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- Store News(49)
- Bellingham Mocha Java 07/03/14
- Sumit's Wine of the Week 28/02/14
- MAGNUMS JUST IN!!!!! 23/02/14
- Supplier in Focus: Nicolas Potel 22/02/14
- Wine of the Week - Vinalba Touriga Nacional 20/02/14
- Supplier in Focus: Luigi Bosca 13/02/14
- Days of Summer 13/02/14
- Wine of the Week: Benegas Malbec 2011 07/02/14
- Wine of the Week 31/01/14
- Michael's Wine of the Week 26/01/14
- Michael's Wine of the Week 17/01/14
- The Bargain Hunt continues! 15/01/14
- What is our Free Wine Course? 15/01/14
- Wine of the Week: Pouilly-Vinzelles 2012, Louis Latour 22/11/13
- Wine of the Week 15/11 Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenere 15/11/13
- Craft Beers now available! 08/11/13
- Wine of the Week - McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2011/1 08/11/13
- New Sherry Range-Pedro's Arrives! 25/10/13
- Wine of the Week 09/10/13
- Fine Wine Weekend 28/09: St Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 28/09/13
- Fine Wine Weekend 14/09: Beaune 1er Cru, Louis Jadot 14/09/13
- Fine Wine Weekend 7th Sept 07/09/13
- Success at Decanter World WIne Awards 05/09/13
- New this Autumn: 'The Magic of Fine Wine' Tastings 04/09/13
- Wine of the week: Caixas Albarino 10/08/13
- Wine of the Week: Giesen 03/08/13
- Great Beer from across the Midlands Now in Stock! 25/07/13
- Wine of the Week: Fleurie Flower Label 2011, Georges Dubouef 25/07/13
- International Wine Challenge 2013 24/07/13
- New for Autumn: Free Spotlight Tastings '6 wines in 30 minutes 24/07/13
- Wines of Loire & Beaujolais 13/06/13
- Revised Opening Hours 28/03/13
- C'est dure la vie: Laurent-Perrier Visit 7th/8th Feb 2013 15/02/13
- Our minimum puchase for delivery is now just 6 bottles! 12/06/12
- Marvellous Marlborough 17/04/12
- Majestic Commercial: Did you know that... 15/04/12
- All you ever needed to know about Malbec! 12/04/12
- 10 facts about Argentinian Wine 29/02/12
- My Favourite Wine Regions of Spain 12/02/12
- Majestic: The Wedding Specialists 16/01/12
- Majestic Online Exclusives 14/01/12
- French Classics Wine Tasting 15/11/11
- The Beauty of Bollinger 19/09/11
- Keeping You in the Loop 03/08/11
- The Majestic Fine Wine Plan 23/07/11
- Market Harborough Fine Wine Tasting Evening 01/05/11
- The Alchemy of Alsace 28/04/11
- 6 is the magic number! 23/02/11
- You're always on the list at Majestic... 23/02/11
Bellingham Mocha JavaDate published: 07/03/14
Wine of the Week
Bellingham Mocha Java Merlot!
To start the week of South Africa tasting, we have chosen a superb red that will be a match to any Pinotage.
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.
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.
When you buy 2 or more pick and mix wines (£8.99 single bottle price)
Sumit's Wine of the Week Date published: 28/02/14
Panamericana Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Central Valley
A great value Sauvignon from central Chile. The grapes are pressed immediately after arrival at the winery and fermented at low temperatures to ensure its freshness and its primary fruit flavours.
A light and refreshing wine, with zesty aromas of gooseberry. Well balanced On the palate, showing flavours of pear and melon. The finish is dry with hints of minerality.
A great alternative to a New Zealand Sauvignon. Ready to drink on its own or partner with seafood or light pasta dishes.
When you buy 2 or more (£7.99 single bottle price)
MAGNUMS JUST IN!!!!!Date published: 23/02/14
If you are of the philosophy that "more is more", then today is a good day for you!! As of this afternoon we have added some more magnums to our collection.
Currently we have:
Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2008:
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.
£30.00 per bottle
Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2004:
One of the very best of Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas.
Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour.
£37.00 per bottle
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.
£16.00 per bottle
Matsu 'El Recio' 2010 Toro:
El Recio translates as 'the tough guy', and is a more serious, mature wine, made from the product of some of Toro's oldest vines, which are cultivated using advanced biodynamic techniques. 14 months in new French oak provide opulence and polish.
Intense and opaque, this wine is a mass of deep black fruit, chocolate, roasted coffee bean and vanilla pod aromas. Voluptuous and weighty, with a firm structure, held together by silky tannins.
£26.00 per bottle
Chateau Musar 2004
An unusual wine produced by master winemaker Serge Hochar.Concentrated and rich with plums, liquorice and spice. Musar is a fabulously different wine, very powerful but with plenty of finesse.
£45.00 per bottle
Supplier in Focus: Nicolas PotelDate published: 22/02/14
Supplier In focus.
Nicolas Potel decided to set up his own wine négociant business after the death of his father in 1996 and the subsequent sale of Domaine Pousse d`Or, which his father had been managing. From grapes sourced across the Burgundy region, primarily from old Cote d'Or vines. Maison Nicolas Potel is a respected name in Burgundy,Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2012 Nicolas Potel
The Nicolas Potel label is excellent source of predominantly red wines, from Bourgogne Rouge to the Grands Crus of the Cote de Nuits. His hallmark has been to make wines which respect both their vineyard provenance and the style of the vintage while remaining attractively priced
A restrained nose of berry fruit, principally strawberry and blackcurrant, is followed by a soft-edged palate with lithe and supple tannins. Drink with all charcuterie and cold cuts, pasta dishes and tangy cheeses
£10.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £4
Bourgogne Chardonnay 2012 Nicolas Potel
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.
Serve alongside simple and subtly flavoured dishes such as comté cheese tart, chicken salads, fresh pasta or pâté.
£10.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £4
Wine of the Week - Vinalba Touriga NacionalDate published: 20/02/14
Viñalba Malbec-Touriga Nacional Reservado 2010/2011 Mendoza
An intriguing blend of mature-vine Malbec with the traditional Port grape, Touriga Nacional, in a dry and fruit-driven style. Although grown in the Andean foothills, the Douro Valley influence is immediately evident in this blend, with its dark hue and earthy nose.
Heady violet and mulberry aromas fill the nose, and the rich black fruit from both Malbec and Touriga Nacional combine on the palate to dominate and leave a rich, long finish.
The dense, full nature of this interesting blend make it open to a large array of dishes, but try with rich or spicy casserole.
£8.99 when you buy two bottles, save £6 (£11.99 single bottle price)
Supplier in Focus: Luigi BoscaDate published: 13/02/14
Supplier in Focus!
Bodega Luigi Bosca is a leading premium Argentine Winery that has been established since 1901. It is still 100% owned by its founders the Arizu family.
Luigi Bosca have two wines in the Majestic range. They are both very different but both offer superb value for money.
Testimonio is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz and Tannat. This wine demonstrates that there is more to Argentina than Malbec.
A deep, dark and dense blend, with a backbone of inky cassis fruit surrounded by plush, silky tannins. The weighty palate carries with it hints of spice and vanilla.
£10.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £4.
Malbec Luigi Bosca 2011 Vistalba
The latest wine we stock from this premium Bodega. This is Luigi Bosca showcasing an Argentinian Classic at It's finest.
Deeply fruity, with a dark and voluptuous feel, this Malbec is Tightly structured and brings together subtle vanilla hints, firm tannins and well-judged acidity.
£12.99 When you buy 2 bottles saving £6
Days of SummerDate published: 13/02/14
Wine of the Week
Days of Summer 2013
Well, maybe the summer season hasn't arrived just yet but a lovely new wine called "Days of Summer" made by Miguel Torres has just arrived in store!
Torres is one of the most well-known names in wine, responsible for making Viña Sol, Sangre de Toro and Viña Esmeralda, and are currently the largest winery in Spain.
In 1979, Managing Director Miguel Torres (4th generation of the Torres family) opened a winery in one of Chile's most southern wine-producing regions, Valle del Itata. Moscatel/Muscat (the grape used in this wine) is one of the key grapes grown in Itata as it prefers the cooler, wetter conditions.
Off-dry in style, this wine offers quintessential Muscat aromas of white grapes and peach blossom on the nose. The palate offers a medley of lemon, ripe pear and peach making it a great match to white fish dishes.
£6.99 when you buy 2 bottles, save £6 (£9.99 single bottle price)
Wine of the Week: Benegas Malbec 2011Date published: 07/02/14
This fantastic wine is currently part of our February Pick'N'Mix offer (£18.99 buy any 2 pick'n'mix wines save 33.3%=£12.66) so I strongly recommend you grab some while you can!
There is a long history of wine making in the Benegas family. It was the current winemaker's great grandfather who bought the first French vines to Argentina. From the high-quality Libertad Vineyards, the grapes for this impressive wine are picked at careful intervals to ensure optimum ripeness. Here the powerful style of a typical Mendoza Malbec is perfectly balanced with the finesse of a European wine. Awash with aromas of cherry, blackberry and touches of oaky spice, there is good structure on the palate with a full and persistent mouthfeel. The tannins are smooth and sweet and lead into a long, satisfying finish.
The complexity, purity and power of this wine deserve a special dish, so drink with a succulent fillet steak or beef Wellington.
Wine of the Week Date published: 31/01/14
Yali Wetlands Cabernet Carmenere 2011, Rapel Valley
A great value wine from Chile. Yali are at the forefront of conservation of wetlands around the globe. Doing their part to nurture nature.
The grapes are hand haverseted in bunches to select only the best grapes. So you can see a lot of care and attention is put into their wines.
The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere is a perfect partnership. Flouvours of ripe blackcurrent and cassis match well with the underlining spicy notes.
Enjoy on its own, pair with mature cheeses or lightly spiced food.
£5.99 single bottle
£5.99 with our 20% off Chile.
Michael's Wine of the WeekDate published: 26/01/14
Wine of the Week:
Yalumba Y-Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Casting a nod to Australia Day I have selected this cracking Cabernet Sauvignon from Southern Australia as my wine of the week. This is a new wine to Majestic but Yalumba wines have been flying out of our doors for a while now and their winemaking history stretches back to 1849 – in fact it is the oldest family-owned winery in Australia!!
The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have been sourced from a variety of locations, predominantly Wrattonbully, but also from the warmer, perhaps more well-known, Barossa Valley. Around a third of the wine has then been aged in old oak barrels to add secondary characteristics (e.g black pepper spice), complexity and balance. The end result is a beautifully textured, well-rounded wine but one which stays true to the bold, fruit-forward Australian style of winemaking.
Sight: deep crimson
Smell: lots of ripe red fruits
Taste: smooth on the palate, well-integrated tannins and lots more of that red fruit with a slight hint of menthol on the finish
Food match: great winter warmer by itself but would go marvellously alongside any red meat dishes, particularly a slow roasted shoulder of lamb
Buy any 2 Australian wines save 20% £7.99!!!
Michael's Wine of the WeekDate published: 17/01/14
Wine of the Week:Domaine Saint Ferréol Viognier 2011 PGI Pays d'Oc
In line with our South of France tasting weekend, we have chosen this fantastic oak barrel fermented Viognier as our Wine of the Week. Based in a medieval priory, Château St Ferréol certainly has a rich wine-producing history as it is said they have been making wine there since the mid-12th Century! They grow several varieties there, however, the Viognier is their stand-out grape and this particular rendition definitely does not fail to disappoint.
As you pour this wine your eye is immediately drawn to it's deliciously inviting lemon hue whilst the intense aromas of honeysuckle and ripe nectarines cascade from the bottle – it's a delight before you have even tasted it! On the palate dried stone fruit flavours (think apricots!!) predominate coupled with a gorgeously rich mouthfeel and a long, complex finish with a subtle streak of acidity which gives it a lovely freshness.
Whilst this wine would be a fantastic tipple by itself it would also work very well alongside food. The intense aromatics would nicely complement classicly roasted chicken or pork - maybe even with a bit of spice. That said, both the full fruit flavour and acidity would work wonderfully with richer meats such as turkey or goose.
Buy two bottles save £3 - £10.99!!!
The Bargain Hunt continues!Date published: 15/01/14
Our brilliant Bargain Hunt is in full swing and many happy customers have picked up some real gems over the last week. We still have some great end-of-line wines left, so hurry if you want to get in on the action as they're going fast.
Wines still available (as of 16/01) include:
Umbral Malbec, Mendoza 2010 £8.66
Camins del Priorat, Alvaro Palacios 2010 £12.49
Thelema Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa £11.66
Chenas, Domaine des Pierres, Trichard 2011 £7.99
Macon Villages, Domaine des Gentilles, £6.66
Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Semillon, Margaret River £12.99
Valdevieso Sauvignon Blanc, Chile £5.33
Casabel Vinho Tinto, Portugal £5.33
Tabali Sauvignon Blanc, Chile £8.66
(All prices quoted are the offer price, valid when you buy any 2 Bargain Hunt wines)
There are also a few odd bottles of other wines left, they are selling quickly. If you would like to get hold of any of those mentioned above please contact us on 01858 431320 ASAP.
What is our Free Wine Course?Date published: 15/01/14
In short, our free 90 minute wine course is a fun way to learn a little more about wine in a relaxed and friendly environment. Held in store for up to 10 people at a time, the course covers the basics of wine tasting and appreciation. We look at what makes a good wine and what factors influence the style of a wine. We also try some sparkling wine and discuss how it is made. Finally we do a little practical demonstration which should illustrate the theory behind successful food and wine matching. It's all very informal and there is ample opportunity to ask questions.
We have 2 dates coming up: Sunday 16th Feb and Sunday 16th March, both start at 3pm. Please let us know if you'd like to come along.
Wine of the Week: Pouilly-Vinzelles 2012, Louis LatourDate published: 22/11/13
Family firm Maison Louis Latour produces some of Majestic's most popular wines and, judging by this example, it's easy to see why they're such a favourite of customers and staff alike.
This Pouilly-Vinzelles is a clean, fresh wine displaying honey and stone fruit aromas. Sweet honey and floral characters are in abundance on the palate and create a fine and elegant complexity.
Quite simply this is a great Maconnais wine, the perfect pairing for chicken and seafood dishes.£14.99
buy 2 save £4
Wine of the Week 15/11 Koyle Gran Reserva CarmenereDate published: 15/11/13
Vina Koyle, which takes it name from an endangered flower that grows in its vineyards, is currently in the hands of the sixth generation of winemakers descended from Don Francisco Underraga.
This is a blend of 85% Carmenere, complemented by small amounts of Cabernet and Syrah, from hand-harvested vineyards in Colchagua. The wine undergoes temperature-controlled fermentation, then 60% is aged in French oak for 12 months before reblending.
Achieving a happy balance between youthful fruit and savoury undertones, this wine is at once lively, supple, smooth and rich, with notes of blackberry, red peppers and spice on the finish.
Drink now or keep for up to 5 years. Enjoy with cured meats or well-seasoned steak.£10.99
Buy any 2 Chilean wines save 20%= £8.79
Craft Beers now available!Date published: 08/11/13
Over the last few months we've introduced an exciting selection of craft beers to our range so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give you some background on these fantastic products.
Brooklyn Lager (6x355ml)
This brewery was founded in 1987 and is a real stalwart of the American craft beer scene. This beer is a versatile all rounder with a complex malt edge and a refreshing hop bitterness. Flavours of biscuit and caramel on the palate are joined by subtle floral hints on the nose.
This is a great match to grilled meats, or try with your cheese course.
Anchor Steam (6x355ml)
From California, this is a classic hybrid beer. Lager yeasts are used in a brewing process traditionally associated with English bitter. This method originated in the gold rush era of the West coast of America. This beer is dominated by a rich caramel malt flavour, and then rounded off with subtle citrus tones. Try with Mexican cuisine.
UnderDog Atlantic Lager (6x330ml)
The Flying Dog brewery was originally set up as a brew pub in Denver, however due to their popularity, they relocated to their current site in Baltimore. This is a crisp, hop-driven lager with citrus flavours and a powerful hop bitterness. This is a perfect aperitif.
Einstok White Ale (6x330ml)
This is a Witbier, which literally translates as white beer. Most often brewed in Holland or Belgium, this example from Iceland follows the traditional method of including orange peel and coriander in the brewing process. The exceptionally pure Icelandic water gives this beer a real elegance and carries the citric and coriander notes.
Punk IPA, Brewdog 96x330ml)
Brewdog have certainly made a name for themselves in the British brewing industry, and the hype is most definitely justified! This IPA is twice hopped, which adds an extra layer of complexity. The palate is aromatic and tropical, with a lovely bitterness on the finish that adds another dimension. This beer is very versatile with food, or is equally good enjoyed on its own.
All of these beers are £12.99 unit price
OR buy ANY 4 packs of the above and save £12= £9.99
Wine of the Week - McManis Family Vineyards Viognier 2011/1Date published: 08/11/13
A great wine from one of California's established winemakers. The winery is based in a perfect location that benefits from the surrounding farmlands and cooler temperatures. The climate suites the notoriously difficult to grow grape Viognier.
Aromas of tropical fruit and pleasant floral notes of honeysuckle. On the palate immensely aromatic, with a long lingering finish.
Drink on its own or a perfect match with roasted pork belly glazed with honey.
£11.24 single bottle
£8.99 with our 20% off Californian wines.
New Sherry Range-Pedro's Arrives!Date published: 25/10/13
After much anticipation, our new range of Sherries has arrived in store. We have 4 brand new wines available now.
Fino is a bone dry Sherry which is aged under a protective layer of 'flor' (yeast cells) to prevent oxidation. The intense flor character is complemented by almond and fresh green apple notes. Fino is best enjoyed chilled with tapas, especially olives, smoked ham and shellfish, as well as Asian cuisine.
This Amontillado has a delicate and subtle bouquet, with the finesse of the Fino, but with added notes of hazelnut from the oxidative ageing. this is a great match with hard cheeses, Japanese cuisine and wild mushroom dishes.
Oloroso is a rich style of sherry that is aged oxidatively for a substantial amoutn of time, dark in colour with notes of toasted walnuts and bitter coffee. This a great match for game, casseroles and paella.
Pedro's Palo Cortado
Palo Cortado is a rare style of Sherry, somewhere between Amontillado and Oloroso in style. It is best enjoyed with hard cheeses, smoked hams or with a roast or pot roast.
All of these will be available to taste the weekend of 26th/27th Oct
Wine of the Week Date published: 09/10/13
Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009, Stellenbosch
An outstanding wine from one of South Africa's established winemakers. Vergelegen meaning “situated far away” has proven to be in the forefront of producing the best wines.
Positive reviews, that have “impressed” many including a section in the Observer which highlights how great this Bordeaux Blend is (David Williams, The Observer, 17th March 2013).
On the nose you can detect strong aromas of ripe berries and plums, with a rich meaty blackcurrant fruit flavour and a complex spicy finish.
Perfect match with a tomato based dish, like pasta or pizza.
£11.24 single bottle
£8.99 with our 20% off South African wine offer.
Fine Wine Weekend 28/09: St Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon BlancDate published: 28/09/13
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.
£15.99 when you buy 2 or more!
Fine Wine Weekend 14/09: Beaune 1er Cru, Louis JadotDate published: 14/09/13This weekend we are opening another wine that features in our fine wine offer.Jadot Beaune 1er Cru£25 Buy 2 save £10 = £20INTRODUCTION: One of the hardest grape varieties to grow, as anything that can go wrong usually does for Pinot Noir, the rewards of great Pinot are well worth the effort on behalf of the winemaker. The thin skin of Pinot results in lighter wines than most Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines, reflecting the terrior of the region it was grown in and the style of the vintner more than any other variety. The spiritual home of Pinot Noir is in Burgundy, where vintners have been producing wines from ever decreasing vineyard holdings for many centuries. The Louis Jadot estate was built up around the ownership of the Clos de Ursules vineyard in Beaune, which has been in the family since 1826. This was before the Domaine was founded and Maison Louis Jadot started acting as a négociant in 1859. Over time Jadot have built substantial holdings in both the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.FACTS: There are no Grand Cru sites in the 450ha appellation of Beaune, but 28 Premier Cru which account for 322ha. The wine is a blend of grapes grown across many of the Premier Crus sites, combining the more powerful and darker flavours from the northern part of the appellation and the softer, more silky characters from the southern end. The wine making philosophy endeavours to be as simple and true to the region as possible, so that the wines are able to express the terrior of the vineyards. Very little done in the winery as winemaker Jacques Lardière, who has been making the wines since 1970, believes this removes the vineyard's character and shrouds the purity of the fruit.TASTING NOTE: Red and black cherries, hints of savoury spices and leather, leads to a warm and vibrant body of sweet fruits, and soft tannins.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.
Fine Wine Weekend 7th SeptDate published: 07/09/13This weekend we are opening two great white wines from two great producers.
Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011, Marlborough
Cloudy Bay may be a cult wine, however there is no denying the quality of this top class Chardonnay. The Cloudy Bay vineyards are located in the Marlborough region where the cool climate, combined with lots of sunshine, provides the perfect growing conditions for this grape. Here the vines are able to produce intensely flavoured fruit with distinctive varietal character.
This wine has a complex nose that ranges from figs and lemon butter to more savoury elements of fresh hay with hints of butterscotch. The palate is substantial and rounded with toasty complexity and a long finish.
£27.50 Buy 2 save £15 £20.00
Jermann Pinot Grigio 2012, Fruili
Founded by Anton Jermann in 1881, the estatehas been family run ever since. Present winemaker Silvio Jermann took over in the 1970s and has made his mark making wines that are atypical of the region. This Pinot Grigio is no exception and is a world away from the Italian norm, with intense and persistent aromas, and a velvety, full-bodied feel on the palate. It ruly is a stunning match for grilled seafood, wild mushrooms and rich, creamy pasta dishes.
£23.00 Buy 2 save £10 £18.00 (This wine is included on the buy any 2 selected fine wine deal)
Success at Decanter World WIne AwardsDate published: 05/09/13
Last night was a great success for Majestic at the Decanter World Wine Awards. For the fifth consecutive year we were voted 'Best National Wine Merchant' By Decanter readers. They were especially impressed by our range of quality, good value wines, and, of course, our 'charming and efficient service'. This is another great accolade for Majestic and we are all very proud.
Furthermore the Commanderie de Peyrassol Rose won 'International Trophy for Best Rose under £15' This was just one of 32 International Trophies awarded from over 14,000 entries. This wine is sold exclusively by Majestic within the uk.
New this Autumn: 'The Magic of Fine Wine' TastingsDate published: 04/09/13
In our to showcase our fantastic 'Buy any 2 selected Fine Wines save £10' offer, every weekend in September and October we'll be opening one of the excellent wines included in the offer. It's a great chance to try something new and explore some interesting varieties, regions and producers.
The wines we will be tasting are as follows:
6/7 September: Jermann Pinot Grigio
13/14 September: Beaune Premier Cru, Louis Jadot
20/21 September: Coney Pinot Noir, New Zealand
4/5 October: Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume, Seguinot-Bordet
11/12 October: Angel's Share Shiraz, Australia
18/19 October: Chateau Senejac, Bordeaux
25/26 October Amarone Negrar
Feel free to pop in on the dates shown and have a taste with us.
Wine of the week: Caixas AlbarinoDate published: 10/08/13
If you like aromatic, dry whites, like New Zealand but would like to try something a little different, we think this Spanish white is really worth a try at only £6.99 on a multi-buy. It's listed in Decanter's top 25 wines under £25 so competes with a huge range of wines.
This fashionable Albarino grape is grown in the north west of Spain, just above Portugal, in a region called Rias Baixas. This area is becoming increasingly popular for this crisp, fresh style of white, due to its cooler climate. Martin Codax is the most famous producer of this style.
A light, refreshing wine, displaying peachy aromas on the nose, with both citrus and stone fruit characteristics coming through on the palate. A great alternative to viognier, with more weight and a crisp, fresh finish.
£6.99 when you buy 2
£9.99 single bottle price
Wine of the Week: GiesenDate published: 03/08/13
Giesen Sauvignon Blanc
This vibrant Sauvignon comes from the Giesen Winery in New Zealand with the vineyards situated on the Wairau plains of Marlborough. It's a family business with the vineyards run by the three Giesen brothers who have built it into an internationally recognised company. Marlborough is the ideal area for producing Sauvignon Blanc, it's situated in the northern part of New Zealand's South Island. It's cool climate paired with plenty of sunshine mean the grapes ripen very slowly and over a long period of time, helping produce those intense fruit flavours that we all love. The cool nights preserve the acidity giving the wines that mouthwatering crisp finish.
The nose displays clear tropical aromas, with noticeable lime and lemon grass. The palate presents plenty of citrus, with hints of gooseberry and a very crisp acidity. This wine is perfect for drinking now, its youthfulness allows you to enjoy the fresh fruity flavours at their best. Easily enjoyed on its own while sitting in the garden in the sunshine, or alternatively with a seafood risotto or paella.
£5.99 when you buy any two New Zealand wines
£7.49 single bottle price
Great Beer from across the Midlands Now in Stock!Date published: 25/07/13
Here in the Midlands we are in the fortunate position of having some great breweries around us, all producing fantastic beers. We now have a selection in store.
Purity Brewery is based in Warwickshire and we stock their 3 award winning ales, Pure Gold, Mad Goose and Pure UBU. (Available in 8x500ml packs)
Find out more at www.puritybrewing.com
A new addition to our range, Hopping Mad Brewery are based in Onley, Buckinghamshire and we stock a selection of their 5 litre mini kegs. We currently have Balmy Days, Brainstorm and Patriot available.
Find out moe at ww.hoppingmad.com
Last, but most certainly not least, we now stock beers from local favourite, Everards. Currently available are Tiger and Original Premium (available in 8x500ml packs)
Find out more at www.everards.co.uk
Wine of the Week: Fleurie Flower Label 2011, Georges DubouefDate published: 25/07/13
Of the 10 crus of Beaujolais, Fleurie is considered to be the most elegant style. This classic example, from 'King of Beaujolais' Georges Duboeuf, shows just why this cru is so sought after.
Showing typical Fleurie characteristics of fresh red fruits, a fragrant, floral perfume and silky texture. The light body and smooth tannins make this the ideal summer red.
Serve at cellar temperature with a light summer lunch, it's particularly good with cold cuts.
Buy any 2 Beaujolais wines save 20%
International Wine Challenge 2013Date published: 24/07/13
At the International Wine Challenge Awards last Thursday, Majestic picked up High Street Chain of the Year and Wine Educator of the Year.
This is the ninth year in a row that we have won High Street Chain of the Year! The judges said: “Majestic Wine continues to pull off the great double achievement of making money while providing great training for its staff' and said they were 'particularly impressed by how its staff are involved in direct communication with customers through social media”.
Regarding the Wine Educator of the Year award, which encompassed both staff and customer education, the judges said “Majestic Wine continues to be motivated by passion in its execution and dedication to education. Single minded and continuous in its strategy to inform the consumer to drink better wine. Its in-store wine courses have been a great success”.
New for Autumn: Free Spotlight Tastings '6 wines in 30 minutesDate published: 24/07/13
This Autumn we will be continuing our Saturday tasting tutuorials, with a slightly fresher look. Each of the Saturdays there will be two sessions (midday and 3pm) where we will explore a particular theme by tasting at least 6 different wines related to the topic. These sessions should last about half an hour and are completely free of charge.
Furthermore, numbers are limited so please get in touch ASAP if you'd like to attend any of the tastings.
Saturday 7th September: Chardonnay and its influence on international styles
Saturday 14th September: Spain: Rioja and beyond
Saturday 21st September: Sauvignon Blanc and interesting alternatives
Saturday 28th September Syrah/Shiraz and its influence on international styles
Wines of Loire & BeaujolaisDate published: 13/06/13
The Loire Valley and Beaujolais region produce some of the very best wines for summer drinking. On a warm day there's nothing quite like a cool, crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc or, if you prefer a red, a smooth, fruit-laden Beaujolais.
The best known areas of the Loire Valley are Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume and both produce wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Sancerre, with its chalky, stony soil, produces wines with a distinctive herbaceous character and crisp acidity. Pouilly-Fume, with its flintier soil, produces wines that show a more marked smoky minerality. Other neighbouring areas, such as Coteaux de Giennois or Menetou-Salon, with its Kimmeridgian clay soils as found in Chablis, provide good value alternatives to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. However, it's not all about Sauvignon. For example, Vouvray is renowned for its wines produced from Chenin Blanc. These versatile wines cover a range of styles, from dry to lusciously sweet, and even sparkling. The best examples can age for many years, developing a complex, honeyed quality with time. Another star of the region is Muscadet, or the often better quality, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine sur lie. Made from Melon de Bourgogne, these wines are crisp and dry and often have attractive green apple or grassy aromas. They make excellent partners to an array of summer dishes, particularly shellfish. It's not all about white wines though, the region also produces some excellent elegant roses and silky reds from Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc which are well worth seeking out.
If you prefer a red, Beaujolais is renowned for its fragrant wines, full of raspberry and cherry fruit flavours and very little tannin. The ten crus of Beaujolais each have their own distinct personality; ranging from elegant, silky wines to be consumed young, such as Fleurie, to those that need several years to reach their full potential, like Morgon or Moulin-A-Vent. These wines can be served slightly chilled and make a perfect partner for all types of charcuterie and cold cuts.
Revised Opening HoursDate published: 28/03/13
Please note that as of the 1st April we will be operating the following opening hours:
Thurs & Fri 10am-8pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 10-5pm
C'est dure la vie: Laurent-Perrier Visit 7th/8th Feb 2013Date published: 15/02/13
It's a tough life working in the wine industry. That is until an opportunity presents itself to go and pay a little visit to one of our suppliers. Last week I was lucky enough, along with 5 other Majestic employees, to be invited to spend 2 days in Champagne with Laurent-Perrier tasting their range and learning about their impressive history.
We took the Eurostar to Paris, of course this gave us ample time to taste some Champagne on the way. We started by trying the Laurent Perrier Brut NV, out of magnum. The house style of LP is fresher and lighter than some others, however, it has great balance. We then went on to the Rosé, again in magnum (this was to be a recurring theme), it was my first time trying the pink version and I have to say it was lovely. I was ready to dismiss it, but it's freshness and well balanced fruit won me over. After arriving in Paris we took a train to Reims and checked into our hotel.
The evening would prove to be one of the most memorable dining experiences I've had in a long time (and I eat A LOT). After a couple more magnums in the hotel bar, we meandered slowly (this was because I was wearing heels and not due to the Champagne) to a local restaurant. Here, at the recommendation of our guide Ashley from LP, we tried the Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut with some oysters. I'd never had oysters before but being a fan of seafood I decided to wade in. The Ultra Brut is only made in very ripe vintages and has no dosage added. It is therefore very dry and refreshing in style, although the ripeness of the base grapes allows it to reach the perfect balance. It was an absolutely sublime match with our oysters, perfectly complimenting the saltiness. As I was well into my voyage of discovery I decided to try something else new for my main course (I hadn't quite been brave enough to go with the pigs trotters for starter) and chose sweetbreads with truffle mash and armagnac sauce. It was a decadent main but the 2002 Vintage LP had enough richness and body to not be overwhelmed, and indeed went very well with the succulent sweetbreads. I must just mention my dessert as I'm still thinking about it a week later (not that I'm in any way obsessed with food). Caramac infused creme caramel with salted caramel ice cream. I don't need to say anymore. A couple more bottles in a local bar, soaking up the culture and practising my awful French, and then back for a well earned rest.
The next day we had a tour of Laurent-Perrier HQ. After driving through scenic vineyards we arrived at Tours-sur-Marne for a guided tour of the labyrinthine cellars and winery with the Brand Ambassador, Frédérique. She also explained the history of Laurent-Perrier and the philosophy behind their style. We also had the chance to try a line up of LP Champagnes next to each other. Starting with the Ultra Brut, the Brut non vintage, the 2004 vintage and then finally the piéce de resistance (and another first for me) their prestige cuvee, Grand Siecle. The LP take on a prestige cuvee is a little different to most other Champagne houses, as rather than being a vintage wine, the Grand Siecle is a blend of 3 different vintages, all which have been judged to be exceptional. It is also only made from grand cru vineyards. When you consider that it costs LP over €6 per kilo of grand cru grapes, and it takes 1.3kg to make a bottle of Champagne, you can begin to understand why the good stuff is so expensive! The Grand Siecle was fantastic, it really suited my palate as I much prefer freshness and balance over the richer, more powerful styles of Champagne.
After the tasting and tour there was just the small matter of lunch. Actually, it was no small matter, we were en France after all. So after escargots, foie gras (2 different ways), venison and dessert, plus enough bread to feed the 5000 and a bit more Laurent-Perrier Vintage (naturallement) we made our weary way home, full of good French food and warm hospitality.
Our minimum puchase for delivery is now just 6 bottles!Date published: 12/06/12
From today (Tues 6th June) the minimum purchase for delivery has been reduced to 6 bottles. Furthermore, if you spend at least £40 we will still deliver it absolutely free of charge. (A delivery fee of £5 applies to orders under £40) It's now even easier to top up your wine rack, so order today online at www.majestic.co.uk or phone us on 01858 431320. With this reduction it's the perfect opportunity to try something new without having to buy 12 bottles, indeed you don't even need to leave the comfort of your armchair. Why not have a look at the Majestic website and check out our brand new range of 6 bottle Explorer cases, all great value and all offering the chance to discover something new and exciting.
Marvellous MarlboroughDate published: 17/04/12
Our range of wines from the Marlborough region of New Zealand are consistently among our most popular. With their intense fruit characteristics they are instantly recognisable and highly regarded. I thought I'd take the opportunity, particularly as we have some fantastic Marlborough Sauvignons on offer, to explain why this region receives such attention and why it produces such unique wines.
The first vines were planted by Montana (now Brancott Estate) in 1973, although the region really came to prominence when Cloudy Bay arrived in 1985. Marlborough, New Zealand's largest wine region, is situated at the north eastern tip of the South Island and its' success stems mainly from it's free draining, stony soils and near perfect climate. The region is sheltered from cold southerly winds by the Inland Kaikoura Range, and from northeasterly winds by the North Island. Marlborough does not have a warm climate by any stretch, however it is able to slowly ripen grapes (often over a period of a week or two) to a near perfect state due to its' long sunny days and a long growing season. Additionally, the cool nights help to preserve the acidity in the grapes and lock in the fresh, fruit flavours.This unique combination of factors produces fresh, fruit driven wines with intense, concentrated flavours and crisp acidity.
Marlborough's reputation was built on its distinctive Sauvignon Blancs, however, today the region has much success with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatic varieties, such as Riesling.
Majestic Commercial: Did you know that...Date published: 15/04/12
Majestic Wine may be predominantly known as a retailer, however did you know that we also have a commercial department offering a full and comprehensive service to on trade businesses? We believe in the personal touch and so every business that we work with has their own personal account manager to ensure that everything runs smoothly. We also have a list of over 40 wines that are exclusively available to our commercial customers, thus ensuring there is no overlap with our retail side. Additionally, with our specialist expertise we can help you to draw up a professional list of quality wines. We can also offer full staff training to all of our on trade clients in order to build confidence and strengthen your wine offering. This is in addition to all of the services that we are renowned for, most notably our free 7 day a week delivery (often at short notice), our wide choice of wines, beers and spirits and our outstanding customer service.
If you would like to discuss our commercial offering in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the store on 01858 431320 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
All you ever needed to know about Malbec!Date published: 12/04/12
Malbec may originally hail from the South West of France, however as its popularity in its birthplace declines it has been given a new lease of life by its success in Argentina.
In France is is maybe best known as a constituent in Bordeaux blends, and was particularly popular pre 1956 (when the region was hit by severe frosts). Today Malbec is still permitted in most appellations, but is most prominent in Bourg, Blaye and Entre-Deux-Mers, although even here it is generally being replaced by more durable varieties. It does however, still form the backbone of the so-called 'black wine' of Cahors, here producing concentrated and robust wines that certainly live up to their name. It is theoretically allowed in other South West Appellations, such as Bergerac, Buzet, Cotes de Duras and Fronton, although is usually only used as a minor component in blends.
As plantings decrease in France, this variety has established itself firmly in South America and earned a worldwide reputation for quality red wines. In Argentina, the world's fifth biggest wine producing country, it is the most widely planted red variety. Here it produces wines that are lusher, riper and more rounded than their often rustic French counterparts. In the high altitude vineyards of Argentina Malbec really thrives, the cooler conditions ensure that the grapes can be left longer to ripen without building up excessively high alcohol levels. The drier climate also helps as Malbec is notoriously prone to downy mildew and rot. As Argentina strives to assert itself as a major wine producing country (and leave far behind its reputation for quantity over quality) Malbec is definitely the star of the show.
10 facts about Argentinian Wine Date published: 29/02/12
In celebration of our Wines of Argentina tasting week, here's a few facts to astound your friends with!
- Argentina is the world's fifth biggest wine producer
- Mendoza is the largest wine-producing region in Argentina and accounts for roughly 80% of the country's total wine production
- Argentina contains the greatest concentration of high-altitude vineyards in the world
- Donald Hess has planted a vineyard at 3000m (In Europe 480m is considered the upper limit for ripening!)
- Almost all vines in Argentina are ungrafted due to Phylloxera's limited impact there
- The Champagne houses Moet, Mumm, Deutz and Piper-Heidsieck have all invested in Argentina
- While it may not be a surprise that Bordeaux grape Malbec is the widest planted red variety...
- ...In 2nd place is the lesser known Bonarda.
- Bordelais winemaker Michel Rolland acts as a consultant to many Argentinian wineries and has done much to champion Malbec. His holdings in Argentina include Val de Flores, Clos de los Siete and Yacochuya
- The pioneering Nicolas Catena was 'Decanter Man of the Year' in 2009
My Favourite Wine Regions of SpainDate published: 12/02/12
Spanish winemaking has improved dramatically in the last few years. Modern wine makers using modern methods and a forward-thinking approach have revolutionised the country's wines. Areas that have long been neglected have been revitilised, often using old vines and indigenous grapes, although international varieties are increasing in prominence in some areas. It's not all about Rioja, and it's not all about using as much oak as possible. A new outlook has emerged, with intensity and purity of fruit at the forefront, combined with a renewed emphasis on 'Terroir' (I don't like using the word but it somehow encapsulates everything that I would like to say). Here's a quick guide to a few of my favourites, plus suggestions of wines to try that illustrate perfectly this new attitude.
Reina Maria Cristina Blanc de Noirs 2008, Codorníu
- Production centre of traditional method sparkling wine
- Unlike any other Spanish DO, the Cava denominación is not restricted to a single delimited area. Grapes can be grown in a prescribed list of municipalities in Cataluña, Valencia, Aragon, Navarra, Rioja and the Basque country
- 95% of Cava is made in Cataluña, mostly around San Sadurni de Noya
- Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-Lo are the main grapes used, however international varieties, particularly Chardonnay are growing in popularity-pioneered by Codorniu
- Cava industry invented girasol or gyropalette, widely used in Champagne for remuage or riddling process
Vega de la Reina Rueda 2010, Marques de la Concordia
- White wine zone named after the town in Castilla y Leon
- Awarded DO status in 1980 (Riscal saw the potential in the 1970's and established a modern winery
- Modern Rueda: light, fruity dry white. May be made from a blend of Macabeo and Verdejo (latter accounting for at least 50%) or may be Sauv Blanc (introduced by Riscal in the 80's)
- Some Tempranillo grown, red wines admitted to DO in 2002, although many white wine producers fought to keep it white only
- Red is likely to grow in importance due to success of Toro and Ribera del duero
Albariño 2010, Martin Codax
- Leading DO wine zone in Galicia, produces sought after white from Albariño
- 12 different varieties are allowed, although Albariño accounts for 90% of vineyard area
- DO is spread along 5 geographically separate sub zones that stretch along 48km of the Galician coast and river valleys
- The cool, damp maritime climate and humid conditions mean that the vintage is very important
Pizarras de Otero 2010
- Predominantly red DO in mountains between Galicia and The Meseta
- Cooling maritime influence but warmer than Galicia
- Key grape is Mencía, once thought only able to make thin dilute wines
- In a similar situation to Priorat, a group of young wine makers have taken advantage of old vines grown on steep schist slopes, used better vineyard and winery techniques to produce more concentrated, aromatic and intensely fruity wines with naturally high acidity
Rioja Single Vineyard 2009, Ramón Bilbao
- First wine region to gain DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) status
- Region separated into 3 sub zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa
- Main grapes are Tempranillo,Garnacha, Mazuelo/Carignan and Graciano. Riscal also allowed to use small amount of Cab Sauv
- For whites, Viura (Macabeo), Malvasia, Verdejo. Also Sauv Blanc and Chard permitted
- Crianza: may not be sold until 3rd yr after vintage and spend at least 6 months in oak
- Reserva: from good vintages, may not be sold until 4th yr, spend at least 12 months in cask
- Gran Reserva: from outstanding vintages, may not be sold until 6th yr, min 2 yrs in oak
Ribera del Duero
Cardela Crianza 2008 , Bohórquez
- Predominantly red DO (small amount of rosé is made from Garnacha)
- Vineyards situated on highest part of the Meseta-up to 850m. The altitude mitigates the continental climate by ensuring cool night time temps
- Dominant grape is Tempranillo-local clone Tinto Fino- more thick skinned than Rioja
- Combination of sun and wide diurnal range means that the grapes ripen with high levels of pigment in their skins, while acidity and fruit aromas are retained throughout ripening
- Modern style of winemaking aims to accentuate these characteristics, also spend less time in oak and more use of French rather than American oak
Vega Sindoa Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2007
- Once synonymous with rosé made from Garnacha, this style now accounts for about 25% of production.
- Very forward thinking region and has Spain's most advanced research station (EVENA) This has contributed to the move towards red wine production
- Tempranillo has become most widely planted grape, above Garnacha. Also significant plantings of Cab Sauv and Merlot
- White wine accounts for only 5% of output (Macabeo, Chardonnay and SB)
- Red accounts for 70% production. Often blended Rioja-style, or increasingly with international varieties. New oak used to add vanilla and sweet spice aromas.
Camins del Priorat 2010, Alvaro Palacios
- Situated in Cataluña, inland from Tarragona. One of only 2 regions with DOCa status
- Production methods had barely altered since 12th Century and then in 1990's revolution took place, by mid 2000's 50 Bodegas
- One of few first class wines to be made from Garnacha and unfashionable Carignan. Although increasing use of international varieties eg. Cab Sauv
- Poor stony soils, old vines and low yields together with the hot Mediterranean sun produce a wine of incredible intensity
- Mechanization almost impossible and many steeply terraced small holdings had been abandoned as population moved inland . However, Priorat is slowly reviving vineyards
Majestic: The Wedding SpecialistsDate published: 16/01/12
Here at Majestic we have a lot of experience in organising wedding drinks. Our experienced staff can offer advice on everything from quantities to food matching, all tailored to your budget and tastes. We can provide everything from welcome drinks, bubbles for the toast, wines for your meal and beers and spirits for your evening bar. We also offer a wealth of services to ensure that your special day goes without a hitch. We can provide glasses, chiller bins and ice, plus our convenient, free delivery service means that you have one less thing to worry about. We even offer sale or return, meaning that you can bring back what you don't use, it's just another little thing that makes your life so much easier.
If you would like to talk to us about your specific requirements, please feel free to drop by the shop, call us on 01858 431320 or email email@example.com.
Majestic Online ExclusivesDate published: 14/01/12
We may be growing as a company and opening ever more branches up and down the country, however we can still source one-off limited parcels of more unusual and hard to find wines. Obviously, we are not able to get these special products into every store, and so, in order that we can distribute these wines as fairly as possible, we often sell them exclusively through our website (www.majestic.co.uk). This month alone (Jan 2012) we have offered our customers 2 online exclusives. Firstly, the Brancott Estate R Sauvignon Gris 2010, winner of the International Wine Challenge Sauvignon Gris trophy and a Majestic UK exclusive! Secondly, we have a fantastic parcel of German Riesling from renowned producer Weingut Gottelmann. This offer consists of two 2006 Spatleses and a 2006 Auslese, also there is the option to purchase a mixed case of all 3 wines. There are currently stocks left of both offers, however they are sure to sell very quickly so don't delay if you're at all interested.
Remember that these wines are ONLY available via the website, and as they require special distribution, may take a little longer to deliver than normal.
As well as checking our website for details, it's worth knowing that email subscribers will be the first to be notified of any special offers, promotions and one off parcels. If you don't want to miss out, please make sure we have an up to date email address for you (and don't worry-we NEVER pass on your details to third parties)
French Classics Wine TastingDate published: 15/11/11
I was recently lucky enough to attend a 'French Classics' wine tasting where I got to sample some outstanding wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. It was a great opportunity to try some truly great wines. My favourite white was the Chassagne Montrachet, and at £2, this stunning wine may well make it onto my Christmas dinner table! As for the reds, I'm definitely a Bordeaux fan, both the Clos de Marquis and the Grand Puy Lacoste were impressive, although at £45 and £50 respectively, I may well have to save up before trying these greats again!
Here are all the wines we sampled:
Chablis Premier Cru 'Mont de Milieu' 2009, Domaine Pinson
A long-established domaine bottler who hand-harvests. They own 4.75 hectares of vines in Milieu, producing a classic dry, steely chablis which has a slight richness. The Pinson family make wines which are worthy of ageing for 4-5 years.
Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 'Les Vergers' 2008, Fontaine-Gagnard
Richard Fontaine-Gagnard switched careers from Jet Engine Technician to winemaker. Since this decision in 1985, he has steadily been improving the quality of both his red and white wines. He refuses to use new oak to age his Chassagne, insisting that 'it does not marry well'. The vergers vineyard is only 0.34 hectares in size, so small but consistent production is relied upon.
Savigny Premier Cru 'La Bataillere aux Vergelesses' Albert Morot, 2006
'Old vines, classic methods, and low yields- with the owner Mademoiselle Choppin, present at every stage, and herself working in the vines. Its a simple formula for success'. Only 1.82 hectares of vines for this particular wine, which is then aged in both new and old oak for sixteen months.
Chateau Moulinet-Lasserre 2002, Pomerol
The second wine of Clos Rene, the site consists of 11 hectares and produces 5,500 cases of both Clos Rene and Moulinet-Lasserre combined. Pierre Lasserre is the fourth member of his family to own Clos Rene and has maintained and improved his good reputation for consistency. Pierre’s grandson now oversees the general running of the winery. 20% new wood is used during maturation.
Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 1995, St Estephe, Cru Bourgeois
Owned by Jean Michel Cazes, the site sits on 30 hectares and produces 12,500 cases per year. They grow 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The Cazes Family (of Lynch-Bages) acquired the winery in 1930, and have proved their gift for winemaking at both sites. Pre-1981 the wines were made and matured at Lynch-Bages, but since then the winery has been modernized and extended so all production and ageing takes place on site at Pez. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel, and then the wine is aged in cask for 12-15 months before bottling. No new oak is used.
Clos du Marquis 2004, St Julien
The second wine of Chateau Leoville Las Cases, part of a site of 85 hectares which produces 30,000 cases per year. Clos du Marquis has been in continuous existence for longer than most second wines – since 1902. It has always been a good wine, offering good value, but in latter vintages has been even more impressive. Since a third wine of Leoville Las Cases has been made (Domaine de Bigarnon), the quality of Clos du Marquis has shot up, gaining in richness and depth of flavour.
Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2002, Pauillac
A 45 hectare site, owned by the Borie family, and producing 12,000 cases per year. In style and quality Grand Puy Lacoste belongs to the same category as Batailley – it is full-bodied and typically Pauillac – tough at first, but deepens with time.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos de l'Oratoire, 2005
The CNDP appellation extends over 3000 hectares of relatively flat vineyards, which are characterized by their large flat pebbles - galets – which retain heat and speed up the ripening process of the low-lying grapes. Clos de l'Oratoire was one of the first CNDP domaines to estate-bottle their wines, and has a record of producing sumptuous wines in the past. With the introduction of new vinification techniques the style has changed somewhat, and has taken a few years to establish itself. However, since the 1998 vintage, they seem to be back on track.
Chateau La Rame Traditionelle 2009, Sainte Croix du Mont
A blend of Semillon (75%) and Sauvignon Blanc (25%), aged in one-third new oak barrels for two years. Yves Armand has been running the estate since 1985, the average age of the vines is fifty and yields rarely exceed thirty hl/ha. Yves has been experimenting with varying canopy management, and has also used cryo-extraction. St Croix du Mont offers an excellent, and much better value option to Sauternes, although the richness and acidity do not make it quite so age-worthy.
The Beauty of BollingerDate published: 19/09/11
If ever there was a Champagne house to be adored, Bollinger is it! As we enter the final quarter of the year I'm definitely craving bubbles and Bollinger have some great ones to choose from.
Bollinger produce fantastic quality wines based predominantly on Pinot Noir grapes. The house sits in Ay near Reims and was founded in 1829 by Jacques Joseph Placide Bollinger, Amiral Comte Athanase Louis Emmanuel de Villermont and Paul Joseph Renaudin. Back then the joint venture was known as “Champagne Renaudin, Bollinger & Cie”. In 1865 they started shipping low dosage Champagne over to Britain. As most Champagne being imported was actually sweet this was rather unusual at the time.
Elizabeth Law 'Lily' Bollinger (1899-1977) was the widow of Jacques Bollinger's nephew (also named Jacques) and she was left in charge of the family business. She oversaw the family vineyards on foot and bicycle for over 40 years. She also endured the 1944 German bombardment of Ay while sleeping in the Bollinger cellars. During her tenure, Lily took the vineyard holdings to 70% of production needs, which is particularly high, contributing largeley to the quality and consistency of their sublime wines. Lily believed that nothing should change the traditional Bollinger style which is achieved with a backbone of Pinot Noir from the Ay vineyards and a degree of barrel fermentation which is highly unusual for sparkling wine. This distinctive style is also achieved via tirage in bottles stoppered, unusually, with corks instead of crown caps, often for a decade or more.
“I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty.”
Madame Lily Bollinger
The style of Bollinger which is proving very popular at the moment is their RD or 'Recently Disgorged' Champagne – this is essentially Grande Année aged for a minimum of 8 years, showing marked autolysis and yeasty flavours as a result.
The rarest wine in Bollinger's portfolio is the Vieilles Vignes Françaises which is a Blanc de Noirs (white wine from black grapes) made exclusively from grapes grown on ungrafted Pinot Noir vines situated behind Bollinger headquarters. These vines have never suffered from phylloxera hence why they are ungrafted.
Bollinger's style is uniquely that of a family house which has, since 1829, preserved its independence whilst developing some of the finest vineyard holdings in Champagne. This has enabled Bollinger to maintain the unique blending method which is the basis of an inimitable identity. This philosophy was reinforced in 1992 by the publication of the Bollinger Charter of Ethics and Quality which is a permanent guarantee of its commitments to quality and consistency.
Jancis Robinson suggests buying Grande Année as opposed to RD and ageing it yourself, as she prefers a lower degree of yeast contact.
Now for some tasting notes! When I first tried the Bollinger NV Special Cuvée I was rather taken aback by how heavy, yeasty, bready and altogether austere this Champagne was. However in hindsight I tried this at the end of a full day's tasting, and thus the fruitier, gentler Prosecco that I tried alongside it was bound to be much more favourable. Having revisited this classic style I now find it surprisingly gentle, particularly as my taste in Champagne has developed towards the richer styles. The Special Cuvée is lightly infused with subtle flavours of pears and brioche, which is in keeping with the Bollinger tradition of wines with delicacy, body and elegance. Should you find the Special Cuvée too abrasive, try it in magnums which are always fruitier.
Bollinger Grande Année for me has been consistently outstanding (having tried the 2000 vintage twice and the 2002 vintage once) and demonstrates a much richer and developed side of the Bollinger spectrum. I first tried it last Christmas and was blown away by it's deep stewed apple and pastry notes – essentially apple strudel in dry sparkling form – to die for! (and not just because James Bond famously drinks it!).
Finally Bollinger NV Rosé – wow! More of a terracotta colour than actually pink this sumptuous rosé tastes like rhubarb compote, tart green and red apples with subtle pear and croissant notes. My favourite rose Champagne (if not my favourite Champagne altogether!) Bollinger is the first thing I reach for come every special occasion or celebration and is the absolute benchmark for quality Champagne.
Bollinger also have a majority stake in the Saumur house Langlois Chateau, and more recently acquired a minority stake of Delamain of Cognac. They also own Chanson of Burgundy/Beaujolais, and own 40% of Petaluma in South Australia. The two have a joint venture in Tapanappa, Wrattonbully in South Australia. They have also bought the neighbouring house of Ayala.
Bollinger is truly a house par excellence and delivers consistently outstanding wines with true hallmarks of quality. Next on my list are Bollinger RD (recently disgorged), and Grande Année Rosé. In the meantime I'll keep looking for excuses to crack open the bubbly! Search for Bollinger on the Majestic website or pop into store to see the current offers. For now – Santé!
Keeping You in the LoopDate published: 03/08/11
Here at Majestic Wine we pride ourselves on our high standards of customer service. We enjoy getting to know our customers and sharing our passion and insider wine knowledge with them. One way we can do this is by keeping you informed of when your favourite wine is in stock (helpful if it's a sought after rarity) or on a very good offer. Likewise, if there's a particular region or style of wine that excites you, please tell us and we can let you know when a product arrives in store that we think you'd like. We also run various tasting events throughout the year so we can let you know what is going on and when.
We regularly update our store webpage with news and events, but if you would like more personalised information, please leave us with your email address or a contact number and we can keep you in the loop. Alternatively, for the latest store news and opinion you can follow us on twitter: @majesticmkh
The Majestic Fine Wine PlanDate published: 23/07/11
The world of Fine Wine can often appear intimidating from the outside. Many of our customers appreciate drinking great wine and would love to build up a fine wine collection, however, it can difficult knowing where to start. Luckily, through our partnership with Lay and Wheeler, we have created the Majestic Wine Fine Wine Plan. Not only is this plan the most affordable way to build up your own cellar (min. monthly direct debit £50), but you'll be guided through every part of the process, from choosing the perfect wine to storing your bottles.
The main benefits of the plan are:
- A free 6 bottle case of Croix de Beaucaillou 2009 worth £150 when you suscribe to a monthly direct debit of £100 or more
- Dedicated team of Fine Wine specialists to help you build up a great collection to drink in the future
- Fine Wine Plan Advance-purchase wine up to the value of 3 months suscription in addition to any funds that you have available in the plan
Furthermore, you'll also receive regular offers exclusive to members of the fine wine plan, plus free delivery when you withdraw a case of wine to drink. By paying £50 a month into the plan you'll receive £25 in Majestic vouchers at the end of the first year, you also have the flexibility to increase your monthly payments as and when you wish. All members of the Fine Wine plan have complete online access to their accounts, additionally members have access to one of the lowest rates available for professional storage. If you wish to take advantage of our bonded cellar facility, Vinotheque, it costs just £8.40 per 12 bottle case per year.
Please contact us today if you would like to discuss our Fine Wine Plan further.
Market Harborough Fine Wine Tasting EveningDate published: 01/05/11
Here at Majestic Wine Market Harborough we're a generous bunch, so I thought that I would report back on the wonderful wines that we sampled on behalf of our customers at our recent Fine Wine evening. After a couple of glasses of Taittinger NV we tried a pair of fantastic whites. Firstly, the Condrieu 'Le Grand Vallon' 2007, Francois Villard was a complex and aromatic wine, with intense stone fruit flavours and a floral, almost fragrant, character in the background. The second white we tried was a New World offering, Petaluma's Tiers Chardonnay 2007 , however, it was no ordinary Aussie Chardonnay and had a surprising Burgundian-style elegance to it. Being from the Piccadilly Valley, South Australia's coolest vineyard area, has resulted in a rich and well balanced wine, definitely the star white of the night. We then moved on to a contrasting duo of stunning reds. The Château Rouget 2001 was a great example of why Pomerol can be so highly rated. This wine still displayed plenty of upfront fruit character, however it also had layers of complexity and a rich finish. Although drinking well now, we all agreed that it has the capacity to develop further over the next 5-6 years. Then we moved onto the favourite of the night, Masi's Amarone Classico Costasera 2006. Masi has been run the same family for 6 generations so is a great representation of the traditional Venetian styles. This immensely full-bodied Amarone is rich and silky, with intense dried-fruit aromas and a long, complex finish. Robert Parker gave this wine 90 points and we definitely agreed with his opinion. We ended our rather enjoyable voyage of discovery on a deliciously sweet note. The Clos d'Yvigne Saussignac 2005 , is a luxurious wine with complex aromas of honey, apricots and butter. The richness continues on the palate and culminates in an extraordinarily long length. It made the perfect end to a perfect night!
The Alchemy of AlsaceDate published: 28/04/11
A wine-region that I find is frequently overlooked in-store is Alsace,
which is a real shame as it has so much to offer. With its continental
climate it boasts practically perfect conditions for wine-production
and has the stunning backdrops of both the river Rhine, and the Vosges
Mountains, which provide the vineyards with a protective rain shadow.
Owing to the sloped topography of the vineyards the grapes are
frequently hand-picked, which bestows upon the wines a greater sense
of tradition and intrinsic quality. It has changed hands between the
Germans and the French several times, and this collusion of cultures
is represented strongly in the ultimate wine styles. German wine is
frequently cast in a negative light, being seen as overly sweet and
mass-produced. Originally the Alsatian focus was also on quantity
rather than quality, however, it is perhaps the French influence that
has elevated the status of these unusual wines, which are now made
predominantly from noble grape varieties and largely sourced from
their 51 Grand Cru sites. Yields are strictly controlled to increase
the overall quality, and the fact that it is compulsory for these
wines to be presented in flute bottles contributes further to their
prestige, status, and formidable nature!
This orchestra of opulent varieties includes Riesling, Gewurztraminer,
Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir. Riesling is a delightfully expressive
variety which can vary enormously depending on where it is grown – the
Alsatian take on this classic variety results in an extremely balanced
wine dominated by citrus, lime and stone fruits, with an elite
minerality, honeyed complexity, and then the signature petrol aromas
we've come to expect in the more developed examples.
Gewurztraminer is an outstanding variety for a relative unknown, and
the name derives from the German word for spice (Gewurz), a quality
which is inherent in the taste of these wines, along with a subtle
blush colour caused by maceration with the pink grape skins. The spice
dances alongside richly perfumed rose petal and Turkish delight
flavours, making it ideal with aromatic Thai food, or indeed those
My first encounter with Alsatian wine was in a BYO Indian restaurant
in Cheltenham, and one of the wines we had was the Philippe Zinck
Grand Cru Eichberg Gewurztraminer, which looks like more of a mystical
potion than a bottle of wine. I had never heard of this style of wine
before, and couldn't even pronounce it! My piquant palate detected the
Turkish delight flavour almost instantly and when I remarked that the
unusual flavours were what I liked about the wine, my Manager at the
time said I should like it because it was a perfect match to the food
we were having. I've never been told why I should like a wine before,
but it certainly stuck with me, and so has the wine. I've laid one
down as it is drinking over the next five to seven years, and will get
more honeyed as it ages. This wine also has something of a fairytale
factor as the label is reminiscent of Rapunzel's golden hair cascading
down the side of her infamous tower. Totally magical!
Since my love affair with Gewurztraminer began I've also recognised my
taste for other styles with a spicy, prickly, yet off-dry edge to
them, which includes the Argentinian Torrontes, Loire Vouvray, and
various expressions of Riesling and Pinot Gris, all equally up to the
challenge of standing up to and complementing those more fiery foods.
Another Alsatian variety that benefits from extra ripening is Pinot
Gris. This may sound like a distant cousin of Pinot Grigio but it is
actually the same variety, just harvested slightly later. The exotic
elixir that derives from these grapes however does taste somewhat far
removed from the more delicate, floral Italian Pinot Grigios we all
know and love. More New World in style, Pinot Gris' are richer in
tropical fruit flavours, particularly stone fruits, which are all
knitted together with a nutty honeyed complexity that positively sings
when paired with spicy food. Examples of this wine range from dry to
medium dry and the blush grape skins infuse the wines with a tactile
prickly character which practically pirouettes on the palate.
It is no surprise then to learn that the native Alsatian cuisine is
rich, hearty, simple food; sausages, casseroles and game are among the
favourites, all richly seasoned and of course well-spiced. And in case
you have room for something sweet, Alsace also produce two types of
dessert-wine: Vendange-Tardive where grapes are literally late
harvested, resulting in shrivelled grapes with very concentrated sugar
levels, and Grains Nobles which requires the use of grapes that have
been affected by botrytis cinerea (noble rot). The best dessert wines
are the latter, and the perfect conditions for noble rot are where the
vine sits alongside a body of water, in a relatively warm climate.
This creates misty mornings and an effectively magical maritime
micro-climate. A symphony of sweet fruit flavours and that trademark
spicy scent result in wines that are nothing short of God's nectar!
In contrast, the reds of Alsace represent the softer side of
wine-making. As they are made using Pinot Noir they can be drunk
slightly chilled on their own, or with light salads, boasting a
crescendo of crisp cherry, red berry and raspberry flavours. Dry yet
fresh this take on a classic is authentically Alsatian yet perfectly
Pinot Noir. It seems that as game frequents their cuisine, it's not a
feature they've encouraged in the flavour of their red wine, which
remains fruity, refreshing, and downright irresistible!
There's always more to say about Alsace, and we're gradually adding
new, exciting producers to our range - Zind Humbrecht being the most
recent and stunning. Hopefully even with this brief look at my
favourite Alsatian grape varieties it is easy to see why this region
should be explored and adored rather than ignored, and that it simply
has so much to offer that one can't help but be seduced by the choir
of Alsatian flutes.
6 is the magic number!Date published: 23/02/11
Have you ever wondered why we have a minimum purchase? Or even what it entails?
Well essentially when Majestic first opened it's doors the minimum purchase was 12 bottles. Our unique selling point has always been that this is any mixture of Champagne, wine and spirits, which differs significantly from most case merchants. Since September 2009 this was reduced to a minimum purchase of 6 bottles, still any mix (minimum of 12 bottles online, free delivery as standard).
Beers, soft drinks etc. do not count towards your minimum of 6, and have to be bought by the unsplit case (unless otherwise stated). For example, you couldn't buy 3 cases of beer, and 3 bottles of wine, but you could buy 1 case of beer alongside 6 bottles of wine.
So now you know what's included, and what our minimum purchase is in-store and online, but why have it?
Basically, having a minimum purchase allows us to offer you all kinds of extra services, which set us apart from supermarkets and off-licences. These include:
- Try before you buy: Our increasingly popular tasting counter
- Introduction to Wine Course: An informal evening where our in-store teams can teach you the basics of wine
- Wine Walks: An introduction to new products in-store; unusual limited edition parcels of wine that you may not see for very long
- Summer and Winter tastings: Larger scale tastings where you get to talk to other customers, and staff members, and sample food from a Sardinian Delicatessen called Vallebona. These are useful again for introducing customers to new products.
- Knowledgeable Staff: We can completely sympathise if you've ever been frustrated in supermarkets when it comes to asking members of staff about their beers, wines and spirits, so our solution is to have our staff obtain industry recognised qualifications in the form of the WSET (Wines & Spirits Education Trust) Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wines and Spirits. They might not know everything but they'll do everything they can to help you so please take advantage of their expertise!
- Carry to car: Another thing that we offer to set us apart from supermarkets is our carry-to-car service - we want every part of your shopping experience at Majestic to be enjoyable, so the last thing we want is for you to injure yourself on your way to the car or have a box break on you! So we help that little bit more by always carrying your wine (and beer etc.) out to the car. We'll even pack it in the best way to prevent it rolling around the boot!
- The Customer List: This unusual feature of the Majestic offering allows us to find out what you've bought previously, so if you forget what you've had before, we can find it for you, and even alert you when your favourites are about to be on a great offer!
- Grape to Glass: Our quarterly magazine is a great way to let you know what initiatives are going on in Majestic, and to introduce you to new products and promotions.
- Extensive Range: At over 800 different wines, our range is nothing short of specialist - you can see now why our staff need to be so knowledgeable, to help you choose exactly the right wine for you or for a given occasion. And if we don't have the wine you want in stock, we'll do our very best to get it for you from another store.
- Event/Wedding/Party Planning Service. We know that organising events can be stressful, so at Majestic we can help you sort the wine; how much you need, food and wine matching, soft drinks and beers, we can even deliver it to a venue of your choice. We also offer FREE glass loan, chiller bins, ice buckets, ice etc. so let us sort the details, and you can sit back and have a great time.
- An overall more personal touch: Here at Majestic we enjoy spending time with our customers, wine is a passion we want to share with you, and we often find our customers have much to teach us in addition to our existing knowledge, so don't be afraid to talk to us, we're here to help you in every way we can.
You're always on the list at Majestic...Date published: 23/02/11
Have you ever wondered what the customer list at Majestic is for?
Firstly it is not so we can bombard you with emails and pass your details onto third parties!
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!
- Store Events(3)
Spanish Tasting Week
4 April 2014 - 10 April 2014
We have some fantastic offers on Spanish wines this Spring with some new and interesting wines to try in-store.
Open to all
Free Wine Course
16 March 2014 (15:00 - 16:30)
A free 90 min introduction to wine tasting and food matching. Places are limited so sign up today
Sorry, event is full!
South African Tasting Week
7 March 2014 - 13 March 2014
This week we'll have a range of South African wines open for you to try at your leisure (and for free).
Open to all
- Store Tasting(6)
What we're tasting today...
Robertson Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Robertson£7.99Buy 2 bottles save £4£5.99
Rachel's Chenin Blanc 2013 Boschendal, Coastal Region
Porcupine Ridge Viognier Grenache Blanc 2013 Coastal Region£8.99Buy 2 bottles save £4£6.99
Meet the team...
Keiren Assistant ManagerI have worked for Majestic since Late 2012 and have made my way across the Midlands, to land in Market Harborough. I love most big bold reds in particular a good Aussie Shiraz. I also love my nice easy drinking whites such as a good Picpoul or Muscadet. Why not pop in and say hello!
Lauren ManagerI've worked for Majestic for 7 years and have been manager here since we opened in Sept 2009. Since joining Majestic I've completed the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, which took 2 long years of hard study and tasting practice, and have also visited several producers in France and Spain. I'm passionate about sharing my wine knowledge and really enjoy holding our wine events instore
Sumit Trainee ManagerThis is my third store with Majestic after working in Leicester and Derby. I have completed my WSET Level 3 exam and am awaiting my results! Fingers crossed! My taste in wine changes from time to time, but if you pour me a glass of Rioja its hard to say no. I also have a sweet tooth, which means i love my dessert wines. I love to share my knowledge of wine with customers, so don't hesitate to ask me a question.