosen another one of my wedding wines! Laurent Miquel make a fantastic range of classic wines and in my opinion this is one of his best. The flavours are reminiscent of classic southern Burgundy and pulls of the difficult trick of successfully balancing rich flavours with good acidity and minerality. Come and have a try while it's open on our tasting counter this week.

£8.99

Buy 2 bottles save £2

£7.99

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

Laurent Miquel is the eighth generation winemaker in this family estate, which has made wines in the Languedoc since 1791. This wine is made by careful blending of a number of separately-vinified cuvées, both oaked and unoaked, to balance freshness and complexity.

Taste

Complex aromas of honeydew melon, pear and grapefruit dominate the nose, which continues on the palate in a cascade of citrus and stone fruit flavours, along with a touch of oaky creaminess.

Enjoy

A delight to drink on its own, or with spicy Thai or Indonesian cuisine.

A Closer Look at Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010 Château des Jacques, JadotDate published: 11/09/13

Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010 Château des Jacques, Jadot

This wine could actually be described as a white Beaujolais, as the property is in Moulin-a-Vent. At the southern end of Burgundy, the heat lends a richness to the wine and the granite soils make this Chardonnay unique. There is a huge focus on quality stemming from hand harvesting and hand selection of individual berries. 2010 turned out to be an incredible vintage, one of the best ever in southern Burgundy. The wine has had a little oak exposure creating a silky rather than a heavy texture. A deliciously complex palate and nose exhibit apples, spice, toast, butter and marzipan. The wine is rounded off with a subtle acidity. All in all, it's a really well balanced bottle that would be great with food, great without, and capable of ageing for at least another 2 years. This wine has been very popular over the summer but I think it can be equally enjoyed in the upcoming Winter months.


South African Tasting ReportDate published: 11/09/13

On Monday evening I attended a tasting down in Bristol hosted by the winemakers of La Motte and Beyerskloof - two of our most prominent South African producers. We sampled the full range aswell as doing some line tastings on both red and whites. The real highlight of the evening was surprisingly the Ondine Sauvignon Blanc, which is currently on offer here in store at £5.99. The fruit intensity was beautifully restrained and on the palate there was a fantastic mouth-feel, not too dis-similar to a Sancerre. The whole evening reiterated the incredible quality available at entry level in South African and indeed the New World!


A Closer Look at the Lamatum CrianzaDate published: 10/09/13

Lamatum Crianza 2009, Ribera del Duero
Made by Bodega Vinabuena, a co-op in Ribera del Duero, Lamatum is a name synonymous with quality. The aim of the group of growers who started the bodega was to grow the best grapes, even if that meant tiny yields and unfavourable workloads. While quite high above sea level, Ribera is actually quite flat, and very rocky. They have hot summers which is great, especially combined with wind, however the winters are very cold and stressful, as the constant frosts can do severe damage if ignored. This wine is made from old vines, some of which are 70 years old. The benefit with older vines is that they produce less fruit, which means all the vines energy and nutrients goes
into fewer berries thus producing more flavour complexity and concentration.
Tasting Note:
A Classic Ribera...... Lots of sweet vanilla and spice, like clove and cinnamon, but not too much, and lashings of black and red fruit, so juicy. A classic style of wine, not over the top, but serious and plush, is good enough to tackle a rib of beef.

Newent Wine Circle TastingDate published: 10/09/13

Last week I was kindly invited by the Newent Wine Circle to give a talk comparing Old and New World styles of wine. Roughly 40 people were in attendance which made for an excellent atmosphere. My talk was made more enjoyable by the evident knowledge of the circle, who between them must have visited every major wine region in the world.

I started of by giving a brief insight in to my journey in to the industry focussing mainly on my travels through the bodegas of Argentina, which seemed apt as I had an Argentinian red with me that evening.

The two whites up for comparison were The Ned Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and the Domaine de Villargeau from Coteaux du Giennois in the Loire Valley. These two wines completely split the circle with both styles having their admirers.

The two reds were both Malbec blends; Gaudou Tradition from Cahors and the Vinalba Malbec blend from Argentina. As I assumed, these were a bit too rich and tannic on their own, but once combined with some seriously strong cheddar (other varietals are available) there was a very satisfied feeling around the room.

After the tasting I opened the floor to questions and was once again astounded by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the ladies and gentlemen present.

For me, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I would jump at the opportunity to talk in front of such a welcoming group again.

Top of the Class at our Chardonnay Spotlight TastingDate published: 10/09/13

Jordan Chardonnay 2012 Stellenbosch

We had a fantastic variety of Chardonnays open at our spotlight tasting on Saturday but the team here in Gloucester all decided that the Jordan Chardonnay was our favourite!

The Jordan estate was set up in 1992 by a geologist and an economist, both of whom left their jobs and travelled the worlds wine regions working to gain experience making wine. Jordan's beautiful vineyards overlook the Cape and Table Mountain. Stellenbosch is famous for wine tourism and most producers spend a lot on their property. This Chardonnay comes from specific Burgundian clones and uses totally French oak. They roll the barrels when the wine ma-tures to release the lees flavour. A wonderful nose of apples, creamy whole milk, nuts, spice and vanilla creates a very dreamy sensation. On the palate, the texture is viscous, but there is a great acidity and intensity of flavour. This is a really deep complex Chardonnay from a brilliant producer. Worth every penny and more, so so well put together..

A Closer Look at Petit Chablis 2011 Union des Viticulteurs de ChablisDate published: 10/09/13

Petit Chablis 2011 Union des Viticulteurs de Chablis
Petit Chablis surrounds the more prestigeous region of Chablis. One of the most striking differences between the terroir of the two sub-regions is that Petit Chablis consists mostly of young vines on Portlandian soil as opposed to Kimmeridgian, more chalky, like Champagne terroir. Making wine in Chablis is very stressful, lots of hail and frost, which can be massively damaging to the vines, so much so that some vintages don't get made - 2001. This Petit Chablis is from a very well regarded cooperative, they are renowned for their excellent relationships with local growers. No Oak is used in the ageing, giving a fresh minerality with hints of lemon on the nose. On the palate, the wine is crisp with ripe, green cooking apple flavours. A classic food wine, which would go very nicely with fish. We think it's better than most entry level Chablis.

Chardonnay Tasting - 3pm todayDate published: 07/09/13

Come along today and try pretty much the whole range of Chardonnay styles. If you're not a lover of Chardonnay or even if you're and active hater of Chardonnay, then this is the perfect tasting for you. Chardonnay is probably the worlds greatest white wine grape variety and also the most misunderstood (well maybe poor old Riesling actually has that unfortunate distinction), and it is capable of producing a huge range of styles and flavours. So put any prejudices to one side and join us to try some of the worlds most interesting white wines.


Wine of the Week - De Morgenzon, DMZ, Chardonnay 2012Date published: 06/09/13

Wine of the Week

De Morgenzon, DMZ, Chardonnay 2012

Price £10.99

Buy 2 South African wines, save 20% £8.79 *


Grape

Chardonnay

Origin

From a mix of De Morgenzon's estate-grown grapes and grapes sourced from several other local vineyards, this Chardonnay is made using only the free-run juice, partially fermented in French oak, and aged in barrel for 10 months on its lees.

Taste

Bright golden colour, with a nose of clean tropical fruit, almonds and sweet vanilla. Peachy fruit on the palate is supported by delicate oak and subtle spice.

Enjoy

Drink now, or keep for 2-3 years to see further development in bottle


A new arrival from RhôneDate published: 02/09/13

Côtes du Rhône 2012, Leon Perdigal

Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre

Origin: This is a classic blend sourced from several sites in the southern Rhône. It has been named in honour of Leon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at Ogier's now famous cellars, when they were founded in 1859 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Taste: The nose has intense aromas of red fruits and spice, with subtle pepper and garrigue notes. The spice-tinged red fruits continue on the palate, which is medium-bodied and has a pleasing length.

Price: £6.99

New Arrivals From SpainDate published: 01/09/13

We have received a host of new Spanish wines in anticipation of the Autumn and here are a couple that have caught my eye:

Rioja Crianza Arienzo 2010 Marqués de Riscal - This traditionally styled crianza comes from Marqués de Riscal's best vineyards in Elciego and Laguardia. It has undergone 18 months' cask ageing - relatively long for a crianza wine - plus several more months maturing in bottle before release. The nose is Intense yet mellow with aromas of ripe raspberry and fig, mingling with subtle vanilla, coconut and spice notes. Supple and soft on the palate, with plenty of youthful vigour to the fruit, I expect this to be a huge hit in the Autumn.

Rioja Reserva 2008, Marques de Vargas - Although its modern winery and hacienda were built in 1989 (my birth year), this vineyard estate dates back to 1840, when the first vines were planted near Logrono by Felipe de Mata, the eighth Marques de Vargas. This traditional blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Garnacha is aged in American, French and Russian oak. It is a rich, dense and deeply coloured Reserva, combining aromas of bramble and wild strawberries with hints of liquorice and savoury-sweet spice. On the palate it is velvety smooth and very well balanced. This would be great with beef carpaccio and I'd advise decanting for a hour or so before serving.

Wine of the Week - José Pariente Sauvignon Blanc 2012, RuedaDate published: 01/09/13

In the early 1980s Rueda began to grow Sauvignon Blanc; this wine comes from some of those earliest plantings. The José Pariente provides the fresh clean palate which has made Sauvignon Blanc famous, with herbaceous greenery and tropical fruits, but combines it with the greater complexity and length typical of Old World whites. It's minerality and texture make it a must try for those who enjoy Sancerre. Superb with all kinds of shellfish, from oysters to crab and lobster, though also a fantastic wine to be enjoyed and savoured by itself.

Exploring TuscanyDate published: 31/08/13

Exploring Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the world’s most famous regions. Sat at the top of Italy’s shin, it is an area that while not politically or economically important, has been at the forefront of Italian culture for hundreds of years and is seen as the home of the nation’s language, its art and its literature. It is also the spiritual home of Sangiovese and the two examples below show how the grape can be interpreted in differing ways by producers:

Chianti Classico San Leonino 2008 Tenimenti Angelini

Fact: Chianti is a very popular ex-pat location. In fact, the British have such a history of buying up old farmhouses and settling here it's often referred to as Chiantishire. It isn't hard to see why they come. The tall, closely gathered hills are capped by ancient cities and medieval castles, and the stream-fed valleys are dotted with expanding market towns. All is often shrouded in a light mist that renders the blue-gray distance inscrutable and cloaks the hills in a mysterious rural magic.
Winemaking: Interestingly, after fermentation in steel fermenters, the wine is aged in Slavonian oak (not to be confused with Slovenian) for 15 months. Slavonia is a small region in northeastern Croatia and is becoming more and more popular for Italian producers, especially in Tuscany and Piedmont. It tends to have a tighter grain than French oak, which leads to a softer, more subtle seasoning.
Tasting Note: The nose is intriguing, with black fruit, a hint of tobacco and a violet florality. Leads on to a traditional palate that sees a smattering of secondary characteristics chatting to the cherry.
Food Match: Would go very well with a meaty pizza as it isn’t too big, but is persistent.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana' 2008

Fact: The history of Montepulciano has always been entwined with the fame of its vineyards and wines. Archaeological finds give evidence that wine has been produced and drunk since Etruscan times; in particular the discovery of a tall stemmed, low bowled wine cup or kylix decorated with red figures representing Baccus the Etruscan god of wine. So the history of Montepulciano's wines proves long and continuing. In the mid-16th century, Sante Lancerio, private cellar master of Pope Paolo III, praised the wines of Montepulciano as follows, 'perfect either in winter or summer, with a full aroma and neither aggressive nor too deeply coloured, they are truly wines for gentlemen'
Winemaking: La Ciarliana have put a lot of effort into clonal selection to make sure they have the perfect strain of Sangiovese for their land. As such they make wines of age-worthy intensity and that take on real character. It is an area of viticulture often overlooked, but is a very good way for winemakers to differentiate themselves from their neighbours.
Tasting Note: A really impressive aroma of dark raisined fruit, tobacco, cedar and violets. Magisterial on the palate with superb soft tannins, deep black fruit and the complexity of a Rubik’s Cube.
Food Match: Would be very good with a rib of beef, it has the structure and the concentration.

New Arrival - Matua Sauvignon BlancDate published: 30/08/13

Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough

We have a new Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in stock that we are very excited about, so much so that we have opened it on our tasting counter.

Matua is a Maori word which translates as 'head of the family', and is somewhat appropriate for this winery, which was part of New Zealand's first wave of modern winemakers who began making great Sauvignon Blanc in the mid-1970s.

It's a great all-round Kiwi Sauvignon, combining tangy grapefruit and gooseberry flavours with hints of passion fruit and capsicum, all delivered with an explosion of refreshing acidity. Chill it well and enjoy as a mouthwatering aperitif.

Focus on NegromaroDate published: 30/08/13

Negroamaro is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy. The grape can produce wines very deep in color. Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness. The two wines below are slightly different in style, but represent two of the finest DOC’s for the grape. The complex Copertino and the brooding Salice:
Casa d'Aragona 2010 Salice Salentino
Fact: Salice Salentino is in the heart of Puglia. With its olive trees, whitewashed hilltop towns, scorched earth and unforgiving heat, Puglia can seem closer to the melting pot of Greece than the grandeur of Rome. It’s not that the Renaissance bypassed southern Italy, but it certainly left fewer calling cards and the rustic nature of the region, while far removed from the rich north, is equally charming.
Winemaking: Puglia’s name is derived from the Italian for ‘without rain’, and coupled with 300 sunshine days a year and temperatures exceeding 40*in the summer, this lack of water provides a real challenge for winemakers. They have to avoid baked, unbalanced wines brought on by unusually high potential alcohol. Recently there has been a quality drive, and producers are making some very interesting wines.
Tasting Note: This wine smells of deep, sweet red fruit, but it isn’t baked or overtly jammy. The palate has a nod of raisin and is quite plummy in comparison to the nose. Big, but not too tannic.
Food Match: The flavour profile would match well with spring lamb.
Copertino 2008 Masseria Monaci
Fact: The estate at Masseria Monaci has been around for over 1000 years, when it was occupied by Byzantine monks. The original structures remain largely in place, including a small underground church which allowed the monks to pray and go about their daily lives without being noticed when under threat of attack from the Turks, who were rampaging across Italy at the time. The lifestyle of the previous millennia is upheld today with a simple focus on the land, upon which grapes and olives are the predominant crop.
Winemaking: The best vineyards in Copertino are those on the rocky hillsides, with influence from the deep red soils and cooling breezes that waft in off the Ionian sea. These winds help to temper the high daytime temperatures which leads to less alcohol and less overly ripe phenolics in the wine.
Tasting Note: A superb medicinal nose of sweet red fruit, graphite, blackcurrant leaf and leather. The palate is textbook, lots of dried fruit and much secondary and tertiary complexity. Bargain.
Food Match: The tannins would soften with some Italian cheese such as Provolone or Pecorino.

Focus on Northern ItalyDate published: 30/08/13

Coinciding with our special offer on Italian wines, here is a little information on the wines from North Italy:

Northern Italy is one of the richest areas in Europe, with the Industrial towns of Milan, Genoa and Turin being particular economic hubs. This is in contrast to the rustic farming areas of the south. Some of the country's finest wines come from the north. Piedmont - home to Barolo, Gavi and Asti - is one of the main producing regions, along with Veneto, Soave and Valpolicella, where Amarone is produced. The two wines below are amongst our bestselling Italians and help to showcase the character and uniqueness of Italy’s indigenous varieties.

Barbera d'Alba Sucule 2009 Lo Zoccolaio

Fact: This Barbera comes from the town of Alba which is also famous for its supply of white truffles. The producer, Lo Zoccolaio are named after an old shoemaker who used to reside in their property. They followed the northern Italian tradition of planting a tree in the courtyard of the farm to provide shade, although their tree is unique in that it has a double trunk, as pictured on the bottle. In Indian and Jewish tradition, trees with two trunks were considered to be very important and were often worshipped as the bringers of life.
Winemaking: The wine is made in a traditionally old world manner, with a real respect for the terroir and the vine. The harvest is grown on the rocky hillsides of the Langhe where the vines are stressed, something that leads to quality grapes, as the roots have to work a lot harder and dig a lot deeper for nutrients.
Tasting Note: A bright nose of sour cherry and seasoned wood, possibly a hint of bitter cocoa too. It’s rich on the palate with a vibrant acidity and some warm spice complementing dark red fruit.
Food Match: Lasagne. The acidity will scythe through the cheese and rich meat.

Campofiorin 2009 Masi

Fact: Masi, owned by the Boscaini family, are one of the most revered and pioneering Amarone Producers in Italy. Sandro Boscaini, who is perhaps the most eloquent spokesman for Amarone and, as the head of Masi, one of its very best producers likes to say 'no one needs an Amarone - not the way they need a glass of milk. It should only be made in great vintages and drunk on special occasions.'
Winemaking: Masi are innovators and they have adapted the appasimento method of drying grapes in the sun to make some of their dry wines, like this bottle. Known as the original ‘Super Venetian’, Campofiorin is made by fermenting fresh Rondinella, Corvina and Molinara grapes and then re-fermenting with some partially dried grapes which adds a level of concentration and intensity.
Tasting Note: A wonderfully balanced nose of vanilla, cherry pie and damson. The palate has excellent concentration and is lent a focus by the clean acidity and soft plentiful tannin.
Food Match: Steak tartare. The plush feel of the wine will go well with soft and melting meat.

Focus on SoaveDate published: 29/08/13

Italian wines are on special offer at the moment. You can save 25% when you buy 2 or more bottles! Here is a bit of info on one of my styles - Soave

The word Soave originates from a Latin word meaning delightful, and is a famous wine from the Veneto in northeast Italy, principally around the town of Verona. In the 60’s and 70’s, massive overproduction occurred due to a boom in wine drinkers in the UK and US. As such Soave ended up with a poor reputation for cheap, nasty wines. However recently, under DOC and DOCG regulations the wine has increased enormously in quality, and the two examples below show the different styles, the zesty light Fattori and the rich, silky Inama.

Fattori Soave

Fact: Antonio Fattori is a third generation winemaker, whose focus is on constant innovation and improvement. He was inspired to go off and learn the family trade in order to maximise the potential of the vineyards. The company have subsequently won multiple awards for their wines including a Decanter trophy for their top Soave, so they really know their stuff.
Winemaking: The climate of the Soave region is influenced by the mists that flow from the Po Valley in the autumn and can bring the viticultural hazards of mould and other grape diseases. The Garganega grape, the primary component of Soave, is a late-ripening variety with a thick skin that can withstand the mist better than some thinner skin varieties.
Tasting Note: Zesty to smell, a note of nettle and herb accompany. Mirrored on the palate, it’s a very clean wine with waxy lemon rind and sage and pear. Superb acidity, with a light body.
Food Match: Pesto pasta, the herbaceousness will match in both wine and food.

Soave Classico 2011, Inama

Fact: Inama were a pioneer of Sauvignon Blanc in Northern Italy, where they began making it to show that the area around Verona could be used for quality wines in an international style as opposed to simply mass produced characterless bottles. While they were very successful in the quality department, they found that the wines were a unique and concentrated style, very herbaceous and tropical, unlike anywhere else. These Sauvignons have developed a cult following and are extremely highly regarded by critics, as are the Soaves.
Winemaking: Interestingly, the Garganega grapes, once crushed, undergo a 12 hour period of skin contact before pressing. This leads to an increase in concentration and body. The wine also goes through malolactic fermentation, the process that turns Malic Acid (lemons) into Lactic Acid (milk). It is a much softer, creamier acidity that leads to buttery flavours in the wine.
Tasting Note: A floral, citrus smell of quite pronounced intensity, not overdone however. The palate is dense and concentrated with a milky, minerally note and a finish of sweet almonds.
Food Match: Butternut risotto, the structure of the wine matching the rich rice and vegetable.

A focus on Italy's up and coming grape varieties Date published: 28/08/13

Up and Coming Varieties – Vermentino vs Greco
Italy is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, with vineyards dating back to Roman times. As such it grows thousands of indigenous grape varieties, some of which are very rare, and some of which have been more rigorously planted due to their quality. Greco and Vermentino are two of the latter varieties.
Interestingly, the Romans were keen wine drinkers, and developed a lot of the vinicultural techniques that are still in use today. They classified their vineyards and charged higher prices for great vintages. The 121 BC vintage was one of the greatest, due to a superb harvest. It was noted that even back then the wines from this annus mirabilis were being consumed up to a century later.
Below are two examples of these fascinating grapes:
Vermentino 2012, Poggioargentiera
Facts: Poggioargentiera are located in The Maremma, an area of Tuscany on the coast that used to be wild and typically Etruscan, but that is now modernising, both in production of excellent wines and in its offering to tourists, with both golf and fishing firmly on the agenda. Most famous for Morellino de Scansano, it is a rugged, hilly area of Tuscany
Winemaking: There is a real winemaking philosophy at Poggioargentiera. They, like a lot of wineries, have a desire to represent the terroir of their region, and to achieve this they believe in letting go of all control, of allowing the wine to flourish in whatever way nature has intended. It is a very bold mission that leads to significant character. To carry this out they simply make wine without too much intervention in a stylistic manner i.e. they don’t intervene in order to change the style.
Tasting Note: A fragrant, different wine, the nose is full of pear, lemon and dried herbs. On the palate the herbaceous streak endows a really interesting counterpoint to typical Italian freshness.
Food Match: Calamari with garlic and lemon mayonnaise – palate cleansing wine with a bit of body.
Fremondo Greco 2012, Sannio
Facts: Greco is considered one of the most antique wines in Italy. First written references come from the city of Pompei in the sixth century BC. Sannio is a Hilly area north of Naples. Its historical heritage with regards to wine was mentioned in the works of Philosophers Pliny, Cato and Horace, who described the wines as having a slightly smoky aroma and an intense resinous scent.
Winemaking: La Guardiense, the company behind this wine, are an old cooperative in Sannio. As such, they have the fruit from over 1000 growers to choose from. However, they have exacting standards, and only the finest grapes are used. This quantity of vineyard area, coupled with a dedication to quality, leads to superb quality year after year.
Tasting Note: Fruity on the nose, precise and focused with clean ripe pear and minerality. When sipped, a restrained oiliness hints at quality vines and a little salinity makes the mouth water.
Food Match: Has the viscosity to match well with a chicken and avocado salad.


Focus on Italian Pinot GrigioDate published: 27/08/13

As we have increased our special offer on our Italian range, I thought it was a good idea to have a closer look at one of their most popular grape varieties -Pinot Grigio.

Italy produces an enormous amount of Pinot Grigio. In fact Pinot Grigio accounts for 40% of exports from Italy to the UK. Interestingly, a mutant clone of Pinot Noir, Pinto Grigio grapes are a deep pink/blue in colour, which belies the light pale wines that are generally produced, most famously in Friuli-Venezia and the Alto Adige in the north of Italy, but originally from Alsace in France.

Below are two wines that are a step up in quality from most Pinot Grigio, and they show the quality that’s possible:

Serena Pinot Grigio 2012 Banfi

Facts: Castello Banfi is a rarity among Italian wine estates, not just because of its size (some 7,100 acres, of which around 2,400 are planted with vines), its composition of single vineyards, or its state-of-the-art winery, but because it was started from scratch less than 20 years ago. Most of the land was covered with forest and brush when the Mariani family found it. Nevertheless, they recognized that the site was exactly what they had been searching for in order to make uncompromisingly brilliant wines.
Winemaking: After a selective harvest, the wine is made from free-run juice (no pressing). Free run juice is the juice that runs freely, simply as the result of the weight of the grapes, before any mechanical pressure is applied in a Press. It is sometimes referred to as ‘noble juice’, or as the French refer to it ‘vin de goutte’. It is considered to be the most delicate and highest quality juice because it has lower levels of phenols than that produced when pressure is applied to the fermented grapes.
Tasting Note: Fresh and summery on the nose, with flowers and lemons making up the bulk of the aroma. Clean as a whistle on the palate, with good acidity and more of a tropical fruit flavour profile.

Stella Alpina Pinot Grigio 2012 Alto Adige

Facts: As well as being famed for its wine, Alto Adige also happens to be the largest apple-producing region in Europe, while another gastronomic local specialty is speck, a succulent smoky cured ham that tastes especially delicious with an aromatic glass of local wine.
Wine Making: The quality of the vines, grown on the valley slopes mean the winemaker can leave the grapes to shine forth in the bottle. The prehistoric terroir around the base of the Dolomites, if dug, would lead to a spade of marl, basalt, porphyry and limestone, which leads to complexity and minerality in the wines, especially when the grapes are left to reach optimum ripeness, as is not always the want with Italian Pinot Grigio.
Tasting Note: The first thing to note is the intensity on the nose, it smells like the juice from a can of fruit cocktail. The palate is thick for type, and equally luscious in aroma with ripe fruit and minerality.
Food Match: Lobster Salad for a treat – elegant flavours, yet persistent and rich.


Focus on ItalyDate published: 26/08/13

Italy Wine Facts

- Italy is the largest wine-producing country in the world with an output averaging 77 million hectolitres (856 million cases) each year.

- Italy has been making wine for at least 2,500 years

- Ripasso wines are made using the dried grape skins of the extremely expensive Amerone to add depth, complexity and character to Valpolicella.

- Italy has the most diverse style of wines, where neighbouring valleys can have completely different styles to complement their local cuisine.

- Italy produces an enormous amount of Pinot Grigio. In fact Pinot Grigio accounts for 40% of exports from Italy to the UK.

- Interestingly, a mutant clone of Pinot Noir, Pinto Grigio grapes are a deep pink/blue in colour, which belies the light pale wines that are generally produced, most famously in Friuli-Venezia and the Alto Adige in the north of Italy, but originally from Alsace in France.

- Italy grows thousands of indigenous grape varieties, some of which are very rare, and some of which have been more rigorously planted due to their quality.

- Interestingly, the Romans were keen wine drinkers, and developed a lot of the vinicultural techniques that are still in use today.

- The word Soave originates from a Latin word meaning delightful, and is a famous wine from the Veneto in northeast Italy, principally around the town of Verona.

- Tuscany is one of the world’s most famous regions and is the spiritual home of Sangiovese.

- Negroamaro is a red wine grape variety native to southern Italy. It is grown almost exclusively in Puglia and particularly in Salento, the peninsula which can be visualised as the “heel” of Italy.

- Wines made from Negroamaro tend to be very rustic in character, combining perfume with an earthy bitterness.

- Italian wines are my favourite :)

Wine of the Week - Chianti Classico San LeoninoDate published: 25/08/13

Wine of the Week - Chianti Classico San Leonino

To celebrate the extension of our Italian Special Offer we have made the delicious San Leonino our wine of the week. Chianti comes from the famous region of Tuscan in West-central Italy. This Chianti, is from the heartland of the Chianti zone from perfect south-easterly facing slopes near the village of San Leonino. This is a very traditional style of Chianti. Full of red cherry flavours and violets, with vibrant acidity, hints of sweet spices and a beautiful long, silky finish. Drink now or keep for 3-4 years. The acidity in this wine make it a perfect food match to most Italian foods. A perfect partner to roast meats, pasta dishes and pizza.

Are you confused by wine? Date published: 24/08/13

Are you confused by wine?

Well, specifically wine terminology! All of those terms that you might hear people coming out with - often incorrectly - which describe a wine's colour, appearance, odour and flavour. This is a short guide to some of the most commonly used terms and will help you spot the blaggers from the truly knowledgeable, and more importantly it should also help you avoid embarrassing situations such as claiming to a waiter that a wine is corked when it has a screw cap, or that a wine is too sweet when it is actually bone dry.

COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGY

Clarity: This refers to the appearance of the wine. To ascertain this, tilt the glass against a pale surface. If the wine is hazy or cloudy this is evidence of a fault in the wine.

Intensity: Intensity of colour varies greatly – and not just from red to white! Intensity spans from water-white through pale, medium, deep, and opaque. Colours also vary; In white wine through lemon-green, lemon, gold, amber, and brown and in reds through purple, ruby, garnet, tawny and brown. Usually the farther the wine is down the scale the older it is.

Legs: If you swirl the wine in the glass you will often see “legs” or “tears” appear as the liquid settles down the sides. Heavier or thicker legs indicate higher alcohol or sugar.

Development: The development of a wine can be assessed by noting the progression from primary and secondary to tertiary characteristics:

Primary: Fruity or floral characteristics obvious in young wines.

Secondary: Characteristics that result from treatment at the winery, such as oak aging e.g. buttery or yeasty notes.

Tertiary: These result during the aging process and are any characteristics that are not immediately fruity or floral, e.g. Leather, coffee, mushrooms, toast etc.

Sweetness: Many people confuse sweetness with fruitiness. Sweetness refers to the amount of residual sugar present in a wine, which can be detected by dipping the very tip of the tongue in (not elegant – but effective!)

Acidity: This can be detected with the inside of the cheeks after swilling the wine around your mouth. The more acidic the wine the more the cheeks will “weep” and more saliva will be produced.

Tannin: Tannin is extracted from grape skins, stems and seeds and causes your mouth to dry and feel rough. It can most easily be detected by a “furry” sensation on the teeth and gums.

Body: Body refers to the weight of the wine – how heavy it feels in your mouth compared to other wines.

Length: How long the flavours remain after spitting or swallowing. This is also an excellent indication of quality – the longer the length, the better the wine (assuming the flavours are pleasant!)

Corked: Caused by a chemical known as TCA in faulty corks, this causes a wine to smell musty or mouldy, like wet cardboard. Small bits of cork in the wine do NOT mean the wine is corked, but that more care should be taken when opening!

Oxidised: The wine will be faded or browned in colour, and will lack freshness and fruitiness.

Wine of the Week - Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2010 La CasettaDate published: 20/08/13

Wine of the Week - Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2010 La Casetta


Open today we have one of our favourite wines, it's so good that Matt even had it at his wedding! Come down to the store and try a glass.

£16.99

Buy 2 Italian wines save 25%* = £12.73

*Offer applies to all Italian still wines priced over £5 and under £20. Offer excludes sparkling wines.


Grape

Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone

Origin

From the beautiful hilly villages east of Lake Garda, Ripasso wines have had a portion of the fermented, dried-skins from Amarone added to them. Valpolicella Ripasso therefore combines the power and class of the Amarone with the bright fruit of the classic Valpolicella.

Taste

A beautiful deep ruby hue and lots of almost confected cherry, plum and berry fruits complemented by vanilla hints. Fine and rounded, a velvety smooth palate bursting with intense and complex flavours.

Enjoy

The perfect companion for all types of meat and seasoned cheeses.

Wine of the Week - Ondine Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Darling, Western Cape Date published: 15/08/13

Ondine Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Darling, Western Cape

£7.99

Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £5.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

The Western Cape's sub-region of Darling is characterised by ancient granite soils, coupled with a maritime climate, with vineyards located as little as 5km from the coast. This enables the vines to be grown without irrigation, and naturally promotes a cool climate style.

Taste

Highly aromatic, with intense asparagus, grass and guava notes providing a captivating bouquet. The palate is a delicate mix of citrus fruit and mineral texture.

Wine of the Week - Errazuriz Pinot NoirDate published: 12/08/13

As someone who has tried very few Pinot Noirs before, this wine really excited me with the depth and complexity of its flavour. The nose matches perfectly with the taste of the wine on the palette, with rich, slightly sweet red fruits mixed with a reassuring earthiness. In particular the hints of strawberry and cherries make the Errazuriz a perfect summer red, whilst the acidity of the wine makes it deliciously morish. I would highly recommend that anyone who has yet to delve into the world of Pinot Noirs gives this a try.

September Tasting Tutorial DatesDate published: 09/08/13

We are running our popular tasting tutorials again in September. They will be themed around specific regions and grape varieties and are a great opportunity for you to sample some of your favourite wines, as well as something a bit different, in a short half hour session with one of our team here in Gloucester.

Just get in touch and book a place!

Chardonnay and it's influence on International styles

Saturday 7th September 15:00-15:30

Rioja and it's neighbours

Saturday 14th September 15:00-15:30

Sauvignon Blanc from around the World

Saturday 21st September 15:00-15:30

Different styles of Shiraz/Syrah from around the world

Saturday 28th September 15:00-15:30


Wine of the Week - Gestos MalbecDate published: 03/08/13

Gestos Malbec 2012 Finca Flichman, Mendoza

Origin: One of Flichman's top wines, combining the unique characteristics of two terroirs in a single grape variety. Tupungato at 1,100m altitude gives freshness and structure while Barrancas, at 700m, adds colour and density. Aged for over 6 months in American and French oak.

Taste: An intense red colour leads to aromas of plums combined with delicate oak, spices and chocolate. Red berry fruit continues on the palate where it is met with a hint of herbal spice.

Enjoy: A complex wine and a perfect match with steak or rich sausages. Alternatively, at the end of a meal with a chocolate filled pudding.

Wine of the Week - Sauvignon de Touraine 2012 Domaine du Pré BaronDate published: 24/07/13

Wine of the Week - Sauvignon de Touraine 2012 Domaine du Pré Baron

£8.99 or..

Buy 2 bottles save £2

= £7.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

Domaine du Pré Baron own around 35 hectares of land, predominantly around Touraine. This wine is the next best thing to a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, maybe possessing slightly less mineral character, but also without the hefty price-tag. With amazing purity and clarity, this super-crisp wine carries bundles of gooseberry and apple fruit, leaving a refreshed palate afterwards. Exhibiting a real depth of flavour, lively crisp acidity and a long finish this is perfect for creamy seafood dishes such as fish pie.

Wine Producers of Ara - Part 2Date published: 23/07/13

Wine Producers of Ara Part 2

At Majestic, we currently stock their entry level Composite Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Each wine is blended from individual parcels from across the terrace, whereas their Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are individual bottling of sites which exhibit greater finesse and character.

I would liken their Composite Pinot Noir to a good Villages growth Burgundy, full of fruit and just enough acidity to balance it out. Fortunately, it doesn't fall into the over-ripe and jammy trap which many New World Pinots seem to at the moment, which in my opinion makes it stand head and shoulders above others currently available at the moment.

Continuing the theme, their Select Blocks Pinot Noir is a richer version similar to a Premier Cru classed vineyard growth from the Cote de Nuits, with a touch more oak and certainly more ageing potential, which should bring out some of those forest-floor aromas associated with great Burgundies.

I don't know if they plan to produce a Grand Cru inspired bottling, but I'm sure if they do, it will be delicious!

Wine Producers of Ara - Part 1Date published: 23/07/13

Wine Producers of Ara Part 1

Above Marlborough's Wairau and Waihopai rivers lies a 1600 hectare alluvial plain, known as the Ara Terrace. With the ideal soil composition and its cool climate, this terrace provided what seemed to many to be the ideal site on which to cultivate vines for a large-scale wine production.

However, one of the areas key benefits – the cool climate – also proved to be one of the biggest problems. Temperatures dropped rapidly at night, resulting in disastrously hard frosts. This wasn't enough to deter Damian Martin who saw the potential for the site in 1999. Taking the decision to mist the vines during the night would create a protective layer of frozen water which melted away with the morning sun, leaving the vines unharmed. Work began in 2001 with the aid of viticulturist Jean-Charles Van Hove, planting around 400 hectares with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in relatively high density, a technique more akin to those employed in the old world.

In fact, similarities don't stop there, as the Ara Terrace site embodies the very concept of terroir and “sense of place” with individual blocks producing wines of significant character and quality. The first vintage was 2005 and the quality just keeps getting better.

The second part of this article continues with tasting notes.

Wine of the Week - A Sauvignon but not from Marlborough? Date published: 19/07/13

Lacheteau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Vin de France

Founded in 1987 By Andre Lacheteau in Anjou, this estate comprises mainly Loire vineyards, but today encompasses a number of vineyard sites across a wider area. The wine is still made in the Loire style, with cool fermentation and early bottling for maximum purity. Unmistakable aromas of freshly cut grass, ripe gooseberries and subtle white flower notes on the nose. Fresh citrus fruit and mouthwatering acidity bathe the palate, leading to a clean, dry finish. Perfect with a fresh goat's cheese salad.

I can see what the winemaker has done here. He has created a Sauvignon Blanc with the same freshness and intensity as a Marlborough and bottled it at a fantastic price. This is a must for all you NZ Sauvignon lovers!!


Are you a business owner?Date published: 17/07/13

For restaurant, pub, bar, hotel, spa and all other business owners looking for a fantastic wine list, stocked with award winning wines delivered for free 7 days a week, look no further than Majestic Cirencester! Our commercial team are on hand for a chat about your requirements and to let you know what we can offer and how we can improve your business!

We have a large selection of wines that you won't find on our shop floor, wines that are exclusive to you!

Fancy hearing more? Just give call on 01452 303 949, and leave the rest up to us.

A Closer Look at Fetzer White ZinfandelDate published: 15/07/13

Fetzer White Zinfandel 2012
Fact: Fetzer are pioneers of sustainable, environmentally friendly winemaking. Their office and winery is powered 100% by solar panels, and both are built from 100% recycled materials. On top of this, they have reduced their waste across the entire company to 65 tonnes a year, compared to thousands at other wineries. They use lightweight bottles made from recycled glass and they re-use water sprayed onto the vineyards as irrigation. There are many more examples.
Winemaking: Often confused as a white, or blush grape, White Zinfandel is made in a traditional manner using red Zinfandel grapes. Vinified via the saignee method of bleeding some juice off red wine, the pink juice is so high in sugar that a ‘stuck fermentation’ occurs. This is quite normal and basically means that all the yeast has died before the sugar is totally converted to alcohol. This leaves a fully alcoholic wine with residual sugar in it.
Tasting Note: A fresh and joyous nose of candyfloss, lollipops and fruit salad. On the palate it is sweet and it is candied, but it has a vibrant acidity and a slight spritz and a clean finish.
Why Buy: It’s a guilty pleasure, and is actually a very well made wine when assessed as such.


A Closer Look at Black Cottage Pinot RoséDate published: 14/07/13

Black Cottage Pinot Rosé 2012 Marlborough
Fact: Black Cottage is named after, well, a black cottage, which is the home for owner and winemaker David Clouston. Situated in the middle of his vineyards, it is a peaceful, beautiful place, very quiet and tranquil. Now settled, David spent years roaming the world, from the USA to Spain, France and Chile perfecting his winemaking skills. He has taken an encyclopaedic knowledge back to his native Wairau Valley in order to showcase the terroir of the region.
Winemaking: This wine is inspired by the wines of Corsica and the South of France - fresh, clean, crisp and dry salmon pink Rosé. Treated very much as a white wine in the cellar, the focus was to make a clean, fruit driven dry wine to have as an aperitif or to match lighter cuisine. The addition of Pinot Gris is interesting as it lends a smokey, mineral note to the Pinot Noir, and is a fleshy grape variety in comparison to the silky feel of Pinot Noir.
Tasting Note: Clean and focused, this is a serious rosé. Berries, nettles and a distant sweet smoke on the nose are mirrored on the palate with clean acidity, a taut structure and impressive linearity.
Why Buy: It may be pink, but it demands attention. Few make such cultured, though provoking rosé.


Top 5 Beers this WeekDate published: 14/07/13

Here are our Top 5 best selling Beers this week:

1. Sharp’s Doom Bar

2. Asahi Super 'Dry' 

3. Fuller's London Pride

4. Peroni Nastro Azzurro

5. Bitburger Premium Beer

All these are proving very popular now that the sun is here to stay and they are all available to buy online http://www.majestic.co.uk/

Top 5 Wines this WeekDate published: 14/07/13

Here are our Top 5 Best Selling wines this Week:

1. Cuvée de Richard Rosé

2. Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc 

3. Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Merlot

4. Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc

5. Santa Rita 120 Viognier

It looks like the Rosés and Sauvignons are leading the way but since we have opened the 120 Viognier it has been flying out the store!

All these wines are available to order from our website http://www.majestic.co.uk/

Rosé Season has Officially Begun!Date published: 12/07/13

I can now declare that Rosé Season is in full flow. Since this extended period of record breaking weather and Mr Murray finally triumphing at SW19, Rosé seems to be back on the menu. We have plenty open on the tasting counter so come in and refresh your palate with me!

Aspen Shiraz back in stock!Date published: 12/07/13

The Aspen range is named after the Aspen tree, with its characteristic quivering leaves, sometimes referred to as 'chattering tongues'. This Shiraz is sourced from a number of partner growers and is matured mainly in steel vats to preserve youthful fruit flavours. A medium weight red, with a pleasing balance between ripe fruit and savoury, earthy notes on the nose. The palate is succulent and mouthfilling, with lashings of red berry and brambles. Serve with spiced red meat dishes such as steaks, lamb kebabs or grilled chops.
Only £5.59 when you buy two or more!!


A Closer Look at Château Guiot RoséDate published: 12/07/13

Château Guiot Rosé 2012 Costières de Nîmes

Fact: Wines from Costieres de Nimes have been produced for over two millennia and were consumed by the Greeks in pre-Roman times, making it one of the oldest vineyard areas in Europe. The region is geographically unfortunate in that it lies on the edge of both the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc, meaning it struggles for identity in either. The wines are more reminiscent of those from the Rhone, with their peppery spice and GSM construction.
Winemaking: Guiot are one of the best producers in the Languedoc, and have been hailed by Robert Parker as being a splendid estate. One of the secrets to their success lies in the vineyards. Small round pebbles, or ‘gress’, cover the land. These act as little radiators, similar to the galets in the Rhone. In the winter months, they warm the ground up, which stops the vines from freezing, while in the hot summer months they store heat, thus preventing the earth from becoming scorched.
Tasting Note: A heady nose of violets and spice and summer berries. The palate is a classy, well balanced affair with sweet redcurrant and berry fruit and a layer of secondary complexity.
Why Buy: A seriously good bottle by a seriously good producer. Intense and great value.

A Closer Look at L'Instant Safran Malbec RoséDate published: 12/07/13

L'Instant Safran Malbec Rosé 2012 PGI Côtes du Lot

Fact: Rigal is located in the Lot valley in the heart of South West France, and its roots have been in the town of Cahors since 1755. For more than 250 years, this historical company has been developing its expertise. It was in the aftermath of the barbarian invasions, when the vineyards of Cahors were in ruins, that Saint-Didier, the Count of Cahors, left the court and set about reviving the region of Quercy. The vineyards were expanded and the wine of Cahors established its prestigious image. Saint-Didier was the first ambassador and champion of the black wine of Cahors.
Winemaking: Cahors is famous for Malbec, a very dark, brooding variety that grows particularly well in Argentina. Rigal have been specialists in Malbec for 250 years, and as such have laid their hands on a number of the finest vineyards in the south of France. Their old vines produce concentrated fruit that leads to intense wines, and their rosé is from this mould too. It is 100% Malbec, which is unusual in France, as most of the country’s rosé is blended.
Tasting Note: A big, soft, fruity nose, it’s a comforting smell, lots of stewed red fruit and maybe even a bit of blackcurrant. Similar on the nose, with a herbal twist and some spice to add intrigue.
Why Buy: It has the intensity and power of a red wine, with the soft edges of a white.

A Closer Look at Château La Gravette RoséDate published: 11/07/13

Château La Gravette Rosé 2012 Minervois
Fact: Jean Francois Orosquette, the man behind Gravette, has a passion for driving, and one year took part in the Paris – Dakar Rally. When his cooling rod snapped, leaking all the car’s water over the desert floor, they found themselves out of water. In the draining heat of the desert they wouldn’t last long, but intuition took over, and having repaired the rod, they filled the car up with wine and off she went, making it to the finish of that day’s stage.
Winemaking: Gravette use a method called saignée to make their rosé, which means “bleeding” in French. This is a way to intensify red wine, with rosé being more of a by-product than the intended result of the process. The technique requires light crushing of the grapes, as opposed to pressing the fruit. Then the skin/juice mixture sits for 12-24 hours. A small portion of the juice, pale in colour, is run off and fermented without the skins, while the remainder will remain with the skins and eventually be turned into red wine.
Tasting Note: Surprisingly rich and intense, it has apple, strawberry and ice-cream cone aromas. On the palate a warmth from the alcohol, a tweak of sweetness, and a chalky minerality evident too.
Why Buy: It’s unique, and very easy to drink. Stylish and fun at the same time.


A guide to Rosé wine makingDate published: 10/07/13

Rosé wines

Summer is finally here and there hasn't been a better time to enjoy a glass of chilled Rosé.

But how is this classic summer tipple made?

There are four different ways to make Rosé;
1) Direct Pressing – To produce the most delicately coloured Rosé wines, a technique called drawing off is used. Black grapes are gently crushed and pressed in order to extract as little colour and tannins as possible and the juice is run off.

2) Drawing off – Red grapes are processed as to make red wine, then juice is drawn off while fermentation occurs. The longer the wine remains in contact with the skins, the deeper the colour of the final Rosé.

3) Bleeding (Saignée) – A similar technique to drawing off, except that only a proportion of the juice is drawn off and the rest remains in contact with the skins to produce a red wine. This produces an intensely concentrated red wine and the Rosé is essentially a by-product.

4) Blending – When a small proportion of Red wine is added to White wine, producing a Rosé. This method is not permitted in the EU except in Champagne, other than that it is mainly used to produce inexpensive New World Rosés.

A Closer Look at Domaine Begude Pinot RoséDate published: 10/07/13

Domaine Begude Pinot Rosé 2012 Vin de Pays d'Oc
Fact: James & Catherine Kinglake, an English couple, bought Domaine Begude in 2003. The award winning vineyard, which has beautiful views over the Pyrénées & the Corbières, has been organically farmed for the last 30 years and wine has been produced on this historic estate since the 16th Century. Robert Parker has described the wines as ‘utterly beguilling’.
Winemaking: Begude are passionate about maintaining a healthy, living soil and a sustainable environment; to this end, they only use organic manures to fertilise and they weed mechanically or by hand, rather than weed killing chemically. Interestingly, they also observe the lunar viticultural calendar at planting, pruning & harvest time. This is part of the theory behind biodynamics, the concept that says wines taste better on different days.
Tasting note: The very pale pink colour is deceptive, given the intensity of the nose. It’s clean, and fragrant, with a number of red fruits and a lemony acidity that adds a tangy, fresh complexity.
Why Buy: It’s a very well made Pinot, texturally superb and very versatile. Would pair well with food.

Peyrassol Approved by DecanterDate published: 10/07/13

Our favourite Rosés here is the Gloucester store (Commanderie de Peyrassol) was reccomended in the August edition of Decanter Magazine.

Here is what they had to say: 'This winery has had its roots in Provence since 1256, and only one word can describe this Rosé - elegant. Delicate redcurrants come through on the nose and that follows through to the palate. You can really feel the sea with its salty minerality, and there's a bit of tannic grip as well.'

The Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé 2012 Côtes de Provence is currently on offer at £9.99

Wine of the Week - Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2012 Leyda Date published: 10/07/13

Wine of the Week
Just opened to try on our tasting counter this morning and it's a corker! Come and have a try...

Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2012 Leyda

Price £8.74

Buy 2 still Chilean wines save 20% £6.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Description

Although based in Maipo, Santa Ema works with a number of partner growers in Leyda Valley to produce this hand-picked cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc. Leyda has a semi-arid climate and granite and clay soils, producing wines with excellent acidity and minerality. An inviting and complex nose of grapefruit and passion fruit, framed by subtle herb and mineral notes. The equally expressive palate has well-balanced fruit character and acidity. At its best with freshly made citrussy ceviche.

A Closer Look at Marqués de Cáceres RosadoDate published: 09/07/13

Rioja Rosado 2012 Marqués de Cáceres
Fact: When Enrique Forner bought a winery in 1970, few people could have envisaged how he would shake up the industry and inspire a generation of winemakers. Having previously owned a couple of Chateaux in Bordeaux, he came to Rioja, a region stuck firmly in its ways, armed with new ideas and techniques. He introduced bottle ageing in place of extensive barrel ageing. He also aimed to make fruity, forward wines instead of viciously oxidised bruisers. Initially met with scepticism, his ideas would eventually seep into the culture of winemaking in Rioja, no mean feat, and one driven by the sheer quality of his produce.
Winemaking: Made from 85% Tempranillo, this wine is dark for a rosé, as would be expected from such a black grape variety. To make this rosé, the grapes are left with the red skins for several hours, after which the must begins to separate. It is at this point that the pink juice is removed from the skins and fermented as per a white wine, in this case at very low temperatures in stainless steel tanks, which leads to fruity aromas.
Tasting Note: Lots of red fruit on the nose, mainly strawberry and raspberry. It also shows signs of minerality, which is more evident on the palate. A fleshy body, and a little tannin, just for show.
Why Buy: It’s an international style, very well made and from a renowned producer.


Masi Masianco gets the thumbs up from Decanter!Date published: 09/07/13

There is a fantastic article about the Masi winery in the August edition of Decanter magazine. One of their four most highly reccomended wines is our very own Masi Masianco.

Here is what they had to say about it: 'Exotic. There's a lovely acidity and structure, and it's fine , textured and long, with flavours of honey, apricots and citrus. A blend of fresh Pinot Grigio and semi-dried Verduzzo.'

The Masi Masianco is currently on sale at £9.99

Nyetimber Special OfferDate published: 09/07/13

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2004
Nyetimber are located in West Sussex, and since their original plantings of classic varieties in 1988, have established themselves as England's premier sparkling wine house, making world class wines to rival (and often beat in blind tastings) the big names of Champagne. A beguilingly Champagne-like nose of citrus fruit, brioche and shortbread. The mousse is finely pearled, soft, yet mouth-filling and persistent. Elegantly shaped and supremely poised. The ultimate home-grown alternative to Champagne, for all special occasions.
£29.99
Special Offer £23.99

A Closer Look at Muga RosadoDate published: 08/07/13

Rioja Rosado 2012 Muga
Fact: Muga are one of Rioja’s most revered wineries, and they consider themselves an authority on oak. Not only do they have 4 coopers on site to make barrels and fermentation tanks to their exacting specifications, but they keep reserves of oak from various forests around the world. In addition to the standard French and American wood, they have supplies from Hungary, Russia, Slovenia and even Spain.
Winemaking: Muga fine their wines with egg whites. The process of fining involves getting rid of any yeast or sediment floating around in the casks. As well as leading to a cleaner liquid, the egg whites absorb a lot of the harsh, bitter tannin that can lead to astringent wines. It is a very simple process. The egg whites are mixed with a bit of the wine (3 to 4 eggs per 100 litres of wine) and this is thrown into the cask and stirred around. The egg white falls to the bottom, picking up all the unwanted bits and pieces on its way.
Tasting Note: A fascinating nose, tart like cooking apples, sweet like candy floss, little hint of oak. The palate is more of the same - vibrant, tangy fruit, but not austere. It finishes with a dab of vanilla.
Why Buy: It’s an impeccable production, frivolous, fun and easy-going but complex and rounded too.


Wine of the Week - Copertino 2008 Masseria Monaci Date published: 08/07/13

Wine of the Week - Copertino 2008 Masseria Monaci


Price £8.49

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £6.79 *

Grape

Negroamaro

Description

Copertino DOC is named after the town of Copertino, but also includes five other villages. These reds are made mostly from the dark skinned Negroamaro grape and this particular one is made from the fruit of 10-30 year old vines. Thick and luscious with dark, plummy fruits and hints of almonds and spice box. Well balanced and soft on the palate, this is an intriguing wine. Ideal with pizza and pasta dishes.



A Beginner's Guide to Wine and Food MatchingDate published: 07/07/13

A Beginner's Guide to Wine and Food Matching


Over the years a number of myths and falsities have evolved about the correct pairing of wines and foods. For example it is widely believed that the fats and proteins in beef serve to soften strong tannins in red wine. In fact recent research has shown that it is the salt used to season the meat that has this effect, and without this the fats and proteins react giving the tannin an even more bitter quality!

The impact of food on wine is almost entirely determined by the balance of primary flavour characteristics in food. These are: Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami, and Acidity.

In order to help you better understand how these flavours interact and affect a wine here they are broken down with some easy to follow tips:

Sweetness:

Sweetness in food will increase bitterness, acidity and astringency in wine, while decreasing body, richness, sweetness and fruitiness. For desserts always choose a dessert wine, and ensure that the wine is sweeter than the food to avoid the wine seeming dry and unpleasant.

As for main courses there is very little sweetness in European cuisine, so it is less of an issue. Sweetness is, however, more commonly found in Asian cuisine, leading to a reputation for Asian dishes being "wine unfriendly". Simply serve wines with lower tannin and higher sweetness and fruitiness to pair perfectly with sweeter dishes. Ideal partners for sweet and spiced Asian foods are Gewurztraminer, Viognier, or off-dry rieslings.

Umami:

Umami is a relatively new addition to the flavour spectrum, and is best described as the meaty-savouriness found in foods such as mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and smoked seafood (to get a better idea of what umami is, compare a raw mushroom with one that has been microwaved for 30 seconds, as this increases the umami character!)

Umami in food will increase bitterness and acidity in wine, and will decrease body and fruitiness. Again this can be combatted with fruitier wines lower in acidity, so look for warm-climate wines generally from Australia or Chile. Alternatively the umami of the dish can be reduced by the addition of an acidic or bitter component, for example adding a squeeze of lemon juice to help balance the umami elements and allow the dish to blend with more acidic wines.

Acidity:

Acidity in food will have the opposite effect on wines than sweetness; increasing richness, sweetness and fruitiness and decreasing acidity in the wine. The most noticeable effect of this will be acidic foods making wines seem flat and flabby. If you are eating a dish that is high in acidity (for example salads with vinegrette) pair them with wines such as Sancerre, Chablis, New Zealand Sauvignon, or wines from cool climate regions as these will generally have higher acidity.

Salt:

Salt in a dish will decrease tbitterness and acidity, and increase richness and smoothness. As previously mentioned it also has a softening effect on tannin, so highly tannic wines such as left-bank bordeaux, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon will become much richer and smoother with saltier dishes.

Bitterness:

Bitterness has a highly subjective effect on wine, but in most cases will increase bitterness in the wine by a greater or lesser degree. Therefore bitter foods should be paired with less bitter, lower alcohol wines.

Chemethesis:

This is the burning effect caused by chillis and pepper. This will have a similar effect on wines as sweetness in food, so as previously mentioned the best matches for spicy food like curries are gewurztraminer, viognier, and some rieslings.


Hopefully this has been helpful, and will enhance your dining experience in restaurants, dinner parties, or just eating at home of an evening. However, after all this has been said, the most important thing to take note of is personal preferance. No amount of careful matching will do any good if you or your dinner guests simply don't like a particular wine!

Also it should be said that if you have any questions about matching wine and food we're always very happy to help. Either pop in to store, or just give us a ring or send us an e-mail with your questions!

If you would like to know more about wines, how to taste, and matching wines and foods, why not book on to our wine course? We'll have loads running in the coming months and details of when they are will always be put on the website.

Happy eating (and drinking!)


A Closer Look at Pinot Grigio Rosé Cantina BreganzeDate published: 07/07/13

Pinot Grigio Rosé 2012 Cantina Breganze
Fact: Cantina Breganze are a big cooperative of over 1000 growers, set up on Valentine’s Day 1950. The group prides itself on quality, with each grower receiving a cut of profits based on the quality, as opposed to the quantity, of their yield. Cooperatives are a very successful way of making wine. They are able to draw on numerous resources and can make a vast number of wines as there is so much raw material to choose from.
Winemaking: Pinot Grigio grapes have a pink/blue skin, which is where the colour comes from in a blush wine. It does not hold enough pigment to make a red wine, and the characteristics are those of a white grape, but when left on the skins for a specific period of time, normally a day, the wine will take on an orange/pink hue from the skins, which leads to a slightly deeper flavour with more body than a normal white Pinot Grigio.
Tasting Note: Light and breezy on the nose with crisp soapy lemon, tangy redcurrant and possibly a touch of apricot. The palate is fresh too, great acidity, citrus and tropical fruits lead the way.
Why Buy: It’s a well balanced glugger, easy drinking on a hot day, enough flavour to impress.

A Closer Look at Château Pigoudet RoséDate published: 06/07/13

Château Pigoudet 'La Chapelle' Rosé 2012
Fact: Provence is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, and was the first to experience mass plantings in France when the Greeks came up through Spain and into France over 2600 years ago. Chateau Pigoudet is a beautiful property in northern Provence, not far from the winery recently bought by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They have big problem with wild boar in the vineyard. These vicious hogs eat grapes at an astounding rate and have to be shot in order to preserve the vines.
Winemaking: This wine is made by the process of ‘assemblage’, which means each grape variety used, Grenache, Cabernet and Cinsault, are vinified separately and then blended together in order to make the most of each constituent part. This allows the winemaker to judge the characteristics from each grape that he wishes to express in the bottle, and gives a greater level of control over the finished product.
Tasting Note: An indulgent, rich smell of nougat, strawberry and lemon. There is also a smokey flicker that translates to toasted marshmallow on the palate. Lots of red fruit too.
Why Buy: It’s indulgent, tastes like a treat, and would be a top picnic wine.

COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGYDate published: 06/07/13

Are you confused by wine?

Well, specifically wine terminology! All of those terms that you might hear people coming out with - often incorrectly - which describe a wine's colour, appearance, odour and flavour. This is a short guide to some of the most commonly used terms and will help you spot the blaggers from the truly knowledgeable, and more importantly it should also help you avoid embarrassing situations such as claiming to a waiter that a wine is corked when it has a screw cap, or that a wine is too sweet when it is actually bone dry.


COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGY

Clarity: This refers to the appearance of the wine. To ascertain this, tilt the glass against a pale surface. If the wine is hazy or cloudy this is evidence of a fault in the wine.

Intensity: Intensity of colour varies greatly – and not just from red to white! Intensity spans from water-white through pale, medium, deep, and opaque. Colours also vary; In white wine through lemon-green, lemon, gold, amber, and brown and in reds through purple, ruby, garnet, tawny and brown. Usually the farther the wine is down the scale the older it is.

Legs: If you swirl the wine in the glass you will often see “legs” or “tears” appear as the liquid settles down the sides. Heavier or thicker legs indicate higher alcohol or sugar.

Development: The development of a wine can be assessed by noting the progression from primary and secondary to tertiary characteristics:

Primary: Fruity or floral characteristics obvious in young wines.

Secondary: Characteristics that result from treatment at the winery, such as oak aging e.g. buttery or yeasty notes.

Tertiary: These result during the aging process and are any characteristics that are not immediately fruity or floral, e.g. Leather, coffee, mushrooms, toast etc.

Sweetness: Many people confuse sweetness with fruitiness. Sweetness refers to the amount of residual sugar present in a wine, which can be detected by dipping the very tip of the tongue in (not elegant – but effective!)

Acidity: This can be detected with the inside of the cheeks after swilling the wine around your mouth. The more acidic the wine the more the cheeks will “weep” and more saliva will be produced.

Tannin: Tannin is extracted from grape skins, stems and seeds and causes your mouth to dry and feel rough. It can most easily be detected by a “furry” sensation on the teeth and gums.

Body: Body refers to the weight of the wine – how heavy it feels in your mouth compared to other wines.

Length: How long the flavours remain after spitting or swallowing. This is also an excellent indication of quality – the longer the length, the better the wine (assuming the flavours are pleasant!)

Corked: Caused by a chemical known as TCA in faulty corks, this causes a wine to smell musty or mouldy, like wet cardboard. Small bits of cork in the wine do NOT mean the wine is corked, but that more care should be taken when opening!

Oxidised: The wine will be faded or browned in colour, and will lack freshness and fruitiness.

The Majestic Customer ListDate published: 05/07/13

Have you ever wondered what the customer list at Majestic is for?

Essentially it is a tool in place for your benefit - If you've ever had a wine from us and can't remember what it is - we can use your history to find out for you! And don't worry if you bought it from another branch, we can give them a call and get them to check your in-store history there, so we can ALWAYS find out what you've bought, as long as you provide us with your surname and postcode every time you shop.

It also allows us to post you our quarterly magazine Grape to Glass, and any flyers detailing our latest offers, so you'll always be first in the know (you can opt out of this free service if you prefer not to receive the mailing, and you still benefit from our personalised product history service!)

There is also an option to signup for emails detailing EXCLUSIVE online parcels that you can't get anywhere else - not even in store! So if you want to be kept in the know about all the best deals here at Majestic, make sure you go on our mailing list - after all, it's there for you!


A Closer Look at AIX RoséDate published: 04/07/13

AIX Rosé 2012 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence
Fact: In 1999, the finest wineries in Provence joined forces to create the "Centre de Recherche et d'Expérimentation sur le vin Rosé" (The Rosé Wine Experimentation and Research Center). The centre performs scientific research and experimentation on Rosé wines. The results are published for professionals so that they can gain a better understanding of the region's different terroirs and better master the techniques for making rosé wines.
Winemaking: Primarily made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Counoise, the vineyards for AIX are on a high plateau where a lot of sun shines down on the plants. It is a hot area, but the vines are cooled by the Mistral, a wind famous in the Rhone Valley. As well as keeping vineyard temperatures down, the Mistral dries the grapes out when it is wet or humid. This keeps vineyard diseases at bay, something that matters a lot when making wines with delicate flavour.
Tasting Note: Mandarin oranges, melons and red berries dominate the smell, very summery. The palate is typically creamy for a Provence Rosé, herbaceous, with cherry, strawberry and fig perhaps?
Why Buy: It looks fantastic, it tastes fantastic, and it is fantastically good value for money. Fantastic.

A Closer Look at Poggioargentiera RosatoDate published: 03/07/13

Poggioargentiera Rosato 2012, Tuscany
Fact: Poggioargentiera are a relatively young winery with only a dozen or so employees. It was set up by Gianpaolo Paglia and his English wife with a view to expressing the excellent terroir of the Maremma. While his wife, a designer by trade, has come up with the distinctive labels, Gianpaolo has recently been busy ‘weening’ his wines off oak ageing, a controversial development that has garnered a lot of support, especially given the quality of his recent Morellino de Scansano vintages. The Rosato is a newish addition to the range, but is made with the same confidence in the fruit.
Winemaking: Made from Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc, this wine is basically made like a white wine. While a lot of rosé will be left to gain colour from the skins for a few days, such is the power and depth of colour in Cabernet Franc especially, that the wine only needs about 12 hours skin contact to take on its pink glow.
Tasting Note: Vivid, juicy and confected on the nose, tart cherry of Sangiovese and strawberry laces. The palate is similarly alive with tangy, confected fruit, a note of nettle too and soft acidity.
Why Buy: It’s fun and complex in equal measure. Would go well with classic prosciutto and melon.


Magnificent microbreweriesDate published: 03/07/13

Magnificent microbreweries

Currently, there are over 700 breweries in the UK of which more than 90% are classified as microbreweries. The industry serves a market of over 25 million people and provides over 700,000 jobs in the UK.

In the UK, the term has become synonymous with small scale breweries operating under the UK Progressive Beer Duty producing quantities ranging from 2 to 20 bbls (a brewer's barrel or bbl is 36 imperial gallons).

It is also one of the fastest growing areas of enterprise in both the UK and the USA.

All this means for us as the consumer that we have a wide and varying range of unique and different beers from light fruity golden ales to rich full flavoured stouts all competing against each other to deliver the best value with the greatest taste!

The next step is to find a microbrewery that delivers on all fronts, and although it is great fun searching out these hidden gems yourself, allow us to give you a couple of our recommendations.

Bespoke Brewing Co, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire

Brewed on the site of the old Wintels brewery in the Forest of Dean and made using traditional ingredients with their own personal twist.

'Money for old rope' – A rich dark forest stout with flavours of malt, grain and deep hop bitterness.

'Saved by the bell' – A light hoppy forest bitter with a spicy hop bite and a delicate floral aroma, very refreshing.

'Over a barrel' – The strong rich forest ale which is fruity on the nose and palate with a generous peppery finish.

'Running the gauntlet' – Full flavoured forest bitter with rich roasted undertones, good hop bitterness with spicy blackcurrant aromas.

Bath Ales, Warmley, Bath

'Quintessentially English and brewed in the West Country', the Bath Ale range offer diversity with a uniqueness and at the same time never straying far from the classic traditional methods and styles.

'Gem'- A best bitter with a rich aroma of hops and malt, and a long bitter sweet finish.

'Barnsey'- Rich in fruit, with hints of chocolate, this full bodied dark ale is a complex but deeply satisfying beer.

'Wild Hare'- A wonderful, golden organic ale with a fresh-citrus aroma and a dry, bitter finish.

'Dark Side'- A roasted barley aroma, a deep, dark colour and a smooth yet dry taste. An exquisite stout.

Wine Course Sunday 14th July 3pm - 4:30pmDate published: 03/07/13

Come and join us for our introduction to wine and wine tasting on Sunday 14th July at 3pm.

The Wine Course is designed for people who have only a basic knowledge of wine but would like to know more. So if you're ever left feeling intimidated but a restaurant wine list or confused by your wine loving friends request for a fruity Gewürztraminer, or even if you just have a general interest in wine but don't know where to start, then come along to our FREE Wine Course and learn with us.

Everyone who attends one of our wine courses receives a voucher which entitles you to £10 off your next purchase from Majestic Wine. 

Please book your place with us by calling the store on 01452 303 949 or emailing us at glo@mahestic.co.uk or alternatively you can have a look in the events section of our store web page and book your place there.

Beer of the Month - BitburgerDate published: 02/07/13

Bitburger Premium Beer
12 x 330ml Bottle Special Offer
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Jackson Estate Stitch - My Favourite Marlborough Sauvignon Date published: 01/07/13

Jackson Estate Stitch 2012, Marlborough
Fact: The Jackson Family came to New Zealand in 1842 on the Martha Ridgeway from Runnymede in England. After 13 years, Adam Jackson bought the first blocks of land in the heart of the Marlborough region, along what was to become known as Jacksons Road. The family farmed the land until 1987 when the first vines were planted. The iconic gum tree that graces the Jackson Estate label was planted in 1867 by Adam’s wife Alice. Today the tree stands over 140 feet tall.
Winemaking: Frost is a big problem in Marlborough, and Jackson have been pioneers in the protection of vines from frost. Not only did they manipulate a standard car alarm to become a frost alarm, but they were the first to use helicopters to spray the vineyards with a fine mist. This technique coats the grapes in a film of water which freezes and prevents the grapes themselves from freezing, as they are cocooned within a shell of ice.
Tasting Note: An intense and very fruity nose, lots of lemon sherbet and tinned fruit salad. When tasted the wine has a big, clean, citrusy palate and a mineral, metallic body that’s very refreshing.
Why Buy: It’s a very fruity, summery wine with impressive poise, would befriend a barbeque.

Wine of the WeekDate published: 01/07/13

'Sassaiolo' Rosso Piceno 2010 Monte Schiavo
£6.99

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20%

Grapes: Montepulciano, Sangiovese
Origin:
Rosso Piceno DOC is part of the region of Marches, just north of Rome on the east coast of Italy. Wines from this region were already known in Roman times and Hannibal reportedly used it to rub down his cavalry horses on his march to Rome, to give them new vigour.
Taste:
A wine offering the elegance of Sangiovese combined with the charming ripe fruit of the Montepulciano. Smooth and rich on the palate with a long, balanced finish.
Enjoy: Absolutely an all-rounder, this goes particularly well with rich pasta dishes.

Ned Running Low...Date published: 30/06/13

The Ned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Only £6.99 when you buy two or more!

The Ned has been flying out on this offer and we are down to our last few cases. We are not due another shipment until August so if you need to stock up for the summer now is the best time to do so....

No longer available online

Call us in store on 01452303949

Hurry whilst stocks last!!

A Closer Look at Waimea Sauvignon BlancDate published: 30/06/13

Waimea 2012, Nelson
Fact: Nelson is one of the most scenic areas in New Zealand, with a great climate, white sandy beaches and a thriving arts and crafts scene which has been translated to the charming architecture of the region. It is also a big winemaking area, with Waimea being one of many top producers. Originally apple growers, Trevor and Robyn Bolitho turned their hands to wine in 1993 and quickly became experts, picking up their first awards in 1997. This natural expertise is evident even more these days with their sons on board to help produce the wine.
Winemaking: 2012 was an extremely stressful vintage in Nelson due to record rainfall and a lot of cloud cover. Winemakers sat around praying for sun until it finally appeared in April, ironically the sunniest on record, just in time for the grapes to fully ripen. Waimea, like many producers, are very focused on quality, and go as far as picking only from the finest rows of vines each year.
Tasting Note: Not for the faint hearted, it has a pungent nose, some grilled asparagus, apple and lime. A funky palate, slightly saline, like goats cheese rind, savoury and citrus fruit flavour.
Why Buy: Would be fantastic with fish or the aforementioned goat’s cheese. Will soften in 6 months.

A Closer Look at Blind River Sauvignon BlancDate published: 29/06/13

Fact: Blind River was a project started by Barry Feickert in 2002. He and his wife decided to ignore viticultural advice and to learn winemaking for themselves as the vintages went by. They had a mission to take it slow, to never compromise on quality in exchange for volume, and to stick to just two varietals – Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Since then their daughters have taken over the estate which continuously goes from strength to strength.
Winemaking: One of the ways Blind River differs is with the addition of 10% oaked wine to the blend. This batch is aged in new French oak barrels which softens the acidity and adds both body and complexity. While not wishing for the wine to be oaky in the mould of a white Bordeaux or a Fume Blanc, there is a desire at Blind River for the seasoning to be evident, both in structure and flavour profile.
Tasting Note: As with a lot of 2012’s it errs towards the savoury, grassy end of the scale. It has a nice oiliness and flavours of tomato leaf, lime, green peppers and an underlying stony minerality.
Why Buy: It’s a very confident, thought provoking wine, an intense show of terroir and vintage.

A Closer Look at Amalaya de Colomé Malbec Blend 2011Date published: 28/06/13

Amalaya de Colomé Malbec Blend 2011
Fact: Amalaya, meaning ‘hope for a miracle’ was started as a joint venture between Hess Family Estates and Bodega Colome, one of Argentina’s most famous biodynamic wineries. They planted vines in the desert region of Cafayate, nearly 6000 feet above sea level. Never knowing if the project would work, it was a risky venture, but has since paid off in superb fashion with their unique wines gaining prominence in many markets around the world.
Winemaking: No expense is spared in the production of these wines, with hand sorting of berries, new oak barrels (12 months for 20% of the wine) and bottle ageing at the winery. Further, while vineyards are traditionally at high altitudes in Argentina, the Amalaya land is a step higher altogether, almost 6000ft above sea level, compared to 3000-4000 normally.
Tasting Note: A very interesting nose of blueberries, juniper and raspberry. The palate is very luscious, it feels velvety, with rich fruit, a bit of pepper and vanilla.
Why have it with Steak?: It’s a polished wine that tastes more expensive than it is. Suitable for the occasion.

A closer look at Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana' 2008Date published: 28/06/13

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana' 2008
Fact: The history of Montepulciano has always been entwined with the fame of its vineyards and wines. Archaeological finds give evidence that wine has been produced and drunk since Etruscan times; in particular the discovery of a tall stemmed, low bowled wine cup or kylix decorated with red figures representing Baccus the Etruscan god of wine. So the history of Montepulciano's wines proves long and continuing. In the mid-16th century, Sante Lancerio, private cellar master of Pope Paolo III, praised the wines of Montepulciano as follows, 'perfect either in winter or summer, with a full aroma and neither aggressive nor too deeply coloured, they are truly wines for gentlemen'
Winemaking: La Ciarliana have put a lot of effort into clonal selection to make sure they have the perfect strain of Sangiovese for their land. As such they make wines of age-worthy intensity and that take on real character. It is an area of viticulture often overlooked, but is a very good way for winemakers to differentiate themselves from their neighbours.
Tasting Note: A really impressive aroma of dark raisined fruit, tobacco, cedar and violets. Magisterial on the palate with superb soft tannins, deep black fruit and the complexity of a Rubik’s Cube.
Food Match: Would be very good with a rib of beef, it has the structure and the concentration.

Alternatives to New Zealand Sauvignon – LoireDate published: 28/06/13

Alternatives to New Zealand Sauvignon – Loire

The Loire, Western Europe's last remaining wild river is really the original home of Sauvignon. The central vineyards of the Loire in particular are synonymous with wines produced from this grape in a fresh but elegant and often somewhat understated style. For those who prefer their Sauvignon a little more restrained than some of New Zealand's more intense offerings, the wines of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume' and Menetou-Salon are likely to be of interest.

While prices here are a match for New Zealand, it is the elegant style of the wines that separate them from most new world offerings. The very best Sancerres are even suitable for some ageing, with the wines' typical minerality becoming more pronounced. While most wines in the central Loire are made in the fresh, fruity style that encourages early drinking, they generally distinguish themselves with a flinty smokiness that is seldom present in Sauvignons from elsewhere.

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume' are the stars of the region but it is their often overlooked neighbour, Menetou-Salon that offers similar wines at generally considerably lower prices.


AIX Magnum Set to be the Star of the Show on SaturdayDate published: 27/06/13

Jack and I are running a Rose tasting tutorial this Saturday and we can't wait to crack in to the AIX Magnum! It is an award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. A superb choice for any event, and the perfect match for canapés or seafood.

But don't just take my word for it!

Give me a call on 01452 303 949  to book a place at this Saturday's Free Tasting Tutorial!

A Closer Look at Campofiorin 2009 MasiDate published: 27/06/13

Campofiorin 2009 Masi
Fact: Masi, owned by the Boscaini family, are one of the most revered and pioneering Amarone Producers in Italy. Sandro Boscaini, who is perhaps the most eloquent spokesman for Amarone and, as the head of Masi, one of its very best producers likes to say 'no one needs an Amarone - not the way they need a glass of milk. It should only be made in great vintages and drunk on special occasions.'
Winemaking: Masi are innovators and they have adapted the appasimento method of drying grapes in the sun to make some of their dry wines, like this bottle. Known as the original ‘Super Venetian’, Campofiorin is made by fermenting fresh Rondinella, Corvina and Molinara grapes and then re-fermenting with some partially dried grapes which adds a level of concentration and intensity.
Tasting Note: A wonderfully balanced nose of vanilla, cherry pie and damson. The palate has excellent concentration and is lent a focus by the clean acidity and soft plentiful tannin.
Food Match: Steak tartare. The plush feel of the wine will go well with soft and melting meat.

Producer Focus: Villa MariaDate published: 27/06/13

Villa Maria are pioneers in more ways than one. Started in 1961 by Sir George Fistonic, who leased 5 acres of land off his dad, the company was run by Sir George and his wife for many years before things really took off. As well as being the first company to go to 100% screwcaps, they also instigated a focus on quality grapes by paying their contract growers based on quality rather than quantity of harvest.

Villa Maria Private Bin 2012, Marlborough (Pictured)
Fact: Villa Maria was named by Sir George when he was sitting in a café with two friends drinking coffee. He chose Maria because it sounded romantic and that was the impression he wanted to convey through his wines. It was also a classic Croatian name, and as a Croat he wanted to lay down a little homage to his heritage and upbringing.
Winemaking: An interesting aspect of the winemaking process for this wine is that the grapes are harvested over a 5 week period at differing levels of ripeness. This leads to really good levels of complexity in the wine, especially when combined with the fact that all the grapes harvested are fully crushed and pressed in order to extract maximum phenolic intensity. It allows the winemakers to achieve sound acidity levels as well as both depth and richness of body.
Tasting Note: Greener than many, lots of bell pepper and canned peas. It’s quite linear and well balanced with a lovely savoury pepper and aniseed note on the finish that’s quintessentially 2012.
Why Buy: Its very complex and well made for the money, familiarity shouldn’t breed contempt here.

Villa Maria Wairau Reserve 2012, Marlborough
Fact: The story of George Fistonic is really incredible. He’s navigated Villa Maria from a one man band with a makeshift grape press made from a mangle, via the threat of receivership, to the internationally recognised award winner it is today. In fact it is often thought that awards have been one of the biggest reasons behind the company’s success, with the first ones coming in 1963, two years after 21 year old George began making wine. He’s a fascinating visionary and a risk taker, with no risk bigger than the move to screwcap which was seen as madness at the time.
Winemaking: The grapes for this wine are grown all across the Wairau Valley, which means Sauvignon grown on a range of terroirs make it into the blend, which in turn leads to complexity. The wine is further enhanced by two months sitting on its lees after fermentation, a process that adds body, structure and interesting flavours.
Tasting Note: A rich, fruity nose, with a little drizzle of honey and a few fresh peas. In the mouth it’s intense, but balanced, with some prickly green fruits, kiwi, papaya and honeysuckle.
Why Buy: It’s a textbook Sauvignon, very versatile, an impressive wine for all occasions.

My Malbec of the MonthDate published: 27/06/13

Amalaya de Colomé Malbec Blend 2011 Salta
An interesting blend dominated by 70% of Argentina's signature Malbec. Spice and cassis fruit come to the blend with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and the dark-skinned Tannat. Amalaya de Colomé are one of the oldest producers in Argentina, formed in 1831. Deep ruby with purple tinges, red cherries and cassis are key components to this wine, as well as the usual dark fruit characteristics of Malbec. Careful use of oak adds vanilla and spice. I would reccommend this with steak pie, or rich, spicy casseroles. Also a perfect wine with summer barbecues.


A Spontaneous Fine Wine FridayDate published: 26/06/13

Corimbo 2010 Ribera del Duero £20 when you buy 2 or more. Single bottle price -£25

We are having a spontaneous Fine Wine Friday this week as we are so excited about our new arrival from the Ribera del Duero. We will be opening the Corimbo 2010 on the tasting counter, so if you are interested, please come in and try it with us.


Battle of the SauvignonsDate published: 26/06/13

We have opened two of our favourite NZ Sauvignons on the tasting counter this morning and are asking our customers which they prefer.

Here are the stories behind the wines:

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough
Fact: The Ned have an ingenious way of keeping small birds and pests off their vineyard - by having two pet falcons on the property. Named Maggie and Astin, they are a breeding pair of Karearea’s, New Zealand’s only breed of Falcon, and one that requires extensive conservation. With eyesight 6 times more powerful than humans and a top speed of 200km/hr, they’re an impressive bird. The Ned have nesting boxes and feeding stations all around the property.
Winemaking: One way for winemakers to differentiate their wines from those of their neighbours is through the use of different yeast strains. The impact different yeasts have on the wines is marked and can be the difference between a grassy, green Sauvignon, and a tropical flowery one. In the case of The Ned, they select their yeasts very carefully each year in order to express as much vintage character as possible.
Tasting Note: Very fruity and tropical on the nose, it’s a comforting smell. The palate is similar, a sweet note comes through, in a natural way, like in fruit juice, and it’s rather mouth filling.
Why Buy: It’s very well balanced and plays to an indulgent enjoyment of sweet flavour. So pleasing.

Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough
Fact: In the early 1970’s Frank Yukich of Brancott (formerly Montana) decided that the South Island of New Zealand, and more specifically Marlborough, was the perfect place to make wine. This view was derided and laughed off by most, however through the strength of his convictions he ploughed ahead and planted the first Sauvignon Blanc vines in the region. Fast forward 40 years and his prophecy that ‘wines from here will become world famous’ has been proven correct.
Winemaking: Brancott are very concerned with biodiversity, and as such they like to allow local flora to grow between the vines. Not only is this socially responsible, but it helps to provide competition for the vines. The harder a vine has to work for nutrients, the better the grapes will be, and Brancott consider this a very important feature of their vineyards and one of the reasons for their wines being so full flavoured and characterful.
Tasting Note: Clean and restrained on the nose, mainly passionfruit and a hint of green. Monumental levels of acidity hide any aromatic side on the palate, but this would appear with food.
Why Buy: It would be great with oysters, or fish and chips.

Come in store and let us know what you think!

Taittinger Tasting NoteDate published: 26/06/13

Taittinger Brut Réserve NV Champagne 

A fine old house with a distinctively light, pure style, Taittinger is a consistent crowd pleaser. Pale in colour with a fine, strong bubble, the nose is of clean green fruit, matched in the mouth with a pleasingly refreshing acidity that makes this an excellent Champagne to drink with delicately flavoured food.

Ned News!Date published: 26/06/13

With The Ned special offer (only £6.99) now in full flow, stocks are running out fast!

We are down to our last few bottles here in Gloucester, so if you are hoping to sit sipping this sumptuous Sauvignon throughout the Summer, it's best tostock up now!

Whilst the offer does run until July 22nd, we won't be getting another shipment until later in the summer....


“The King of Wines, and wine of Kings” - Royal Tokaji Date published: 25/06/13

The King of Wines, and wine of Kings”

Royal Tokaji Company, Mad, Hungary

Think of the most characterful and luscious wines of the world, then think of Hungary.

Surprised?

You shouldn't be.

The legendary wines of Tokaji have been made for centuries and adored by connoisseurs across history, from Louis XIV to Thomas Jefferson, whom revelled in the immortal essencia, a barely alchoholic wine made in such minuscule quantities it is traditionally served from a crystal spoon.

Grapes of Furmint, Harslevelu and Muscat de Lunel when affected with noble rot are known as Aszu and are collected in puttony (20 litre tubs). The juice of Aszu grapes is the pure essencia. This is later blended with a base wine from the remaining non-Aszu grapes. The level of sweetness of the resulting wine is measured by how many puttony are added, ranging from 1 to 6, with 6 being the sweetest.

I love Tokaji for its searing acidity, which is necessary to balance the wine with such an intense sweetness, a trick that the wines of Sauternes often fail to pull off.

The well known wine writer Hugh Johnson founded the Royal Tokaji Company in 1990, urged by his passion for the nectar-like liquid, and it is this range that we stock at Majestic, including their 5 puttonyos (£19.99) and the excellent value Late Harvest (£9.99), which comes in 50cl bottles.

If sweet wine isn't for you, then you can still enjoy the honeysuckle floral aromas of these wines with the Royal Tokaji Company's Dry Furmint.

Furmint is one of the grapes used in the wines described above, but the sugars are fermented to dryness, as in conventional wine making. This for me is one of the best value and most interesting wine available today, and it is just £8.49 when you buy two or more bottles!

New Fine Wine Just Arrived - Corimbo 2010 Ribera del Duero Date published: 25/06/13

Corimbo 2010 Ribera del Duero

Price £25.00

Buy 2 Bottles Save £10 £20.00

As promised here is a little about one of our new Fine Wines which has just arrived in store. Don't be too put off by Joe he's just very excited!

A project by Bodegas Roda, one of Rioja's leading wineries, to make a top quality modern red wine in Ribera del Duero. Following four years of research, the La Horra vineyards were identified as Roda's chosen Duero site, and Corimbo was first produced here in 2008.

The grape variety used exclusively to produce this wines is the lesser known Tinto del Pais (sometimes known as Tinto Fino) which is a local variety of Tempranillo which has adapted to the unique climate of the region. It is in part this extreme climate which probably helps contribute to the high quality of the wines. Frosts which can last well into the spring, high summer daytime and very low night-time temperatures are often linked with very high quality wine producing regions.

Ribera del Duero is probably the most important wine region within Castilla Y Leon in North Central Spain and is continually looking to improve both the quality of the regions wines as well as establish itself alongside the much more internationally famous Rioja.

The wine is made from vines which are on average 20 years old, adding to the quality and complexity. Fermentation is in stainless steel vats and also oak vats for malolactic fermentation. Maceration takes 18 days to extract the maximum amount of colour, structure and flavour from the skins. The wine is then aged for 12 months in 80% French oak and 20% American oak barrels.

The wine is a dense and multi-layered wine, crammed with black fruit and accented with notes of sweet spice, toast and floral aromas. Should continue to develop for up to 8 years from vintage.


Callia Malbec Back in Stock!!!Date published: 25/06/13

We opened this new wine on our tasting counter last week and it was a massive hit. All those big, juicy, Malbec flavours with slightly reserved tannis makes this wine very quaffable on its own, as well as being a fantastic partner to a rare steak! It was such a success that we completely sold out. Thankfully we recieved another delivery today but hurry in soon because I'm sure it will be flying out!

£5.99 When you buy 2 or more!

The Wine: Bodegas Callia are based in the Valle de Tulum, wherein lies the town of San Juan, and have become one of the foremost wineries of this area. Their estate here comprises 241 hectares of vines, at 630m above sea level, surrounded on almost all sides by the Andes. An attractively deep purple wine, with an up-front and straightforward wild berry character, with hints of baking spices. Intense and generous on the palate, with plush tannins and good ripeness. Drink with pasta and meatballs in your favourite tomato and herb sauce. 

A Classic Wine and Food MatchDate published: 25/06/13

I cracked open a bottle of Rosso Piceno 2010/2011 Conte Saladino last night to have with my Lasagne. After about an hour in the decanter it was opening up well and once combined with the richness and acidity of the Lasagne it was incredible. A classic blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano is always going to be improved washed down with any tomato-based Italian dish and this was no exception. The wine is an 80%-Sangiovese blend made from grapes grown on the estate of Count Saladini Pilastri in the hills of the Marche reagion, overlooking the Adriatic. A deep ruby core with a purple rim. A ripe and youthful nose of cherries and sloes, with hints of tobacco leaf and spice. Harmoniously structured, with a firm texture and enduring tannins. 

Special offer on Mâcon Villages Blanc 'Les Roches Blanches' 2011/2012 Louis Jadot Date published: 25/06/13

Improved offer for two weeks only!

£10.99 or £7.99 when you buy two or more!

Grape: Chardonnay

Origin: The majority of the fruit for this wine was sourced from the superior quality vineyards from around the village of Loché, southwest of Mâcon in southern Burgundy. Taste Made in a fresh, clean and fruity style with subtle green apple and pear flavours with a pleasant minerally finish.

Enjoy: A nice apéritif, this will also partner white fish dishes well.

Our Selection of Wines for our Rosé Tasting Tutorial as modeled by the lovely JackDate published: 22/06/13

Our Selection of Wines for our Rosé Tasting Tutorial as modeled by the lovely Jack

Here is a sneak preview of the wines we will be opening on Saturday 29th June. As you can see Jack is very excited about it! He can't wait to tell you all about the different styles of Rosé and try to convert some of you Rosé doubters out there, you know who you are...



Wine of the Week - Yalumba 'Y' Series ViognierDate published: 20/06/13

Wine of the Week - Yalumba 'Y' Series Viognier 2012 South Australia


Price £9.99

Buy 2 still Australian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £7.99 *

Grape

Viognier


Description

The Barossa Valley has some of the oldest vines in the world and is home to Yalumba, founded in 1849. Yalumba has had considerable success with the rare and aromatic Viognier grape. This is a full-bodied dry white, with a gorgeously perfumed floral scent and a ripe, peach and apricot fruit, with a silky palate-feel. Enjoy with a light pasta flavoured with herbs, seared swordfish or tuna.



Look at all of the lovely wines we have open to try!Date published: 19/06/13

This is Joe our relatively new Assistant Manager modelling this weeks tasting counter selection. We have a huge selection of wines open on our tasting counter at the moment,  everything from inexpensive fruity wines perfect for parties and BBQs all the way up to classics like Chateau Musar. Come and explore in store with Majestic Gloucester

Alternatives to New Zealand Sauvignon – Southern FranceDate published: 19/06/13

Alternatives to New Zealand Sauvignon – Southern France

The enormous popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon has been a defining feature of of the UK wine trade over the last 10 years. With increasing demand and noticeable vintage variation that comes inevitably with maritime climates, the price of the nation's favourite wine has steadily risen.

Undeniably, the antipodean wines offer something unique in terms of fruit purity and intensity but other regions offer similarly aromatic wines and producers of Sauvignon the world over have moved to a more fresh, acidic style in response to the market.

Southern France has long offered superb value in both red and white wines and some of the more obscure varieties are now coming into their own as Sauvignon alternatives. Colombard when produced in an aromatic style can match Sauvignon for fruit purity and freshness while at the same time exhibiting less acidity. Sauvignon itself is vinified to great effect throughout the South West of France and regions such as Gascogne lean towards the fresher style in comparison with Bordeaux's more austere offerings.

The Next will examine Loire Sauvignons...


FREE Rosé Tasting Tutorial - Saturday 29th June at 3pmDate published: 19/06/13

FREE Rosé Tasting Tutorial

Saturday 29th June at 3pm

We will be tasting a selection of our favourite Rosé wines from our range.

We have a selection of wines from all over the world representing just about every style. Have a look at the wines on display here to see a sample selection of what you will be able to try.

If you're a Rosé lover then fantastic, this a chance to try some of your favourites and maybe something new and a bit different!

If you're not a big Rosé drinker then come along and see if we can convince you about the merits of this hugely diverse range of wines.

If you would like to come along, please let a member of our team know so that we can book you a spot.

Wine of the Week - Royal Tokaji Dry FurmintDate published: 16/06/13

Wine of the Week - Royal Tokaji Dry Furmint

Price £9.99

Buy 2 bottles save £3 £8.49 *

Grape

Furmint


Description

The name Furmint is derived from 'froment', the Hungarian word for the wheaten colour of its wines. More commonly associated with the super-sweet dessert wines of Hungary, the Furmint grape is employed here in a dry white, to stunning effect. Well-defined aromatics comprising rich honey notes and stone fruits on the nose. Plenty of acidity gives the palate crispness and bite, with mineral tinges accenting the fruit-laden, exotic feel. Partner with strong creamy cheeses or rich poultry dishes.


Fine Wine on the Tasting Counter - Chateau MusarDate published: 16/06/13

Fine Wine on the Tasting Counter - Chateau Musar

Chateau Musar 2005 - £19.99


Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan


Description

Lebanese wine might seem obscure, but viticultural roots in Lebanon go back over 6000 years. Château Musar is a uniquely different wine from in the Beeka Valley, produced by master winemaker Serge Hochar. Concentrated plum and blackberry fruit, hints of fig, prune, distinct liquorice and spice. Firm but fine tannins, good acidity and body, vibrant and fresh with streaks of cedar and cinnamon. Long finish. Château Musar will last for decades and can be enjoyed with everything from French-style roast lamb, to North-African cuisine.




Wine of the Week - Callia Bella Malbec 2012 San Juan Date published: 11/06/13

Now open on our tasting counter and at a fantastic offer price of £5.99 (When you buy 2 or more as part of your case).

Callia Bella Malbec 2012 San Juan

Price £8.99

Buy 2 bottles save £6 £5.99

Grape

Malbec

Description

Bodegas Callia are based in the Valle de Tulum, wherein lies the town of San Juan, and have become one of the foremost wineries of this area. Their estate here comprises 241 hectares of vines, at 630m above sea level, surrounded on almost all sides by the Andes. An attractively deep purple wine, with an up-front and straightforward wild berry character, with hints of baking spices. Intense and generous on the palate, with plush tannins and good ripeness. Drink with pasta and meatballs in your favourite tomato and herb sauce.


A Beginner's Guide to Wine and Food MatchingDate published: 07/06/13

A Beginner's Guide to Wine and Food Matching


Over the years a number of myths and falsities have evolved about the correct pairing of wines and foods. For example it is widely believed that the fats and proteins in beef serve to soften strong tannins in red wine. In fact recent research has shown that it is the salt used to season the meat that has this effect, and without this the fats and proteins react giving the tannin an even more bitter quality!

The impact of food on wine is almost entirely determined by the balance of primary flavour characteristics in food. These are: Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami, and Acidity.

In order to help you better understand how these flavours interact and affect a wine here they are broken down with some easy to follow tips:

Sweetness:

Sweetness in food will increase bitterness, acidity and astringency in wine, while decreasing body, richness, sweetness and fruitiness. For desserts always choose a dessert wine, and ensure that the wine is sweeter than the food to avoid the wine seeming dry and unpleasant.

As for main courses there is very little sweetness in European cuisine, so it is less of an issue. Sweetness is, however, more commonly found in Asian cuisine, leading to a reputation for Asian dishes being "wine unfriendly". Simply serve wines with lower tannin and higher sweetness and fruitiness to pair perfectly with sweeter dishes. Ideal partners for sweet and spiced Asian foods are Gewurztraminer, Viognier, or off-dry rieslings.

Umami:

Umami is a relatively new addition to the flavour spectrum, and is best described as the meaty-savouriness found in foods such as mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and smoked seafood (to get a better idea of what umami is, compare a raw mushroom with one that has been microwaved for 30 seconds, as this increases the umami character!)

Umami in food will increase bitterness and acidity in wine, and will decrease body and fruitiness. Again this can be combatted with fruitier wines lower in acidity, so look for warm-climate wines generally from Australia or Chile. Alternatively the umami of the dish can be reduced by the addition of an acidic or bitter component, for example adding a squeeze of lemon juice to help balance the umami elements and allow the dish to blend with more acidic wines.

Acidity:

Acidity in food will have the opposite effect on wines than sweetness; increasing richness, sweetness and fruitiness and decreasing acidity in the wine. The most noticeable effect of this will be acidic foods making wines seem flat and flabby. If you are eating a dish that is high in acidity (for example salads with vinegrette) pair them with wines such as Sancerre, Chablis, New Zealand Sauvignon, or wines from cool climate regions as these will generally have higher acidity.

Salt:

Salt in a dish will decrease tbitterness and acidity, and increase richness and smoothness. As previously mentioned it also has a softening effect on tannin, so highly tannic wines such as left-bank bordeaux, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon will become much richer and smoother with saltier dishes.

Bitterness:

Bitterness has a highly subjective effect on wine, but in most cases will increase bitterness in the wine by a greater or lesser degree. Therefore bitter foods should be paired with less bitter, lower alcohol wines.

Chemethesis:

This is the burning effect caused by chillis and pepper. This will have a similar effect on wines as sweetness in food, so as previously mentioned the best matches for spicy food like curries are gewurztraminer, viognier, and some rieslings.


Hopefully this has been helpful, and will enhance your dining experience in restaurants, dinner parties, or just eating at home of an evening. However, after all this has been said, the most important thing to take note of is personal preferance. No amount of careful matching will do any good if you or your dinner guests simply don't like a particular wine!

Also it should be said that if you have any questions about matching wine and food we're always very happy to help. Either pop in to store, or just give us a ring or send us an e-mail with your questions!

If you would like to know more about wines, how to taste, and matching wines and foods, why not book on to our wine course? We'll have loads running in the coming months and details of when they are will always be put on the website.

Happy eating (and drinking!)

Wine of the Week - Craggy Range Te Kahu 2010 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's BayDate published: 01/06/13

Wine of the Week - Craggy Range Te Kahu 2010 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay


Price:

£17.99Buy 2 still New Zealand wines save 20% £14.39 *

Grape

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec

Description

The Gimblett Gravels vineyard's unique location creates the warmest vineyard area in New Zealand, This blend of 58% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec gives a modern and unique take on a classic Bordeaux assemblage. Lots of dark brambly fruit and a dark cherry core, ripe tannins add structure and added complexity is available in the form of sweet spice, vanilla and white pepper. This wine possesses enough concentration and tannin to withstand 8 years ageing, and is a perfect accompaniment to roast dinners.

Wine of the Week - Blind River Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough, NEW ZEALANDDate published: 24/05/13

Blind River Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough, NEW ZEALAND

£19.99 Single bottle price

£15.99

20% OFF NEW ZEALAND WINES

When you buy at least 2 bottles as part of a mixed case

Pinot Noir

Former marine engineer Barry Feickert started Blind River wines as a retirement project, at the Redwood Pass vineyard in the Awatere Valley. His two daughters now manage the winery, and their wines have been acknowledged as being among the finest in Marlborough.

A deep and intense Pinot Noir, with layer upon layer of blackcurrant and loganberry fruit, nuanced with liquorice and spice notes. Plenty of weight, but with silky, elegant tannins.

Drink now or cellar for up to 7 years.

Serve with feathered game.



An Introduction to Sparkling Wines – Tank MethodDate published: 21/05/13

An Introduction to Sparkling Wines – Tank Method

The final article in this series looking at sparkling wine covers the tank method, popular in Prosecco and Conegliano Valdobbiadene.

Tank Method – Prosecco

This method of producing sparkling wine is the most likely to produce light fruity styles. The influence of the secondary fermentation in terms of flavour is minimal, it is simply done to add bubbles. Prosecco is actually comprised of two regions; Prosecco DOC and Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG. The latter is named for two villages and the wine made from grapes grown in the area around these villages has the right to call itself Prosecco Superiore. The name of the grape variety used has recently been changed from Prosecco to Glera in an effort to protect the identity of the two regions.

Wines being made using the tank method undergo secondary fermentation in a sealed tank rather than in-bottle. As with the transfer method, the yeasts and other sediments are filtered out of the wine once the fermentation is complete. Wine made in this way does not have much contact with its lees and as a result does not take on the complex autolytic flavours that are found in Champagne. The producer that elects to use the tank method is most likely to be aiming for a wine that expresses varietal style. It is important therefore, to ensure that the base wine is made with care as it is these varietal flavours that will shape the character of the final product.

Of course the process is even more cost-effective than transfer method and the great value offered by Prosecco has been one of the factors driving its recent surge in popularity. The other has been a shift in tastes towards a more light, approachable aperitif. The best Prosecchi arguably perform better in this role than equivalent Champagnes. At majestic currently, La Marca Cuvee NV is a bargain at £9.99. Cuvee indicates that the wine has been made from only the best quality juice and while some Prosecco can exhibit a lively mousse, the La Marca is velvety smooth with stone fruit and green apple on the palate.


Wine of the week - Stella Alpina Pinot Grigio 2012 Alto Adige Date published: 20/05/13

 Wine of the Week Stella Alpina Pinot Grigio 2012 Alto Adige

Price £11.99

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £9.59

Grape

Pinot Grigio

Description

Alto Adige is in the far North of Italy, with vineyards lining either side of the valley formed by the River Adige. The reputation for quality, particularly from its aromatic white wine, is typified by this high end Pinot Grigio from one of the region's better producers. This is in a different league to entry-level Italian Pinot Grigio, balancing a rich, pure palate of peach, melon and pear fruit with the crispest of finishes. This wine will marry well with fresh tomato salads and seafood dishes such as grilled sea bass or barbecued king prawns.


Valpolicella PassitoDate published: 19/05/13

Valpolicella Passito

Nestling in between Soave and Bardolino to the East of Lake Garda, Valpolicella is perhaps best known for light, fruity reds. Certainly the volume side of production here has tended to lean towards an approachable, early-drinking style. There is however, another side to Italy's second most important red DOC. Valpolicella Classico is home to Italy's passito tradition which is employed to produce some of the country's most intensely flavoured, full bodied reds.

The indigenous Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grape varieties are picked before being left to dry on straw mats, often over many weeks. This drying concentrates the sugars in the grapes and leads to the development of complex flavours such as leather and dark rum. The dried grapes are fermented and if a totally dry wine is to be produced, the high sugar levels often result in a fairly alcoholic wine. The resulting wine, Amarone della Valpolicella is often hugely intense but also approachable. These qualities help make it one of our best-selling fine wines.

Amarone commands a relatively high price due to the high labour costs involved in its production. Some of the rich, full-bodied nature of this wine can be found at a more intermediate price point in the form of Valpolicella Ripasso. This hybrid technique involves adding some of the dried grapes or simply their un-pressed skins from the Amarone process to a basic Valpolicella base wine for use in a secondary fermentation. Wine that has been produced in this way represents a mid-point between basic Valpolicella and Amarone both in terms of style and price. The ripasso wines for many offer a great combination of fresh fruit and weight as well as complexity.

As for out range, in-store in Gloucester we currently offer a range of Valpolicella wines made using the dried grape Passito technique:

Amarone Classico Costasera 2008 Masi - £30 Amarone Classico 'Vigneti di Roccolo' 2009 - £22.00 or Buy 2 bottles save £8 = £18.00 Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2010 Ripasso La Casetta - £16.99 or Buy 2 Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% = £13.59 Campofiorin 2009 Masi - £12.49 Buy 2 Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% = £9.99


A bit of cheese to go with our italian tasting?Date published: 18/05/13

That's right today is the day you have all been waiting for, Italian Tasting with Joe!

Joe is our new assistant manager and as you can tell from the cheesy photo, he's very excited about it. We have a selection of six Italian wines from all over Italy for Joe to talk you through. It's all very informal and we aim to make it a fun and interesting half an hour.

Don't forget that as well as the Tasting Tutorial Wines we also have a great selection of other wines from all over the world available to try, just have a look at the on-line tasting counter to see what is available.

If you would like to join us then the tasting kicks off at 3pm today.


An Introduction to Sparkling Wines – Transfer MethodDate published: 17/05/13

An Introduction to Sparkling Wines – Transfer Method

Continuing to look at the different styles of sparkling wine, the focus is now on the transfer method; widely used across the new world.

Transfer Method – Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee

New Zealand has established itself as a producer of high quality traditional and transfer method sparkling wines. The less marginal nature of the climate in New Zealand in comparison with Champagne means that the wines are often more fruit – driven. The transfer method which reduces the influence of yeast flavours further enhances this fruity character.

The process itself is much the same as with the traditional method (see previous article) up until the point at which the dead yeasts need to be removed. Instead of going through riddling and remaining in-bottle, the wine is transferred into a large tank under pressure. The sediment and yeasts are then filtered out of the wine before it is re-bottled in a fresh bottle. This method is very cost-effective and produces wines of sufficient quality that it is used in champagne for formats larger than Jeraboam as riddling is impractical with larger bottle sizes.

Representative of the great value that can be found in New Zealand sparkling wine is the Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee. Made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes in the blanc de blancs style, it exhibits a lively nose and a fruit-driven palate on which zesty citrus notes sparkle against a backdrop of white peach and delicate minerality. A great buy at £10.99 when you buy 2 or more.


Breaking out the Barby!Date published: 16/05/13

I think I am going to brave it this weekend and crack open the BBQ for its 2013 debut. Here are my three favourite food and wine matches over the coal...

Honey Glazed Chicken and the Jordan Chardonnay - Chardonnay's citrussy zing combined with an oaky richness makes it the perfect match for chicken and the Jordan has been the stand out Chardonnay for me this year.

Homemade Lamb and Mint Burgers with Lamatum Crianza 2009 - Hailing from the Ribera del Duero the Lamatum offers excellent value for money at just £7.99. A dark and mysterious wine that has sweet-savoury red fruit aromas which complement the lamb very well.

Prawn and Chorizo Skewers and the Muga Rose - Muga is my favourite Rose as it has a delicious palate of strawberries and cream while remaining incredibly refreshing, and it certainly has the body to stand up to the Chorizo. Warning: Hot weather required....

Friday Fizz - Prosecco Zonin NV DOCDate published: 16/05/13

Friday Fizz - Prosecco Zonin NV DOC


Prosecco Zonin NV DOC


£10.99

Special Offer £7.99


Grape

Prosecco

Description

Established in 1821, Zonin has become Italy's largest privately-owned winery, and are owners of Italy's largest Prosecco vineyards. This example is made from grapes grown only in the DOC region within Veneto and as such, is entitled to use the Prosecco name on the bottle. Deliberately light and refreshing in style, with a palate of fresh pear and dessert apple fruit, further lifted by subtle floral and almond aromas. Delicately off-dry, with a clean finish. Wonderfully versatile. Serve as an aperitif, a partner for fish courses, or even with light fruit desserts.


From Friday 17th, this great value Prosecco is available to try in-store on our tasting counter.


Italian Tasting Week 17th - 23rd MayDate published: 16/05/13

Italian Tasting Week 17th - 23rd May

Between Friday 17th and Thursday 23rd May there will be an exciting opportunity to taste a wide range of Italian wines on our tasting counter. Throughout this week, feel free to visit us in-store and explore the fantastic section we have available to taste. There will be some familiar classics along with some less well-known wines that we think are worth highlighting. Our list for the week is as follows:

Chianti Classico San Leonino 2008 Tenimenti Angelini

This is a very traditional style of Chianti. Full of red cherry flavours and violets, with vibrant acidity, hints of sweet spices and a beautiful long, silky finish.


Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2011/2012 A Passoni

An intense wine with lively acidity and lots of pure fruit.


Stella Alpina Pinot Grigio 2012 Alto Adige

This is in a different league to entry-level Italian Pinot Grigio, balancing a rich, pure palate of peach, melon and pear fruit with the crispest of finishes.


Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2010 Ripasso La Casetta

Valpolicella Ripasso combines the power and class of the Amarone with the bright fruit of the classic Valpolicella.


Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana' 2008

Made exclusively from Sangiovese and aged for at least two years, La Ciarliana has been made for three generations by the Frangiosa family in the hills surrounding Montepulciano.

Gavi 2011/2012 La Toledana

Wines from the vineyards closest to the town are labelled Gavi di Gavi, and this one is made from late-harvested grapes.

Verdicchio di Matelica 2012 Poggio alle Rondini

Dry and crisp, with hints of acacia honey against a backdrop of citrus fruit.

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2012 Friuli

This Pinot Grigio is a world away from the Italian norm, with intense and persistent aromas, and a velvety, full-bodied feel on the palate.


Italian Tasting Tutorial – Saturday 18th May @ 3pmDate published: 16/05/13


Italian Tasting Tutorial – Saturday 18th May @ 3pm

We have some fantastic wines open for our Italian Tasting Tutorial this Saturday. The tutorial starts at 3pm so if you would like to attend please try to arrive five minutes early.

The tutorial only lasts around half an hour to forty minutes, so it is a great opportunity to try a range of Italian wines and learn a little about their region, history and production. We have chosen six wines, four white and two red – in anticipation of glorious summer sunshine this weekend – and have grouped the wines into pairs to allow us to compare and contrast the styles and regions.

Up and Coming Varieties

Fremondo Greco

Price £9.99

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £7.99

vs

Vermentino 2012 Poggioargentiera

Price £9.99

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £7.99


Focus on Soave

Fattori Soave 2012

£8.99

Special Offer £8.74

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £6.99

vs

Inama 2011/2012 Soave Classico

Price £14.99

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £11.99


Favourite Northerers

Barbera d'Alba Sucule 2009 Villa Lanata

Price £10.49

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £8.39

vs

Campofiorin 2009 Masi

Price £12.49

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £9.99


Wine of the Week - Bellero Barbera 2012 Piemonte Date published: 15/05/13

Bellero Barbera 2012 Piemonte

Price £8.74

Buy 2 still Italian wines between £5 - £20 save 20% £6.99

Grape

Barbera

Description

Barbera is native to the north-west of Italy, and is one of the most widely planted red grapes in Piemonte. Traditionally used for making very light-bodied wines, modern winemaking techniques are producing rounder, fuller-bodied examples of Barbera such as this. A violet-tinged cherry red wine, offering aromas of blackberry and red apple, with jammy hints. Prominent acidity harmonises well with the soft tannins, providing a lively yet rounded mouthfeel. The perfect red wine for partnering a selection of fresh bruschetta, salami and other antipasti.

Highlights of the week..Date published: 12/05/13

My first week in the Gloucester store is coming to an end and it has certainly been an exciting start. It's been great getting to know Manager Matt and Trainee, Jack and discovering their preferences on the tasting counter. For me personally it has been a real treat having the AIX magnum open. In my opinion it's one of Provence's finest, exhibiting a beautiful nose of strawberries and cream whilst remaining crisp and fresh on the palate. The Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc was the pick of the whites; a zesty style that is sure to sell well when the sun finally decides to make an appearance. For now, I'm quite happy watching the rain with a small glass of Escarpment Pinot Noir in hand; the warmth and character coming from this New Zealand delight far out-weighs anything the English summer has offered thus far....

An introduction to Sparkling Wines – Traditional MethodDate published: 12/05/13

An introduction to Sparkling Wines – Traditional Method

Summer has arrived and with that comes BBQs, garden parties and weddings. There is of course no better way to add a bit of sparkle to a party than with a glass or two of fizz. Here is a selection of the different styles along with some our best offers, starting with Champagne.

Traditional Method - Champagne

When most people think of sparkling wine, it is the high acidity and rich, toasty aromas of champagne that spring to mind. The acidity in champagne results from its location at the northern limit for its primary grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This acidity forms the structural backbone that supports the rich complex flavours that Champagne classically exhibits.

The traditional method of making sparkling wine is not unique to Champagne but all Champagne that is sold in bottles up to and including Jeraboam is made this way. Grapes are hand-picked grapes and pressed very gently. Fermentation usually takes place in steel vats although some producers still use oak. Malolactic fermentation at this stage is often used and results in a softer, more full-bodied wine. Wine made in this way and typically from many different vineyards and growers is then blended. Typically blends are made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sometimes Meunier although Blanc de Blancs is made entirely from Chardonnay and Blanc de Noirs entirely without. The wine is then bottled.

Secondary Fermentation is the stage at which the wine gains its bubbles. A mixture of wine, sugar and yeast and a clarifying agent known as liqueur de tirage is added to the bottles. As the yeasts convert the sugars into alcohol, CO2 is produced and dissolves into the wine. A crown cap with a plastic insert seals the bottle while this is happening. Once the yeast has died, it forms a sediment in the bottle known as lees. The wine is left for a period of time with the lees in the bottle and a process known as yeast autolysis occurs as proteins and other compounds from the yeast dissolve into the wine. It is this process that gives Champagne many of its classic toast and brioche flavours.

The sediment is eventually removed using a method called riddling. This involves very slowly tilting the bottle from a horizontal to a vertical position over the course of a number of days or weeks if done by hand. The sediment gathers in the plastic insert of the crown cap. The bottle is then dipped into a freezing brine solution which freezes the wine at the top of the bottle along with the sediment. When the bottle is returned to the upright position and the crown cap removed, the CO2 forces the frozen sediment out of the bottle. A cork closure is now added along with a wire cage to secure it. Before this is done, a little liqueur d'expedition which is a cane sugar solution and wine mixture is added to replace the small amount of wine that was lost with the frozen sediment. The amount of sugar that is added at this stage determines the overall sweetness of the finished wine. Most Champagnes then undergo a period of bottle-ageing during which the wine continues to develop as the sugars in the liqueur d'expedition react with the proteins released during yeast autolysis.

Great Champagne need not cost the earth either, J. de Telmont Grande Reserve NV is currently on special offer at £16.00 offering great balance and moussey bubbles and is a firm staff favourite.


Reflecting on our Summer Tasting Date published: 10/05/13

Last night we hosted our annual summer tasting here in Gloucester at which nearly 80 people attended. A huge thank you to all who came and a special mention must go to Matthew Fort (Mr Trotters), Richard (Bath Ales, pictured above) and Annabelle (Nyetimber). The favourite wines of the night were the Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc and the Escarpment Pinot Noir. Thank you for donations towards our charity - Children With Cancer UK. The mystery wine was the Barista Pinotage from South Africa, priced at £8.99. Congratulations to Sue Reynolds who came closest with her guess and wins the bottle of Muga Reserva.

KC Cabernet Merlot 2009/2010 Klein Constantia, Coastal Region Date published: 09/05/13

KC Cabernet Merlot 2009/2010 Klein Constantia, Coastal Region

Price £10.99

Buy 2 bottles save £2 £9.99

Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Origin

Klein Constantia lies on the narrow Cape Peninsula, only 20km from the centre of Cape Town, where there is exposure on all sides to the maritime influences of the southern Atlantic and the False Bay area, which moderate the tempratures within the Constantia Valley.

Taste

Typically South African in style, with a deep ruby core of ripe fruit and spicy aromas from 20 months barrel ageing. Weighty and richly textured, with plenty of fine tannins providing a lasting finish.

Enjoy

Matches well with roast beef or any hearty red meat dishes.



Wine of the Week - Callia Bella Malbec 2012 San JuanDate published: 07/05/13

Wine of the Week - Callia Bella Malbec 2012 San Juan

Grape

Malbec

Description

Bodegas Callia are based in the Valle de Tulum, wherein lies the town of San Juan, and have become one of the foremost wineries of this area. Their estate here comprises 241 hectares of vines, at 630m above sea level, surrounded on almost all sides by the Andes. An attractively deep purple wine, with an up-front and straightforward wild berry character, with hints of baking spices. Intense and generous on the palate, with plush tannins and good ripeness. Drink with pasta and meatballs in your favourite tomato and herb sauce.


Wine of the Week - Lacroix 2007 Bordeaux Supérieur Date published: 02/05/13

Wine of the Week - Lacroix 2007 Bordeaux Supérieur

Grape

Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Description

A special parcel of high-quality, great value claret from Jonathan Maltus, an English winemaker with several vineyards across Bordeaux's right bank, primarily on St-Emilion Grand Cru sites. Hand-picked, fermented in stainless steel and matured in oak barrels for 9 months. Merlot-dominated, the wine has a juicy black fruit backbone supported by plentiful yet supple tannins. Well-structured and lightly savoury, with subtle forest floor and spice aromatics. Ideal accompaniment for a selection of rustic charcuterie and hard cheeses.


Malolactic FermentationDate published: 28/04/13

Malolactic Fermentation

Following the initial alcoholic fermentation of sugars into alcohol, there is a secondary process which more accurately known as malolactic conversion.

It is the process by which malic acid, present in the young wine is converted into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid has a lower acidity to that of malic acid and it is for that reason that the winemaker may take the decision to block the conversion, preserving the young wines’ freshness and fruity acidity. Many winemakers in the new world subscribe to this point of view, though it is also a technique widely employed when vinifying Chenin Blanc and Riesling, as the wine produced from these two varieties often relies on a high level of residual sugar, the natural acidity of the wine provides the perfect counterpoint for the sweetness.

Conversely, some varieties have a natural affinity with lactic acid, increasing the body, mouth feel and texture, and enhancing the complexity of the wine. One such example is the Chardonnay grape, where in the Cote de Beaune of Burgundy, wines are traditionally encouraged through malolactic conversion in the spring following the vintage. These wines will also be subject to oak aging and enhanced lees contact as a result.


Fine Wine Friday - Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2004 La Rioja Alta Date published: 26/04/13

Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2004 La Rioja Alta

Price £22.50

Buy 2 still Spanish wines between £5 - £25 save 20% £18.00

New Rigal WinesDate published: 23/04/13

 New Rigal Wines

Already acclaimed by staff and customers alike for their great value and wonderfully drinkable Truffier Malbec, Rigal have just expanded their range at Majestic. The new wines slot into their L'instant range alongside the Truffier and echo this well established wine's branding with the rose' and white taking their names from culinary ingredients associated with the cuisine of Cahors and the Lot Region. Rigal have also cleverly evoked some of their wines' key aromas, in particular with the Passion Sauvignon Blanc which clearly expresses the exotic fruit aromas and acidity the label and name promise. Along with the Tuffier Malbec and Passion Sauvignon, the Saffran Malbec Rose completes the trio offering well integrated spice and fruit. Having recently visited Rigal in Cahors and seen the dedication and care that goes into their entire range, I am confident that the new white and rose' will prove as popular as the red.

Wine of the Week - Quinta da BacalhôaDate published: 22/04/13

Quinta da Bacalhôa 2008

Península de Setúbal

 

Price £13.49

Buy 2 Portuguese wines save £3 – £11.99 *

Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Origin

The Quinta da Bacalhôa estate is 15th-century country estate, formerly owned by the Portuguese royal family and known as Vila Fresca. The estate only turned to commercial wine production in the 1970s, and is now one of Portugal's largest producers. Taste.

An unusual Iberian take on claret, this offers a lush palate of warm bramble fruit and woody, nutty tannins, and heady aromas of fresh tobacco leaf and sandalwood.

 

Serving Suggestion

A terrific roast beef wine, which will also go well with mature hard cheeses.  

Zonin Prosecco DOCDate published: 15/04/13

Zonin Prosecco DOC

 

Fresh, fruity, light and bubbly. This is just the kind of thing I want to drink as the weather turns warmer.

Imagine packing up a picnic and going for a stroll down to the babbling brook. You lash some twine around the neck of the bottle, anchor the other end to a tree and drop it in the cool, steady current of the stream.

Within the half hour you've set up a blanket, bread and foods. Reel in the Prosecco and call everybody over to sit down in the dappled light of the glade.

Could it get any better?

 

Zonin Prosecco DOC £8.99 each when you buy two or more bottles

COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGYDate published: 14/04/13

COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGY

 

Clarity:

This refers to the appearance of the wine. To ascertain this, tilt the glass against a pale surface. If the wine is hazy or cloudy this is evidence of a fault in the wine.

 

Intensity:

Intensity of colour varies greatly – and not just from red to white! Intensity spans from water-white through pale, medium, deep, and opaque. Colours also vary; In white wine through lemon-green, lemon, gold, amber, and brown and in reds through purple, ruby, garnet, tawny and brown. Usually the farther the wine is down the scale the older it is.

 

Legs:

If you swirl the wine in the glass you will often see “legs” or “tears” appear as the liquid settles down the sides. Heavier or thicker legs indicate higher alcohol or sugar.

 

Development:

The development of a wine can be assessed by noting the progression from primary and secondary to tertiary characteristics.

Primary:

Fruity or floral characteristics obvious in young wines.

Secondary:

Characteristics that result from treatment at the winery, such as oak aging e.g. buttery or yeasty notes.

Tertiary:

These result during the aging process and are any characteristics that are not immediately fruity or floral, e.g. Leather, coffee, mushrooms, toast etc.

 

Sweetness:

Many people confuse sweetness with fruitiness. Sweetness refers to the amount of residual sugar present in a wine, which can be detected by dipping the very tip of the tongue in (not elegant – but effective!)

 

Acidity:

This can be detected with the inside of the cheeks after swilling the wine around your mouth. The more acidic the wine the more the cheeks will “weep” and more saliva will be produced.

 

Tannin:

Tannin is extracted from grape skins, stems and seeds and causes your mouth to dry and feel rough. It can most easily be detected by a “furry” sensation on the teeth and gums.

 

Body:

Body refers to the weight of the wine – how heavy it feels in your mouth compared to other wines.

 

Length:

How long the flavours remain after spitting or swallowing. This is also an excellent indication of quality – the longer the length, the better the wine (assuming the flavours are pleasant!)

 

Corked:

Caused by a chemical known as TCA in faulty corks, this causes a wine to smell musty or mouldy, like wet cardboard. Small bits of cork in the wine do NOT mean the wine is corked, but that more care should be taken when opening!

 

Oxidised:

The wine will be faded or browned in colour, and will lack freshness and fruitiness. COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGY

 

Clarity:

This refers to the appearance of the wine. To ascertain this, tilt the glass against a pale surface. If the wine is hazy or cloudy this is evidence of a fault in the wine.

 

Intensity:

Intensity of colour varies greatly – and not just from red to white! Intensity spans from water-white through pale, medium, deep, and opaque. Colours also vary; In white wine through lemon-green, lemon, gold, amber, and brown and in reds through purple, ruby, garnet, tawny and brown. Usually the farther the wine is down the scale the older it is.

 

Legs:

If you swirl the wine in the glass you will often see “legs” or “tears” appear as the liquid settles down the sides. Heavier or thicker legs indicate higher alcohol or sugar.

 

Sweetness:

Many people confuse sweetness with fruitiness. Sweetness refers to the amount of residual sugar present in a wine, which can be detected by dipping the very tip of the tongue in (not elegant – but effective!)

 

Acidity:

This can be detected with the inside of the cheeks after swilling the wine around your mouth. The more acidic the wine the more the cheeks will “weep” and more saliva will be produced.

 

Tannin:

Tannin is extracted from grape skins, stems and seeds and causes your mouth to dry and feel rough. It can most easily be detected by a “furry” sensation on the teeth and gums.

 

Body:

Body refers to the weight of the wine – how heavy it feels in your mouth compared to other wines.

 

Length:

How long the flavours remain after spitting or swallowing. This is also an excellent indication of quality – the longer the length, the better the wine (assuming the flavours are pleasant!)

 

Corked:

Caused by a chemical known as TCA in faulty corks, this causes a wine to smell musty or mouldy, like wet cardboard. Small bits of cork in the wine do NOT mean the wine is corked, but that more care should be taken when opening!

 

Oxidised:

The wine will be faded or browned in colour, and will lack freshness and fruitiness.

A Guide to South African WinesDate published: 13/04/13

A Guide to South African Wines

South Africa has a history of winemaking that dates back over 350 years and its wines were historically highly regarded in Europe. Political and economic isolation during the apartheid era and extensive outbreaks of the leaf roll virus have meant that since the mid 1990s, South Africa has been striving to re-gain its reputation as a globally significant producer of quality wine.

The Western Cape (incorporating regions such as Stellenbosch and Constantia) is the dominant wine producing area of South Africa with 90% of the country's wine being produced within this geographical unit. Along the West coast of the African continent, the Benguela ocean current carries cold water from Antarctica which helps both cool and stabilise the climate of what would otherwise be a hot and dry region. As it is, the climate of the Western Cape could best be described as Mediterranean, lending itself nicely to the production of quality Bordeaux style blends which have helped fuel a massive swing in vine planting from white varieties (80% of plantings in 1998, 56% of plantings by 2009) to red.

Chief among these red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and although Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc are occasionally to be found in the Bordeaux style blends, they are seldom found as single varietals. Syrah is successfully cultivated and produces characteristically rich and full-bodied wines. A variety that is more or less unique to South Africa is Pinotage which is a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault (sometimes referred to in South Africa as Hermitage). It is a variety that is capable of producing very light, easy drinking wines as well as deep, complex wines with some wild flavour characteristics.

Chenin Blanc (locally known as Steen) remains the fore-most white grape variety although Sauvignon Blanc is increasingly finding favour and is extremely successful as an export product. Chardonnay is also widely produced in the Burgundian tradition with lees stirring and barrel fermentation often used to add richness and complexity.

South Africa can be seen as a bridge between the old and new worlds in terms of wine production methods and styles; in itself something somewhat unique and the quality wines that find their way to the export market are re-establishing South Africa as a major player.

Fine Wine Friday - Château Larrivet Haut-BrionDate published: 12/04/13

Fine Wine Friday

Château Larrivet Haut-Brion 2004 Pessac-Leognan

£24

Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Origin

The vineyards of Larrivet-Haut-Brion lie on the same ridge of gravel as the near neighbours Haut-Bailly and La Louvière. The wine is an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, producing around 10,000 cases per annum.

Taste

...currants and cherries along with a hint of smoke/burning embers are followed by a wine possessing excellent fruit, medium body, sweet tannin, and a seductive, lush personality' 89 Points R Parker

Drink over the next 8-10 years, allowing the wine to really open up and soften, with further integration of tannin and fruit.

A Beginner's Guide to Wine and Food MatchingDate published: 12/04/13

A Beginner's Guide to Wine and Food Matching

 

Over the years a number of myths and falsities have evolved about the correct pairing of wines and foods. For example it is widely believed that the fats and proteins in beef serve to soften strong tannins in red wine. In fact recent research has shown that it is the salt used to season the meat that has this effect, and without this the fats and proteins react giving the tannin an even more bitter quality!

The impact of food on wine is almost entirely determined by the balance of primary flavour characteristics in food. These are: Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami, and Acidity.

In order to help you better understand how these flavours interact and affect a wine here they are broken down with some easy to follow tips:

Sweetness:

Sweetness in food will increase bitterness, acidity and astringency in wine, while decreasing body, richness, sweetness and fruitiness. For desserts always choose a dessert wine, and ensure that the wine is sweeter than the food to avoid the wine seeming dry and unpleasant.

As for main courses there is very little sweetness in European cuisine, so it is less of an issue. Sweetness is, however, more commonly found in Asian cuisine, leading to a reputation for Asian dishes being "wine unfriendly". Simply serve wines with lower tannin and higher sweetness and fruitiness to pair perfectly with sweeter dishes. Ideal partners for sweet and spiced Asian foods are Gewurztraminer, Viognier, or off-dry rieslings.

Umami:

Umami is a relatively new addition to the flavour spectrum, and is best described as the meaty-savouriness found in foods such as mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and smoked seafood (to get a better idea of what umami is, compare a raw mushroom with one that has been microwaved for 30 seconds, as this increases the umami character!) Umami in food will increase bitterness and acidity in wine, and will decrease body and fruitiness. Again this can be combatted with fruitier wines lower in acidity, so look for warm-climate wines generally from Australia or Chile. Alternatively the umami of the dish can be reduced by the addition of an acidic or bitter component, for example adding a squeeze of lemon juice to help balance the umami elements and allow the dish to blend with more acidic wines.

Acidity:

Acidity in food will have the opposite effect on wines than sweetness; increasing richness, sweetness and fruitiness and decreasing acidity in the wine. The most noticeable effect of this will be acidic foods making wines seem flat and flabby. If you are eating a dish that is high in acidity (for example salads with vinegrette) pair them with wines such as Sancerre, Chablis, New Zealand Sauvignon, or wines from cool climate regions as these will generally have higher acidity.

Salt:

Salt in a dish will decrease bitterness and acidity, and increase richness and smoothness. As previously mentioned it also has a softening effect on tannin, so highly tannic wines such as left-bank bordeaux, Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon will become much richer and smoother with saltier dishes.

Bitterness:

Bitterness has a highly subjective effect on wine, but in most cases will increase bitterness in the wine by a greater or lesser degree. Therefore bitter foods should be paired with less bitter, lower alcohol wines.

Chemethesis:

This is the burning effect caused by chillis and pepper. This will have a similar effect on wines as sweetness in food, so as previously mentioned the best matches for spicy food like curries are gewurztraminer, viognier, and some rieslings.

Hopefully this has been helpful, and will enhance your dining experience in restaurants, dinner parties, or just eating at home of an evening. However, after all this has been said, the most important thing to take note of is personal preferance. No amount of careful matching will do any good if you or your dinner guests simply don't like a particular wine!

Also it should be said that if you have any questions about matching wine and food we're always very happy to help. Either pop in to store, or just give us a ring or send us an e-mail with your questions!

If you would like to know more about wines, how to taste, and matching wines and foods, why not book on to our wine course? We'll have loads running in the coming months and details of when they are will always be put on the website. Happy eating (and drinking!)

Wines of South Africa Tasting Week Starts this Friday 12th AprilDate published: 11/04/13

Wines of South Africa Tasting Week Starts this Friday 12th April!!! #ComeAndExplore

 

That's right, this Friday is the start of our South African Tasting Week and we're going to have a great selection of wines open to try. South African wine is often thought of as New World in style, meaning rich, fruity and generally simpler than classic European wine, but this is really an overly simplistic assessment of the wines produced by this fascinating country. To help get your juices flowing in anticipation of trying some of these lovely tipples, we will be producing a quick "Guide to South African Wines" to give you a bit of background and some idea of what you can expect.

The Champagne Method - A Short History of ChampagneDate published: 10/04/13

How is Champagne made?

Interestingly enough, although Dom Perignon is credited with creating Champagne, it was in fact a British man named Christopher Merritt who stumbled upon the method of making wine sparkle!

The base wine for Champagne is still, made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinor Meurnier (exact blend will depend on the style of the Champagne and the Champagne house itself) and with low alcohol and high acidity. Merritt decided to improve this poor quality still wine imported from the Champagne region of France by adding sugar to decrease the acidic bite of the wine. The sugar in fact was broken down by yeast in the wine and gave off CO2...making it fizzy!

Thus began the process which led to Champagne in France becoming the most prestigious production region of sparkling wines, as Dom Perignon and the Widow "Veuve" Clicquot refined the process to a fine art!

First a concoction of sugar, yeast nutrients, and clarifying agent called the "liqueur de tirage" is added to the acidic base wine in-bottle. This sets off the secondary fermentation, increasing the alcohol and producing CO2. As the CO2 has nowhere to escape to it dissolves back into the wine, and is released when the cork is popped, making it fizz!

As the yeast is killed by the rising alcohol levels the yeast cells break down in a process called yeast autolysis, which gives Champagne it's well-known toasty/biscuity/brioche flavours. However you are then left with a residue of dead yeast cells in the bottle, which no-one would want to drink! To get rid of this nasty sludge, a process known as "riddling" was invented by the widow "Veuve" Clicquot herself.

The bottles are racked on their sides, and each day given a quarter turn and tipped slightly more onto their necks. Eventually all the residue will have fallen to the neck of the bottle, and it is frozen in brine solution and fired out under pressure. (Interesting fact: This is why Champagne bottles have large amounts of foil on the necks of the bottles, as the Champagne houses could not guarantee how much would be lost when the residue was fired out...and didn't want customers to notice!). This process used to be done by hand, although now it is more time and cost-efficient to do it by machine.

This means of production, known as the "traditional method" results in incredibly high quality sparkling wines, however as it is not a particularly efficient means of production it also means that quality sparkling wines, such as Champagne, are expensive to the consumer.

Other means of production of sparkling wines are the "transfer method" where the complex process of riddling is replaced. The wine is de-bottled and filtered in bulk instead, making the process cheaper. There is also the "tank method", where the whole process in conducted in large tanks before the finished product is bottled (this is most common in the New World sparkling wines). The final means of production is the simplest and cheapest and is what I like to call the "soda stream method", or "carbonation"...literally CO2 blasted through still wines. Only the cheapest quality sparkling wines are made in this method.

A good way of testing the quality of a sparkling wine is the size of the bubbles. In the highest quality wines such as Champagne the bubbles will be a very fine "mousse", while in lower quality wines the bubbles will be larger, like those in carbonated drinks.  

Wine of the Week - Rioja Gran Reserva 2004 Viña EguíaDate published: 09/04/13

Now open to taste here at Majestic Gloucester, along with a selection of other Spanish wines as part of our Spanish Tasting Week. Check out our Tasting Counter to see what else we have open to try.

 

Rioja Gran Reserva 2004 Viña Eguía

£12.99

Special Offer £9.99

Buy 2 still Spanish wines between £5 - £25 save 20% £7.99

Grape

 

Tempranillo

Origin

Bodegas Eguía are located in Elciego in the Rioja Alavesa subregion, where they have 50 hectares of estate vineyards as well as several partner growers, with vines averaging 40 years of age. This wine receives 30 months in barrel and 3 years in bottle before release.

Taste

Ruby red with medium density and a brick-like rim. The fruit is very mature, exhibiting raisin, prune and caramel notes, accompanied by vanilla, clove and leather. Silky mouth-feel and good length.

Enjoy

Drink with all slow-cooked lamb dishes, or with nutty-tasting cheeses.

 

Fine Wine Friday - Château Gloria 2007 St-JulienDate published: 05/04/13

Fine Wine Friday

Château Gloria 2007 St-Julien

£25

 

Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot

 

Origin

Château Gloria was created by Henri Martin over a number of years, by purchasing vineyard plots exclusively from grand cru properties, and the cellars from Château Saint-Pierre, creating a new estate possessing all the characteristics of an established Bordeaux property.

 

Taste

A smoky, evolved and savoury nose with suggestions of forest mushrooms and charcuterie against a background of red berry fruit. Nicely balanced tannins, medium body and a silky finish.

 

Comments

Fully mature and ready to drink.  

Wine of the Week - The Ned Sauvignon BlancDate published: 05/04/13

Wine of the Week

 

The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough

 

Price £9.99 Buy 2 bottles save £6 £6.99 *

 

Grape

 

Sauvignon Blanc

 

Origin

 

The vineyards of The Ned are located on the banks of the Waihopai River and on the southern side of the Wairau Valley. The river runs the length of the 268ha vineyard and is the origin of the shingle-based soil.

 

Taste

 

A nose of nettles and grass leads to generous gooseberry flavours with a smoky herbal twist on the palate. The stony terroir gives the wine a subtle gun flint minerality which delivers extra complexity.

 

Enjoy with...

 

Drink now with fresh summer salads and seafood.

Barrel and Bottle AgeingDate published: 04/04/13

Barrel and Bottle Ageing

 

Most wines will be subject to one form of aging during their life, be it a brief spell in the bottle before sale, or extended periods in both barrel and bottle, and then maybe further cellaring if the quality of the wine demands so.

 

Barrel aging usually takes place following fermentation, when the wine is moved from the fermentation vat into individual barrels, and subsequently racked off its fine lees and sediment at regular intervals. Some wines, however, can be barrel fermented – at Chateau d’Yquem for example, the juice is transferred directly in to barrels where fermentation will take place. The wine is later moved to empty barrels and the gross lees left behind.

 

The choice of wood is perhaps the most significant decision to be made and this option will influence the outcome and the extent to which wood’s character is imparted into the wine, further detracting from the original fruit flavours, yet adding nuance, structure and complexity.

The predominant flavour associated with oak is that of vanilla, and the amount of time the wine is allowed to sit in contact with wood will naturally affect the extent to which the wine is flavoured. Moreover, the age and type of wood will also vary the chemical extraction rate between wood and liquid. New oak lends the strongest flavour, whilst old barrels barely taint the wine at all.

 

The great Chateaux of Bordeaux will bottle their Grand Vin in new oak each year, aging for around 12 months then racking off the wine into older barrels. The soiled barrels are then reserved for the following year’s production of the property’s second wine.

French oak is used throughout France, and coopered into standard 225l Bordeaux barrels (holding around 300 bottles of wine) or 228l Burgundy barrels. There is a current trend to use smaller barriques that allow for a greater wood surface area-to-wine ratio and thus less time spent in barrel.

 

In Spain, American oak is favoured for its sweet vanilla flavour, though Russian and French oaks are also used. In the Rioja region legal ageing requirements are applied to a series of labelling terms:

 

Joven is young, unoaked wine Crianza - 2 years old (1 in cask, 1 in bottle) Reserva - 3 years old (1 in cask, 2 in bottle) Gran Reserva - 5 years old (2 in cask, 3 in bottle)

 

These periods of aging in such highly flavoured wood dramatically alter the character of the wines. In fact, age alone will alter the dominance of the fruit flavour. As time passes, the fruit notes in the wine will fade, rendering lesser quality wines lifeless and void of flavour. It is for that reason that Reservas and Gran Reservas are only produced in the best areas of Rioja and in particularly good years, their wines will have the necessary structure to age and develop.

New Opening HoursDate published: 30/03/13

From the 1st April 2013 we will be operating with revised opening hours, don't worry we're still open 7 days a week!

 

The change will only effect Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when our opening hours will be 10am - 7pm.

We are closed on Easter SundayDate published: 28/03/13

Please note that we will be closed on Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013. We are open our normal Friday hours on Good Friday and our bank holiday hours on Easter Monday.

Wine of the Week - Château Saint Georges 2007 St-Georges-St-EmilionDate published: 27/03/13

Château Saint Georges 2007 St-Georges-St-Emilion

 

Price £17.99

 

Buy 2 bottles save £10 £12.99

 

This is a lovely example of a St-Emilion satellite appellation which is capable of producing excellent quality wines for a really fantastic price. This wine will be open to taste in the Gloucester store right through this weekend, so don't be shy come and explore!

 

Grape

 

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

 

Origin

Located just to the north of St-Emilion, the satellite appellation around the hamlet of St-Georges produces wines in a similar style. This château is the leading local producer, with a 50-hectare estate on the area's south-facing slopes.

 

Taste

This wine's pedigree is immediately apparent on the nose, which offers up ripe blackberry, cigar box and graphite aromas in abundance. The palate is satisfyingly dense and swell structured.

 

Enjoy

Best served with traditional French casseroles such as coq au vin.

Fine Wine Friday This Week - Meerlust Merlot from South AfricaDate published: 26/03/13

This weekend we will be opening one of our all time favourite fine wines, Meerlust Merlot. It might not be the most expensive fine wine, but then again price is not always a guarantee of quality. If you like classic right bank Bordeaux but are willing to experiment with something with a little more fruit intensity, then this could be for you.

Meerlust Merlot 2008 Stellenbosch

Price £19.99

Buy 2 South African wines save 20%  £15.99

 

Grape

 

Merlot

 

Origin

The Meerlust estate has been owned by the Myburgh family since 1757. Made in the 'right-bank' tradition, this wine is a blend of 89% Merlot with 11% Cabernet Franc added for a supple and balanced structure and aromatic complexity.

 

Taste Deep, youthful purple with a ruby rim. Juicy plum and mulberry fruit abound on the nose, with lifted spiciness, hints of chocolate and a beefy edge. The palate offers silky tannins and good length.

 

Enjoy

Partner with a rich beef bourguignon, a juicy steak or roast leg of lamb.

Wine Producers of Ara Pt. 2Date published: 25/03/13

Wine Producers of Ara        Pt. 2

At Majestic, we currently stock their entry level Composite Sauvignon Blanc (£6.99 multi-buy deal) and Pinot Noir (9.99 multi-buy deal). Each wine is blended from individual parcels from across the terrace, whereas their Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc (£11.99 multi-buy deal) and Pinot Noir (£14.99 multi-buy deal) are individual bottling of sites which exhibit greater finesse and character.

I would liken their Composite Pinot Noir to a good Villages growth Burgundy, full of fruit and just enough acidity to balance it out. Fortunately, it doesn't fall into the over-ripe and jammy trap which many New World Pinots seem to at the moment, which in my opinion makes it stand head and shoulders above others currently available at the moment.

Continuing the theme, their Select Blocks Pinot Noir is a richer version similar to a Premier Cru classed vineyard growth from the Cote de Nuits, with a touch more oak and certainly more ageing potential, which should bring out some of those forest-floor aromas associated with great Burgundies.

I don't know if they plan to produce a Grand Cru inspired bottling, but I'm sure if they do, it will be delicious!

Easter Offers Tasting Week Starts TodayDate published: 22/03/13

Easter Offers Tasting Week Starts Today

Come and have a try of our favourite wines from our Easter Offers selection. Pop in any time and we will have a selection of wines from the upcoming Easter flyer open to taste. We will be posting a selection of our favourite wines from the range on our webpage as soon as we have had chance to try them ourselves.

Wine Producers of Ara Pt. 1Date published: 19/03/13

Wine Producers of Ara        Pt. 1

 

Above Marlborough's Wairau and Waihopai rivers lies a 1600 hectare alluvial plain, known as the Ara Terrace. With the ideal soil composition and its cool climate, this terrace provided what seemed to many to be the ideal site on which to cultivate vines for a large-scale wine production.

However, one of the areas key benefits – the cool climate – also proved to be one of the biggest problems. Temperatures dropped rapidly at night, resulting in disastrously hard frosts. This wasn't enough to deter Damian Martin who saw the potential for the site in 1999. Taking the decision to mist the vines during the night would create a protective layer of frozen water which melted away with the morning sun, leaving the vines unharmed. Work began in 2001 with the aid of viticulturist Jean-Charles Van Hove, planting around 400 hectares with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in relatively high density, a technique more akin to those employed in the old world.

 

In fact, similarities don't stop there, as the Ara Terrace site embodies the very concept of terroir and “sense of place” with individual blocks producing wines of significant character and quality. The first vintage was 2005 and the quality just keeps getting better.

 

The second part of this article continues with tasting notes.

Zinfandel, Primitivo, TribidragDate published: 18/03/13

Zinfandel, Primitivo, Tribidrag

In 2012, after years of research and DNA testing, Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Dr Jose Vouillamoz revealed in their book 'Wine Grapes' that a Croatian variety known since the 1400s as Tribidrag was genetically equivalent to Zinfandel. Tribidrag (also known as Crljenak Kaštelanski or ZPC) provides the missing variety that links Primitivo and Zinfandel as these two were found to be clones of the same variety by Carole Meredith in 1993.

Although not the all-American variety it was once thought to be, Zinfandel is nonetheless an important and unique component of California's red wine output. The wines made from Zinfandel in California tend to differ slightly in style from those made from Primitivo in Italy though as yet, there is no great desire in California to imitate the wines the variety produces in the old world. Like the Californian Zinfandels, the Italian wines are often oaked to some extent but typically exhibit more complexity and less fruit intensity than their American counterparts. The differences can be accounted for by the climate, soil composition and vinification practices found in each region but also by the fact that Primitivo is the earlier of the two to ripen. Ripening quickly means that the bunches of Primitivo tend to ripen more evenly in comparison with the slow ripening Zinfandel bunches on which some grapes may begin to raisin before the whole bunch is fully ripe.

At present, Tribidrag is not widely grown for the production of wine in Croatia and Croatian wine is not widely exported. There is clearly much scope for the development of the parent variety and to this end, some winemakers in California have begun cultivating cuttings taken from Croatian vines. There has also been some cultivation of Primitivo in California and the resulting wine is said to be distinct from both the Italian style and Californian Zinfandels. The potential in the future is for all three to be grown for the production of red wine in California and if this happens, it will be intriguing to see which finds most favour with producers and the market itself.  

Free Wine Course - Come and learn the basics about wine tasting and food matching FREEDate published: 15/03/13

Free Wine Courses

 

Want to learn a little more about wines of the world? Why not join one of our wine courses?

 

We look at classic examples of grape varieties, key regions and the wines they produce

 

We provide the wine and food, all you have to do is give us a call and book a place!

Available dates are:

 

Tuesday 26th March, 18:00-19:30

Thursday 11th April, 18:00-19:30

 

Can't make these dates? Just let us know that your are interested and we can add you to our list so that we can notify you as soon as we book our next dates.  

Summer Wine Evening - Come and ExploreDate published: 15/03/13

Summer Wine Evening 2013

 

We have just confirmed the date for our Summer Wine Evening 2013. This years event will take place on Thursday 9th May between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

 

As with all Majestic Wine events the Summer Wine Evening is completely FREE.

 

We don't want you to feel under pressure to make a purchase on the evening, we like to see these events as a chance for our customers to taste a wide selection of wines, staff favourites, new products and a selection of the best offers for your summer BBQ's and parties. If you do wish to purchase something on the evening then you would be more than welcome to do so.

 

There is plenty of time until before the event, so please feel free to email us with your suggestions for wines you would particularly like to try and we will do our very best to fit them into the wine list.

 

Please be aware that booking is required for this event.

Wine of the Week - Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Franc 2011 Central Valley Date published: 15/03/13

Wine of the Week- Open to taste from today and over the weekend.

Santa Rita really have perfected fresh and fruity wines at a great price, yet tasting like much more expensive products. This Cabernet Franc is my favourite. It's a little lighter than the other two red offerings in the 12o range - Merlot and Carmenere - and comes across as a little more refined. This is a great chance to try a new world spin on a classic Loire red.

 

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Franc 2011 Central Valley Price £7.49 Buy 2 bottles save £3 £5.99

 

Grape Cabernet Franc

Origin As well as being a constituent of many Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Franc is the classic red variety of much of the Loire region, particularly Saumur and Chinon. This Chilean example offers a rare glimpse of Cabernet Franc a single varietal wine from outside of France.

 

Taste A medium-bodied, ruby red wine, offering aromas of ripe red berries, wild herbs and tomato leaf. The palate delivers ripe cherry and raspberry fruit, with both fresh acidity and rounded tannin.

 

Enjoy A great partner for soft cheeses and fresh tomato pasta dishes.

 

Customer Reviews

Mind blowingly good

This has to be the find of the century. This wine is like liquid velvet and manages to completely suduce you from the first taste. I have never had a wine that tastes so great at this price.

Superb!

A really soft cabernet franc. You'd think it was a Loire wine, but it's not. It even has narcissus on its nose. What value! At this price, buy a load.

Press Reviews

The Wind Gang:

Santa Rita has crafted something brilliantly drinkable (2011 Vintage)

"Caberenet Franc on its own can be a bit green for some people, but here in Chile Santa Rita has crafted something brilliantly drinkable, and very easy on the nose and palate. The famous Cabernet Franc herbal fragrance is perfectly obvious, but the hint of oaky spice, the cola richness and lots of juicy cassis fruit comes together very happily indeed. Rating: 88/100. (The Wine Gang, www.thewinegang.com November 2012)"  

An Introduction to the Wines of Chile & ArgentinaDate published: 07/03/13

An Introduction to the Wines of Chile & Argentina

Originally introduced by Spanish and Portuguese colonial priests and permitted strictly for consumption at mass, wine-making in South America is over 500 years old. From the earliest plantings of European varieties in the Dominican Republic and later Peru, South American wine has grown enormously in reputation and international significance with Chile and Argentina now the continent's leading producers.

Whilst social and political conditions in Chile and Argentina initially delayed their emergence as major exporters of wine, the fantastic growing conditions found in both countries' primary wine-producing regions have helped establish them as producers of remarkably consistent and high quality wines. Sandy soils, low levels of rainfall and lots of sunlight mean that in both countries, irrigation is widely used with glacial melt-water from the Andes providing a vital source of pristine water. The dry soils and lack of precipitation also mean that pests and infections are not as much of a problem as in other parts of the world. Chile and Argentina are also mostly phylloxera-free and with a reduced need for pest-control, many vineyards are effectively organic.

In Chile, the same Humboldt current that cultivates the Pacific coast's rich marine ecosystems also provides cooling breezes that ensure the grapes do not overheat under the persistent sunshine. Here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the main red varieties grown along with Carmenere. This old Bordeaux variety was long considered to be extinct and after a period of being mistakenly mistaken for Merlot in Chile, it has emerged as Chile's signature grape. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the most commonly grown whites but as in Argentina a huge range of varieties are grown.

Malbec is king in Argentina in terms of red and the floral and aromatic, indigenous Torrontes has long been the dominant white variety. Many of the vines are grown under desert conditions and irrigation is a critically important aspect of wine-making in Argentina.

Both regions are able to use their natural and climactic elements to produce great value and high quality wines. It stands as likely that Chilean and Argentinian wines will only grow further in importance and reputation.

 

WINE OF THE WEEK - Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Maipo Valley Date published: 05/03/13

WINE OF THE WEEK

This wine is open to taste, along with a wide selection of other wines selected by the Gloucester team. Come along and have a try.

Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Maipo Valley

Price £11.99 Buy 2 bottles save £6 £8.99 *

Grape

Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin

A single-variety Cabernet Sauvignon from Clos Quebrada de Macúl, the vineyard of the renowned Domus Aurea winery. Planted in 1970, it was one of Chile's first hillside vineyards, on a site specifically chosen for it's hard terrain, creating lower grape yields.

Taste

Deep, purple-tinged ruby red wine, with an expressive nose of plum and blackberry, accented with aromatic herb and toasty oak notes. Well integrated tannins and bright fruit make a satisfying palate.

Food Suggestion

Drink with rare beef fillet, venison steaks or red meat casseroles.

A Brief History of Steam BeerDate published: 02/03/13

A Brief History of Steam Beer

Anyone visiting the beer aisle of their local Majestic Wine Warehouse over the last couple of weeks may have noticed a couple of arrivals from across the Atlantic. Along with the excellent Brooklyn Lager, Anchor's legendary Steam beer is now available in majestic stores.

Steam is the name given by pioneering Californian brewers to a style of beer that results from the use of bottom fermenting lager yeasts at higher than usual temperatures. It is thought that the style came about through necessity, with brewers in San Francisco looking to capitalise on the demand for beer that erupted during the gold rush. With no practical means to cool boiling wort during production, higher fermentation temperatures naturally resulted. The wort was eventually cooled on the roof of the brewery, the famous San Francisco bay fogs playing their part and producing the steam for which the beer was named.

Today Anchor produces steam beer in a more traditional method with far higher quality ingredients but the essential characteristics remain; complex and aromatic much like a summer ale but with the structure and effervescence of traditional lager. With a cult following already in the USA, it's very exciting to see Anchor Steam alongside Brooklyn Lager and Sam Adams in majestic's growing range of US craft beers.

Wine of the Week - Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2011/2010 Serabel Date published: 02/03/13

Open to taste this weekend is one of our favourite Chateauneufs', the Serabel. Currently on a fantastic offer at £12.99 when you buy two or more bottles. If you would like to know a little bit more about it then why not pop in for our tutorial at 3pm on Saturday?

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2011/2010 Serabel

Price £17.99

Buy 2 bottles save £10 £12.99

Grape

Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah or Shiraz

Origin A cracking entry-level Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this wine blends Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah to produce an early-drinking wine at a superb price. This most prestigious of Southern Rhône villages really comes into its own when matched with spicy dishes.

Taste This wine's medium acidity and soft, precocious style, make it an unusually early-drinking Châteauneuf-du-Pape. An intriguing palate of smoke, coffee, olives, dark fruits, and spicy herbs.

Enjoy This spicy, fruit driven wine is ideal served with a Provençale-style stew, and drink over the next couple of years.

Jane MacQuitty's Star Buys - Available in Majestic Gloucester NOWDate published: 02/03/13

Jane MacQuitty's Star Buys

Crasto Douro Red 2011 Quinta de Crasto

Price £9.99

Buy 2 Portuguese wines save £3 £8.49

Grape

Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional

Origin Quinta do Crasto is located on the right bank of the river Douro, halfway between Régua and Pinhão. The wine is a traditionally-styled blend of four of Portugal's indigenous grape varieties.

Taste With intense aromas of blackberries and raspberries on the nose, the palate is bursting with wild berry characters. Very ripe fruit with ample tannin and spice.

Enjoy The spice in this wine will match paella and spicy Spanish cured meats. Hard cheeses from the Iberian Peninsula will work well too.

 

Trimbach Riesling 2010

Price £10.99

Grape

Riesling

Origin Trimbach is a superb family-run producer that dates back to 1626. Their wines typically have very fine fruit and high acidity. They describe Riesling as the 'King of the wines of Alsace'.

Taste Developed on the nose and showing a hint of mineral flavour, good ripeness and acidity. White peach, quince, grapefruit and lemon all come through on the palate and the finish is clean and dry.

Enjoy Try this with lightly spiced Asian dishes or smoked mackerel.

 

Fine Wine Friday - Greywacke Sauvignon 2012/2011 MarlboroughDate published: 01/03/13

FINE WINE FRIDAY - COME AND HAVE A TRY!

This wine is open to taste today in store - and maybe tomorrow if there's any left! This is a really great wine made by an iconic winemaker. Definitely worth a try as an alternative to Cloudy Bay.

Greywacke Sauvignon 2012/2011 Marlborough

Price £19.99

Buy 2 bottles save £8 £15.99

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin Greywacke (pronounced 'grey-wacky') is the name given to the grey sedimentary rock that characterises much of the soil in this estate's vineyard. The winery was founded in 2009, and is the brainchild of Kevin Judd, former winemaker of Cloudy Bay for 25 years.

Taste Intense aromatics of melon, peach and papaya are accompanied by hints of tomato leaf and capsicum. The palate is crisp but remarkably mouth-filling, a small portion of the wine having been oak fermented.

Enjoy Partner with a selection of canapes made with smoked salmon, anchovies or chêvre.

Classic France Tasting TutorialDate published: 28/02/13

Classic France Tasting Tutorial

1500-1530 Saturday 2nd March 2013

 

Come and join us this Saturday for the next installment of our great 30-minute Tasting Tutorial series.

 

The week we will be covering some of the classic wine styles of France, comparing wines, discussing their differences, how they are made and how to get the best out of them.

 

We will be tasting:

 

Northern Burgundy Appelations: Regional vs Commune

Bourgogne Chardonnay Côtes D'Auxerre 2011, Pascal Bouchard

Chablis Vocoret 2011

Gamay: Beaujolais vs Burgundy

Beaujolais-Villages 2011 Georges Duboeuf

Mâcon Rouges 'Les Roches Rouges' 2011 Louis Jadot

Rhone: Cotes du Rhone Villages vs Chateauneuf du Pape

Plan de Dieu 2010 Domaine Durieu

Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009/2010 Serabel

 

As usual, it is totally free to join us, enjoy a chat about the wines and have a taste to see what we're discussing.

Give us a call to ensure we've got space if you're a group, or just pop in at 3pm and join in the fun.

 

We look forward to seeing you!

Wine of the Week - Montagny Vieilles Vignes 2009 Cuvée Speciale BuxyDate published: 22/02/13

Montagny Vieilles Vignes 2009 Cuvée Speciale Buxy Price £9.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 £7.99

Grape Chardonnay

Origin The Cave des Vignerons de Buxy is the result of collective enterprise and the work of 120 wine-growers and 40 employees. It was founded in 1931 with the collective aim of finding a solution to their problems relating to making, storing and selling wines.

Taste The Montagny appellation offers a healthy production of value-for-money white Burgundy. This Chardonnay offers ripe lemons on the palate, with an elegant, steely dry finish.

Enjoy Drink now and accompany with salad or shellfish.  

Quartz Reef Pinot NoirDate published: 18/02/13

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir is now available to try on our tasting counter. We think it brilliantly exibits the finesse and poise for which central otago pinot noir is world-renowned.

New Zealand Tutorial - Saturday 16th FebruaryDate published: 13/02/13

New Zealand Tutorial Saturday 16th February @ 3.00pm – 3.40pm

Compare Pinot Noir: Marlborough vs Central Otago Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2009, Marlborough vs Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2010, Central Otago

Compare: Same grape, different style Villa Maria Pinot Grigio 2011, Marlborough vs Waimea Estate Pinot Gris 2010, Nelson

Explore Sauvignon Blanc: Family-owned wineries Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough vs Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough

Summer Wine Evening 2013 - DatesDate published: 12/02/13

Summer Wine Evening 2013

We have just confirmed the date for our Summer Wine Evening 2013. This years event will take place on Thursday 9th May between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

As with all Majestic Wine events the Summer Wine Evening is completely FREE.

We don't want you to feel under pressure to make a purchase on the evening, we like to see these events as a chance for our customers to taste a wide selection of wines, staff favourites, new products and a selection of the best offers for your summer BBQ's and parties. If you do wish to purchase something on the evening then you would be more than welcome to do so.

There is plenty of time until before the event, so please feel free to email us with your suggestions for wines you would particularly like to try and we will do our very best to fit them into the wine list.

Please be aware that booking is required for this event.

Wine of the Week: Murial Rioja Reserva 2007Date published: 11/02/13

Wine of the Week: Murial Rioja Reserva 2007

£9.99 each, or buy 2 and save £6 = £6.99

Grape Tempranillo  

Origin The name Muriel is a combination of the winemakers' family name of Murua, and Elciego, the name of the village where the winery is located, in the chalky soils of the Rioja-Alavesa. The wine spends 2 years in French and American oak, and 2 years in bottle before release.  

Taste A beautiful dark ruby red, with the classic Reserva characters of firm body and smoothly polished tannins, with subtle Mediterranean herb notes accompanying the typical wood and leather Rioja traits.  

Food suggestions Great with wintery stews or hotpot, or minted lamb chops.

Fine Wine Friday, Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2010Date published: 01/02/13

Fine Wine Friday!

It's that time of the week again and this time around we have Domaine Jean-Louis Chavy's beautifully balanced Puligny Montrachet. Pop in and gibe it a try on our tasting counter.

Grape

Chardonnay

Origin Blended from 8 different parcels across the appellation, this wine gives an excellent representation of the 'terroir' of Puligny-Montrachet. The domaine was inherited from father Gerard Chavy 2004 and was split with brother Alain, who makes wine under his father's name.

Taste Neither overtly fruity nor over-oaked, Jean-Louis Chavy's wines are extremely well balanced, emphasising the classic minerality of Puligny-Montrachet.

Enjoy A model of finesse and elegance, drink with simply flavoured grilled white fish. Alternatively, drink this pure wine by itself.

Spring Tasting Tutorials 2013Date published: 31/01/13

Spring Tasting Tutorials 2013

Regular customers may remember we held a series of regionally-themed tasting tutorials in the Autumn of 2012. These spanned four weeks, with matched wines featuring on the tasting counter throughout the week and a 30 minute tasting tutorial on the Saturday at the end of each week.

Well, the great news is that they are back and begin in February, and are of course, totally free. All you need to to is turn up and enjoy!

The regions we will be covering are:

Spain and Italy

Tuesday 5th – Monday 11th February

New Zealand

Tuesday 12th – Monday 18th February

Classic France

Tuesday 26th February – Monday 4th March

South America

9th March

Bargain Hunt!!! Composite Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marloborough, New Zealand only £5.99*Date published: 23/01/13

Composite Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Winegrowers of Ara, Marlborough

£9.99

Bargain Hunt - Special Offer £7.49

Buy 2 still New Zealand wines save 20% £5.99 *

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin Ara is an emerging terroir that lies at the confluence of the Wairau and Waihopai rivers in the world famous Marlborough region. A single landform that dates back some 20,000 years, the 1600 hectare terrace is a unique geological feature in New Zealand.

Taste Vibrant and intense, Composite Sauvignon Blanc shows ripe, clean stone and grapefruit characters. It is highly concentrated with a generous textured mouthfeel and a long clean finish.

Enjoy This is the perfect match for seafood but can be successfully partnered with a variety of foods including sashimi or spicy Asian fish.

Wine of the Week - Mas des Montagnes Terroirs d'Altitude Blanc 2011Date published: 20/01/13

Wine of the Week - Mas des Montagnes Terroirs d'Altitude Blanc 2011

Grape

Macabeo, Grenache Blanc

Origin Mas des Montagnes is literally a 'mountain estate', comprising a group of higher-altitude Roussillon vineyards acquired by the Lorgeril family of Château de Pennautier, in the neighbouring Languedoc. Patrick Léon, formerly of Domaines Rothschild, is consultant winemaker.

Taste A notably mineral-tinged wine, reminiscent of its origins on stony schist hillsides, and possessing great texture and length. The citrus fruit backbone is joined by subtle hints of fennel and wild herbs.

Enjoy The winery recommends pairing with any grilled fish, or baked sea bream with a salt crust.

Wine of the Week - Santa Rita 120 Viognier 2012Date published: 16/01/13

Grape Viognier

Origin Sourced from a number of vineyard sites across Chile's Central Valley. Free-run juice and light pressings have been used to maintain a light and crisp feel to the wine, with a long 3-week fermentation period followed by 2 weeks on lees for softness of texture.

Taste Lively and crisp, avoiding the big, oily texture of many a Viognier and focusing instead on the flavours of apricot, pineapple and delicate floral aromas. Soft in mouthfeel, with a refreshing finish.

Food Match A great choice to have with spicy foods, or just to enjoy with whatever your having tonight

Wine of the Week - Guigal Côtes du RhôneDate published: 10/01/13

Wine of the Week - Guigal Côtes du Rhône

Price: £10.99 each Save: buy 2 Rhône wines under £20 save 20% = £8.79 each!

Grape

Grenache, Syrah

Origin

Guigal is arguably the most famous producer in the Rhône Valley. Founded by Étienne Guigal in 1946, his son Marcel is almost single-handedly responsible for the regions resurgence over the last few decades.

Taste

This full-bodied wine offers a robust core of dark fruit, and savoury white pepper notes that make it a superb food wine.

Food Match

Try with any red meat dishes or with rich vegetarian dishes like moussaka.  

Bargain Hunt WinesDate published: 08/01/13

Bargain Hunt Wines

We have a great selection of wines in this years Bargain Hunt, from Loire and Beaujolais to Australia and Chile with plenty in-between. We will be updating this section on a regular basis to reflect the stock remaining in store, but for the time being here are some of our favourites:

Matt's Choice The Galvo Garage 2007 d'Arenberg, McLaren Vale Was £16.99 Bargain Hunt - Special Offer £13.74 Buy 2 still Australian wines between £5 - £19.99 save 20% = £10.99 Grape Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc Origin Named in honour of the galvanised shed where d'Arenberg's reds are vinified, this wine doffs its cap to Bordeaux's 'garagists', or small independent winemakers. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and a little Cabernet Franc. Taste Combines New World fruit and power with Old World structure and complexity, with plum and cherry overlayed with notes of cedar and mint. Long length. Enjoy Full bodied and ripe with firm and rounded tannin, this wine offers a real burst of fruit, so match with robust meaty dishes.

Elliott's Choice

McHenry Hohnen Cabernet Merlot 2010/2011 Margaret River Was £13.74 Bargain Hunt - Special Offer £11.24 Buy 2 still Australian wines between £5 - £19.99 save 20% = £8.99 Grape Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Origin The McHenrys and the Hohnens have been cultivating vines in Margaret River since the 1970s, and this classic Bordeaux-style blend offers the structure of a French wine but the concentration and fruit more typical of Australia. Taste There are dark blackcurrant and black olive notes from the Cabernet with the plummy, brambly Merlot flavours softening the blend. The palate is tight and firm and the oak and tannins balance admirably. Enjoy This a powerful wine, perfect for hearty winter dishes yet equally adept at complementing summer barbecues.

James' Choice

Catalpa Chardonnay 2010/2011 Atamisque Price £12.99 Bargain Hunt - Buy 2 bottles save £9 = £8.49 Grape Chardonnay Origin This wine has been named after the Catalpa tree which grows in the Atamisque estate. The grapes here are hand-harvested and the juice fermented in new French oak barrels. 30% of the wine is allowed to age in the oak for 10 months before reblending with the remainder. Taste Delicate aromas of white apples and pineapple, with the oak ageing exerting a faint honey and vanilla influence. Smooth on the palate, with a fine balance between fresh citrus fruit and woody toast. Enjoy Equally at home with turkey or trout.

Jack's Choice Vouvray Moelleux La Levrière 2010/2011 Bourillon d'Orleans 37.5cl Half bottle Price £12.99 Bargain Hunt - Buy 2 bottles save £10 = £7.99 Grape Chenin Blanc Origin This is a dessert-style Vouvray from one of the region's finest producers, now in its 4th generation of family ownership. A mixture of super-ripe and botrytised grapes, from 30-year-old vines, vinified in both stainless steel and old oak. Taste A rich and glossy gold in the glass. Aromas are of ripe pineapple and quince, followed by sweet spices, clove and cinnamon. The palate is awash with flavours of sweet figs and crystallised lemon. Enjoy Enjoyable now, or over the next 30 years. A superb partner for sweet caramel puddings or strong, creamy cheeses.  

A Little Bit About Cloudy Bay – Our Wine Of The WeekDate published: 07/01/13

A Little Bit About Cloudy Bay – Our Wine Of The Week

Our Wine of the Week this week is Cloudy Bay Chardonnay, and it's a stunner! Rich and tropical with subtle vanilla and spice, just what you really want from a top New Zealand Chardonny. Here's a little bit about the Cloudy Bay winery:

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was established in 1985 by Cape Mentelle Vineyards in Western Australia. The winery and vineyards are situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island.  This unique and cool wine region enjoys a maritime climate with the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand. The main varieties grown are sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir with lesser quantities of gewurztraminer, riesling, and pinot gris.

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was a founding member of the New Zealand Integrated Winegrape Production scheme, set up to develop a programme for sustainable vineyard management, which is now monitored by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.

The winery takes its name from the bay at the eastern extremity of the Wairau Valley, which was named Cloudy Bay by Captain Cook on his voyage to New Zealand in 1770.  At the time of Cook’s discovery, Marlborough was in flood and the Wairau River running into the bay was full of silt creating cloudy waters. 

Magnificent microbreweriesDate published: 29/12/12

Magnificent microbreweries

Currently, there are over 700 breweries in the UK of which more than 90% are classified as microbreweries. The industry serves a market of over 25 million people and provides over 700,000 jobs in the UK.

In the UK, the term has become synonymous with small scale breweries operating under the UK Progressive Beer Duty producing quantities ranging from 2 to 20 bbls (a brewer's barrel or bbl is 36 imperial gallons). It is also one of the fastest growing areas of enterprise in both the UK and the USA.

All this means for us as the consumer that we have a wide and varying range of unique and different beers from light fruity golden ales to rich full flavoured stouts all competing against each other to deliver the best value with the greatest taste! The next step is to find a microbrewery that delivers on all fronts, and although it is great fun searching out these hidden gems yourself, allow us to give you a couple of our recommendations.

Bespoke Brewing Co, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire

Brewed on the site of the old Wintels brewery in the Forest of Dean and made using traditional ingredients with their own personal twist. 'Money for old rope' – A rich dark forest stout with flavours of malt, grain and deep hop bitterness. 'Saved by the bell' – A light hoppy forest bitter with a spicy hop bite and a delicate floral aroma, very refreshing. 'Over a barrel' – The strong rich forest ale which is fruity on the nose and palate with a generous peppery finish. 'Running the gauntlet' – Full flavoured forest bitter with rich roasted undertones, good hop bitterness with spicy blackcurrant aromas.

£32.40 single 12 pack or £29.40 when you buy two cases of bottled ale.

Bath Ales, Warmley, Bath

'Quintessentially English and brewed in the West Country', the Bath Ale range offer diversity with a uniqueness and at the same time never straying far from the classic traditional methods and styles. 'Gem'- A best bitter with a rich aroma of hops and malt, and a long bitter sweet finish. 'Barnsey'- Rich in fruit, with hints of chocolate, this full bodied dark ale is a complex but deeply satisfying beer. 'Wild Hare'- A wonderful, golden organic ale with a fresh-citrus aroma and a dry, bitter finish. 'Dark Side'- A roasted barley aroma, a deep, dark colour and a smooth yet dry taste. An exquisite stout.

£25.80 single 12 pack or £22.80 when you buy two cases of bottled ale.

Thank you Matthew Fort and Tom Parker Bowles!Date published: 04/12/12

Thank you Matthew Fort and Tom Parker Bowles!

Just a quick thank you to the very nice, funny and entertaining Matthew Fort and Tom Parker Bowls for coming and joining us last week to let us all try their amazing Mr Trotters Pork Crackling! Hopefully they will be available to attend our next tasting event in the summer. As for the Pork Crackling, it is currently on sale in store for £1.99 per bag, and worth every penny!

Winter Tasting - Thank you everyone!Date published: 27/11/12

 

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Winter Tasting Evening on 20th November. We had over 75 customers attend on the night and it certainly looked like everyone had a great time. More than 30 different wines were open on the evening, with the most popular red and white both coming from the same producer in the form of the fantastic St Clair Pioneer Block Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

Thanks to Emily from Belle Epoque Handmade Chocolates for coming along and doing a wonderful job of matching our Vistamar Late Harvest Moscatel and Sticky End Sauvignon Blanc with your delectable chocolates, you are certainly welcome back any time!  

Last but certainly not least a massive thank you to Bespoke Brewery from Mitcheldean who came along to let us try a selection of their artisan beers. We are now stocking the Bespoke beers, including a mixed case containing three bottles of each beer.  

“The King of Wines, and wine of Kings” - Royal Tokaji Company, Mad, HungaryDate published: 25/11/12

“The King of Wines, and wine of Kings” - Royal Tokaji Company, Mad, Hungary

Think of the most characterful and luscious wines of the world, then think of Hungary.

Surprised?

You shouldn't be.

The legendary wines of Tokaji have been made for centuries and adored by connoisseurs across history, from Louis XIV to Thomas Jefferson, whom revelled in the immortal essencia, a barely alchoholic wine made in such minuscule quantities it is traditionally served from a crystal spoon.

Grapes of Furmint, Harslevelu and Muscat de Lunel when affected with noble rot are known as Aszu and are collected in puttony (20 litre tubs). The juice of Aszu grapes is the pure essencia. This is later blended with a base wine from the remaining non-Aszu grapes. The level of sweetness of the resulting wine is measured by how many puttony are added, ranging from 1 to 6, with 6 being the sweetest.

I love Tokaji for its searing acidity, which is necessary to balance the wine with such an intense sweetness, a trick that the wines of Sauternes often fail to pull off.

The well known wine writer Hugh Johnson founded the Royal Tokaji Company in 1990, urged by his passion for the nectar-like liquid, and it is this range that we stock at Majestic, including their 5 puttonyos (£19.99) and the excellent value Late Harvest (£9.99), which comes in 50cl bottles.

If sweet wine isn't for you, then you can still enjoy the honeysuckle floral aromas of these wines with the Royal Tokaji Company's Dry Furmint.

Furmint is one of the grapes used in the wines described above, but the sugars are fermented to dryness, as in conventional wine making. This for me is one of the best value and most interesting wine available today, and it is just £7.99 when you buy two or more bottles!

COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGY Date published: 23/11/12

COMMONLY USED WINE TERMINOLOGY

Clarity: This refers to the appearance of the wine. To ascertain this, tilt the glass against a pale surface. If the wine is hazy or cloudy this is evidence of a fault in the wine.

Intensity: Intensity of colour varies greatly – and not just from red to white! Intensity spans from water-white through pale, medium, deep, and opaque. Colours also vary; In white wine through lemon-green, lemon, gold, amber, and brown and in reds through purple, ruby, garnet, tawny and brown. Usually the farther the wine is down the scale the older it is.

Legs: If you swirl the wine in the glass you will often see “legs” or “tears” appear as the liquid settles down the sides. Heavier or thicker legs indicate higher alcohol or sugar.

Development: The development of a wine can be assessed by noting the progression from primary and secondary to tertiary characteristics: Primary: Fruity or floral characteristics obvious in young wines. Secondary: Characteristics that result from treatment at the winery, such as oak aging e.g. buttery or yeasty notes. Tertiary: These result during the aging process and are any characteristics that are not immediately fruity or floral, e.g. Leather, coffee, mushrooms, toast etc.

Sweetness: Many people confuse sweetness with fruitiness. Sweetness refers to the amount of residual sugar present in a wine, which can be detected by dipping the very tip of the tongue in (not elegant – but effective!)

Acidity: This can be detected with the inside of the cheeks after swilling the wine around your mouth. The more acidic the wine the more the cheeks will “weep” and more saliva will be produced.

Tannin: Tannin is extracted from grape skins, stems and seeds and causes your mouth to dry and feel rough. It can most easily be detected by a “furry” sensation on the teeth and gums.

Body: Body refers to the weight of the wine – how heavy it feels in your mouth compared to other wines.

Length: How long the flavours remain after spitting or swallowing. This is also an excellent indication of quality – the longer the length, the better the wine (assuming the flavours are pleasant!)

Corked: Caused by a chemical known as TCA in faulty corks, this causes a wine to smell musty or mouldy, like wet cardboard. Small bits of cork in the wine do NOT mean the wine is corked, but that more care should be taken when opening!

Oxidised: The wine will be faded or browned in colour, and will lack freshness and fruitiness.

How is Champagne Made?Date published: 17/11/12

How is Champagne made?

Interestingly enough, although Dom Perignon is credited with creating Champagne, it was in fact a British man named Christopher Merritt who stumbled upon the method of making wine sparkle!

The base wine for Champagne is still, made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinor Meurnier (exact blend will depend on the style of the Champagne and the Champagne house itself) and with low alcohol and high acidity. Merritt decided to improve this poor quality still wine imported from the Champagne region of France by adding sugar to decrease the acidic bite of the wine. The sugar in fact was broken down by yeast in the wine and gave off CO2...making it fizzy!

Thus began the process which led to Champagne in France becoming the most prestigious production region of sparkling wines, as Dom Perignon and the Widow "Veuve" Clicquot refined the process to a fine art!

First a concoction of sugar, yeast nutrients, and clarifying agent called the "liqueur de tirage" is added to the acidic base wine in-bottle. This sets off the secondary fermentation, increasing the alcohol and producing CO2. As the CO2 has nowhere to escape to it dissolves back into the wine, and is released when the cork is popped, making it fizz!

As the yeast is killed by the rising alcohol levels the yeast cells break down in a process called yeast autolysis, which gives Champagne it's well-known toasty/biscuity/brioche flavours. However you are then left with a residue of dead yeast cells in the bottle, which no-one would want to drink! To get rid of this nasty sludge, a process known as "riddling" was invented by the widow "Veuve" Clicquot herself.

The bottles are racked on their sides, and each day given a quarter turn and tipped slightly more onto their necks. Eventually all the residue will have fallen to the neck of the bottle, and it is frozen in brine solution and fired out under pressure. (Interesting fact: This is why Champagne bottles have large amounts of foil on the necks of the bottles, as the Champagne houses could not guarantee how much would be lost when the residue was fired out...and didn't want customers to notice!). This process used to be done by hand, although now it is more time and cost-efficient to do it by machine.

This means of production, known as the "traditional method" results in incredibly high quality sparkling wines, however as it is not a particularly efficient means of production it also means that quality sparkling wines, such as Champagne, are expensive to the consumer.

Other means of production of sparkling wines are the "transfer method" where the complex process of riddling is replaced. The wine is de-bottled and filtered in bulk instead, making the process cheaper. There is also the "tank method", where the whole process in conducted in large tanks before the finished product is bottled (this is most common in the New World sparkling wines). The final means of production is the simplest and cheapest and is what I like to call the "soda stream method", or "carbonation"...literally CO2 blasted through still wines. Only the cheapest quality sparkling wines are made in this method.

A good way of testing the quality of a sparkling wine is the size of the bubbles. In the highest quality wines such as Champagne the bubbles will be a very fine "mousse", while in lower quality wines the bubbles will be larger, like those in carbonated drinks.  

Winter Wine Tasting - Tuesday 20th November from 6.30pm. The wines!Date published: 15/11/12

Here is a list of just some of the wines we will be tasting on Tuesday. As well as the wines listed below we will have a selection of spirits and beers for you to try.

As a special treat we will also be welcoming Belle Epoque Chocolates who will be letting us try some of their amazing handmade chocolates matched with selection of dessert wines from our range.

Some of the wines we will be opening...

Hidalgo Manzanilla La Gitana NV Sherry £9.99 Special Offer £7.99 Prosecco La Marca Treviso Extra Dry NV £11.99 Special Offer £7.99 Muscadet 2010/2011 Cuvée des Croix Blanches £5.99 Buy 2 bottles save £2 = £4.99 Montenovo Godello 2011 Valdesil, Valdeorras £9.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £7.99 Parcel Series Riesling 2006 Eden Valley £8.74 Buy 2 still Australian wines between £5 - £19.99 save 20% = £6.99 Viñalba Reserva Chardonnay 2012 Mendoza £10.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4 £8.99 Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc £17.49 Buy 2 still New Zealand wines save 20% £13.99 Alamos Malbec 2011 Catena, Argentina £8.99 Special Offer £5.99 McManis Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2011 £10.99 Buy 2 still Californian wines under £20 save 20% £8.79 Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 £13.74 Buy 2 still Australian wines between £5 - £19.99 save 20% £10.99 Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2009 Ripasso , Italy £15.99 Buy 2 bottles save £6 £12.99 Chateau Musar 2005 £18.99 Buy 2 bottles save £2 £17.99 Saint Clair Pioneer Block Pinot Noir 2010, NZ £19.99 Buy 2 still New Zealand wines save 20% £15.99

Wine of the Week - Montes Alpha Merlot 2010 Curicó Valley Date published: 13/11/12

Montes Alpha Merlot 2010 Curicó Valley £12.99 Special Offer £12.49 Buy 2 still Chilean wines under £20 save 20% £9.99 Grape Merlot Origin The Conquistadors of Spain brought wine to Chile, but France has dominated the vinous influences. A premium wine from the Aurelio Montes has matured this Merlot in French oak for 12 months to impart extra complexities and structure. Taste Deep ruby. Aromas of black cherry and strawberries on the nose, with floral hints. Black fruits and plums, with coffee and tobacco notes on the palate. A full-bodied wine of with a long, smooth finish. Enjoy Decant for an hour before serving. Drink with rich meat casseroles.  

Chilean Tasting Week Starts Today!Date published: 13/11/12

Our Chilean Tasting Week starts today here at Majestic Wine Gloucester.

Pop in any time to try a wide selection of wines from Chile. We try and select a range of styles and prices to fit all budgets and tastes. If there are any wines you would like to try but can't see them on our online Tasting Counter, simply send us an email suggesting it and we'll do our best to open it up for you.

Washington State winesDate published: 09/11/12

Everybody has heard of the Napa Valley and Sonoma County, but a little further north is Washington State and the wines that are produced there are gaining notoriety.

The climate is much cooler than in California and as such, the wines are a little more restrained, elegant and subtle than the fruit bomb blockbusters that you may have tried before.

One such wine is open today on our tasting counter, the wonderful Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot and its also included in our 20% off, which makes it just £9.99!

It is very smooth and classy, with supple tannins and a delicious finish that makes it hard not to want more, and it is great with food too. What more could you want?  

'Sexy Beast', 'Angels' Share', 'Gnarley Dudes' all now in stock at Majestic GloucesterDate published: 20/10/12

We have just received a very limited allocation of some brilliant wines, and not just because of the names! The Two Hands winery was established in 1999 to show off the best Shiraz Australia has to offer, and they have certainly achieved their goal. The Gnarly Dudes Barossa Shiraz is a wine that has developed a bit of a cult following here at Majestic, among staff and customers, and there are some very good reasons for that. These wines are all defined by an unusual and difficult to replicate quality, the blend of complexity, intensity and that wonderful quality of 'drinkability'. These wines can be drunk young for an intense hit of fruit or cellared to develop their amazing secondary characteristics.  I have included full write-ups for each wine below with prices.

If you are interested please contact Majestic Wine Gloucester, and hurry because stocks are very limited!

Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2011, Two Hands, Barossa Valley

£18.00 When you buy at least 2 or more bottles as part of a mixed case

£22.00 Single bottle price

Two Hands are dedicated to showcasing the wide range of styles available from Barossa's many and varied plots. This example is sourced from a number of parcels of mature, gnarly Shiraz vines, and aged in a mixture of new and old French oak hogsheads for 12 months. Intense and complex on the nose, which offers an array of fruit accented by notes of chestnuts, burnt toffee, chocolate and lavender. Full and lush on the palate, with a supple texture and good length.

'Angels' Share' Shiraz 2010, Two Hands, McLaren Vale

£18.00 When you buy at least 2 or more bottles as part of a mixed case

£22.00 Single bottle price

Two Hands was established in 1999, with a view toward showcasing the best Shiraz that Australia, and particualrly Barossa, could offer. This blockbusting example comes from vineyards in the slightly cooler coastal climes of McLaren Vale. Aromatically rich and complex, with notes of coffee, cocoa and cola against a backdrop of mulberry and plum fruit. Immense and mouth-coating, with lashings of soft, rounded tannins

'Sexy Beast' Cabernet 2011, Two Hands, McLaren Vale

£18.00 When you buy at least 2 or more bottles as part of a mixed case

£22.00 Single bottle price

Two Hands source their Cabernet Sauvignon from a range of sites throughout McLaren Vale to make this voluptuous wine. Vinified in traditional open fermenters, the wine is then matured for 14 months in French oak hogsheads. A deep and lush ruby colour, with an alluring nose of rich fruit, and subtle touches of violet, smoke, and leafy herbs. Fulsome yet elegant, the tannins are smooth and the palate tightly structured. Enjoy immediately or cellar for up to 10 years.

Free Beer and Posh Pork Scratching Tasting in Majestic Wine Gloucester on 27th NovemberDate published: 16/10/12

We will be welcoming Matthew Fort and Tom Parker Bowles to  Majestic Wine Gloucester on 27th November at 5.30pm to let us sample some of their amazing new Pork Crackling 'MrTrotter'.

This is not your normal Pork Scratching, this is a real foodie experience!

Here’s some background information on the idea behind of Mr Trotters –

The concept of Tom Parker Bowles and Matthew Fort who wanted to produce a premium pork scratching using only 100% British, Freedom Food outdoor bred pigs. Our new cooking process creates a lighter, crunchier texture, unlike anything else on the market and it’s seasoned naturally, without the addition of MSG!

Tom and Matthew will be on hand to tell you all about their experience of making them and also let you have a try.

But that's not all!We will be combining gourmet pork crackling with artisan beer from our newest supplier The Bespoke Brewery in Mitcheldean. What better combination than brilliant beer and quality crunch pork scratchings?

If you would like to come along, please let us know via email, phone or by filling in the booking form in the 'Events' section of this webpage.

FINE WINE OPEN TODAY - Meerlust Merlot 2008, StellenboschDate published: 13/10/12

Meerlust Merlot 2008, Stellenbosch

20% OFF SOUTH AFRICAN WINES

£15.99 When you buy at least 2 bottles as part of a mixed case

£19.99

Single bottle price

Made in the 'right-bank' tradition, this is a blend of 89% Merlot with 11% Cabernet Franc added for structure and aromatic complexity. Deep, youthful purple colour with a ruby rim. Juicy plum and mulberry fruit abound on the nose, with lifted spicines, hints of dark chocolate anda beefy edge. The palate offers generous, ripe and pure Merlot fruit with refreshing acidity, structured yet silky tannins and pronounced length and minerality.

#MakeAutumnRed with Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet 2010Date published: 11/10/12

#MakeAutumnRed with Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet

Jim Barry make some of our favourite Aussie reds and the Cover Drive Cabernet 2010 is both fantastic quality and great value. If you like full bodies reds with intense flavour but would like to try a wine with complex secondary flavours withouth a fine wine price tag, then this could be the wine for you. 

Dark garnet red in colour, the nose is intense casise and bramble fruits with notes of cedar and tomato vine. Delicate fennel and mint undertones balance the intense fruite perfectly. On the plate the fruit comes through intensely with ripe tannins and flavours of liquorice and black cherry.

Perfect of as chilly Autumn evening in with a big bowl of beef stew or indeed any robust meaty dish, it would also be a great match for a roast.

New Local Ales Now In StockDate published: 10/10/12

New Local Ales Now In Stock

We have just received our latest delivery of Beer from Battledown Brewery in Cheltenham.

We now have the Mixed Case which contains four bottles of each beer from their range. We also have twelve packs of each individual beer, Special Premium Ale, Special Pale Ale and Standard Pale Ale.

Each case of 12 bottles is £27 or £24 when you buy 2 or more cases of selected ales.

Trade CustomersDate published: 07/10/12

Do you, or someone you know run a bar, pub, hotel or restaurant?

If so, then it may interest you that as well as retail sales, Majestic Wine also supply to trade accounts.

The same great service you get from your local store can extend to your business, and we can also provide staff training too, so your team can talk confidently and communicate your new range of wines to your customers.

As the wines will be provided by your local Majestic store, we will be available seven days a week, just a phone call away, and because your order will be delivered by a team member in our own van, we can deliver at a time that suits you and answer any questions you have!

If this sound like a good idea and makes sense to you, then don't hesitate to get in touch, by phone, email or pop into the store and have a chat with us.

New Wine Events for October and NovemberDate published: 05/10/12

SOME OF OUR FREE EVENTS COMING UP THIS OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

We will be writing a detailed explanation of what each event is all about and posting it on our webpage, Facebook and Twitter as soon as we have the chance. If you can't wait to find out, feel free to give us a call, email us or even ask us on Facebbok or Twitter. You do need to book a place for all events, so please let us know if you would like to come along.

WINE WALK:
Thursday 25th October, 6pm – 7pm

WINE WALK:
Friday 26th October, 6pm – 7pm

FAMILY HAVEN CHARITY TASTING:
Tuesday 30th October, 6pm – 8pm

WINTER TASTING EVENING:
Tuesday 20th November, 6.30pm - 8pm
 

#MakeAutumnRed and Win a Case of Autumn Reds!Date published: 02/10/12

Here in Majestic Wine Gloucester we're planning on Making Autumn Red. We will be recommending three of  our favourite red wines each week, selected from the best offers in store. We'll tell you what they taste like, what food they go best with and a little something about the people who make them.


For your chance to wine a case of Autumn Reds just follow www.facebook.com/majesticwine and tell us how you like to spend your Autumn Evenings with nice glass of red.

Fine Wine Friday (5th October)Date published: 02/10/12

This Friday we will be opening the Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

£20.79 (as part of S.A. 20% offer)

The Thelema vineyards lie on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, at high altitude near Stellenbosch.  The altitude combined with the maritime climate gives a uniquely long ripening period and excellent wines.

Aromas of blackcurrent fruit with mocha and hints of vanilla, very concentrated dark fruits on the palate along with mint and eucalyptus.  A full-bodied wine with a smooth texture and great length.

New Wine of the Week!Date published: 01/10/12

La Grille Pinot Noir 2010 Vin de France

Price £6.99
Buy 2 bottles save £2 £5.99


Origin
Made by Jacques Vigier, director of the celebrated local Cave, this Pinot Noir comes from the stony foothills of the Massif Central. From the small VDQS St-Pourçain in the Allier département.


Taste
The intensity of fresh redcurrant and spice flavours show just what good value and quality the Pinot Noir grape is capable of when grown in the Loire.


Enjoy
Ideally served slightly chilled, it is delicious on its own or with white meat dishes, salads and fresh pasta.
 

Our long serving and lovely Assistant Manager Lucy is leaving us!!Date published: 28/09/12

Lucy has been Assistant Manager here in Gloucester for over a year now, and has been indispensable to the team and I'm sure to many of our customers.  We will miss her greatly. If anyone would like to say goodbye before she leaves on the 4th October, I'm sure she would appreciate it.

Amazing Short Term Autumn Offers!Date published: 26/09/12

We have some amazing short term Autumn offers available from today until Monday 15th October.


To see off the summer in sparkling style we have:

  • Nicolas Feuillatte NV was £25.00 now   £15.00
  • Laurent-Perrier Rose was £62.00 now    £45.00
  • Green Point Sparkling NV was £16.99 now    £9.99
  • Serena Pinot Grigio 2011 £8.99 Buy 2 save £6    £5.99

To welcome the autumn months we have a rich warming Burgundy with a toasted citrussy backbone
that would match perfectly to a creamy poultry dish:

  • Macon-Lugny Latour 2010 £9.99 Buy 2 save £4    £7.99

And finally a spicy medium bodied Rhone red wine to cosy up with on one of the chilly nights that will be upon us soon enough:

  • Chapoutier Belleruche 2010 £9.99 Buy 2 save £6    £6.99

Spanish Parcel of Excellent Rare VinatagesDate published: 12/09/12

Thanks to the excellent work of our buyers we have just acquired some fantastic and rare vantages of Spanish wines. I have listed the products we currently have in stock, but if you are interested in a wider range simply contact us at the store in Gloucester and we can give you an idea of the other goodies which are available.

Viña Alberdi, La Rioja Alta 1994 £12.49 or £9.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines.
Alberdi is the level beneath the renowned Ardanza, and a lovely wine as one would expect from La Rioja Alta. It also comes from the outstanding 1994 vintage.

Marques de Riscal Reserva 1994 £22.49 or £17.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines.

A real Majestic favourite. Marques de Riscal is pretty much the original Rioja and this 1994 example really shows the style off perfectly. There's still plenty of fruit left along with some beautiful mellow vanilla, tobacco and fig.

CVNE Rioja Gran Reserva Imperial 1994 £30 or £25 when you but 2 or more bottles

This is one of my all time favourite Rioja's. I love the Reserva Imperial, but this Gran Reserva from the outstanding 1994 vintage is out of this world! The Imperial Gran Reserva is only produced in the very best years ao you can be assured of the quality. Herb and tea leaf notes compliment the date and fig backbone.

CVNE Reserva Imperial Rioja 1995 £22.49 or £17.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines

A classic Rioja expressinghints of  fruit cake and leather on the nose and liquorice on the palate. If you want to experience top quality classic Rioja at a fantastic price, then this is the wine for you.

The Vintages

1994 ***** Outstanding Vintage - Splendid year with intense, slow maturing wines of great colour and depth of flavour. This was the 'Aaah!' vintage, after three years of drought and indifferent quality, nature relented and provided one of the best vintages of the century (compared by many producers with the legendary 1964). The winter was warmer than usual; just what the growers had been looking for, as the vines budded early. April was a crucial month as frost took 10-30% of the buds, slowing down the development in the vineyard. However, the grapes had set well by mid-June, particularly Garnacha and Tempranillo, which is much earlier than normal. The summer was good without excessive heat, dry enough to avoid fungal problems and scattered storms provided just enough water for the development of the grapes. For the first time in 20 years the vintage began in Rioja Baja on the 1st September and in the highlands between 6th and 10th. By 18th September everyone was picking, and the grapes showed
tremendous ripeness, colour and extract.
1995 ***** Outstanding Vintage - A big vintage of classic wines. This was the impossible dream - an 'Excelente' vintage with what was (then - superseded in 1996 and again in 1997 and 1998) the biggest harvest of all time (albeit after a three-year drought), and the second 5-star year in a row. The late autumn and winter of 1994/95 were mild and comfortable, and the vines were showing signs of life by the end of January, with bud-burst at the beginning of March. There were frosts in the second half of April, affecting mainly the area around Najerilla in Rioja Alta, some parts of Rioja Alavesa and quite substantially in Rioja Baja. However, the residual water in the subsoil, combined with very much better temperatures in May, allowed for a second budding which saved the day, and the more mature vineyards recovered all their losses in the highlands.

Paulaner OKTOBERFEST Now In Stock! £40 (20x50cl case)Date published: 06/09/12

All the real beer lovers out there can finally smile again because October is nearly here and we have just received our first shipment of Paulaner Oktoberfest. For the uninitiated this is no normal lager, at 6% it packs a punch, but the extra alcohol also helps to give the beer more body and carries more of the aromatics, making it a really interesting drink. Remember, this is a seasonal brew made specially to celebrate the worlds biggest beer festival, so enjoy it while stocks last!

£40 (20x50cl case)

Beaujolais in a NutshellDate published: 21/07/12

With the sun shining the Beaujolais tasting week is perfectly timed.

The reds from Beaujolais are light, fruity and refreshing and can even be slightly chilled.

Beaujolais is a sub-region of Burgundy, to the south of Maconnais.

The key ACs within Beaujolais are:

  • Beaujolais Nouveau
  • Beaujolais
  • Beaujolais Villages
  • 10 'Cru' villages, including the likes of Chenas, Fleurie, Morgon, Brouilly among others.

The grape variety is gamay and the wine is made by the method of carbonic maceration.  This is where complete bunches of uncrushed grapes are placed in fermentation vats and the enzymes within the grapes begin the fermentation process naturally.  The grapes burst and normal fermentation then takes place.  Essentially this results in colour extraction but not tannin, so the wines are soft and fruity.

A BITESIZE GUIDE TO LOIREDate published: 20/07/12

The Loire is located to the West of France.

The River Loire is the longest River in France and the changing climates and winemaking techniques along the differing sub-regions make for a great variety of styles.


There are 4 main sub-regions and grape varieties – going from the coast to inland:


Nantais
Melon de Bourgogne, produces lovely dry crisp Muscadets


Anjou-Saumur
Chenin Blanc producing fruity and honeyed whites, from off-dry styles to the great lushious desert wines. Also produces sparkling wine using the Champagne method.


Touraine
Chenin Blanc produces rich, sweet Vouvrays. Sauvignon Blanc, producing dry whites. Gamay used to make fruity roses. Cabernet Franc, especially found in Chinon and Bourgeil produces dark purple, strawberry and raspberry flavoured wines, which are best drunk slightly chilled.


Central Vineyards
Sauvignon Blanc, producing dry whites with a mineral edge, the most famous appelations being Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.
 

Store Events(6)

Free Spotlight Tasting

28 November 2014 - 1 December 2014

Join us this week to celebrate the best California has to offer. We'll have wines open 24/7, and a free Spotlight Tasting on the 27th! What more could you need?!

RSVP

Free Seasonal Tasting

19 November 2014 (18:40 - 20:00)

Join us for our Winter Wine Evening this November and we'll treat you to a wonderful selection of the old and the new. Merriment is a guaranteed! Ask in store today...

RSVP

Free Spotlight Tasting

7 November 2014 - 13 December 2014

Chilean wines represent some of the best value for money on the market. They're well made, varied in style and always full of character. Join us this week, and see what's what!

Open to all

Free Spotlight Tasting

31 October 2014 - 6 November 2014

New Zealand is a wine colossus. It's whites are fresh and zingy, its reds rich and varied. Join us in store and we'll be happy to show you the best of the bunch!

Open to all

Free Wine Course

1 October 2014 - 31 December 2014

Our 'Wine Course' is world famous, and it's easy to see why! Join us for a 90 minute wine-adventure and we'll treat you to a learning experience like no other. And there'll be food too! Ask a member of the team for our upcoming dates

RSVP

Bespoke Tastings

1 October 2014 - 31 December 2014

If you're after the personal touch then ask the team about our 'Bespoke Tastings'. We'll come to you and conduct a tasting based on your specifics, and our services are totally free!

Open to all

Store Tasting(6)

What we're tasting today...

Meet the team...

  • Dave Manager

    Here I am, finally back in my home town! After spending two years traveling the South West, I'm glad to be here in Glos to provide the locals with all their wine and beer and spirit needs. Pop in a welcome me back, and lets chat all things booze! See you soon!
  • Jack Assistant Manager

    Having served for a year in Cheltenham as trainee, I am delighted to find myself back in my original store, Gloucester. I'm looking forward to seeing a few familiar faces and sharing my new-found fanaticism for all things Italian.
  • Scott Trainee Manager

    Watch this space!

How to find us