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Welcome to Majestic

St John's Wood

Contact Information
T: 020 7604 3461
F: 020 7604 3461
E: sjw@majestic.co.uk
Opening Hours
Monday 10am - 8pm
Tuesday 10am - 8pm
Wednesday 10am - 8pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Bank Hol 10am - 5pm
Store Address
21a-23 Loudoun Road
London
NW8 0ND
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(351)

Kanonkop KadetteDate published: 14/09/14

Kanonkop means Cannon Hill and it is derived from the days when cannons were fired to signal the entrance of Dutch trade ships into Cape Town Harbour. The Kanonkop Estate is situated on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch Region of the Cape and it boasts with some of South Africa’s most premium award winning wines. Kanonkop is a family run estate now stretching into the fourth generation, with the large majority of their 54 employees living on the estate.

The 'Kanonkop -Kadette 2011' is Paul and Johan Kringe' 'second wine'. The Kadette itself is made by Abrie Beeslar and is a composition of 5 grape varieties (Pinotage 57 %, Cabernet Sauvignon 26 %, Merlot 14 % and Cabernet Franc 3 %). With the predominant grape being a South African native this wine has a deep ruby colour and has pronounced flavours of blackcurrant and raspberry on  the nose moving into dark chocolate, blackberry and a hint of plum on  the palate.

This wine pairs extremely well with red meats and goes hand in hand with a BBQ. 

This bottle usually sells at £11.99 however is currently on offer with 25% off retailing at £8.99 as part of a multi buy deal.


33.3% off selected spirits!Date published: 09/09/14

Amaqzing deral springing up all over our Spirits shelves....a selection of very exciting products have joined out mix 'n' match style 33.3% off offer!  


Martin Millers Gin - buy one with another bottles from the 33.3% range and get it for £19.99!

Blackwood vintage dry gin, buy 2 = £18.33!

Chase marmalade vodka, buy 2 = £23.32!

Chivas Regal, buy 2 = £19.99

So, what are you waiting for?  Get those spirit shelves re-stocked!!!

Come and explore




Wine of the week. Pouilly-Fumé 2011/2013 LadoucetteDate published: 30/08/14

Wine of the week. Pouilly-Fumé 2011/2013 Ladoucette

At Château du Nozet, Baron Ladoucette follows a family tradition producing some of the best Loire wines available. Superb Pouilly-Fumé with pungent elder-tinged fruit and a smoky, steely finish.

A fantastic example of top end Sauvignon Blanc and enjoyed through out the world in the best restaurants.

Enjoy on its own, with fresh oysters with jalapeño dressing or with a light late summer salad.


Wine of the week. Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2011 Casablanca ValleyDate published: 26/08/14

Wine of the week.  Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2011 Casablanca Valley

The grapes used for this wine come from the north west of the Casablanca region, where the cool sea breezes provide perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Unlike most wines, naturally occuring yeasts on the grape-skins begin the fermentation, usually yeast is added.

Highly aromatic yet very subtle in style, the fruit aromas show violets and spice, which are backed up on the palate by great concentration and soft ripe tannins.

A perfect wine to enjoy on its own or with fish and light red meats.

We dare say, you can even enjoy it lightly chilled. 


Wine of the week. Mâcon-Lugny 2013 Domaine des Terres GentillesDate published: 20/08/14

A gem of a find, this great quality white shows that there are still producers in Burgundy who offer superb value, even with small-volume production. This impressive wine comes from a family-owned domaine of only 50ha.

Nicely balanced, with crisp citrus fruit providing the backbone, and softer notes of green apples and aromas of white flowers adding welcoming delicacy and complexity.

Enjoy with roast chicken or grilled fish and herb butter.

Or perfect on its own.


Tartrate Crystals found in wine. Date published: 20/08/14

The higher end wines tend to be unfiltered and some have deposits, of which the main found are tartrate crystals which are simply deposits found either on the bottom of the cork or free flowing. These are present as the winemaker has decided not to cold stabilize the wine. These help the wine to age and develop in the bottle and do not impact any negative effects on the wines flavour but may look unpleasant in the bottle or the glass. These may simply be decanted out or filtered through a wine filter or muslin cloth. In some wines such as Sauternes, specifically Chateau D'Yquem, these tartrate crystals are desirable as it gives the wine a look of gold particles flowing through the wine, which is why it is said that D'Yquem is the taste of pure gold. It may also be found in the more premium riesling wines from germany with age. In conclusion, these particles are of no harm or fault and may be removed prior to driking.


Wine of the week. LFE 900 2009 Luis Felipe Edwards, Colchagua ValleyDate published: 16/08/14

In 2005, LFE planted the highest-altitude commercial vineyards in Colchagua Valley, at 900m above sea level. This wine is a Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend aged in new French oak for 18 months.

Almost black in colour, with tinges of purple, this wine offers an intense bouquet of cassis, prune, cherry and hints of cocoa and menthol. Explosive flavour on the palate, tempered by supple tannins. This is a rich and decadent wine best served with food. Enjoy with a fillet steak or beef stew with the colder months coming ahead.


Online Special Offers. Date published: 11/08/14

Come rain or shine this summer holiday, we’ve got 10 new deals which are sure to brighten your day. Starting at just £4.98, all of these holiday deals are absolutely outrageous value, and none of them will be around for long. Shop this week to get the best deals, including Giesen Sauvignon Blanc at just £6.99. Don’t miss out!

Go online at www.majestic.co.uk and browse our new special offers.


Trimbach Riesling - Wine of the WeekDate published: 11/08/14

Wine of the Week

Trimbach Riesling 2011, Alsace

Riesling is one of those grape varieties that I seem to find myself drinking in cycles – either can't get enough of the stuff or don't want a bar of it! This consistently baking hot Summer has meant that it has been Riesling central at mine, with this specific wine from Trimbach being a prime candidate..

An unoaked style, this wine is at its best when it is really chilled and fresh exuding aromas of lime, apple and also some more delicate floral hints as well. The palate is bursting with more fresh fruit characteristics of peach, lime and a lovely mineral note on the finish that combine fantastically with the wine's mouthwatering acidity. This wine is drinking at its peak now in my opinion but will continue to develop new interesting characteristics if you prefer an aged style.

I had this wine most recently with a delicious scallops and chorizo starter dish that I cooked at home and it went perfectly. Incidentally if you're a seafood fanatic you should try 'The Fishworks' on Marylebone High St – they do a good Riesling too!

£11.99 per bottle


Chandon from Moët & Chandon.Date published: 09/08/14

New world Sparkling is becoming increasingly popular with the increased popularity of Prosecco. It seems like everyone wants to move away from Champagne and into new territories. While this may be the case, many big name Champagne houses have purchased land in new world countries and planted vines in an attempt to reproduce Champagne quality wines which can be sold at a much lower price. Here at Majestic St Johns Wood, we have a great example of this in the shape of a new sparkling wine made in Argentina by none other than Moët & Chandon.
Moët & Chandon during the 1960's set out to find the best possible sites for sparkling production outside of France. They found it in Mendoza. Their first vineyard outside of France were planted with clay based soil with cool nights in a semi-desert climate making this the perfect location. The wine is made from the 3 same grape varieties found in the region of Champagne which are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier using the 'methode traditionelle', the same method used by all the houses and producers of Champagne. 
After being hand picked, the grapes are crushed whole as to avoid as much skin contact as possible and are fermented twice.  The second fermentation is done in the bottle with extra sugar and yeast added. The bottle is sealed and the yeast after consuming the sugar produces carbon dioxide which intergrates with the wine making the wine 'fizzy'. The sparkling wine then ages on its lees for a minimum of 12 months giving the wine its buttery, brioche and biscuit flavour reminiscent of the best Champagnes. 
This is the same method used in Champagne and results in the best quality sparkling wine. 
The Chandon NV Brut has wonderful flavours of Apple and Pear held together with wonderful acidity and citrus fruit with a light almond flavour on the finish. Theres brioche and biscuit flavours present and this makes for a great celebration sparkling wine perfect for any occasion.  A dry Champagne like this we recommend having with oysters, salmon, even a lemon tart or perfect on its own. 
The Chandon NV Brut is currently on offer at £16.56 on our 15% off offer and the stunning rosé which is new in at Majestic is on our 33.3% offer at £13.98, perfect with sushi or tuna tartare. 

Montrachet. The world's finest white wine. Date published: 09/08/14

Very few white wines have the powerful presence and name instantly recognizable with premium quality white wine and wine in general. Names such as Sancerre, Meursault and Gavi have that clout but of them all Montrachet is the most famous and arguable the finest white wine in the world. The wine made is 100% Chardonnay with some red wine made from Pinot Noir,.The wines can age for a long period of time and are usually aged in the producers cellars in oak barrels to give the wine wonderful toasty brioche, vanilla, light spice flavour. 

Montrachet is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) in the Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy. It is in between two communes named Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet where the majority of its wine gets its name from depending on which side of the communes the grapes are grown. 3 class of wines are made here, the standard commune named wine, a premier Cru wine and a Grand Cru wine.  Every vineyard in Montrachet is individually named and may show on the bottle label if the wine has come from that one vineyard and is not a blend of multiple vinayards which may be the case from the larger produces to keep quality consistent year after year.

Montrachet has 5 Grand Cru vineyards located in the centre of the top of the hill where the grapes are grown. These are Montrachet itself, this is the best vineyard located on a south facing slope to the east and is flooded with sunlight allowing the grapes to ripen perfectly. The other Grand Cru vineyards located around 'The Montrachet' are Chevalier-Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. These wines are the finest examples of Chardonnay which also attract the highest price and are able to age for the longest period thanks to its concentration of fruit flavour, perfect use of oak and love, care and attention put into to growing the grapes, maintaining the vineyard and making the wine. 

Montrachet has an amazing flavour profile of ripe apples and pears, held together with wonderful lemon citrus, slight tropical fruit, lime and pineapple from the best examples, and held together with toasty oak. If left to age, the wine will take on more tertiary flavours of cedar, earthiness, nutty smoke ripe troical fruit and will drink wonderfully on its own or with roast chicken, grilled turbot or even nuts and cheese. 

Prices start at £30 for the Nicolas Potel Puligny-Montrachet which is a fantastic wine to experience your first taste of Montrachet or just as a special occasion white wine. You will not be disappointed. . 


Worlds best Distillery?? Ardbeg.Date published: 06/08/14

Scotland is the home of Scotch Whisky and like France it has regions known for different styles of its eponymous product. Of these regions one of the best known is Islay, a small Island on the West Coast of Scotland, it is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides. Islay is known for producing primarily 'Peated' whisky which in standard terms is smoked whisky. Islay has a handful of Distilleries still active and of these Ardbeg dominates as the leading Peated whisky distillery. It is sometimes referred to as the best distillery in the world as it produces some of the finest examples of single malt whisky with quality always the first objective. The smoke flavour is added naturally from the peat bogs used to fire the kilns which dry the malting barley, this gives Islay whisky their recognisable smoke flavour which is further integrated with the use of American Oak Bourbon Barrels and ex-Sherry Barrels for aging. Ardbeg has been producing whisky since 1798, producing primarily for blends but quality was deemed high and sufficient to be sold as a single malt until 1981 when production halted. Glenmorangie another world famous Whisky distillery owned by LVMH purchased and reopened the distillery in 1997 and began full production again in 1998. Since then the distillery has gone on to produce stunning single malts with their standard range of the 10 year old and their 12 year old known as Uigeadail winning worlds best whisky on separate occasions. The distillery also releases limited edition bottles whose value increases as they become rare and collectible making Ardbeg a great whisky for collectors. Of these the Galileo won worlds best whisky in 2013 and prices for this once £70 bottle is now in the region of £200+.

Ardbeg age their whisky in a mix of Bourbon barrels and Sherry barrels but occasionally use wine barrels from France or Marsala casks to add fruity and sweet dimensions to their whisky. 

The Whisky is known for its incredibly fruity flavour integrated with the peat bog smoke perfectly making it ideal with creamy desserts such as creme brulee or vanilla and chocolate ice cream or works perfect  when a drop is added to champagne. 


Chapel Down.Date published: 05/08/14

English wine has started to become increasingly popular in recent years, and leading the way is Chapel Down Winery in Tenterden Kent. 

Chapel Down is the UK's premier award winning winery making a selection of premium dry and sparkling wines and even a champagne style cider as well as award winning beer and ale.  They grow their grapes from their Tenterden and Aylesford vineyards as well as from producers around the South-East. Grapes are hand picked and pressed into stainless steel tanks and left to ferment for 3 weeks with hand selected yeast. Their Sparkling wine can age up to 3 years on its lees (dead yeast) which is their style and treated in the same manner as the best Champagnes. 

Their wines are fresh, rich, sumptuous and offer fantastic value for money. The Flint Dry is a zesty fruit driven wine with loads of tropical fruit flavours and is reminiscent of a Pouilly-Fume.  The Chardonnay is treated like a Chablis, fresh green apple flavours, with lemon zest and a hint of tropical pineapple with a wonderful minerality. Their Union Red wine is a mix of Rondo, Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Precoce and is a fantastic alternative to Beaujolais or light Pinot Noirs. An incredibly fruity wine with red fruit flavours of cherry, plum as well as liquorice held together with the right amount of tannin. 

Their Sparkling range can easily compete with Champagne in terms of quality and can even beat it in terms of value for money. The standard NV Brut is made in the traditional method as is used by all Champagne Houses but is slightly lighter than Champagne making it a fantastic everyday drinking sparkling with loads of refreshing apple and citrus zest flavours with playfully fine bubbles. Recommended if you are looking for sparkling better than entry level Champagne or high end Prosecco.  A Majestic Wine favourite is Chapel Downs Rose Brut NV Sparkling.  Made from just Pinot Noir, this award winning wine is a light salmon colour with signature Pinot Noir flavours of ripe strawberries and raspberries, wonderful creamy mouth feel and will partner Salmon perfectly or go well with canapes, strawberries and cream and even Fish & Chips or perfect on its own. 

Chapel Down has a wide variety of wines and beer to explore and we recommend discovering for yourself what they have to offer. 

Majestic Wine sells a vast range of their products, come in store and discover Chapel Down for yourself. 


Krug. King of Champagnes?Date published: 05/08/14

There are many big Champagne houses that make stunning examples of premium Sparkling wine but of them all Krug is synonymous with being the most well known Super Premium Champagne house in the world. A standard sized bottle of their entry level champagne, the NV (non-vintage)  is never less than £100. 

Founded in 1843 by Joseph Krug, the house is based in Reims, Frances main Champagne city but owns vineyards in a few different Grand Cru sites around Champagne. Some of there sites including Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the centre of Champagne where the grapes for their Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay) are grown in the Clos du Mesnil vineyard and close by in Ambonnay where the grapes for their Blanc de Noir (100% Pinot Noir) are grown in a small walled vineyard, called Clos d'Ambonnay as well as other Grand Cru sites including Aÿ and Trépail. 

The NV (non-vintage) Champagne is made from the 3 grapes allowed in Champagne, those are Chardonnay which gives a lightness and finesse to the wine with high acidity with floral and citrus fruit, Pinot Noir which gives body and structure to the wine with light red fruits and Pinot Meunier which gives aromatic fruitiness to the wine. It takes up to 20 years or over to make the wine as it is a blend of over 120 wines up to 15 years old from over 10 different vintages. The wine sits and ages in the Krug cellars for up to 6 years on its lees which gives it a deep rich golden colour and wonderful rich aromas with incredibly fine bubbles. Its vintage champagnes age up to 10 years plus in the cellars before release, this is why the prices are so high but the results are worth the time and effort and the Champagne produced is of immense quality. 

Krug also produces a Rosé Champagne by skin-fermenting the Pinot Noir wine which gives it its unique colour and flavour and ages the wine for at least 5 years. 

At Majestic we stock the Krug NV,  Rosé and the current 1998 vintage and on special request we can acquire the Clos du Mesnil and Clos d'Ambonnay  single vineyard wines or the Krug Collection which are wines that have been kept in the Krug cellars for up to an additional 10 years to develop more complex aromas and flavours. 

The Krug NV is currently £140 a bottle or £126 if you purchase 6 bottles or more for your most special and memorable occasions. 

It is recommended to remove the Champagne from the fridge 15 minutes before opening and serve at a temperature of 7-9°C in a Champagne flute. 



Wine of the week. Reuilly Cuvée Nathalie 2013 Nathalie LafondDate published: 04/08/14

Nathalie Lafond has now taken over the running of the domaine from her father, Claude. This is her signature cuvée, made from a selection of the best parcels of vines, and is a match for top quality Sancerre without the premium price tag.

Classic Loire aromas of lime and gooseberry characterise the intense nose. The crisp fruit, mouthwatering acidity and touches of minerality, all sit harmoniously on the well-structured palate.

£8.99

Argentinian Fizz.Date published: 03/08/14

Argentinian Fizz. 


When you think sparkling, you don't immediately think of Argentina. There are however are a number of vineyards providing the ideal locations to grow the classic champagne varieties. It's no wonder that Moet and Chandon have begun producing sparkling wine here. Presenting, in our 
opinion, a real alternative to champagne and prosecco.  

Chandon Brut NV Argentina

Origin: Following two years of exploration, Moët & Chandon identified a fine vineyard location in Mendoza's Uco Valley, planting it in 1959. They have gone on to use their abundance of Champagne expertise to create this traditional-method sparkling wine.

Taste: A fresh and elegant style of sparkling wine, with a nose centring on citrus, pineapple and white peach aroma with subtle brioche hints, and a palate with great accuracy and length.

Enjoy: Celebrate any occasion with this great quality Champagne alternative, pairing with seafood canapés.

£12.99 when bought with any other wine on the summer selection


London Meantime LagerDate published: 31/07/14

LONDON MEANTIME LAGER

6X330ML BOTTLES

Meantime Brew Master, Alastair Hook, has spent 20 years planning the quintessential English lager. His reasoning is simple.The great European lager brewers use very soft water and neutral yeasts to ensure that only the flavours of their locally grown malt and hops come to the fore. East Anglia is home to the world’s finest malting barley and Kent is home to some of the world’s best hops. Midway between the two, London is ideally placed to bring them together in a straightforward, clean, long-matured, unpasteurised lager, where all you can taste is malt and hop.

£9.99

when you buy two or more craft beers


The Fine Wine PlanDate published: 31/07/14

The Majestic Fine Wine Plan.

Ever thought about buying wine Fine Wine En Primeur?  Many fine wines are offered "En Primeur" (before they have been bottled by the producer and are still resting in barrel) and "In Bond" (exclusive of duty and VAT). 

Majestic's partner company Lay & Wheeler offer a fine wine plan which is a simple and effective way to gradually build your own fine wine collection for as little as £50 per month.  Some of the benefits of buying En Primeur with Lay & Wheeler include:

•  Storage at Vinotéque, a specialist wine-dedicated bonded warehouse.

•  Expert advice from knowledgeable and passionate staff.

•  An exciting and ever-evolving range.

•  Bordeaux and Burgundy En Primeur and fine wines from Champagne , Rioja, Tuscany and Piedmont in good vintages.

AND a 10% discount card that can be used against future purchases from Majestic stores

For more information just give us a call on 0207 485 0478 or check out the website www.majestic.co.uk



Laurent Perrier RoséDate published: 31/07/14

The Perfect Summer Fizz

One of our best loved Champagne house's has now gone onto an amazing offer!

Unusually made by the saignée method, with plenty of stylish strawberry fruit, full of vivacity and easy-drinking charm. A wonderfully refreshing apéritif, it also works well with a variety of dishes.

Now only £43.31 when you purchases two or more bottles, down from £65.

Why not read some of our customer reviews;

This is our favourite champagne, saved for very special occasions. It is pure luxury, fresh, light, sparkling rose which is unsurpassed for taste and quality. The price was so attractive, I just had to get some while I could. It arrived the very next day!

Of all the Rose Champagne this is my favourite! Soft with flavour and delicious.Go, try, and enjoy. Au revoir!


Beer of the WeekDate published: 31/07/14

Roscoe’s Hop House Amber Ale

Medium-bodied with a complex malt character that is balanced by a subdued hops flavour. Produced with three different types of hops: Simcoe, Cascade and Magnum that offer a slight citrus/grapefruit aroma, this Amber Ale is appealing to craft beer drinkers and those wanting a step-up from lighter flavour beers. The unusual addition of a small amount of honey to the brew adds complexity to the nose and makes for a rich finish. This balanced ale is brewed using traditional methods for a unique flavour profile.


Dog Point Chardonnay 2011, £28Date published: 25/07/14

18 months in mainly old French oak barrels has formed this top quality Marlborough Chardonnay into a genuine rival to premier cru Burgundy. Aromas of flint, grapefruit peel and ripe citrus fruits dominate the nose whilst nutty, mineral nuances permeate the palate.

Seamlessly integrated oak leads into a wonderfully balanced Chardonnay with a concentrated and lively finish.

Enjoy now or cellar for the next 3 to 5 years.

An ideal Summer's evening wine that can be enjoyed with or without food.


Wine of the week. Pietrariccia FianoDate published: 21/07/14

Made from an estate dating back to the early 1900's, this is a wine made from a grape found almost exclusivgely in southern Italy.

The wine comes from Puglia, also known as Italy's 'heel'.

This refreshing dry white is a great discovery for anyone who enjoys discovering unusual frape varieties and styles.

A bright lemon color, slightly golden. On the nose it can be reminiscent of Pinot Grigio but with far more superior tropical fruit flavours, floral blossoms and tangy citrus.

On the palate it is instanlty refreshing with crisp acidity and a great weight for an un-oaked white wine. 

This wine woulsd match roasted chicken with bread sauce perfectly or grilled white fish such as Turbot or Sea bass and most importabtly would be wonderful on its own on hot sunny afternoon in the garden or park picnic.

Currently on our 25% offer, priced £7.49.

Pontet-CanetDate published: 12/07/14

Despite recent critical acclaim, this estate remains the best Bordeaux Chateaux you have never heard of. 

The house is not short of history; it can trace its origins back to 1725. In the infamous 1855 classification it was ranked - which is an achievement in itself - as a fifth growth. Today, however, it is frequently rated amongst the very top Chateaux in Bordeaux. 

This is somewhat less surprising, when one considers its location, in Pauillac, lies adjacent to the Mouton-Rothschild's famed vineyard holdings. The other definitive factor responsible for their prolific rise in quality since 1994 is the wise watch of Alfred Tesserson. Simply put Tesserson is a perfectionist. He has introduced biodynamic practices (not an easy feat in an area which gets more than its fair share of rain) and is meticulous in both vineyard and winery alike. 

This is reflected in the quality and potential longevity of his wines. We are excited to have four different vintages of this stunning wine in store: 1990 (£150), 2003 (£110), 2006 (£95) and 2007 £75). These are evidently not everyday wines, however, when one considers the estate's 2010 offering garnered a perfect 100 point rating from Parker, and that our cheapest bottle of neighboring Mouton costs £500 they suddenly seems very good value indeed. 

Having tried the 2000 vintage I cannot recommend these wines enough. They possess an elegance allied to a restrained power and nobility that characterise only the very best Bordeaux. Get them now before the market realises what a bargain they are. I am not alone in predicting that release prices will rocket over coming years as demand outstrips supply. Get some to sample now and some to drink over the next twenty years. 


Craft BeersDate published: 06/07/14

So, you've probably noticed that we've been stocking some American Craft Beers recently, such as Brooklyn Lager, Anchor Steam and the like. Well now we've local! 


Camden Town, you can't get much more local as that can you? We've just taken delivery of Camden Town Brewery Hells lager and Camden Town IPA! The former, by the way, is fantastic as I discovered last night whilst watching the Holland Costa Rica game...


To come over the next few weeks we'll be expanding our Craft range even further, introducing Meantime Beers, Goose Island Beers, Pacifico Beers and more... Follow us @majesticsjw to hear about new arrivals 

Booze term of the day!Date published: 05/07/14

Grog

Sail the high seas with an old fashioned tot of grog! In order to prevent scurvy, the Navy brought stocks of lemons and limes abroad. The juices, mixed with Pusser's rum, made a relatively refreshing, but healthy cocktail; keeping the navy both happy and scurvy free!

Wine of the Week - King's Legacy ChardonnayDate published: 03/07/14

Wine of the Week - King's Legacy Chardonnay

The King's Legacy

Chardonnay

Marlborough

2011

This Chardonnay is sourced from two vineyards, one a mature plot in the centre of the Wairau Valley, the other a plot of younger vines in Brancott Valley.

The grapes were fermented in large French oak casks using predominantly wild yeasts and allowed 10 months on lees.

Fresh apple, nectarine and tangerine flavours with a subtly creaminess, hints of toasted almonds and a gently spicy complexity

Try this with seared scallops, tuna steak or other hearty fish.

Priced at £9.99

(14.99 normal bottle price)


Wine of the Week: Le Difese 2011, Tenuta San GuidoDate published: 14/06/14

Wine of the Week: Le Difese 2011, Tenuta San Guido 

£16 a bottle on our 'Buy 2 Save £10' Fine Wine deal 

This 70-30 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese would indeed pair perfectly with game dishes such as fettuccine in rabbit sauce or wild boar sausage thanks to that extra touch of acidity that cuts through any fattiness. Dried cherry, blackberry, leather and tobacco enhance the wine’s medium build and silky texture. There isa distant touch of overripe fruit at the very beginning. Le Difese is aged for 12 months in both French and American oak. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018

Domaines Ott Château Romassan Rosé 2013 BandolDate published: 07/06/14

Domaines Ott Château Romassan Rosé 2013 Bandol

Bandol makes some of the most serious wines of Provence, and this is the case for rosé as well as red. Founded in 1896, Domaines Ott uses hand-picking, careful sorting and delicate pressing to make the superb Château Romassan Rosé. An extremely subtle, balanced and complex rosé showing fresh berry aromas and hints of spice.

This is an iconic area and Ott is an iconic wine this is our summer stock so once its gone its gone so make sure you don't miss out.

Currently £27 per bottle


The King's Legacy Chardonnay 2011Date published: 07/06/14

I am a big fan of flavourfull buttery chardonnays and so I'm always on the look out for good deals, whether it be old world or new, and I've recently tried something i think is a superb wine and well worth sharing with you. In our summer selection with an amazing 33.3% off is 'The King's Legacy Chardonnay 2011 Marlborough.' It is down from £14.99 to just £9.99which is an offer i just can't pass up. It's an easily enjoyable Chardonnay that combines fresh apple, nectarine and tangerine flavours with subtle yet delicious creaminess, hints of toasted almonds and a gently spicy complexity. This is certainly one not to miss if you're a Chardonnay lover or indeed if you fancy trying something new and exciting to spice up your summer. I've decided to open this on our tasting counter so please come in and have a try!  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as i do!

Looking at New Zealand beyond Marlborough: Central OtagoDate published: 07/06/14

Looking at New Zealand beyond Marlborough: Central Otago

Marlborough is often seen as the quintessential New Zealand region and this is generally down to the stunning Sauvignon Blanc's you get from there. You've all tried The Ned,Oyster Bay and Brancott Estate, but Sauvignon Blanc is not the only thing the Kiwi's do well. Don't forget the Pinot Noir's from this country are top-class too and certainly rival those of Burgundy with the quintessential New Zealand Pinot Noir growing region being Central Otago (or "Central" as the locals call it).

One of the more picturesque wine growing regions of the world as evidenced by it's leading role in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy's as Middle Earth. All those fantastic shots of epic Mountains with slumbering Dragons or Balrogs lurking underneath, those were Central Otago and it's these mountains which help produce the cracking Pinot Noir. The high solar radiation due to the altitude has the effect of supplying the grapes with excellent sunlight firstly, but that same altitude keeps the grapes reliably cool at night also making it one of the few places in the world where the usually light and low-alcohol Pinot grape pushes above 14% ABV, with dazzlingly bright fruit flavours still very much retained.

The pick of the bunch in our store is undoubedtly the Quartz Reef, 2012 at £22 single bottle price and £17 when you buy another fine wine or bottle of spirits, but there's also the Majestic Peak's at the more reasonable price of £10.99. They're both cracking for their respective prices.

So those who want something a little bit different and not as wimpy as some Pinot Noir's can be get yourself a Central Otago Pinot Noir. It's also good with duck, turkey and pork.



Gold Medal Winning WinesDate published: 07/06/14

Gold Medal Winning Wines.

Recently the results of the IWC were announced. The competition is now in its 31st year and attracts around 14,000 entries. These are tasted by a line up of Masters of Wine, Wine tasters, critics and buyers. After being judged the top wines are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals.

Majestic Wine entered wine that the company stock into the competition. Below are some of the award winning wines that Majestic entered, that we have in stock at the moment here in Majestic Winchester:

Gold medal winners include:

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough

Crisp, concentrated and vibrant on the palate, combining citrus and tropical fruit with green vegetal undertones. Back in stock soon!

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough

A medley of intense, ripe herbaceous characters on the nose, followed by rich gooseberry, lime and tropical fruit characteristics on the palate.

Barolo 2009 Natale Verga

An inviting garnet colour, this wine offers a blackberry bouquet, accented with persistent notes of rose petal and subtle wood smoke. A warming palate with undertones of spice and graphite.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2009 England

A beguilingly Champagne-like nose of citrus fruit, brioche and shortbread. Elegantly shaped and supremely poised. The ultimate home-grown alternative to Champagne, for all special occasions.


Bring a Friend to MajesticDate published: 07/06/14

Next time you shop with us, bring along a friend who is new to Majestic and if they also buy 6 bottles, you both get a free bottle chosen specifically for you, up to the value of £10.

It couldn't be simpler - a free £10 bottle with your next purchase when you introduce a friend to Majestic.

Grab a friend and Come and Explore wine together - it's the best way!


Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2011 MartinboroughDate published: 07/06/14

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2011 Martinborough

£18 reduced from £23 when buying any 2 wines on the Fine Wine Offer

Although a single vineyard site, the Te Muna Road vineyard is planted with eight different Pinot Noir clones, across 40 individual parcels of vines. Combined with over a year's ageing in small oak barrels, this produces a wine with enhanced complexity and depth.

Deep red, with an almost blackish tint. The aromas are brooding yet inviting, characterised by black cherry, with hints of flowers and tarry notes. Silky on the palate, flowing to a long, spicy finish.

Drink with lamb, game and wild mushroom dishes, either now or following up to 7 years' cellarage.



What makes Champagne the creme de la creme of Sparkling Wine?Date published: 07/06/14


With the rising popularity of less expensive sparkling wines such as Prosecco and Cava, it is sometimes easy to forget the elegant and unique toasty tastes of a Champagne and opt for the fruitier likes of her European peers instead, forgetting what all the fuss of a bottle of bubbly was about. What exactly does make Champagne the elitist of the sparking wine class system? The numerous lengthy stages of its production are a considerable factor. Here is the process, from grape to glass.

Hand picking and Pressing

Although most champagne is white, it is mostly made up of the black grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, with only a relatively small amount (often 33%) of Chardonnay. To ensure that none of the colour and tannin from these black grapes are mixed into the wine, they have to be hand picked and pressed incredibly gently, leaving a juice that incorporates the acidity of the Chardonnay, the structural back bone of the Meunier and the length and body of the Pinot Noir. In order to maintain consistent quality, only 102 litres of juice can be extracted from 160 kilograms of grapes, the first eighty litres of which is called the cuvée (the really good stuff from which the likes of Krug, Dom Perignon and Louis Roederer’s Cristal are made) and the remainder is the taille.

Primary Fermentation

Most producers will choose to ferment the cuvée and taille from each grape and village separately. The primary fermentation of the wine is essential for creating the ‘must’ or reserve wine which is used for blending in the following harvest. In order to create the must, sedimentation must occur prior to fermentation to rid the juice of any savoury, non fruit based notes. The wine is then fermented in stainless steel tanks, creating a neutral base that is completely dry with high acidity.

Blending

To meet the high quality demands of the Champagne market, it is essential that wines are blended from different vintages to avoid the the potential harvest problems caused by the vagaries of the cool continental climate. The combination of different grape varieties in the blending process gives character and structure to the wine whilst the reserve wine balances out the differences between each vintage. This is where different producers and Champagne Houses are able to create their own unique style of wine: the blenders generally aim to conform to their own signature style, whether it is light and creamy or rich and toasty, occasionally incorporating features that represent the different villages of the grapes used.

Secondary Fermentation

This takes place in the bottles which are stacked horizontally and sealed with a crown cap containing a plastic insert. The wine is left to ferment slowly over six to eight weeks, allowing for the flavours to really develop.

Before the blend goes into the bottle, a potion of ‘liquer de tirage’ ( a mixture of wine, sugar, yeast and clarifying agent) is added to the blend. This is where the magic happens: the carbon dioxide created from the yeast in the ‘liquer de tirage’ dissolves into the wine making it sparkle with very fine bubbles, creating a pressure of six atmospheres, c’est magique!

Yeast Autolysis

After fermentation, these magic yeast cells die and form a sediment of lees in the bottle. The proteins released from these lees after several years are the things that contribute to that rich, biscuity flavour that we know and love about Champagne. Generally speaking, the longer the champagne rests on it’s lees, the greater that toasty taste.

Riddling

Before the Champagne is released, the lees sediment needs to be removed from the bottle (it would be far less glamorous a tipple if bits of dead yeast were floating in one’s glass) and can be done so using the methods of riddling and disgorgement. Riddling involves sliding the bottle slowly from a horizontal to a vertical position, dislodging the yeast sediment and causing it to position itself rather nicely into the plastic cup insert. This was traditionally done manually by ‘remueurs’ who spent many an hour down the cellar slowly moving each bottle in turn. There are now mechanical systems called ‘gyropalettes’ that rotate the bottles in quarter turns and so get the job done much quicker - in eight days as opposed to eight weeks.

Disgorgement and Corking

The lees from the bottle is removed once and for all by submerging the neck in a very cold brine solution, freezing the wine in the neck of the bottle. The crown cap is then removed and the pressure from the carbon dioxide in the wine ejects the frozen wine taking the sediment and plastic insert with it. This process is performed by a machine and lasts all but a matter of seconds, ensuring minimal loss of lovely fizz.

Another special ingredient known as ‘liquer d’expedition’ or ‘dosage’ is then added to determine the sweetness of the wine and help balance the acidity of the wine.

Bottle Ageing

Some producers will choose to continue to age the champagne in the bottle for a few months following disgorgement so that the dosage has time to properly integrate itself into the wine. The dosage continues to react with the proteins released during yeast autolysis to further the aromas of biscuit, honey and walnut.

Champagne is usually considered ready to drink when released but some can benefit from further ageing in the bottle.

Voilà! The process that makes champagne so superior to his fizzy friends and a timeless tipple for all to enjoy. Glass of Bolly anyone


Wine of the Week - Neudorf Chardonnay, Nelson, New ZealandDate published: 06/06/14

Wine of the Week - Neudorf Chardonnay, Nelson, New Zealand

Bright and fresh on the nose, with attractive notes of ripecitrus, combined with a touch of oak and a struck-flintminerality. The palate is immediately highly appealing, withmouthfilling white stone fruit characters given balance andbrightness by a dart of lemony acidity. Finishing with toastand soft smoke, this is a deliciously moreish Chardonnay.


£30 a bottle

Wine of the Week: Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2012, MarlboroughDate published: 29/05/14

Fermented entirely with naturally occurring yeast – this is an alternative style of Sauvignon Blanc that is both intricate and textural.

A succulent combination of yellow peach and brown pears, rolled into rich, short pastry with a sprinkling of caramelised almonds. The palate is full of lemon curd and vanilla custard with a touch of dried herbs and a lingering grapefruit finish.

An ideal Summer's evening wine that can be enjoyed with or without food.


Wine of the week - Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan Rose 2013, BandolDate published: 16/05/14

Wine of the week - Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan Rose 2013, Bandol


Bandol makes some of the most serious wines of Provence, and this is the case for rose as well as red. Founded in 1896, Domaines Ott uses hand-picking, careful sorting and delicate pressing to make the superb Chateau Romassan Rose. Made from a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre.

An extremely subtle, balanced and complex rose showing fresh berry aromas and hints of spice.

Serve at 0-12°C, as an aperitif, with sweetbreads or Asian cuisine. 

Available now at £27.00 per bottle.

I would recommend getting some early before it sells out as this is already flying off the shelves!

Seasonal Summer TastingDate published: 26/04/14

Don't forget that you can start to sign up for our in store evening tasting on the 14th of May! We will have some producers showcasing their wines and giving an insight into the vineyards themselves. Starting at 6:30, we will have a range of wines open to try, along with some foods; a great introduction into food and wine matching. 


To reserve a place, head to our website and click on events!

Haut Bages Averous 2006Date published: 18/04/14

Formally Echo de Lynch Bages this is the second wine of this highly regarded 5th Growth! A neighboring property in Pauillac acquired by Lynch Bages this is a great chance to try the impressive wine making skills of Lynch Bages at a fraction of the price! Fruit driven and perfect for Easter! Just £30 a bottle!

Thought for the DayDate published: 17/04/14

The difference between drinking and tasting.

Whilst I am the first to admit I use critics scores as a guide, I think we shouldn't follow them too slavishly. 

Whilst it is a useful barometer the difference a single point makes is often marginal. It also pays to remember that often critics will taste upwards of fifty wines at a time - often much more! This is tasting. 

Drinking at home with friends and loved ones with perfectly paired food is rather different.

I say let's drink more and taste less. It has it's place, for sure, but drinking truly does justice to the winegrowers and makers. 

Remember that next time your favourite wine gets a low score.

I'm off to have a drink! Happy Easter

Wine of the week - Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2008 Date published: 17/04/14

Wine of the week - Marqués de Riscal  Rioja Reserva  2008 


About the wine


In 1858 Don Guillermo Hurtado de Amezaga, the Marques de riscal brought groundbreaking wine making techniques from Bordeaux and transformed the face of Rioja. This is a top example of a traditional Rioja.


On the palate the wine is full bodied and muscular but it is smoothly polished and embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak, combined with cherry and raisin.

Grape

Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo


Enjoy

Perfect with ham, cheeses and spicy casseroles, will certainly age for anther 5+ years.


Price

£10.99 for 2 or more – Buy 2, Save £8!!

or

£14.99 per bottle


PIZARRAS DE OTERODate published: 11/04/14

PIZARRAS DE OTERO

Its 80-year-old vines have already been farmed by many different generations with it's slate soils have witnessed the hard work of their people. Otero can be found in the very heart of Bierzo, where the unique vineyards exist, and with the grapes from these unique vineyards Pizarras de Otero is made.

Pizarras de Otero captures the essence of its native land. It brings us the colours, aromas and flavours of Bierzo. Born of ancient traditions Pizarras de Otero is a wine that can be enjoyed in its youth.

Appearance: bright raspberry red.

Nose: hints of red fruit and floral aromas.

Palate: Pretty and powerful with nice structure and depth of fruit, a result of its long maceration. The good acidity is typical of the Mencía grape, and provides a pleasing finish that is vivacious and crisp.

TYPE OF WINE: Rosé

D.O: Bierzo

VINE: 100% Mencía

YIELD: 40hl/ha

FERMENTATION: stainless steel vats with temperature control

ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14 % Vol.

PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: delicious on its own as an aperitif, or with soft cheeses, salads, hearty stews, pasta and white meats.

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 8-10ºC


Wine of the week - Château de Berne Rosé 2012 Côtes de ProvenceDate published: 10/04/14

Wine of the week - Château de Berne Rosé  2012 Côtes de Provence

About the wine

Chateau de Berne is a landmark of Provence, located on an 18th-century wine estate with historic cellars and a luxury hotel and health spa.

Asides from being bottled in an unusual iconic bottle (which makes for excellent storage and display!) this wine has an attractive and delicate honeysuckle nose with mango and tropical flavours on the palate. Crisp and intense yet well balanced.

Enjoy

Drink as a summery aperitif or pair up with grilled fish dishes, even lightly spiced

Grape

Grenache, Cinsault

Price

£11.99 for 2 or more – Buy 2, Save £6!!

or

£14.99 per bottle


Opening hours over EasterDate published: 10/04/14

Opening hours over Easter


Friday 18th April - 10am - 8pm

Saturday 19th April - 9am - 7pm

Sunday 20th April - Closed

Monday 21st April - 10am - 5pm


Stock up early for the festive period to avoid disappointment - don't leave it too late! 

Tip of the day 10/4Date published: 10/04/14

Pair Champagne with a lovely greasy fish and chips, it's the perfect match

Super Deals on Fizz this SpringDate published: 07/04/14

With the advent of Spring comes a new pick 'n' mix promotion! Easter is a time for celebration and nothing says it better than the sound of a popping cork. Whether it be Champagne, Cava or Prosecco we've got it covered.

Champagne

Bollinger Special Cuvee NV- £33.31*

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV- £27.99*

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV- £16.66*

Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top 2007-£19.99*

Veuve Clicquot Brut NV- £29.98*

Magnums

Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004- £100

Bollinger Special Cuvee NV- £100

Veuve Clicquot Rose NV- £90

Louis Roederer NV- £70

Perrier Jouet NV- £55

Sparkling Wine

New Zealand

Cloudy Bay Pelorus NV- £15.99*

Italy

Prosecco Zonin Brut NV- £7.99*

Prosecco Salatin Extra Dry NV- £8.99*

Spain

Cordorniu  Raventos NV, Cava- £7.99*

Cordorniu Reina Maria Cristina, Cava - £9.99*

*Refers to the price when you buy at least two bottles from our pick 'n' mix promotion.


Vinalba MalbecDate published: 06/04/14

Currently on our NEW APRIL PICK 'N' MIX we have the Viñalba Reservado Malbec 2012, Mendoza. When you buy any two from our Pick 'n' Mix selection this wine retails at £7.99 from a single bottle price of £11.99.

The Malbec Reserva from the Vinalba estate has previously won a Decanter award for its quality. Sourced from vineyards at the foot of the Andes, grown at different altitudes to achieve the perfect balance between tannin and acidity.

This wine literally wraps itself around every corner of your mouth with its ripe dark plum fruits, sweet tannins and dark chocolate and mocha. Flavours linger for a long time.

A full-bodied wine, yet with juicy tannins, this wine is best enjoyed with food. Peppered steak or lamb are ideal companions.

Hurry offer ends 28th April


Vina Eguia Gran ReservaDate published: 06/04/14

It's spring at last and lamb is on the menu. I can think of nothing better than a beautifully slow-roasted joint, perfectly viscous gravy, crispy roasties and vibrant red cabbage to liven up the plate! Well, actually, I can think of something better; a perfect wine match. And do you know what? I think I've found it. 

The wine makers at Bodegas Eguía offer up this 2005 Rioja Gran Reserva for our pleasure. In the glass it is brilliant ruby red with medium density and a brick-like rim. The fruity notes are mostly mature, exhibiting raisin, prune and caramel notes, accompanied by vanilla, clove and leather. All flavours are a result of the time spent in oak. However, made in 2005 the wine still has reminiscent fresh fruit flavours that combine wonderfully with the resounding maturity to provide a silky mouth-feel that lingers to a pleasantly lengthy finish. 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.

As well as being the partner for your Easter Sunday lunch, this gran reserva will equally match wonderfully nutty cheese for afters. Give it a go I  implore you. A perfect introduction to Rioja Gran Reserva!

Incredible value at £8.99 when you buy two or more bottles from our Easter Pick 'n Mix!


Caixas Albariño 2012 Martín Códax, Rías BaixasDate published: 06/04/14

Caixas Albariño 2012 Martín Códax, Rías Baixas

Galicia's signature white wine, from the region's most famous producer. Made exclusively for Majestic, with some of the grapes having been picked by Majestic's own staff, as a small number go to Galicia each year to help with the harvest. A light, fresh and youthful wine, with a zesty and well defined citrus backbone, overlayed with subtle hints of stone fruits and nectar. Crisp and refreshing, yet rounded and enduring on the finish. Drink with mussels and other shellfish, or all simple fish dishes such as grilled sardines.

£7.49 when you buy 2 or more as part of your mixed case. 


Wine FactsDate published: 06/04/14

1) Lodi is a Californian wine region most famous for it's old vine Zinfandel, but also produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. 

2) Primary characteristics of a wine come from the fruit, for example the Tempranillo grape is characterised by full red fruit flavours.

3) Secondary characteristics arise chiefly during the fermentation process and also if the wine has been aged.

4) Tertiary characteristics of a wine, such as flavours of leather and wood, come as a result of ageing. 

5) Vintage Wines contain grapes all from one 'good' year.

6) Non-Vintage wines will contain a blend of grapes from different, earlier, reserve years to achieve the right balance.

7) Chablis is a village in Northern Burgundy which gives it's name to the famous French wine which is made with Chardonnay. The grape grow particularly well in this region.

8) Christopher Merret (1614/5 - 1695) is the Englishmen credited with the discovery of adding sugar to wine before bottling to make sparkling wine.

9) Ice wine is a form of dessert wine that is made from grapes picked whilst frozen, the water in the grape freezes solid whilst the sugars do not. This results in a more concentrated, sweeter wine when the grapes are pressed. It is an extremely hard thing to do and incredibly risky for the wine producer.

10) "There is no such thing as a bad year, just a bad producer".


Ice WineDate published: 06/04/14

1) Ice wine is a dessert wine

2) It is primarily made in Canada, though also in a few other places such as Germany

3) It is produced by freezing the grapes on the vine so that they become small, frozen raisins that are concentrated and high in sugar

4) It is generally expensive due to quality and high production costs

5) Sparkling varieties are also produced

6) Grapes used include Vidal, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

7) Oak-aged examples are produced

8) They make fantastic cocktails and slush-puppies!

9) Birds are a major pest to the vine in Canada

10) We stock it!! Peller Ice Wine £35.00



TempranilloDate published: 06/04/14

Tempranillo is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. Its name comes from the Spanish temprano meaning "early", a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. 

It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's noble grape as it is the major component of the typical Rioja blends and constitutes 90-100% of Ribera del Duero wines. Unlike more aromatic red wine varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot noir, Tempranillo has a relatively neutral profile so it is often blended with other varieties, such as Grenache and Carignan (known in Rioja as Mazuelo), or aged for extended periods in oak where the wine easily takes on the flavor of the barrel. Varietal examples of Tempranillo usually exhibit flavors of plum and strawberries.

Tempranillo is an early ripening variety that tends to thrive in chalky vineyard soils such as those of the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. In Portugal, where the grape is known as Tinto Roriz and Aragonez, it is blended with others to produce Port wine.

Tempranillo wines are ruby red in colour, while aromas and flavours can include berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herb.


RiojaDate published: 06/04/14

As it is Spanish Tasting week at the moment, I thought I'd shed a little light on their most popular wine - Rioja.

Rioja is a wine region named after La Rioja in Spain. It is sub divided into three zone - Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. Many wines are traditionally blended from all three regions, although there is a rising popularity for single zone wines.

Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). 

Among the Tintos, the best-known and most widely-used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. A typical blend will consist of approximately 60% Tempranillo and up to 20% Garnacha, with much smaller proportions of Mazuelo and Graciano. 

With Rioja Blanco, Viura is the prominent grape (also known as Macabeo) and is normally blended with some Malvasía and Garnacha blanca. 

Rioja red wines are classified into four categories.

Joven - This wine has no time in cask and no ageing, it is bottled the year following the vintage for immediate release.

Crianza - This wine spends at least a year in cask and then at least a year in oak

Reserva - This is aged for at least 3 years with at least one year in oak

Gran Reserva - This is the oldest wine and is aged for a total of 5 years, two years in oak and 3 years in bottle. 

These are just the minimum requirements, and some wine makers choose to age their wines for longer to develop more flavours. 


Just in...Date published: 06/04/14


Crozes Hermitage “Les Saviaux” Domaine Michel Poinard AOP 2012.

This is classic intense, peppery northern Rhône Syrah from a small Domaine just outside the village of La Roche de Glun. Winemaker Yves Cheron was born into a family of winemakers in Burgundy but has been making wine in the Rhône since the 1980s. This Crozes comes from low yielding 30 year old vines making the wine really concentrated and expressive. £15.99 Buy any 2 save 25% = £11.99.


Wine of the week - Pouilly-Fume Les Griottes 2012 Date published: 26/03/14

Wine of the week - Pouilly-Fume Les Griottes 2012 


Origin

Grapes from up to 40 year old vines planted on the argilo limestone and kimmeridgian clay, more commonly associated with the Chablis region, imbues the wine with Pouilly-Fumé's classic richness, smokiness and complexity.

Taste

Rich and smoky on the nose, with subtle limes, white florals and honeysuckle atop a palate of fresh, clean and vibrant acidity, citrus fruit flint, minerality and green peppers. A long and layered finish.

Food Pairing

The classic pairing of goats cheese, or try with smoked salmon.



£12.99 for 2 or more – Buy 2, Save £4!!

or

£14.99 per bottle


The Northern Rhone - Red.Date published: 25/03/14

The Northern Rhone - Red.

The Rhone is one of the great wine regions of the world, with the river of it's namesake running north to south. With it's source starting south of the Swiss city of Lucerne, it flows through the vineyards of the Valais Savoie before reaching The Northern Rhone.

The topography in this region is predominantly narrow steep sided valleys with the vineyards planted close to the river. The valleys also protect the vines from cold northern winds which easily damages the grapes.

Syrah is the only black grape variety permitted in the northern Rhone - at this latitude Syrah is at the very northern limit of where it can ripen successfully. The wines produced from this grape have highly concentrated dark fruit flavour with black pepper with no obvious new oak flavours. 

An interesting process of Co-fermentation with white varieties has traditionally been practiced although now only performed in Cote-Rotie where tannins from Viognier grapes are used to stabilise the colour of the Syrah and add aromatic intensity and viscosity.
This process of co-fermentation is now used extensively in Australia. 


Well known areas within the Northern Rhone are Cote-Roties, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Cornas producing very distinctive styles.

We have a good selection of Northern Rhone wines at a range of price points available in store now.

Guigal Cote-Rotie Brune- £40

Guigal Condrieu - £34

Cave Tain l'Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage - £10.99

Uses for old wine boxes.Date published: 22/03/14

Uses for old wine boxes.

Lacking storage space and not wanting to splash out on a certain Swedish manufacturer's products, I made these shabby chic chest of drawers from old wine boxes in a couple of hours.

Here at St John's Wood we have a vast range of wines with many wines being packed into boxes as used in my chest of drawers and at very competitive prices. So not only do you get amazing wine but also the benefit of some trendy furniture! 

If your regular tipple didn't come in wooden boxes then you can just ask next time you're shopping here and we let you take some empty boxes for a donation to our nominated charity, just ask! 

Wine of the week - Albariño Martín Códax 2012 Rías BaixasDate published: 20/03/14

Wine of the week - Albariño Martín Códax 2012 Rías Baixas

Grape - Albariño

A variety of white wine grape grown in Galicia (northwest Spain), Monção and Melgaço (northwest Portugal), where it is used to make varietal white wines.

Origin

Founded in 1986 in the Rias Baixas region of Northwestern Spain, Martin Codax produces wine from the aromatic white Albariño grape. Similar to Viognier, the light and refreshing style, with a hint of sweetness, provides a refreshing alternative to Chardonnay.

Taste

Delicate peachy aromas with hints of spice, herbs and traces of sweet fruits, a fresh and crisp palate rounded by hints of honey, peaches and stone fruits, a medium body and with a floral finish.

Food suggestion

We would suggest enjoying with crispy BBQ'd prawns or grilled salmon.


Available to try in store today on our tasting counter and priced at £10.99  (when you buy 2 or more)


Free delivery on any 6 winesDate published: 19/03/14

We now offer free local delivery on any 6 bottles of wine!

Use the 'store finder' tool on the majestic website to find your local branch and order away!

Summer is just around the corner...Date published: 19/03/14

Everyone knows about how well rose wine and summer go together, but here are some alternatives.

Chill down a beaujolais for a light fruity red with strawberry and raspberry flavours.

A glass of dry chilled fino sherry is lovely as an aperitif and is becoming more and more popular.

For those that like something a little more obscure, a cold icewine is wonderful on it's own.

We have options available for all your summer drinking needs so come on in and have a chat to us here at SJW

Champagne March MadnessDate published: 19/03/14

We have a huge amount of amazing bargains on Champagne running for March:

Veuve Vintage: £33.31

Taittinger: £27.99

Laurent Perrier: £27.99

Perrier Jouet: £24.99

All prices are when two or more bottles are part of a mixed half dozen

Giesen visitDate published: 17/03/14

Giesen visit

Today at St John's Wood the team was pleased to meet Georgia Giesen from Giesen Wines Limited.
Within her large stroller suitcase she produced a selection of wines for the team to try!

The consensus was that the "The Brothers Pinot Noir 2012" was a delicious well balanced wine with clove and spice combining with perfumed cassis, currant and cherry on the nose and on the palate there was a dense, fleshy fruit weight with a persistent finish

Available in store £14.99 (when you buy 2 or more) 

Giesen was founded by three brothers who took the bold leap to make wine in Marlborough, New Zealand in 1981


Thank you Georgia 


#giesen

Spring is here! Date published: 14/03/14

Spring is here! 

The winter washout seems to have finally receded so with the onset of spring it is time to consider changing your wine palette!

For a refreshing spring sparkle try Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV -This champagne has a luminous colour of salmon pink, with coppery highlights. Elegant aromas of raspberries, wild strawberries and rose petals are in abundance. 

Currently on sale at £40.00 (when you buy 2 or more as part of a mixed case of 6)

Wine fact - the two dots on the e of Jouet mean that the next letter t should be pronounced (but softly, like wet)

Alternative suggestion - Veuve Clicquot 2004 vintage champagne £33.31 (when you buy 2 or more as part of a mixed case of 6)



For a nice lunch in the garden this weekend, M de Minuty Rosé 2013 Côtes de Provence is a superb pairing for a leafy spring green, tomato and mozzarella salad.


Currently on sale at £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more bottles as part of a mixed case of 6)


Alternative suggestion to celebrate in style - A magnum of AIX rose on sale at £19.99


Riesling part 2 - Alsace.Date published: 12/03/14

Riesling part 2 - Alsace.

Riesling is very prevalent in this NE French region - hot and sunny summers with milder autumns allow higher conversion of natural sugars into alcohol and exudes more citrus and peach notes with a much drier taste on the palate.
The large variety of soils throughout the region greatly affect the character and flavour thus there are range styles. The use of stainless steel or neutral oak during production gives more roundness to the wine. In contrast to the German wine making laws Alsatian riesling can be  chaptalized - a process involving the addition of sugar to the must (freshly pressed grape juice) to achieve a higher overall alcohol content. 

A particularly good example of an Alsatian riesling is 'Les Princes Abbés' 2011,Domaines Schlumberger with grapefruit and lime zest on the nose, bone dry on the palate, with a refreshing, bracing acidity and a clean, saline finish ideal with oysters crab and most seafood.


Riesling part 1 - Germany. Date published: 12/03/14

Riesling part 1 - Germany

This is a grape heavily associated with the Rhine in Germany. It is the most commonly grown variety in Germany (20.6% of all grapes grown) Germany asides the grape is grown in volume in Alsace and Austria with significant plantings in New Zealand, South Africa, Northern Italy and various central European and Balkan countries.
The style of wine grown in cool climates such as the Mosel valley exhibit apple and tree fruit notes with noticeable levels of acidity that is sometimes balanced with residual sugar. 

A wine that sums up these typically Germanic Riesling traits is Dr Loosen Riesling - low alcohol content (8.5%), high acidity and a medium sweetness with flinty characteristics throughout. 
When pairing with food it would go particularly well with trout or haddock.


Wine of the week - A Lisa 2012, Bodega Noemia de PatagoniaDate published: 27/02/14


Wine of the week - A Lisa 2012, Bodega Noemia de Patagonia

On offer at £18.66 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Origin

Bodega Noemia was founded by Italian wine producer Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano and Danish wine maker Hans Vinding-Diers, following their discovery of an ancient Malbec vineyard in Argentina's Rio Negro valley. A Lisa is the estate's third wine, made from 90% Mlabec.

Taste

A rounded juicy wine, offering a symphony of plum and blackberry fruit, laced with hints of liquorice, pencil lead and anise. 10 months in 2nd-fill French oak have added polish to the robust tannins.

Enjoy

This can be drunk now or 3 to 4 years cellarage. The ideal companion to a peppered steak or roast lamb.


The team here at St John's WoodDate published: 24/02/14

The team at St John's Wood has combined over 30 years experience in the wine trade and come from all over the UK and the world.

We each have our own distinct palettes and areas that arouse our interest. 

Whatever wine you'd like to know more about, the team at SJW can help.

Visit the store and have a chat to us!

The 15 min ruleDate published: 24/02/14

Recently I've been experimenting with the 15 minute rule.

15 mins before you open a bottle of white, take it out of the fridge.

15 mins before you open a bottle of red, put it in the fridge.

Try it out as it's really been releasing a lot of flavours and aromas!

Tip of the DayDate published: 24/02/14

You don't need to spend a lot on a decanter. Cheap ones still do the same job!

Why Majestic staff are so knowledgableDate published: 24/02/14

All Majestic staff sit the WSET level 3 exam, a comprehensive view of world wines and spirits. Many of our staff also have their diploma which is a culmination of 2 years of study and several exams. For more information visit the WSET website: www.wsetglobal.com

Perrier Jouet Blason Rose - Bargain of FebruaryDate published: 24/02/14

For all of February we have the Perrier Jouet Blason Rose at £29.98 when you purchase two of more bottles.

This is a fantastic example of Rose Champagne with red berry notes combining with a toasty brioche characteristic and a dry finish. 

Come and try it for yourself! 

The Fine Wine CentreDate published: 24/02/14

In store here at St John's Wood we're lucky enough to have the Fine Wine Centre (FWC).

It's a must visit for any wine enthusiast and our extremely knowledgbale team will help you find that special bottle or bottles!

Party Central!Date published: 24/02/14

Don't forget, if you're having a party, we make it easy!

In addition to all your wine, bubbly, spirits, beer and cider, we offer water and soft drink. 

We also offer free glass hire, ice tub hire (and ice to go in there) and free delivery.

If you're having a party look no further than Majestic!

Fact of the dayDate published: 24/02/14

The Carmenere grape is allowable in Bordeaux, however Phylloxera wiped most of the vines out. It has now found a new home in Chile, where the high altitudes mean the Phylloxera doesn't affect the vines to nearly the same extent.

Did you know?Date published: 24/02/14

The Pinotage grape is a cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault

Food and Wine Matching the Impossible: Sherry!!Date published: 22/02/14

Food and Wine Matching the Impossible: Sherry!!

Sherry is notorious for stumping even the best of people when it comes to matching it with particular dishes.

My favourite style of sherry is Oloroso; warm, rounded complex and powerful. This style has a toasty quality and hints of dried fruits on the nose.  Dry and well-structured on the palate, with flavours of hazelnuts, fine wood and tobacco. Best served lightly chilled.  

Oloroso is a great match for any cheeseboard - especially mature, flavoursome cheeses such as Manchego, Parmigiano and Zamorano. 

Oloroso is not just for starters though - have you thought of pairing it with a hearty main meal??  Think about trying your next bottle with Ox Tail Stew.  The unique aroma and body of the Oloroso are perfect for complementing and enhancing strong flavoured dishes such as these. 

Visit us in-store and check out our selection of sherries, and ask us what we would serve with our favourites.

Wine of the week - Luigi Bosca Malbec 2011Date published: 21/02/14

Our wine of the week is an exceptional example of the de facto Argentinian grape Malbec.

Origin

Bodega Luigi Bosca was founded in 1901, after the original wave of Italian wine makers had settled in Argentina. Vistalba is an important sub region of Lujan de Cuyo located at 990m above sea level, providing an ideal micro climate for this low yielding Malbec variety.

Taste

The nose is bursting with red fruits with a subtle sweet spice. On the pallet you are hit with juicy dark and voluptuous fruit combined with vanilla hints, firm tannins and elegant toasted notes as a result of aging in French Oak.

The ideal companion for seared venison loin.

On offer at £12.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Single bottle price - £15.99



New CiderDate published: 08/02/14

Burrow Hill Cider


Burrow Hill Cider consistently rates as one of the best (and often the very best) cider in the UK. It features on the lists of many Michelin starred restaurants, and on the shelves of Harvey Nichols and Harrods.

Owner, Julian Temperley, (who has featured on River Cottage and Rick Stein shows) is an out-spoken traditionalist with no interest in selling his cider through major supermarkets.

This is a Majestic exclusive line.All the apples are home grown on 160 acres of orchards, and are then pressed and blended in a very traditional, medium/dry style.

In the world of increasingly commercial and flavoured ciders of varying quality and heritage – Burrow Hill Farm stands out for flying the flag of quality led, artisan cider and we are very pleased to offer them to our customers.


£27.00/case.


Available to taste!!

New Beer #2Date published: 08/02/14

Badger Mixed Case


Another addition to our popular mixed case range.

In the case you will find 3 of the following,

First Gold - A clean fresh distinctive  ale with hints of orange and spice from the hop. Perfect with tradtional Roasts.

Tangle Foot - A golden ale with hints of melon and pear developed from fermentation. Ideal with steak and ale pies.

Hopping Hare - A refreshing ale with a unique hoppy aroma and a well balanced bitterness that is bound to satisfy. A great match with roast lamb and spicy Thai dishes.

Blandford Flyer - A medium bodied brew with warm ginger notes and a round sweetness. It makes a refreshing accompniment to a hot Lamb Biryani or a spicy chilli crispy beef.


£21.60/case when you buy 2 or more packs of bottled ales


Availbale to taste!!

New Beer #1Date published: 08/02/14

Timothy Taylor's Landlord


Timothy Taylor started brewing in Keighley, West Yorkshire in 1958 and the business continues today as a family company maintaining the tradition of excellence he established.

Landlord is the classic Pale Ale brewed in the traditional way using Pennine water drawn from the wells  at Knowle Spring, the finest Golden Promise barley malt and only the best quality whole leaf hops.

Refreshingly reliable and nationally renowned, this full drinking Pale Ale has a complex and hoppy aroma.

Landlord has won more major awards than any other UK Ale, including four times as Supreme Champion at the Brewers' International Awards and 4 times as CAMRA's Champion Beer of the Year.


£22.80/case, when you buy 2 or more cases of bottled Ales


Available to taste!!


    

McGuigan Shortlist GSM 2010Date published: 27/01/14

This Rhône-inspired blend has become a staple of the warmer regions of Australia such as Barossa Valley, where the conditions offer excellent ripening potential and intensely flavoured red grapes. This example if vinified in open vats and matured in oak for 16 months.

A open and generous wine, with a nose of vibrant forest fruit and hints of spice. Luscious and supple on the palate, with notes of cocoa, anise and toasty oak.

McGuigan recommends partnering with rack of lamb.

Only £9.99 when you buy two or more bargain hunt wines.

(£14.99 Single bottle price)

Aged White Burgundy 1Date published: 26/01/14

The problem I often have when choosing my wines is deciding whether a bottle is ready for drinking or still too young. In truth nobody can truly predict the optimum drinking window for any one wine - however that is not to say we can't give it a  good go!

Often when talking about ageing wines one will generally be referring to reds, however some whites are very capable of developing in the bottle. The classic example is top white Burgundy.

We have a little stock of a 2007 Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru (the Morgeot Les Fairendes). It is drinking beautifully with plenty of minerality and richness at the same time with a less biting acidity that a more youthful style would possess. The finish is long and satisfying.

This a gem worth trying before we run out, especially at a modest £35 a bottle!

Bargain Hunt Gem - KC Cabernet-MerlotDate published: 26/01/14

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 temperatures within the Constantia Valley. 

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. 

Matches well with roast beef or any hearty red meat dishes.

Only £7.32 When you buy two or more Bargain Hunt wines

(£10.99 Single bottle price)

Bargain Hunt Gem - Thelema Sauvignon BlancDate published: 26/01/14

The Thelema Estate enjoys the perfect location of being on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains in Stellenbosch where it has the cool temperature’s and excellent soil essential for the production of high quality wines for which Thelema is so famous.

An uplifting and refreshing wine with pungent fruit aromas, lovely fresh melon and grapefruit flavours, with a full, grassy palate and a good level of crisp acidity, all in perfect balance. 

Great partner to pan fried Dover sole with asparagus and hollandaise sauce.

Only £11.66 When you buy two bargain hunt wines

(£17.49 Single Bottle Price)


Wine of the Week - Rustenberg John X MerrimanDate published: 25/01/14

Rustenberg Winery has created this wine to commemorate John Xavier Merriman, the last Prime Minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910. In 1892, Merriman purchased a farm in Stellenbosch, which later became Rustenberg Wines.

This red Bordeaux blend has aromas of intense blackberry, blackcurrant and undertones of mint, spice and cigar. On the palate are plenty of blackcurrant and cassis.

This superb red suits robust meat dishes, especially beef and lamb.

£13.99 When you buy two or more 

 (£17.99 Single bottle price)

Wine of the week - Laville Bertrou 2011Date published: 18/01/14

Laville Bertrou

Gerard Bertrand

2011

Minervois

£11.99 when you buy two or more as part of a mixed 6 wines

Minervois is one of the more well known regions in South East France and is renowned for producing full bodied, fruit driven red wines. Gerard Bertrand (former French international rugby player) has been instrumental in raising the standard of wines the Languedoc-Rousillon region.

This blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache is bursting with plum and black fruit notes. It is quite heavy, yet softens out on the finish and has great length for a wine of this price.

The ideal pairing of food with this wine is a hearty beef stew and a roaring fireplace.

£11.99 when you buy two or more as part of a mixed 6 wines


A to Z of wine: Z is for ZoninDate published: 15/01/14

Zonin is one of Italy's biggest producers by volume and is responsible for a very nice prosecco.

A to Z of wine: Y is for YquemDate published: 14/01/14

Perhaps the most famous desert wine in the world, Chateau D'Yquem wines are highly sought after, highly expensive, and only made in appropriate vintages.

A to Z of wine: X is for Xarel-loDate published: 13/01/14

Xarel-lo is a grape known for being blended in Cava, Spain's answer to Champagne. 

A to Z of wine: W is for Winston ChurchillDate published: 12/01/14

Winston Churchill was famously fond of Pol Roger Champagne. So much so that their Prestige Cuvee is now named after the man himself. 

A to Z of wine: V is for ViticultureDate published: 11/01/14

Viticulture is the practice of tending to the grapes in a vineyeard

Wines for JanauryDate published: 11/01/14

While some people are using January to abstain from drinking alcohol; we still think a nice bottle with dinner is a necessity.

For those who are feeling the cold we have few beefy reds on the counter to help keep you warm, including our new Coonawarra Cabernet - The Hamilton Block.

Or perhaps if you are more of a white wine drinker, the Pouilly Fume by Jean Vincent is still at £9.99 is a fantastic fish wine. 

If you have something to celebrate it might interest you to know that we still have Veuve Clicquot is still at £29.99!

Thought of the day 10/1Date published: 10/01/14

Pol Roger is an excellent Champagne

A to Z of wine: U is for UnicoDate published: 10/01/14

Unico is a wine produced by Vega Sicilia in the Ribera del Duero region of Spain and is considered to be Spain's best and well known wine.

Thought of the day 9/1Date published: 09/01/14

Salmon and Sancerre pair wonderfully

A to Z of wine: T is for TerroirDate published: 09/01/14

Terroir is a term used to sum up the flavour characteristics of a certain wine or area. Factors affecting terroir include climate, soil type and geography.

Thought of the day 8/1Date published: 08/01/14

Why not come down and see what's on our tasting counter?

A to Z of wine: S is for Syrah/ShirazDate published: 08/01/14

Syrah/Shiraz is a red grape known for producing full bodied wines. It is known in Australia as Shiraz and often has a distinct intense plum flavour with a high alcohol percentage. 

A to Z of wine: R is for RichebourgDate published: 07/01/14

Richebourg is an appellation in Burgundy renowned for producing some of the highest quality Pinot Noirs in the world.

Thought of the day 7/1Date published: 07/01/14

When it comes to wine, trying something new is a low risk, high reward venture

A to Z of wine: Q is for Quartz ReefDate published: 06/01/14

Quartz Reef is a winery from Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand. It's characterized by cherry notes with a delicate body and long finish.

Thought of the day 6/1Date published: 06/01/14

Good company matches any wine

A to Z of wine: P is for Petite VerdotDate published: 05/01/14

P is for Petite Verdot, a red grape found a lot in France. By itself it creates big, tannic, full bodied wines, but it is more used as a blending grape. It is one of the 6 allowable grape varieties in bordeaux.

Thought of the day 5/1Date published: 05/01/14

Be honest to yourself and others

A to Z of wine: O is for OrnellaiaDate published: 04/01/14

Ornellaia is an Italian winery at the forefront of the Super Tuscan movement. The concept of using bordeaux grapes in Tuscany is reasonably new and Ornellaia make several of these wines at verying price points. Come in to SJW and find out more about these spectacular wines.

A to Z of wine: N is for NegroamaroDate published: 03/01/14

Negroamaro is an Italian red grap that is most notably used in Salice Salantino, a medium bodied red that pairs well with pizza.

A to Z of wine: M is for Mouvedre/MataroDate published: 02/01/14

Mouvedre/mataro is a full bodied red grape most notably used in the Rhone as a blending grape.  

A to Z of wine: L is for LatourDate published: 01/01/14

Latour is one of the 5 Bordeaux First Growths, which is the highest classification for left bank Bordeaux wines.

Happy New Year!Date published: 31/12/13

On behalf of the team here at St Johns Wood we would like to wish all of our customers a very happy and prosperous New Year and thank you all for your custom over the last 12 months.


We will be closing today at 5pm and reopen at 10am on Thursday 2nd January.


Have a great New Years Eve and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

A to Z of wine: K is for KabinettDate published: 31/12/13

Kabinett is the a classification for German riesling and is the lowest level or residual sugar (sweetness)

Thought of the day 30/12Date published: 30/12/13

Don't forget the soft drinks and extras for your New Years party

Champagne and New Years Eve - Part 3Date published: 30/12/13

For those looking to really indulge over the NYE period then look no further than Krug. 

Krug has set the benchmark for all other Champagne houses and their Grand Cuvee is one of the finest Champagnes I've ever tasted.

They are extraordinarily selective about the grapes that they use and each step of the Champagne method is meticulous and precise. 

At £120 this is not an every day drinker, but for any Champagne lover, I strongly recommend you treat yourself at some point. 

For those high rollers, we also have Magnums or Jerobaums available. 

A to Z of wine: J is for Jancis RobinsonDate published: 30/12/13

One of the most influential wine writers in the world. Her Atlas and Encyclopedia with Hugh Johnson are must have's for any wine enthusiast.

Thought of the day 29/12Date published: 29/12/13

Nothing beats Champagne on New Years Eve

Champagne and New Years Eve - Part 2Date published: 29/12/13

For those looking for a fantastic value Champagne for their NYE celebrations then it's difficult to go past the Heidseick Gold Top 2007 vintage. It is rare to find a vintage Champagne for the absolute bargain of £20 a bottle and the Heidseick does not disappoint. It is for those that prefer more of a yeast identity to their Champagne rather than more of the citrus and stone fruit end of the spectrum.

If you're having a big party and want a cut price vintage Champagne which is well presented and is value for money, then come down to SJW and pick up a few cases.  

A to Z of wine: I is for IntoxicationDate published: 29/12/13

Don't overindulge on the wine this New Years!

Thought of the day 28/12Date published: 28/12/13

Use this time to recharge from Christmas and ramp up to New years!

A to Z of wine: H is for HeidsieckDate published: 28/12/13

Charles Heidsieck was known as 'Champagne Charlie' and was a pioneer in the Champagne region

Champagne and New Years Eve - Part 1Date published: 28/12/13

Champagne has become synonymous with celebration, and New Years Eve is arguably the biggest night of celebrating. But which Champagne should you choose?

Personally I find it difficult to go past the Ruinart range. Champagne's first house, their Non-Vintage, Blanc de Blancs and Rose are all shining examples of three very different styles. 

The non-vintage carries a lot of toast and brioche characteristics whilst still carrying enough citrus notes. 

The Rose is a picture of delicacy with a touch of strawberry notes combining with restrained acidity.

The blanc de blancs (100% chardonnay) has more of a nutty characteristic and is slightly creamier texture.

All the Ruinart Champagnes hold a fine bead and are extremely competitive in price. 

Currently the NV is £35, and the Rose and Blanc de Blancs are at £45.

Thought of the day 27/12Date published: 27/12/13

Better to be safe than sorry, but fortune favours the brave

A to Z of wine: G is for GrenacheDate published: 27/12/13

Grenache is a red grape that is found abundantly in Rhone, Spain and Australia. 

Thought of the day 26/12Date published: 26/12/13

In some countries Boxing Day is referred to as 'Second Christmas'

A to Z of wine: F is for FranceDate published: 26/12/13

France is the most noteworthy wine country and as of 2011 has the worlds largest wine production. 

Thought of the day 25/12Date published: 25/12/13

Happy Holidays to all our wonderful customers and our soon to be customers!

A to Z of wine: E is for Emilio MoroDate published: 25/12/13

Emilio Moro is a fantastic producer in Ribera Del Duero in Spain. We have his wine in stock now!

Thought of the day 24/12Date published: 24/12/13

Everyone loves Christmas eve

Thought of the day 23/12Date published: 23/12/13

Fried food goes amazingly well with Champagne

Thought of the day 22/12Date published: 22/12/13

Nothing beats a white Christmas

A to Z of wine: D is for DurifDate published: 22/12/13

Durif (otherwise known as petite syrah) is a full bodied powerful group that has thrived in new world wine countries such as Australia and America.

A to Z of wine: C is for CrianzaDate published: 21/12/13

Crianza is a classification for Spanish red wines. Crianza means it has been aged for 6 months in oak and 12 months in the bottle.

Thought of the day 21/12Date published: 21/12/13

If you're doing your Christmas shopping today, you're doing it wrong!

Team Christmas wine: James RDate published: 21/12/13

Well we always have to start with some bubbles so I shall be popping a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Balncs

Then a bottle of white to start, and this year I have gone for a classic, a Puligny-Montrachet from the fantastic Domaine de Cherisey.

Then I have chosen to really treat myself this year for my red, a bottle of Cos D'Estournel 1986. As a cheaper second bottle at the table we will be opening a bottle of the Chateaux Barde-Haut 2001

Team Christmas wine: James HDate published: 21/12/13

Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque (Champagne, France)

Peller Ice wine (Ontario, Canada)

Langoa-Barton '98 (Bordeaux, France)

30 YO Tawny (Portugal) 

A to Z of wine: B is for BurgundyDate published: 20/12/13

Burgundy is one of the most important regions in France and is found in central France. It's whites are almost exclusively made from chardonnay and it's reds are almost exclusively Pinot Noir

Thought of the day 20/12Date published: 20/12/13

Drink more Champagne

A to Z of wine: A is for AlbarinoDate published: 19/12/13

Albarino is found mostly in the Riax Baixas region in North West Spain. It's clean, crisp and pairs well with seafood.

Alienor - Elegant, American, On Tasting Date published: 19/12/13

The Alienor will be on the tasting counter for the next few days (19th, 20th, 21st December) and our Fine Wine Manager Jonny has a few thoughts:

A little research shows that they have a relatively small production (770 cases) and tend to vary their blending every year however mainly focusing on the production of Merlot.  

Lighter in body than many Californian wines with lower alcohol (13.8%abv) this really is a breath of fresh air from the stereotypical big, cassis laden fruit bombs than litter the Napa Valley. Layers of cherry, strawberry, kirsch mingle with hints of blackcurrants and blackberries but this is not all about the fruit. I hint of spice, mocha and smoke from the oak used gives another dimension while the structure is beautiful. It belies the fact it is only just approaching it's 4th birthday with supple ripe tannins that balance with the purity of fruit - a great example of what can be achieved in the up and coming area of Lake County.  

Overall I am incredibly impressed with this wine and the clear determination of the winemakers to move away from what may be considered the norm in top end Californian reds. You could partner this with many things but I would like to try it with duck, simply roasted with garlic and rosemary vegetables - glorious! With only 2 cases available to Majestic at £50 per bottle I would buy it while you can to save missing out...

Thought of the day 19/12Date published: 19/12/13

Christmas jumpers are back in fashion

Thought of the day 18/12Date published: 18/12/13

Everyone has a favourite Christmas movie - enjoy one with friends or family

Thought of the day 17/12Date published: 17/12/13

Give a gift that you'd want to receive yourself

Thought of the day 16/12Date published: 16/12/13

Don't confuse a bad wine experience with a bad wine. Try and look at the wine objectively.

Pre-Christmas DeliveryDate published: 16/12/13

As the big day draws closer we're all panicking whether we have got everything done or not!

We still have plenty of space for deliveries before Christmas but don't leave it too late!

Give us a call on 020 7604 3461 and we can help you put together an order.

Thought of the day 15/12Date published: 15/12/13

A grudge only gets heavier the longer you hold it

Thought of the day 14/12Date published: 14/12/13

Match your wine to go with your food, don't make your food to match your wine.

Bordeaux Magnums - Right BankDate published: 14/12/13

Thinking of grabbing something special for Christmas this year?

We are big fans of wine out of magnums and here is a what we have from Pomerol and Saint Emilion.

Chateau Le Gay Pomerol 2001

Drinking Beautifully now this gem is packed with sweet black fruit and an earthy spice character making it a classic Pomerol. Whether you are having turkey or goose this is a cracking tipple to enjoy with it.

Clos de L'Oratoire Saint Emilion 1989

At optimum maturity and showing a lot more leathery character and more complexity than its younger counter-parts, this again is the ideal wine for your Christmas dinner. A perfect balance between richness and freshness is the key to this wine.


Thought of the day 13/12Date published: 13/12/13

Hot heads and cold hearts solve nothing

Christmas Jumper day tomorrowDate published: 12/12/13

Don't forget to wear to wear your Christmas jumper tomorrow (13/12) to support charity

Thought of the day 12/12Date published: 12/12/13

Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones, whoever they may be.

Christmas Opening HoursDate published: 07/12/13

Please see below our opening hours for the festive period,

Monday 9th December - Friday 13th 9am-8pm

Saturday 14th December - 9am-7pm

Sunday 15th December - 10am-5pm

Monday 16th - Friday 20th December - 9am-8pm

Saturday 21st December - 9am-8pm

Sunday 22nd December - 10am-5pm

Monday 23rd December - 9am-8pm

Christmas Eve December - 9am-5pm

Christmas Day - Closed

Boxing Day - Closed

Friday 27th December - 10am-8pm

Saturday 28th December -  9am-7pm

Sunday 29th December - 10am-5pm

Monday 30th December - 10am-8pm

New Years Eve - 10am-5pm

New Years Day - Closed

Thursday 2nd January onwards - Normal opening Hours 

Wine of the Week - Chateau Tayac 2006Date published: 07/12/13

Origin

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.

Taste

A medium-bodied, well-structured claret, with good ripeness and fruit concentration, and harmonious savoury characters. Fine-grained tannins and good length.


Christmas Wines - WhiteDate published: 07/12/13

Planeta, Chardonnay 2011

Planeta are one of the top producers coming out of Sicily and their Chardonnay is as good as it gets. Enjoying a warm Mediterranean climate, Planeta are able to farm lovely ripe fruit and thus produce a fantastically expressive wine with refreshing lime and tropical notes. The Chardonnay is aged in 50% new oak barrels and 50% 1 year old oak giving subtle vanilla and toasty aromas to the wine and a creamy texture has developed through lees stirring.

A cracking wine to enjoy this Christmas at £25.00 a bottle!


Christmas Wines - RedDate published: 07/12/13

Nuits-St-George, Le Petit Arlot 2011

Made from the youngest vines from the Clos de l'Arlot, this wine has a wonderfully subtle red berry nose, which remain on the palate. The youthfulness comes through on the palate with delicate, smooth tannins and freshness in abundance. This wine is already drinking very well and will only improve over the next few years.

A top quality Burgundy for the great price of £25!


Christmas wines - SparklingDate published: 07/12/13

Pol Roger NV

Pol Roger are responsible for some of the Champagne regions finest. Their house style non vintage is arguably the best house style Champagne and their history of producing fantastic Champagnes is renowned. This has a wonderful toasty characteristic combined with a zesty citrus palate. Great length on the finish with the taught balance of a top quality Champagne.

An absolute steal at £34. 


Thought of the day 26/11Date published: 26/11/13

Don't forget, we offer free local delivery for wine over a total of £40...

Tasting Spain's finestDate published: 25/11/13

Down here at SJW we're offering our community a chance to try some spectacular Spanish wine from a renowned producer.


From 1830 this coming Friday (29th Nov) we have one of the Muga team to talk through some lovely red and white wine including their excellent Especial Rioja. 


Come in and have a taste of these iconic wines and discover why Rioja is a household name arouhd the world.

Thought of the day 25/11Date published: 25/11/13

Don't leave your Christmas shopping until the last moment.

Thought of the day 24/11Date published: 24/11/13

Champagne makes a fantastic Christmas present.

Christmas Party?Date published: 23/11/13

If you're having a Christmas party then Majestic can sort you out. In addition to free local delivery we offer sale and return (so don't worry about over ordering), free glass and chiller bin hire and ice in addition to your favourite wine, Champagne, beer and spirits.

If you are planning a party then come in and see us as soon as possible because we are extremely busy around this time of the year. Book in a delivery slot and let us do the rest.

Wine of the week - RedDate published: 23/11/13

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Super Tuscan, this is a relatively new (last fifty years) idea where Tuscan producers experiment with grapes that don't fall under the DOC or DOCG classifications, most notable Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This wine is second wine of the world famous Sassicaia

The Cabernet Sauvignon provides the structure and hints at blackberry and blackcurrant notes. The merlot adds another dimension and evokes thoughts of stewed plumbs. A combination of French and American oak combine to provide a well integrated oak influence with silky smooth tannin. Very much a drink now style of wine to be enjoyed with rich lamb and beef dishes. 


Wine of the Week - WhiteDate published: 23/11/13

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2012, Clos de L'Oratoire

The name Châteauneuf-du-Pape is synonymous with top quality red wine but that is not to say that the whites are not every bit as good.

Clos de L'Oratoire have produced this stunning example with oak-fermented Roussanne and then other Rhone varietals, including Marsanne and Grenache blanc, which are fermented in steel.

With each grape playing it's part in the blend the wine is beautifully balanced, the bright floral notes of the Roussanne on the nose with the more savoury notes of the Marsanne in the background.

The palate is rich but also refreshing with all the aromas on the nose coming together with the fruity edge of the Grenache Blanc. The finish is smooth and lingering. 

Drinking beautifully in its youth but will certainly benefit from 2-3 years cellering.

£24.00 When you buy two or more.

£26.00 Single bottle price.

Thought of the day 23/11Date published: 23/11/13

Put your red wines in the fridge 15 mins before you're going to drink them. Reds are supposed to be drunk around 13-14 degrees. 

Wines of Rhone and BurgundyDate published: 22/11/13

This coming weekend we have a number of wines from Rhone and Burgundy on the tasting counter. Whether you know and love these regions, or would like an introduction, come on in and have a chat to our team and taste some fantastic wines. 

Big News!Date published: 22/11/13

Majestic Wines has now hit 200 stores!

Come and pay us a visit to see how we are celebrating the news.

Thought of the day 22/10Date published: 22/11/13

Takes your white wines out of the fridge 15 minutes before you drink it. You'll notice far more in terms of flavours.

Today in HistoryDate published: 21/11/13

Today in 1877 Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound! It is also World Hello Day although only unofficially.

Thought of the day 21/11Date published: 21/11/13

Fortified wines (sheey, port, muscat etc.) are perfect for this time of the year. 

Thought of the day 20/11Date published: 20/11/13

Try wine from a country or region you've never had before. What have you got to lose?

Thought of the day 19/11Date published: 19/11/13

Don't feel you need to follow food/wine pairing guide lines if you don't want to. Remember: rules were made to broken..

Wine of the Week - Vidal Fleury St Joseph 2009Date published: 18/11/13

This week we have chosen the St. Joseph 2009 from Vidal-Fleury.

Grape

Syrah

Origin

Vidal-Fleury have been making wine in the northern Rhône Valley since the late 18th century, and this St.Joseph adheres to the traditional style. Fermentation is effected by indigenous yeasts, and is followed by 12 months in large oak vats, before bottling without fining

Taste

This deep crimson wine has a concentrated berry character on nose and palate, framed by elegant yet firm tannins, and embellished with notes of black pepper, thyme and anise.

Enjoy

Enjoyable young, but will benefit from cellarage of 5 years or more. Drink with lamb roasted with a bouquet of fresh herbs.



Thought of the day 18/11Date published: 18/11/13

Your mixers have more of an influence than you think in your favourite cocktail or mixed drink. Try the fever tree range and taste the difference.

Thought of the day 17/11Date published: 17/11/13

If you're planning on having a big Christmas lunch or dinner, why not try a magnum?

Wine of the Week - Les Tourelles de Longueville, 2009Date published: 16/11/13

Our Wine of the week this week is an absolute classic. Les Tourelles de Longueville 2009. As we approach Christmas, we need to start thinking about what we want to be drinking over the holidays, and I think that this is a real contender.

The wine is beautifully balanced and drinking extremely well considering its youth. The wine has very fine tannins and lots of fresh fruit on the nose and the palate. 

According to Robert Parker, the second wine of Pichon Baron, Les Tourelles de Longueville 2009, is the best second effort he has tasted from this estate. An equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is very seductive, with loads of black fruits, an almost caramelized note, low acidity and voluptuous texture. Endearing and pure, this full-bodied second wine is better than many vintages of the grand vin from the 1940s and 1950s.

Drink it over the next 10-15 years. 90 points. Robert Parker. The Wine Advocate.

Now in store on our tasting counter for you to try. 

Only £35 per bottle

Wet weather winesDate published: 09/11/13

There's nothing better than a big hearty full bodied red on a cold rainy day. 

Australian shiraz, Argentinian malbec and Californian cabernet sauvignon are some of my favourites.

Try the Mcguigan hand made shiraz at £20.00, The Alamos malbec (£6.66 as part of our November Pick N Mix offer) or the Beringer cabernet  (£8.99).

If you enjoy curling up on the couch with a DVD and a bottle of red, come on in and stock up on your favourite wet weather wines. 

Today in HistoryDate published: 09/11/13

1994 – The chemical element Darmstadtium is discovered

Wine of the Week - Duckhorn Decoy Merlot 2012Date published: 08/11/13

This Week's Choice for Wine of the Week is the Decoy Merlot 2010 Duckhorn from the Napa Valley. Celebrating Majestic's Californian Tasting Weekend, this wine is a real treat for all wine lovers.

Grape Varieties

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot

Origin

Duckhorn Vineyards were founded in 1976 in St Helena, in the heart of the Napa Valley. Their Decoy range is made from vineyards cultivated by several partner growers, but is crafted in Duckhorn's 'house style', with maturation in 100% French oak barrels.

Taste

An inviting, approachable wine made from nearly 90% Merlot, with a lush sweet-fruited centre of bramble, cherry and plum. Subtle hints of sweet pudding spice lift the nose. Tannins are smooth and supple.

Price

£22 per bottle

The wine is on our Tasting Counter now, so come along to the store and try it out for yourself to see how good it is!!

Temporary Drivers RequiredDate published: 03/11/13

Both St Johns Wood and Marylebone are looking for drivers to help us out in our busy December period.


The position would start on 2nd December and finish on the 20th December and will be 45 hour weeks. You would get the same benefits over this period as a full time permanant member of the Majestic team.


All we ask is that you're over 20 and have at least 1 year driving experience.


If you're interested, please visit www.majestic.co.uk/careers.

Wine of the Week - Brunello di Montalcino, Banfi 2008Date published: 02/11/13

Not for the faint of heart. This wine is full bodied and powerful with noticeable chocolate, liquorice and dark fruits on the nose and palate. It is both complex, but seriously well-balanced with a length beyond many £30+ Italian reds. It can certainly be drunk straight away, but will only improve over the next ten years!

It's also a ridiculous bargain. As part of our Pick 'n' Mix, you can pick up a bottle for £19.99.

£19.99 when you buy any two bottles in our November Pick & Mix offer. (£30.00 single bottle price)


Torres Vina SolDate published: 02/11/13

Viña Sol arrived in 1963 as a symbol of winemaking modernity. When Miguel Torres began experimenting with cool–fermentation to produce a fresher, more aromatic white wine, he couldn't have foreseen the acclaim that would follow. Yet five decades later, Viña Sol still stands as a benchmark for fresh, lively whites, with a huge following of contented consumers and critics around the world.Now the blazing mediterranean sun that gave Viña Sol its name is also the symbol of its 50th anniversary. It shines out from the commemorative label, joined by fifty more suns on the cap, for a bottle that's as fresh and elegant as its contents.Fresh and fruity on the nose, a smooth, crisp palate, with plenty of apples and pineapple fruit. A refreshingly crisp wine.


This wine will be appearing at our Winter Tasting evening.

This day in HistoryDate published: 26/10/13

On this day, October 26th,

1640 – The Treaty of Ripon is signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.

1861 – The Pony Express officially ceases operations.

1863 – The Football Association, the oldest football association in the world, is formed in London.

1905 – Norway becomes independent from Sweden.

1936 – The first electric generator at Hoover Dam goes into full operation.

1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.


The C WordDate published: 26/10/13

The C Word


Those eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that around central London and various retailers have already started putting up their Christmas decorations and we're not even in November!


In Majestic St Johns Wood, we can offer sanctuary from this. We promise not to have any decorations up until December at the very earliest. We also promise no Christmas music until December.


So to escape all this Christmas stuff come and join us for our November offers starting on Tuesday.

Wine of the Week number 2Date published: 25/10/13

The 2nd wine this week is Italian. The Amarone 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.

£18.00 per bottle, when you buy 2 or more selected Fine Wines £23 (single bottle price)

Wine of the Week Number 1 Date published: 25/10/13

As a special treat this week, we are opening 2 amazing wines that justify the title, Wine of the Week!!


The first one is from Zind Humbrecht, their Heimbourg Gewurtzraminer.


Origin

Superb Gewürztraminer from one of the finest 'lieu dit' vineyards in Alsace, made by one of the regions most respected producers. Zind-Humbrecht are certified as fully organic, and also practice biodynamic viticulture.

Taste

Heimbourg is known for this elegant and subtle style, offering a multi-layered yet restrained bouquet of rose petal and tropical aromas, and a palate with good freshness and length.


Today in HistoryDate published: 22/10/13

In 1940 the first edition of the Ernest Hemingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published.

Thought of the day 21/10Date published: 21/10/13

Like Prosecco? Why not try a Cava, the famous Spanish sparkling wine. It's great value for great wine.

Bellingham Wines - South African brillianceDate published: 20/10/13

It was only recently that one of the team members here at SJW alerted me to the Bellingham wines. The Bernard series Chenin Blanc and Viogner are two of the finest whites under £10 I've tried in the last 12 months. 

The Viogner is a full white wine. Aromatic and floral, it was a great mouthfeel and texture. The acid structure is solid without being intrusive and the finish is wonderfully long for a quaffing wine. 

The Chenin Blanc is slightly oaked which gives it an apricot characteristic. On the nose it smells a lot more oaked than on the palate, with the oak influence being refreshingly restrained. 

Both wines are fantastically balanced and are incredibly good value.

We have both wines at £9.59 thanks to our current South African wine offer which gives you 20% off when you buy 2 or more as part of a mixed half dozen.

Thought of the day 20/10Date published: 20/10/13

If you're at a restaurant and find the wine list slightly daunting, ask your waiter or waitress. They're trained to know which wines on the menu pair best with food so trust. 

The Diversity of Spanish WineDate published: 20/10/13

There is a stigma around the range of different wines offered from Spain, but there is far more variety on offer than one might think. 

It is true that the vast majority of quality red wines are made using Tempranillo, however it isn't just that simple. In Rioja, Ribera del duero and Toro all use different clones, the latter being a more full bodied and tannic version of the others. 

There are also other areas like Priorat which uses Carignan as its traditional main grape variety or Navarra which has Grenache as its staple red.

Then there are the whites, Albarino has grown a fashionable status in recent times and as thus has overshadowed the other whites Spain has to offer. 

Rioja produces a very interesting white, traditionally made to be full bodied and ageable from its main white grape, Viura. The other indigenous Spanish grape is Verdejo which tends to produce very green and refreshing wine.

International white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay have found themselves a home in Spain and are going from strength to strength.


We still have 20% off our Spanish wines, why not try a few of the different styles we have on offer when you next pop by.


Thought of the day 19/10Date published: 19/10/13

Try to get involved in as many tastings as possible. They allow you to experience a range of wines usually for free. Ask about our tastings next time you're in store.

Ten Minutes By Tractor Pinot Noir 2010Date published: 19/10/13

Ten Minutes by Tractor Pinot Noir, 2010

The Mornington Peninsula has been producing some stunning wines in recent times at all price points. Mornington Peninsular is a sub-region of Victoria which, in recent years, has been identified as arguably the best area in Australia for cultivating the classic Burgundian varieties. It is most famously known for Pinot Noir's and Chardonnay's. The Pinots' are delicate without erring on the side of being thin. Cherry and red berry notes combine with a silky finish and make for versatile wines. The Chardonnays are often slightly oaked with some malolactic fementation, giving it a creamy buttery charactersitic. However think more towards Meursault or Montrachet rather than a full Californian chardonnay.

Made in small open-topped fermenters with wild yeasts and matured for 11-15 months in French oak, this is an elegant and polished Australian Pinot.

Thought of the day 18/10Date published: 18/10/13

The more feedback you give the team at your local Majestic store, the more likely we are to find you wines that you might not have heard of, and that you'll truly love. 

Wine of the week - Ten Mins by Tractor Pinot Noir Date published: 18/10/13

Mornington Peninsular is a sub-region of Victoria, around 45 minutes drive from Melbourne which, in recent years, has been identified as arguably the best area in Australia for cultivating the classic Burgundian varieties. Made in small open-topped fermenters with wild yeasts and matured for 11-15 months in French oak, this is an elegant and polished Australian Pinot.

Thought of the day 14/10Date published: 14/10/13

It's never too early to start stocking up for Christmas

Simple mulled wineDate published: 13/10/13

I love mulled wine, but as a bachelor who's motto in the kitchen is 'minimum effort, maximum effect', I try and keep it simple. This is the easiest and simple recipe I have come across.

A bottle of soft fruity red. New world merlot and malbec work fantastically. Try the Callia Bella malbec from Argentina.

10 cloves

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 orange peel

1 green apple, chopped in to pieces

1 tablespoon of honey

150mL of water


Heat up the water and sugar/honey until the it's dissolved. Add the orange peel, apple, cloves and cinnamon. Keep heating until the kitchen smells amazing and some of the water has boiled off. Reduce the heat to a light simmer and add the wine. Heat for 3 mins, then strain and serve. 

For more simple and easy ideas come down to SJW and have a chat with any of our team!



Thought of the day 13/10Date published: 13/10/13

Decanting wine lets it open up and noticeably improves it. Don't just decant expensive wines, try decanting your next sub £10 and notice the difference. Don't have a decanter? A large jug does the job just as well. 

Thought of the day 12/10Date published: 12/10/13

Choose your wine based on what you're eating, not the other way around. The wine should compliment the meal, not overshadow it.

Wine of the week - Catena Alta MalbecDate published: 12/10/13

What a wine!

Everything you already love about Malbec and more. Powerful and punchy with loads of black fruits and hints of spice on both the nose and palate.

The flavours linger in your mouth well after the final sip. The ideal match for this wine is surely a big juicy steak, though other red meats would work perfectly too. This wine is already drinking fantastically, but will continue to improve over the coming years. A perfect gift if you want to buy someone a top top quality wine that they can drink straight away!

Another great thing about this wine is the fact that we are currently offering £10 off when you buy two or more bottles as part of a mixed case, bringing the price down to £23 a bottle - genuinely a bargain for one of the most famous Malbecs on the planet.

Angel's Share ShirazDate published: 10/10/13

ANGELS 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.


£18.00, when you buy any 2 selected Fine Wines.

Thought of the day 8/10Date published: 08/10/13

Everyone's tastes are different. Be tolerant of others tastes and don't judge.

Australian Riesling - fantastic valueDate published: 07/10/13

Australian riesling for a long time had quite a bad reputation among wine drinkers. In the same manner as chardonnay, riesling was considered to be cheap and nasty and overly sweet. Throughout the 70's it was immensely popular but by the early 80's it's star had fallen. Critics and punters alike were rejecting it. While it tried to emulate the German style of riesling, it could barely hold a candle to the fantastic wines coming out of Germany.

Then the new wave of Australian riesling came and the whole market changed.

Currently, Australian riesling represents some of the best value white on the market. Due to the new wave being in it's infancy, it's common to find a crisp dry riesling for under £10. They are often quite crisp with fantastic acidity and a lemon lime characteristic. They are clean and refreshing, yet still quite flavoursome. They pair well with both spicy food and fresh seafood.

We have a number of Australian rieslings including the Grosset Polish hill which is considered one of Australia's best. Come down to SJW and ask any of our team about Australian Riesling. 

Viogner - The red wine drinkers whiteDate published: 07/10/13

I've always thought of Viogner as the red wine drinkers white. What I mean by that is that it creates a powerful, flavoursome full bodied wine. I know several red wine drinkers who will straight out refuse to drink white. In fact I have one as a parent and another as a sibling. Viogner however, tempts them in to having a glass or two.


The traditional home for Viogner is Rhone, but has found new homes in several new world countries including Australia, Argentina and Chile. The wines are aromatic and floral with a slightly oily mouthfeel. Look out for stone fruit and tropical fruit characteristics and perhaps a hint of pear. They are full bodied, creamy and usually quite high in alcohol. 


Condrieu is perhaps the most noteworthy of the regions that Viogner calls home and Guigal makes one of the finest in the world. In terms of new world Viogners, its difficult to go past the Yalumba Virgilius. 


One  of the the other things Viogner is known for is being blended with Syrah/Shiraz. Rhone set the precedent by using Viogner to round out the Syrah and give their wines an extra dimension. New world has followed suit and produce some world class blends. If you're lucky enough to track some down, Clonakilla regularly wins the best red blend in Australia and is well worth a try.


The Guigal Condrieu and the Yalumba Virgilius are both available down here at SJW, some come down and discovered this fantastic grape variety.

Thought of the day 7/10Date published: 07/10/13

A change is as good as a holiday so try something new.

Pedro Ximinez Sherry: Underrated? Date published: 06/10/13

The reputation that sherry has is not the greatest. One of my favourite styles is Pedro Ximinez (PX).

For those of you that aren't aware, sherry comes from the Southernmost wine region in Spain. PX is like treacle and viscous with a dark brown colour. On the nose it brings up visuals of Christmas pudding due to the richness and the intensity of raisin notes. The mouthfeel is full and the length on the finish is fantastic.

One of the best things about PX however, is the value. You can find well aged PX's for extremely low prices by comparison. We have several wonderful bottles for under £20.

It's extremely versatile as well. It can be used as a topping on desserts, especially ice cream and pancakes.

Come down to SJW and have a chat to the team here who all have exceptional sherry knowledge.

What is fine wine?Date published: 05/10/13

A question which many people have pondered but no ultimate answer has ever been set in stone. So lets explore the potential routes for answering what is Fine Wine?

Price

Possibly the most simple and widely accepted system for defining whether a wine is a 'fine wine' or not is the price tag. However this still poses the problem of assigning a borderline price. The general line we draw at Majestic is the £20 mark, although others may use another marker altogether.

Production Volumes

Another common system used is to consider the size of the producer or how many bottles of that particular wine is made each year. This will often go hand in hand with the price as scarcity will increase value.

These are the two main concepts, however many will also use ratings for wine writers or where there is a classification system, such as the one in Bordeaux, it might play a part in the consideration of a wines status.


Pop in and have a look at the wines on our fine wine deal and perhaps you might get an idea of what we consider to be fine wine!

Wine of the Week - Meerlust Rubicon 2008Date published: 05/10/13

Meerlust Rubicon 2008


A classic Bordeaux-style blend, this wine has an intense, opaque deep ruby colour. Bright and vivacious in the glass, with deep, dark fruit, cassis, plum and black cherry. There is a pronounced minerality on the nose with graphite, cedar smoke and cigar box bouquet. The perfectly formed, ripe tannins are densely packed and tightly woven but remain lithe and almost powdery, giving the wine a generous opulence even at this early phase of its development. 

Drink with venison, game, pot roasts and noble cheese over the next 10-15 years.

£23.98 when you buy two or more South African wines.

(£30.00 single bottle price)

Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Seguinot-BordetDate published: 04/10/13

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 theLoire 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 theYonne 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.


Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Seguinot-Bordet £19.00 when you buy any 2 selected Fine Wines

Syrah or Shiraz - Are they the same?Date published: 30/09/13

In a nutshell - yes.

However, it isn't quite that simple, they are the same grape but a bottle labelled as Syrah will rarely taste the same as one named Shiraz.

In France they tend to use the word Syrah and produce a very elegant wine with a real focus on the spicy and peppery edge of the grape. A fantastic example of this is the Hermitage region in the Rhone valley where there is a pronounced peppery note on the wines.

Conversely in Australia, arguably the home of Shiraz, they produce big beefy wines with much more emphasis on the fruity and meaty aromas of the variety. But in Australia, and in other New World sites, the word Syrah is used to denote a more restrained (French) style of wine.

Keep an eye out for the different styles we have and maybe try a selection next time you pop in!

Australian Shiraz - Margaret RiverDate published: 28/09/13

When Australian is mentioned the distinct, recognizable wines come to mind. Think Barossa Shiraz, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Hunter Valley Semillion. One region that is extremely well known in Oz, but not so much overseas is Western Australia's Margaret River.

It is easy to forget Margaret River, considering it's closest city, Perth, is the most isolated city in the world. For those that haven't been, the wine region is absolutely gorgeous. The majority of the wineries have top notch tasting rooms, with charming restaurants to match. 

The Shirazs err on the more restrained side (relative to other Aussie Shirazs). Often hovering around the 13.5% alcohol mark, when some of the South Australian ones can reach up to 16%. Plum and red currant notes dominate, and give way to a silky smooth finish.

If you're unfamiliar with Margaret River shiraz's, I strongly suggest that you come on down to St John's Wood and discover some of Australia's best!

Australian Shiraz - BarossaDate published: 28/09/13

Barossa is the quintessential region for Australian shiraz. It's the region that put Australian wine on the worldwide map. Robert Parker Junior is a big advocate of these wines and with good reason.


Barossa shiraz's tend to be full bodied, rich, velvety smooth and bursting with fruit. They can be made with varying degrees of oak depending on how the producer wants their wine to end up. 


Younger shiraz's from this region tend to have plum and blackberry fruit notes with a sometimes herbaceous element to them. High in alcohol with a syrupy viscosity, these are perfect for a hearty red meat dish.


Tip: Put your Barossa shiraz in the fridge for 15 minutes before drinking. Often shiraz is drunk at too high of a temperature which can be slightly unpleasant. 


The wines made to age often see a significant amount of oak and have more of a smokey characteristic. Australia's most iconic wine, Penfolds Grange, is a South Australian shiraz with some grapes sourced from barossa. It shouldn't be drunk within the first 20 odd years after vintage. 


Come in and speak with our Australian specialist Rich at SJW

WINE OF THE WEEK - CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2004Date published: 28/09/13

CVNE, or Compania Vinicola del Notre de Espana produce some of the best wines in Rioja and this is a great example of their 2004 Gran Reserva.

Made from 20 year old vines and aged in French and American oak, the Imperial range originated in the 1920s, named for its imperial pint bottles exported to the UK.

Full garnet in colour expressing elegant autumn berry fruits, coffee, caramel and cinnamon. The palate is finely structured with dried fruit, plums and damsons combined with toasty vanilla undertones.

CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2004 is only £18.74 when you buy ANY 2 Spanish wines until 8pm Monday 30th September.

St Clair Pioneers 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.


The St Clair Pioneers Block S/B is only £15.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles!

The rise of American microbrewsDate published: 26/09/13

It wasn't so long ago that America beer was the butt of all jokes. A good friend on mine once warned me away from any beer with "light" spelled incorrectly. However of recent times there are some of the most interesting beers coming out of the US. Microbreweries are popping up all over the US and Canada. Pale Ales, IPAs and lagers that are top quality have also made it to this side of the ditch.

Try the Brooklyn Lager (from Brooklyn obviously) and the Anchor Steam Lager from San Francisco. Both available here at SJW.

Sancerre Blanc 2012 Domaine VacheronDate published: 23/09/13

Grape - Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

A hilltop town, Sancerre lies to the east of the Loire region, facing Pouilly-Fumé opposite the river. Known for its racy, mineral and pungent expression of Sauvignon Blanc, this is textbook Sancerre from probably the best producer in the region.

Taste

Fabulously aromatic nose, concentrated gooseberry fruit flavours, all carefully balanced by a rich smokiness and steely dry palate. A mineral, elegant and long finish.

Enjoy

The classic match to white goats cheese, this wine is also a brilliant partner to smoked salmon and poached trout.


How our team chooses their wineDate published: 21/09/13

Humans are instinctively attracted to familiarity, so we often tend to choose wines that we know and are comfortable with. Everyone is guilty of going for a 'safe option' on a regular basis. The team here are definitely guilty of it. So here's what we do at SJW:

We become the customer

We'll say to a different team member something along the lines of "I'm cooking roast lamb with rich gravy, baked potatoes and parsnips. My budget is X. I really like this, this and this. I'll be drinking it with someone who is a big fan of this. Choose me a wine".

Not only is this an easy option for us (takes away the agony of choice) it also means we try new things and learn what each of us really enjoy. 

We do this on a regular basis, so we're lucky enough to be familiar with a whole range of tastes and palates. We can recommend a lovely wine to suit any need. Come in and have a chat to any of our team who are all passionate about wine.


Wine of Wine Week - Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2010Date published: 21/09/13

This weeks wine of the week couldn't be more appropriate as it is our Sauvignon Blanc tasting week!

An iconic wine from New Zealand's most iconic winery. Atypical for Kiwi Sauvignon, the Te Koko is fermented using indigenous 'wild' yeasts, and subjected to ageing in oak. Released as a three year old wine, this is unlike anything else from New Zealand!

Aromas of lychees and almonds with classic gooseberry notes and a hint of wood smoken erupt from the glass. A full bodied palate of citrus fruits with the richer flavours of caramel and nougat, leading to a crisp yet spicy finish.

A great wine to cellar but for now this wine an ideal partner to tuna, oysters and poached fish.

£27.50 When you buy two or more.

(£35 Single bottle price)


The many faces of Sauvignon BlancDate published: 21/09/13

In recent years New Zealand has been churning out Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region like there is no tomorrow; but where else can you find it and is it all the same?

The fact of the matter is that Sauvignon Blanc is very sensitive to the ground it is grown in and the climate around it. As a direct result of this the wines it produces come in a variety of styles.

New Zealand produces a highly vibrant style fully of zest with the most intense flavour being Gooseberry. 

Chile and Southern France tend towards the more tropical fruit flavours whilst retaining a lovely refreshing citrus character.

Loire Valley (France) is, many would say, the home of Sauvignon with it being the principle grape of most communes in the region. These wines tend to be more restrained than in the new world and with a flinty edge that distinguishes them from the rest.

Bordeaux (France) generally produces a slightly different style from the rest as a result of a use of oak. These wines tend to be more full bodied and richer whilst also displaying some minerality like seen in the Loire.

We will be trying a variety of Sauvignon Blanc styles this weekend, feel free to give us a call or pop in to join our little spotlight tastings on Saturday.


Coney Pizzicanto Pinot Noir - Buy 2 selected Fine Wines, save £10. £18.00Date published: 20/09/13

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.Come and explore.

Why you should stock up for Christmas nowDate published: 20/09/13

I have an interesting relationship with Christmas shopping. One on hand, the bustle of the crowd, the decorations and the general atmosphere get me excited and put me in a good mood. However, the queues, the relentless Christmas music, and the general annoyance of everyone fighting to be at the counter 30 seconds before someone else can turn my good mood into a bad one extremely quickly. Recently I've started a new trend. Christmas shopping in October.


I admit that there are things that you do need to buy a few days before Christmas. Ham and Turkey of course, and any other foodstuffs you may want. If you want the latest piece of technology it might be worth waiting until December. Wine and Champagne however, can be bought now. 


Beat the rush, beat the crowds, avoid the Christmas music and take advantage of some excellent offers. Nicolas Feuillatte NV is on offer at £15.99 and is a great Christmas Champagne.


Come in and beat the rush!

Cocktail of the Week - Tom CollinsDate published: 18/09/13

The Tom Collins is a classic cocktail. It's simple, safe, and delicious. The Tom Collins is what I order if I'm at a pretentious cocktail bar, where all the bartenders refer to themselves as 'mixologists'. However they're just as easy to make at home. The recipe is simple: 

Gin

Lemon Juice

Sugar Syrup

Soda Water


Tinker around with the quantites, but I usually go 1 part of Gin, Lemon juice, half a part syrup poured over ice and topped with soda water. Shaking may bruise the aromatics of the gin, so stirred and served in a highball glass is traditional. 


The brilliant thing about the Tom Collins is it's so simple that you can play around with the ingredients. Try adding a dash of bitters, half a teaspoon of strawberry jam, or apple juice. The type of gin used can also impact the taste. Something like Bombay Sapphire will be more floral, the Chase gin will add more of an apple bite, and the Tanq 10 will be clean and crisp.


For more advice about cocktail and spirits, come down to SJW and ask any of our staff. Get mixing!

Beaune 1er Cru Rouge 2010, Louis JadotDate published: 17/09/13

INTRODUCTION: 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.


£20.00, when you buy any 2 selected Fine Wines

The Bordeaux Masterclass ListDate published: 12/09/13

In conjunction with Lay and Wheeler, the store is currently hosting a Bordeaux Masterclass.


These are invitation only events and consist of some high quality wines paired with expert knowledge.

The wines being tasted are as follow:

Les Pagodes de Cos, St-Estephe, 2005 and 2010
Chateau Rauzan-Segla, Cru Classe Maregaux, 1998 and 2008
Chateau Leoville-Poyferre, Cru Classe St-Julien, 2001 and 2004

Tastings like this don't come around very often, so if an event such as this would be of interest to you, come in ans see us here at SJW.


Free wine with sushi?Date published: 11/09/13

As part of our great relationship supplying many local businesses, for a limited time a bottle of wine is on us.

Come in, spend £50 and we'll give you a voucher for a bottle of wine up to the value of £20 at Feng Sushi.

Feng Sushi do mdoern Japanese dining and they do it well. Located in the heart of West Hampstead, the food is excellent and the service is fantastic.

So why not stock up with some wine, and enjoy a great meal, and a bottle of wine. 


Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia 2010Date published: 11/09/13

Le Serre Nuove is the 'second vin' of Ornellaia, following the same philosophy of the great Chateaux of Bordeaux.

1997 saw it's first vintage resulting from the decision to carry out even more rigorous quality selection of the base wines destined for the Estates flagship wine Ornellaia during the final blending phase. This had the effect of raising the quality standards of Ornellaia to even higher levels.

Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia enjoys the same denomination of origin, the same terroirs and grape varieties, vinification processes and barrique aging as the flagship wine.

Coming primarily from the younger vineyards on the estate the wine offers the pedigree of the flagship wine in an approachable, youthful style.

Soft in texture, with a fine structure, balance and intensity to match, Le Serre dell'Ornellaia displays wonderful dense ruby red hues, with wild red berry fruit and herbs on the nose.

The complexity and structureof the Cabernets are complemented by the velvety roundness of the Merlot and the crisp livliness of the Petit Verdot, with Cabernt Franc adding to the harmony.

The Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia is on our Fine Wine multi buy. So buy any 2 selected Fine Wines and it's £35.00 per bottle!!

Viva Espana!!! (The Really Good Stuff!)Date published: 08/09/13

If its top Spanish wines you're after then we do have a couple of fantastic wines on the current offer.

The Matsu El Viejo (£19.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines) is the top wine we stock from Matsu, using Tempranillo grapes from vines averaging 110 years of age. Combing ripe dark cherry flavours with hints of lavender and graphite, this powerful wine is drinking fantastically now but will certainly reward cellaring of 5 years or more. Also, I must mention the CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2004. Also at £19.99 as part of the Spanish deal, pound for pound this is undoubtedly one of the best wines we stock, not just from Spain, but throughout our whole range. Combining softness and finesse with richness and complexity, this has been many a Majestic staff member's favourite wine for a number of years and you would be mad to miss out on it at this price. You won't be disappointed!

Don't forget to come along to our Spanish Spotlight Tastings on Saturday 14th September (12pm and 3pm) to try some old favourites as well as some new and exciting Spanish wines. Hasta Luego!

Viva Espana!!! (Spanish Whites)Date published: 08/09/13

Continuing on from our promotion of Spanish wines, let us not forget the vastly underrated Spanish Whites.

Try either the Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc from Vega de la Reina (both £6.99 on the buy 2 or more Spanish deal) if you like that fresh, zesty style of white wine without any tartness. If its the softer, more complex style you prefer, definitely try the Albarino from Martin Codax (£10.39 on the buy 2 or more Spanish deal). Beautifully elegant with plenty of stone fruit and floral notes, this is one of the unsung stars of Spanish white wine. Finally, one can't go through all the Spanish whites without trying a good white Rioja, most notably the Muga Blanco (£9.59 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines). This 100% Barrel Fermented wine has plenty of vanilla spice and toasty oak characteristics whilst retaining delicious freshness. Lovely stuff!

Don't forget to come along to our Spanish Spotlight Tastings on Saturday 14th September (12pm and 3pm) to try some old favourites and a couple of new and exciting Spanish wines. Hasta Luego!

Viva Espana!!! (Spanish Bargains)Date published: 08/09/13

In case you didn't know already, our Spanish selection has just recently come on a fantastic deal where you can mix and match any of our Spanish wines and get 20% off (excluding a handful of our Fine Wines, sadly!). This gives you the perfect opportunity to try lots of different Riojas, Ribera del Dueros, Bierzos, Albarinos etc without having to buy 2 of the same bottle. So what are the really great value ones to go for?

If its top value for money you're after, look no further than the Gran Vendema Crianza (£5.99 on the buy 2 or more Spanish deal). This beautifully fruity and balanced wine is perfect for Weddings, parties or for simply enjoying a glass in front of the TV after a long day's slog. If it's more complexity you're after, try the Marques de Riscal Reserva (£10.99 on the buy 2 or more Spanish deal). This big, luxurious wine has notes of bramble, leather and coffee and is a perfect accompaniment to grilled lamb or any other rich meat dish. If you're looking for a good Ribera del Duero but don't want to pay through the nose, try the delicious Conde de San Cristobal (£13.99 on the buy 2 or more Spanish deal). With its intense blackcurrant aromas and spice flying out of the glass, this plush and silky wine is a perfect example of what this increasingly popular region continues to produce.

Don't forget to come along to one of our Spanish Spotlight Tasting on Saturday 14th September (12pm and 3pm) to try some old favourites and a couple of new and exciting Spanish wines. Hasta Luego!

Alienor 2009 - Stepping away from the traditions of CaliforniaDate published: 07/09/13

Ever since the Alienor Grand Vin 2009 arrived a couple of weeks ago I've been intrigued - a new winery to me that I had never heard of and a label that gives very little away. The only way to find out was to try it...  

A little research shows that they have a relatively small production (770 cases) and tend to vary their blending every year however mainly focusing on the production of Merlot.  

Lighter in body than many Californian wines with lower alcohol (13.8%abv) this really is a breath of fresh air from the stereotypical big, cassis laden fruit bombs than litter the Napa Valley. Layers of cherry, strawberry, kirsch mingle with hints of blackcurrants and blackberries but this is not all about the fruit. I hint of spice, mocha and smoke from the oak used gives another dimension while the structure is beautiful. It belies the fact it is only just approaching it's 4th birthday with supple ripe tannins that balance with the purity of fruit - a great example of what can be achieved in the up and coming area of Lake County.  

Overall I am incredibly impressed with this wine and the clear determination of the winemakers to move away from what may be considered the norm in top end Californian reds. You could partner this with many things but I would like to try it with duck, simply roasted with garlic and rosemary vegetables - glorious! With only 2 cases available to Majestic at £50 per bottle I would buy it while you can to save missing out...

Black Cottage winery - Top Quality MarlboroughDate published: 07/09/13

I was lucky enough to try the Black Cottage wines recently and to say I was impressed would be an understatement.

The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc has only recently been released, but it drinking extremely well. I have somewhat of an aversion to Marlborough Sauv Blancs, but this was well balanced, crisp and very slurpable. Green apple and passionfruit dominated the palate and with a dish of Mackerel on Toast, it was a delight.

The Rose was fantastic. It's a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio and is only given minimal skin contact to give it a pale colour ans light body. It is very much in the Provence style and is ideal for these first weeks of Spring. Slight strawberry notes and a very dry finish combined with great length.

We have both of these wines down here at SJW so come on down and add a bottle or two to your next half dozen.


The best wine criticDate published: 06/09/13

As someone that has worked in the wine trade for a while now, something that continues to baffle me, is the pedestal that some wine drinkers seem to put critics on. I've heard it all from 'James Halliday gave it 93 so it must be good' to 'anything that Parker gives less than 95 is not worth buying'. 

I take issue with this for a few reasons.

Yes, I understand that they're professionals and they do this for a living, but at the end of the day, it's you that will be drinking the wine. 

HOWEVER

One thing I firmly believe that I try to explain to people with mixed success, is there's no such thing as a 'bad' wine.

There's faulty wines, corked wines, oxidized wines etc. However if there are no faults with the wine making process, storage cork and the rest. There is no such thing as a bad wine.

"But I've had some truly awful wines" I hear you saying. So have I, but just because I think the wine is awful, it doesn't mean that the person next to me does. It doesn't mean that the winemaker does. It sure doesn't mean the wine critic does either. 

Think about it as a movie analogy. Personally,I don't particularly like horror movies, but there's a lot of people out there that do. Otherwise they wouldn't be making films like Saw 8 and The Exorcist 27. 

In a similar way to film critics, wine critics look at wine as objectively as possible. However, if a film critic gives a horror movie five stars, I still wouldn't go and see it, because I know I don't like the genre. This leads me to my next point.

The best wine critic is yourself.

Don't be swayed by price, or reviews, or hype. Sure, use this as a guide line, but don't take what the critics say as gospel. 

In the same vain if you ask for a reccomendation at your wine store, don't be angry if you don't like it. For people in the industry, if you ask for a reccomendation without any other indications of what you like, what you're eating it with etc. it's like choosing they're favourite movies out of a DVD shop with 1000 to choose from. 

Things you can do to discover what you like:

Give feedback to your local store. Whether it's good or bad, each time you go back with feedback, they can help reccomend you something else based on your feedback.

Try new wines. Without trying certain wines from certain regions, how do you know if you like them or not? Sometimes you do just feel like going with something you know, but when I hear things like 'I only drink French wine' or 'I don't like Italian wine' I always wonder how much they've really explore.

Don't let one bad experience sour your palate. If you don't like a wine, don't close the book completely on that grape or region. As mentioned earlier I don't particularly enjoy Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, but I enjoy Marlborough Pinot Noirs, and Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. 

Don't be fooled by price. More expensive does not, by any stretch mean you're going to enjoy it more. 

Ask your local wine store about basic food/wine pairings. A good meal paired with a good wine always enhances both. 

Have fun. That's what drinking wine and discovering new things is all about. 

So by all means, read reviews, vintage charts, whatever research you'd like. In the end you won't truly know if you like a wine until you've tried it.

Region Spotlight: Mornington Peninsula, VictoriaDate published: 01/09/13

If you've travelled to Australia, or read up about notable wine regions, you're probably aware of Barossa if you're visiting Adelaide or the Hunter Valley if you're in Sydney. However one of Australia's best kept secrets is a quick 45 minute drive from the heart of Melbourne. 


The Mornington Peninsula hes been producing some stunning wines in recent times at all price points. It is most famously known for Pinot Noir's and Chardonnay's. The Pinots are delicate without erring on the side of being thin. Cherry and red berry notes combine with a silky finish and make for versatile wines. The Chardonnays are often slightly oaked with some malolactic fementation, giving it a creamy buttery charactersitic. However think more towards Mersault or Montrachet rather than a full Californian chardonnay.


Ten Mins by Tractor is not the prettiest winery to look at, but their tasting room is fantastic. Attentive, professional staff talk you through the wines and answer any and all of your questions. Both their blended wines and single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are fantastic and are well worth checking out.


In a picturesque location, with fantastic wines and only a short trip from Central Melbourne, Mornington is definitely worth a visit.


We have a number of wines from Mornington, including many of the Ten Mins by Tractor range down here at SJW. Come on down and discover this well kept secret.

Cocktail of the week - Dark and StormyDate published: 31/08/13

For those who love a bit of bite with their refreshing drink, a Dark and Stormy is perfect. A good friend of mine always feels a little self conscious ordering a cocktail at a bar, but this is as manly as cocktails get. The recipe is wonderfully simple:


Pour 1 measure of dark rum over ice in a highball glass (Bundaberg works well, and Sailor Jerry adds a little more spice).
Top the glass up with ginger beer (Fever Tree for best results)
Add a squeeze of lime, a dash of bitters and stir thoroughly
Kick back and enjoy

All the ingredients (except lime) is available down here at SJW so come on in and get everything ready for the sunny weekend!


Penfolds 2007 GrangeDate published: 30/08/13

Penfolds Grange is considered Australia's flagship red wine. The current 2007 vintage has been released to many accolades including a 100 point review from Parker. Is it a 100 point wine?

I was lucky enough to try some recently and I was impressed. Smooth? Check. Rich? Check. Balanced? Absolutely.

However this wine is made for ageing. A 1991 Grange I tried on the same night still had quite a significant fruit characteristic.
The 2007 vintage, if cellared correctly will drink well for between 25 and 45 years.

The 2007 vintage is definitely one for the ages.

We have the 2007 Grange in our Fine Wine centre, so if you're interested in finding out more, come down to St John's Wood and we can provide more information.

New Zealand and North Island Red'sDate published: 30/08/13

Some of the finest red wines I've tried recently have come out of the North Island of New Zealand. While the South Island far outweighs the North in production, mostly due to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, the North is producing some of the hidden gems of NZ wine. I have mentioned the quality of Martinborough Pinot Noir, so I'll write a little more broadly about the Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrah's and Bordeaux blends.

These wines are what I refer to as 'best of both worlds' wine. That is, they have a prominent front palate of rich fruit, but are still restrained and delicate enough to balance wonderfully. To illustrate this point, many NZ producers refer to their 'Syrah' rather than 'Shiraz' so as not to confuse the wines with thei neighbour Australia's brash, often overly ripe Shiraz's.

Craggy Range is one of the foremost producers of North Island reds, and their wines are well worth trying.

We have several of the Craggy Range wines including their flagship Le Sol. Come down to St John's Wood where any of our team will be happy to help.

Italy and WineDate published: 29/08/13

Italian wine has had a long and bumpy road until where it is at now but it is certainly in a good place now and only getting better. There are two sides to the Italian wine industry: one which features arguably some of the greatest wines being produced and then the other, which almost killed the international reputation of Italian wine, with mass produced, low quality, harsh booze.

Wines like Barolo, Brunello, Chianti and Amarone have long been household names and as such kept the Italian wine industry from collapse but it is largely down to the pioneering 'Super-Tuscan' producers that Italy is, rightly, considered a source of top quality vino.

A great rule for food and wine matching is to couple your wine and food together from the same country. Italian wine is no different with fantastic bold flavours to match that of the hearty and rustic style of the Italian cuisine.

We currently have 25% off Italian wines which ends soon, don't miss out!

Wine Of The Week - Barbaresco 2009 De ForvilleDate published: 29/08/13

    Nebbiolo takes it name from 'nebbia', the fog cloaking the hills of Piedmont around harvest time. The village of Barbaresco lies only a little to the north-east of Barolo in Piedmont and produces wines of a similar style and quality.

    A big, elegant wine of pale colour. Dark cherries and leather with earthy hints, and a rose perfume, a charming, well integrated wine with a long finish. Muscular tannins give the wine a solid backbone.


A fantastic alternative choice to enjoy with steak, perhaps with some mushrooms to pick up on the earthiness in the wine.



£12.73 When you buy 2 or more Italian wines

(£16.99 Single bottle price)



Wine of the Week - Valpolicella Classico 2010 La CassettaDate published: 22/08/13



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.

The perfect companion for all types of meat and seasoned cheeses.


Why does dry white wine pair so well with seafood?Date published: 21/08/13

I'm sure many of you will be aware that one of the most widespread food and wine pairing is seafood and dry white wine. but why do they compliment each other so well?

Firstly, many of the white wines that are paired with seafood have, to varying degrees, a citrus characteristic. Lemon and lime have traditionally added zest and bite to seafood for hundreds of years (think lemon squeezed on a fish).

However what also heavily contributes to this being such a good pairing is the acidity in dry white wines. The word acidity puts a lot of people off, as it conjures up   images of green bubbling liquid in a conical flask. However it is the acid in white wine that gives it the 'crispness' which you so often hear used as a descriptor.

To measure a wines acidity, the easiest way is to measure the amount of saliva that jets in to your mouth after you swallow. The more saliva, the more acidic.

The acid also washes a lot of the taste out of your mouth, leaving you with a fairly neutral palate. This is ideal for seafood, as most of the flavours are quite delicate.  The acidity allows us to taste the nuances in each mouthful, which is one of the key reasons why the pairing of seafood and white wine is so good.

Keep in mind that this is a very broad pairing, and things such as the type of seafood, sauce, and accompaniments  should also be taken in to account.

If you have any questions on food and wine pairing, come down to St. John's Wood  where all of us staff will be more than happy to help.


For those times when you don't feel like wineDate published: 20/08/13

 On very rare occasions, I don't feel like a glass of wine, but the next logical question is, what do I feel like?

A chilled pale ale is always high on my list. If you haven't tried the Meantime pale ale, I strongly suggest trying that. The hops used give the beer the 'fruity' taste that is often prevalent in pale ale's and IPA's (Indian Pale Ales). North America is shaking off the notion that all their beers are pretty close to water, although I will strongly advise you to stay away from anything with 'light' spelled incorrectly on the label. The Anchor Steam beer from San Francisco is almost as good as the 49ers defense (extremely good) and is a great beer for when you want something a little out of the ordinary.

My go to mixed drink is as gin and tonic. Tanqueray is pretty difficult to go past, and if I've recently won the lottery or shopped duty free, I'll treat myself to a Tanq 10. Bombay Sapphire is another popular choice due to the aromatics infused in the distlillation process. The tonic water you use really does make a difference, and if you haven't discovered the Fever Tree range of mixers, I strongly suggest you give it a try. A slice of lemon or lime (I prefer lemon) rounds off this fantastic summer drink.

For those that are a little bit more adventurous, a cocktail might be in order. A really simple and delicious cocktail that was recommended to me is actually jam based. This recipe gives you a whole lot of freedom in the flavours you use and can expriment with. It's simply:

3 parts soft drink (fruit based, not so much cola)
2 parts spirit
1 part jam
Dash of bitters

Mix spirit, soft drink and jam in a shaker with ice. Add the bitters when poured. If serving to hipsters, serve in an empty jam jar.

Experiment all you want with different combinations of all three ingredients. I've found bourbon, lemonade and strawberry jam to be a real hit. I will say though that the bitters in non negotiable. Without the bitters, it is far too sweet and the dash balances the cocktail out quite nicely.

We stock all products mentioned (except the jam) so come down to St John's Wood and get some more ideas for those rare times you don't feel like wine.


Review: Dogajolo Carpineto 2011Date published: 19/08/13

I chose this wine on the basis that it uses the "Super Tuscan" framework. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Super Tuscan, this is a realitvely new (last fifty years) idea where Tuscan producers experiment with grapes that don't fall under the DOC or DOCG classifications, most notable Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the main exponents, and still one of the finest produces of Super Tuscans is Antinori. 

Because these Super Tuscans did not fall in to the DOC or DOCG classification system, they were considered Table Wines, the lowest level. However some of these wines began to be considered as some of the finest in the country, sometimes fetching incredibly high prices. This led to a new classification being established in Italy. The IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) now fits within the Italian classification system and this is where Super Tuscans lie.

I found this wine to have quite a red berry front palate and nose. Slight raspberry and cherry notes were evident as this wine is 70% Sangiovese (the grape made famous by Chianti). It had a lovely mouthfeel and a nice structure which is most likely due to the Cabernet. It also gave the wine a little bit more length on the finish than I might have expected.

I was quite impressed by this very slurpable wine and I'd gladly have a pizza or tomato based pasta dish to accompany is.

At £8.79 a bottle when you buy two as part of a mixed case, it's great value, and a slightly different style than what you may be used to in your Tuscan reds.

Regional Spotlight: Margaret River, Western AustraliaDate published: 18/08/13

When Australian is mentioned the distinct, recognizable wines come to mind. Think Barossa Shiraz, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, Hunter Valley Semillion. One region that is extremely well known in Oz, but not so much overseas is Western Australia's Margaret River.

It is easy to forget Margaret River, considering it's closest city, Perth, is the most isolated city in the world. For those that haven't been, the wine region is absolutely gorgeous. The majority of the wineries have top notch tasting rooms, with charming restaurants to match.

As for the wines, well, in my opinion, it is the best all round region in Australia. They excel at Left Bank Bordeaux blends, subtly oaked Chardonnay's and restrained medium bodies Shiraz's.

The Cabernet Sauvignons, and Cab Merlot blends tend to have a lovely eucalyptus and mint characteristic with blackcurrant and forest floor flavours . Young they are quite powerful, but with a little bottle age they develop a dusty characteristic that balances out the strong fruit flavours. Some noteworthy Cabernet's and blends include Cape Mentelle, Vasse Felix, Cullen, and Moss Wood.

The Chardonnays are mostly oaked with some malolactic fermentation (which is what gives the wine a slightly creamy texture). Although this style isn't for everyone, the oak tends to be very subtle and well integrated. The balance of these wines give them a lot of potential for cellaring and make for some of Australia's best aged white wines. The Leuwin Art Series is considered one of Australia's finest.

The Shirazs err on the more restrained side (relative to other Aussie Shirazs). Often hovering around the 13.5% alcohol mark, when some of the South Australian ones can reach up to 16%. Plum and red currant notes dominate, and give way to a silky smooth finish.

If you're unfamiliar with Margaret River wines, I strongly suggest that you come on down to St John's Wood and discover some of Australia's best!


Magnums - Ideal for sharingDate published: 17/08/13

Before I start I'll clarify for those that are unaware. A magnum is a 1500mL bottle of either wine or Champagne. Once it goes above the size of a magnum the naming rules change for wine and Champagne, but as these larger sizer are far less common, we'll stick with this size.

I'll come out and say that I'm a big fan of magnums. I think they look great, and are ideal for dinner parties. A friend of mine often goes to a 'bring your own' night at an inner city steakhouse where the corkage is calculate by the bottle. If you have eight or more people over, a magnum allows everyone to have more than just a splash in their glass.

In terms of the actual wine, magnums allow red wine to have greater potential for cellaring. This potential goes up depending on size of the bottle. The cause of this is to do with the surface area of the wine and the proportion of how much is in contact with the glass and cork, compared to the rest of the wine.

Are there any drawbacks to magnums?

Very few and they centre on practicality. If you open a magnum of champagne and only have a few people drinking, the last few glasses are more likely to be flat. If you're enjoying a magnum of white or rose on a hot day, is your ice bucket big enough? Can it fit in your fridge?

For me, magnums are an extremely good way to enjoy some fantastic wine with multiple friends. Down here at St John's Wood, we have a range of magnums in red, white, Champagne, sparkling and rose. In particular we have some aged Rioja's which are drinking fantastically now and are great value.

Any of our team will be more than happy to help with a selection. So if you're hosting friends, or even going to a byo restaurant (my friend swears by it) grab a magnum!


Is there no such thing as a 'bad' wine?Date published: 16/08/13

This is a question that I often discuss with friends and colleagues and my short answer is no. For me, there is no such thing as a 'bad' wine. Sure, there are wines I don't particularly like, but that doesn't mean that you won't like it.

Before I go any further, lets clarify one thing quickly. A 'faulty' wine is different from a 'bad' wine. A faulty wine may be the victim of oxidation, cork taint, or any number of things that can go wrong in the winemaking process, bottling, transportation etc.

Reviews and recommendations can be quite a good guide, especially if you're already aware of the kind of wine you like. However the bottom line is, without tasting a wine, you won't know whether you like it or not.

This is one of the main reasons we have the tasting counter down here at Majestic. We always have a range of wines available to try, across several regions and varietals, with a team member available to talk you through them.

Come down and have a taste regularly, as what we have is constantly changing.


Escarpment 2010 Pinot Noir and the joys of Martinborough Pinot Noir.Date published: 15/08/13

New Zealand is well known for it's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc's and Central Otago Pinot Noirs. However one of my favourite Pinots coming out of New Zealand is from the region of Martinborough. Martinborough is located at the bottom end of the North Island and the majority of Pinots coming out of there at the moment are fantastic. While Otago Pinots tend to display red fruit and cherry notes, the Martinborough ones tend to be on the darker end of the berry spectrum, as well as being slightly more robust. Consequently, they're more conducive to short term cellaring than their Otago counterparts.

The Escarpment 2010 Pinot Noir is one of my favourite wines, and a fantastic specimen of a well made Martinborough Pinot. A lively nose jumps out of the glass as blackberry notes are evident. There is a hint of forest floor on the palate to compliment the dark berry notes. A silky finish and great length make this an absolute pleasure to drink. I was lucky enough to meet the winemaker, Larry McKenna, while in Australia and he was a delight. His passion for making great wine was contagious, and his adherance to quality was obvious across his whole range.

At the moment it is on special with us for £17.59 when you buy two bottles as part of a six bottle buy.

Wine of the Week - Saintsbury Chardonnay 2010Date published: 14/08/13

On the Tasting Counter today is the magnificent offering from Carneros -the Saintsbury Chardonnay 2010.

On offer at £16.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Origin

Chardonnay accepts and reflects the terrior of the Carneros region and the fingerprint of the vintner. Fermented in 25-30% new French oak barrels and aged sur lie for eight months. During the ageing process, the barrels are stirred (batonnage) to increase yeast contact.

Taste

Notes of pears, apricots and melon with toasted spicy oak characters are complemented on the palate by stone fruit, vanilla and hazelnuts. Full bodied and creamy, with a balanced and powerful finish.

Lay & WheelerDate published: 10/08/13

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Caymus - Napa at its best!Date published: 10/08/13

Caymus have consistently been one of the best producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Currently owned by Chuck Wagner, Caymus has been a family run business since 1972, producing the first bottle of their flagship wine, Caymus Special Selection, in 1975. This excellent winery produces two Cabernet Sauvignons with the Special Selection only being released in "better years", and here at Majestic St. John's Wood, we're very fortunate to stock both of them.

The Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (£52 a bottle) is a gloriously decadent wine with powerful aromas of dark cherry and ripe blackberry as well as notes of vanilla and cocoa. This fantastic wine is drinking beautifully now and will develop even more complexity over the next 10 years.

The Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (£100 a bottle) is simply world class! With a deep purple crimson colour, this incredible yet rare wine has concentrated aromas of cassis and plums with an abundance of dark berries, cocoa and toasty oak on the palate. It displays all the velvety richness one would expect from a top Napa Cabernet and is certainly one to try if you're a fan of this wonderful region's wines.

Champagne - Like tasting the stars!Date published: 10/08/13

We do love our Champagne in this country! Over the last couple of decades, the UK has been the biggest importer of Champagne in the world, eclipsing the likes of Russia, China and the USA. And even though those new kids on the block, Cava and Prosecco, have made a significant dent in the sparkling wine market, we still prefer to celebrate with a glass of France's finest fizz and this trend is unlikely to cease any time soon.

And yet, Champagne can vary so much in style. We all have our favourite brand that we go back to time and time again, but why do we like some Champagnes more than others? It all comes down to what each house wants their style of Champagne to be. Some want to produce a wine that is more fresh and zesty, others want a more rich and complex style. So which ones taste like what? Below is a list of some of the best known NV Champagnes with the freshest at the top leading down to the most complex.


Nicholas Feuillatte
(£18 a bottle) - A fresh, easy style with plenty of citrus and green apple flavours.

Laurent Perrier (£25 a bottle) – Light in style with an abundance of citrus and pear flavours as well as a hint of spice.

Perrier Jouet (£35 when you buy 2 or more) - A medium bodied style of Champagne with flavours of ripe apple and a suggestion of smoke and lightly honeyed notes.

Moet & Chandon NV (£37 when you buy 2 or more) - Fresh citrussy and light biscuit flavours make this a straightforward and easy-drinking Champagne.

Taittinger (£35 when you buy 2 or more) - A beautifully elegant Champagne with flavours of peach and acacia as well as delicate honeyed notes.

Pol Roger (£32 a bottle) - This delightfully soft, elegant Champagne has plenty of bready notes giving it great complexity as well as stunning finesse.

Louis Roederer (£29 a bottle) - A delicious, rich style with a cacophany of nutty, yeasty notes leading to a long and complex finish.

Veuve Clicquot (£30 a bottle) - Lots of yeasty flavours add to the rich fruity characteristics of this well-known Champagne. Fresh and yet powerful.

Bollinger (£37 when you buy 2 or more) - Combing complex flavours of brioche, hazelnut and ripe apple with clean, mineral notes on the finish, this is one of the finest NV entry level Champagnes money can buy.

"I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate...and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself" - Napoleon Bonaparte

Big Rioja, Little Rioja?Date published: 10/08/13

We've just taken a delivery of some 2004 Vina Ardanza Reserva magnums! As one of my first choice Rioja's anyway the arrival of the magnum form is very exciting, BBQ anyone? 

Named after one of the region's founding families. The Vina Ardanza is one of the very best Rioja's produced from fruit grown exclusively in the bodagas' vineyard holding in the Rioja Alta region.Remaining under family ownership this is one of the most sort after bodegas.

The wine is complex and perfumed with primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits. Elegantly structured this wine is medium bodied and has spicy tannins and layers of flavour.

Able to be enjoyed over the next decade we recommend serving with a game casserole or wild duck.

At just £36 per bottle this magnum is a clear bargain

Chilean VintagesDate published: 10/08/13

A little insight into some recent vintages from Chile.
2010: A solid vintage, marred only by the tragic March earthquake, which destroyed large quantities of wine and infrastructure, affecting availability worldwide.
2009: Mild conditions favoured white wines, as well as Syrah and Pinot Noir, which tend towards elegant structure rather than outright power.
2008: Widely considered one of Chile’s best vintages, especially for reds, which have good concentration and ripe tannins.
2007: An unusual year weather-wise resulting in lower yields but particularly good quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
2006: A dry summer with lower than average temperatures delaying ripening. Whites are better than ’05 whilst reds are slightly less good.
2005: High summer temperatures and a late harvest have given crisp, fresh whites and deeply coloured, balanced reds.

Wine of the Week - Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2010Date published: 09/08/13

On the Tasting Counter from today is our latest Wine of the week - Villa Maria's Cellar Selection Pinot Noir. Come down this weekend to try it - it won't disappoint.

£11.98

when you buy 2 or more NZ wines

£14.99 single bottle price


Grape

Pinot Noir

Origin

This wine is made by blending grapes of selected vineyards in the Awatere and Wairau Valleys of Marlborough. The vineyards are managed to the highest standard to ensure quality.

Taste

It is medium bodied with beautifully poised red fruit and very well integrated oak flavours. The crisp acidity and fine grained tannins provide a delightfully clean long finish of considerable finesse. Pair with duck breast or calves liver.

Calling all local bars and restaurants...Date published: 03/08/13

Are you the brand new owner of a local restaurant, bar or other such establishment looking for a professional and reliable supplier to help you choose a broad range of wines for your business?  
Are you an existing owner who has been let down by their current supplier?  
Or do you simply feel you need to make a change and get some new and exciting wines onto your current wine list?  

If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes", then Majestic Wines can certainly be the solution to your problems.  

Renowned for our dedicated and helpful staff, we believe in creating a strong relationship with our customers. Whether it be our in-store staff members or one of our Key Account Managers, we have the experience and expertise to ensure your business will thrive. We offer a range of services, depending on the needs and demands of your business, including:-  
- Free, same-day delivery, 7 days a week, from our store here in St. John's Wood.  
- A wide selection of Commercial exclusive wines as well as those available for retail sale to the public.  
- Design and production of a well-presented and informative wine list.  
- Helping you choose the right wines for your business, taking into account such factors as food and wine matching, as well as training your staff to feel confident talking about and selling wine.  

If you are interested in finding out more about how we can contribute to the success of your business, then please give us a call on 0207 604 3461 or send us an e-mail to sjw@majestic.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Wine Of The Week - Domaine Gibourg Beaune Rouge 2011Date published: 31/07/13

Grape


Origin

A family-owned property in Morey-St-Denis, Domaine Robert Gibourg practices lutte raisonée, with a hands-on approach to both cultivation and harvesting. This Pinot is made with great care, with hand picking and grape sorting, and full de-stemming before fermentation.

Taste

Partly aged in new oak, this wine has a sense of polish and suppleness, with a soft vanilla-like note that complements the ripe red fruit and crisp, tangy acidity. A fantastic partner for Casseroles or similar hearty dishes.


£14.99

Wine of the Week - Sancerre Comte Lafond 2011Date published: 26/07/13

As part of the Loire and Beaujolais Tasting Week, I have chosen the Sancerre Comte Lanfond 2011 by Ladoucette. 

Ladoucette is one of the top Pouilly-Fumé producers and this is his marvellous Sancerre. Refined and elegantly balanced it boasts an aromatic complexity of ripe gooseberries and rhubarb.

The crisp white wines of Sancerre are perhaps the easiest to recognise in France. Located on the Limestone slopes along the banks of the River Loire, Sauvignon Blanc grapes thrive, and the top producers can produce some of the finest and most complex wines in the world.

A total of 14 villages and 3 hamlets have the right to produce Sancerre.

This wine is on our Tasting Counter from today, so come and treat yourself. On offer at £25 a bottle.

Wine of the Week - Peregrine Pinot Noir, 2010Date published: 20/07/13

This week's offering on our tasting Counter this week is a smashing Pinot from Central Otago.

Pinot Noir hails from, the much adored, Burgundy region in France and is rarely produced elsewhere with the same poise. However New Zealand seems to have developed a unique position in having a number of producers equaling the quality and the balance of the Burgundian reds. Peregrine are amongst the top flight of the Kiwi Pinot producers with a real thirst for innovation and quality.

The ideal food to pair this wine with is duck breast, roast Turkey, or even a chunky Tuna steak.

Aromas of cherry, raspberry and mocha jump out of the glass and the palate follows similarly with smooth tannins adding structure. Great to drink now or with a further 5 years of aging.

Currently on offer at £19.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles. Single bottle price is £25


Wine of the Week - Chateau de Tracy Pouilly Fume 2011Date published: 11/07/13

Price

£18 for 2 or more – Buy 2, Save £8!!

or

£22 per bottle

About the wine

Wines have been made from the vineyards of this Château since 1396, but the winery owes its current incarnation to the Count and Countess Alain d'Estutt d'Assay, who resurrected it in 1952. Today it is run by their son, Henri d'Assay, and his sisters. Pale gold with a silvery shimmer. And open and intense nose, offering notes of blackcurrant and citrus fruit, with background vegetal hints. A fresh citrussy attack on the palate and seductive minerality. Drink with pungent goat's or sheep's cheeses, or fine seafood.

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Wine of the WeekDate published: 05/07/13

Domaine Thibert St-Veran 2011

St-Veran and the other communes of the Cote Chalonnaise, being outside of the more famous Cote d'Or, can provide some of the best value in Burgundy. This little gem was harvested from Thiberts own vineyards within which there are parcels of 85 year old vines! If all the concentrated flavour from these old vines isn't enough, the wine hasn't been filtered thus retaining great levels of complexity and intensity.


Aromas of toast and butter integrate core of fleshy stone fruit and more zesty lemon notes. The palate elegant but weighty with a classic Burgundy style with a beautiful balance between minerality and fruit and body and acid. The finish is long and toasty but with the refreshing acidity we all want in this heatwave!


Fantastic to be sipping out in the sun or also a very versatile food wine.


£12.99 When you buy two bottles

New Fine Wine - Marqués de Cáceres Gaudium 2005Date published: 03/07/13

Technically a Rioja Reserva, in order to achieve the best possible wine that they can Marqués de Cáceres play outside of the regulations that apply to Rioja when making Gaudium.

The wine is only made in vintages classified as very good or excellent by the Rioja control board from fruit sourced from the oldest vineyards in the estate and with very limited yields.

A 'modern' style Rioja; aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, with a dark and dense body of black fruits and ripe, spicy tannins. The 2005 vintage was officially rated as excellent, with the potential to age over the next decade.


New Fine Wine - Tomas Postigo 2010 - £26Date published: 29/06/13

In the last few decades the Ribera del Duero has emerged as a serious contender to Rioja as the top fine wine producing region in Spain. This is in part due to to its rare shistous soils, high altitude and the fluctuation between the day and night time temperatures that encourages complexity in the wines.


There are few people who have done more than Tomas Postigo to put the Ribera del Duero on the map and to establish the style of the region as the winemaker at Pago de Carraovejas. Although not the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon , during his time working for a major co-operative he encouraged growers to plant Cabernet and harvest it when fully ripe. Postigo was one of the first in Spain to conduct whole berry fermentation and gravity based winemaking, practices he uses till this day.


The first wine released under his own label was in 2009, the 2010 is a blend of around 85% Tinta Fino (Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet and 5% Merlot, sourced from around the village of Penafiel.

Staff Picks for the WeekedDate published: 29/06/13

Red


Brunello di Montalcino 2005, Brunello

One of the most iconic and fashionable styles of Italian wine. A fantastic example of how a quality wine can develop into something so interesting. Savoury aromas are intertwined with the original red fruit character of the Sangiovese and the sweet spice of oak ageing. Supple tannins add structure to the rich palate with a long and smooth finish.

£30


93/100 points were awarded to this wine by, the much revered wine critic, Robert Parker. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is traditionally a fantastically popular wine due to it's long history of consistent quality and this is no exception. A core of black fruit is intermingled with the mix of spice that is so strongly associated with these wines. Although a weighty palate, this is a wine of extreme finesse and purity.

£35



White



Pouilly-Fume 2009, de Ladoucette

Pouilly-Fume, along with Sancerre, is considered to produce some the worlds best Sauvignon Blanc. Furthermore Ladoucette is famously consistent in producing wines of outstanding quality. The key component of these wines is taut balance between smokey minerality, fresh fruit aromas and refreshing acidity which is seldom seen elsewhere.

£24 (2 Bottle price)

Wine of the Week - Minuty Cuvée Prestige 2010, Cotes de ProvenceDate published: 28/06/13

Minuty Cuvée Prestige 2010, Côtes de Provence

This magnificent prestige cuvée is what Summer is all about! Located on the St. Tropez Peninsular, Château de Minuty produce some of the best Rosé wines in Provence. This unique wine uses the little-known Tibouren grape, a variety grown almost exclusively in Provence.

Combining zesty citrus fruit with subtle floral and candied notes, this prestigious wine is lively and fresh whilst remaining soft and rounded. Try it with some fresh shellfish.

Absolutely delicious!

£22 per bottle

Rose Takeover!Date published: 25/06/13

Ah summer, the time of year when Rose becomes one of the most popular styles of wine.  With a view to our free Provence Rose tasting tutorials which take place in store this Saturday, let's get to know rose a little bit better.

Production method

Rose wine can be produced from a blend of red and white grapes although it's more commonly made from purely red grape varieties.  Grapes are pressed or crushed in the winery and left in contact with their skins (a process called "maceration") for a specified period of time to gain colour. The length of time of maceration depends on the depth of the colour desired, paler Provencal and blush roses styles receiving minimal contact. Fermentation then takes place when the desired colour is achieved.

Styles

Rose can range from bone dry (Provencal style) to relatively sweet, of which Californian Blush Zinfandel is an example.  Spanish rose wines (known as "Rosado") use the local varieties includes Tempranillo and Carinena.  The resultant wines are often a touch off-dry with nuanced confected notes on the nose.  Italian rose tends to be produced from many of the native varieties including Sangiovese and Corvina, and can be seen in blends with thick skinned grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Examples

At St. John's Wood we have a wide range to choose from.  Several of the popular dry Provence roses will be available to taste from Thursday onwards.  Look out especially for "M de Minuty", "AIX" and "Domaine Ott".

Good producers from Spain include "Muga, "CVNE" and from Italy the Pinot Grigio "Serena" Rose from Banfi.

When the sun is shining and the temperature is high, there is nothing that quite compares to a tangy, refreshing rose wine.  Come in, pick some up, and you'll find out exactly why..


Wine of the Week - Heggies Chardonnay 2011Date published: 15/06/13

Chardonnay is a grape that splits opinions and generally gets a bit of a bad press in spite of being responsible for a large chunk of the greatest whites in the world. The ability to adapt to different terroirs and climates is what allows it to produce such fantastic wines in an array of styles.

This particular example is from the cooler slopes of the Eden valley in Australia which allows for a good level of acidity to be retained in the wine in a country that is otherwise known for being in danger of producing overly flabby and alcoholic wines. The grapes are hand harvested from the sunny slopes on which they grow allowing for only the best grapes to be used.

A vibrant gold colour in the glass with aromas of vanilla and cream are cut across by refreshing citrus and tropical fruits. The palate is rich and weighty and reinforces the flavours on the nose with a long and clean finish.

£14.99 Two bottle price (£18.74 single bottle price) 

Wine of the Week - Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012Date published: 07/06/13

Chile, with it's diverse climate, is seen as almost the perfect location for grape growing and thus all sorts of styles of wines are produced there. This Sauvignon is produced in the idillic cool climate of the Casablanca Valley, allowing for the grapes to ripen with plenty of refreshing acidity and lots of lively fruit aromas.

The nose is distinctly different to the popular styles coming from New Zealand, with less emphasis on gooseberry but instead it is more restrained with aromas of grass and tropical fruits.

The palate follows on with much the same flavours and plenty of zippy acidity making this a fantastic summer wine.

A great wine to enjoy on it's own or partnered with white fish.

£8.79 When you buy two Chilean wines (£10.99 single bottle price)

Muga Tasting 8th June 2013Date published: 07/06/13

Following on from the success of our Rustenberg tasting, we are proud to announce our Muga Tasting.

Hosted by José of C & D Wines (Mugas importer) we will be tasting,
Muga Reserva 2009
Muga Blanco 2012
Muga Rosé 2012
Emilio Moro 2009
Muga Selection Especial 2009


The tasting will start at 12noon and run till around 3pm, so please feel free to drop in!

La Croix de Gay 2003, PomerolDate published: 31/05/13

On the tasting counter today we have the 2003 offering from Chateau Croix de Gay, Pomerol.

While many dismiss 2003 as being a total write-off for Bordeaux, a number of wines from Pomerol have proved to be quite enjoyable.

The 2003 vintage in Bordeaux was unforgiving at best. It was extremely hot throughout the summer, and as a result large portions of the Cabernet Sauvignon crop for that year were effectively destroyed by sunburn, which left many of the left-bank wines with burnt rubber aromas, and unbalanced wines.

However, in Pomerol, where Merlot is planted in a far greater quantity, and can withstand greater temperatures than Cabernet Sauvignon, this part of Bordeaux produced some remarkably good wines.

One example is the Croix de Gay, which is a blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Now ten years old, this wine has now reached full maturity, and is displaying fantastic aromas of dried black fruits on the nose with hints of leather and delicate spices.

On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, full of the black fruit notes that come through on the nose and hints of vanilla. It has some lovely fine-grained tannin that gives the wine good structure and the finish is pretty long too!

Pair this wine with a fine roast beef if you want to enjoy it with food, or if it’s to be enjoyed with friends, all you need is a decanter, a few glasses and a comfy chair!

Dom Perignon 2004Date published: 26/05/13

At last the much talked about 2004 vintage Dom Pérignon has arrived!!

Sold initially on line by unsplit cases of 6 bottles at £600, that's only £100 a bottle!!

Here's what has been said about the 2004 vintage,

"2004 is a vintage that marks a return to a highly elegant and refined style, in contrast with the exuberance of the 2003 and the intensity of the 2002. While the word "classic" has become something of a cliché when describing wine, it is certainly one that applies here. 2004 is the perfect expression of Dom Pérignon in its purest form." - Lay and Wheeler

Pre-order now at www.majestic.co.uk and we will deliver when the stock arrives (mid June).

Our Award Winning WinesDate published: 25/05/13

Recently, the results of the International Wine Challenge  and Decanter World Wine Awards  results were announced.

These competitions each attract around 14,000 entries, which are tasted by a line-up of masters of wine, sommeliers, critics and buyers over several weeks. After vigorous rounds of judging, the top wines are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals. Majestic entered a number of wines into the competitions, as did some of our suppliers.

Here are some of our winning wines,

International Wine Challenge

Pizarras de Otero Bierzo 2012, Spain  - 2012 vintage due in soon
Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2012, Australia  - Also awarded ‘Eden Valley Viognier Trophy’
Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah 2010, New Zealand
Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir 2010, New Zealand - Also awarded ‘Martinborough Pinot Noir Trophy’
The King’s Favour Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand
Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand

Decanter World Wine Awards

Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé 2012, France - Also awarded ‘Provence Rosé under £15’ Trophy
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV, France
Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011, New Zealand
Waimea Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand
Ara Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand
Leyda Reserva Syrah 2011, Chile

WINE OF THE WEEK - RIOJA IMPERIAL RESERVA 1991, CUNEDate published: 24/05/13

CVNE, or Compania Vinicola del Notre de Espana produce some of the best wines in Rioja and this is an extremely rare example of their 1991 Reserva.

1991 was the year when Rioja was promoted from a DO to a DOC status wine and the vintage conditions allowed the top producers to produce some high quality wines.

This wine is now showing at it's absolute best and is ready for drinking now though would age another year or two if desired.

Try it before it goes because when it's gone, it's gone...

Wine of the Week - Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2011Date published: 14/05/13

This exotic grape variety of European origin (known as Primitivo in Italy) has been a cornerstone of the Californian wine industry for over a century. Even during Prohibition it was the grape of choice for many a “home wine-maker”. After a dip in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century due to poor production methods, Zinfandel saw a resurgence in the late 1990s and has continued to thrive thanks to the increased care and attention of modern winemakers.

Cline Cellars are one such producer. Sourcing grapes from a selection of parcels of old vines in several regions, they have created a heady and bold wine, full of ripe strawberry notes, coffee bean and cocoa. With its satisfying warmth and plump, juicy texture, this is a gorgeous example of a once forgotten grape that rightly deserves more recognition in the world of wine.

If we ever manage to get a Summer in this country, get the barbecue out and enjoy this wine with a beautiful piece of steak, well-seasoned pork chops or venison!

£14.99 when you buy 2 or more (£19.99 single bottle price)

Pale Pink, Pink, Peach and Red Rose WinesDate published: 13/05/13

The Rose display is fully up and running.  We have Provence, Old World, New World, Magnums, Light Pink, Pink, Peach and Red.  In In Provence they like a very pale Rose from spicy grapes like Grenache and Syrah.  Italy make some Rose from white Pinot Grigio grapes. New world Rose tend to use international red varieties, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Some stand out wines are the M de Minuty from Provence.  In a lovely shaped bottle it is on a great promotion price of £9.99. The Pinot Grigio Rose Breganze from Italy is £6.99, and the Yali Winemakers Selection Merlot Rose is £5.99.  Beating everything hands down would have to be the Domaines Ott Rose Magnum at £60.  From Bandol, a name synonymous with serious wines from Provence, this stunner is well balanced with berry flavours coupled with a hints of spice. This will turn a few heads at any summer party!

Exclusive Veuve Clicquot CompetitionDate published: 10/05/13

Running until 1st July, we have the following prizes to be won.

When you buy 2 bottles of Veuve Clicquot (one of which must be VC Rosé), we will give you an exclusive Veuve Clicquot calender with a unique code on the back. Enter the code at www.facebook.com/veuveclicquotuk to see if you are a winner.

Prizes are,
1 of 3 Gold Cup VIP Experiences for 2, including a complementary lunch/Champagne within the VIP enclosure on 21st July 2013 and a round-trip car service from London (within M25) to Cowdray Park Polo Club.

1 of 100 Season Accessory Kits including a Veuve Clicquot umbrella, a hat, a fan, a pair of sunglasses a Clicq'Up ice bucket and 6 glasses.


Wine of the Week - Matsu Recio!Date published: 08/05/13

Wine of the Week

Matsu 'El Recio', Toro, Spain

Being a fan of Spanish wines generally I'm always keen to sample regions and producers that come highly recommended. This wine has both! The Toro region in North West Spain is building a reputation for itself for producing some premium quality wines from the Tempranillo grape. They are a richer, warmer expression of the variety than their Rioja counterparts largely as a result of the warmer climate. The winemakers at Matsu also come with good pedigree as well, citing that a key factor for the quality and richness of their 'Tinta de Toro' is a result of them possessing some of the oldest Tempranillo vines in the region.

The nose is packed full of black fruits that marry nicely with hints of coffee and dark chocolate as well. The body is full and rich, and this is a wine that has really phenomenal concentration and structure too! Why not try this wine with a rare fillet steak – a rich dish for a rich wine!

£12.99 when you buy 2 (£15.99 single)

Wine of the week- Pouilly Fume 2010, Jean VincentDate published: 03/05/13

Pouilly- Fumé 2010, Jean Vincent

£9.99 each for 2 or more bottles - £11.99 single bottle price

Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

Origin:

Father-and-son team Jean and Vincent Chatelain are the 11th and 12th generations of an illustrious winemaking family, based in the heart of Pouilly-sur-Loire. Each parcel of their 30ha estate is vinified individually to maintain the character of each plot.

Taste:

An intensely aromatic wine, with a nose that centres on gooseberry fruit, enhanced by a smoky, flinty character. This mineral theme continues all the way to the long, steely finish.

Food Matching:

A mouthwatering, dry aperitif wine, also ideal with fresh shellfish dishes.

Vintage report for Loire 2010:

In Pouilly Fumé, picking started a week later than last year. Rain around 24 September put the frighteners on some growers but gave clear proof of the advantage of grassing through the vines as water went into the grass and not into the grapes. The best Sauvignons are delightful - to oversimplify, look at somewhere between 2002 and 2008 in style, wines with lovely typé aromas and great freshness.

Wine of the Week - Greywacke Sauvignon!Date published: 24/04/13

Wine of the Week

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

With today supposedly being the hottest day of the year thus far, my thoughts for wine of the week were immediately drawn to a refreshing, crisp style of white.. Combine that with the recent arrival of the 2012 vintage of Greywacke Sauvignon and the choice was a no-brainer!

The winemaker for this wine, Kevin Judd, originally built a name for himself at the Cloudy Bay estate in Marlborough but his most recent project is the phenomenal Greywacke. Intensely aromatic on the nose, there are fantastic tropical aromas of passion fruit and peach. The palate is well textured yet still has the characteristic mouthwatering acidity of Sauvignon, making it the perfect wine to have sat out in the sun this weekend!

£15.99 when you buy 2 or more

(£19.99 single bottle)

Wine of the Week - Clos du Bois Pinot NoirDate published: 19/04/13

Clos du Bois farm almost 800 acres in Sonoma County and coastal California, working closely with trusted local growers. The winery was founded 35 years ago by Frank Woods who previously spent much time travelling and working in France, hence their mantra Made in California, fluent in French.

To produce the Pinot Noir, de-stemming is followed by a three day cold soak prior to fermentation. The wine undergoes full malolactic before beginning nine months aging in barrel, a mixture of French and Eastern European (25% new). Deep ruby red with great aromatic intensity. Bright and fruity with a plush, silky texture and lovely varietal purity.

Wine of the Week - Thelema Shiraz 2008Date published: 11/04/13

THELEMA SHIRAZ 2008, SOUTH AFRICA £17.59 when you buy two or more South African wines (£22.00 single bottle price)

For many years now, Thelema have been one of the pioneering producers of quality wine in South Africa. With a range of red and white wines that continue to dazzle all those that encounter them, one cannot help but be charmed and seduced by the magic and character of their wines.

Coming from some of the highest, and therefore coolest, vineyards in Stellenbosch, this Shiraz is aged in 85% French and 15% American oak, giving it fabulous texture and structure.

Blackcurrant and bramble fruit flavours are abundant along with those classic spicy notes indicative of this mighty grape. Add to this a superbly toasted finish and well integrated tannins and you have a prime example of a stunning New World Shiraz.

This wine will go perfectly with a good barbecue or “braai” as it is better known in Afrikaans. Or if you would rather, enjoy it on its own now and over the next 6-8 years.

Nick's wine of the week - Rioja Gran Reserva 1985 Conde de ValdemarDate published: 06/04/13

To celebrate Spanish Tasting Week, i have chosen this fabulous aged Rioja from the Valdemar parcel. If you love your aged Rioja you must get down to SJW and snap up the remaining bottles.

Five generations of the Martinez Bujanda family have made wine since the foundation of their first winery in 1889. Conde de Valdemar is their flagship Rioja brand and is widely regarded as a benchmark for the top wines of the region.

Baked red fruit, prunes, coffee and vanilla spice are all packed in to this soft and irresistible wine. Classic mature Gran Reserva Rioja. This wine has been cellared in perfect conditions at the bodega, but as with any fully mature wine the colour, aroma and fill level may be different to younger wines, and you will need to take extra care when pulling the cork.

£13.98, When you buy 2+ bottles

Single bottle price £17.49  

Tabali WineryDate published: 28/03/13

Since 1993, the Tabali Winery has been at the forefront of outstanding wine production not just within the Limari Valley, but the entirety of Chile. The premium and super premium wines produced year on year are a direct result of the exceptional terroir, while the hot days and fresh nights, alongside the wineries closeness to both the Atacama Desert and the Pacific Ocean mean that wine making conditions are near on perfect. Around 400 km north of Santiago, the Limari Valley has been described as the 'up and coming' valley of northern Chile. There is an average of 90mm of rain a year, while the Camanchaca fog blankets the vines each morning, creating perfect wine making conditions. Felipe Muller has been with the vineyard since 2006 from De Martino and brought with him an intense understanding of the soils and vines that showcased a dedicated and impassioned control of what is going on within his vineyards.

Store Easter Opening HoursDate published: 16/03/13

Please be aware of our opening hours over the Easter Weekend.

Thursday 28th March 10am - 8pm

Friday 29th March (Good Friday) 10am - 8pm

Saturday 30th March 9am - 7pm

Sunday 31st March (Easter Sunday) - CLOSED

Monday 1st April (Easter Monday) - 10am - 5pm

Tuesday 2nd April onwards - Normal opening hours

Producer of the Week - TabaliDate published: 16/03/13

PRODUCER OF THE WEEK

Tabali, Limari Valley Winemaker – Felipe Muller

Since 1993, the Tabali Winery has been at the forefront of outstanding wine production not just within the Limari Valley, but the entirety of Chile. The premium and super premium wines produced year on year are a direct result of the exceptional terroir, while the hot days and fresh nights, alongside the wineries closeness to both the Atacama Desert and the Pacific Ocean mean that wine making conditions are near on perfect. Around 400 km north of Santiago, the Limari Valley has been described as the 'up and coming' valley of northern Chile. There is an average of 90mm of rain a year, while the Camanchaca fog blankets the vines each morning, creating perfect wine making conditions. Felipe Muller has been with the vineyard since 2006 from De Martino and brought with him an intense understanding of the soils and vines that showcased a dedicated and impassioned control of what is going on within his vineyards.

Tabali Reserva Especial Sauvignon Blanc £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more) A firm and tightly structured Sauvignon, reminiscent of the finest examples of the Loire

Tabali Reserva Especial Chardonnay £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more) A lifted and complex nose of hazelnut and orange peel with a creamy texture and distinct mineral grip

Tabali Reserva Syrah 2010 - £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more) A dense core of red fruits with elegant tannins and spice

Tabali Reserva Pinot Noir - £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more) A benchmark, cool climate Pinot with a fresh and elegant raspberry and cherry nose

Tabali Reserva Carmenere £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more) Deep, opaque red with hints of violets and a rich, voluptuous palate

Talinay Chardonnay -£12.99 (when you buy 2 or more) Modern, cool climate Chardonnay with an invitingly fruity character

Wine of the Week - Talinay Chardonnay 2011, Limari Valley, ChileDate published: 15/03/13

This delightful Chardonnay comes from a small valley within Limari, located towards the north of Chile just 12km from the Pacific coast. Thanks to the moderately cool climate and long ripening season, this wine is endowed with a plethora of well-developed flavours.

Aromas of citrus and tropical fruits are abundant and key to the inviting character of this modern style Chardonnay. Add to this a lush, creamy palate with mouthwatering acidity and a forthright minerality and you have yourself a beautifully balanced wine to rival the best of Burgundy.

Why not enjoy it with linguine with mushrooms in a creamy sauce!

£12.99 when you buy 2 or more, single bottle price.

Wine of the Week - DMZ Chardonnay 2012Date published: 09/03/13

DMZ Chardonnay 2012, De Morgenzon, Stellenbosch

£8.79, When you by 2+ bottles, Single bottle price £10.99

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.

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.

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

Producer of The week - ThelemaDate published: 04/03/13

PRODUCER OF THE WEEK

Thelema, Stellanbosch Winemaker – Gyles Webb

The Thelema Winery situated in the idyllic surroundings of the Helshoogte Pass in the wine region of Stellanbosch has long been regarded as one of South Africa's finest producers and a firm favourite here at Majestic.

It took a well remembered sip of an exquisitely made Puligny Montrachet to persuade Winemaker Gyles Webb to abandon his career as an accountant in Durban and pursue the distinctly different career path of wine making. And thank goodness he did! As they are now producing an outstanding range of wines, which are celebrated world wide. After completing a degree in Oenology, Gyles and his family took over an old fruit farm named Thelema and the rest is history. The property covers 157 hectares of mostly south facing slopes with an elevation of 370-640 metres. This cooler climate attributes to the fresh and expressive characteristics of Thelema's wines.

All Thelema wines are currently discounted by 20% as part of the current South African deal

Thelema Merlot 2009 - £15.99 (when you buy 2 or more) Smooth and soft with impressive structure and delicious notes of black fruits

Thelema Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - £13.99 (when you buy 2 or more) Perfectly balanced with crisp and refreshing flavours of melon and grapefruit

Thelema Chardonnay 2010 - £17.60 (when you buy 2 or more) Deliciously rich and well rounded with a vibrant acidity

Thelema Mountain Red 2010 - £8.79 (when you buy 2 or more) A new release from Thelema. Aged in mature oak barrels and showcasing an exciting blend of different varieties.

Thelema Shiraz 2008 - £17.59 (when you buy 2 or more) A big and impressive example of New World Shiraz, displaying toasty notes of blackurrant and bramble fruits.

Rubicon - Fine wine Friday!Date published: 01/03/13

Fine Wine Friday

A classic Bordeaux-style blend, this wine has an intense, opaque deep ruby colour. Bright and vivacious in the glass, with deep, dark fruit, cassis, plum and cherry. There is a pronounced minerality on the nose with graphite, cedar smoke and cigar box bouquet. The perfectly formed, ripe tannins are densely packed but remain lithe and silky giving the wine a sensational opulence. Drink with venison, game or viande de cheval.

Only £23.99 when you buy two or more SA wines, down from £30! This is one of my favourite wines, ever.  Be sure you make it down this friday or Saturday to give it a try.

Nick's review on a stunning SoaveDate published: 23/02/13

Flowing aromas of lime and white blossom, leads onto crisp flavors of green apple and citrus which are balanced by honeyed undertones with fantastic body and length.

An elegant wine which would make a great alternative to white burgundy.

Enjoy with razor clams and mussels in a garlic and parsley sauce. Buon appetito!

Inspiration for Thursday Night CookingDate published: 14/02/13

It's always a challenge coming up with new, exciting and most importantly, delicious ideas for what to cook for dinner on a Thursday evening, especially when the clock is almost striking 9 by the time I finally get home! Midday and the creative juices are flowing! Beef wellington maybe? I'm sure I'd be able to crack out some slow cooked pork belly in time for the Ten o'clock News? No, maybe not. By 6.30, the inspiration is well and truly  fading, but surely something must be better than reaching for the phone and ordering a pizza....again! Sometimes with food, the simpler really is the better, which is why this really simple pasta dish (courtesy of my hugely talented food writer and chef Aunt) is always a winner on those evenings where time is not a luxury. And of course the correct wine matching is essential!

Here's the recipe -

2 courgettes cut in half length ways, then sliced. 1-2 cloves of garlic chopped 1/4 teaspoon of chilli (add some chopped pancetta if you fancy) Half a pack of spaghetti

Put the pasta in to boil for 12 minutes. While the pasta is cooking place the courgettes in the  hot frying pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for about 8 minutes until brown. Season the courgettes Once the courgettes are cooked, add the chopped garlic and the chilli and cook for one more minute. Drain the pasta and toss with the courgettes. Season and sprinkle with Parmesan. Delicious!

Wine wise - I drank this with the Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2010 (£14.99 when you buy 2 or more). A great wine. Lovely and elegant, with flavours that match up perfectly to the spice in the dish, while not overpowering it. The balance of the wine is perfect with spicy aromas of red cherry and berries. This dish literally takes ten minutes and with a delicious glass of Chianti Classico in your hand,Thursday nights suddenly don't seem so dreary.

New Zealand: A Brief History - New Zealand Tasting Week 2013Date published: 13/02/13

To celebrate the New Zealand Tasting Week at Majestic, we thought the best accompaniment would be a brief history of New Zealand and her wines.

A Brief History

Up until the 1970s, the NZ wine industry was mainly producing wines from Müller Thurgau for the local market, however, since then the industry has seen major investment that has been sustained by a thirsty export market for a wine that has rapidly become a world Classic – the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Despite this growing reputation and the critical acclaim that the region has seen, it’s easy to forget how small the NZ wine industry is in global terms. To put it in perspective, in 2010 the area under vine was around 30,000 hectares. This equates to bare a third of the area under vine in Bordeaux alone.

While the local market still thrives, New Zealand producers have to contend with the demands of their major export markets – Australia, the EU and USA.

Regions and their Wines

Auckland

The wine industry started off in the north of North Island around Auckland. Auckland is warm and the wettest part of NZ and as a result fungal diseases can be a problem. The grapes grown in Auckland are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.

Gisborne

Located on the east coast, north of Hawke’s Bay, the region lies in a broad estuary close to the town of Gisborne. Half of the vines planted here are Chardonnay, and the temperature, sunshine hours and rainfall are all high in the growing season. The result is a distinctive tropical fruit flavour to the wines.

Top quality Gewürtztraminer is also grown here, and is now seeing some international recognition.

Hawke’s Bay

The area under vine here lies near the towns of Hastings and Napier, and are again on the east coast of North Island in an estuary plain. The area is second only to Marlborough in the extent of plantings, is extremely varied with regard to soils, aspect and altitude of the plantings. As a result the character of the wines can vary greatly.

Try the Te Mata Cape Crest 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, from Hawke’s Bay on offer in store now at £19.99 per bottle; Elderflower, green apple, and tropical fruits in abundance, with well-balanced acidity to provide crispness.

Martinborough

Part of the Wairapa region, the small town of Martinborough at the southern tip of North Island has developed a world renowned reputation for Pinot Noir. Try the Martinborough Vineyard 2010 Pinot Noir on offer at £25 per bottle on offer in store. Vinified using traditional Burgundian methods, this wine has an abundance of vanilla and spice characters to enhance the palate with wonderfully smooth tannins. Pair with roast pork.

Marlborough

This is the major centre of wine production in New Zealand, and the place where the NZ signature style of Sauvignon Blanc was pioneered. Nearly 60% of the entire vineyard area of Marlborough is planted in two adjacent estuary valleys – Wairau and Awatare. Of these plantings, three quarters are of Sauvignon Blanc.

Most Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs are a blend of grapes from both areas to create the distinctive style. However, there are a number of ‘Single Vineyard’ wines, such as the St Clair Wairau Reserve 2011 Sauvignon Blanc on offer in store at £22 per bottle. We also have a wide range of wines from Cloudy Bay, where they have managed to produce top quality wines from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc from this region. All of which we have in store.

Central Otago

This area differs from the rest of the country as it is inland and at the foothills of the Southern Alps. The vineyard area is spread over a wide area and a number of different valleys, with different aspects, soils and altitudes.

Pinot Noir accounts for in excess of 80% of wines produced here, such as the Roaring Meg 2010 Pinot Noir we have in store at £17.00 a bottle when you buy 2 or more as part of a mixed case.

So there we are - plenty of wines from New Zealand to choose from, and wines that will go with most foods, and more importantly, all occasions. I hope you enjoy sampling what we have to offer, and hopefully you’ll find a wine to fall in love with.  

Wine of the Week - Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir Date published: 13/02/13

~Wine of the Week~

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2010

£10.99 (when you buy 2 or more bottles - £14.99 single bottle price)

 

A deliciously rich and concentrated offering from one of New Zealand's most prolific and well respected producers. Perfectly balanced with vibrant aromas of ripe red fruit and spicy notes of plum and red cherry.

A classic New Zealand Pinot that definitely doesn't disappoint with an elegantly refined palate showcasing complex flavours of full bodied fruit and smooth, silky tannins

This wine is drinking perfectly, but you may even be able to lie it down for a couple more years.

Serve this with a rabbit or veal dish

Nick's Pancake Matches with PanacheDate published: 12/02/13

As it is Shrove Tuesday it only seems right to come up with a couple of pancake and wine pairings. So to start with I though I would go for a spinach, goat cheese and olive dressed pancake paired with a bottle of Sancerre Vacheron at £17.99. This aromatic sauvignon blanc has a delightful goosebury flavor on the palate leading to a long smoky, steely finish, which makes it perfectly suited to this savory pancake dish.

For those of you with a sweeter tooth. A banana, maple syrup and cinnamon dusted pancake is a real treat when matched with a glass or two of Tokay 5 Puttonyos at £19.99. The sensual flavors of orange peel, figs and cinnamon make this a match made in heaven.

Wine of the Week - Suarani Costarossa PrimitivoDate published: 08/02/13

~Wine of the Week~

Surani Costarossa 2010, Primitivo  £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more bottles - £9.99 single bottle price)

Dark crimson in colour with deliciously enticing flavours of dates and figs on the nose preceding a delightfully rounded and warming palate of sweet spice and rich dark fruit.

Made from the Primitivo (also known as Zinfnadel) grape which is indigenous to Italy, the grapes are over ripened on the vine and then oak aged to create a rich, smooth and irresistible wine.

Try with Venison and pan-fried calves liver.

Delicious!

Wine of the Week - Les Hauts de Castelmaure 2010, Corbieres.Date published: 19/01/13

This beautifully expressive wine originates from the local cooperative of a tiny village south of Corbieres called Embres-et-Castelmaure. With grapes hand-picked from vines that are up to 80 years old, one can really get a sense of the “terroir” of this wine.

Aromas of cassis, boysenberry and damson jam, as well as wild thyme and rosemary, leap from the glass, instantly capturing the drinker's attention. The soft but full-bodied texture completes the seduction!

This wine can certainly be enjoyed on its own but is ideal with rich casseroles, tender red meats or beef daube.

£9.99 when you buy 2 or more.

Christmas Delivery InformationDate published: 03/12/12

Would our online customers please note that we are no longer able to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

If you require your order before Christmas please telephone the store on 020 7604 3461 to enquire about delivery availability.  You can also place an online order for collection.  Just let us know when you will be picking your wine up and we will get it ready for you.

Any further questions please feel free to call us on the number given above.

Many thanks

Wine of the Week - St Hallets Alsare ShirazDate published: 30/11/12

St Hallett Alsare Vineyard Shiraz 2010, Barossa Valley

£13.99 (when you buy any 2 Australian Wines)

This wine is most certainly not for the faint hearted! A huge wine from one of Australia's most respected wine producers, straight from the heart of the Barossa Valley, a region known for top quality Shiraz.

Powerful and complex with intense aromas of black fruits and cocoa followed by a dense, yet enticing palate of sweet spice and ripe blackberry. Smooth and strong with an unyielding intensity that gives way to an exquisite finish

Enjoy this wine now or allow to age for 3 to 5 more years

Wine of the Week - Au bon Climat Chardonnay 2010Date published: 10/11/12

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2010, Santa Barbara

£18.00 (when you buy 2 or more bottles - £22.00 single bottle price)

A deliciously luscious and powerful Chardonnay from one of the most respected producers in California. Sourced from the warmer areas of the region, which is known for producing ripe and robust Chardonnays of unmatchable quality.

Beautifully buttery in texture with an intensely complex nose of roasted hazelnut, ripe apples and brioche. A luscious palate of fresh topical fruit and orange zest paves the way for an exquisitely well rounded palate of impressive length.

A must buy, this wine would go perfectly with roasted poultry dishes.

TradeDate published: 10/10/12

Trade Customer?

If you're shopping for a business please contact us on 020 76043461 and we can put you in touch with our dedicated Commercial team. We offer exclusive wines, free delivery and credit terms.

Need wine in a hurry? Call us now and to discuss your needs.

Exciting Wine Events in SeptemberDate published: 07/09/12

The Indian Summer has started and to celebrate we've got some great events in store during the month of September - details are below.  These are all free of charge and will be conducted by members of my very well-qualified team here at the store in St John's Wood.  If you would like to attend any of these please give us a call on 020 7604 3461 to book your place. 

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Claire - Store Manager

 

Tutored Wine Tastings - 20-30 minute wine tastings at the tasting counter in store.  A member of staff will provide a detailed tasting and some interesting facts about two wines from the category being shown. 

Exploring Chardonnay - Saturday 8th September, 11am or 3pm

Wines of Spain - Saturday 15th September, 11am or 3pm

Exploring Sauvignon Blanc - Saturday 22nd, 11am or 3pm

Exploring Pinot Noir - Saturday 29th, 11am or 3pm

 

Wine Course - this 90minute - 2hour beginner's wine course sheds light on everything from tasting jargon to how to choose the perfect wine for your meal.

Wednesday 12th  September, 7pm

Wednesday 19th September, 7pm

Please note that there is a refundable £5 deposit payable to secure your place.

Wine of the Week - Some good old ChablisDate published: 22/08/12

CHABLIS “LA COLLEGIALE”, 2011, LAROCHE

If you like your Chardonnay unoaked and want to try something new to our range, try this high-quality offering by Laroche.

The fruit for this wine is sourced from several of Laroche's partner growers and has the unmistakable mineral character from the Kimmeridgan soil that Chablis is famous for.

With attractive citrus and blossom aromas and a fresh, nicely balanced palate, this wine will be great with most seafood.

£13.99 or £11.99 when you buy two or more.  Available to taste at the St John's Wood store.

Testing times in St John's WoodDate published: 18/08/12

Clash of the Titans
The test match at Lord's made us consider what the South Africans can do with their wine. However we have some strong contenders from the mighty Australians and some good support from the Portuguese, Chilean and Kiwi offerings.
SA: Vergelegen Chardonnay 2011 £8.99 when you buy 2 or more
VS
OZ: DB Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 £7.59 when you buy more than 1 Australian wine

Santa Rita 120 (Runs) Viognier 2012 £5.99
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2009 £11.59 Wine of the Week
Casabel 2009 Lisboa £7.49 - knocks us for 6!

The SJW Majestival Sportsday winners!Date published: 10/08/12

After intense competition and much deliberation we have found the winners:

The Perfect Podium

1st place
Walter Hansel Estate Chardonnay 2009
£24
Pure golden perfection!

2nd place
Jim Barry 'The Cover Drive' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
£10.99 when you buy 2 or more
Cracking cricket-themed Cab

3rd place
Fairleigh Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2011
£5.99 when you buy 2 or more
Fantastic party pink

All available to taste this weekend!

wine of the week- Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva 2007Date published: 08/08/12


Staff Pick

Viña Pomal Rioja Reserva 2007

The grapes for this wine come from Viña Pomal's own vineyards which
surround the winery. The first Viña Pomal release was over 100 years
ago in 1904, and they have since been producing high quality, classic
100% Tempranillo Riojas.

Bursting with red fruit characters of blackberry and raspberries the
palate is clean, intense and persistent. Perfectly balanced with soft
velvety tannins it is delicious from start to the long finish.

This traditional Rioja will be a superb complement to Catalan style
charcuterie or cured meats.


£9.99 when buying 2 or more.

Vina Ardanza is Laura's Wine of the WeekDate published: 02/08/12

Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2001 La Rioja Alta

This powerful and complex wine boasts hints of red fruit, spice, earth and tobacco. With smooth tannins this wine is drinking very well now and is the perfect accompaniment to roast lamb or casserole.

Robert Parker has awarded this wine a fantastic 94/100!

£18.00 when buying 2 or more bottles

Going for Gold (Top)Date published: 31/07/12

Whether you're celebrating the Ohio World Golf Championships, the Indianapolis MotoGP or any other sporting event this summer, why not grab a bottle of Heidseick Gold Top and celebrate the summer away.

 

Now just £20/btl

Staff Pick - Gerard Bertrand's Tautavel Hommage aux Vignerons 2007Date published: 26/07/12

This beast of a wine is powerful and fruity with very noticeable but incredibly soft tannins and rich stewed fruit flavours.
A perfect match for a piece of beef or lamb on the barbecue.

On a slight aside this wine was a resounding favourite against Chateau Talbot 2002 in a blind tasting we had!

£19.99/btl

Wine of the week - Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewürztraminer 2009Date published: 19/07/12

Domaine Zind Humbrecht is owned and run by father-and-son team
Léonard and Olivier Humbrecht. Olivier has the honour of being the first
Frenchman to qualify as a Master of Wine. Impeccable vineyard practices
have cemented the domaine as a star producer in Alsace.

Powerful aromas of crushed coriander seed greet you, followed by
just enough residual sweetness to bring out the
grape's lychee fruit and gingery spice. Ample acidity in the
background provides plenty of refreshing lift.

A perfect pair with smoked salmon or pungent cream cheeses.

£11.99 when you buy two or more.

We need you toDate published: 18/07/12

choose another wine of the week!

 

We will be posting the 2 options this afternoon on twitter and the news articles and we would like you to vote for your favourite.

The most votes wins and will be available to taste from tomorrow afternoon.

 

Votes must be in by Thursday 12noon!

Wine of the Week - Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvingon 2010, McClaren ValeDate published: 15/07/12

Kangarilla Road Vineyard and Winery is located in McClaren Vale in South Australia. The state of the art facility was established by Kevin and Helen O'Brien in 1997 . The name 'Kangarilla'  is derived from the Aboriginal language and can be roughly translated as 'Land of plenty', which is reflected in the richness, complexity and quality of all their wines. The 2010 vintage was very good and the Cabernet Sauvignon from this vintage is drinking very well now.

The nose offers intense aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry and dark plum, with a touch of mint. The palate has lovely ripe black fruit flavours and ripe, smooth tannins.

A perfect match with rare steak and will be great with barbequed meat - that's if the weather finally improves!

£10.99 when you buy 2 or more Australian wines

Delivery service during the Olympic gamesDate published: 11/07/12

The Olympic games are nearly here and the "games lanes" are already appearing on London's streets.

 

We are currently providing a normal delivery service prior to 27th July so our advice to all our customers is to stock up now before any road restrictions are in place.

 

There are several roads within our delivery area that will be part of the Olympic route which will inevitably have a knock-on effect on the flow of traffic in the surrounding roads.  We regret that we will not be able to do any deliveries in the following streets between 25th July and 12th August:

Grove End Road

Lisson Grove

Rossmore Road

St John's Wood Road

Wellington Road

Park Road

We will aim to maintain a normal delivery service on all other streets in our delivery area.  Regular updates will be posted once the Olympic Games start and we have a better idea of how these road restrictions are affecting us.

Naturally, if you have any questions at all about any of the above please feel free to call or email us.

Best regards,

The Majestic St John's Wood Team

Welcome to terrific TuesdayDate published: 03/07/12

So our mystery newbie has arrived this very morning and we've very pleased to welcome Laura to the St John's Wood Team. Especially to boost the number of ladies in the team!

 

We also welcome back some of our favourite American wines just in time for tomorrow's celebration of the United States of America Independence day!

Its the perfect time to prepare for tomorrow and stock up!

Monday Monday so good to meDate published: 02/07/12

The weekend may be over but we're still in top spirits - Jack Daniels, Sipsmith, Glenmorangie to name just a few of our favourites!

We had a spot of luck with our wine of the week: La Garnacha 2010 Salvaje del Moncayo. Not only was it very popular on the tasting counter but Olly Smith and Tim Atkin suggested it on Saturday Kitchen. Excellent choice all round!

Preparations are in  full swing for the Olympics and we've got a few new faces due to appear in the coming weeks in store!

 

Watch this space

Wine of the Week - La Garnacha 2010 Salvaje del MoncayoDate published: 30/06/12

As voted by our Twitter followers

Northern Spain offers some of the most classic expressions of Garnacha (or Grenache), with this wine being a notable example, made from grapes harvested from ancient 'wild' bush vines in the mountainous Moncayo end of the Ebro Valley.

Powerful aromas of wild berries and tobacco leaf are tempered by a sense of freshness and floral edges. The middleweight palate has ripe red fruit and a Burgundian minerality, with subtle French oak.

 

Drink with barbecued red meats or spicy chorizo

 

£7.99 when you buy 2 or more

Wine of the Week - Chateau L'Hospitalet 2009 Gerard Bertrand La Clape AOCDate published: 19/06/12

Gerard Bertrand makes classically - styled Languedoc wines with a modern twist. Using fruit sourced from the tiny southern French appellation of La Clape, in vineyards attached to a property once owned bt the monks of Norbonne Hospice, this blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre is bursting with forest fruit, psice and l'armoe de garrigue.

Fruit, intense and concentrated with great complexitiy and elegance, L'Hospitalet 2009 is drinking beautifully even at this youn age and would certainly reward a few years of cellaring.

In line with Bertrand's signature style, this wine is full-bodied and concetrated, it would match perfectly with glazed Provencal fillet of beef or as an accompaniment to a robust English vheese - think mature Cornish Yarg!

 

a great quality alternative to a top Chateauneuf de Pape in terms of both quality and value!

Wine of the Week - Tureky Flat ShirazDate published: 10/06/12

This iconic Shiraz is on of Barossa's finest. The Turkey Flat estate has been under direction of the Schulz family since1865 and the vines are equally long-standing, low yeilding elders of the valley.

A superb nose of black fruit and violets, followed by a rich concentrated palate with impressive texture.

Pair it with the best BBQ you can make in the Aussie spirit or a Beef Wellington for something more in line with the British jubilations.

£25 a bottle

 

We also have the Turkey Flat Rose back in stock, for the fans.

Wine of the Week - Domaines Ott Bandol Rose 2011Date published: 25/05/12

Château Romassan Domaines Ott Bandol Rose 2011

The cult wine has finally returned! For those of you who know Domaines Ott, you're bound to be as excited by it's arrival as we are. We have been waiting for the sunshine and this wine to truly start the summer.

Château Romassan is situated in the region of Bandol in the South East of France, with Provence. It hails from the home of dry French Rose and its considered to be the most serious of Provence styles. Influenced by their proximity to the Mediterranean coast, the vineyards are on south facing terraces soaking up the sunshine, sea breezes and herbaceous fauna of the terroirs.

This is the top cuvée Coeur de Grain is a dry refreshing style of rosé. Complex, yet subtle the wine gives off delicate aromas of mixed summer berries and a hint of spice. Absolute perfection for quenching your thirst on these warm summer days and the ideal companion to your Friday feeling!

£27 a bottle

Summer wine successDate published: 16/05/12

After a little bit of sunshine last weekend, we were in the mood for our Summer wine evening yesterday and what a night we had!

Over 60 people attended and certainly seemed to enjoy the wine and food from our favourite west London delicatessan Vallebona.

The Top 2 wines in our poll of favourites were the antipoodean pair: St Clair Pioneers Block 21 Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and the St Hallet Dawkins Shiraz 2009.

The Chateau Barthes Bandol Rose was also very warmly received and the staff favourite was probably the Vergelen Flagship White.

Big thanks to Jess and Will for all their help - hope you had as much fun as we did!

Thanks also to all the customers who were able to attend and for those who didn't, we hope to see you next time!

You can bank on champagne for Bank Holiday fun!Date published: 06/05/12

Although we have been in British summertime for a while, the weather hasn't exactly reflected this. The bank holiday gives us an extra day of rest and why not ensure your celebration, gathering of friends and family or cosy weekend at home is well-oiled with some bubbles.

Taittinger NV is our favourite at £28 a bottle, down from £37

Get it before its gone!

Bordeaux 2007: A Late-Recovery Vintage Date published: 23/04/12

Reviews of 2007 Bordeaux vary greatly, with some writing off the vintage as a whole. But what has this extremely taxing vintage been converted into by the winemakers and is it any good?

The Harvest

The Bordeaux growing season in 2007 began in a somewhat fairytale manner. A rainy March and warm April gave rise to an early start to the vegetative cycle. In May, rain led to an onset of mildew and the unpredictable weather to uneven flowering. July and August was when things really got sticky, a lack of sun and an abundance of rain greatly hindered ripening. This all came to a head when there were two huge downpours in late August which left many growers ready to completely write off the vintage. Things started to look up in September and October when the weather turned dry, warm and clear allowing the flavours in the grapes to concentrate while a north easterly breeze prevented the onset of rot. Due to the uneven flowering at the start of the season, uneven ripening was widespread but producers who were able to invest the time and money in picking grapes at their peak were able to produce some fantastic results.

The Wines

The wines produced were certainly of varying quality but they offer a take on Bordeaux that we don’t see in the vintages everyone rants and raves about. Because of the success story of the left bank Cabernet vines, first wines have far more Cabernet in them and the second wines far more Merlot than usual. The Brio de Cantenac Brown 2007 (£18.99/btl when you buy 2 or more) is a shining example of left bank second wines from this vintage. Because the right bank didn’t see the same level of rainfall during July and August they represent fantastic value for money. With Bordeaux, good wines from poor vintages are seemingly less in demand than poor wines from good vintages. Right bank 2007’s in our range include, at different ends of the pricing scale, Vieux Chateau Certan from Pomerol (£65/btl), and Chateau la Rose Chatain made in Lalande de Pomerol (£8.99/btl when you buy 2 or more). Both of these wines are classic right bank: soft and plummy, and both fantastic value.

There are some other fantastic 2007 Bordeaux in our range. From Margaux: Segla, the second wine from Rauzan-Segla (£22/btl) and Chateau Tayac (£14.99/btl). From Pauillac: Tourelles de Longueville, the second wine of Pichon-Baron (£28/btl) and Chateau Lacoste Borie, the second wine of the much underrated Grand Puy Lacoste (£19.99/btl).

So, in short, the red wines produced in 2007 in Bordeaux don’t fit the classic Bordeaux mould. They are early drinking and lighter in style. Due to the outstanding vintages in 2005, 2009 and 2010 there are a number of quality vintages that will escape the gaze of people looking to buy Bordeaux for its prestige rather than its quality, 2007 being one of them. 2007 therefore represents great value for money, and, if you have a bunch of 2005 in your cellar, something to drink while you wait for ‘05 to reach maturity.

Wines of the Week - Tantalising Tempranillo of ToroDate published: 21/04/12

Matsu are the latest selection of wines to join the Majestic Portfolio and the wines were so good I couldn't choose just one.

Matsu is the Japanese for to wait and this is reflected in their philosophy of biodynamics, patience and achieving environmental harmony in the vineyards. Their estates are based in Toro, famed for its pure, local strain of tempranillo- tinto de toro. The Matsu wines are all 100% Tempranillo (tinto de toro) and their distinctive labels each display a visage to echo the character of the wine.


El Picaro means rascal or rogue and its label is a picture of a young vineyard worker wearing a cap. The wine itself is fresh yet complex. Dark fruits of blackberry and blueberry are paired with liquorice notes on the finish. Drink now or if you can wait 2 years it will mature.2011 £7.99 when you buy two or more.


El Recio is the tough guy of the family, and made from vines over a century old. It is only after spending 14 months in new French oak, that this wine is ready to drink. It possesses a voluptuous, weighty structure with notes of coffee beans, bramble fruit and chocolate. Delicious now or in the next 5 years. 2009 £12.79 when you buy two or more.


El Viejo is The Old One of the Matsu selection. A serious wine-drinkers dream of Tinto de Toro, this is a full-bodied, mature wine. It has flavours of black fruits, smoked spices, toasted nuts balanced with superbly smooth round tannins. Ready to drink or cellar for 8years. 2009 £20 when you buy two or more.


Open to try on our tasting counter from Saturday 21st April 2012

Wine of the Week - Barbaresco, De Forville, 2008Date published: 09/04/12

Barbaresco, like its sibling Barolo, is a distinguished wine made entirely from the Nebbiolo grape. At its best, it is notable for its exquisite aromatics and seductive personality.

2008 was a good to excellent vintage, picked in cool September weather following an unseasonably warm year. The warmth of the vintage is apparent in the delicious ripeness of the wines, of particular benefit to the Barbaresco which is anyway accessible from a young age.

This wine is produced by brothers Paulo and Valter De Forville on the family estate neighbouring the famous Gaja winery. Their focus on quality and attention to detail results in beautiful wines, as demonstrated here.

Tasting notes:

A delicate garnet colour
Dark cherry flavours, rose and violet perfume, and a warm, earthy spice. A core of sweet fruit
Softly oaked, combining depth of flavour with muscular tannins
Deliciously drinkable - lithe and refreshing

£14.99 or £13.49 for 2 or more bottles


Try with hard cheeses, cured ham, or strawberries!

Happy Easter to one and allDate published: 07/04/12

We hope you're enjoying the long weekend, whether home or away good wine is a must. Just in case you are running out of tasty beverages we are open

Saturday 7th April - 9am-7pm

Sunday 8th April - 10am-5pm

Monday 9th April - 10am - 5pm

Wine of the Week - Rustenberg John X Merriman 2008Date published: 18/03/12

Rustenberg Winery has created this wine to commemorate John Xavier Merriman, the last Prime Minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910. In 1892, Merriman purchased a farm in Stellenbosch, which later became Rustenberg Wines.
This red Bordeaux blend has aromas of intense blackberry, blackcurrant and undertones of mint, spice and cigar. On the palate are plenty of blackcurrant and cassis.

This superb red suits robust meat dishes, especially beef and lamb.

£9.99 when you buy more than one.
 

New in for Bordeaux! Classy Classed Growths!Date published: 14/03/12

MAJESTIC

We have just received a parcel of spectacular classed-growth Bordeaux. Priced between £25 and £30, this is an excellent oppurtunity to pick up some bargains from the highly rated 2005 and 2006 vintages, here's some background on the Chateaux and their respective Grand Vins.

 

Chateau Cantemerle 2005 Haut-Medoc

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc

Cantemerle's wine making history dates back to the 16th century and to this day, it continues to produce rich, supple reds with an intensely fragrant bouquet. Although the reputation of Cantemerle suffered during the 1970s owing to family feuds and financial difficulties, the prestige of the Chateau has risen in recent years due to introduction of state of the art wine making facilities. The exceptional 2005 vintage produced a savory, meaty wine, with a nose of leather and subtle oak.

Haut- Batailley- Pauillac 2006

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc.

Haut-Batailley's wines are something of an insider's secret, owing to modest production and it's secluded location away from the Gironde River.. In spite of this it is well worth its 5th growth status. The estate is managed by the reputable Xavier Borie, who produces reds with quintessential flavours of soft ripe fruits, oak and a touch of cigar box. The 2006 vintage offers mineral, floral aromas on the nose with damson fruits on the palate.

Chateau Berlquet 2006 St Emilion

Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

This estate has improved since Patrick de Lesquen has taken over, raising its reputation within St. Emilion's hierarchy. This Chateau benefits beautifully from being situated on the limestone plateau of St Emilion, producing reds with lively aromatic bouquets and mineral after-tastes. The 2006 vintage withstood difficult weather conditions. Higher than average rainfall in the winter were compensated by high summer temperatures allowing for sufficient fruit development. This feminine style wine offers a nose of gravel and red cherries with bright acidity and defined tannins.

Chateau Plince 2006 Pomerol

Grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

This estate has been in the hands of the Moueix family, of Chateau Petrus for more than a century. They are renowned for offering rich,structured and satisfying reds. Enjoy the nose of violets, truffles and crushed raspberries as well as its polished finish. The 2006 offers serious value for money to be enjoyed between 2011-2020.

Wine of the Week - Catena Malbec 2009Date published: 09/03/12

This elegantly structured wine is produced by Decanter Magazine's Man of the Year 2009.
The blackberry and blackcurrant fruit is balanced with vanilla from the oak, refreshing acidity and peppery tannins

The perfect match for your spring barbecues!

 

A snip at £9.99 for 2 or more

Its Wine Walk time!Date published: 29/02/12

This Sunday (4th March) we will be holding a tasting of our new arrivals and a spot of food matching with each pair.

A rare event not to be missed - especially when there are limited spaces at stake!

 

Book now to avoid disappointment.

10 out of 10 for Organic Viticulture!Date published: 20/02/12

As a long-standing believer in the ecological benefits of organic farming, it is with great pleasure I introduce 'Ten Minutes by Tractor' Estate Chardonnay 2009.

The vineyards of Ten Minutes by Tractor have been used to trial various organic viticultural practices to create a fantastic set of wines: focussing on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The estate resides on Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia - about an hour's drive from Melbourne and it is said to have a wonderful restaurant at the cellar door, well worth a trip if you're in that neck of the woods.

Mornington Peninsula is situated at 38 degrees south and benefits from a fantastic cool climate with a maritime influence from Port Phillip Bay and the Bass Strait. It has relatively long sunshine hours and is perfect for Burgundian varietals.

The Estate Chardonnay is a refined wine; full of flavour and body, with refreshing acidity and flinty minerality.  It reminds me of cooked lemons, pizza dough, grilled cheese and a hint of sweetcorn. Its an unusual way of describing the flavours but the wine has a hugely luscious finish with great length that dries out towards the end in a well-structured fashion.

This wine is due consideration, great food and the best company. My ultimate food match would be a cheese soufflé, while listening to Sting and The Police.

Wine of the Week - Avignonesi 2009 RossoDate published: 15/02/12

Avignonesi 2009 Rosso

The name 'Avignonesi' stems from the French town of Avignon where the producers of this well regarded Tuscan winery originate. The winery is made up of four farms which each specialise in particular grape varieties. The Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon for this blend come from the 'Le Capezzine', 'La Selva' and 'La Lombarda' estates, each located at around 300m altitude.

This superb red offers a smooth and long finish. Enjoy the taste of classic cherry-like Tuscan fruit, amid lush swathes of blackcurrant and damson flavours.

Partner this gem as the Italians intended, with rustic tomato based pasta and meat dishes, surrounded by friends and family.

Why You Are Definitely Underestimating Dessert WineDate published: 05/02/12

There is more to sweet wines than the tepid cream Sherry auntie Agatha used to sup after Christmas lunch. A broad range of styles to suit all tastes and fit for every occassion. It's time to get excited by the sticky stuff!

Here is a list of 3 sweet wines, with some history, a food match and an ideal scenario in which to enjoy them...

  1. Sauternes - Arguably the queen of French dessert wine, it was initially produced  to satisfy the demands of 17th century Dutch traders who missed their beloved German sweet vino. Matched with mushroom pate and enjoyed whilst relaxing in a Chesterfield armchair, it is tough to beat. Try Castelnau de Suduiraut 2009 at £11.99
  2. Tokaji  -  The pride of Hungary! Like Sauternes, it is produced with grapes affected by the friendly mould known as 'Noble Rot'. This dries the grapes out and concentrates the natural sugars making an elegant sticky bursting with ripe apricot fruit! Drink this with some creamy cheese on a balmy afternoon in late summer, delightlful! Try Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2007 at £19.99.
  3. Bonnezeaux - Less well known than Sauternes, this Loire valley wine is generally lighter and more delicate than it's Bordeaux-based-big-brother and often has aromas of pear drops and peach fuzz. Serve with a light, citrus sorbet whilst sitting on a rug, in a sunny field and searching the sky for clouds that look like bears. Try Chateau de Fesles 2001 at £14.99.

Also, always remember to chill your dessert wines and it's important to bear in mind that most stickies will evolve and develop with age, the top stuff can still be alive and kicking after half a century or more!

The Majestic Bargain Hunt - Fine Wine Special!Date published: 31/01/12

Our new spring promotion is the perfect time for a bit of a clear-out to make way for 2012's exciting new wines, so we have just knocked a third off the price of loads of bin ends in the first ever Majestic Bargain Hunt!

The selection is available in-store now - if you can't visit us in person to hunt out your bargain, please call us or email for more details of what's available.

There are plenty of different wines available, ranging from everyday vino, priced at £6.66 to some slightly more expensive bargains. Down at St John's Wood, we have a great selection of fine wines at exceptional prices... here are 5 of my favorites!

1. Condrieu Clos Boucher 2009, Delas Freres - Concentrated, ripe stone fruit on the palate with a fantastic mineral quality on the finish. Very impressive. Was £40.00 - Now £26.66

2. Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2008, Maison Roche de Bellene - Rich and concentrated with a satin-like texture, a terrific example of this lovely vintage. Was £80. Now £53.33

3. Chateau Gruaud Larose, St Julien, 2eme Cru Classe - "An exotic perfrume of tapenade, new saddle leather, damp earth and smoke jumps from the glass of tis impressive, powerful 1999 - 89 points" Robert Parker. Was £80.00. Now £53.33

4. Chateau Haut Bailly 2006, Pessac-Leognan - "A superb success for the vintage. Medium-bodied with a stunningly layered texture, impressive purity and beautiful balace" - 95 points" Robert Parker. Was £80.00. Now £53.33

5. Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey 1988, 1er Cru Classe, Sauternes - "The massively rich, yet fresh, lively 1988 offers a compelling flower, honeyed bouquet of vanilla custard, buttery orange/apricot scents and smoky creme brulee. Drink from 2010 - 2030 - 95 points" Robert Parker. Was £90.00. Now £60.00

Rhone/Aussie Wines! Food and Music...Date published: 18/01/12

What with the cold weather returning, thoughts turn to cosy nights in front of the fire with a glass of robust red wine, but what wine... what food, and what music to boogie to?!

Here at Majestic, we've still got cracking 20% off deals on wines from Australia and the Rhone valley, both producers of juicy, concentrated reds made from the Grenache and Shiraz grape varieties. This style of wine is perfect for warming the cockles, or matching with winter stews and roasted red meat.

Here's 4 of the best... (with food and music matches!)

Mont Redon Chateauneuf de Pape 2007 - A complex, youthful, fruity CNDP from the stellar vintage of 2007. Match with venison stew and an Edith Piaf record. £22 if you buy more than one.

Mitolo Shiraz, McLaren Vale 2007 - An intense, concentrated shiraz with ripe forest fruit flavours and a butterfly's kiss of subtle spice. Match with bbq'd beef steaks and Bon Jovi's greatest hits. £22.

Belleruche Cotes de Rhone, M. Chapoutier 2009 - A lighter, more delicate style of CDR. Blending Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre and representing supreme good value, this would be ideally matched with haggis, neeps and tatties and a singalong version of The Proclaimers.

D'Arenberg  Custodian Grenache 2008 - Offering a beguiling mix of ripe red berry fruit, and playful anniseed. A beautiful, complex, must-try vino for anyone sceptical of the notion that Aussie wines cannot be classy. Match with confit duck and an Elvis CD

2012 OLYMPICS, JUBILEE AND GREAT WINE FROM MAJESTICDate published: 05/01/12

The New Year may have begun with some tempestuous weather but it can't dampen our spirits with so much to look forward to.

Our first tasting of the year will be a weekend of wines from the South of France.

Crimbo limbo - open for stocking the NYE celebrationsDate published: 28/12/11

Don't forget we shut at 5pm on Saturday 31st December and re-open 2nd January 10am-8pm.

Bring on 2012!

Advent has arrived and we're all ready for some festive foodDate published: 01/12/11

With Christmas day drawing ever near and our appetites whetted by the turkey of Thanksgiving celebrations, we've started to consider Christmas dinner (also the name of my neighbour's favourtie cockerel). While Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are old favourites with Turkey, why not have a rich white wine instead or even some luscious red if you're having Delia's red cabbage with redcurrant jelly  as a side.

Come in to ask us our individual recommendations and experiment with our tasting counter!

Sud de France FestivalDate published: 18/09/11

Between the 16th - 22nd of September we are joining the Sud de France Festival of Mediterranean flavours from across the Languedoc- Roussillon with a delicious selection of wines on the tasting counter for you to try!

Back to School for our Brilliant New OffersDate published: 30/08/11

As we approach the start of the academic year we welcomed in 20% off Spain and South Africa, with plenty of other great deals instore.

Hungry for Hungarian delight?Date published: 22/08/11

We've got just the answer to satiate your tastebuds with the fantastic Dry Furmint 2008 from The Royal Tokaji Company. Furmint is usually known for producing top sweet wines but this proves that it makes a superb dry wine too. An aromatic offering of stone fruits and honeyed notes is complimented by fresh acidity on the palate and a lovely long finish. Available to try in store now!

Cricket again - Pol Roger hit us for 6 at £28!Date published: 20/08/11

All those at Oval should have cause to celebrate with our current success - if you're not into Cliqout  Pol Roger is a tasty alternative at £28 a bottle

Its getting Ott in here!Date published: 05/08/11

What with London being bathed in sunshine, we can't resist a wine that gives you the Mediterranean life in a glass.

Domaines Ott is renowned for its Chateau Romassan Rose, a beautiful Bandol rose with cult-like status but we are here to sing the praises of its lesser-known white sister.

The Clos Mireilles is a vineyard of mature vines, established in 1935 and situated barely 100 yards from the Mediterranean coast. The wine is a Blanc de Blancs, comprising of 70% Semillon and 30% Rolle - a little known grape that has wonderful fleshy, aromatic qualities.

The reason we like it so much (aside from the funky bottle!) has to be the unique taste. It is extremely well-balanced with stone fruits, fresh acidity, a touch of spice and hints of wild flowers. Delicious as an aperitif but complex enough to be a great food match. Currently at £19.99 a bottle, who could ask for better value?

In one word, Dan says the Domaines Ott Clos Mireilles Blanc de Blancs 2009 is "Bodacious"
 

Best for BBQDate published: 04/08/11

Come rain or shine, we can't resist a good BBQ. Here are the Team's top trio:

Ed - Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2009 is perfect with grilled meat but equally delicious by itself, and the winemaker loves a good BBQ too!

Lucy - I favour a heavy Chardonnay to go with any chicken, fish or side dishes. It has to be the McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2010!

Kate - Chateau Franc Mayne 2006 Grand Cru Classe is by far the best for BBQ!

Not in Nottingham? We've got beverages to bowl you over!Date published: 31/07/11

As cricket fans, we like to find something suitable to drink in line with the scores. 

A box of Tiger Beer is dead cert to keep you roaring and if beer isn't your cup of tea, try a delicious glass of St Claire Estate Selection Sauvignon Blanc.

With 20% off New Zealand wines, you can follow that with a juicy Pinot Noir - perhaps Spy Mountain or even the Jackson Estate 'Vintage Widow'  may help sooth any unrest with those who do not share the cricket addiction.

Clicqout for Cricket? Date published: 23/07/11

Come and visit the store on the way to Lord's cricket ground. You can stock up on beer, soft drinks and most importantly the celebratory champagne for each 6 we score!

Longing for Loire? Or begging for Beaujolais?...Date published: 07/07/11

...Then you're in luck!  This week we will be exploring a group of Loire and Beaujolais wines in store. Please join us over the week to sample the summer's delights.

'Sherry, Sherry Baby!Date published: 27/06/11

A limited number of bottles have found their way to St John's Wood Majestic of the fantastic Tio Pepe Fino En Rama. For any sherry enthusiasts, this is a must-try 'draught-like' sherry. It has been racked from cask to tank, with a 7-10 day rest period before being bottled with very light filtration to remove the chunkiest bits of yeast. The wine has a slightly cloudy appearance and should be drunk within the next 3 months. Sounds like the perfect excuse to throw a Sherry party to wile away the summer rain blues.

If Fino doesn't float your boat, then Oloroso over ice cream is a delicious dessert

Jane's Wicked WhitesDate published: 26/06/11

This weekend Jane MacQuitty of the Times gave her 50 best whites wines for summer and here are a few of our favourites.

Sebastian - The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2010 is the clear winner for me - classic crisp kiwi aperitif! £5.99 when you buy more than 1

Lucy - for me, it has to be 2010 McGuigan The Shortlist Chardonnay. A truly great Aussie white with BBQ pork or Paella. £11.99 when you buy more than 1.

Kate - Pure classic bargain of a Puligny with a touch of hazelnut and worth twice the price  - 2009 Puligny Montrachet Jean-Louis Chavy £25

A Cracking Chilean WeekDate published: 24/06/11

Visit the tasting counter for our delicious Chilean offerings this week!

Gearing up for Glasto?Date published: 21/06/11

Two of the Team here in SJW are heading off to the fun-packed fields of Glastonbury Festival this coming weekend and have already stocked up with essential supplies. If you're heading to a festival this summer don't forget we have a large range of beer, lager and cider in cases to keep going over the weekend!

Peroni is our favourite!

Perfect Provence Party Pieces!Date published: 17/06/11

This weekend we have a fine selection of wines from Provence for you to taste.Picture yourself in the south of France (ignore the current UK weather), perhaps beside the coast on a warm summer's evening...wha's missing? A bottle of Rose on the table and a glass full in your hand!

Aside from the lovely rosés, we're most excited about trying Domaine Ott Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs 2009. A cru classé blend of Semillion and the little-known, indigenous grape Rolle! The vineyard is only 100 yards from the Mediterranean Coast and the taste divine.

If that wasn't enough to tempt you in, we've got 5 reds and 2 Aussie Rieslings to explore.

Wine of the month - Jaunty June! Date published: 04/06/11

This month's pick is a delicious Australian - perfect for the Sunday Barbeque.

The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2006/7, d'Arenberg, Australia

The Region
Natural meteorological conditions could hardly be better for the vine than in this coastal zone, a narrow band between the heights of Mount Lofty Ranges and the temperate sea. There is a long warm growing season, good air drainage, and the ocean supplies cooling influence which helps retain acidity.

Background
Since 1912, the Osborn family have tended the 19th Century vineyards at their d'Arenberg winery located in McLaren Vale, South Australia. The wine is named after a road that runs parallel to the best Cabernet Sauvignon plots in McLaren Vale. The grapes are hand-picked from their finest batches and come from a nearly extinct clone which provides a unique and characterful wine, which is aged in French oak barriques for 22 months.

The Wine
This award-winning wine is so acclaimed because of its intense, concentrated and beautifully balanced nature. The nose offers an array of dark fruit such as cherry and blackcurrant which follow through to a complex and elegant palate with a touch of pepper and vanilla and a long finish. Drinking well now but with has the potential to improve over the next ten years.

You'll be bowled out by New Zealand this weekendDate published: 03/06/11

This week brings sunshine and Kiwi fun to St John's Wood. Its the turn of New Zealand's wonderful wines to grace our tasting counter. The current wines will be available until Tuesday and then a new set rolls in to keep us entertained until the next tasting begins.

Wine of Month : Hacienda Monasterio Crianza 2007 Date published: 04/05/11

The Hacienda Monasterio estate is under the direction of Peter Sisseck, of Domaine Pingus fame. The wine is a fantastic example of Ribera Del Duero. Made up of 80% Tino Fino, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, the 2007 offfers floral notes of lillies and violets, blackberry and black cherry greeting you from the glass. The palate is plush and balanced with spicy black fruits and round tannins. Great to drink now but will still be enjoyable in 2025!

Easter Egg-stravaganza!Date published: 22/04/11

It is finally Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the sun is shining and we have some superb wines to try. Pop in on Saturday for a sparkling treat!

 

Happy Easter from all the Team here in St John's Wood

Sunshine and Superb Spanish WineDate published: 02/04/11

The start of British summertime was welcomed in with a touch of wonderfully warm weather, and with Easter just around the corner we thought it was time to crack open some Spanish wine!  We have a wide selection available to taste in store and most importantly, we are currently offering a 20% discount when you buy more than one bottle of Spanish wine. So please, feel free to pop in and try something sumptuous!

Celebrate the arrival of Spring with a little greenery in store!Date published: 18/03/11

Our tasting counter is welcoming in the warmer weather with an exploration of Portugese Wines. From the zingy Vinho Verde, literally green wine, to some rich velvety reds from the Douro Valley, there is a wine for everyone!

Our new offers have arrived.Date published: 02/02/11

Great news! Wines from South Africa are on offer at 20% discount if two or more bottles are purchased.

Wines from Portugal are on a buy two save £3 offer.

All of our Argentinian wines are on great offers as well.

Our Nicolas Feuillate N/V is at £17 and our Nicolas Feuillate Vintage 2004 is at £19.

Lots of great offers throughout the store.

Come into our store or phone us on 0207 483 1673. Alternatively place an order online for 12 bottles or more and we will deliver it for you free of charge.

Store Events(1)

Free Wine Course

25 September 2014 (18:30 - 20:00)

A free wine tasting taking you around world comparing and contrasting different regions and grape varieties all topped off with a bit of food and wine matching at the end! What's not to love? Get yourself signed up as spaces are limited.

Sorry, event is full!

Store Tasting(0)

What we're tasting today...

Meet the team...

  • Ali Trainee Manager

  • Alton Assistant Manager

    Coming soon...
  • Bryan Trainee Manager

    Hi. I'm new to St John's Wood having moved here from Shepherds Bush. I was previously a chef in some of London's top end restaurants so you'll always hear me talking about food and wine pairings. My favorite wines are French Bordeaux and Burgundies as well as Champagne and Sparkling wines from around the world. I'm also quite a whisky and cognac aficionado so am always happy to talk about Scotch and other spirits.
  • Fran Senior Assistant Manager

  • James Senior Manager

    A member of the '10 year Club' I've been in SJW since February 2013. I'm from Cardiff originally, I've worked all over the country with Majestic I've visited places such as Bordeaux, Champagne, Spain and Chile. I don't think you can go wrong with a good Rioja this time of year to go with your new season Lamb (Welsh, of course!)
  • James Senior Assistant Manager

    Coming soon...
  • Lindsay Manager

    Coming soon...
  • Matthew Trainee Manager

    Coming soon...
  • Oli Assistant Manager

    Having worked in Birkdale and Preston previously I am excited to make the move to such a prestigious London store. The selection of wine here is the best Majestic has to offer and being part of such a friendly and knowledgeable team is a real bonus. I'm a stalwart fan of the classics (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rioja) but it's the unusual, off the beaten track wines, that really get me going. I look forward to hearing all about your favourite tipple and perhaps recommending something new.
  • Samson Driver

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