1. Home >
  2. Store finder
  3. >Belgravia
Welcome to Majestic

Belgravia

Contact Information
T: 020 7881 0804
F: 020 7881 0804
E: bel@majestic.co.uk
Opening Hours
Monday 9am - 7pm
Tuesday 9am - 7pm
Wednesday 9am - 7pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 7pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 3pm
Bank Hol 10am - 3pm
Store Address
Unit 1,Terminal House
Lower Belgrave Street
London
SW1W 0NH
United Kingdom

Store facilities

  • In the Congestion Charge zone
  • Fine wine available
  • Free local delivery
  • Free chiller bin loan
  • Wine Courses
  • Free glass loan
  • Free tasting every day
  • Metered parking nearby
Store News(411)

New ShelvesDate published: 03/08/17

We are having some new shelving installed next week, we are very excited and can't wait for a bit of a new look! 

The store will remain open throughout the installation but there will be some disruption in the store so please bear with us as we complete the work.

Many thanks,

Team Belgravia

Easter Opening HoursDate published: 14/04/17

Over the Easter weekend we will be open 

Friday 14th 9am-7pm

Saturday 15th 10am-6pm

Sunday 16th CLOSED

Monday 17th 10am-3pm

Tuesday 18th 9am-7pm (Normal hours)

We wish all our customers a Happy Easter! 


Very very cheap! £1 Beers!Date published: 31/03/17

Every month Majestic Wine showcases different beers and we knock the price right down to £1 per 330ml Bottle! This Beer of the Month is Asahi ‘Super Dry’ - a crisp, refreshing lager from Japan. If you’ve not had it before the Asahi ‘Super Dry’ is very reminiscent or north German and Czech Pilsners (very drinkable!)


If you’re still not convinced, we have all our beers available to taste in store. So why not come down today and pick up a case!


Phone: 02078810804

Email: bel@majestic.co.uk

Twitter: @majesticbel

Sparkling Wine Week at Majestic BelgraviaDate published: 23/03/17

This week, Majestic Wine will be focusing its spotlight on Sparkling wine! Every day this week we’ll have either Champagne, Crémant de Loire, or Prosecco open to taste!


On Thursday and Friday we’ll have the incredible Veuve Cliquot 2008 Vintage currently down to £36.64! Over the weekend we’ll have our favourite Crémant de Loire the Langlois Brut at a very reasonable £10.99 open and on Monday and Tuesday we’ll have the deliciously affordable Gioiosa Spumante at just £6.99.


We will also be having a selection of red and white wine open, as usual, on our tasting counter so make sure you come down and try something new today!


Phone: 02078810804

Email: bel@majestic.co.uk

Twitter: @majesticbel

25% off Rioja Week!Date published: 15/03/17

For this week only we’ve got 25% off our entire Rioja section. This means that some of our best Spanish reds come down to the lowest they ever get! We know many of you love Riojas so so this is the perfect time stock up! For those of you that aren’t yet familiar with Rioja, now would be the perfect time to stick a couple in your mixed case and try something new!


PS: We have our Spring Showcase on Tuesday 21st March. We’ll be featuring some great wines, beers and spirits. So please, do come on down and bring friends!


Phone: 02078810804

Email: bel@majestic.co.uk

Twitter: @majesticbel

25% off all Champagne this week!Date published: 09/02/17

For one week only, Majestic are offering 25% off all champagne under £100 in store or online. This unbelievable offer is seeing some of our premium champagnes going down to the lowest prices possible including* Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut down to £29.99, Perrier-Jouet down to £24.99 and Ruinart Brut Magnum down to an incredible £63.72!


So if you’re planning a party now or in the future or just fancy stocking up, give us a call or drop us an email to take advantage of these prices!


Phone: 02078810804

Email: bel@majestic.co.uk

Twitter: @majesticbel


*All prices are based on the ‘Mix Six’ promotional discount

The SALE is now on! Date published: 06/01/17

Dry January? What is dry January?! Don't let it come between you and these fantastic offers: 

Two superb Bordeaux's: Tronquoy De St Anne @ £15.99, Clos Des Lunes @ £11.32. 

Three winners from everyone's favourite Argentinian brand Alamos: Malbec @ £6.99, Cabernet Sauvingnon @ £6.74 and Chardonnay @ £6.74. 

Last but not least Clos L'Aibeilly Sauterne @ £7.99 - it's not just for Christmas! 

Don't forget you can always come in to try before you buy. This week Majestic presents the Fish Hoek Malbec at the unbeatable SALE price £5.99

Christmas and New Year opening hoursDate published: 07/12/16

Christmas and New Year  opening hours 

Monday 5th December - Friday 9th Dec  - 9am to 8pm

Saturday 10th December - 9am to 7pm

Sunday 11th December - 10am to 3pm

Monday 12th December - Friday 16th Dec  - 9am to 8pm

Saturday 17th December - 9am to 7pm

Sunday 18th December - 10am to 3pm

Monday 19th  December - Friday 23rd  Dec  - 9am to 8pm

Christmas Eve - 9am to 5pm

Christmas Day - Closed

Boxing Day - Closed

Tuesday 27th Dec - 10am to 3pm

Weds 28th Dec - Friday 30th Dec 9am to 7pm 

New Years Eve - 10am to 3pm

New Years Day - Closed

Monday 2nd  January - 10am to 3pm

Tuesday 3rd January - Wednesday 4th January 




Rhone tasting Date published: 07/12/16

We have a selection of wines from the Rhone valley open to taste in store for the next few day #comeandexplore

25% off Prosecco week! Date published: 16/11/16

Prosecco, the so-called “Venetian tourist’s lubricant”, a cheek-suckingly dry - off dry, sparkling wine that elicits celebratory declarations and induces merriment as its cork pops joyously across the room, is made ever-more deliciously inviting this week at your Majestic Wines Store with 25% off!


Glasses will always be half full, both figuratively and literally, with this light golden fizzy-make-feel-good wine that will not only delight the palate but the pocket also.  


This offer continues until 22 November so do come and see us soon!


Bordeaux Week! Date published: 09/11/16

25% off Bordeaux this week at Majestic!

Not sure which to choose? Try my suggestions!

If you like it big and meaty, try Chateau Batailley at £29.98

If you like it rich and plummy, try Cheateau Coufran at £12.74

If you like it in a couple of years time, try Chateau Bourgneuf at £26.24

And if you've got a sweet tooth, try Chateau Raymond Lafon at £22.49

All these and so many more are sat waiting to grace your Christmas table or to give your party that extra weight!


Treasury Parcel - Don't miss out! Date published: 14/10/16

LukeEarlier this year we secured a parcel of Australian and Californian wines from one of our suppliers.  We sold through this in record time.  Our buyers have worked their magic again and have secured a further collection of their wines at silly prices.


There are some bargain prices on Aussie wines, from Lindeman's, Wolf Blass and Seppelt ranging from £4.49 to £9.99. These wines are priced way, way below market prices, sometimes more than 50% below, once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Part Time/Temp Job OpportunityDate published: 09/10/16

Majestic Wine are the UK's leading wine retailer. We are looking for an energetic person, to work alongside our highly motivated retail team in store.

Like any other retailer, customer service is at the heart of what we do and a successful candidate will not only have a great understanding of what that looks like, but examples of how they have demonstrated it. We want someone willing to participate in all activities, be it delivering wine when necessary in our van, helping with serving customers and selling wine, to even taking out the bins and cleaning the store. We are a close knit team who all muck in and get involved.

Candidates must be at least 20 and have held a full time UK driving Licence for over a year.

In essence we are looking for friendly, outgoing people who are prepared to go out of their way to deliver excellence.

Location: Victoria, London
Contract: 20-30 Hours per week, starting ASAP until end of December.

Job Type: Contract

Salary: £9.40 /hour

Required licence or certification:

Driving License

Winter Showcase - Thursday November 10thDate published: 02/10/16

The Winter Showcase is coming! This is a brilliant opportunity to come along and try some of our fantastic wines!

There will also be cheese to accompany the wines and an additional 10% off your transaction on 6 more bottles on the night!!  This event is free!  But do let us know if you can come along, friends and family welcome to come along too!

It's a bustling tasting with wines from different ranges, styles and Countries available to try.  One of out Majestic Wine Gurus will be there to take you through the range and help you discover some great new wines!


RSVP: 0207 881 0804
Bel@majestic.co.uk
Or pop in to store!

September offers are ending, don't miss out!Date published: 22/09/16

With less than a week to go on our fantastic September deals, now is your best opportunity to snap them up before they're all gone. From Veuve Clicquot at £29.99 (saving £10) to Gavi Toledana at £7.99 (saving £5) and the fantastic Beronia Rioja at £9.99 (saving £5).

Our big summer tasting is on tonight between 6pm and 8pm. You can save a further 10% if your orders are placed in store during the tasting.


We hope to see you there and, if not, over the weekend for the final few days of these exceptional prices.

September Showcase - 22nd September 2016Date published: 26/08/16

We have the pleaseure of inviting you to our September Showcase 

As the sun sets on Summer we are taking the opportunity to brighten up your Autumn with a evening of treats and delights.

Imagine going on a journey around the world without having to stress about airports or luggage. We want to take you on this journey and with the help of a few select producers and our own team of Wine Gurus dreams can become reality this September.


Join us on Thursday September 22nd from 5.30pm onwards and taste your way around the store and around the world. We can't wait. 

We will also be offering an additional 10% off any purchases made on the night. 


Luke and the Team @ Majestic Belgravia

Part Time Sales Assistant Roles across LondonDate published: 22/07/16

Part Time Sales Assistant Roles across London

Majestic Wine are the UK's largest wine specialist and we are looking for lots of great Sales Assistants to help us deliver the very best customer service this summer!

The Sales Assistant’s role is to assist the Store Manager and Assistant Manager with all aspects of running the store.  A Sales Assistant should be aware of their responsibilities to providing the highest possible levels of customer service both in store and whilst making deliveries of stock to customers using a Company vehicle. When not making deliveries a Sales Assistant must be willing to participate in work in the store and interested in furthering their knowledge of wine.


Who we look for:

A Sales Assistant should be enthusiastic, flexible, and happy to help out in all areas of the store. A professional and friendly approach should be taken when offering a high level of customer service. For this position you must have held a full UK driving licence for at least 12 months as making deliveries is an important part of the role. In essence we are looking for friendly, outgoing people who are prepared to go out of their way to deliver excellence.


Benefits

29 days Holiday (including public and bank holidays)

20% Staff Discount (for you and two friends/family members)

Free lunch Friday

Various Bonus Schemes


We are proud to pay the London Living wage and have full accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation along with just 2600 other UK businesses.


To apply please email bel@majestic.co.uk  including a covering letter and CV.



What's on at Majestic BelgraviaDate published: 18/05/16

This week at Majestic Belgravia we have got a really exciting selection of wines on our tasting counter that we cannot wait to share with you.

The two that we're going crazy about this week are the Côtes du Rhône Villages Blanc 2015 Pierre-Henri Morel and the The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2014/2015 Marlborough.

The Rhône is a dry, slightly acidic fresh white made from Grenache Blanc grapes which prosper in the warm, sunny southern Rhône villages. The palate is rich peach lime and aniseed flavours. For £8.99 when you 'mix-six' (£11.99 for a single bottle) you'll struggle to find such a complex wine for better value. This wine will go great with grilled fish or chicken dishes thanks to its weighty creamy texture or it can be enjoyed on its own in the sun!

The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2014/2015 Marlborough is,rightfully, one of our most popular Sauvignon Blancs. A great all-rounder, guaranteed crowd pleaser and excellent value for money (£6.99 when you 'mix-six' or £8.99 on its own for this week only!!). This is a good versatile wine going especially well with salads, seafood and spicy dishes. It also makes a great party wine! This fruity, zingy wine is the perfect example of a southern New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

So why not come down and try these and other great wines on our tasting counters and find out more about some of the great deals we have this week at Majestic Belgravia.

Wine Course 10th FebruaryDate published: 18/01/16

Wine Course 10th February

Our next wine course will be on 10th February in store. Spaces now available.

In store for around 5:30-7PM. we'll cover the basics on wine tasting and food and wine matching.

We just ask for a £5 donation for charity.

New years Bin EndDate published: 05/01/16

We've just added some more wines to our New Year Bin Ends. Some wines up to 40% off!

Pop in to see what we have, some cheeky bargains in there! 

Opening Hours Over ChristmasDate published: 04/12/15

Our opening hours over the Christmas period are:

  • Monday 7 - Friday 11 December: 9am - 8pm
  • Saturday 12 December: 9am - 7pm
  • Sunday 13 December: 10am - 3pm
  • Monday 14 - Friday 18 December: 9am - 8pm
  • Saturday 19 December: 9am - 8pm
  • Sunday 20 December: 10am - 3pm
  • Monday 21 - Wednesday 23 December: 9am - 8pm
  • Thursday 24 December: 9am - 5pm
  • Friday 25 December: CLOSED
  • Saturday 26 December: CLOSED
  • Sunday 27 December: 10am - 3pm
  • Monday 28 December: 10am - 3pm
  • Tuesday 29 December: 9am - 7pm
  • Wednesday 30 December: 9am - 7pm
  • Thursday 31 December: 9am - 5pm
  • Friday 1 January 2016: CLOSED

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

Driver/Sales Assistant Wanted at Majestic BelgraviaDate published: 05/11/15

Drivers/Sales Assistant needed for Christmas

We are looking for a full time driver and some extra staff to help us out over the festive season, this may also lead to full time position.

If you are interested and would like more details please call us on 020 781 0804.



Wintershowcase Fri 13th NovemberDate published: 29/10/15

Wintershowcase Fri 13th November

It's finally here!

Come join us for our Wintershowcase tasting on Friday 13th November.

It's free, just call ahead to book your place and time. Filling up fast.

Come join us.

Majestic Oktoberfest Battle of the Beers Date published: 10/10/15

Battle Of The Beers!

Friday 9th - Sunday 11th October 2015

Join us in store for the inaugural Majestic Oktoberfest Battle of the Beers tasting event!

* Taste great craft beers from around the world

* Win a year's supply of free craft beer

* Join our expert beer tasting panel and vote for your favourite

Free entrance all day!


Wine CourseDate published: 31/08/15

Wine Course

Our next wine course will be Thursday 17th September. 

In store at 5:30PM till around 7:00PM, with me, Edward.

It's free - we just ask for a £5 donation to Prostate Cancer UK when you book your place.

Please call 020 7881 080 to book your place now! Spaces fill fast.

I look forward to seeing you soon.



Rioja Reserva Viña Ardanza 2005 La Rioja AltaDate published: 19/06/15

One of the very best of Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families. Remaining under family ownership, this is of the most sought-after bodegas.


Buy now at £15.99. Only for this weekend.....


Another successful Wine CourseDate published: 23/05/15

Last night Joseph and I hosted another successful Wine Course. All our customers really enjoyed our simple and easy to understand approach to wine. We talked about wine production methods, grape varieties and why a wine tastes like it does.

Also we showed how to taste like professionals do, in a systematic way.

The most popular and interesting was definitely the food and wine matching part of the course. the guys found it really useful in understanding what to do when purchasing wine to go with a particular dish.

If you are interested in our course please get in touch. Remember it's free...

Champagne to go with your winning Grand National Ticket!!Date published: 11/04/15

If you're bet comes through this afternoon why not treat yourself to some champagne. 

At the moment we are offering:

Heidseik Monopole 2007 Gold Top at 33% off when you buy 2 or more.

Coming from one Vranken and Pommery, one of the oldest firms in the Champagne Region, you are guaranteed a very high quality Champagne with hints of citrus and apple. 

Don't let yourself go without a drink when your winning ticket comes through!! Celebrate in style with a bottle of Gold top .... or two !!

Wine of the Week - Caixas GodelloDate published: 09/04/15

Our new wine of the week is here, the Caixas Godello 2013/2014 Martín Codax!! 

This fresh zesty white from north west Spain is perfect for the good weather. It is a delicate yet refreshing wine with aromas of lemon, crunchy pear, melon and subtle floral notes. Pop into the Belgravia branch for a free taste and let us know what you think!!!

I'm always looking for something interesting that excites me...Date published: 07/04/15

... I have found it!

Open to try on our counter is a Spanish White Fine Wine Xarel - Lo Castanyer 2013. 

Rarely seen in the UK as a varietal wine, Xarel-Lo is more commonly found as a constituent of cava and other Catalan blends. This example has been fermented and matured in chestnut barrels, produced locally to the winery from wood cut from the Monseny forest.

For me it has very good body and structure very smooth and for the flavours of vanilla and ripe apples, a good flavour intensity.

Hey don't take my word for it, pop in and give it a try!


Beringer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Date published: 06/04/15

Beringer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 is made from the Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot grapes. A recent review said "Chocolate, mocha, plums and spices come to life in this fleshy, mid-weight wine.

Readers who appreciate a more mineral-inflected style of Cabernet will prefer the Knights Valley bottling, while those who appreciate radiant, fruit-forward Cabernets are likely to prefer the Napa Valley. Both are beautiful. The blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% each Petit Verdot and Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020". 92 points. Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate.

Currently only £19.00 down from £24.00 on our fine wine offer!!!

Chateau Pavillon Figeac 2006, Saint Emilion Grand CruDate published: 04/04/15

People of Belgravia! We have this fantastic Bordeaux from Saint Emilion available to taste on our counter! 

Grape: Cabernet Franc, Merlot

Origin

This is the second wine of Château La Grave Figeac, and is made from the fruit of the estate's younger vines, which produce a more supple wine for earlier drinking. The vineyards enjoy an enviable location close to the celebrated estates of Cheval Blanc and Figeac.

Taste

A fine, soft and approachable claret with a well rounded texture and excellent structure. Ripe bramble fruit is accompanied by hints of dates, forest floor and tobacco leaf.

Enjoy

Drinking well now. Perfect with any slow-cooked tender red meats.

Having tried this wine it really is a bargain at £19.99!



Easter Opening hoursDate published: 03/04/15

Below is our opening hours for the Easter Weekend

Friday 3/4  9am - 7pm

Saturday 4/4 10am - 6pm

Sunday 5/4 CLOSED ALL DAY

Monday 6/4 10am - 3pm

BEER OF THE WEEK: Iron Maiden TrooperDate published: 02/04/15

Fan of Iron Maiden?

Trooper is a deep golden ale with citric hop notes and dominating malt flavours with a subtle hint of lemon. Real depth of character with complex hop notes using a combination of Goldings, Bobec and Cascade Hops.


Pop in store to taste it this weekend guys...

A Roman Grand Cru: FalernumDate published: 20/02/15

The first mention of a Roman “first growth”, the top quality wine of a particular vineyard, was Falernum, the miraculous vintage of 121 BC. It was grown in a strategic site on the borders of Latium and Campania. According to Pliny the estate of Faustus made the best Falernian “in consequence of the care taken of its cultivation”.

Pliny was also quoted saying that Falernum “was the only wine that takes light when a flame is applied to it”.

Three varieties were made: sweet (dulce), dry (austerum) and light wine (tenue). Old Falernum was high in alcohol and amber or brown in colour and impossible to drink neat. In fact, in Roman times wines were predominantly white and usually diluted with water, even seawater, and/or mixed with spices.

The vine responsible for Falernian was Amineum (Aminea Gemina), now known as Greco.

The site of Falernum vineyards today is between Rocco di Mondragone and Monte Massico. Today Falerno del Massico DOC is the denomination that produces a bianco (10% Falanghina), a rosso (60-80% Aglianico, 20-40% Piedirosso, with up to 20% of Barbera and Primitivo) and a Falerno del Massico Rosso Primitivo (100% Primitivo).

Hugh Johnson: Story of Wine

Wine-searcher.com


White Wine of the week: Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Western Date published: 19/02/15

Aromas of green peppers, asparagus and gooseberry fill the nose, while the palate displays a riper character, with underlying pineapple and passionfruit notes providing a layered feel.

The Rustenberg Estate is based in Stellenbosch, which is often claimed to be the prettiest wine growing region in the world (although many other areas would dispute this). Rustenberg has vineyards in Simonsberg, Helderberg and Nooitgedacht. The vineyards for Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc are at 550m above sea level against the Simonsberg mountains. Most vines in Stellenbosch are planted about 100m above sea level.

This Sauvignon Blanc has echoes of white Bordeaux, with its 5% Semillon adding a streak of complexity and additional body to the blend. Free-run and gently pressed juice is used to minimise the presence of bitter tannins, and 2-3 months' lees ageing adds to the texture and structure.

Many websites recommend keeping Rustenberg Sauvignon for four or five years, which wouldn’t be possible with most Sauvignon Blancs.


Red Wine of the Week: Bellingham Pinopasso Pinotage 2013 Coastal RegionDate published: 19/02/15


Taking their inspiration from the 'ripasso' wines of northern Italy, which owe their exceptional richness to the addition of partially dried grapes to the blend, Bellingham have created this quintessentially South African adaption of the style using their signature grape.

This wine is unique. It is rare to find ripasso (or appassimento as the Italians say) used anywhere other than Italy.

Ripasso works by the juice being fermented and then that fermented juice being passed over the dried skins, extracting further sugar, tannin and flavour. The juice is then fermented again to bring the wine together.

The Bellingham Winery was established in 1943 by Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk. 13 Italian prisoners of war helped them to replant the vineyards. The wine has been aged in old French oak barrels for over six months, with frequent racking occurring during the maturation.

The wine is organic and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.


Offer of the Day: Côtes du Rhône 2011 E. Guigal £7.99Date published: 17/02/15


Guigal is arguably the most famous producer in the Rhône Valley. Founded by Étienne Guigal in 1946, his son Marcel is almost single-handedly responsible for the regions resurgence over the last few decades.

This full-bodied wine offers a robust core of dark fruit, and savoury white pepper notes that make it a superb food wine.

Try with any red meat dishes or with rich vegetarian dishes like moussaka.

Amazing value at £7.99


Wine of the Week: Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2012Date published: 13/02/15


Lodi, in the Northern part of California's Central Valley, is known as the Zinfandel Capital of the World. Home to mature vine Zinfandel plantings in well-drained sandy soils, produce powerful and extractive wines that underline Ravenswood's 'No Wimpy Wines' motto.

Bursting with concentrated sweet blueberry, plums and spice aromas. Bright and fruity with soft, ripe roundness and well balanced acidity, filled with vanilla and toasted spices that linger on the finish.

A pleasure to drink by itself or with flavourful duck dishes. lamb or a cheese platter. Enjoy over the next four years.


Now at £7.99. Just a simple bargain.


Wine of the Week - Natale Verga Pinot GrigioDate published: 05/02/15

Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, is a very approachable style of wine and appeals to a lot of people. The flavours are simple and clean and can be enjoyed without having to think about wine.


The wine was awarded 84 points by The Wine Enthusiast.


The Verga winery founded in 1895 by Enrico Verga and has changed enormously over the years (see photos from 1895 and 2013). Natale Verga is a 4th generation winemaker and runs the business with the help of her father and her sisters.


Although the variety is indigenous to Burgundy, it is now grown in many wine regions all over the world. It is perhaps most commonly associated as coming from the Italy, where it is produced in large quantities.The grapes in the Natale Verga pinot grigio come from the province of Pavia in the west of Lombardy, bordering Piedmont.


Although some people turn up their nose at mass produced Pinot Grigios, it remains a Majestic customer favorite. There are plenty of quality producers (including Natale Verga) that make more refined wines, which reward drinkers with nuanced flavor and body.


“In an ocean of inexpensive Pinot Grigio, Natale Verga stands out from the crowd. Natale Verga is a true VALUE! Green apple, pears and orange blossoms makes this light and dry wine versatile enough to be served by itself or with a broad array of foods.” - Fettucine Alfredo.

Wine of the Week: Domaine de FabrèguesDate published: 30/01/15

New! Domaine de Fabrègues 2011, AOP

Available to taste!


The South of France has never been so exciting (as far as wine is concerned)...


This wine is from the Languedoc, situated in the south of France, not far from the Southern Rhône. It’s not a highly regulated region like a lot of France, leading to exciting innovation and styles of wine more common in New World wine producing areas.


The wine is a blend of four varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault) which are grown across the Languedoc in vineyards ideal for each grape.


Why should you buy this wine…?


This is a great quality, full-bodied wine perfect with heart warming food. Casserole, stew, cottage pie or a roast. If it is a big hearty dish, it deserves to be matched with Domaine De Fabrègues.  


What does it taste like…?


Thanks to the robust Languedoc grapes within the blend this is a rich and spicy wine. It has bold blackberry and cherry flavours, is smooth and leaves a long warming pepper and dark chocolate flavour in the mouth. It’s open to taste today, so why not try it for yourself…?


So, how much does it cost...?


£11.99 Buy 2 Save 25% = £8.99



New: Wine of the Week, Marlborough Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2014 GiesenDate published: 22/01/15

New: Wine of the Week, Marlborough Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Giesen

Only £6.66! down from £9.99 on the 33%off offer!!

Grape Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

A great value Sauvignon Blanc from Giesen, a family winery still owned and run by the three brothers who founded it. This wine comes from 47 different vineyard sites in the Wairau Valley, cultivated by partner growers but vinified at Giesen's winery.

Taste

Typically vibrant, citrussy and herbal Marlborough Sauvignon, with kaffir lime and blackcurrant leaf notes against a backdrop of grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours. Dry and mouthwatering.

Enjoy

Drink with freshly prepared cold seafood dishes.



Beer of the WeekDate published: 20/01/15

Beer of The Week - Flying Dog Easy IPA

£13.99 / £10.99

Aromas of grapefruit and subtle spice meld into lemon and pine hop notes balanced with crisp cracker malt. Pair this with tailgates, mowing the lawn, and anything else that calls for a light, yet flavorful, beer.


Wine of the Week Cotes Du Rhone BellerucheDate published: 20/01/15

Wine of the Week Cotes Du Rhone Belleruche

Grapes   

Grenache, Syrah

Origin

The Chapoutier family have produced wines in the Rhône Valley since 1808. Michel Chapoutier, currently in charge, has combined tradition with a dynamic, creative approach and makes some of the best wines of the region.

Taste

A superb wine with rich aromas of dark fruit, earthy minerals and spice. Soft and round on the palate with smooth tannins, rich blackberry and cherry fruit, hints of liquorice and a substantial finish.

Enjoy

This wine can be enjoyed over the next several years and will superbly partner most rich meat dishes especially roasted leg of lamb.


New Craft SpiritsDate published: 17/01/15

Tariquet Légendaire Armagnac £50.00

40% Folle Blanche, 30% Baco, 30% Ugni Blanc.  One of Tariquet’s finest  Armagnacs.  Aged for at least 13 years in oak barrels in Tariquet’s cellars. Pale gold in colour with aromas of apple pie and orange flower.  Further hints of toffee on the palate with light caramel and liquorice notes, roasted fruits and fine spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is wonderfully smooth with no trace of heaviness. Enjoy at room temperature or lightly chilled to add a touch of luxury to desserts.



New Craft SpiritsDate published: 17/01/15

Roger Groult 12 YO Calvados £50.00 

This replaced the 15YO in the Roger Groult range in 2014. It is harmoniously balanced, delivering the fruit of a younger style with the complexity of a more mature style and has a distinctive strong floral note. Drink as an aperitif or digestif at room temperature or to accompany chocolate or apple based desserts.


New Craft SpiritsDate published: 17/01/15

Tariquet VSOP Armagnac Carafe £35.00

http://www.tariquet.com/default_uk.

60% Ugni Blanc, 40% Baco. Aged for at least 7 years in oak barrels in Tariquet’s cellars, this Armagnac shows both fresh characteristics and more mature notes. Very smooth with a lively bouquet of floral and almost fresh minty characters, followed by a further touch of woody spices, hints of vanilla, liquorice and macerated fruits.


New Craft SpiritsDate published: 17/01/15

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados £30.00

http://www.calvados-groult.com/en/  

Jean-Roger Groult is the 5th generation producer of this esteemed Calvados, which was awarded Best Calvados in the World at the 2014 World Drinks Awards. Made from hand-sorted cider apples from the Pays d’Auge area, this Calvados has been aged and blended in old French casks and is three years old.  Fresh and fruity notes of Granny Smith apple on the nose with a hint of cream are complemented by nuts and a touch of menthol on the finish resulting in a round and complex taste.


Wine of the Week - Jaboulet 'Parallel 45Date published: 17/01/15

Wine of the Week - Jaboulet 'Parallel 45


Jaboulet 'Parallel 45' 2012 Côtes du Rhône

£12.99 Mix and Match 2 bottles save 25% £9.74


Grape

Grenache, Syrah-Shiraz

Origin

The 45th Parallel is the line of latitude that signifies the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator. Passing just a couple of kilometres from Jaboulet's cellars, it is also seen as the unofficial boundary of the South of France.

Taste

Made from 60% Grenache, this wine has the Southern Rhône's classically warm, ripe feel, with plenty of blackberry and raspberry fruit, hints of peppery spice and taut tannins.



Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne 40% from todayDate published: 06/01/15

My favourite NV Champagne is on offer at £26.98. 

Biscuity, lemony, it's a  rich Champagne style. Fruity and nutty at the same time and the typical yeasty notes and a long, complex finish.

It's the best time to stock up on Champagne guys. Don't miss out!

Wine of the week!Date published: 03/01/15

Wine of the week!

Château Coufran 2004 Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois Supérieur

Grapes

Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin

Located in the Haut-Médoc part of Pauillac, Coufran is notable for its unusually high proportion of Merlot, which forms around 85% of the blend. Being a more typical feature of right-bank wines, this has earned Coufran the nickname 'Pomerol of Haut-Médoc'.

Taste

This wine has a soft, fleshy and ample feel, combining soft bramble and ripe plum flavours with smooth tannins. Subtle cedar and leaf aromas complete the picture.

Down from £19.99 to £14.99 on the Buy 2 bottles save £10 Promotion Detail!


New Spirits: Darnley's SpicedDate published: 29/12/14

Darnley’s Spiced Gin £32.50

http://www.darnleysview.com/home.php

Named after Mary Queen of Scots’ husband Lord Darnley whose marriage produced the heir that eventually united England and Scotland. This gin unites the best of English and Scottish distillation and focuses on key botanicals of juniper, cinnamon and nutmeg, giving a smooth palate of warm and comforting spice. Bottled at 42.7% to best present the combination of warming spice botanicals.


New Spirits: St George TerriorDate published: 29/12/14

St George Terroir Gin £38.00 

http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/spirit/terroir-gin/

Founded in 1982, St George spirits were a true pioneer in the American craft distilling movement. Produced on the slopes of Mount Tam in California, this forest-driven and earthy gin has a real sense of place, using local botanicals such as Douglas Fir, California bay laurel and coastal sage.


New Spirits: langton No.1Date published: 29/12/14

Langtons No.1 Gin £30.00 

http://www.langtonsgin.co.uk/

A celebration of the Lake District, Langtons use local ingredients where possible amongst their 11 botanicals, including Lake District Oak Bark. Slate-filtered water is extracted via a borehole from an ancient aquifer found under the mountain of Skiddaw, Keswick and Derwent Water.  Fresh citrus characters dominate with a light touch of sweetness, followed by a smooth finish.




New Spirits: Bathtub GinDate published: 29/12/14

Bathtub Gin £33.00 

This is the first creation by the enigmatic Professor Cornelius Ampleforth and is inspired by combining by-gone eras with modern technology. The aim is to make the best gin possible, whilst also preserving the flavours of the botanicals.  The highly traditional infusing technique of cold-compounding (currently the only known entirely cold-compounded gin available) and the use of quality copper pot stills encourage the integration of flavours from the key botanicals, including juniper, orange peel, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. The palate shows clean fresh flavours of these botanicals with a surprisingly creamy finish. It’s so complex you could enjoy it neat over ice but it will also make a superb G&T.


New Spirits: Sipsmith London GinDate published: 29/12/14

Sipsmith London Dry Gin £27.50

Although not new to Majestic the Sipsmith London Dry Gin will now be distributed company wide. Sipsmith are pioneers in craft spirit production, firing up London’s first copper still for 200 years. Slightly floral in style with traditional juniper marrying with flavours of lemon tart and orange marmalade, this is a very dry gin that is harmoniously balanced. Smooth enough to be used for the perfect martini but also makes a cracking G&T. 


New Spirits: Sipsmith Sloe GinDate published: 29/12/14

Sipsmith Sloe Gin £24

http://www.sipsmith.com/

Already in reasonable distribution across the company the Sipsmith Sloe Gin is now a core line for all stores. Sipsmith use their copper pot still, named Prudence, to make genuinely small batches - just a few hundred bottles at a time - giving their spirits real depth and complexity. Based on the Sipsmith London Dry Gin, left to rest on hand-picked wild sloe berries, this is a truly handmade sloe gin and is packed full of flavour. The nose delivers lots of ripe redcurrant and winter fruits, with cassis and soft cherry on the palate.


New Spirits: Broker's GinDate published: 29/12/14

Broker’s Gin £19.99 

http://www.brokersgin.com/ 

Produced near Birmingham for over 200 years, Broker's has won more top awards over the past 10 years in International competitions than any other Gin. Ten traditional botanicals are used and quadruple distillation in a copper pot still results in a smooth palate. It delivers rich and creamy candied citrus fruit peel aromas and the finish gives the perfect balance of fresh botanicals with spicy juniper and sweet ripe citrus fruits.


New Spirits: Inchmurrin Batch 1Date published: 29/12/14

Inchmurrin - Batch 1 £40.00

Bottled by ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’ (who bottle single malts, single grains, blended malts and blends from a variety of distilleries) this limited release whisky features a graphic-novel style label of a wizard creating whisky at Loch Lomond distillery. This is to represent the ‘magic’ involved with producing a vast array of styles at the same distillery (8 different single malts and a grain whisky are all produced there!) The nose delivers sweet notes of honey with barley, citrus and blackcurrant, whereas the palate gives plenty of spice reminiscent of Christmas.


New Spirits: Auitmore Batch 4Date published: 29/12/14

 Aultmore Batch 4 50cl £45.00

Bottled by ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’ (who bottle single malts, single grains, blended malts and blends from a variety of distilleries) this limited release whisky is nutty in style, along with fresh citrus, kiwi and a gentle pepperiness. From a series of products with striking graphic-novel style labels this example is no exception, featuring a shark battling a velociraptor, simply for the fact that it’s an interesting and exciting image!


New Spirits: The HiveDate published: 29/12/14

The Hive 12 YO Malt £40.00 

This is a blended malt whisky based on the Speyside style from independent bottler Wemyss. It is matured in both fresh and refill sherry casks giving it a rich sweet and spicy taste with a distinctive honey character, hence the name!


New spirits: The OneDate published: 29/12/14

‘The One’ British Blended Whisky £30.00 Core

http://www.lakesdistillery.com/en/  

Green credentials are a high priority for The Lakes Distillery as, amongst other ideas, they aim to recycle heat from the distillation process to warm up their buildings and most of their by-products are returned to local farmers for use as animal feed and soil improvement. A unique and carefully blended whisky made using exceptional whiskies from around the British Isles – Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England - this tipple is malty on the nose with a smoky hint and delivers soft ginger and vanilla flavours with touches of nuttiness and oak. It’s sweet and fruity and similar in style to a Highland malt.


Christmas Opening hoursDate published: 24/12/14

Hello Wine Lovers of Belgravia.

This is just to let you know that we will be closed December 25th and 26th. 

We will be back on Saturday 27th Dec at 10 am ready for New Years stocking up.

Happy Christmas.

Don Papa Small Batch RumDate published: 23/12/14

Produced on the isle of Negros Occidental - the sugar capital of the Philippines due to the perfect combination of climate and rich volcanic soil. Its name comes from Don Papa Isio, one of the unsung heroes of the Philippine Revolution. This rum has a light and fruity nose with a rich-textured finish of vanilla, honey and candied fruit.£30.00 Amazing valule. Come in store to try it.

Red Leg Spiced Rum 70cl BottleDate published: 23/12/14

This Caribbean spiced rum gets its name from the Redleg hermit crab as it perfectly captures the laid back spirit of island culture – the crab always feels at home wherever it is! It is left to rest in old oak barrels and delivers a sweet smell of vanilla followed by a warming ginger aroma. The combination of sweetness and spice leaves a smooth, warming mouth feel.

£19.99

Einstök White Ale 6x330ml BottlesDate published: 19/12/14

A craft beer from the north of Iceland modelled on the traditional Belgian witbier. Made with pure spring water and infused with coriander and orange peel, it's full textured yet light on the palate, with a refreshing citrus zing.

#CraftBeer

Curious Brew Lager, Chapel Down NV 12x330ml BottlesDate published: 19/12/14

GOLD MEDAL WINNER AT THE INTERNATIONAL BEER CHALLENGE 2012. Curious Brew is a truly premium lager beer. Brewed in England with precision and passion to create a uniquely satisfying, drier, cleaner, fresher, lager beer.

BEER OF THE WEEKDate published: 15/12/14



Punk IPA, BrewDog 6x330ml Cans

Bored of the usual Lager? Fancy something different? Try this 5.6% trans-atlantic fusion IPA

Light golden in colour with tropical fruits and light caramel on the nose.

£12.99

Buy two save £6.00 £9.99 per six pack

Pop in store to try it today


New Craft SpiritsDate published: 02/12/14

We recently purchased some amazing craft spirits. Most of them are available in store for tasting.

One of my favourite is Don Papa Rum from  the Philippines. Warm and spicy, with hints of orange peel.

#comeandexplore

Wine of the Week The King's Legacy Chardonnay 2011 MarlboroughDate published: 29/11/14

Wine of the Week The King's Legacy Chardonnay 2011 Marlborough

£13.99/£9.99

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.

An easily enjoyable Chardonnay that combines fresh apple, nectarine and tangerine flavours with subtle creaminess, hints of toasted almonds and a gently spicy complexity.

Try this with seared scallops served with black pudding.


Beer of the WeekDate published: 29/11/14

Beer of the Week

Lagunitas IPA 6x355ml- An easy drinking IPA with a hoppy-sweet finish.

£13.99 down to £10.99 when you buy to or more packs.

Wine of the week Gavi 2013 La ToledanaDate published: 16/11/14

Gavi 2013 La Toledana

£11.99/£7.99

The white wines of the village of Gavi in Piedmont have been dubbed the Chablis of Italy, due to their fresh, steely minerality. Wines from the vineyards closest to the town are labelled Gavi di Gavi, and this one is made from late-harvested grapes.

Ripe peach and pears with hints of citrus and a slight honeyed edge held together by steely Aminerality and a fresh acidity.

An ideal apéritif, this wine will also complement poached white fish with a rocket and cherry tomato salad.


WINE OF THE WEEK Mt Difficulty Packspur Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Central OtagoDate published: 03/11/14

WINE OF THE WEEK

Mt Difficulty Packspur Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago

£45.00 Buy 2 bottles save £10 £40.00

Packspur Vineyard was planted in 1993 by Anne and Laurie McAuley on a well-sheltered, north-facing slope. A small vineyard, Packspur only produces very limited quantities of wine, from around 3.5 tonnes of grapes each vintage. Natural fermentation is followed by 16 months' barrel maturation. The wine is superbly rich and concentrated, yet finely structured and intriguingly complex.


Wine of the Week - Tournelles Voluptabilis Date published: 21/10/14

WINE OF THE WEEK

Tournelles Voluptabilis 2010 AOC Buzet

£7.49 down from £9.99 (25% off!)

Grape

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec

Origin

This wine is the 'second wine' of Château Tournelles, and is a blend of the most common red Bordeaux varieties with around 15% Malbec. Located in Calignac in the small appellation of Buzet, the estate enjoys a great position overlooking the Garonne Valley.

Taste

A voluptuous, well-structured, medium-to-full-bodied and approachable red, offering a wealth of blackcurrant and summer berry flavour, surrounded by rounded tannins for a pleasing sense of weight.

Enjoy

Drink over the next 2-3 years with duck or lamb dishes.


Wine Alphabet: A is forDate published: 04/10/14

Wine Alphabet: A is for


Altitude has a big influence on the growing environment of vines.

The primary purpose of growing vines at an altitude is to decrease the temperature for the vines. The general temperature is decreased by 0.6 degrees for every 100m the vine is grown above ground. A good example of this is the Malbecs grown in Argentina, where it would typically be too hot to grow vines. This decrease in temperature allows the vines to grow more naturally rather than being put under stress to find additional water due to the increased temperature.

Another positive for growing at an altitude is increased sunlight. If an area is abundant with mountains it can create shade, thus limiting sunlight in an area. So by growing the vines at an altitude it maximises the amount of sunlight the vines will have, thus increasing their photosynthesis and growth.  

Finally if the winemaker is growing his vines next to the sea, by growing them at an altitude it can somewhat protect against the moisture and cool breeze from the oceanic climate.


Craft Beers at MajesticDate published: 04/10/14

Craft Beers at Majestic

You may have noticed a significant growth in interest in "craft beers" of late. These are beers varying styles made by producers committed to making a high quality product. The craft brewing culture is most established in the USA where, in 1978, a law was passed to deregulate the brewing industry and allow easier start ups of new, smaller breweries.

At Majestic we now stock a wide range of craft beers, many from the USA, as part of our mix and match craft beer deal.

1) Goose Island IPA from Chicago, Illinois. Fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, to ensure a long hop finish.

2) Anchor Steam from San Francisco, California. Deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavour.

3) Brooklyn Lager from New York, New York State. Dry-hopped, fresh, flowery, firm and flavourful.

4) Lagunitas IPA from Petaluma, California. Big on the aroma with a hoppy-sweet finish.

5) Einstok Icelandic White Ale from Iceland. Made with pure spring water and infused with coriander and orange peel, it's full textured yet light on the palate, with a refreshing citrus zing.

6) Einstok Icelandic Pale Ale from Iceland. Robust hoppiness meets smooth malty undertones.

7) Punk IPA from Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Hoppy and powerful ale in the American style.

8) Dead Pony Club from Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Hoppy Californian-style pale ale.

9) Vedett Blonde from Belgium. Traditionally flavourful Belgium beer.

10) Camden 'Hells' lager from London. Stylish brewery from the Capital.

Mix and match any 2 packs of craft beer and save £6.00!


Chocolate Block- some still available!!Date published: 04/10/14

Chocolate Block- some still available!

The unboxing of the new Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block bottles aroused a soft chorus of "oohs" from the team here at Muswell Hill. Not only do the bottles look lovely, including some Magnums and even a Jeroboam (a three litre double-Magnum), but the wine is well-known to be delicious and very popular here among the team. An exciting blend of five grape varieties from innovative South African winemaker Marc Kent, which are fermented and aged in French oak barrels for up to eighteen months after fermentation, the taste is earthy and leathery, a heady mix of spices dancing over a backdrop of blackcurrant and ripe raspberry fruit. It's a wonderful balance of strong flavours and complexity.

Many Boekenhoutskloof wines are only limited to special distribution, but they've proven so popular and our customers have been so overwhelmingly positive about them, we thought we'd better get some into the main store! This particular wine goes well with big red meat flavours, like a well-spiced steak, a roast rib of beef, or chunky game dishes.

Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc competitionDate published: 04/10/14

Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc competition


The new Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc wines come from Awatere (pronounced Aw-wah-tree), the most southern grape-growing region in Marlborough. The climate is cooler and dryer, so fruit can hang for longer. This results in wine that is highly aromatic, and intensely flavoured. To celebrate its new arrival at Majestic we've got five cases to give away on the blog. Enter the competition here 

 http://blog.majestic.co.uk/brancott-estate-terroir-series-give-away


Spotlight Tasting Winers of SpainDate published: 02/10/14

Hello Belgravia. We are hosting a fun and informal Spanish Wine Tasting here in store on Thursday 9th October.

it will be at around 6pm for about half hour. We will be comparing and contrasting varieties and regions of Spain. 

It's free but please book in advance because we have limited spaces available.

#tasteandexplore

CompetitionDate published: 02/10/14

The new Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc wines come from Awatere (pronounced Aw-wah-tree), the most southern grape-growing region in Marlborough. The climate is cooler and dryer, so fruit can hang for longer. This results in wine that is highly aromatic, and intensely flavoured. To celebrate its new arrival at Majestic we've got five cases to give away on the blog. Enter the competition here > http://blog.majestic.co.uk/brancott-estate-terroir-series-give-away

Wine Bluffers Guide: CarmenereDate published: 21/08/14

Carménére is originally a Bordeaux grape variety that was abandoned due to pests attacking and ruining the crops. Due to this the grape moved location to Chile, with a lot of wines combining it with Merlot in the 19th century. 

The grape was identified in 1994, originally thought to be Merlot, it is very similar in terms of being a light, low tannin wine. Much investigation has undergone trying to seperate Carménére from Merlot, however so far there have been no major notable differences to be found. It is a late harvesting grape that is more successful in hotter climates with more sunlight. Therefore the grape has been a lot more successful after being cultivated into Chile than when it was originally planted in Bordeaux. The wine benefits from a full bodied, deep black fruit characted and is known to have slight hints of tobacco, oak and a slight smokiness which adds a little complexity to the wines taste. 


Bank Holiday Weekend Opening hoursDate published: 21/08/14

Saturday 10am- 6pm

Sunday 10am - 3pm

Monday 10am - 3pm

If you have any questions then please don't hesitate to call during opening hours, or email us at bel@majestic.co.uk

Wine Bluffers Guide: Vinho VerdeDate published: 21/08/14

Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde, the wine producing region in the North of Portugal, stretches from the north of the River Douro upto the River Minho, on the border with Spain. Historically in the Vinho Verde region the vines we're trained up trees and until 1974 it was illegal to plant fields of grape vines.

Vinho Verde literally means “Green Wine”, however only half the production from the region is White and the name has nothing to do with the colour of the wine. Verde refers to its youth, as traditionally it is the latest vintage that is drunk when drinking Vinho Verde.

The grapes that go into making Vinho Verde are predominantly Loureiro and Paderna. However in the subregions other grapes may be added such as the Spanish grape Albarino (known as Alvarinho in Portugal). The grapes make a style of wine that is very fresh, with crisp acidity. Vinho Verde also has a classic “prickle”, which comes from the CO2 that exists in the wine.


Argentina Spotlight TastingDate published: 21/08/14

To start off our Wines of Argentina tasting week, we will be hosting a spotlight tasting on Thursday September 4th.

It will be in store at 6 pm, very informal sipping and nibbling by our tasting counter. We will be presenting a selection of our best value Argentinian wines pairing them with some food.

Spaces are limited, so avoid missing out and get in touch to book yours.

Also..... it's FREE.


#tasteandexplore

Wine Bluffers Guide: Bottle sizesDate published: 20/08/14

There's a number of different bottle sizes. For those of you who always wondered but never had the time.. The number within the brackets is the relative fraction of standard sized bottles within each vessel.

Piccolo (0.25) This is also known as a quarter bottles, a snipe, a pony or a split! Generally only used for Champagne.

Chopine (0.33) This is a now slightly archaic term, but was once the standard size in France.

Demi (0.5) Commonly know as a half bottle as it is indeed the French word for 'half.'

Tenth (0.505) Called so as this is one tenth the volume of an American Gallon.

Jennie (0.67) This size equates to half a litre, common for sweet wines & sherry wine.

Clavelin (0.83) Very rarely used for anything other than Vin Jaune.

Standard (1) The size we all know & love!

Magnum (2) Two standard sizes bottles, which comes to 1.5 litres of wine! Magnums are great for dinner parties & generally medium to heavy red wines age far more gently in a larger vessel such as this!  

Marie Jeanne (3) This can also be referred to as a Trugnum or a Tappit Hen.

Jeroboam / Double Magnum (4) Although the same size, Jeroboam refers to Champagne & Burgundy, whereas a Double Magnum is for Bordeaux use.

Rehoboam (6) 

Imperial (8)

Methuselah (8) 

Salmanzar (12) 

Mordechai (12) 

Balthazar (16) 

Nebuchadnezzar (20) 

Melchoir (24)

Solomon (26.66) 

Sovereign (33.33) 

Goliath (36)

Melchizedek (40)

You may need a few friends if you plan to drink one of the few lasts on the list, but it would definitely make it a night to remember. Either 

way it may be fun and worthwhile to remember the names, even if they only come to use in pub quiz!


Hot Tips of the day: Sancerre and Pouilly-FumeDate published: 19/08/14

Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé

Made from Sauvignon Blanc. Usually intended for early drinking and in most cases not a wine for ageing. The flinty soil gives the top wines a smoky, mineral element.

Try the following:

Sancerre Comte Lafond Ladoucette – Buy any 2 selected fine wines save £10 = £25 (£30 full price)

Restrained, very elegant and aromatically complex.

Pouilly Fumé Jean Vincent – Buy 2 save 33% = £9.99 (£14.99 full price)

Intensely aromatic, with the classic smoky, flinty character of the region. Great with a summer salad.

Reuilly Cuvée Nathalie – Buy 2 save 25% = £8.99 (£11.99 full price)

Like a great Sancerre without the large price tag! An absolute bargain. Refined and refreshing. From a selection of only the best parcels of vines, this is a top quality wine full of lime and gooseberry flavours and hints of minerality. Crisp and light – perfect for a summer picnic!


Wine of the Week: The Chocolate Block 2012Date published: 19/08/14


The Chocolate Block 2012 Boekenhoutskloof, Western Cape

Grape

Syrah-Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Viognier

Origin

An exciting blend of 5 grape varieties, from innovative winemaker Marc Kent. Dominated by around 67% Syrah, the grapes come from several specially selected blocks of vines on Boukenhoutskloof's estate, fermented and aged for up to 18 months in old French oak.

Taste

An earthy, rustic nose of leather and sweet spices over a backdrop of blackcurrant and ripe raspberry. Harmonious and powerful on the palate, with a cocoa complexity and soft tannins.

Enjoy

Most at home with spice-rubbed steaks, roast rib of beef, or game dishes.

Also available in magnum and double magnum.

Wine Bluffers Guide: PhylloxeraDate published: 18/08/14

A few vine cuttings from the New World brought to Europe spread a tiny insect called Phylloxera vastatrix, which feeds on the roots of vines. The only way to save all of the European grape vines was to graft native American vines to the European rootstocks. While some European vines are justifiably hallowed, none of them are pristine and without an American element after the mid 1800s.

Wine Bluffers Guide: SherryDate published: 16/08/14

A-Z of wine..."S" is for Sherry!

Sherry is the name given to fortified wines from Jerez and the surrounding region. Being in the south of Spain temperatures can reach in excess of 40ºC but it's proximity to the Atlantic coast means it benefits from cooling sea breezes. Rather than going into technical details about soil types and yeasts I'll just give a brief overview of the main styles and characteristics of the finished product! 

Fino

Crisp, dry, yeasty, nutty and tangy, fino is the freshest and most delicate of sherry styles, weighing in at around 15% alcohol. Protected from oxygen during its development by the flor (a lyer of yeast that floats on top of the wine), fino needs to be treated like white wine once it has been opened. It’s a versatile food companion, and should be drunk chilled.

Manzanilla

This is a fino-style sherry from the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Because the more humid environment in the bodegas here encourages a thicker flor layer, these wines are typically lighter and even fresher than fino, often with a distinctive salty tang.

Amontillado

Aged fino that has lost its flor and then gone on to develop oxidatively, amontillado is an amber-coloured sherry that is nutty and complex, with a long finish. It is fortified to around 17.5 ° alcohol to protect it during its development, and because it has been aged oxidatively it will last for longer once opened.

Palo Cortado

A sort of half way house between a fino and an amontillado, Palo Cortado is the result of a fino sherry losing its flor. Nutty, fresh and complex, this is now a popular style.

Oloroso

Complex brown-coloured sherries, Olorosos develop in barrel without the protective flor layer, often for many years. The result is a complex, rich, nutty style of sherry with aromas of old furniture and raisins. These wines are dry. Because they’ve seen so much oxidation during development, they are pretty stable and stay in good condition for a while once the bottle is opened.

Pedro Ximénez

Made from air-dried grapes, with fermentation stopped early by the addition of spirit, Pedro Ximénez is a remarkable wine. Viscous and amazingly sweet, it tastes like liquid Christmas cake.

Cream

Cream sherries are more commercial products that have been sweetened by the addition of Moscatel or Pedro Ximénez.

We have a wide variety of sherrys in store and they provide some of the best value wines of our entire range!

Wine Bluffers guide: Madeira Date published: 15/08/14

Madeira is Portuguese island situated in the Atlantic Ocean, 75km from the coast of North Africa. Despite the volcanic beauty of the place, the island is more famous for its world know fortified wine named after its home town: Madeira.

Like Port, Madeira seems to have started as an unfortified wine. Rumour has it that Madeira was the result of a fortunate accident; Funchal (the capital of the island) was, in the 16th century, a natural port for ships on their route to Africa, Asia and South America. In order to survive the long voyage without deteriorating, wines were fortified. In addition it was also discovered that wines travelling across the tropics tasted better than those matured on the island. To simulate those conditions and replicate the results, estufas andcanteiros are used nowadays to heath up the wine artificially and provide the typical Madeira flavour.

With the colonisation of North America, Madeira established an important export market on the east coast of the US. Madeira held such a high reputation that it was used to toast the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Madeira Club Savannah was the only one surviving prohibition and continue its production at full gear.

Due to pests and systemic diseases such as Powdery Mildew and Phylloxera that destroyed the vast majority of vineyards, vines were replaced by sugar cane to sustain the economy of the island. The unfortunate consequence was the immediate decline of Madeira. The wine industry returned to normal levels of production at the beginning of the 20th century.

Viticulture in Madeira is very difficult and, at this latitude, only possible because of the altitude. Here the mountains are constantly covered with clouds, which provide moisture in the warm oceanic air, which is forced to condensate.

The quality of the even more basic Madeira has improved dramatically since the 90s. Inexpensive whites with a distinctive cork smell are now fresher and cleaner and finer wines are distinguished by their high- toned rancio aromas and searing acidity.


Four traits of Wines that age well.Date published: 15/08/14

Other Aging Issues

Besides the wine itself being the right wine to age, the bottle, stopper and storage method greatly affect how long a wine will age.


Determining if a wine will last is not an exact science. Most wine experts use deductive reasoning based on their past experiences to determine what wines age well. There are, however, four characteristics that most wine people agree on when tasting a wine to determine if it will last. Keep in mind that a wine that ages well for 12 years will most likely not taste as delicious in the first few years of its life. The four traits we wine geeks look for in an age-worthy wine are high acidity, tannin structure, low alcohol level and residual sugar.

Acidity

Wines with higher acidity tend to last longer. As a wine ages it slowly loses its acids and flattens out. A wine that starts its existence with lower acidity will probably not make it in the long haul. Basically, a wine with higher acid has a longer runway as it ages.

Tannin

Tannin acts as a structural component and red wines with higher tannins tend to age better that lower tannin red wines. Tannins come from contact to the pips and skins of the grapes during wine making and also from oak aging. A wine with well balanced tannins (where there is a balance between 'grape tannin' and 'wood tannin') will slowly "smooth out" over time as the tannins break down. Despite the fact that tannins can help make a wine age well, if the wine is not well balanced to begin with, it will never improve over time. there are many long-lived white wines and white wines do not need tannin to age well.

Alcohol Level

Alcohol is volatile in non-fortified wines and causes wine to turn to vinegar more quickly. Generally speaking, the lower the alcohol level in a non-fortified wine the longer it will last. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. however this is the case for many dry red and white wines. When seeking out a wine for aging, it is worth checking the alcohol levels and hope for an ABV below 13.5%. Despite the fact that high alcohol ruins normal still wines, fortified wines are perhaps the longest lived of all wines with 17-20% ABV. 

Residual Sugar

This component is wine is often overlooked because of the popularity of aging dry wines. As it turns out, the longest lived wines tend to be sweet wines including port, sherry, Sauternes and Riesling.

Wine for Beginners: TanninsDate published: 15/08/14

What are Tannins?

Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves and fruit skins. About 50% of the dry weight of plant leaves are tannins. As a characteristic of wine, tannin adds both bitterness and astringency as well as complexity. Wine tannins are most commonly found in red wine, although white wines have tannin from being aged in wooden barrels.

What does Tannin taste like?

Tannin tastes dry and astringent and you can feel it specifically on the middle of your tongue and the front part of your mouth. Unsweetened black tea is a great example of nearly pure tannin dissolved in water.

High-Tannin foods

- Tea Leaves

- Walnuts, Almonds and Nuts with Skins

- Dark Chocolate

- Cinnamon, Clove and other spices

- Pomegranates, Grapes and Acai Berries

- Quince

- Red Beans

Where does Wine Tannin come from?

Tannin in wine come from two possible places: wine grapes and wood.

What is Grape Tannins?

Grape tannin comes from the skins, seeds and stems of a wine grape. For this reason, red wines tend to have higher tannin than white wines because the extended contact of the grapes to the juice gives the tannin time to dissolve in the alcohol and water in the wine.

Some types of wine have higher tannin than others. the Nebbiolo grape used in Italian Barolo, is a high grape tannin wine.

What is Wood Tannin?

Wood tannin dissolves into wine through contact. Most commonly this happens when wine is stored in wooden barrels. Oak barrels are the most popular choice because of the flavors they add to wine such as vanillin.

Tannin powders, oak chips and oak staves are growing in popularity because they are more affordable. It is hard to say which is better since an oak barrel can be used in wine making for up to 70 years.

Which wines are high vs low in tannin?

Below are few examples to help illustrate wine tannin. It's helpful to remember that wine making style greatly affects how much tannin is in a wine. In general, high production wines are deliberately created to have 'rounder' feeling tannin.

High Tannin Wines

- Nebbiolo

- Cabernet Sauvignon

- Tempranillo

- Montepulciano

- Petit Verdot

- Petite Syrah

Low Tannin Wines

- Barbera

- Zinfandel

- Pinot Noir

- Primitivo

- Grenache

- Merlot



Wine Bluffers Guide: Napa ValleyDate published: 14/08/14

To the north of San Francisco lies California's most famous wine region. Producing less than 5% of California's wine, Napa is scarcely more than forty miles end to end, and sometimes less than a mile wide, but its success is built on a number of enviable factors. It has fantastic exposure, soils, and cruicially, climate.

In the words of Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, Naps is the 'world's most glamourous, most cosseted, and most heavily capitalised wine region', and is subdivided into smaller AVAs, such as: Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Oakville, Rutherford, Stags Leap District, and Oak Knoll.

Napa's climate and soils allow not only Cabernet Sauvignon to flourish here, but also Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot.

Robinson does temper the excitement, however, suggesting that Napa could suffer from conspicuous consumption. With cult wines such as the Harlan Estate Screaming Eagle often retailing for over £1,000 per bottle, one can understand why


The Wine bluffers guide to German WineDate published: 13/08/14

Want to sound knowledgeable about wine at the dinner table, but don't want to study long hours? Our Bluffers Guide to wine will impress friends and colleagues alike, so kick back with a glass of your favourite, and enjoy our multi-part series to the world of wine: 

Germany's law states German wines must indicate a Pradikat (sweetness) level on bottle labels. The styles outlined below are only appropriate for white wines, and follow in ascending order:

Kabinett are the most delicate Pradikatswein wines and often make great aperfitis. The sweeter styles will have an alcohol level of between 8-9% abv whereas drier styles can reach 12% abv. 

Spatlese indicates a 'late-harvest' wine. These will have more concentrated flavours, and Riesling wines will have a little more body compared to those of a Kabinett style. Spatlese wines will also have a higher abv than Kabinett. 

Auslese wines are made from individually selected extra-ripe bunches of grapes. This category offers the greatest styles of Rieslings. Some producers treat this as a slightly richer, riper Spatlese in a dry or sweet style, and some Auslese wines have a overt botrytis character (Botryis is used in the production of sweet/dessert wines). It is also the highest Pradikat category that can produce a dry wine. 

Beernauslese (BA) indicates a rare, expensive sweet wine that will have been made from individually selected grapes, ideally those with flavours enhanced by the effect of noble rot. 

Eiswein (ice-wine) is made from grapes that have been left on the vines until the weather is cold enough to freeze them. When the grapes are pressed the frozen water remains in the press resulting in a highly concentrated grape juice. The end wine is intensely concentrated pure fruit flavours with very high levels of acidity. 

Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) are sweet wines that are produced in minute quantities, in only the finest vintages, from individual grapes that have undergone noble rot to such a degree they have shrivelled to tiny raisins. The end product rarely has more than an 8% abv. TBAs are amongst the world's most expensive wines. 

If you have any more questions about German wine, or get stumped at the dinner table, give us at call here at Belgravia and we'll answer all your wine related questions!

Budget Wine of the Week:Santa Rita Merlot 120 Date published: 11/08/14

For a wallet friendly, easy drinking soft, fruity and uncomplicated wine that does-what-it-says-on-the-tin, this is a fab wine, and great value too.

I admit that I'm becoming quite fond of Merlot, and despite the fact it can be a safe bet to choose for a red wine for many people restaurants, this is a cracking grape variety. 

This bottle from the Chilean 120 range is no exception either. Medium bodied, and with a very approachable fruity style, this wine is a brilliant everyday type of wine. It's not massively complex, but does offer soft red fruit flavours along with a slight hint of vanilla and tobacco notes. A pleasant mouthfeel, with soft tannin, this is a very easy drinking red wine.

Light enough to drink on its own, but would accompany dishes such as chicken as well as lighter red meats.


Currently at £6.74 if you buy 2.


Wine Bluffers Guide: Cote RotieDate published: 11/08/14

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

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

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


Wine Bluffers Guide: 2010 BaroloDate published: 11/08/14

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

Wine Bluffers Guide: BeajoulaisDate published: 10/08/14

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

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

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

The key ACs within Beaujolais are:

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

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


This just in: Hardy's HRB Cabernet SauvignonDate published: 07/08/14

Hardy's HRB Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Coonawarra & Margaret River

'Hardy's Reserve Bin' Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from premium vineyards in Coonawarra and Margaret River, two regions which are synonymous with outstanding Cabernet in Australia. The powerful structure and chocolate-mint fruit characters from Coonawarra blend beautifully with the Bordeaux-like, cassis, graphite complexity of Margaret River, whilst persistent tannins backed by minerally acid lengthen the palate.

"R" de Ruinart NV Champagne only £33.33Date published: 07/08/14

Grape: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

One of the oldest Champagne houses, founded in 1729, Ruinart was the first house to export Champagne. 

A classic Champagne that was sought-after and hard to come by. 

Elegant and subtle; one of the jewels in Champagne's crown.

What are Wine Legs?Date published: 07/08/14

Every once in a while you will see someone swirl their glass of wine, raise it towards the light and watch with bated breath for the wine's legs to appear, a mythical indicator of wine quality. These legs, or tears as the French refer to them, are the streaks of wine forming on the side of the glass. The legs were once thought to be associated with a wine's quality (the more legs, the higher the quality). However, the legs have more to do with physics, the wine's surface tension and alcohol content, than perceived quality.

Wine is a mixture of alcohol and water, the alcohol has a faster evaporation rate and a lower surface tension than water, effectively forcing the alcohol to evaporate at a faster rate. This dynamic allows the water's surface tension and concentration to increase, pushing the legs up the glass until the surface tension pushes the water into beads. Finally, gravity wins the battle and forces the liquid to tear down the glass in a defeated streak.

Still not convinced that it's physics and not quality that drives this phenomenon? Try covering your next glass of wine and see if the legs present dramatically decrease when covered compared to when open. No evaporation, no legs. Enjoy none the less.

Peroni: Italy's finest at £1 per bottleDate published: 06/08/14

Peroni £1 a Bottle!

The leading Italian lager - clean, crisp and refreshing, and now just £1 a bottle! So if you're making the most of the last of the summer with a garden party or BBQ then there is no better choice of accompaniment.


Wine Bluffers Guide: ViticultureDate published: 05/08/14

Want to sound knowledgeable about wine at the dinner table, but don't want to study long hours? Our Bluffers Guide to wine will impress friends and colleagues alike, so kick back with a glass of your favourite, and enjoy our multi-part series to the world of wine:

We all know wine is made from grapes, but it's often not as simple (or romantic) as a small village all jumping in to a big tub of grapes, stomping on them, and getting amazing wine.

First comes the growing process (known as viticulture)

So why don't they make wine all over the world? Surely it's as simple as planting a few vines?

Not entirely.

There are a few things that effect how a grape on the vine grows.

Think back to high school biology and remember photosynthesis.

Sunlight: This can relate to a whole bunch of things. If you want to sound extra smart, talk about 'canopy management' which is a fancy way of saying the leaves are pruned to let the right amount of sunlight in. Aspect and proximity to water can also make a difference.

Heat: This is why generally, wine grapes only grow between 30 and 50 degrees lattitude both North and South. There are some exceptions as things like altitdue, but the 30-50 degree fact is a good one to pull out at the dinner table.

Nutrients: If you want to sound intelligent, discuss 'soil type'.

Water: Access to water is an obvious one, but to really impress talk about 'vine stress'. This basically means that if the vine has too much access to any and all of these things, the grapes may become overripe and watery, or won't produce grapes at all.

All of these need to come together in harmony, or else your grape will not ripen, or become too ripe and not suitable for wine production.

If you have any more questions about viticulture, or get stumped at the dinner table, give us at call here at Belgravia and we'll answer all your wine related questions!

Next time: What happens in the actually winery (vinification).


Ana's wine of the week: Organistrum AlbarinoDate published: 05/08/14

Organistrum Albariño 2011 Martín Códax, Rías Baixas

Grape: Albariño

This spectacular Albariño comes from a selected south-west-facing plot, which tends to ripen earlier than the rest of Martin Codax's vineyards. Fermentation begins in stainless steel under temperature control, and is completed with a brief period in French Allier oak. The wine has a medium-intensity nose that is subtle and complex, with notes of stone fruit, vegetal tinges and nuanced with spice. Excellent roundness and enduring acidity provide a firm and characterful palate.

Wine Bluffers Guide: PortDate published: 05/08/14

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

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

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


Wine of the Week - Foxen Pinot NoirDate published: 04/08/14

This small Santa Barbara winery produces highly individual Pinot Noir wines quite unlike those from Napa and Sonoma. It offers aromatic flavours of herb, black cherry and spicy new oak scents with a ripe tannic structure. Excellent with duck, goose or turkey.

Visit to Marques de Caceres (Rioja)Date published: 21/07/14

Visit to Marques de Caceres (Rioja)


A couple of weeks ago I went to visit Marques de Caceres in Rioja. Together, with a bunch of Majestic Wine staff, we stayed in Logrono and had an amazing time. The crew included Neil (the Scot), Karen (the festival addict), Yana (the posh one), Phil (the eard man), Helen (the stylish one) and Leo (the Italian).


In the morning, our host Florent, drove us around and gave us the tour of the vineyards. We were fortunate enough to walk around some of the oldest vines in Rioja (140 years old) where the fruit for the production of the famous Gaudium comes from. After that we went to the Botegas, in Cenicero, where the wine production takes place, a very elegant and up to date winery, where new and old combine for the best. Barrels are everywhere here, either used for the production of wine or for decoration.


After a magnificent portfolio tasting, we were treated to an amazing lunch. The menu included Tapas Variadas (mixed tapas), Solomillo a la Plancha (Sirloin steak) con pimientos del Piquillo (with piquillo peppers) and a selection of cheeses from mild to strong. All of that was to match a selection of Caceres wines, from Albarino, to white Rioja and Crianza, Reserva up to Gaudium.
The food was simply delicious, especially the steak and the cheese selection. After lunch we kept of sipping Gaudium and Cognac and had coffee, chocolate and cigars on the veranda. I know you envy me a little now....


In the evening our host took us for a tapas night, a classic in Logrono. So we went around the streets of the city nibbling tapas and sipping Riojas until we ended up in a small club where we had the chance to burn off some of the calories intake of the day!
A big thank you to Marques de Caceres and our host, Florent for this amazing experience.

Provence RoseDate published: 18/07/14

In the 6th century BC the Phocaeans founded Marseille and planted the first vineyards in France, beginning the country's long relationship with wine. It was only 400 years later that the vines spread beyond the Provincia Romana (Provence).

Nowdays 40% of France's annual Rosé production comes from Provence and 96% of the volume of Provence AOC (Appellation Controlée) comes from three major appellations:

The Cotes de Provence Appellation, including the specific appellations Sainte-Victoire, Fréjus and La Londe;

The Coteaux d' Aix-En-Provence Appellation;

The Coteaux Varois en Provence Appelation.

Provence has a typical hot, sunny and dry Mediterranean Climate, but the extremely diverse soils and landscape have resulted in the planting of a wide range of vine types (Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle, Ugni Blan, Clairette, Semillon, Bourboulenc blanc ou doillon).

The generally poor, well drained soils, the gusty Mystral and the wide variety of “terroir” (site specific soils and climate conditions) give Provence wines their unique character.

The key of understanding Rosé wines is that of the freshness of the fruit they display, such as red berries, grapefruit and citrus. This is why for most of them it is important that the grapes are picked at the right moment and fermented at low temperature to preserve their freshness and fragrance.

Rosé's colour comes from the skin of black grapes and its intensity is determined by how long the juice is kept in contact with the skins, a process known as maceration.

Rosé is the perfect wine for all the occasions, from intimate dinners to parties with friends. Its versatility makes it the perfect partner for a wide range of flavours.


Focus on Fine Wine: GAUDIUM Gran Vino (Marques de Caceres)Date published: 17/07/14


The name of this wine comes from Latin, meaning pleasure, satisfaction, happiness. Made from mainly Tempranillo with a small percentage of Graciano from older vineyards of limited production. This select wine is made from grapes grown in old vineyards, located in unique areas that are well exposed to the sun, with very limited yields. Some of the vines are 140 years old. The grapes are harvested by hand in boxes of 15 kg and fall under gravity into 8000 litre tanks and undergo a carefully controlled fermentation. This wine spends 18 months in brand new French oak barrels and a minimum of 24 months in bottle.
Dark, dense, deep ruby red colour. Intense and complex bouquet with lively aromas that add a touch of finesse. Notes of blackberries and blackurrants open out in the mouth where fleshy, long-lasting flavours are swathed in rich, smooth tannins.
This is a wine for special occasions. It will complement all kind of meat, grilled, roasted or served in sauces, especially suckling pig, roast kid, beef fillet or Iberian style pork. A perfect match to foie gras, light game dishes and fine cheeses.

Marques de CaceresDate published: 17/07/14


In 1970, Botegas Marques de Caceres was founded by Enrique Forner in fulfilment of a family
tradition of several generations dedicated to wine, following many successful years in the Medoc
(Bordeaux).
With the assistance of prestigious French oenologist Emile Peynaud, Mr Forner settled the Botega
in Cenicero (Rioja Alta). He also established conditions with a group of local growers for a
continuous supply of quality grapes, from selected vineyards of older vines and limited yields
benefiting from a cool, fresh microclimate.
From the very beginning, Marques de Caceres developed entirely modern methods of elaborating
wines in Rioja, in line with the preference of international markets. The red wines stand out for
their expression of fruit and the balance and harmony of ageing. These wines along with structure
and concentration reveal great elegance and finesse. For this purpose a cellar with mainly French
oak was provided, containing barrels much younger that those normally used in the past. This was
complemented by a longer period in bottle before bringing the wines onto the markets assuring
optimum ageing and finesse.
The Botega has also been a pioneer in the production of fresh, young white and rosé wines. These
excel for their rich fruit and vivacity.
In recent years, and taking into consideration the newest technology for the selection of grapes and
vinification process, Marques de Caceres has complemented its range of red wines with Gaudium
and MC, which represent the highest and most advanced expression of the viniculture and
oenological potential of the area.
Mercy to its tenacity and its international commercial vocation, Marques de Caceres is today
present in 120 countries, and is considered to be one of the privileged ambassador of Spanish
wines worldwide.

Foxen Pinot NoirDate published: 14/07/14

About 20 miles inland from the Santa Barbara coastline lies the Santa Maria Valley, which has been a designated AVA since 1981. The only East-West valley in the region, vines can benefit from long days of sun, with some fantastic south facing slopes, as well as early morning fogs and cool Pacific breezes. One of the most renowned vineyards is Bien Nacido, home to Cali heavyweights such as Au Bon Climat, Qupe and the Foxen brothers.

Foxen winery, located (funnily enough) in Foxen Canyon, was borne out of the friendship between Bill Wathen, a winemaker with European experience, and Dick Dore, whose peripatetic lifestyle had taken him to most of the great winemaking regions worldwide.

Priding themselves on their finely balanced wines with a nod to Burgundy, their Pinot Noir comes from a Pommard clone. Perfectly suited to the Santa Maria climate, this Pinot is bright as a button on the nose with fresh notes of wild strawberry and fruit compote alongside hints of clove. A delicate example, especially considering some of it’s local rivals, this would be a delightful addition to a pork belly dish or sunday roast chicken.

£24 When you buy 2 or more fine wines/spirits

£29 Single bottle price.

Cheese and Wine pairingsDate published: 13/07/14

Cheese and Wine have always been put together as a great food and wine match. But did you know different types of cheese match better to different wines? Here are a few of my favourite pairings!

Mature Cheddar and Bordeaux. This is a great match, which shows off both the food and wine to their full extent. As with all food and wine matches, the idea is to find things which complement each other and show each component at its best. The protein in the cheese softens the tannin in the Bordeaux, making it melt in your mouth and release all the rich fruit and savoury characters within.

Goats Cheese and Sauvignon Blanc. It may seem unusual to have cheese with a white wine, but the creaminess and strong flavour of goats cheese balances perfectly with the crisp acidity and aromatics of a sauvignon, especially something from the Loire Valley.

Blue cheese and desert wine. Again, not something many of us would instinctively reach for, but a sticky sweet wine, such as a Sauternes matches the saltiness of a blue cheese. And with both having a similar intensity of flavour, its a great match. Throw in some Pate as well for a real treat!

White wines of BordeauxDate published: 13/07/14

The wines of Bordeaux are commonly produced from a blend of grape varieties. The reason for this is simple. The region has a very variable weather pattern, particularly rainfall. It is therefore too risky to rely on a single grape variety. The different grapes flower and ripen at different times and therefore bad frosts are less likely to destroy entire crops. However, contrary to this there are two white varieties that are grown in much higher volumes than the others.

The Semillon grape is the most widely planted white variety in Bordeaux. It has very soft skins and has a high affinity for noble rot. It is therefore used widely in sweet wines. It gives a golden colour to wines and has plenty of body. It has an affinity for oak and its wines can age well.

In Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc produces wines with a distinctive herbaceous and grassy flavour as well as aromas of elderflower. This grape is the exception to the rule in Bordeaux and is increasingly used for single varietal, dry white wines. Although, when blended its high acidity acts as a counterbalance to the potential flabiness of the Semillon grape. This is particularly true of the great sweet wines of Bordeaux.


Casa Vinicola ZoninDate published: 12/07/14

Casa Vinicola Zonin is one of the most important Italian wine producers. The company distributes and markets still and sparkling wines under the Zonin label as well as those of the family’s nine Estates.

The story of the Zonin family dates back two centuries and passes through seven generations. Since 1821, the Zonin family has been linked with the cultivation of vines and the production of wine. It has its roots in Gambellara, in the heart of Veneto region, in a zone that is ideal for producing fine wines.

Inspired by the principle “each region has its own traditions, each region has its own wines” Gianni Zonin has been selecting outstanding terroirs since the end of the 1960s, bringing Casa Vinicola Zonin to its present area under vine of around 2.000 hectares, supervised by a team of 32 oenologists and agronomists. These make up 9 Estates situated in Italy’s 7 finest wine regions, as well as a property in the United States, Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia.

Prosecco Zonin is a perfect aperitif, light in body, clean and fresh. With a very subtle floral aroma and hints of pears it will also suit light fish dishes, salads and fruit desserts.


Orvieto Classico Secco Vigneto Mortaro 2012 BarberaniDate published: 12/07/14

Orvieto is a DOC wine and comes from the area surrounding the medieval hill city of Orvieto in Umbria, where Pope Clement VII fled following the sacking of Rome. Traditionally vinified sweet, it is now dry (more often than not).

Made from Trebbiano (locally called Procanico) and the herbal Malvasia this dry Orvieto is crisp, citrussy and nutty. It is what some people call a “food wine”, not too fruity, subtle and restrained. It would accompany a variety of dishes like salmon pastas or olives and sun-blushed tomatoes.


TerroirDate published: 10/07/14

The word Terroir literally means 'soil', but its meaning goes far beyond the soil in which vines grow. It is generally defined as the combination of all those elements that give a wine a “sense of a place”. It is influenced by environmental factors such as location, climate, aspect, soil. The meaning can be stretched to include vintage variation, flora and fauna and winemaking techniques (the human element) and these conditions cannot be replicated in any other place.

The French talk about tipicité, as a kind of “collective memory” matured over time among a group of people, that, through generations, have come to expect that a wine coming from a specific place has to taste how it should.

Defining Terroir is difficult because some producers consider it a philosophy, others are more concerned with the mechanisms and the science behind it. In the past, old world countries (France, Italy, Germany) have been working within the framework of philosophically expressing their local sites, while new world producers have been focused on the advances of winemaking technology. Today this changed, simply because everybody realised that Terroir can be used to market a wine.

Hugh Johnson says that the human impact on terroir can be significant. Two plot of land that nature made identical, one of which has been pampered and the other neglected, will produce different fruit. Chateau Latour has been nurturing its land for centuries. In the early 19th Century for several years piles of fresh soil were brought in from fields nearby and this must have had an impact on Latour's terroir.

Jamie Goode affirms that the human element of winemaking can either heighten or lessen the expression of Terroir and that you can easily loose the characteristics of terroir through clumsy winemaking or bad viticulture.

In general, we know that good quality grapes come from vines grown on poor soil and subjected to mild water stress. The best wines in the world come from places where the vines ability to produce good quality grapes is stressed to the limits. If we look at Champagne for example, the vines here strive to survive the cooler continental climate and are subject to winter freeze and spring frosts. Good drainage is key, because as Tom Stevenson says the vine does not like “wet feet”, and the chalk in the soil assures that as well as good water retention.

Another important property of the soil is its heat retaining capacity. Warm soil (such as gravel, sand and loam) accelerate ripening, while cold soil (clay) retard it. The stone gravel soil found in the Medoc region reflects heat and this is why Cabernet Sauvignon can ripen here.

When it comes to the minerals in the soil (nitrogen, phosphate, potassium etc), although we know their functions and their interaction with the vine's metabolism, we do not have conclusive scientific evidence that these directly influence the taste of a wine.

Notwithstanding, the kimmeridgian clay found in Chablis (rich in marine fossils) it is said to be responsible for its mineral character.

Another well known expression of terroir is that of Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra in Australia, where the terra rossa soil is responsible for distinctive and structured wines, with notes of eucalyptus and mint.

To further complicates the definition of Terroir and its expression in the wine is that the taste of a wine is not in the wine itself, but is perceived by the taster. We all know of the difficulties of objectivity in wine tasting, because we are biologically and psychologically different. Moreover, a wine has to be tasted and compared with other wines to be judged. It would not be possible to taste terroir in a wine unless it is compared with other wines from different vineyards sites, or unless you have prior knowledge of the wine.

Terroir is the impact of all those elements (natural and cultural) affecting the taste of a wine and is greater that the sum of its parts.

From a Marketing point of view, Terroir is probably the most important of the Ps (place) of the marketing mix. This is because wine is intrinsically linked to a place. Simply because it represents a specific plot of land, that specific wine has to be considered a different object. The French expression gout du terroir (taste of locality) gives a frame of reference to understand the taste of a wine and the land where it is produced. Terroir can be used as a marketing tool to express ecological, rural and communal values. The indication of the origin of the wine contribute to its identity in the mind of the consumer. Some studies showed that under blind conditions, non-expert wine tasters could not distinguish between five different wine brands. When given the regions, however, the made clear distinctions about the quality of the wines. From a Communication Psychology point of view, knowing where a wine comes from (Terroir/Place) create expectations, which in turn will going to influence the way the wine is tasted and judged. We generally tend to confirm our expectations.


Dom PerignonDate published: 10/07/14

Dom Perignon is Moët & Chandon's prestige Champagne. It is named after the Benedictine monk who, in the seventeenth Century, pioneered a number of winemaking techniques, such as the blending of grapes in order to obtain a better balance of the elements in the wines.

As Cellarer at the Abbey of Huatvillers, Dom Pierre Perignon spent 47 years of his life to invent and perfect the techniques to create “the best wine in the world”. The monk left behind a legacy that, according to chef de cave Richard Geoffrey, is not just technical, but inspirational and spiritual.

Dom Perignon is vintage only (produced exclusively in good years) and always an assemblage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, usually in equal measure but also depending on the vintage variation. The core of the blend comes from 8 historical Grands Crus, Ay, Bouzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Chouilly Cramant, Avize, Le Mesnil and Hautevillers Premier Cru. But Dom Perignon also has the unique privilege of being able to select grapes from all 17 Grands Crus of Champagne.

The first vintage of the “prestige cuvée” Champagne was 1921 and, up to 2004, 40 vintages have been produced.

If you are looking for a full bodied Champagne and “in your face” flavours then look elsewhere. Dom Perignon is elegant and subtle, and it will develop for a long time.

One secret of Dom Perignon style is its subtle and intriguing balance of youth and maturity.

Richard Geoffrey says that Dom Perignon expresses its first plenitude after seven or eight years in the cellar, with a second plenitude 15 to 20 years after the harvest (first Oenothèque release) and a third plenitude after 30 years (second Oenothèque release).


Focus on Fine Wine: Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2011Date published: 08/07/14

Produced by the famous Estate Ornellaia, founded in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori, Le Volte dell'Ornellaia saw its first vintage in 1993.

The Ornellaia Estate is located near the sea, where gentle breezes temper the summer heat, and is also sheltered by neighbouring hills, which provide protection from the cold winter winds. All of which create perfect ripening conditions. The soil is a mixture of alluvial, volcanic and marine.

The Ornellaia philosophy is focused on one goal: quality. This is why every single grape will undergo a double selection: a first sorting table checks the quality of each bunch, while a second one rechecks each individual grape, removing even the smallest bit of vegetation.

The 2011 vintage was marked by very hot, dry weather, which brought on an earlier than average harvest. September was sunny and the absence of rain allowed for perfect conditions yielding concentrated grapes with an ideal balance between ripe tannins, crisp acidity and rich, ripe aromas.

Fermentation of the different varieties took place in steel tanks separately. The wine was then aged for 10 months in barriques ranging from 2 to 4 years old to improve the wine structure and soften its tannins.

It is a carefully crafted blend of 50% Merlot, which gives softness, 30% Sangiovese, giving character and personality and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, providing structure and depth. The wine finely combines the best terroirs of Tuscany with a Mediterranean richness of complexity and structure.



ValpolicellaDate published: 08/07/14

The Valpolicella disctrict covers around 7000 hectares to the north of Verona. There are two subzones: Classico and Valpantena. The Classico is the hilly area centered on the valleys of Fumane, Marano and Negrar towards the western edge. Valpantena lies between the Classico and the so-called extended zone, which abuts Soave to the east.

Two additional terms can be added to these denominations. Superiore and Ripasso. The former means that the wine must contain at least one degree more alcohol that the normal legal requirement.

Amarone refers to wines made from grapes left to dry for 100-120 days, with a minimum of 14% abv and aged for at least two years. Recioto is the sweet version of Amarone.

Although current legislation does not recognise this, there are many differences between wines produced on the plains, cheap and cheerful, and the higher level of quality achieved in the hillside in most of Classico, parts of Valpantena sub-zone and the broad Valpolicella district.

The Ripasso technique involves the pumping of Valpolicella on to lees of a wine made from semi-dried grapes (appassiti), that is on to Amarone or Recioto lees, to induce a secondary fermentation

lasting between a week and a month. The result is a wine with less acidity, more alcohol, greater structure and more round and rich due to extra extraction. Is Ripasso a supercharged Valpolicella or a mini Amarone? The difficulty lies in timing the length of the second maceration period. If too short, the wine barely offer more that a regular Valpolicella, if too long, the alcohol serves to extract mainly bitter flavours from the grape seeds in particular.

Source: Decanter, Italy 2013.


Oyster Bay - Sauvignon BlancDate published: 07/07/14

This Sauvignon Blanc is typical Marlborough; big tropical fruit flavours, gooseberry and green apple, with a hint of herbaceousness at the end.

What's more, this crisp, refreshing white is on an excellent multi-buy deal, so make sure you pick some up!

£7.99 when you buy two or more.

*(11.99 single bottle price)



Barolo Ciabot Berton 2008Date published: 07/07/14

The Oberto family can claim to have early origins reaching as far back as 1200. On a land register for La Morra there are references to the Germanic surname of Obertus. In the late 1950s, Luigi Oberto, along with his father Giovenale, was cultivating the 2 hectares of Nebbiolo on the hill of Bricco San Biagio, and selling the grapes at the Alba market.

The winery now in use was built in the 1980s on the site which has always been known as Ciabot Berton. The small building (ciabot, in Piedmont dialect) which stands here once belonged to a certain Berton, who had attempted to set up manufacturing fireworks here, and had burnt out the building and destroyed its roof. This old ruin, which gave its name to the business, can still be seen from the winery, and is surrounded by the Nebbiolo vineyard.
From the 1990s, Luigi’s children Marco, an oenologist, and Paola, an agronomist, began working with him. Increasingly aware of the quality and full potential of the vineyards and their Nebbiolo grapes, they decided to vinify the grapes of the different vineyards separately, selecting the best batches of Barolo for bottling.

Ciabot Berton 2008 comes from La Morra, from the crus vineyards of Roggeri, Bricco San Biagio and Rive. Made from vines of an average of 30 years of age positioned on the hills at 250-300 m above sea level with a solar exposure to the south-east and south-west, the wine goes through a traditional maceration time of 16-18 days at 30° C in concrete vats. It is then aged in Slavonian oak for 24-30 months where its tannic structure softens and its ruby colour stabilises and a further 6 months in stainless steel before being bottled.

The wine is powerful and elegant at the same time, displaying notes of violets, red berries and spices. It is ideal with roasts and red meats, braised beef and seasoned cheeses.


Miraval RoseDate published: 06/07/14

The 17th-century Miraval estate is located in the Var region of Provence, and was bought by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2009 and extensively renovated. With winemaking expertise from Perrin, the first modern vintage was released in 2012, and was met with wide acclaim.

This wine offers a beautifully pale pink colour, with a nose of wild strawberry and stone fruit, with delicate floral touches. It has great palate texture, with soft tangerine and peach notes joining layers of berry fruit.

Fresh to taste on the tasting counter today, come and sample this fab summer rose for free! 

This wine comes in at £17.99.


Matsu El PicaroDate published: 06/07/14

Picaro means 'rogue' or 'rascal', and this rapscallion of a wine is a youthful interpretation of the Toro region's style. The grapes come from mature vines of over 50 years of age, but the wine spends only three months in oak, preserving their natural fruit profile.

Vivid crimson-purple in the glass. Aromas are of ripe blackberries and raspberries, with subtle hints of fresh cocoa. The palate is bold yet supple, with ripe tannins and a mineral grip. Enjoy on its own or with boldly flavoured pasta dishes or spicy meat skewers.

£8.49 When you buy 2.

£9.99 Single bottle price.

AIX RoseDate published: 06/07/14

Still planning your summer party?

Well, once the weather heats up again, you will be needing to find the perfect rose. 

Provence is definitely the way to go, fresh, fruity and easy to enjoy.

At great value for money we have the Aix rose in magnum and double magnum formats, costing £19.99 and £50 respectively.

Feel free to drop in and try a drop and see how it fairs against the rest of the range.

Back in stock - McGuigan Handmade ShirazDate published: 03/07/14

McGuigan Handmade Shiraz

Langhorne Creek is a premium wine growing region of South Australia on the Fleurieu Peninsula near Adelaide. Located on the banks of Lake Alexandrina, rich fertile soils make this an outstanding grape growing region, particularly for red varieties.

Deep crimson with purple tinges, intense ripe berry characters with a vanilla lift exude on the nose. Concentrated rich, black fruit flavours on the palate follow to a balanced and velvety finish.

It will most definitely benefit from another couple of years ageing and then partner with lamb ragu pasta or braised oxtail stew.

Just £20 on our Fine wine offer (buy two or more selected fine wines or spirits.


NZ - not just Sauv BlancDate published: 02/07/14

New Zealand is known for its intense, fresh Sauvignon Blancs. But did you know that they also produce top quality red wines? You may have heard that they produce light, vibrant and fruity Pinot Noirs, but they also produce full bodied, youthful Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon single varietals and blends? 

While New Zealand's most famous region is undoubtedly the Sauvignon Blanc producing juggernaut, Marlborough, Hawke's Bay is quietly gaining a reputation for its full bodied reds. These reds benefit from the ample sunlight and cool climate, developing fresh, vibrant fruit flavours, light and supple tannins and are eminently ready to drink.

Next time you pop in, why try one, you might find something you love!


yrah (or Shiraz)Date published: 01/07/14

Syrah (or Shiraz) makes fashionable spicy, dark red wines all over the world. But the regions where this variety reaches its best expression are the Rhone Valley in France and the Barossa Valley in Australia.

Syrah does not ripen in cool climate. If planted in a moderate or warm climate, it displays black fruit flavours, spice aromas, black pepper and mint.

In hotter climate, Syrah is fuller in body, showing earthy, leathery flavours and liquorice and softer tannins.

In the Northern Rhone, Syrah is the only black grape variety permitted. The most famous appellations here are Cote Rotie (the “roasted slopes”), where 20% of Viognier can be added to give extra aromatic intensity to the wine; and Hermitage, which produces the most full-bodied and age-worthy wine of the region.

In the Souther Rhone, Syrah is often blended with other varieties, such as Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault. Here the most generic of the appellations is Cote du Rhone, which accounts for more than half of the entire production in the Rhone Valley.


Edna Valley - CaliforniaDate published: 01/07/14

Edna Valley Vineyards hail from the Central Valley of California. Their vineyards can be found south east of San Luis Obispo, north of Santa Barbara. Central Valley in California is unique in the wine world as having the most sunshine hours and least summer rainfall of any wine producing region in the world. Irrigation, all be it controversial, is essential here. Edna Valley Vineyards is located the coastal region of Central Valley allowing them some influence from the pacific.  A long growing season allows later harvesting, giving the wine great concentration. 

Soil and WaterDate published: 29/06/14

It seems like that the vine behaves like humans in relation to performance: the idle person rarely produces anything of interest. Similarly, under easy living conditions (rich soil, plenty of water), the vine will produce much foliage and fat grapes of little intensity of flavours..

In general, good wine is produced under a certain degree of stress. In rich soil, the vine will produce too much top growth from a small root system and the grapes don't reach the intensity of flavours required.

In well-drained poor soil the vine is forced to grow a deep root system into the sub-soil in search of moisture, in order to able to supply minerals and nutrients to the leaf system, where sugars are generated by photosynthesis. These components are eventually transported to the grapes which act like storehouses.

Subsequent vigorous pruning ensure that these substances are concentrated in a small number of grapes.

To obtain a concentration of essential elements in the grapes, another common principle utilised in winemaking is the density of planting. The general idea is to control the division of available resources in the soil among the right number of plants. In general, in rich soil plants are planted closer together to stimulate competition, which makes the roots delve deep into the soil.

Source: Understanding Wine Technology. David Bird MW


Visit to Botegas BilbainasDate published: 29/06/14

A couple of months ago a few of my colleagues and I went to visit Botegas Bilbainas in Rioja (Spain) with Codorniu UK.

We flew to Bilbao and after lunch at a local restaurant Café Iruña we drove straight to our hotel in Logroño, the capital of La Rioja.

Being famous for its distinguished culinary traditions and the many taperías restaurants we decided to go for a “tapas night”. We stopped at as many taperías as we could, sipping Crianzas and Reservas perfectly pared with a selection of different tapas. After a taste of Fino sherry and anchovies we made a move to the nearest cocktail bar where we finished off with a couple of gin and tonic (Did you know that Spain is a big consumer of Gin?).

I the morning we went straight to Botega Bilbainas, in Haro, La Rioja Alta subregion. This is the producer of the famous Vina Pomal (the more traditional style), La Vicalanda (born in 1994) and Vina Zaco (new and coming).

We visited the vineyards, the old cellars and the winery. I was really impressed by the passion they show in producing their wines, from the person responsible of the vinegrowing to the winemaker. First of all they have an extreme control over their vineyards. By means of plain surveys they produce a mapping of their vineyards, so they know exactly where they need water or nutrients. Secondly they have a proper tracebility system in place where they can trace the wine not only to the vineyard but down to the exact row and even vine.

The winery was impressive, but even more impressive was to know that according to winemaker Alejandro in Rioja there are more barrels that in any other region (or country) in the world. Traditionally Rioja is oaked with American oak, but French oak is now in use in many wineries.

Last but not least we were treated to an amazing tasting hosted by the other winemaker, Rafael. We started with a lovely Vina Pomal Blanco 2013, a blend of 70% Viura and 30% Malvasia, barrel fermented. A very good start, fresh and floral. The tasting also included Pomal Crianza 2011, Pomal Reserva 2009 and Pomal Gran Reserva 2004, La Vicalanda Reserva 2008, La Vicalanda Gran Reserav 2008 and Vina Pomal Alto de la Caseta 2008. Pomal are the traditional ones, therefore they are aged in American oak. This gives a sweeter coconut taste to the wine and also the wine ages faster. La Vicalanda are aged in French oak, so the wine ages more slowly and with a tougher tannic structure. Alto de la Caseta is an explosion of flavours, definitely a wine to keep. It is aged in 100% new French oak and there are only 3000 bottles produced.

My personal favourite was Vina Pomal Gran Reserva 2004. Ready to be drunk, with lots of ripe dark fruit flavours combined with leather and liquorice. Yes that's my style.

A big thank you to Tom and Claire fro Codorniu UK.


It's wedding season!Date published: 28/06/14

We know how stressful planning your big day can be, but we're here to help you every step of the way! From matching our wines with your menu to delivering them to the venue (for free!) let us take the stress out of organising everything and get another job ticked off your never ending list!

Here are just some of the services we offer:

- Sale or return; make sure you don't run out on the big day by bringing back any unused wines

-Free glass, chiller bin and ice bucket hire (refundable deposit taken) and we sell ice

- Free flexible delivery to your chosen venue

-Expert staff to recommend wines matching your menu and budget and a guide to amounts to buy

- Wines open to taste all day every day

With wines starting at just £4.99, Prosecco starting at £7.99 and Champagne starting at £14.99 you're sure to be able to pick some fantastic little gems, whatever your budget


Understanding ChampagneDate published: 27/06/14

Champagne the champion of sparkling wine, the only region in the world dedicated exclusively to sparkling wine. Located in a very challenging climate where winemakers often contend with winter freezes, spring frosts, and generally cold wet weather. Even in the warmest years the grapes produced are very high in acidity and basically unsuitable for still wine, however for the making of sparkling wine high acidity levels are a virtue.

The land naturally helps winemakers combat the variable weather conditions in Champagne. Frost is overcome by planting vines on slopes, and the soil is predominantly chalk which allows good drainage of water but also retains a sufficient quantity.

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Menuier are the three grape varieties of the region, 66% of Champagne wine is made from black grapes Pinot Noir and Menuier. The end result is a white wine due to the pressing process, grapes are neither destemmed or crushed, and are pressed as quickly as possible to avoid any red colouring or tannins from the skin.

Once pressed the grape varieties are fermented separately (Primary Fermentation), then blended together. Blending is important in Champagne to maintain a consistent quality of wine year by year as the climate is so challenging. The grape varieties give the wine its character, but reserve wine stored from previous years are vital in smoothing out vintage variations. Each house has its own style and these styles are achieved consistently through the blending process, the more reserve wines a house has to blend the easier this is.

Once the wine is blended the 'Traditional Method' of sparkling wine production becomes apparent, as the wine blend is bottled and mixed with sugar, yeast, yeast nutrients, and a clarifying agent. The bottle is then closed with a crown cap, and stored horizontally in the cellars for six – eight weeks (Second Fermentation). Once the fermentation is complete the yeast die, and form a sediment in the bottle, this sediment is known as the lees; the lees is what gives bread, biscuit, and toast flavours to the wine. To remove the sediment the bottle undergoes Riddling, a process which shifts the lees to the neck of the bottle. Traditionally done by a 'Remueur' who would gently shake and twist the bottle in an A-frame, raising it until the bottle is vertical. This takes up to eight weeks by hand, the modern machines however carry out this process in eight days. 

The Disgorgement process follows as the lees now in the neck of the bottle is frozen, the cap is removed the CO2 ejects the frozen lees. The wine is topped up with a mixture of wine and sugar, the level of sugar determines the level of sweetness i.e. Brut is given a lower amount of sugar than a Sec labelled wine.

Non-Vintage wines are the producers most commercially important wines, these are based on the current vintage with reserve wines blended as necessary. NV wines must be aged at least 15 months, including a minimum of 12 months on the lees, and in the most part don't benefit from further ageing.

Vintage wines are made only in the best years, however only a maximum of 80% of grapes can be used from one harvest to maintain future reserve wine levels. The Vintage is then blended with previous reserve wines to give the house style to the wine. V wines are aged a minimum of three years on the lees, and most benefit from further ageing.


Rioja Date published: 27/06/14

The production of wine in Rioja can be traced back to at least the 2nd Century BC, when the Romans conquered the area. Rioja's wine was well respected by 1560 and its producers forbade the use of grapes coming from other regions, guaranteeing the authenticity of their wines with a brand of the pellejos (goat-skins) in which they were transported.

The region produces more fine wine than any other region in Spain and it was the first (and so far the only one) to receive the highest classification status DOCa (Denomination de Origen Calificada).

“Rioja is oaky, and all attempts to rid the wine of oak are doomed to failure” (Tom Stevenson).

It was the French who blessed the wines of this region with the unmistakable sweet vanilla oak identity. As early as the 18th Century some Riojanos had looked at Bordeaux to improve their wine-making skills, but the great transformation took place when the louse Phylloxera attacked the French vineyards at the beginning of the 1800s. Wine-makers from Bordeaux and Burgundy gave up any hope of reviving their own vineyards and came to Rioja to set up new wineries and their methods dramatically improved the quality and style of Rioja.

Rioja's vineyards are located along the Ebro Valley, between Haro and Alfaro, in the north of Spain. Most Rioja is red and blended from wines or grapes originating from the region's three districts:

-Rioja Alta (fullest in terms of fruit and concentration, can be velvety smooth);

-Rioja Alavesa (fullest in body, much greater character and greater acidity);

-Rioja Baja (deep coloured and very alcoholic, but lack acidity, aroma, finesse and are best used for blending);

However, many of the best-quality wines are single-district ones and a handful of single estate Rioja have emerged in recent years.

The blending practice is carried out to achieve a balance between different varietal characteristics and to show the strengths of different terroirs.

A typical Red Rioja blend:

-Tempranillo (70%), for its bouquet, acidity and ageing quality;

-Garnacha (15%), for body and alcohol;

-Graciano (7,5%), for freshness flavour and aroma;

-Mazuelo (7,5%), for colour, tannin and good ageing characteristics.

A typical white Rioja blend:

-Viura (95%), for freshness and fragrance;

-Malvasia (5%), for richness, fragrance, acidity and complexity.

(Source: Tom Stevenson Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia)

Wine words: TerroirDate published: 26/06/14

Some vineyards, winemakers and the like are incredibly passionate about Terroir - and for good reason.

This word refers to the ensemble of environmental influences that give a wine a sense of place. In its most narrow usage, it refers only to the effects of different soil structures within an area of unvarying climate. More usefully, it can be taken to cover the combined effects of aspect, slope, climate, weather and grape variety. These effects are usually subtle, but are sometimes dramatic and with careful winemaking, they can be transposed into recognizable flavours and other components in a wine.


10% off Majestic for life!Date published: 24/06/14

Yes it's true, there is a way that you can get a 10% invoice discount on all Majestic Purchases. It applies to the saver investor or avid wine enthusiast. 

Lay and Wheeler - Majestic's sister company is a long established fine wine broker. They offer temperature controlled cellerage, the ability to buy wine en-primeur (direct from the Chateau on release), expert personal wine advisors and a large selection of superb fine wines from many different vintages. How it works, is when you join their plan and deposit £100 a month, you build up a wine 'bank' with which to invest or divulge. You can sell the wines when you or like or get them delivered to your residence.

With this £100 (or more) you get a 3 month's rolling credit (3 times your monthly debit), a free case of Bordeaux worth £120 and a card which entitles you to 10% off all Majestic Wine Purchases. Not a bad set of bonuses?! If this is of interest to you please visit their website www.laywheeler.com or call us on 01895 625238 to discuss what would best work for you. Happy drinking! :)


Food and Wine MatchingDate published: 24/06/14

Matching wine with food doesn't need to be an endless hunt for the perfect pairing. Remember these four rules and you'll be able to pick out a wine that compliments your meal. 

1 - Big Wine for Big Flavours
Boldly flavoured dishes like rich stews, fragrant curries and strong cheese are best paired with an equally powerful wine. New World Sauvignons and Cabernets both have intense flavours that can stand up to any challenge.

2 - Salt and Acid Soften Wine
Battered cod smothered in salt and vinegar can overload your tongue. Suddenly, a wine without enough acidity or tannin of its own will taste flaccid by comparison.
3 - Sweet and Chilli Need Soothing
A sweet and spicy Chinese meal can be tough to pair with a wine. A good match will have enough sweetness to balance these challenging flavours. An off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer matches spicy food beautifully. 

4 - Cut the Fat
Oily fish and fatty pork are often paired with a squeeze of lemon or a sharp sauce. Your wine should do the same, using a high acidity to cut through the rich flavour. Albarino and Dry Riesling are ideal. 

Cava grape 101Date published: 24/06/14

Xarel-lo is a white grape variety planted in Spain. It is best known for its use in Cava where it makes up the blend with Parellada and Macabeo. The vine is vigorous so careful pruning is required to ensure quality. Xarel-lo produces strong flavoured wines and distinguishes Cava from other traditional method sparkling wines.

The English invented the Champagne methodDate published: 24/06/14

The French would have us believe that Dom Perignon invented Champagne in the late 1690s, but actually the evidence we have says that the monk spent his life trying to get rid of the bubbles from Champagne.

The French based their evidence on a document (Memoire sur la Maniere de cultiver la Vigne et de faire le vin de en Champagne) written in 1718 and containing the first use of the term “vin mousseux”.

At that time the French did not have the necessary technology to produce strong enough bottles to withstand the internal pressure of the sparkling wine. Moreover, the first document that mentions the French monk making sparkling wine was made in 1821, hundred years after his death.

The words “sparkling Champaign” appear in English literature as early as 1676 (The Man of Mode, by Sir George Etherege) and that is because, while the French did not possess the technology the English did. French glass was wood-fired while English one was coal-fired at higher temperature, therefore a lot stronger. Furthermore, while the French reacquired the use of the cork in 1685 (after the Romans had left), the English came across it 130 years before. In Shakespeare's time wines were shipped to England in cask and then the English habitually bottled their wines, sealing them with corks.

The conclusive proof comes from a document (Some observation concerning the ordering of wines) presented in 1662 to the Royal Society by Christopher Merret who stated “our wine-cooper of recent times use vast quantities of sugar and molasses to all sorts of wines to make them drink brisk and sparkling”. The document describes the Method Champenoise, the addition of sugar to a finished wine to obtain a second fermentation in bottle.

Therefore the English invented the Champaign method and did so more than 30 years the French made their first sparkling Champagne and almost 80 years before the first Champagne house was established.

(Source: Tom Stevenson, Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia, 2007)


Love shopping at Majestic? Bring a friend!Date published: 24/06/14

If you are an existing Majestic customer we have a great treat for you! Next time you come in store, we will give you a voucher so that if you bring a friend who has not shopped at Majestic before, it allows both you and your friend to get a free bottle up to the value of £10 when you both simultaneously buy at least 7 bottles.

So, there's no better time to come and explore with us!



Sherry: it's all about the florDate published: 24/06/14

After fermentation sherry base wines are racked of its lees and left in part-filled tank or wooden butts in order to allow flor to form. This are strains of saccharomyces (yeast) which feed off the alcohol in the wine and the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce carbon dioxide and acetaldehyde. It is a natural phenomenon and appears as a grey-white layer on the surface of the wine and it occurs naturally in the microflora of the Palomino grapes grown in Jerez.

This thick layer of yeast has the effect of reducing the remaining traces of sugar, diminishing glycerine and volatile acids and increasing esters and aldehydes.

In order to thrive flor needs levels of alcohol of around 15.3%, a temperature between 15° and 30°, sulphur dioxide content of less than 0,01% and absence of fermentable sugar.

Whether flor survives or not determines the style of sherry. In general, butts with a well developed level of flor will be classified as Fino, while wines with little or no flor will be classified as Oloroso. Finos are fortified to 15% ABV, the ideal level to promote the growth of flor, while Oloroso are fortified to17% ABV in order to kill off the flor. Fino are pale lemon wines with a pronounced aroma of almonds, herbs and dough, and Oloroso are deep brown wines dominated by oxidative aromas such as toffee, leather and walnut. Amontillado are aged Fino, which acquire a nutty character and more body and combine yeasty and oxidative aromas.

Palo Cortado are the finest Sherries made and very rare (one butt in a thousand). Very similar to Amontillados and Olorosos, the are richer and more refined with a nutty complexity.

Food and Wine rulesDate published: 21/06/14

-Wines should complement, not dominate food.

-Choose a wine that matches the most dominant flavour in a dish

-Complex wines for simple dishes; simple wines for complex dishes

-Match the wine to the body, texture and flavour profile of the dish

-Always look out for local food specialities from a particular winemaking region

1. Acidity
Crisp acidity in wines can pair up well in two ways. When it’s not cutting through oily, fatty, creamy or salty foods, it can brighten the natural flavours of a dish. Clean, crisp whites work with any dish that responds well to a squeeze of lemon – like freshly shelled oysters. With tart foods, always aim to choose a wine with equal or higher acidity. White wines and fizz are usually better with acidic foods, with the honourable exception of high acidity Italian reds such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo.

2. Saltiness
Salty dishes should be balanced by crisp acidity and/ or some residual sweetness in the wine. The former refreshes the palate; the latter can act as a nice contrast to salt. Salt decreases bitterness, acidity, astringency and chemestesis (burn).

3. Sweetness
Dishes with a sweet element require a wine with equal sweetness or possibly rich ripe fruit. For instance, the tropical fruit of an off-dry Riesling is a great partner to grilled swordfish with mango salsa.

4. Bitterness
Ingredients such as aubergine and cooking methods like char-grilling come with a bitterness that can be mirrored by the bitter tannins found in red wine. That’s why barbequed steak is so well suited to a good Cabernet Sauvignon.

5. Spice
Spicy food can be a matching minefield, clashing with oak, tannins and alcohol. Steer clear of full-bodied reds altogether and go instead for crisp, off dry whites, like lychee-filled Gewürztraminer – the perfect foil for Thai green curry.

6. Sweetness
As well as mirroring sweet food components such as fruit and desserts, sweetness in a wine can contrast wonderfully with salty and spicy food.

7. Body
Alcohol adds texture and body to a wine. This should match up to the weight of a dish, just as gutsy, spicy Côtes-du-Rhône does alongside a hearty beef stew.

8. Tannin
In red wines, it’s the tannin that complements red meat, as this actually helps the protein and fats in the meat to break down in the mouth (Salt is the key ingredient). Look no further than fillet steak with a fine, youthful Bordeaux.

9. Oak
Creamy, complex oak characters go brilliantly with creamy dishes and sauces, while toasty oakiness can bring out the caramelised flavours of fried and grilled food. Beware pairing oaky wines with spicy foods – they’re apt to clash.

10. Age
Bottle ageing can add complexity to reds and whites alike, replacing acidity, fruit character and (in reds) tannin over time. Keep food matches simple, sticking to grilled or roasted meats and fish.


Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Brut NV Date published: 21/06/14

Representing Heidsieck's Pinot-dominant, rich yet approachable house style, this cuvée offers a harmonious balance between crisp golden fruit, satisfying brioche notes and an abundant mousse.

At £14.99 this is a steal! Hurry.... While stock lasts....

A Roman Grand Cru: FalernumDate published: 20/06/14

The first mention of a Roman “first growth”, the top quality wine of a particular vineyard, was Falernum, the miraculous vintage of 121 BC. It was grown in a strategic site on the borders of Latium and Campania. According to Pliny the estate of Faustus made the best Falernian “in consequence of the care taken of its cultivation”.

Pliny was also quoted saying that Falernum “was the only wine that takes light when a flame is applied to it”.

Three varieties were made: sweet (dulce), dry (austerum) and light wine (tenue). Old Falernum was high in alcohol and amber or brown in colour and impossible to drink neat. In fact, in Roman times wines were predominantly white and usually diluted with water, even seawater, and/or mixed with spices.

The vine responsible for Falernian was Amineum (Aminea Gemina), now known as Greco.

The site of Falernum vineyards today is between Rocco di Mondragone and Monte Massico. Today Falerno del Massico DOC is the denomination that produces a bianco (10% Falanghina), a rosso (60-80% Aglianico, 20-40% Piedirosso, with up to 20% of Barbera and Primitivo) and a Falerno del Massico Rosso Primitivo (100% Primitivo).

Hugh Johnson: Story of Wine

Wine-searcher.com


RiojaDate published: 18/06/14

The production of wine in Rioja can be traced back to at least the 2nd Century BC, when the Romans conquered the area. Rioja's wine was well respected by 1560 and its producers forbade the use of grapes coming from other regions, guaranteeing the authenticity of their wines with a brand of the pellejos (goat-skins) in which they were transported.

The region produces more fine wine than any other region in Spain and it was the first (and so far the only one) to receive the highest classification status DOCa (Denomination de Origen Calificada).

“Rioja is oaky, and all attempts to rid the wine of oak are doomed to failure” (Tom Stevenson).

It was the French who blessed the wines of this region with the unmistakable sweet vanilla oak identity. As early as the 18th Century some Riojanos had looked at Bordeaux to improve their wine-making skills, but the great transformation took place when the louse Phylloxera attacked the French vineyards at the beginning of the 1800s. Wine-makers from Bordeaux and Burgundy gave up any hope of reviving their own vineyards and came to Rioja to set up new wineries and their methods dramatically improved the quality and style of Rioja.

Rioja's vineyards are located along the Ebro Valley, between Haro and Alfaro, in the north of Spain. Most Rioja is red and blended from wines or grapes originating from the region's three districts:

-Rioja Alta (fullest in terms of fruit and concentration, can be velvety smooth);

-Rioja Alavesa (fullest in body, much greater character and greater acidity);

-Rioja Baja (deep coloured and very alcoholic, but lack acidity, aroma, finesse and are best used for blending);

However, many of the best-quality wines are single-district ones and a handful of single estate Rioja have emerged in recent years.

The blending practice is carried out to achieve a balance between different varietal characteristics and to show the strengths of different terroirs.

A typical Red Rioja blend:

-Tempranillo (70%), for its bouquet, acidity and ageing quality;

-Garnacha (15%), for body and alcohol;

-Graciano (7,5%), for freshness flavour and aroma;

-Mazuelo (7,5%), for colour, tannin and good ageing characteristics.

A typical white Rioja blend:

-Viura (95%), for freshness and fragrance;

-Malvasia (5%), for richness, fragrance, acidity and complexity.

(Source: Tom Stevenson Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia)


Provence RoseDate published: 17/06/14

In the 6th century BC the Phocaeans founded Marseille and planted the first vineyards in France, beginning the country's long relationship with wine. It was only 400 years later that the vines spread beyond the Provincia Romana (Provence).

Nowdays 40% of France's annual Rosé production comes from Provence and 96% of the volume of Provence AOC (Appellation Controlée) comes from three major appellations:

The Cotes de Provence Appellation, including the specific appellations Sainte-Victoire, Fréjus and La Londe;

The Coteaux d' Aix-En-Provence Appellation;

The Coteaux Varois en Provence Appelation.

Provence has a typical hot, sunny and dry Mediterranean Climate, but the extremely diverse soils and landscape have resulted in the planting of a wide range of vine types (Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle, Ugni Blan, Clairette, Semillon, Bourboulenc blanc ou doillon).

The generally poor, well drained soils, the gusty Mystral and the wide variety of “terroir” (site specific soils and climate conditions) give Provence wines their unique character.

The key of understanding Rosé wines is that of the freshness of the fruit they display, such as red berries, grapefruit and citrus. This is why for most of them it is important that the grapes are picked at the right moment and fermented at low temperature to preserve their freshness and fragrance.

Rosé's colour comes from the skin of black grapes and its intensity is determined by how long the juice is kept in contact with the skins, a process known as maceration.

Rosé is the perfect wine for all the occasions, from intimate dinners to parties with friends. Its versatility makes it the perfect partner for a wide range of flavours.


Italian Wine Classification ExplainedDate published: 17/06/14

With over 1000 grape varieties and a confusing nomenclature, Italian wine can be hard to identify.

The Italian wine law recognise in descending order:

DOCG, Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita;

DOC, Denominazione di Origine Controllata;

IGT, Indicazione Geografica Tipica;

In theory a DOCG is a higher quality wine than a vino da tavola VDT (table wine), but that is not always the case. In European terms, DOCG and DOC are PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), IGT are PGI (Protected Geographical Indication).

The concept of DOC specifies the geographical area, permitted grape varieties and minimum alcohol level. It may also stipulate the production method, including minimum ageing. A DOCG has to meet all the requirements of DOC, must be bottled in the region of production and is subject to a Ministry of Agriculture tasting. IGT regulations permit more freedom in terms of area, grape varieties and the sourcing of the grapes. This denomination is more important in the south of Italy where there are a few DOCs or DOCGs.

As per November 2011 there were 521 wines with geographical indication, of which 303 DOC, 118 IGT and 73 DOCG.

Famous DOCG reds include Barolo, Amarone della Valpolicella, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Taurasi, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and famous DOCG whites include Gavi, Greco di Tufo, Roero Arneis, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi.

Classico

This labelling term was introduced to acknowledge the original boundaries of the hilly part of appellation such as Soave, Chianti and Valpolicella, which reputation was ruined in the 1960s by quantity driven production. These areas tend to be of better quality.

Riserva

This term implies higher alcohol and longer ageing. For example Barolo DOCG require three year ageing (of which 18 months in oak) before release while Barolo Riserva DOCG requires five years. Although the term is often abused by applying it to wines of average quality when bottled in the following vintage.


World Cup wine regions - France (Bordeaux)Date published: 17/06/14

The left bank of Bordeaux is divided into 2 main regions. North from Bordeaux city is Medoc and south lies Graves. 5 communes in Bordeaux have the highest reputation for red wine, 4 of them are situated in Medoc and one in Graves.

Highest reputation communes from north to south:

Medoc

St-Estephe

Among the four famous Left Bank communes, St-Estèphe is the northernmost region. Therefore the fruit in wine is less ripe often austere, texture is heavy and withpronounced tannins. The soil of St-Estèphe is a heavy composite of clay washed ashore from the Gironde. This soil type drains slowly and gives St-Estèphe estates an advantage during dry summers. The wines produce here tend to have more acidity than other red Bordeaux and with less perfume. While Cabernet Sauvignon is still the dominant grape, this sub-region has more planting of Merlot than any other area in the Haut-Médoc. It grows well on clay soils and softens the harshness of Cabernet Sauvignon. Proportion of Merlot varies from chateau to chateau and vintage to vintage but is often 40%.

No premier crus; leading chateaux are Cos d'Estournel and Montrose.

Pauillac

Located south of St-Estèphe, the area around Pauillac has the highest elevation of the Médoc. Soils are predominantly gravel so free-draining, hence higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon. A greater variety of styles than in other communes, but generally the wines combine power and finesse: full-bodied but more elegant and less heavy and with less prominent tannins than St-Estephe. Flavours are described byblackcurrent, chocolate, lead pencils (also cedar and cigar box).  

The area of Pauillac contains three of the five first growth estates of Bordeaux. These are Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour and Château Mouton Rothschild. It also includes 15 other classed growths. Vineyards in Pauillac are not as fragmented as most of the Médoc, with entire slopes and plateaus belonging to a single estate.

St-Julien

Situated on two plateaus between Pauillac and Margaux, the wine region of St-Julien has the smallest wine production of the four major regions in the Médoc. The waters of the Gironde estuary have a warming influence on the climate which, coupled with the south-easterly exposure of most vineyards, helps to fully ripen the Cabernet Sauvignon vines in this area.

Soils are predominantly gravel. Wines are the most homogeneous of any of the communes in terms of style - elegant and classicSimilar to Pauillac but lighter in weight and silkier in texture.

No premier crus, but St-Julien has the highest proportion of classified estates of all the regions in Bordeaux. These eleven classed growths account for nearly 80 percent of the entire region's wine production.

Margaux

The Margaux appellation encompasses the village of Margaux and the neighboring villages of Arsac, Labarde, Soussansand Cantenac. It is the most southerly of Médoc's appellations. This region has the thinnest soil with the highest proportion of gravel that allows the soil to drain very well. The wines from this area are very susceptible to weather effects during the growing season and harvest.

In general, the style is the fruitiest and most intensely aromatic (blackcurrents perfumed with violets). The wines lack the pronounced tannin and grip of St-Estephe, and have less weight and power than Pauillac and St-Julien. Typical Margaux wines havelightness and finesse.

The area is home to more 21 classified growths, more than any other appellation, with numerous second and third growths as well as one first growth, Château Margaux.

Graves

Pessac-Leognan

This area of the Graves is located just south of the city of Bordeaux. In addition to wine production, the area is known for its crops of pine trees and vineyards are often separated by rows of forest trees. The soil of Pessac-Léognan is composed of gravel terraces with sediments from different geological eras.

Being the most southerly out of these 5 communes, it displays the ripest fruit flavours.Tannins are less prominent and notes of spice and warm bricks on nose and palate (also aromas of smoke and/or minerals). It is also earthier in flavour than Medoc.

It is home to one first growth estate - Château Haut-Brion.


World Cup wine regions - GermanyDate published: 16/06/14

It's generally simple to shop for wine by country (or region) and grape variety and have a decent idea of what to expect from you bottle. However, Germany is something of an exception.

Fittingly for a country where winemakers can sometimes struggle to achieve full ripeness of grapes, German wines have an extra classification which specifies the ripeness (and therefor sugar content/sweetness) of the grapes used in premium German wines. The terms might seem obscure, but they really are there to help - they just need some explanation.

Kabinett - literally means "cabinet", i.e. wines of sufficient quality for the winemakers to want to keep in their own cabinet (yes, really). The first classification, with the lowest sweetness. The style can be dry or off-dry, but is always light. A great alternative to rosé for summertime drinking!

Spätlese - this translates from German as "late harvest", a style of wine gaining popularity in areas like New Zealand. The grapes are picked later than for Kabinett, and are therefore higher again in sugar. 

Auslese - "selected harvest" - these wines are made from very ripe grapes, harvested by hand in late autumn/early winter. Generally a great aperitif wine, Auslese can also be a dessert wine, particularly if some of the grapes have been affected by the famous "noble rot".

Beerenauslese - "selected berry harvest" - the grapes for these wines are generally affected by noble rot, which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, producing wines of rich sweetness. Made only in small amounts, and suitable for long aging.

Trockenbeerenauslese - "dry selected berry harvest" - not a dry style of wine, rather one displaying unctuous sweetness. The "dry" part of the term refers to the state of the berries at harvest, which are shriveled by noble rot to the point of appearing like dry raisins on the vine. Even more labour-intensive, rare and rich than Beerenauslese, this is the highest German designation.

Eiswein - officially a level down from Trockenbeerenauslese, since it has lower residual sugar, I've included this at the end because it's something of an anomaly. Literally "ice wine", this is a dessert wine made from grapes which have frozen on the vine. Freezing concentrates the sugars in a similar fashion to noble rot, producing wines of comparable sweetness to Beerenauslese, but with a unique character.


England vs Italy: Still wineDate published: 14/06/14

England: A lot more focus is given to sparkling wine due to the climate, but we are seeing more and more English still wine hit our shelves every year.

Key player: Chapel Down

Italy: Still producing some of the world's greatest wines.

Key players: Gaja, Sassicaia, the list goes on

Verdict: Italy by a country mile

England vs Italy: Sparkling wineDate published: 14/06/14

England: In recent times England has been producing some amazing sparkling wine. In the south of the country the reputation is growing every vintage.

Key players: Chapel Down, Nyetimber

Italy: Most well known for Prosecco and Asti, Italy provides a great value refreshing sparkling that's widely available.

Key players: Conegliano, La marca 

Verdict: England wins due to making their unique style of sparkling to rival Champagne

Get to know your Bordeaux vintagesDate published: 12/06/14

Bordeaux vintages

2010: Widely acknowledged to be one of the best vintages of modern times, with quality generally outstanding from all communes.

2009: Warm, clear days and cool nights produced one of the finest vintages ever. Top wines have immense cellar potential and first-growths hitrecord prices.

2008: A very highly regarded vintage, producing wines with excellent ripeness and elegance, enjoyable in the medium term.

2007: A cool and damp vintage, rescued by warm temperatures late in the season. Some underripe and early-drinking wines, especially from the Left Bank. Later-picked Right-bank wines better. Sweet whites superb.

2006: Not as good as 2005, particularly for Cabernet based reds which didn't ripen fully. However, whites are delicious and sweet whites very good.

2005: An outstanding vintage across the board thanks to perfect weather conditions. Reds are balanced and elegant with ripe fruit and beautiful aromatics. Sauternes is also exceptional.

2004: A large vintage of variable quality. Where yields were kept in check some very good wines have been produced from Merlot and both the Cabernets.

2003: Unusually hot weather tested many winemakers. As a result quality varies wildly. Some wines are exceptional, others are unbalanced.

2002: A poor summer saved by a sunny September. Patchy quality though some very good in Médoc.

Older top vintages: 2000, 1998, 1996, and 1995


Alternative to Sancerre?Date published: 11/06/14

Quincy is a rapidly expanding historic white wine appellation in the Loire Valley. The grape grown is Sauvignon Blanc, on sand and gravel soil on the left bank of the Cher tributary. It is the second appellation created, after Chataeuneuf du Pape, and the long history and popularity of the area owes itself to river transport. The wines produced are dry, aromatic with racy acidity. They are a little less delicate and more rustic than those made to the East in Sancerre and Menatou-Salon.

Bring a friend - get a bottle!Date published: 10/06/14

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.

So why not pop down for a little taste, a little browse with your mates - and get a free bottle on us...


Spanish Whites: Albarino Date published: 10/06/14

Albarino has grown in popularity in the last few years but is still only really grown in the Rias Baixas, Galicia, North-West Spain. It produces wines which are fairly medium bodied, have fresh citrus and stone fruit with a lovely texture normally coming from extended ageing on the lees (dead yeasts). The largest Mussel farm in Europe is just off the coast and as expected the wines are excellent with all sea food/salads and lighter dishes! Great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier.

A taste of Summer - Black Cottage RoséDate published: 09/06/14

Estate owner and winemaker David Clouston took his inspiration for this rosé from his time spent making wines in France and Corsica. The delicate style owes more to Sancerre or Provence rosé than it does to the bolder, more vibrant rosés typical of the New World.

Pale salmon pink, this wine has a gentle and attractive nose of ripe red berries and subtle spice. Light and refreshing, the delicate fruit and crisp acidity fade to a clean, dry finish.

Chill well and enjoy on its own or with salads or prawn dishes.

What does barrel fermentation mean?Date published: 09/06/14

Some white wines are still traditionally fermented in oak barrels - new for top-quality Bordeaux, Burgundy and premium varietal wines, old for middle-quality wines and top quality Champagnes.  New barrels impart oaky characteristics; the older the barrels, the less oaky and more oxidative the influence.  Barrel-fermented wines have more complex aromas than wines that have simply been matured in wood.

3 Stages of the development of white BurgundyDate published: 08/06/14

Meursault, Henri Boillot 2012

From a small but concentrated vintage, this is one to cellar whilst those who savour the bright minerally character of these wine may want to give it a try already.

£30/bottle

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clos de la Garenne', Duc de Magenta – Jadot 2008

A vintage which can be unfairly overlooked but has resulted in some great wines. The acidity has integrated into the wine leaving a much smoother experience. Again there is life left for another 5 years cellaring.

£45/bottle if you buy 2 or more (£50/single bottle)

Puligny-Montrachet, Jean-Marc Boillot 2002

Here is a rare treat, aged white burgundy. Textured and concentrated, a classic white Burgundy. This is ready to enjoy now and won't benefit from much more time in bottle.

£60/bottle

Fine Wine of the Week - La Dame de Montrose 2009Date published: 07/06/14

A vintage in which all the Chateaux of Bordeaux were able to pull out all the stops to produce some of their finest wines since the millennium. Being the quality producer that it is, Chateau Montrose crafted some of their most noteworthy wines to date.

The first wine is, quite rightly, rated 100 points by the ever influential Robert Parker. But more impressively, to my mind, is the 91 points for the second wine.

The usual austere tannins of St Estephe are not present here, but instead a silky palate with enough structure to keep for a few years. A very forward style of claret with a robust core of cassis and the tell-tale tobacco notes frame the bouquet. The characteristics are carried on throughout a lengthy finish.

Definitely one to enjoy with a roast beef or perhaps to lay down for a few years.

£45 A bottle


New Zealand - Mud Pinot Noir Date published: 07/06/14

Hot on the heels of the Mud House Sauvignon Blanc's arrival into Majestic stores, comes their Pinot Noir from Central Otago.

Central Otago is the central part of New Zealand's south island, and with its free-draining loam and gravel soils and wide diurnal temperature variation, it has become known for superb Pinot Noir. This is a single-vineyard wine from Otago's sub-region of Bendigo.

An intense and powerful Pinot, full of bright red cherry and darker bramble fruit, layered with gentle notes of mocha and spice. Finely balanced tannin and acidity provide great grip and length.

Enjoy with duck or lamb

£14.99 for a single bottle

£9.99 when you buy any 2 or more wines from the Summer Selection


Nick's fine wine of the weekDate published: 07/06/14

With summer now in full swing it is well and truly time to crack out the Rose! Minuty Prestige, Cotes de Provence is my dink of choice and let me tell you why........................
Château de Minuty is located on the St Tropez Peninsular, with its vineyards virtually overlooking the Mediterranean. This rosé is quintessential of the provencial style, employing a blend Mourvedre, Cinsault and the little-known Tibouren grape, a variety grown almost exclusively in Provence. Pale honeysuckle pink, this wine offers a clean nose of citrus fruit, offset by subtle floral and candied notes. Fresh acidity makes for an incisive and lively palate, with a rounded feel.

Match with Fruits de Mar!


Wine of the day - Roaring Meg Pinot NoirDate published: 07/06/14

Grape

Pinot Noir

Origin


Mount Difficulty is a boutique winery located in Bannockburn in Central Otago. The Bannockburn area is internationally recognized as one of the few places in the world where the petulant Pinot Noir variety has found a home outside Burgundy.

Taste


This wine exhibits a lovely mix of red and black berry fruits with further complexity gained from oak spice. These characters are balanced by soft tannins, balanced acidity and a fruit-driven finish.

Enjoy


This is a cracking, complex wine to be enjoyed over the next five years. Enjoy with pork loin and peach chutney or rabbit casserole.


'Good' and 'bad' wineDate published: 07/06/14

'Good' and 'bad' wine

It is sometimes difficult to characterise a wine as 'good' or not, because it is subjective; it depends on your personal judgement, your preferences etc. But using a systematic objective approach, we can draw conclusions on quality that everybody agrees on, regardless of whether you personally like the wine or not.

So what makes a wine objectively 'better' than another? Let's find out.

1. Balance - think of a set of scales, with fruit and sugar on one side, acid and tannins on the other. Also consider how well the alcohol has integrated with the flavour.

2. Length - a really good wine should have a really long, rewarding taste in your mouth for a good few minutes afterwards! It's all about quality rather than quantity, with a great quality wine you won't feel the need to keep reaching for the glass quite so quickly afterwards.

Complexity - how many flavours can you taste? How clear are they on your palette?

While we use these as guidelines, remember that everyone has different tastes and judging someone because they have different tastes to you is not ok!


The intriguing case of MadeiraDate published: 07/06/14

Whilst at the London Wine fair this week I happen to stumble across some vintage Madeira on the Blandy's stand. They had 3 different vintages from 3 of the noble grape varieties which are only permited for use when making a vintage wine. They were Verdelho from 1960's, Boal from 1970's and a Malmsey from 1980's.

Vinification happens in the the typical way in stainless steel and then stopped depending on the level of sweetness wished to be kept in the wine by the produce. Being a fortified wine the addition of grape spirit is then added. And now for the intreging part, Madeira used to aged in the hulls of ships on the way to export markets, this speeded up the maturation process, camaralising the sugars in the wine. Nowadays this is replicated by either the wine being left in wooden casks in the roof of the vintners or heated in stainless steel vats.

These 3 vintage grape varieties have varying flavour charictureistics ranging from medium dry aromatic to sweet, honied, raisen and camaral flavours, all of which are devines.

Try with crème Camaral!


Wine of the day - Dogajolo Carpineto Date published: 07/06/14

In the innovative style of the Super-Tuscans, but at a fraction of their price, this is a 'Baby-Tuscan'. Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with a majority of the native Sangiovese to create a wine superior to its IGT classification

Soft and intensely fruity, this wine combines the elegance and complexity given by oak-ageing with the fragrant, fresh fruit of a young wine. Soft on the palate with a smooth finish.

A great all-rounder, this wine will complement a rich Tuscan stew, as well as cold cut meats or even just with pizza.

Wine of the day- Jackson Estate Grey Ghost Date published: 06/06/14

A fantastic Sauvignon with a bit of a twist!

Marlborough frequently records the highest total of sunshine hours in the country. A long, sunny ripening season extending into April, combined with cool nights helps to preserve acidity. Grey Ghost is partially fermented in French oak and aged for several months on lees.

Pungently aromatic, as befits top Marlborough Sauvignon, but with Jackson's trademark restraint and focus. Nettle and gooseberry characters aligned perfectly with tangy citrus fruit.

Great to drink as an accompaniment to shellfish or chêvre.


Spotlight on Grape: NebbioloDate published: 05/06/14

Nebbiolo, for those that weren't familiar is most well known from Piedmont in North West Italy. It's most commonly found in the guise of Barolo and Barbaresco, however several new world producers are experimenting with the grape. 

Neb's tend to make wine that can be deceptive. On the eye they are typically quite light in colour, but a pronounced nose of red fruits jumps out of the glass at you. A rich full body awaits and in their youth, can be quite high in tannin and acidity.

Some of Italy's most famous wine is from Neb and it's easy to see why. These complex, elegant wines have a massive propensity for ageing.

For those that are especial curious, seek out the Pizzini Neb from King Valley in Victoria, Australia.

For something a little bit more traditional, we stock the Dagromis Barolo from Gaja, arguably the best producer in Piedmont

Rich's Fine Wine of the week 9/6Date published: 03/06/14

Pesquera Reserva Especiál 

2003 Ribera del Duero

This is a 'limited edition' reserva made from grapes specially selected from the 2003 vintage. The wine has undergone a total of 30 months in American oak barriques, and is now showing extremely well following the last few years of bottle-age. A serious, well structured wine, with a smoothly polished feel and layers of black fruit and spice. Drink now - 2016.

Rich's wine of the week 2/6/14Date published: 02/06/14

Le Difese Tenuta San Guida - £16 when you buy two or more

This is the third wine from the world famous Sassicaia winery, one of the world leaders in Super Tuscans. 

Super Tuscan wines are a reasonably new trend where the traditional grape variety in Tuscany (being Sangiovese) is blended with typically Bordeaux grapes (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot).

This is a particularly great value wine. The Cabernet gives a great structure to the wine while the Sangiovese adds a strong nose of red berries which is backed up on the palate. The use of oak is restrained and well integrated and there is surprising length on the finish for a wine under £20.

While this has enough structure to stand up to most red meat dishes, try it with some traditional Italian cuisine for the full enjoyment. 

Syrah and Shiraz - Are they the same?Date published: 25/05/14

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!

What is Fine Wine?Date published: 24/05/14

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!


Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008Date published: 24/05/14

This is a complex Bordeaux-inspired blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The varieties are vinified separately and blended before being harmonised by ageing together for 25 months in new American oak and a further 20 months in bottle. This is a robustly structured wine, silky yet grippy, with intense boysenberry fruit, nuanced with notes of truffles and game.

£90.00

Rich's wine of the day 14/5Date published: 14/05/14

Dogajolo Carpineto - Try it with your favourite pizza

Did you know 14/5Date published: 14/05/14

The term 'Champagne Charlie' comes from Charles Heidsieck, a pioneer in the region  

Tip of the day 14/5Date published: 14/05/14

Try decanting even your less expensive reds. They'll open up nicely.

New team here at BelgraviaDate published: 14/05/14

If you've noticed a few new faces here at Belgravia then you've met some of the new team!

We all have several years in the wine industry both within and outside Majestic. 

We all come from different backgrounds and have different areas of specialty, so we'll definitely be able to find you the ideal bottle.

Owen, our friendly driver is still driving around London so if you see him, then give him as smile and a wave. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!

New PrimitivoDate published: 19/04/14

The Natale Vegra Primitivo from Puglia is new in this week. Resting in the heel of Italy, Puglia is home of the Primitivo variety. Known elsewhere as Zinfandel, this grape flourishes in hotter climates to produce big reds, full of fruit flavors. Puglia is a largely flat region, allowing the strong Italian sun to concentrate the flavors in the grapes to give rich, jammy wine. This example from Natale Vegra is typical of this, and represents terrific value at £6.99 when you buy more than one. 

Passimento 2011 PasquaDate published: 15/04/14

Grape – Merlot, Corvina, Croatina

Origin

The name of this wine is derived from 'appassito', the traditional Valpolicella method of partially drying grapes before fermentation. In one month the grapes lose around 30% of their water content, concentrating the juice and intensifying the wine's flavour.

Taste

This baby Valpolicella is a dense and deeply coloured wine, full of concentrated black and red cherry flavour, and hints of leather and spice. The palate has a layered texture, with muscular tannins providing a long finish.

Try matching with a steak and Guinness pie. The richness of the pie will be perfectly suited to the sweet aromas of the wine. 

Easter Weekend Opening HoursDate published: 13/04/14

For Easter Weekend we will be operating different opening hours:

Friday 18th April - 9am-7pm

Saturday 19th April - 10am-6pm

Sunday 20th April - CLOSED

Monday 21st April - 10am-3pm 

Chardonnay: The RenaissanceDate published: 09/04/14

It is no secret that the big, oaked New World Chardonnays of the 80s and 90s have, in some quarters, permanently tainted some consumers views towards the great Burgundian white grape. Emphasis on power rather than elegance and oak over fruit, created wines that were unpleasant to many. By contrast, lighter and more fruit driven white varieties, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc have enjoyed a rise in popularity and have since dominated the UK market.

However, slowly but surely those on the ABC bandwagon are being won over by a more modern and thoughtful approach to winemaking. Cool climate and high altitude vineyards are leading this revival, with oak being used to contribute to the textural and aromatic complexity rather than being the wine's defining characteristic. The resulting wines possess more poise and elegance than their predecessors and are thus more palatable and appealing to UK consumers.

Styles range from unoaked wines with clean and crisp citrus and green fruit characteristics to a subtle use of oak giving vanilla and tropical fruit notes. These more restrained chardonnays can be found from a multitude of New world regions such as Chile, Argentina, California, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. The latter is currently experiencing healthy growth, with Hardys up 14% in value in the last 12 months (Accolade, 2013) and chardonnay is the fastest growing Australian grape variety.

At Majestic we stock a wide range of new world Chardonnay and would encourage you to #tasteandexplore


Staff Favourite: Vina Ardanza 2004 Reserva, Rioja AltaDate published: 08/04/14

This is one of the very best Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the Region's founding families.

Grape: Tempranillo, Garnacha

Taste: Complex and perfumed primary and secondary aromas of earth, spice and red fruits with a long, elegantly structured medium weight body of spicy tannins and layers of flavour.

Enjoy: Enjoy over the next decade as the richness and power will soften to spice and earth, augmenting game casserole or wild duck.

This wine is part of our fantastic fine wine deal: Buy 2 bottles save £10*

The 2004 Reserva was nominated 'best value wine in the world' by renowned critic Robert Parker in 2013 - so its not just me who likes it!


Varietal Focus - TempranilloDate published: 07/04/14

Tempranillo forms the back bone of Spanish red wine production and is at the heart of many of the countries most famous wines. It takes its name form is tendency to ripen early,temprano meaning early in Spanish. The most famous region where it is grown is Rioja where it is commonly blended with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. It has many pseudonyms depending on the region where it is grown, Tinta de Toro in Toro, Ull de Llebre in Penedes, Tinta Roriz in Portugal and Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero. It is in Ribera del Dureo that it finds its most ideal climate, where the cool temperatures allow it to ripe more slowly intensifying its flavours. This helps imensly as tempranillo as a grape variety does not have a particularly strong flavour profile. Keeping yields low and careful blending and the skill of the winemaker all go into make this grape the success that it undoubtedly is.

You can try Tempranillo in a variety of styles this week with our 'Taste and Explore Spain' wee currently in full flow

The April Pick 'n' Mix: Marqués de Riscal 2008 ReservaDate published: 06/04/14

Marqués de Riscal: £10.99 when you buy any 2 pick 'n' mix wines 

April marks the beginning of a brand new set of offers! Hopefully you're all recieving little leaflets in the post detailing this months bag of tricks, and I'm keen to get reviewing the many different bottles we have on our best offers! In fact, I'm very excited about Marqués de Riscal at £10.99, as it's always been one of my favourite mid priced Riojas, very much one to stock up on whenever it comes on an offer that suits you. Particularly as if you're so inclined it's a bottle that will develop really well over the next few years.

It's a classic Rioja Reserva. Full bodied and muscular, yet smoothly polished and embellished with complex aromas of vanilla and toasted oak, combined with summer fruit flavours. A solid balance between those intense fruit flavours and the more leathery oaky flavours you expect from your Rioja.

In terms of food matching, as a classic Rioja it begs a classic match. Lamb or spicy casseroles will bring out the best in it, as it will for them.

Cheers!


The lost grape of el doradoDate published: 04/04/14

el Rescatado Albarin 2013

Albarin is an extremely rare grape.

In fact, only 100 hectares are planted across the world and, astonishingly, 20 of those belong to one person. Professor Pedro Gonzalez Mittelbrun has dedicated his whole life to saving this grape from the edge of extinction and promoting its' unique characteristics to the wider world.

El Rescatado translates as 'the rescued' and the Professor certainly has rescued this grape from obscurity. In 2010 he established a winery- Leyanda del Paramo-to carry on his work.

After tasting it is easy to see why he is so passionate. This wine is extremely fresh and aromatic, with gooseberry, citrus and hints of fresh green herbs. It also has a touch of spice on the palate. The finish is long with a refreshing acidity.

As with many crisp, dry Spanish white wines, it is an excellent partner to seafood and shellfish.

£12.99

Buy 2 save £6


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 03/04/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

L'esprit de Pennautier Cabardés 2011 - £19.99/£14.99

Schlumberger 'Spiegel' Grand Cru Pinot Gris 2007 - £19.99/£14.99

Brunello di Montalcino 2009, Gianni Brunelli - £30

Brunello di Montalcino 2009, Castello Banfi - £30/£25

Dagromis Barolo 2008 - £45

Where 2 prices are listed the lower corresponds to a multibuy deal.  Call in-store for details.

The Majestic Fine Wine PlanDate published: 02/04/14

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 discount card that can be used against future purchases from Majestic stores

For more informationjust give us a call on 0207 881 0804


Sunny Day + Rosé WineDate published: 01/04/14

Today is glorious, and to celebrate the sun and the start of our Easter Pick 'n' Mix, we've got our eyes on one particular bottle of rosé, the Minuty!

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

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

Partner with the delicate flavours of fresh shellfish, or with a mozzarella and sun-ripened tomato salad.

£9.99 down from £14.99. Bargain!


250 years of prestige -Ruinart RoséDate published: 21/03/14

According to Ruinart, recently discovered entries in the Maison's account book from March 1764 detail the shipment of 120 bottles of wine marked 'Oeil de Perdrix' - a term used to refer to the coppery colour of the Maison's rosé. 

While The Drinks Business states that it is likely that this rosé champagne was made using colouring from elderberries rather than modern belnding methods, Ruinart still assert that this proves they were making and shipping rosé champagne more than 250 years ago! 


Perrier Jouet Grand Brut NVDate published: 20/03/14

We recently opened a bottle of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, on the tasting counter, which went down a storm with customers.

This is due to Perrier Jouet as a champagne house being consistent in producing elegant, delicate and well balanced champagne.

On the nose you are greeted with floral and fruity fragrances, with the palate revealing hints of honeysuckle, lemon and grapefruit, which evolve into subtle notes of vanilla and butter.

Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, also has a elegant finish of lingering notes of grapefruit, white peaches, apple and green pears which really round off this spectacular tipple. This wine is perfect for all party occasions or perhaps to complement a light lunch in the sun.

Perrier Jouet Grand Brut, is included in this months Pick 'n' Mix, priced at only £24.98 when you purchase any 2 bottles - making this a truly great offer just in time for the good weather to hopefully continue.

Enjoy!


2013 Rosé now in stockDate published: 19/03/14

To mark the unofficial and horrendously optimistic start of the British summer, the freshest rosés around are flooding into our store.  Here are a few of the favourites:

M de Minuty Rosé 2013, Cotes-de-Provence - Classic Provencal rosé from near St-Tropez, overlooking the Mediterranean.  Light, fresh and elegant, best drunk when the sun is shining.  £14.99/£10.99

Rioja Rosado 2013, Muga - The most delicate of all Spanish rosés but fresh and aromatic.  Rafa the sommelier at UNI restaurant on Ebury St reckons this is the best rosé in the world.

Black Cottage Rosé 2013, Marlborough - Made from a blend of Pinots Noir and Gris, this is a New World equivalent of Sancerre Rosé.  Intenser in flavour and more structured, brimming with fresh fruit yet with a clean finish, this is one for the connoiseurs.

Free Next Day delivery!Date published: 18/03/14

While the main Majestic website states that delivery is guaranteed within 7 days, here in Belgravia we can often deliver to you the following day, and sometimes even on the same day.  

Simply choose 'Belgravia' as your local store and the website will show you our current range of wines.  

Specify delivery instructions such as a 2 hour time slot, 'leave with porter' or 'delivery entrance on ebury st' and we'll whisk your wine round pronto!  

Cheers!

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 15/03/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Chateau Léoville Poyferre 2006, 2eme grand cru St Julien - £65

Brio de Cantenac Brown 2007, Margaux - £25/£20

Chateau l'Evangile 2007, Pomerol - £100

Chateau Climens 2009 1er Cru Barsac half bottle - £45

Chambolle-Musigny 2009, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux - £35

Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2011, Domaine Humbert Freres - £30

Minuty Cuvée Prestige 2012 rosé - £22

Martin Codax 'Organistrum' Albarino 2011, Rias Baixas - £25/£20 

Penfolds Grange 2007  - £350

Where 2 prices are listed the lower corresponds to a multibuy discount.  Call us on 02078810804 for more details



Veuve Clicquot offer (ends 7.00pm 17/03/14)Date published: 14/03/14

Veuve Clicquot offer (ends 7.00pm 17/03/14)

When you buy any 2 bottles from our pick n' mix (as part of your 6 bottles) - it comes down to a great £29.98)

" Founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, Veuve Clicquot played an important role in establishing champagne as a favored drink of haute bourgeoisie and nobility throughout Europe. The 1811 comet vintage of Veuve Clicquot is theorized to have been the first truly "modern" Champagne due to the advancements in the méthode champenoise which Veuve Clicquot pioneered through the technique of remuage."


New Arrival - Vinalba Fifty 50 from ArgentinaDate published: 13/03/14


Vinalba - Fifty 50 NEW in stock

Bordeaux winemaker Hervé Fabre made his name from Malbec, having been the first to make a single-varietal Malbec in Argentina. This wine is a 50/50 blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina's 'other' great Bordeaux-sourced grape.

Typically intense and vibrant, full of inky violet colour, with a juicy damson and blackcurrant backbone characterising both nose and palate. Toasty oak influence adds a touch of complexity.

A Big Heavy Red wine, at 14.5% its not the evening tipple but its sure to pack some heat paired with a nice slab of steak!

Buy two bottles save £6 turning this in to a £8.99 dream! Single bottle price £11.99


1 Week offers - run until Monday!Date published: 13/03/14

1 Week Offers

Château Méaume 2010, Bordeaux Supérieur £9.99 £6.66 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Gavi Montiero 2013, Rocca £8.99 £5.99 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Rioja Gran Reserva 2004, Viña Eguía £13.49 £8.99 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Rioja Reserva 2008, Viña Eguía £9.99 £6.66 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Nicolas Feuillatte NV £25.00 £16.66 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Veuve Clicquot Brut NV £48.00 £45.00 £29.98 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Prosecco Corte Alta NV, DOC, Italy £10.49 £9.99 £6.66 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough £10.49 £6.99 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough £12.49 £8.33 Buy 2 bottles save 33%*

Dry Furmint 2011, Royal Tokaji £9.99 £7.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4

*When you buy any 2 from our Pick 'N' Mx range as part of your mixed case


The Ned Sauvignon Blanc is down to £6.99!Date published: 12/03/14

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc is down to £6.99!Date published: 11/03/14

Our most popular New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has been introduced into our pick n'mix range, and is now at an amazing £6.99 a bottle (when you buy with another bottle from the pick n'mix range). The Ned is from the Marlborough region.

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

Offer ends Monday 17th March


Special occasion? Look no further, 7 great reasons to shop with MajesticDate published: 11/03/14

At the moment, we are getting a fair few customers coming in inquiring about drinks for weddings and parties.

We do it all at Majestic; I'll even help you draft up a playlist to get down to.

Here are reasons why you should come and say hello

1.) We have a massive selection of wines, spirits & beers to choose from and can cater for most occasions and budgets.

2.) The staff are passionate about wine and have tried most of the range; therefore can give you an honest opinion.

3.) We do FREE delivery you know. You tell us the address and the date, and we WILL be there.

4.) Sale or Return. You can over compensate in-case your friends are feeling especially thirsty and bring back any unharmed bottles.

5.) We have the full range off glassware for hire... and yes, its FREE

6.) We are NOT a generic supermarket and we care about what our customers want. 

7.) We are flexible. If we don't have a product you want, we will try and get it in from another store.

Give us a call to discuss on 020 7881 0804

Go on, raise a glass to yourself for getting a great bargain...




The NedDate published: 11/03/14

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

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

This wine is suitable to drink now with fresh summer salads, seafood or oriental food.

This is a firm favourite with Majestic customers!


What I will be drinking in the not too distant future (hopefully)Date published: 09/03/14

What I will be drinking in the not too distant future (hopefully)Date published: 06/03/14

With the slightest hint of warmer weather on the horizon and sensationalist headlines like it is warmer than Greece I have started to look at what wines I am personally looking forward too this Summer.

AIX Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Magnum: This truely is a real party piece, a magnum of rose put down on the table to share with a group of friends. Like all Provence rose's this wine is mainly a Grenache based blend with a touch Cinsault and Shiraz. This wine is unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit. This wine is a perfect match for canapes or seafood.

£19.99 a bottle 

Vinalba Selection Torrontes: This wine is a distant realtive of Muscat which gives it it's pronounced floral nature, think of this a more interesting Sauvignon Blanc, for all of you that are tired of it. This wine is bursting with ripeness, the nose is a cascade of tropical fruit and blossom aromas. Lively flavours of ripe peach, melon, pear and pineapple provide a refreshing and involving palate sensation. This is a perfect match to any Asian inspired salads or strong enough to stand up to a curry.

£9.99 a bottle

Jordan Chardonnay Stellenbosch: Sometimes as nice as it is to drink something crisp and refeshing it is a welcome change to go for something that is more complex and full. This Chardonnay fits the bill. It is fermented in Burgundy-style French oak barriques, around 50% new oak. After 9 months maturatrion it is blended with a small amount of un-oaked wine to give freshness. Brimming with glossy, honeyed apple and lemon fruit, with hints of hezalnut. The oak ageing adds creaminess and depth on the palate. This is perfect with roast poultry.

£12.99 when you buy 2 or more 

Rioja Reserva CVNE: This wine is predominantly Grenache which gives wonderfull fruit and body to the wine, think the best BBQ match. This wine is mid garnet in colour with a lovely brambly nose and hints of spice. Nuances of leather, caramel and coffee over rich autumn fruit. Excellent balance and a lingering finish. Try this with grilled lamb, duck and most rich meats. 

£9.99 when you buy 2 or more


Puy de DomeDate published: 07/03/14

Puy de DomeDate published: 01/03/14

Puy de Dôme is a commune within the Auvergene region to the south of Loire, and it is named after the large volcanic dome that is the local landmark. Both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are grown on granitic soils, with the Chardonnay being grown at 570m above sea level and the Pinot Noir between 350-550m.

Chardonnay:

A tightly structured unoaked Chardonnay, displayed soft-edges acidity and citrus fruit character, intriguingly nutty complexity and a profound minerality. This Chardonnay will enhance almost any white fish dish and is only 

Pinot Noir:

This Pinot Noir is characterised by its superb purity of fruit, exhibiting ripe redcurrant, raspberry and cherry flavours, with a softness and harmony from a year's maturation without oak. This Pinot Noir can be enjoyed best with chicken liver pate or any cold cuts of meat.


Belle Epoque 2006 - only £66.66 a bottle!Date published: 04/03/14

One of the first 'Prestige Cuvée' Champagnes, in a bottle adorned with hand-painted Art Nouveau flowers, Belle Epoque's rich, creamy palateand floral aromas entice and seduce all-comers. Fantastic ageing potential, to be brought out to make any occasion special.

Currently on a ridiculous offer of £66.66 a bottle including VAT while stocks last (RRP £110).  Call us on 02078810804 for more details.

Terrific Value Malbec!Date published: 02/03/14

Terrific Value Malbec!

Septimo Día Malbec 2011 Mendoza

Made by Bodega Septima, who are located in Agrelo, in Mendoza's Luján de Cuyo sub-region. Half the grapes for this wine come from this area, and half from the even higher altitude San Carlos district of the Uco Valley, around 1300m above sea level.

A bright ruby purple, this is a bold, impactful and sweetly fruited wine, offering a generous swathe of plum and cherry flavour, accented with cocoa and spice notes.


Drink now or over the next 3-4 years, ideally with slow-cooked lamb.

£9.99 or £6.66 when you buy any two Pick'n'Mix Wines

Malbec Madness continues...Date published: 01/03/14

So on our superb Malbec offer which we have on at the moment, a third off our selection of Argentinian Malbec which is an absolute bargain!

My choice this week is the Vinalba Gran Reservado Malbec, at £10.66 this wine is a great buy.

The wine is an easy drinking, fruity style red, but has a good amount of body and has rich ripe fruit, characters of; Plum, red cherry and red currants. The wine has soft, mellow tannins which softly coat the palate and a ripe fruity quality. There are also subtle hints of chocolate and a lovely vanilla spice. 

This wine would be great drinking on its own by the fire, or with a cheese board, or any roast dinner.

At £10.66 come and get yours for your weekend celebrations.


A Guide to Pinot NoirDate published: 28/02/14

We thought it was high time to briefly delve into the world of a red grape variety that has become the 'Holy Grail' to winemakers and wine fanatics alike. As Oz Clarke puts it:

“While a host of talented but mainstream producers are perfectly happy to try and excel at Cabernet and Chardonnay in accepted styles, Pinot Noir attracts a much wilder bunch. A crowd who don't like being told what to do, a crowd who don't like a marketing manager to have more say in a wine than the winemaker. A self-indulgent crew of men and women who love flavour, who love perfume, who love the silky tactile experiences of a wine like Pinot, seductive, sultry, steamy, sinful if possible, but always solely there, solely made, to give pleasure.”

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

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

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

Our Favourite Pinot Noirs!

Greg - Roaring Meg (£17.99 when you buy 2 or more Fine Wines)

This is a cracking & complex wine that exhibits a great mix of red & black berry fruits with warm oak-y spice and a fruit-driven finish. I think it's really good value for such a good wine from such a small boutique winery.

Harry - Saintsbury Stanly Ranch - £32

From possibly my favourite region (California) comes one of our richer Pinots. Juicy, ripe fruit aromas mingle with black cherry, spice, tobacco & vanilla and it has a weighty yet surprisingly light & fresh finish. Heaven with duck.

Sam - Villa Maria Cellar Selection (£11.99 when you buy 2 or more)

Voluptuous ripe red fruits & silky smooth tannins plus really well-integrated oak and a long clean finish makes this Pinot my number one! It's fantastic value as well, I recommend it to everyone.


Classic Clarets included in our great 'Fine Wine' offer...Date published: 27/02/14

Majestic's current promotion, fine wine at house wine prices, allows you to buy two bottles of £20+ wines and get ten pounds off, meaning the prices are similar to restaurant house wine prices. Here is the best of the wines in the promotion from Bordeaux.

Chateau Coufran 2004 - Located in the Haut-Médoc part of Pauillac, Coufran is notable for its unusually high proportion of Merlot, which forms around 85% of the blend. Being a more typical feature of right-bank wines, this has earned Coufran the nickname 'Pomerol of Haut-Médoc'. This wine has a soft,fleshy and ample feel, combining soft bramble and ripe plum flavours with smooth tannins. Subtle cedar and leaf aromas complete the picture. £14.99 when you buy two or more fine wines.

Chateau Chauvin 2006 - Château Chauvin is located on the north-west part of the St-Emilion plateau, close to the prestigious Cheval-Blanc,on a gentle slope of sand and iron-rich clay. Considered very much a minor estate for many years, until improvements in the late 1990s led to markedly improved quality from 2000 onwards. The 2006 is now in its peak drinking window and offers an expressive blueberry, violet and spice-tinged character. £30 when you buy two or more fine wines.

Chateau Grand Faurie La Rose 2009 - This wine comes from a small, established château to the north of St. Emilion, which today is under the same ownership as the neighbouring Château Larmande. The area has St. Emilion's trademark sand and limestone soils. A medium-bodied claret, with a pleasantly spicy and mature nose, with hints of leather and clove against a backdrop of bramble and dried prune fruit, framed by fine-grained tannins on the palate. £18 when you buy two or more fine wines.

Come and explore Majestic for these and many more on the fine wine deal!


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 27/02/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Chateau Labegorce 2002 Magnum, Margaux - £55

Guigal Condruieu 2011 - £34

Meerlust Merlot 2010 - £22/£17

Foxen Pinot Noir 2012, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara - £29-£24

Saintsbury 'Stanly Ranch' Pinot Noir 2010, Carneros - £32

Aix -en-provence Rosé Magnum - £19.99

Where 2 Prices are listed the lower corresponds to a multibuy deal

New Malbecs on Our pic'n'mix deal - for 1 week only!Date published: 26/02/14

The following wines have been added to our 33% off deal for the week:

Ruta 40 Malbec Seleccion 2011, Uco Valley - £20/£13.33

Joffré Malbec 2012, Mendoza - £10.99/£7.33

Vinalba Malbec-Touriga Nacional Reservado 2011, Mendoza - £11.99/£7.99

Lunta by Mendel Malbec 2011, Mendoza - £12.99/£8.66

Septimo Dia Malbec 2011, Mendoza - £9.99/£6.66

Portillo Malbec 2013, Bodegas Salentein, Mendoza - £9.99/£6.66

Callia Bella Malbec 2013, San Juan - £8.99/£5.99

Malbec Luigi Bosca 2011, Vistalba - £15.99/£10.66

White RiojaDate published: 21/02/14

Made from Viura (Macabeo) and Malvasia. Of the two, Viura offers the fresh acidity and fruit flavours ranging from pear to grapefruit. Malvasia is the star of top white Rioja, offering full body and this richness makes for a perfect balancing with the freshness of Viura. The other major factor is the amount of oak that wine has seen. In the past white Rioja used to see a lot of oak which produced a unique wine of great complexity, although these wines are still produced it is much more popular to make a fresher more fruit forward wine.



New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 20/02/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Louis Jadot Meursault Narvaux 2010 - £30/£25

Walter Hansel Chardonnay 2010, Russian River Valley - £28/£23

Alban Vineyards Patrina Syrah 2010, Edna Valley - £50

Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Napa Valley - £90

Martinborough Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011, Martinborough - £30

'Kiwa by Escarpment' Pinot Noir 2011, Martinborough - £35


Lay and Wheeler Rhone TastingDate published: 19/02/14

Date: Wednesday 5th March 2014
Venue: The Court Room at Glaziers Hall,
London, SE1 9DD
6–8pm

The 2012 vintage from the Rhône has been highly anticipated and now is your chance to taste the wines for yourself. Almost a dozen producers are travelling from the region to join us for our annual Rhône tasting where you will have the opportunity to try the wines and meet the people who make them, as well as talking to Lay & Wheeler's knowledgeable staff.  I'll be attending this so will be full of insider gossip afterwards.  If you'd like to do the same, give us a call on 02078810804.

The following growers have already confirmed their attendance:

• Domaine René Rostaing
• Domaine Stéphane & Michel Ogier
• Domaine Garon
• Domaine du Colombier
• Domaine Courbis
• Domaine Alain Voge
• Domaine le Clos des Cazaux
• Domaine Bois de Boursan
• Domaine Pégau
• Clos du Mont Olivet
• Domaine La Barroche

2010 Burgundy parcel - limited availability!Date published: 18/02/14

We have just received access to a truly unique parcel of wines from some of the best producers in Burgundy from the critically acclaimed 2010 vintage.  Quantities of these wines are extremely limited so we will not be publishing a list, but please give us a call in-store  on 0207 8810 804, contact us via email bel@majestic.co.uk or on twitter @majesticbel to find out more.

Fine Wine in Focus:Promis 2011, Gaja, IGT ToscanaDate published: 17/02/14

Fine Wine of the Week: Promis 2011, Gaja, IGT Toscana

£30 single bottle, £25 in the fine wine deal (buy any 2 wines on the deal – see our fine wine shelves).

A Tuscan offering from the ever enthusiastic Angelo Gaja, Decanter's man of the year from 1998. Whilst his Piedmontese wines show the very best of the traditional, his Tuscan winery is a utopian vision of modern winemaking. The Promis is made as an IGT wine, which allows Gaja to work without the constrains of the DOC system, resulting in a wine that is a facinating blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah and 10% Sangiovese.

The wine is big and fruity, with sour cherry and plummy notes at the forefront of the palate.Secondary notes, including espresso, clove and bitter chocolate abound.With wonderfully integrated cedar notes from oak, and incredibly smooth, voluptious tannins, the wine has an extremely classy mouthfeel - a truly elegant wine. Drinking well at the moment, particularly with a beef wellington, or similar luxurious dishes, it will certainly keep and develop over the next ten years. 


Staff Favourite: Walter Hansel ChardonnayDate published: 16/02/14

As a huge fan of Californian wines, you can only imagine how excited I got when this wine arrived earlier this week.  It is our Hansel Estate Chardonnay 2010 and I cannot wait to taste it. Majestic ships these wines direct from this quality-driven producer. Production is tiny and the producer's philosophy is Burgundian and the results are truly spectacular. Despite being a former second hand car salesman, Stephen Hansel prices his wines fairly. There is huge complexity and depth, it has bags fruit, a popcorny richness and intelligently used expensive French oak.  Remarkable value for money. At £23 a bottle (when you buy 2+) you'll have to get in quick before I buy it all!


Hidden Gems at Majestic BelgraviaDate published: 15/02/14

We win awards for our great range of wine, but certain regions tend to dominate customers thinking. Most wine we sell is from either Bordeaux or Burgundy in France, Rioja in Spain or Marlborough in New Zealand. While our offerings from these regions are undoubtedly excellent, several other regions have crept under the radar.

Our selection of Alsace whites is nothing short of iconic, with wines such as the Heimbourg Gewurztraminer from Domaine Zind-Humbrecht selling for less than £15. Some of the finest aromatic whites in the world are clustered together in unfashionable 'flute-shaped' bottles and are often ignored.

Look between our Rioja's and you'll see some of the finest names from the Ribera del Duero in Spain. Emilio Moro, Pesquera, Tomas Postigo and Cillar di Silos are all names talked about in awestruck tones by wine critics, and they all sit on our shelves at very reasonable prices.

Our South African range covers all of the top names from the cape, Vergelegen, Kanonkop, Thelema, Rustenberg – you name it, we have it. We are regularly greeted with astonishment at the 'who's who' of south african wine adorning our shelves, at prices more competitive than the cellar door itself.

So next time you pay us a visit, explore beyond the traditional, take a recommendation and go with your gut. In short, come and explore!


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 14/02/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Chateau La Vielle Croix 2009, Fronsac - £19.99/£14.99

Domaine J M  Boillot Puligny Montrachet 2002 - £60

Where 2 prices are listed, the lower corresponds to a multibuy deal


Greg's grape in the spotlight: Shiraz/SyrahDate published: 13/02/14


Syrah (or Shiraz) makes fashionable spicy, dark red wines all over the world. But the regions where this variety reaches its best expression are the Rhone Valley in France and the Barossa Valley in Australia.

Syrah does not ripen in cool climate. If planted in a moderate or warm climate, it displays black fruit flavours, spice aromas, black pepper and mint.

In hotter climate, Syrah is fuller in body, showing earthy, leathery flavours and liquorice and softer tannins.

In the Northern Rhone, Syrah is the only black grape variety permitted. The most famous appellations here are Cote Rotie (the “roasted slopes”), where 20% of Viognier can be added to give extra aromatic intensity to the wine; and Hermitage, which produces the most full-bodied and age-worthy wine of the region.

In the Souther Rhone, Syrah is often blended with other varieties, such as Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault. Here the most generic of the appellations is Cote du Rhone, which accounts for more than half of the entire production in the Rhone Valley.

Try Côtes du Rhône 2010 E. Guigal (http://www.majestic.co.uk/Cotes-du-Rhone-zid06234). Amazing with with lamb.

The most famous of the Souther Rhone appellations is Chateauneuf-du-Pape, where Grenache is the dominant variety and Syrah plays a supporting role in the blend, providing extra colour and tannin.

Try Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vignoble Abeille 2009 Mont Redon (http://www.majestic.co.uk/Chateauneuf-du-Pape-Vignoble-Abeille-zid06314), a very complex, warm and spicy example.

The Shiraz of Australia tend to be bigger and bolder wines, with higher levels of alcohol and baked fruit flavours. Barossa Shiraz is full bodied, soft and mouth-filling, with dark ripe fruit and some sweetness coming from the American oak.

Try Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2011 Two Hands, Barossa Valley (http://www.majestic.co.uk/Gnarly-Dudes-Shiraz-zid19983), intense and complex, displaying red and black fruit flavours and hints of chocolate.

Budget choice: BVS Shiraz 2010 Peter Lehmann, Barossa Valley (http://www.majestic.co.uk/BVS-Shiraz-zid19040), peppery and smooth. Amazing with barbecued red meat.

Among some other wines open & available to taste this weekend we have the Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone and the BVS Shiaz from the Barossa Valley, so why not come and see us and find out for yourselves.


A Beginners Guide to Buying BordeauxDate published: 12/02/14

A Beginners Guide to Buying Bordeaux:

Buying great wines from this highly esteemed region can be expensive and risky. A number of factors need to be taken into account – the village or sub-region, the producer and the year.

Each region has its own characteristics, and a lot of fun can be had trying to find your favourite. Pauillac is the most highly prized, giving deep, rich, concentrated and highly tannic wines which are built to last. St Estephe carries on with this theme, although its wines are aguably more approachable in youth. St Julien is famed for the silky texture of its wines, unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Margaux's have a unique perfume and bolder, more supple fruit. On the other side of the river, Merlot domintated St Emilion makes deep, rich fruit driven wines while the neighbouring Pomerol produces uniquely earthy wines that are highly coveted.

Picking a producer is relatively easy. The top Chateaux of the left bank are all priced on reputation, and the easily researchable '1855 classifcation' groups them into classes 1-5 in terms of quality. However a great deal of their fame and fortune is garnered from their ability to produce great wines regardless of the vintage conditions (described to me as the terroire 'rescuing' the wine) and so in poorer vintages as well, as being more affordable, they can often offer the best value for money around. In contrast, in a good year in Bordeaux, almost anyone can make a good wine! Many top producers produce a 'second wine', a more affordable alternative made in the same style as the more esteemed big brother. In good years these can be truly great wines and rarely see the same price inflation which can make the crème de la crème completely inaccessible to most consumers in the best years.

Region to region there is some variation, but the best vintages of the last 20 years are 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010. Some of these wines need a great deal of ageing before being ready to drink however, so we are currently recommending 2001, 2004 and 2007 as our best 'drink now' vintages. These years have not suffered the hype of 'great years and consequently deliver excellent value

If after reading this you still need more help on your journey to discovering the magic of fine wine, come visit us in-store and we can give you up-to-date tips on the best current bargains in our range, and often we'll have one of our favourites open to taste as well!

A Beginners Guide to Buying Bordeaux

Buying great wines from this highly esteemed region can be expensive and risky. A number of factors need to be taken into account – the village or sub-region, the producer and the year.

Each region has its own characteristics, and a lot of fun can be had trying to find your favourite. Pauillac is the most highly prized, giving deep, rich, concentrated and highly tannic wines which are built to last. St Estephe carries on with this theme, although its wines are aguably more approachable in youth. St Julien is famed for the silky texture of its wines, unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Margaux's have a unique perfume and bolder, more supple fruit. On the other side of the river, Merlot domintated St Emilion makes deep, rich fruit driven wines while the neighbouring Pomerol produces uniquely earthy wines that are highly coveted.

Picking a producer is relatively easy. The top Chateaux of the left bank are all priced on reputation, and the easily researchable '1855 classifcation' groups them into classes 1-5 in terms of quality. However a great deal of their fame and fortune is garnered from their ability to produce great wines regardless of the vintage conditions (described to me as the terroire 'rescuing' the wine) and so in poorer vintages as well, as being more affordable, they can often offer the best value for money around. In contrast, in a good year in Bordeaux, almost anyone can make a good wine! Many top producers produce a 'second wine', a more affordable alternative made in the same style as the more esteemed big brother. In good years these can be truly great wines and rarely see the same price inflation which can make the crème de la crème completely inaccessible to most consumers in the best years.

Region to region there is some variation, but the best vintages of the last 20 years are 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010. Some of these wines need a great deal of ageing before being ready to drink however, so we are currently recommending 2001, 2004 and 2007 as our best 'drink now' vintages. These years have not suffered the hype of 'great years and consequently deliver excellent value

If after reading this you still need more help on your journey to discovering the magic of fine wine, come visit us in-store and we can give you up-to-date tips on the best current bargains in our range, and often we'll have one of our favourites open to taste as well!


Is all this rain good for wine growers?Date published: 12/02/14

You would imagine that wine growers would enjoy a classic British summer, the abundant rain helping to stimulate vine growth and therefore more wine. However, the coming of rain in quantities of the recent weeks can have dire consequences for the quality of wine that reaches our glass. So what effect can too much rain have?

Vines: The plants themselves prefer to grow in free flowing soils into which their roots can extend deep into the soil. Too much rain can wash away the top soil and increase the level of vineyard management that has to be undertaken.

Disease: Rot is a major issue in very humid areas, reducing the yield of grapes ,as they are obviously unusable for wine production.

The wine: More rain leads to plumper grapes which are filled with the excess water. The excess dilutes the sugars in the grape, so when pressed,  is less concentrated. The resulting wine this thus less powerful and concentrated in flavor, and can be disappointing. 


Rest assured that the growing season has been and gone, so fingers crossed its lovely.




Spotlight on ArgentinaDate published: 12/02/14


Spotlight on Argentina

In the last 10 years, Argentina has stunned the wine world not only with the quality of its premium Malbecs, but the range of styles offered and the stunning range of vineyards available.  UK consumers have taken Malbec to its heart and it is now, for most, the go-to rich, soft and smooth wine of choice.

However, Malbec is just one grape variety out of thousands. How do other classic varieties fare in the mountainous vineyards of Argentina?

Well, as it happens, fantastically well.  Argentinian Chardonnay is amongst the finest in the world, with high altitude vineyards offering the necessary sunshine to ripen the otherwise tart and austere grape, while the cool climate adds elegance and balance to the wines.  The same can certainly be said for Cabernet Sauvignon, to the extent that - just whisper it - it is often better than the Malbec produced from the same areas.

Further to this, Argentina has developed its signature white wine variety, Torrontes, to become the world leader in producing such a wine.  Torrontes produces wines similar in style to Viognier and Albarinho, generally more restrained and elegant but floral.  Although having said that I did have a cracking one in a restaurant last week that was honeyed and rich, but still with a trademark freshness... 


New wines on the February Pic'n'mix!Date published: 11/02/14

Due to an explosion of Popularity, the following wines have been included on our 'save 33%' pic'n'mix deal:

Guigal Cotes-du-Rhone 2010 - £7.99

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough - £6.66

Corte Alta Raboso (Rosé prosecco) - £6.99

Grape in Focus! SemillonDate published: 09/02/14

Grape in Focus! SemillonDate published: 30/01/14

Semillon - As we've received a special parcel of amazing Australian wine this week I thought I'd give you a bit more information on this grape variety which has been established as one of the great Australian grapes.  Its has been grown in Bordeaux for decades and is used in the production of the sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac.

It also has a long history for being blended with sauvignon blanc is Western Australia and as a single variety in the Hunter Valley.  We stock wines from Vasse Felix and Cape Mentelle which are top quality producers from Margaret River just south of Perth.  As a vine Semillon is easy to cultivate and is almost as vigorous as Savignon Blanc. 

It really is worth popping in store while we have this great bargain to pick some up!


Vodka: Part of your 6!Date published: 07/02/14


Although we are a wine merchant, we do also stock a range of spirits and at the moment, a range of excellent vodkas. They do have to be purchased as a part of a six pack but this can be mixed with wines. Here are a few of our selection:

Zebrowska: This translates to as Bison Grass Vodka, is a dry, herb-flavored vodka that is distilled from rye and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof). Flavor is also drawn from the single strand of grass that certifies its origin. Its flavor is unique and is described as having woodruff, vanilla, coconut, and almond notes.

Russian standard: The brand was introduced as the "Russian Standard" vodka in 1998 by the Russian Standard company of Roustam Tariko. The Russian Standard, later called Original, vodka established the brand as one of the top premium vodka brands in the Russian market.

Sipsmith (regular and damson): Distilled in copper for purity, and made from just the best spirit from the heart of the run. This means there is no need to filter, add glycerine, fructose, or any aromatisers. No compromises; just unadulterated smooth, pure vodka. 

Belvedere: This Polish vodka is rye based, bringing a touch of rye's spiciness through on the palate. Made the traditional Polish way, a tradition dating back 600 years, this really is a smooth, characterful vodka. Perfect in a martini. 

Australian wine in FocusDate published: 06/02/14

d’Arenberg is one of the most significant wineries in McLaren Vale. In 1912 Joseph Osborn, a teetotaller and director of Thomas Hardy and Sons, purchased the well established Milton Vineyards of 25 hectares in the hills just north of the townships of Gloucester and Bellevue, now known as McLaren Vale.

Joseph’s son Francis Ernest (‘Frank’) Osborn left medical school, choosing to forsake the scalpel for pruning shears. He soon increased the size of the vineyard to 78 hectares. Fruit was sold to local wineries until the construction of his own cellars was completed in 1928. Dry red table and fortified wines were produced in ever increasing quantities to supply the expanding markets of Europe.

In 1943 Frank’s son Francis d’Arenberg Osborn, universally known as “d’Arry”, returned from school, age 16, to help his ill father run the business, eventually assuming full management in 1957. In 1959 d’Arry decided to launch his own label d’Arenberg, named in honour of his mother, Frances Helena d’Arenberg.

It was a small and humble start but the wines gained immediate cult status amongst imbibers and judges. The 1968 Cabernet Sauvignon won the Jimmy Watson Trophy at the 1969 Royal Melbourne Wine Show and the 1967 Red Burgundy (Grenache based) was awarded 7 trophies and 29 gold medals in Australian capital city wine shows. By the 1970’s d’Arenberg wines had become very fashionable, having gained a significant national and international profile in less than 20 years.

Enter the fourth generation, d’Arry’s son Chester d’Arenberg Osborn. From a very early age Chester was focused on continuing his family’s winemaking tradition. While growing up on the family property he helped his father d’Arry in both the vineyards and the cellar floor during school semester breaks and Christmas holidays.

After graduating from Roseworthy College and touring other Australian and European wine regions, Chester took over the reins as Chief Winemaker in 1984. He immediately set about returning the family’s vineyards to their traditional grape growing practices of minimal inputs and no fertilisation, cultivation and irrigation wherever possible, therefore achieving natural soil flavours with very low yields.

The winemaking processes of the past have been maintained, capturing the unique small-batch character of the wines and the true flavour of the McLaren Vale region. All grapes, red and white, are basket-pressed. The reds are still traditionally fermented with the grape skins (caps) submerged in open wax-lined concrete fermenters utilising the age-old technique of foot-treading.

In June 2004 Chester’s father, d’Arry was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his contributions to the wine industry and to the McLaren Vale region. After more than 65 consecutive vintages d’Arry is very proud of his achievements in creating an internationally recognised wine brand commonly known as the ‘Red Stripe’ due to the distinctive diagonal red stripe that adorns the label.

d’Arenberg’s art of being different extends to a range of fortified and dessert wines, which have legendary status worldwide, as well as operating d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant, one of South Australia’s most loved and highly awarded restaurant, set on a picturesque hilltop with our Cellar Door tasting room adjoining.


New to our range from Australia - Fine Wines at house wine prices!Date published: 03/02/14

Australian Wines on the Fine Wine Deal: New In-Stock

We have recently received allocations of some fantastic Fine Wine from Australia.  And guess what: they are included in our amazing Fine Wine Deal - "Buy 2 Save £10"!

Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2010, Tasmania 

£20.00*

This is the flagship Chardonnay from Hardy's, and an icon amongst Australian wines.  This wine is made from the best selection of Chardonnay grapes from Hardy's vineyards in Tasmania, as well as the Yarra Valley and other southern regions (to improve vintage consistency).

This wine achieves a fine harmony between ripe apple and stone fruit, integrated oak richness, and fresh floral and citrus notes.  The perfect accompaniment for roast white meats and fine seafood dishes.

Crittenden Estate Chardonnay 2011, Mornington Peninsula

£17.00*

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

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

This would be awesome with pasta dishes garnished with a simple herb butter and fresh Parmesan cheese. 

Chapel Hill Grenache 2011, McLaren Vale

£17.00*

Award-winning winemaker Micheal Fragos is fortunate enough to have access to some of McLaren Vale's oldest plantings of Grenache, including parcels of bush vines planted as far back as 1926! These produce low yields of intensely coloured and concentrated fruit. 

This has the classic old-vine Grenache profile.  Intense and fresh raspberry and loganberry fruit backbone, surrounded by notes of white pepper and cardamom.  This has supple yet chewy tannins, making it the perfect match for cold cuts and strong cheeses.

(*Price applies when purchasing any other Fine Wine included in the offer.)


New to Majestic Belgravia:Date published: 02/02/14

Chateau Clos Fontaine 2007, Cotes des Francs

Côtes de Francs is Bordeaux's smallest appellation, just 450 hectares of vineyards in all, located in the picturesque hills to the east of St-Emilion. Clos Fontaine is perhaps the area's best known winery, owned by the illustrious Thienpont family.

A medium-bodied and rounded wine. Aged in single-use oak barrels for up to 14 months and matured for a further 2 years before bottling, it is harmonious, smooth and has a gently spicy muscularity.

Would benefit decanting before serving. Best with hearty beef casseroles.

Currently priced at £9.99 a bottle, but very likely to go on offer from Tuesday.....watch this space!


Pinot NoirDate published: 31/01/14

Pinot Noir is grown around the world. Notoriously hard to get right, growers have hunted for cool climates to ensure adequate ripening; too warm and the wine tastes 'boiled', too cold and the balance of the wine will be off. It is said that the best pinots reflect the terroir, and thus the winemakers hand should go unnoticed.  So where has been found to work best, and what is a typical showing like? 

Burgundy: Despite a lack of clarity as to its origins, burgundy is the home of pinot noir. Sloping hills with clay-limestone soil provide the perfect bed for vines to flourish. Within the complex microcosm that is Burgundy, the Cote D'or presents the best growing conditions. Pinots from burgundy express floral notes, red fruits, red and black cherries, soft tannins with a real intensity of flavour. When aged, they tend to take on note of undergrowth. Try the Ladoix Rouge at £17.99 or the Bourgogne Pinot Nicolas Potel, £8.99/12.99. 

New Zealand: Light intensity is important in the ripening of grapes, and with the thin ozone layer, the bright light plays a big part in the NZ style. From the abundance of sunlight, grapes develop a higher sugar content which gives a higher alcohol content. Balanced by high acidity, these wines often pair well with food, dealing with meats and fish equally well. Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough all have great examples. Try the made for majestic 'Majestic Peaks' from Central Otago, £8.79/10.99.

California: Whilst it might seem too warm to satisfy the picky pinot noir, cloud cover provides protection from the heat. Sonoma provides the best climate for growing full bodied, fruit driven wines. Try the Saintsbury Pinot Noir, £20.00/25.00. 

Pinot noir and food: Pinot noir happily breaks the 'white with fish' myth. Tuna steaks and the meaty monkfish provide perfect accompaniments, not being overwhelmed. Game is undoubtedly the perfect pairing. Pigeon with a cherry sauce is a must try; the earthy qualities matched perfectly with the common cherry overtones in the wine. 


Come and Explore!


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 30/01/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:


Chateau Batailley 2007, Pauillac - £33

Tautavel 'Homage Rousillon' 2010, Gerard Bertrand - £19.99 (Harry's pick to drink now)

Amarone dell Valpollicella, Vigneti Negrar - £23/£18

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2008, la Ciarliana - £19.99/£15.99

Cune Imperial Reserva Rioja 2008 - £22

Torre Muga 2010 - £45 (Harry's pick to keep)

Royal tokaji 5 Puttonyos 50cl - £19.99


Where two prices are quoted, the lower corresponds to a multibuy deal

New to Majestic Belgravia:Date published: 29/01/14

Black Cottage Pinot Gris

New Zealand is famed for its Marlborough Sauvignon blanc, but in recent years this wine producing nation has started to export its fair share of other white wines, and pretty successfully too.  Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and even Gruner Veltliner have all been given a shot, and our latest arrival is a cracking example.

The Black Cottage Pinot Gris has lovely ripe stone fruit character heightened by lovely notes of peach blossom and aromatic rose.  It is slightly off dry which gives a really good balance with the acidity and a surprisingly refreshing finish.  A perfect aperitif, or a great match for a seafood platter or lightly spiced Thai noodles.  With 20% off all our New Zealand wines until 3rd February bringing this down to £9.99* this is definitely one to try.  Open this week on our tasting counter!

*when you buy 2 or more New Zealand wines.


New Zealand snapshotDate published: 28/01/14

New Zealand snapshot

I was lucky enough to go to the New Zealand tasting evening in London this week, it was a great evening with lots of delicious wines to taste. So here is a snapshot of the night with only the best bits.

The largest wine producing area in New Zealand is, you've guessed it, Marlborough! They have 19, 024 hectares of vineyards, outstripping the second largest area, Hawkes's Bay by 14, 031 hectares! The smallest is Waikato/Bay of Plenty with only 147 producing hectares.

By far and away my favourite grape of the night (and now favourite full stop) was the Riesling. 90% of the Kiwi produced Rieslings are grown in the South Island, the climate there is ideally suited to the grape with cool, long, sunny autumns and low humidity. Top try of the night for this grape was the Main Divide Riesling. Some botrytized grapes are added to this wine to create a honeyed richness. Enjoy the ripe apricot, lime and honeysuckle on the palate balanced by a zip of acidity. Great with some chinese duck or just glass after glass on its own - delicious and only £10.99 when you buy another Kiwi wine!

My favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, The Jackson Stich, was not toppled by any of the others, delicious crisp gooseberry on the palate, never a disappointment and only £9.99 in the New Zealand offer.

The great surprise for the night was a late harvest Chardonnay from Waipara West. Think apricot tart and believe me when I say it was heavenly! Unfortunately not currently stocked by Majestic, so I hereby start the petition to get it in! Join me - you won't be disappointed.


Did you know?Date published: 27/01/14

Did you know?

...the method for producing sparkling wine now known as the traditional method and most famously used in the creation of Champagne was invented not, as some people would have you believe, by Dom Perignon but by an Englishman called Christopher Merret. Merret was a physician and scientist who had an interest in the glass-making industry and he documented in 1662 in a letter to the Royal Society a method used by winemakers of adding quantities of sugar and molasses to "make the wines drink brisk and sparkling". This was made possible by the strength of English glass which was able to resist the pressure produced by sparkling wines, unlike their French equivalents.

So next time you have a glass of bubbly, toast to 17th century England for making it all possible!


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 22/01/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Chateau Gloria 2007, St Julien £30/£25

Chateau Lynch-Moussas 2006, Pauillac - £26

Tourelles De Longueville 2007, Pauillac - £30

Tourelles De Longueville 2009, Pauillac - £35

Chateau Rauzan-Ségla 1995, Margaux - £85

Chateau Beychevelle 2003, St Julien - £110

Jean-Jacques Girard Savigny-les Beaune Blanc 2012 - £24/£19

Domaine Laroche Chablis 1er Cru 'Les Fourchaumes' Vielles Vignes 2009 - £30/£25

Planeta Chardonnay 2011, Sicily - £25

Jermann 'Dreams' Chardonnay 2009, Friuli - £35

Jermann Vintage Tunina 2011, Friuli - £38 (Harry's Pick)


Where 2 prices are listed, the lower is a multibuy price on any 2 fine wines included in the offer.

Join the BYO Revolution!Date published: 21/01/14

Bored of boring restaurant wine lists?  Most places (with a few notable exceptions) have fairly standard wine offerings with a 200-300% mark up on all wines.  However, while they don't often advertise it, most places will allow you to bring your own wine for a corkage fee (often around £10).  So next time you book a table somewhere serving great food, ask them about BYO and see if you can drink a truly Majestic wine as well!

Nyetimber Demi-Sec NV: Now in stockDate published: 20/01/14

This is a superb sparkling wine and the first of its kind, an English interpretation of the classic off dry Champagne style. It is made in very small quantities from Nyetimber's 100% estate grow Chardonnay, and bottle with extra dosage to create this classic style.

It is the perfect balance between sweetness and freshness, the crisp refreshing taste is supported by heady brioche aromas making it a beautifully rich wine. 

This will make a great aperitif or accompaniment for a light dessert. 


Currently in stock and only £25.99


 

New Cider in StockDate published: 20/01/14

Burrow Hill Cider is new in this week. 

This cider is breaking the mould of the ever commercial ciders our palate are generally used to. Burrow Hill Farm distinguishes itself by sticking to its traditional roots, through quality led atrisan cider. 

All the apples are home grown on 160 acres of orchards in Somerset. They are then pressed and blended in a very traditional, medium/dry style. The cider is made in traditional vats and uses age old traditional methods of production. Giving it a brilliant smooth and complex taste with a velvety palate and a sweet spicy aftertaste.

This is a line exclusive to Majestic and cannot be bought anywhere else. As the producer is intent on keeping the brand traditional and niche. So come see us today and get your case at only £2.25 a bottle (£18 per case of 8), it is most definately worth a try. 


Wondering how to tell if your wine is corked? Date published: 19/01/14

Wondering how to tell if your wine is corked? Had a bad experience with a wine recently and wondering if it was just supposed to taste like that? Fear no more!Here are our top tips on identifying wine faults, starting with the most misunderstood of them all... Cork taint.

So what is cork taint? First of all it definitely isn't the particles of cork that you may or may not find floating around in your glass or that have accidentally broken off into your bottle... the result of a dodgy corkscrew. The main cause of cork taint is the presence of 2,4,6 - trichloroanisole (TCA) which in many cases may have been from the cork, but could also have come from wine barrels or cardboard boxes. It is estimated that up to 5% of all wines can be affected. 

How can you tell? It is unusual to be able to tell from sight alone, so take a big whiff, swirl it around in your glass. Characteristic odors of corked wines include damp dog, mouldy magazines, putrid papers, rotting rags, sweaty socks or a basement after a flood. The wines original aromas are usually reduced significantly and the wine will generally smell musty. Although harmless, wines that are affected by cork taint are generally unpalatable. 

If you find your wine isn't up to its normal standard, or you think there might be a fault, don't be afraid to speak up. Sending a bottle back is not in any way being pretentious, you wouldn't think twice if your steak smelt off! We at Majestic don't want your experience and enjoyment of a wine to be ruined by cork taint so please bring it back and we will replace it for you, no questions asked! 


Christmas returns to team Belgravia for one night only!Date published: 17/01/14

With the Christmas holidays all but a distant memory, we here at team Belgravia now get the chance to celebrate the festive period with a highly anticipated evening at a posh London restaurant. With the prospect of sitting down to some good wine, some interesting company and hopefully even better food I will review some of the wines we've been lucky enough to bring along to accompany our veritable feast!

We'll be starting of the evening with some fizz of course and today we've chosen Perrier Jouet NV at £32.50. This is a very light aperitif style Champagne so is perfect for us to get the evening off in style. Crisp and citrusy  with a light toasty note to round it out.

I am envisaging this going well with a Scallop dish perhaps with some apple puree or maybe some smoked bacon. This would be a very good pairing with Champagne.

I understand that the venue we're going to does a very posh Surf 'n' Turf with fillet steak and lobster but this is yet to be seen or tasted.

The Inama Soave is our second wine of the evening. The soft texture and creamy finish will go perfectly with Jack's creamed spinach he keeps harping on about. I'm sure we'll all enjoy it with whatever we choose!

To go with the legendary Surf 'n' Turf we shall be enjoying the Ch Haut Barde 2001. Fast becoming a favorite of all of us at Belgravia and a number of our patrons, this really is one to look out for. Wonderfully smooth with bags of fruit, its a great example of how good Bordeaux can age.  

To round off what is shaping up to be a terrific evening on the food and wine front, the Delaforce Quinta da Corte '91 has the enviable role of headlining. This superb port has a powerful, intense bouquet of blackcurrant, cherryand cedar. The palate is beautifully balanced and structured, with plenty of spice and evolved fruit are present too. I'm sure a dessert worthy of the port will be selected, I'm think something along the lines of dark chocolate torte and chantilly cream.

We shall be letting you all know the outcome of our team meal in due course. Lets hope it's a Merry Christmas for all of us...! 

Have you got the January Blues??Date published: 16/01/14

Have you got the January Blues??

January for me is an exciting month... My Birthday is in January and I make the celebrations last as long as I can.

However for most people January is always the month for repenting the sins of Christmas and the festive period.

Often people think about giving up on wine and posh food entirely. This can be pretty daunting prospect and makes January seem even dull.

So one option is to drink less, but better quality wines! Then you can enjoy something really special as a treat at the end of the month. Perfect!

Whats more our fine wine offer is still running: Buy 2 selected bottles and save £10 (minimum purchase 6 bottles)

I cant think of a better way to enjoy wine this January!

The second option...

 For those of us that like a bargain, why not pop in and see what Bargain hunt wines you fancy! It's 33.3% off selcted lines so you could replenish the wine rack with some bargains either for now or so you can start February in style. 


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 15/01/14

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Klein Constantia 'Vin de Constance' 2008, South Africa - £35 (500ml)

Kanonkop 'Paul Sauer' 2010, Stellenbosch - £30/£25

Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Stellenbosch - £27/£22

Kanonkop Pinotage 2011, Stellenbosch - £25/£20

Last of the Chocolate block - get in quick!Date published: 14/01/14

The immensely popular and cult Chocolate Block is fast running out. We are down to the last handful of bottles from the 2012 vintage. If you are a fan then make sure you stock up for the summer as the next allocation will be due in the Autumn of 2014. It is currently on the Fine Wine Offer - buy two save £10 - at £22. We also have some of the 2011 magnums in for exactly double the price at £44, sidestepping the usual premium that is demanded of double bottles.

Get in quick!


Vintage ChampagneDate published: 13/01/14

Vintage Champagne, defining character.

Champagne can be divided into two main categories, Vintage or Non-vintage.

Non-vintage champagne is a blend of wines made in different years. This creates a consistent style of Champagne that doesn't need copious amounts of time before being ready to drink. Non-vintage champagne can only be released after 18 months ageing.

Vintage Champagne is only made in the best years, when climactic conditions are enar perfect for one or more of the grape varieties. Vintage champagnes must be aged for at least 36 months before release, but many houses will age their wines for longer. The benefit of this is the extra contact with the lees (dead yeast cells), which creates the yeasty bready flavour that champagne is famed for.

In general, non-vintage champagne is a slightly fresher and fruitier style. Due to the longer ageing of vintage champagne, characteristics of brioche, marmite and honeyed overtones are developed. There are of course exceptions to every rule. Krug for example is a non vintage champagne but is a full bodied style that undergoes lengthy ageing before release.  At the other end of the spectrum, Heidseck Gold Top is a vintage champagne, but is designed to be drunk only after a little more than the minimum ageing.

Vintage Champagnes offer a great value alternative to prestige cuvées, each with its unique character, a blend of house style and vintage conditions.  Find your favourite combination and watch it develop over months, years and even decades in the bottle if you have the patience!


Oak and WineDate published: 10/01/14

I feel it is time to clarify the use of Oak in wines and help you decide whether you would enjoy wines which have or have not seen any oak.

There is a common decision to avoid Chardonnay (especially from the New World) because one does not like it because it has seen too much oak. Now this stems from the 90's (or thereabouts) when there was a trend to over-oak wines, that has mostly ceased however it seems our memories aren't so short.

What does it mean to over-oak? Well, we all enjoy the refreshing citrus and other fruit flavours in our wines, but if too much oak has been used in the production of the wine, we are left with an overly savoury and spiced wine without any of the fruit we desire.

How is oak used in production? There are several ways that oak can come in use in winemaking. Wines can be aged in oak barrels (newer oak gives more flavour than older oak) for a period of time or in steel tanks with oak staves (planks) inside them. White wines can also be fermented in oak barrels whereas red wines cannot.

What are the effects of oak on wine? In short American oak gives wine a sweet spice, adds body and a bit of tannin (more applicable in red wine). French oak gives a more peppery spice with cloves being a common expression. Often it is noticeable in white wines giving a lovely buttery texture.

A brilliant tasting session to judge to oak effects on wine are to try: UVC Petit Chablis (£9.99) as your unoaked example against the Montes Alpha Chardpnnay (£12.99) as your oaked example and see if you notice the difference between the two styles.

Feel free to come in store and ask the team anything you want about the subject or any other wine difficulties you are having.


Producer in Focus: DemorganzonDate published: 09/01/14

Demorganzon (DMZ) takes its amphitheater shaped vineyards a little further than most producers who hope to catch only the cooler morning sunlight, by playing classical music through speakers towards the vines. Thought to help regulate the growth of both grapes and vines, science is indicating that it's more than just a gimmick. Majestic Belgravia were able to aid the scientific process by trying the Sauvignon, Chenin and Chardonnay. The chardonnay, aged in a mixture of new and used oak casks, showed much of the characteristics that a developing chardonnay should posses; a buttery, rich and easy drinking vintage. DMZ hope to gain consistency throughout vintages as opposed to creating one off show stoppers, and the development of this line suggests future success. The Sauvignon was a particularly youthful wine, full of citrus and grass on the nose. Its high acidity would be well matched to seafood dishes. The Chenin was the best of the DMZ wines on show. Again, still a youthful wine, it was much richer and had more depth of flavor. A well known Stellenbosch, is it often snapped up, and might reach the point where customers are on a waiting list. Overall, DMZ collection presented a youthful set of wines, and is a producer to keep an eye on.      


Barde-Haut, St-Emilion 2001Date published: 08/01/14

The 2001 Barde-Haut is just reaching its plateau of full maturity. Gorgeously complex notes of plums, underbrush, flowers, and earth are accompanied by a fleshy, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and no hard edges. This wine is drinking beautifully now but should keep for another decade, if you can resist for that length of time. Its was the Bordeaux Christmas favorite here at majestic Belgravia. Current price £35 per bottle. 

Ruinart Champagne Offer!Date published: 07/01/14

In 1729 the Ruinart House was established and to this day the House still retains the values of quality, elegance and cultivated excellence at the heart of its Champagne production.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV

Made using only Chardonnay this Champagne has citrus, white flower and peach aromas that are fresh and supple on the palate.

Special offer £45

Ruinart Rose NV Champagne

Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are using in the making of this beautiful Rose Champagne. Golden pink in colour, the nose is full of cherry and fresh red berries with a delightfully smooth finish.

Special offer £45

'R' de Ruinart NV Champagne

Delicate, fresh and fruity with almond, hazelnut and pear aromas that are complemented by fresh butter and sweet pastry characteristics. Produced with both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Special Offer £35


Majestic Marlborough!Date published: 06/01/14

Our range of wines from the Marlborough region of New Zealand are consistently among our most popular. With their intense fruit characteristics they are instantly recognisable and highly regarded. I thought I'd take the opportunity, particularly as we have some fantastic Marlborough Sauvignons on offer, to explain why this region receives such attention and why it produces such unique wines.

The first vines were planted by Montana (now Brancott Estate) in 1973, although the region really came to prominence when Cloudy Bay arrived in 1985. Marlborough, New Zealand's largest wine region, is situated at the north eastern tip of the South Island and its' success  stems mainly from it's free draining, stony soils and near perfect climate. The region is sheltered from cold southerly winds by the Inland Kaikoura Range, and from northeasterly winds by the North Island. Marlborough does not have a warm climate by any stretch, however it is able to slowly ripen grapes (often over a period of a week or two) to a near perfect state due to its'  long sunny days and a long growing season. Additionally, the cool nights help to preserve the acidity in the grapes and lock in the fresh, fruit flavours.This unique combination of factors  produces fresh, fruit driven wines with intense, concentrated flavours and crisp acidity.

Marlborough's reputation was built on its distinctive Sauvignon Blancs, however, today the region has much success with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatic varieties, such as Riesling.


Vinalba Malbec/Cabernet/Petit VerdotDate published: 06/01/14

Region:

Mendoza is the primary wine making region in Argentina with over 80% of all Argentinean wine coming from Mendoza. Mendoza itself is a medium-sized city with 115,000 people living there in the 2010 consensus. The greater region of Mendoza is home to many more, 900,000 more to be precise. The temperature here is most definitely Mediterranean with the average temperature hovering around 38-39 Degrees Centigrade. One would think that these temperatures would make it very difficult to grow grapes. However this is not the case as almost all of the vineyards in this region sit at between 500m and 1500m above sea level in the foothills of the Andes. The higher altitude moderates the climate immensely, and also increases air circulation.

There is very little rainfall in Mendoza, so very sophisticated flood irrigation systems have been developed over time to combat against severe drought. The stress on the roots to find nutrition creates a healthier vine, producing better fruit

Producer:

Vinalba is a name that is quickly becoming synonymous with Malbec, but for me, the really exciting part of their range is what they are blending Malbec with. From Touriga Nacional to Petit Verdot, Vinalba are one of the most experimental producers in Mendoza.

Wine:

A traditional Bordeaux blend from the heavily Spanish influenced Argentina does not sound right, but it just works. This wine offers a classic Bordeaux tasting note with Cassis, palmer violets, spice, plum. 

£9.99 when you buy two or more

ZinfandelDate published: 04/01/14

Often thought of as America's signature variety, it was brought over by the Austrian government from a Nursery in Vienna in 1797. It is however the exact same variety as Crljenak Kaštelanski in Croatia where it is thought that the Austrians got it from it in the first place. It is also the exact same grape as Primitivo predominantly made in Puglia the heel of Italy. It was first documented in Italy in the 1800's where it probably came over from Croatia; it's long standing home! So there we go often thought of as America's contribution it actually appears that it was originally Croatian!

Viña Pomal Reserva Rioja 2009Date published: 03/01/14

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 style of Rioja will be a superb complement to Catalan-style charcuterie or cured meats.

Currently on offer at just £9.99 a bottle (when you buy 2+ bottles), reduced from £12.99.

DeliveriesDate published: 14/12/13

We are currently able to offer next day delivery right through to Christmas eve - don't worry about what it says on the website - that's a nationwide disclaimer!  Owen, Jack and Sam will be able to get your wine to you within 48 hours of you placing an order.  Give us a bell on 02078810804 with any queries.

Merry Christmas

Seasonal SparklingDate published: 10/12/13

The festive season has begun and now is the time that we guzzle more champagne than any other time of year. And why not! 'Tis the season!

The following champagne deals represent quite remarkable value at a time of year when champagne prices are more competitive than ever:

Canard Duchene NV Brut £17.99* down from £27.00

Laurent Perrier NV Brut £25.00 down from £38.00

Louis Roederer NV Brut Premier £27.99* down from £42.00

Pol Roger NV £34.00 down from £45.00

Bollinger Grande Annee 2004 £60 down from £90.00

Krug Grande Cuvee NV £120.00 down from £140.00

*when you buy 2 or more bottles

With Christmas fast approaching now is the time to fill your stockings!

Ex-Chateau Stock!Date published: 09/12/13

Two new additions to our winter Bordeaux range are Chateaux Fourcas-Dupré and Coufran. Both are from the (perfect now) 2004 vintage and bought directly from Chateaux stock, ensuring perfect provenance and a great price. 2004 has always flown under the radar as it was followed by the brilliant 2005. The wines have turned out very well indeed; in a similar mould to 1999 or 2001 they have classically eartly Médocaine flavours and great balance. These are wines which need air (we strongly recommend decanting) and demonstrate that there is great value to be found in Bordeaux.

Discovering SangioveseDate published: 08/12/13

I was recently lucky enough to visit Tuscany and one of its largest wine producers Castello Banfi, based just outside the town of Montalcino. I had never been a great lover of Italian red wine especially those based around the Sangiovese grape variety, the predominant red grape variety of the Tuscany region. Oh but how wrong I have been!

 Over the past 20 years Banfi along with local universities have sent much time and effort on research in their pursuit of excellence. They have not researched the soil types and matched to the grape varieties that best suit them, they also discovered that whilst most producers believed they were using one clone of Sangiovese, there were in fact 150. They then planted all 150 to discover the clones that had the best characteristics for each of the different wines they produce.

This dedication to excellence has continued into the wine making process and has lead to the creation of superlative wines. The best of these wines based on the Sangiovese grape, for myself, had to be the Brunello di Montalcion Poggio alle Mura 2008. Made from a combination of the clones selected by the estate it fermented in stainless steel before being aged in a combination of French and Slovenian oak for 2 years with a further year in the bottle before release. It has an intense purple red colour with a nose that is multifaceted, but is instantly entrancing, fresh and sweet; with notes of plum, cherry, blackberry and raspberry jam combined with hints of chocolate, cigar box, vanilla and liquorice. The beefy and toned pallet is a surprising combination of power and smoothness, with sweet and gentle tannins.

This was closely follow by Belnero 2010, which has small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blended in give it a perfectly balanced structure and make it ideal for long term ageing. It boasts notes of vanilla, tobacco and coffee, and also fruity hints of cherry jam and prunes. Also their Rosso di Montalcino, a classic of the region and Banfi, though aged for a shorter period than the Brunello, this leaves it with a freshness and straightforwardness the make it extremely versatile. Packed with more varietal fruits of cherry, plum its pallet is expansive, soft with a good finish.

These three wines have open my eyes to the possibilities of the Sangiovese grape and the quality wines that can be produced form them. I will no longer immediately discount Italian red wine, especially from Tuscany, as being a little too lightweight and acidic for my tastes as I now know how great they can and will continue to search equally as fantastic examples.



The Fine Wine PlanDate published: 07/12/13

The Fine Wine Plan

What's involved:

You pay on a monthly basis, an amount that suits your budget. This payment becomes credit towards your chosen wines, which are stored in bond until you wish to take them out. The expert staff at Lay & Wheeler can advise you on which wines are suited to you. They are all highly trained and experienced in selecting the best wines for short or long term ageing. 

The benefits you get from joining the plan are as follows;

- 10% discount at Majestic Wine when you subscribe £100 or more per month.

- Free joining case will be added to your collection.

- Fine wine plan advance which allows you to go three times over your monthly subscription as a credit limit. 

- Exclusive offers on a quarterly basis.

If you would like to know more please contact us in store on the following number - 02078810804

Exciting New arrivalDate published: 06/12/13

The second wine of Ornellaia, Le Serre shares a similar Bordeaux-inspired blend to the flagship wine, but is produced mainly from the estate's younger vines, resulting in a softer, fresher style that can be enjoyed at full maturity with less time in the cellar. It combines rich black fruit with silky tannins and a firm, well-structured feel, enhanced by a diverse aromatic profile, offering cedar, dried herb and tobacco leaf nuances.

It is included in our ongoing Fine Wine at house wine prices promotion and is reduced to £35 when you buy two fine wines and save £10


Spotlight on ChristmasDate published: 06/12/13

This Saturday we'll be opening a dazzling array of wines designed to complement your festivities on Christmas day! The tasting is free to attend, simply book your place over the phone (020 7881 0804), by email (bel@majestic.co.uk), on twitter @majesticbel or pop in store.

It all kicks off at 5pm, we're looking forward to seeing you!


Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2011, MarlboroughDate published: 05/12/13

Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough

Another favorite with our customers this wine displays an intense bouquet of passion fruit, guava and underlying citrus notes. The palate has more tropical fruit, minerality and an unusual richness due to partial barrel fermentation.

Blind River founder, Barry Feickert, employs all the latest computer technology to understand and manage his vineyard. A marine engineer in his former life, he is able to fix practically anything, and his perfectionist nature means that his vineyard is always in prime condition. They currently have 11.25ha of river terrace vineyards planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

The 'koru' eel on the label is said to symbolise 'the way in which life both changes and stays the same – a concept borne out through a vineyard which faces different challenges with each vintage underpinned by the continual cycle of the four seasons.'

This wine is further enhanced by 10% barrel fermentation in old French oak giving added richness and depth.

Cropping levels are deliberately kept low so that vines can concentrate their efforts on producing less, but more concentrated, fruit.

£9.99 when you buy any 2 wines from NZ (£12.49 normal bottle price)


Know your Loire VintagesDate published: 04/12/13

Know your Loire Vintages

2012: A tough vintage for many, with heavy rain and hail, but quality generally rescued by the resultant low yields.

2011: Warm, humid weather and an early harvest generally means whites are fruity, low in acidity and early-drinking. Some very good, ripe reds.

2010: Solid vintage. Sauvignons very fresh and aromatic, and red wines are supple, with above average ripeness and body.

2009: An excellent vintage overall, with a dry summer producing richer-than-usual dry whites and supple, rounded reds.

2008: Early frosts and cool overall conditions meant lengthy ripening, lowish yields and a late harvest. Quality above average.

2007: Cool and damp weather produced fine,elegant whites with firm acidity, though some are rather austere as a result.


Offer Alert!Date published: 03/12/13

Offer alert...Bollinger Special Cuvee NV only £30.00 a bottle*


Bollinger Special Cuvée NV

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


Currently £30.00 a bottle when you buy 6 or more save 33%, unit price £45.00


Order online at www.majestic,co.uk or call us direct on 02078810804


Marvellous Magnums!Date published: 28/11/13

Having friends or family over for dinner and fancy treating your guests? Then why not go for a magnum? Double the size definitely equals double the fun and we've got a fantastic range of magnums on great deals this festive period:

Reds

Matsu El Picaro magnum - £16

Matsu El Recio magnum - £26

Marques de Riscal Rioja magnum - £22

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos de l'Oratoire magnum - £48

Champagne

Laurent-Perrier Brut NV magnum - £60

Veuve Clicquot NV magnum - £70

Bollinger NV magnum - £75

Laurent-Perrier Rose magnum - £100


Planning a Majestic Christmas?Date published: 27/11/13

As the run up to Christmas gets under way, I would like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the excellent services Majestic Wine offer to companies and corporate clients.

We are the UK's leading mixed case wine retailer, winning numerous awards including Decanter's 'Best National Wine Merchant' and International Wine Challenge's 'High Street Chain of the Year'. At Majestic we sell a minimum of 6 bottles, allowing us to provide high quality wines at fantastic prices. This can be mixed any way you like: wine, Champagne or spirits. With a helpful and knowledgeable team on hand you can be sure to find the perfect wine for any occasion.

The services we offer include:

FREE delivery*

An outstanding party service including FREE glass and chiller bin hire** with your wine order and a sale or return policy.

Corporate gifts.

An extended range of Fine Wines.

A selection of great wines open to taste 7 days a week.

Experienced, knowledgeable staff who can advise on wines, beers, Champagnes and spirits for a variety of requirements and budgets

Mixed-case gift boxed selections starting from £47.14 for 6 bottles or £65.68 for 12 bottles

Whether online, over the phone or in person, we will ensure that you receive an exceptional level of customer service. If you have any queries, please feel free to visit us in store, or simply call us on 01428 654929.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

The Majestic Belgravia Team

Email: bel@majestic.co.uk

Phone: 02078810804

Website: www.majestic.co.uk

* Minimum of 6 bottles of wine or spirits over £40 to one address.

** Glass and chiller bin hire requires a refundable deposit


A quick tour of the Southern RhoneDate published: 26/11/13

A quick tour of the Southern Rhone

Lirac
Southern Rhône Valley
The Lirac vineyard is located in a bend of the Rhône not far from Orange and Avignon, spread over the sun-bathed terraces and hillsides of four communes: Lirac, Roquemaure, Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres and Saint-Géniès-de-Colomas. The wines come in three colours: graceful and fragrant whites and rosés that should be drunk young with shellfish; and powerful and generous reds, better suited to red meat. A perfect example of the latter would be the Lirac 2011, Vignoble Abeille. A great facsimile of Chateauneuf-du-Pape at the low price of just £12.79!

Gigondas
Southern Rhône Valley
This vineyard is confined to the commune of Gigondas which is located at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Originally a Côtes-du-Rhône wine, and later a Côtes-du-Rhônes-Villages, Gigondas finally became an independent appellation in 1971. Its soil, climate and particular varietal mix (dominated by Grenache) yields predominantly robust and powerful red wines like the Bastide St Vincent Gigondas 2011 (£15.98) with rich alcohol content, displaying a refined bouquet of spices mingled with pitted fruit. They are well-suited to game, and can be cellared for many years without losing their qualities. The few Gigondas rosés are also warm-hearted.

Côtes-du-Ventoux
Southern Rhône Valley
This vineyard extends from Vaison-la-Romaine in the north to Apt in the south, at the foot of the limestone Mont Ventoux. The reds produced here are fresh and elegant in their youth, and more robust when they come from westerly communes such as Caromb, Bédoin and Mormoiron. La Vielle Ferme Rouge(£6.79) has long been a Majestic favourite from the region. More forward-drinking in style its berry fruit goes very well with gammon.

Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages
Southern Rhône Valley
A few communes in the southern part of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation area have acquired a special reputation thanks to the quality of their terroirs and stricter rules of production than ordinary Côtes-du-Rhône wines. There are 14 historic commune names that may appear on labels: Chusclan, Laudun, Saint-Gervais, Cairanne, Sablet, Séguret, Rasteau, Roaix, Valréas, Visan, Rochegude, Rorsset-les-Vignes, Saint-Maurice, Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes, Sinargues, Massif d'Uchaux, Plan de Dieu and Puymeras. These Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages wines vary depending on their sub-region of origin, and are distinguished from those of the Côtes-du-Rhône AOC by their characteristically generous nature and superior ageing potential.

Châteauneuf-du-pape
Southern Rhône Valley
This prestigious appellation is located to the north of Avignon, dominating the plain of the Comtat Venaissin. Thirteen grape varieties are authorized, chief of which are the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. The intensely coloured reds are best drunk after a period of ageing, varying according to the vintage. They are ample, full-bodied and robust, with a powerful and complex bouquet that pairs beautifully with red meat, game and cheese. The rare whites hide their power behind delicate floral and fruit aromas (white flowers, citrus fruit, pear, apricot and exotic fruit) and the honeyed notes that they develop with age. The Clos de l'Oratoire Blanc(£24) is a perfect example of white Chateauneuf and given its full body and rich flavours, it makes a great wine for the Christmas table.

Muscat-de-Beaumes-de-Venise
Southern Rhône Valley
Beaumes-de-Venise is located to the northeast of Avignon, with the Mont Ventoux in the background and the AOCs of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras and Gigondas to the west. Like the other vins doux naturels, the wines of this appellation are produced by adding eau-de-vie to the musts before the fermentation process is complete. They are aromatic, fruity, full of finesse and elegance ­– perfect as an aperitif, or as an accompaniment to milder cheeses and fruit based puddings. The Domaine de Coyeaux is a great value option at £7.99

Christmas Claret: Chateau le Vivier '08Date published: 25/11/13

Claret is an English term for red Bordeaux and the word comes from medical Latin claratum (vinum) clarified (wine) and from Latin clarus ‘clear’. The Latin meaning is not surprising considering that nowadays all wine goes through a clarification process to remove insoluble particles such as yeast cells, tannin, grape skin, pulp etc. Think of it as freshly pressed apple juice which is cloudy, but when you buy it from the supermarket is clear because the pits have been filtered. 

Château Le Vivier 2008 Médoc

Formerly owned by Lafite Rothschild, in 1990 Le Vivier was acquired by the Charloux family, who set about modernising the estate. This included building the Médoc's largest underground cellars, now known locally as 'The Cathedral', such is their volume and grandeur.

A 50/50 Cabernet/Merlot blend, this wine has great balance between firm tannin, intense bramble fruit and soft plum notes, with the influence of old and new oak adding polish and a liquorice spice.

£11.99, buy 2 save 33.3% -  £7.99



Dear Customers: Thank you!Date published: 22/11/13

Good afternoon,

To those who attended our mega tasting on Wednesday, thank you so much for joining us for a wonderful evening. All the staff here enjoyed sharing their passion for wine with you and getting to know you a little better.

Thank you again and we hope to see you all again soon.

Have a good weekend,

Harry, Greg, Sam, Jack and Owen


The Dom...Date published: 21/11/13

Dom Pérignon was the 17th century Benedictine monk who has gone down in history as the person who "invented" Champagne thus however not the case as it was accidentally invented by the English.  His name was originally registered by Eugène Mercier. He sold the brand name to Moët & Chandon, which used it as the name for its prestige cuvée, which was first released in 1937.

A rigorous selection process in both the vineyard and winery ensures that only the best grapes go into Dom Pérignon champagne. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are used in roughly equal proportions without one variety dominating the other.

In its youth, Dom Pérignon shows incredibly smooth, creamy fruit with perfect balance and weight. As it ages, it takes on wonderfully toasty aromas and a finesse equalled by very few of the other Grandes Marques.

Exclusively available to taste tonight!Date published: 20/11/13

Tonight, Lay & Wheeler will be showcasing 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.

Try it tonight! 

Only £35 per bottle through Majestic, available in bond through Lay & Wheeler.

The geese are getting fat...Date published: 19/11/13

With the festive season fast approaching, it's worth remembering that we cater to all your party needs, apart from the turkey! We provide soft drinks and ice as well as wines, spirits and beers.

Glass hire is available with a £1 fully refundable deposit per glass - essentially free. 

Free delivery is offered if you are short on time, or car space. We offer this service 7 days a week, all throughout the day.

We even offer external tastings, ideal for occasions such as Christmas parties.

Get in touch and we can help make the Christmas Season a little easier for you!


In Focus: Chateau MusarDate published: 18/11/13

In Focus: Chateau Musar - available to taste on Wendesday evening!

The winery was established by Gaston Hochar in 1930 after returning from Bordeaux. Chateau Musar Red wine has many hallmarks of great mature Bordeaux with Serge Hochar being billeted with Anthony Barton (Chateau Leoville- Barton) during the Second World War. Despite war in Lebanon and frequent tension they have produced a vintage every year with the exception of the 1976 vintage. Chateau Musar Red is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan and it uses indigenous grapes of Obaideh and Merwah to make their distinctive whites.

The Chateau Musar Red is fermented in cement vats, racked at about 6 months from the harvest and then aged for around 12 months in French Nevers oak barriques – only a small percentage new oak. The blending process is different every year depending on the vintage and it is release in its 7th year.

Chateau Musar 2001 £24

Intense red cherries, dark chocolate, olives and figs, integrated tannins with amazing length.

Chateau Musar 2005 £19.99

Concentrated plum and blackberry fruit, hints of fig, prune, distinct liquorice and spice. Firm but fine tannins, good acidity and body, vibrant and fresh with streaks of cedar and cinnamon. Long finish.

Chateau Musar's 'second' red wine Hochar Père et Fils adds Grenache to the blend and is released after 5 years and offers a fruitier style to the Musar.

Hochar Père et Fils 2008 £11.99

An intense burgundy colour with a complex nose of black fruits backed up by figs, dates and spices. The palate is well integrated with good acidity, fine tannins and a good length.

Chateau Musar White is fermented in oak barrels for 6-9months and aged for six years before release. Likend to 'mature white Graves' it can be aged for many years.

Chateau Musar White 2004 £19.99 now £17.99

Deep golden hues from a glass that exudes baked apple, almond, brioche, apricot and vanillin aromas. A buttery, rich, honey textured and wine with vanilla, butterscotch, roasted stonefruit and spice.

Finally there is Musar Jeune Rosé (£9.99) made from 100% Cinsault the 2011 offers rich fruit with good acidity. This wine has the body to stand up to barbequed meats and is an excellent accompaniment to a Lebanese 'mezze'. 

New: Bargain Burgundy open to tasteDate published: 17/11/13

DUC DE BELMONT- Côteaux Bourguignon ... a new Red Burgundy

Côteaux Bourguignon is a modern appellation established in 2011, covering both red and white wines sourced anywhere in the 'Burgundy Hills' but falling outside of the classic appellations, from around Chablis in the north to Beaujolais in the south. A light-to-medium-bodied red wine, crammed with vivid flavours of ripe redcurrant, blackberry and raspberry, all framed by rounded tannins and gentle perfumed notes. Ideal partnered with simple grilled meat dishes. Why not give it a try today? (one of our new arrivals!)

£9.99 Buy two save £4 = £7.99 each. 


Majestic Belgravia's Wonderful Winter Wine Evening!!Date published: 16/11/13

Wines to be tried on Wednesday 20th November:

Pernod Ricard - Champagne

PJ Belle Epoque 2006 - £90

PJ Belle Epoque Rosé 2006 £150

Mumm Vintage 2006 - £33

Mumm Demi-Sec NV - £30

Mumm R Lalou 1999 - £100

Chateau Musar - Lebanon

Chateau Musar White 2004 - £17.99

Musar Jeune Rosé 2011 - £9.99

Hochar Pere et fils 2008 - £11.99

Chateau Musar Red 2005 - £19.99

Chateau Musar Red 2001 - £24

Inama - Italy

Vin Soave 2012 Soave Classico - £14.99/£12.99

Vigneto du Lot 2011 Soave Classico - £25/£20

Lay & Wheeler

Les Tourelles de Longueville 2009, Pauillac - £35 (also available in bond through L&W)

La Gerla 2007, Brunello di Montalcino - (available in bond through L&W)

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2001 St Julien cru classé - (available in bond through L&W)

Festive Staff Favourites

Torres Vina Sol 2012, Penedes - £7.99/£5.99

Martinborough Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Martinborough - £17.49/£13.99

Louis Jadot 2010, Meursault 'Narvaux' - £30/£25

Clos Saint Jean 2009, Chateauneuf-du-Pape - £30/£25

Chateau Fourcas-Dupré 2004, Listrac-Medoc - £15.99/£12.99

Mt Difficulty 'Packspur Vineyard'Pinot Noir 2010 - £45/£35.98

Pedro's Almacenista Palo Cortado - £14.99

Pedro's Almacenista Amontillado - £9.99

Pedro's Almacenista Oloroso - £11.99

Taylors 'Quinta de Vargellas' 2001 Vintage Port - £27


Why do we drink what we do?Date published: 13/11/13

Which wines do we drink most often and why?  Is it because someone has told us that these are the wines we should like or because time and again we have tried different varietals from different regions and styles and decided that these are our personal favourites. Or perhaps you won the lottery by finding something you liked in that first glass and stuck with the safe choice.  Whatever your answer is, we should all ask ourselves this question periodically, and analyse whether we should try that South American Chardonnay or that California Pinot Noir.  The answer is always yes, we should be trying new wines.  This is because wine is always changing, and because there are exceptions to every rule.  So the wine that you tried 10 years ago from Eastern Europe and hated might have be paying a great amount of care to their wines in an effort to repair their reputation.  Or, the wine that you have stuck with might have fallen off and you didn't even notice because it was what you were used to.  So go ahead, try something new.  Surely it's worth a few quid.

New in and available to taste - Date published: 12/11/13

Turkey Flat White from Australia...

One of our new arrivals this week. The Turkey Flat White is made using Marsanne, Viognier, Roussanne.

This interesting white blend has been created by taking the three major classic white varieties of the Rhône, fermenting them individually with moderate oak contact and lees stirring during maturation before blending to create a multi-layered style.

An involving and diverse wine, with bright aromatics and subtle texture.Stone fruit and floral aromas give way to tropical nuances and refreshing acidity.

Enjoy as an unusual aperitif, or partner with fine fish dishes- Available out our tasting counter...

£14.99  Save 20% when you buy any two Australian Wines £11.99


Fine Wine in Focus Chateau Coufran 2004 haut-medocDate published: 07/11/13

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

Producer in Focus: Pedro'sDate published: 03/11/13

Introducing Pedro's Sherry

Here at Majestic we have four of Pedro's Almacenista Selection sherry each with unique characteristics. First we have 'Fino' the lightest and most delicate of the four; the youth of this Sherry is reflected by its pale colour and fresh apple notes. 'Amontillado' is smooth on the palate leaving a pleasant after taste. 'Oloroso' is traditionally aged resulting in a more rounded and a complex finish, this sherry can compliment a hearty casserole. The fourth, a 'Palo Cortado' is a very rare style of Sherry. It falls between the Amontillado and Oloroso possessing pungent aromas yet a surprisingly soft finish.

After giving each a try on the tasting counter the Amontillado proves my favourite. Pop in store and see if you agree!  


New Champagne OffersDate published: 02/11/13

As part of our new Pic 'n' Mix 33.3% off offer, we have some great deals on Champagnes. Now is the time to stock up for the festive season on all your favourite Champagne houses!

Laurent Perrier Rosé £44.98*

Classic rosé Champagne made by the saignée method, macerating the grapes with skin contact. One of the first non-vintage rosés made first in 1968, the bottle shape is inspired by those made in the time of French King Henri IV. Salmon-pink in colour, this wine has delicate strawberry fruits and a fine mousse with a refreshing level of acidity which makes this a perfect apéritif. 

Veuve Clicquot £29.99*

Everybody's favourite yellow label Champagne. A perfectly balanced rich style of Champagne with toasty, briochey notes and hints of vanilla. Exactly what I would have with smoked salmon and scrabled eggs for a birthday breakfast!

Canard Duchene £17.99*

The biggest-selling Champagne in France, this is a great price for this house Champagne. Clean and fruity style that's far too easy to drink!

*Buy any wines on the Pic 'n' Mix offer and get 33.3% off


More Funky Beers!Date published: 26/10/13

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Under Dog Atlantic Lager, Flying Dog, Denver USA 6x330ml cans (£12.99 buy 4 cases of selected craft beer save £12 = £9.99)

Yes, it’s in a can, but premium cans are probably the future of craft beer. The beers taste extremely fresh and are cheaper to transport and recycle; cans also fit with the rebelliousness of the craft beer movement. In a sense, Flying Dog invented the craft revolution. They are one of the most important craft brewers of all, not just because of their great beers; without them, the craft beer industry would look and feel a lot different. Their style and rhetoric has inspired a generation of craft-brewers, not least Brewdog from Scotland. Flying Dog began as brewbar in Aspen, Colorado, in 1990. The Rockies back then were a destination for people who found California too mainstream and thought a bit differently. George Stranahan, an astrophysicist with a passion for beer, started the business. The name came from a painting of a flying dog he saw in a hotel in Pakistan, halfway up a failed ascent of K2. George’s close friend was the ‘outlaw journalist’ Hunter S Thompson who famously endorsed the brewery; he was a former Hells Angel who became a biting political journalist and highly-rated sports writer. Author of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, he was outspoken, brilliant and strongly anti-establishment. His influence on Flying Dog and the burgeoning craft beer movement was to set it out staunchly in the face of the dominant commercial brewers. The artwork was created by British artist, Ralph Steadman. The colour and scratchy, confrontational designs are embedded in the culture of the brewery.“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says "Good People Drink Good Beer." Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public bar-room and you will quickly see: Bad People Drink Bad Beer. Think about it.” Hunter S Thompson

Curious Brew IPA, Kent, 12x330ml (£17.99)

Our success with Curious Brew Lager in the last year has been remarkable. It has quickly established itself as the mainstay of our craft beer range. A fantastic beer with a champagne connection from an English producer – what’s not to like.Curious Brew IPA is the next step. It does not have the champagne yeast addition, but it does have the same commitment to balance and originality. Chapel Down aim to craft beers that are extremely hard to replicate; that have genuine originality like wine. This IPA is a very rich but harmonious style, a blend of 3 hops (Goldings, Bramling and Citra) and yet is extremely well balanced. For customers who like Curious Brew but want to try something different and with extra weight and complexity, this is the natural progression. We are able to sell the IPA at the same price at the Lager which is surprising given the significantly higher abv. This is solely down to the bargaining power we had due to the volume of Curious Brew Lager we have sold in the last year. The IPA represents absolutely fantastic value at this price.

Discover the Magic of Fine Wine this AutumnDate published: 25/10/13

On the tasting counter this weeekend:  Amarone Negrar 2010 - £23/£18

 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.

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.

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.

Matches well with slow cooked lamb or beef casserole, as well as blue cheese.

Funky New Beers from around the World...Date published: 24/10/13

New this week to Majestic Belgravia:

Einstok White Ale, Akureyri, Iceland 6x330ml (£12.99 buy 4 cases of selected craft beer save £12 = £9.99)

This beer is increasingly well-known due to its interesting style and unusual providence. It is a Witbier. Literally, witbier translates as white beer, not wheat beer. However it is part of the wheat beer family.  Witbier is most often brewed in Belgium and Holland and differs by including coriander and orange peel in the brewing process. Continental Witbiers can be quite intense and heavy making them difficult to drink more than a glass. Einstok White Ale is not like that at all due to the water used. The brewery is in Akureyri, an extremely remote port in northern Iceland, facing north. The water comes from prehistoric glaciers on mainland Iceland and Arctic rainwater, filtered through untouched lava rock formations; they call it the purest water on earth. It transforms the profile of this white ale into something entirely different. It is an exceptionally elegant ale, carrying a lovely hint of the citric and coriander notes, and a softly weighted palate with a long finish.


Punk IPA, Brewdog, Aberdeen 6x330ml cans (£12.99 buy 4 cases of selected craft beer save £12 = £9.99).  

Welcome to Punk IPA. Behind the hype and noise, it is a very, very cultured beer. Heavily but stylishly hopped (twice) with an intense and tropical palate. It has a lovely bitterness on the finish that adds an intriguing dimension, and it works very well with food. It is complex but accessible, an interesting cross-sell from wine. Brewdog are extremely keen to work with Majestic and their passion is well matched to our own. As such, they have invited some stores to attend their beer schools over the coming weeks at their Brewbars situated across the UK.

Spainstravaganza in Belgravia!Date published: 28/09/13

Sunny Spain...Splendid Spanish Wine Deals!

Down at Majestic Belgravia we have fantastic deals across the board for Spain from today. Buy any two Spanish wines and save 25% on the original bottle price. So whether is be a crianza for a mid-week treat, a Gran Reserva for entertaining at the weekend or a crisp white for your mid-week sea food salad- We've got all bases covered. 

As ever we like to offer you the choice of trying before you buy at the tasting counter and advice/support before making your final choices. Hurry though, the improved Spanish deal only runs until Monday 30th September.


Producer in Focus: SIpsmithDate published: 27/09/13

Producer Focus: Sipsmith 

Sipsmith is an independent distillery in London and  was founded in 2008 by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall. It is home to Prudence, the first copper distill to launch in London for nearly 200 years! 

A team of master distillers  produce small batch spirits, about 500 bottles a time, that are all skillfully hand crafted using fresh botanicals and the finest of ingredients. 

The fantastic range of quality spirits that Sipsmith produce are available here at Majestic. They are: 

Barley Vodka - £30.00

London Dry Gin - £26.00 (Special offer) 

Damson Vodka - £26.00

Sloe Gin- £23.00 (Special offer)

So with Christmas fast approaching why not pop in and stock up with some of these great spirits! 


Wine of the Week: Coney Pizzicato Pinot Noir 2010, MartinboroughDate published: 27/09/13

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.

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.

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

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

Wine of the Week: St Clair Pioneers Block 'Bull Block' Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Dillons Point, MarlboroughDate published: 27/09/13

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.


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.


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.


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

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 26/09/13

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Tourelles de Longueville 2007, Pauillac - £26

Domaine Jomain Puligny-Montrachet 2011 - £30/£25

Domaine Jomaine 'Les Pucelles' 1er cru Pulingny-Montrachet 2011 - £45/£40

Sancerre Vincent Pinard, 2012 - £22/£17

Ladoucette Pouilly Fumé, 2010 - £30/£25

Domaine Durieu 2010, Chateauneuf-du-pape - £25/£20

Cloudy Bay 'Late Harvest' Riesling 2007 - £19.99/£15.99 (half bottle)

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy price.  Contact us in-store for more details

Discover the magic of Fine Wine on our tasting counter this Autumn:Date published: 13/09/13

This weekend on our tasting counter we will be opening Louis Jadot's Beaune 1er Cru 2008:

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.

Red and black cherries, hints of savoury spices and leather, leads to a warm and vibrant body of sweet fruits, and soft tannins.

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

Discovering the magic of fine wine with Harry, Greg, Sam and JackDate published: 13/09/13

We like to spoil you here at Majestic Belgravia and to that end we will be opening a bottle of fine wine every Friday from next weekend until the end of October. See our events pages for more details of what wines will be open when but we've got some cracking wines from Italy, France, New Zealand and Australia open to try many of which are part of our buy 2 save £10 on fine wine deal.

A taste of the Savanna at Stamford BridgeDate published: 12/09/13

For what is for some hallowed ground, Stamford Bridge became the venue last night for two south African wineries to showcase for Majestic employees. La Motte and Beyerskloof, the latter the winner of the wine maker of the year award provided a well led and informative presentation to accompany the tasting. Beyerskloof highlighted their charitable credentials; money from each bottle going to help those in south Africa suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome.

The 2012 Pinotage from Beyerskloof was a heavy, meaty red, looking to be a good pairing for roasted meats and jerky. A spiced fruit flavor was also noted, suggesting a possible match with spicier dishes.

The second wine was the Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, 2012, these Bordeaux varieties grown in similar conditions to the French region. Easier to drink than the Pinotage without food, the Cabernet expressed red berry primarily coupled with more subtle, savory notes. The 2012 would be perfect alongside a hearty stew.

La Motte paired two vintages for side by side comparisons using the Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Sauvignon blanc wines. In doing so, the differences were certainly noticeable between the young, more fruity Sauvignon and its more muted, but mature counterpart.

The older Shiraz was in the classic style,with a strong pepper spiciness, its younger compatriot more leathery and meaty.

The Sauvignon's, both with a small percentage of Semillon, were more varied in their flavor between vintage than the reds. The 2013 showed a pleasant mix of green fruit and grass notes with also tropical fruit notes. The 2011 was more oily in its mouthfeel, the baked tropical fruits in prominence.

New arrivals for AutumnDate published: 12/09/13

With some great new Autumn deals we have a few new wines which we are excited about.

Arienzo Rioja Crianza, Marques de Riscal £8.99 Multi buy
Made by Marques de Riscal. The wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano, and spends 18 months in American Oak. 2010 has been designated as a 5 star outstanding vintage in Rioja by the Consejo Regulador; a hot and dry vintage producing wines with great fruit structure and power.

Matua Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zeland £7.99 Multibuy
Already flying off the shelves this is a typical Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc combining tangy grapefruit and gooseberry Flavours with a lovely zing of acidity. Matua is a Moari word which translates as 'head of the family' this wine comes from a pioneering and modern winery. A must try for all you SB fans.

Heidsieck Monople Brut NV £17 Multibuy.
A great new value champagne which offers a rich but approachable style with crisp golden fruit and some satisfying brioche notes. Great for a party or just if you fancy a little treat.

New offers starting today!Date published: 12/09/13

Save up to a third on Champagne, White and Red:

Greg's personal favorite, Montepuliciano d'Abruzzo 2012, Grifone    £7.46/4.99

Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top 2007  £27.00/17.99

Nicolas Feuillatte NV £24.00/15.99

Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV  £30.00/19.99

Prosecco Zonin Brut NV, DOC  £9.99/6.66

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Malbourough £8.99/5.99



Lower price is multi buy price.



New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 11/09/13

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:


Chateau Tayac Cru Bourgeois Margaux, 2006 - £25/£20

Chateau Senejac Cru Bourgeois Haut-medoc 2010 £23/£18

Maison Louis Latour Meursault Blagny 1er Cru 2009 - £30

Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny Montrachet 2011 - £32/£27

Guigal Cote-Rotie 'Brune-et-Blonde' 2006 - £40

Guigal Condrieu 2010 - £34

Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2011 - £19.99/£15.99

Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2011, Toscana - £23/£18

De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2012, Stellenbosch - £19.99/£15.99


Where 2 prices are shown, the lower is a multibuy offer call us in-store for more details.

Sauvignon Blanco del Esppagnola?!Date published: 11/09/13

Our Spanish Spotlight Tasting week is almost upon us, so we thought we'd give you a sneak preview of what's to come - there's so much more to Spain than Rioja! 

One wine we're excited about is the José Pariente Sauvignon Blanc. Grown in Rueda, as a potential alternative to local grape Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc is now one of Rueda's most popular plantings. The José Pariente is an intriguing old-world expression of the Sauvignon grape - there's lots of exotic fruits, along with vegetal notes, such as green pepper, and even fresh cut grass and herbs. It really is quite a unique and distinctive white wine (great label too)!

It's currently down to £9.99 (as part of our 20% off Spanish wines promotion) when purchasing two or more bottles from our Spanish selection and I'm sure we'll have it available to try on our tasting counter over the next week or so.

Cheers!

AIX Rosé 2012, Date published: 08/09/13

It's still summer but only just, so let's enjoy what is left of the sun with this vibrant and summery rosé. This award-winning wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Originating from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries - Domaine de la Grande Séouve.

The wine's bright pink colour expresses a lovely soft fruitiness with ripe strawberries, raspberries and red berries. All delicately balanced with a crisp acidity and long finish.

This is an excellent choice for parties and would perfectly match canapés or seafood.

Available in a range of sizes to suit any occasion. From a standard bottle at £9.99, up to a double magnum at £50.

Jermann Pinot GrigioDate published: 07/09/13

Wine of the Weekend

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2012, Friuli.

£23 single bottle or £18 when you buy 2 or more


Founded by Anton Jermann in 1881, the estate has been family run ever since, with the present wine maker Silvio Jermann taking over the wine making in the 1970s.

This Pinot Grigio is a world away from the Italian norm, with intense ans persistent aromas, and a full-bodied mouth feel on the palate. Its the perfect match for grilled seafood, creamy pasta dishes or simply to drink as a aperitif.

Its currently on our tasting counter, so drop by over the weekend and give it a whirl.

Cillar de Silos Crianza 2009, Ribera del Duero £17.49 buy 2 save 20% = £13.98Date published: 06/09/13

One of my favourite Ribera producers, Cillar de Silos is a family owned winery making outstanding wines using 100% Tinto Fino and French Oak. Whilst so many Ribera wines are massively extracted, rustic monsters, these wines always show real purity and elegance, with fresh acidity and a silky texture. We've been taking this wine on and off since the 2003 vintage, and for my money the 2009 we have currently is the best we've seen.

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 05/09/13

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Albert Morot Beaune 'Cent Vignes' 1er cru 2007 - £19.99
Chateau le Croix de Gay Pomerol 2007 - £30
Kanonkop Cabernet 2010, Stellenbosch - £27/£21.59
Chateau Batailley 5eme Grand Cru Classé Pauillac 2004/7 - £35
Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste 5eme Grand Cru classé 2008 - £40
Tourelles de Longueville Pauillac 2009 - £35

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy price.  Give us a call in-store for more details


Wine of the Week!Date published: 30/08/13

Wine of the Week

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2011

£24 / £20

Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena Zapata Estate. The wines can usually be drunk from 3 to 20 years old. Argentina is best known for it's Malbecs however, it is developing a reputation for a multitude of wine styles.

At almost 5,000 feet elevation in the Andean foothills, the Adrianna vineyard's limestone soils and cool climate are the promised land for Chardonnay. Nicolas Catena Zapata discovered the unique site's high altitude terroir in the early 90's in a place no-one had dared plant before.

This wine is bursting with fruit, most notably mango, pineapple and ripe pear with a refreshing minerality. There are subtle notes of sweet spice which enhance the rich palate. This is a great wine packed with flavor with a superb lengthy finish.

It is currently on the tasting counter and a bargain on the buy two save £8 deal.


'These wines from Nicolas Catena and his daughter represent the finest winemaking art from South America' Robert Parker Jr.

New in-store this Autumn: Spotlight tastingsDate published: 29/08/13

This autumn we have the following dates available for our upcoming 'Spotlight' tastings. These are an informal 30 minute tasting session held in store.

These sessions are designed to give you information on grape varieties, wine styles and food recommendations. Most importantly they are for you to have fun trying something different, with the 'spotlight' focusing on each grape individually and it's varying styles

Saturday 7th September - Chardonnay

Saturday 14th September - Rioja

Saturday 21st September - Sauvignon Blanc and beyond!!

Saturday 28th September - Shiraz

The sessions will start at 12pm and 3.00pm.

Producer in Focus: Nicolas Catena ZapataDate published: 29/08/13

Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena Zapata Estate. The wines can usually be drunk from 3 to 20 years old.

Catena Alta Malbec 2009 - £29 (92pts, Wine Advocate)

Nicola Catena planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza in 1902. His grandson, Nicolas Ctena Zapata, is known as the man who revolutionalised Argentine wine and introduced high-altitude Malbec to the World. The historic Catena Zapata vineyards are planted with the Catena family's proprietary selection of Malbec plants: the Catena cuttings

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2010 - £24/£20 (93pts, Wine Advocate)

At almost 5,000 feet elevation in the Andean foothills, the Adrianna vineyard's limestone soils and cool climate are the promised land for Chardonnay. Nicolas Catena Zapata discovered the unique site's high altitude terroir in the early 90's in a place no-one had dared plant before.

'These wines from Nicolas Catena and his daughter represent the finest winemaking art from South America' Robert Parker Jr.

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 29/08/13

After a trip to our fine wine centre this week we have some fascinating new wines in stock as well as some true icons from Bordeaux and California:


Chateau Montrose 1986, 2eme Grand Cru Classé St Estéphe - £150

Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Baron 2006, 2eme Grand Cru Classé Pauillac - £130

Chateau Montrose 2007, 2eme Grand Cru Classé St Estéphe - £70

Chateau Rauzan-Ségla 2008, 2eme Grand Cru Classé Margaux - £50

La Croix de Beaucaillou 2009, St Julien - £40


Borgogne Rouge 'Pinot Fin' 2009, Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux - £22/£18


Chablis 1er Cru 'Vaillons' 2011, Domaine William Févre - £30

Chablie 1er Cru 'Mont-de-Milieu' 2011, Domaine Pinson Freres - £19.99

Chassagne-Montrachet 2011, Jean-Marc Pillot - £28

Beaune 1er Cru Aigrots Blanc 2009, Domaine de Montille - £37

Meursault 2011, Henri Boillot - £30


Cote-Rotie 'Madiniere' 2009, Yves Cuilleron a Chavanay - £40


Cervaro della Sala 2010, Marchesi Antinori - £45

Paolo Scavino Barolo 2005 - £35


Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Napa Valley - £52

Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, California - £35

Dominus 2009, Napa Valley - £110


Petaluma 'Red' 2010, Coonawarra - £25

Grosset 'Polish Hill' Riesling 2011, Clare Valley - £25


My personal picks are the '09 La Croix de Beaucaillou and the '10 Cervaro. I love the texture of St-Julien, and the 2009's are just getting better and better. Cervaro is one of my favourite whites of all time, and offers a great value alternative to Grand Cru Burgundy from the heart of Tuscany.


Where 2 prices are listed, the lower is the multibuy price. Call us in-store for more details.


Wine of the Week!Date published: 26/08/13

Natale Verga, Barolo 2009 £23.00/£18.00

Barolo the most powerful and dramatic expression of the Nebbiolo grape, takes its name from the village of the same name. Located 9 miles to the South of the town of Alba in the region of Piemonte, North West Italy.

Natale Verga is the fourth generation owner of the Verga Family estate which was founded in 1895. The wine comes from Grapes sourced from an 11-hectare owned by the Gomba family, and has been matured for 24 months in French oak.

The wine itself is and inviting garnet colour, offering blackberry bouquet, accented with persistent notes of rose petal and subtle wood smoke. A warming palate with undertones of spice and graphite.

A staff favorite that would match any slow cooked beef dishes. Currently on the tasting counter, so drop in and give it a try.

25% off our Italian range!Date published: 21/08/13

We have a fantastic 2 week special on Italian wines. Previously at 20% off they are now an amazing 25% off! This deal only lasts 2 weeks and houses some absolute bargains! We have Pinot Grigio at an amazing £5.24 and Chianti as low as £6.36. If you love Italian wines now is the time to stock up!

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 21/08/13

New to Majestic Belgravia this week:

Mt Dificulty 'Roaring Meg' Pinot Noir 2011 - £22/£17.59
Domaine Gerard Thomas et Filles St-Aubin 1er Cru 2011 - £18.99
Chateau Bel-Air Pomerol 2007 - £19.99/£14.99
Cvne Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2004 - £28

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy offer.  Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Majestic FIne Wine Plan - in partnership with Lay & WheelerDate published: 16/08/13

Did you know that Majestic now own Fine Wine specialist Lay & Wheeler? With over 150 years experience they are experts in the fields of en primeur, in bond sales and wine storage. Visit www.laywheeler.com to find out about the Fine Wine Plan, a simple and effective way to gradually build your own personally tailored fine wine collection. You can join from as little as £50 per month and could enjoy benefits such as:-

10% discount at Majestic Wine when you subscribe £100 or more per month.

A free six bottle case of fine wine added to your collection to help get you started.

Three times your monthly subscription as a credit limit to give you additional flexibility.

Quarterly offers featuring fantastic wines especially selected for the fine wine plan.

Wine of the Week Domaine Zind Humbrecht 'Reserve' Pinot Gris 2011, AlsaceDate published: 16/08/13

Wine of the Week

Domaine Zind Humbrecht 'Reserve' Pinot Gris 2011, Alsace

£14.99/£12.99

Alsace lies on France's Eastern border alongside the Rhine, only a stones throw from Germany. To the West lie the Vosges mountains which create a rain shadow, making this the second driest region in the country despite its Northerly location.

This Pinot Gris is from one of the best producers around. Taken from 3 prestigious sites in the sub-region of Heimbourg near Turcheim, this wine offers great value for money – Any single vineyard offering from these sites would be twice the price.

A refined and pure wine, displaying melon, honeysuckle and grapefruit notes with a hint of sweetness giving it astonishing balance and length. Food friendly it will match with seafood or poultry and can be drunk over the next 3 years.

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 15/08/13

New in Majestic Belgravia this week:

Inama 'Soave du Lot' 2009 - £22
Campillo Rioja Gran Reserva 1978 - £40
D'Arenberg 'Ironstone Pressings GSM 2007, Mclaren Vale - £27
Vergelegen 'The White' 2010, Stellenbosch - £30/£25

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy offer.  Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Producer in Focus: Giesen Date published: 15/08/13

The Giesen brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel started their winery in the 1980s and today have 13 vineyards covering the length and breadth of the Wairau Valley.

The ever popular Giesen Sauvignon Blanc has become a Majestic staple since its introduction to our range. It's blended from 32 separate vineyard parcels, vinified in the winery in the town of Blenheim. It's richly tropical nose is dominated by youthful aromas of lime, lemongrass and green herbs, with the palate leaning more toward gooseberry and citrus, with a zesty acidity.

The new edition of Giesen Chardonnay is the perfect way to explore the grape for a fantastic price. Portions of this wine have been fermented and aged in French oak before blending, followed by several months' lees contact. The result is a ripe and richly aromatic white, offering notes of stone fruits accented by brioche, toasted almond and subtle ginger and spice hints. It has a fresh, fruity and creamy texture that would be a fantastic match for roasted chicken.

Another new edition is the Giesen Merlot, made in a state-of-the-art winery located at Dillon's Point in Marlborough's Wairau Valley. This is an easy-going and inviting Merlot, offering plenty of cassis and plum fruit, overlayed with subtle hints of earth, mocha and vanilla. Soft in feel,with plush tannins providing structure and length.

For something a bit special try the brand new Giesen 'The Brothers' Sauvignon Blanc, a twist on traditional Kiwi Sauvignon as a small proportion of the wine has been fermented in seasoned French oak barrels, adding complexity and ageing potential. A distinctive blend of classic Marlborough aromas – gooseberry, dry grass, currant leaf, ripe pineapple and floral notes that flow onto a
palate of crushed herbs, supple fruit sweetness and crisp acidity.

It couldn't be a Kiwi range without a Pinot Noir and the exciting new Giesen 'The Brothers' Pinot Noir has ageing potential of up to five years. With its brooding, intense aroma of black cherry and cassis in addition to spice, earth, brambles and a touch of mocha, this isn't one to miss. The palate is beautifully balanced with elegant tannin providing a lovely taut structure.

Giesen offers fantastic value and unmistakable quality in their range and we love them all!!!

New Wines from the New WorldDate published: 13/08/13

As well as the superb Old World offerings presented to you by Greg in his article, we have received a couple of highly promising new wines from Chile.

Chateau Los Boldos is located in the Rapel Valley, which boasts a Mediterranean climate, free-draining alluvial soils and altitudes of up to 200 feet. These factors combine to produce wines with intense aromatics and - in the case of reds - vibrant colour.

Los Boldos Chardonnay is made in the traditional Burgundian style by oenologist Stephan Geneste. The wine gives off discreet aromas of citrus, apple, pear and honey. In the mouth, crisp acidity segues into a delicately buttery finish.

Los Boldos Merlot is a dense ruby colour, brimming with aromas of ripe plums and blackberries, and subtle hints of herb and sweet spice. It is plush, round and satisfyingly fruity on the palate.

Follow us on Twitter - we'll let you know when they're open on the Tasting Counter.


New wines here at the Belgravia storeDate published: 13/08/13

Below is a rundown of some of the new wines which have recently come in. I'm sure that over the next few days a few of these at least will make their way on to the tasting counter, so why not come by and taste them with us?

Cotes du Rhone 2012 Leon Perdigal £6.99 when you buy two or more bottles:

This is a classic blend sourced from several sites in the southern Rhône.
It has been named in honour of Léon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at
Ogier's now famous cellars, when they were founded in 1859 in
Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The nose has intense aromas of red fruits and toasty spices, with subtle pepper and garrigue notes. The spice tinged fruits continue through to the palate which is medium bodied and has a pleasing length. Enjoy with spicey mediterranean or barbecued meats.

Puy de Dome Pinot Noir 2011 Cave de Saint Verny £8.99 when you buy two or more:
Puy de Dome is a commune within the Auvergene region to the south of Loire, and is named after the large volcanic dome that is the local landmark. The granite soils and the 350-550 meters of vineyard elevation are ideal for production of this cool-climate style of Pinot Noir.
This pinot Noir is characterised by its superb purity of fruit, exhibiting harmony from a year's maturation without oak.
Best enjoyed over the next 1-2 years, with light chicken meals or cold meats

Montecastrillo 2011 Ribera del Duero Tempranillo £7.99 when you buy two or more bottles:
This wine is made by Finca Torremilanos, a family-run estate located at the eastern end of Ribera del Duero. Its 200 hectares of vineyards are spread across some 140 organically-farmed plots, including some which are over 100 years old.
A fruit forward and easy-drinking style, with medium weight tannins framing a core of ripe blackcurrant and raspberry flavour, accented with hints of cocoa.
Best enjoyed with barbecued pork medallions or a hearty meat stew.

Rioja Crianza Arienzo 2010 Marqués de Riscal £8.99 when you buy two or more bottles.
This traditionally styled crianza comes from Marqués de Riscal's best vineyards in Elciego and Laguardia. It has undergone 18 months in cask which is relatively long for a crianza, plus several more months maturing in bottle before release.
Intense yet mellow aromas of ripe raspberry and fig, mingling with subtle vanilla, coconut and spice notes. Supple and soft on the palate, with plenty of youthful vigour to the fruit
Perfect with Iberian Jambon, delicious chorizo sausage and juicy plump olives. Or perhaps just enjoy after dinner whilst ideally watching a beautiful Spanish sunset.

Why not pop by and pick up a few to try today?


Wine of the Week: Ravenswood Lodi ZinfandelDate published: 11/08/13

This wine hails from Lodi, in the northern part of California's Central Valley. Not for nothing is Lodi known as the Zinfandel Capital of the World. Mature vines, planted in well-drained sandy soils produce powerful wines, worthy of Ravenswood's motto, 'No wimpy wines.'

A seductive opening of ripe blueberry and plum gives way to vanilla and hints of toast, which linger in the mouth. This is a supremely approachable wine, but one with enough complexity to please traditionalists.

A pleasure to drink on its own, with cheese or flavourful duck dishes. Equally, one sip makes it clear why The Sunday Times' Bob Tyrer named Ravenswood Lodi Zin among his favourite BBQ wines of the summer.

Drink it today or cellar for up to four years.

Producer in Focus: Hacienda ZoritaDate published: 08/08/13

We've just seen the return of the fabulous Hacienda Zorita Tempranillo 2010, from the Arribes del Duero. Sitting alongside the river known more famously in Portugal as 'Douro', this region is relatively new and employs modern wine-making techniques to produce wines showing fantastic fruit character and velvety tannins.

The estate lies close to Salamanca, having formerly been a Dominican monastery since 1366. Christopher Columbus used it as a sanctuary during the Valcuevo conferences, during which he secured funding for his famous voyage from the Salamanca Magisters.

A fantastic value alternative to the more premium Ribera del Duero's, this wine offers a great introduction to wines from the rest of Spain, proving there is more to life than Rioja!

Fine Wine Staff Choice - Barolo 2008 Ciabot BertonDate published: 08/08/13

The Nebbiolo grapes of this Ciabot Berton Barolo are grown on the Alba-facing slopes of La Morra, which is a long-established region in the Barolo production zone of North-West Italy.

Typically, the grapes for this wine undergo a prolonged period of maceration and the Barolo is then aged in Slavonia oak casks for around two years.

This is an example of a gorgeous entry-level Barolo. Its ruby red colour is charactrisitc of Barolo and this example from Ciabot Berton offers classic aromas of rose petals and tar along with an expressive taste of red berries, plum, and liquorice.

Although the tannins are considerably fleshy, they are well polished in this vintage, making this wine a perfect match for rich meat dishes and seasoned cheeses.

This wine is particularly well suited to roasted leg of lamb or braised steak.

Enjoy now, or allow to age up to 2018.

£23 When you buy two bottles or more.

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 06/08/13

New in Majestic Belgravia this week:

Chateau Grand Faurie-Larose 2007 St Emilion Grand Cru - £19.99/£15.99

Réserve de Léoville Barton 2007 St Julien - £25


Muga Prado Enea 2005 Rioja Gran Reserva - £30


Saintsbury Chardonnay 2010 Sonoma County - £19.99/£16.99

Duckhorn Decoy Zinfandel 2010 Sonoma County - £22/£20

Duckhorn Merlot 2009 Napa Valley - £38

Stags Leap 'Artemis' Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Napa Valley - £40

Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Napa Valley - £100

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy offer.  Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Wine of the Week: Domaine Paul Mas 'Vignes de NicoleDate published: 03/08/13

The Pays d'Oc offers some of France's most interesting and best value wines. The Mas family have owned vineyards throughout the region for over a century. Domaines Paul Mas are synonymous with quality and, above all, innovation: this Chardonnay/Viognier blend is an excellent illustration of those twin commitments.

The Chardonnay and Viognier grapes were fermented separately, with a view to maximising the characteristics of each in the final wine. The Chardonnay spent four months in oak prior to blending, as evidenced by the wine's distinct tropical fruit and vanilla aromas. The Viognier lends a subtle floral note, adds richness and complexity, and contributes to a long finish.

This is a versatile food wine, which would be equally delicious alongside creamy chicken dishes or lightly spiced Asian food.

Team Belgravia's Wine EpiphaniesDate published: 01/08/13

Will: As a student, I jumped at the chance to earn a few quid helping out at a wine tasting. Having spent an evening uncorking, pouring and discreetly sipping wines, I was given a couple of untouched bottles by way of a tip. Although I was grateful, my interest in wine remained unpiqued at that time, so both bottles were thrust into a cupboard and left there until one of those rare occasions (in university days) where something other than cider or lager is required. Months past, but finally I found myself invited to a dinner party. I arrived with the two bottles, which I had still failed to properly examine. One of the bottles looked particularly smart so, thankfully, was among the first to be opened. The label revealed it to be Beaune Teurons: it was totally unlike anything I or any of my fellow guests had ever tasted.

In the years since, wine has become my passion. Pinot Noir is a favourite of mine and yet I'm not convinced I've encountered anything that trumps that Beaune Teurons, though it is notoriously easy to be sentimental about red Burgundy. Regardless, I'll continue to enjoy the search!

BelgrooviaDate published: 01/08/13

Visitors to our shop may have noticed our rather eclectic taste in music. In the course of the average day, we'll listen to everything from Bruce Springsteen to Robyn, Neil Young to Bananarama. Our taste in wine is just as varied - something we aim to demonstrate with the wines we select for the tasting counter. Music and wine are two very common passions, and two passions that can be indulged simultaneously. Indeed, we at Majestic Wines Belgravia feel that music can enhance wine and vice-versa. We're currently listening to some classic eighties pop in the diminutive form of Prince. Prince's best work has instant, broad appeal but is deceptively complex: the same description could easily be applied to Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc or the delicious Umbral Malbec. As I was typing that last sentence, Prince gave way to Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot singing 'Bonnie and Clyde.' In my book, the eternally enigmatic Gainsbourg is the perfect accompaniment to red Burgundy. We're now blasting out White Snake's 'Here I Go Again', which is perhaps the musical equivalent of a big, bold Aussie Shiraz. Picture yourself standing, both hands raised, a swaying lighter in one and a glass of Dead Arm shiraz in the other. 

So for banging tunes and equally banging wines, look no further than Majestic Wines Belgravia.



Profile: Domaine Sainte RoseDate published: 31/07/13

In 2002, English couple Charles & Ruth Simpson purchased Domaine Sainte Rose, on the banks of the River Thongue. After major investment in the winery to implement 'new world' focus on production & hygiene, the fans and awards started rolling in -  fans including Team Belgravia. The wine itself is so pleasing, so well priced it guarantees satisfaction everytime. The whites are fresh, rich and well balanced. Clearly the modernisation in the winery has paid off as the fruit is clean, bright & expressive. The reds are dense and ripe with a distinct Languedoc personality. 

For me the Vent du Nord Roussane/Chardonnay blend is outstanding. An unusual blend, however it works beautifully. It's crisp enough to drink on its own but sufficiently weighty to compliment roast chicken with a herb marinade. There's a creamy softness on the palate with flavours of melon, stonefruit, caramel and perhaps some honey notes, as well as a subtle floral touch. La Nuit Blanche is a single varietal Roussane. The grapes are picked at night to retain acidity and freshness, then fermented in oak. The result is an exquisitely rich yet lively wine that is absolutely delicious. If you're thinking about having roast pork or even a very extravagant fish pie, this wine is perfect. Both wines impress with their length of flavour on the finish. Always a sign of quality. All the Domaine Sainte Rose wines are under £10 (well the La Nuit Blanche is currently £9.99) so if you're looking for a gem at that price the search is over.

'Chenin the Red Corner...Date published: 31/07/13

We've always got some interesting comparisons open to try on our tasting counter. Pop in to try them for yourself! This week:

Chenin Blanc vs.... Chenin Blanc?

Chenin Blanc is an extremely versatile grape variety and as a result is grown in a great variety of differing styles, predominantly from throughout the Loire valley in France. Since this week is our Loire and Beaujolais tasting week, it would have been rude not to explore a couple of these!

The grape owes it's versatility to it's high acidity, meaning it can be used to produce everything from sparkling and dry, still wine to slightly sweet or dessert wines.

It is theorized that Chenin Blanc originated in the Anjou region of Loire in the 9th century, and this is where our first wine on the tasting counter is from: La Grille Cool Fermented Chenin Blanc. Using specially selected grapes from the schist and granite-soiled vineyards of the western Loire valley, the result is a zesty off-dry wine with citrus and peach characters. Cool fermentation helps to bring out all of these fruit flavours and some ageing of the wine on it's lees contributes added complexity. At just £6.99 a bottle, this will make a fantastic aperitif or partner for grilled trout or salmon.

Vouvray is an appellation within the Loire valley, dedicated almost exclusively to Chenin Blanc. Although the wines produced can vary greatly, Vouvray tends to be associated with off-dry styles. Our next wine from Domaine des Aubuisieres is no exception to this, with slightly sweet hints of pear and apple balanced by Chenin's classical acidity and minerality. Each parcel of this wine is grown across a variety of limestone and flint soils and vinified separately, with fermentation taking place partly in oak barrels and partly in old glass-lined vats cut into the rock. At £8.99 this is one of my current favourite vouvrays, and was featured in Jane MacQuitty's Saturday times top 100 whites. Superb as an aperitif or with seafood or cold-cured meats to balance the acidity.



Interested in trying other variations of Chenin Blanc? Why not try...

The Bernard Series Chenin Blanc: A dry, oaky style from South Africa - £11.99 a bottle.

Bouvet Saumur Brut: A fantastic Loire sparkling wine made from Chenin grapes in the traditional Champagne method - £9.99 a bottle.

Heavenly Aussie RedsDate published: 31/07/13

The Place of Worship

The Church Block, Wirra Wirra 2010, Maclaren Vale £12.49 buy any 2 wines from Australia save 20% = £9.99

The name hails from the church that used to neighbour the original vineyards of Wirra Wirra. The Church Block was the first wine to be produced under the Wirra Wirra label back in 1972.

The wine, like it's makers and the whole Wirra Wirra team, is full of character. The fruit was sourced from different plots around the Mclaren Vale and the wine is made up of 50%Cab Sauv, 32% Shiraz and 18% Merlot. A full on, eccentric hybrid.

When drunk, this wine, like the holiest of holy water, will quench the thirst of any man after a blockbuster red. When worshipped at the table, it will make a Ribe-Eye taste like the last supper.

Conducting The Service

'The Vicar', Chapel Hill Shiraz 2010, Maclaren Vale £30

The flagship wine of the Chapel Hill Winery which was founded at the same site of the main Christian Church for the surrounding area in Mclaren Vale. After it became a parish school it was closed down in the early 60s. Tom Nelson came along and did it up though. By the late 70s the old church was producing wine. The brand has changed hands a few times but their key philsophy has stayed the same: producing wine with purity, power and grace.

Come to this wine when you need to release your inner need for top quality red. It will lead you down the path of longevity to have and to hold for up to 15 years but will help turn your roast vension loin into a harmonious dinner time session.

Watching Over Us

'Angel's Share' Two Hands Shiraz 2011, Mclaren Vale £22 buy any 2 selected Fine Wines save £8 = £18

This is the term given to the portion of wine that evaporates through the pourous oak during maturation.

Two Hands was put together by two chaps who had one idea - to produce the best possible Shiraz from Mclaren Vale. Terroir driven, Two Hands try to showcase how different sub-regions, blocks and plots of land can produce such different wine characteristics but at the same time letting the fruit in the wine really shine.

Luscious, mouthfilling blackcurrants with a savoury kick to finish. If this is what all angels drink, they're doing alright. This will deliver you from evil... but not from temptation.

Marlborough 2013: Vintage ReviewDate published: 28/07/13

With the arrival of The Ned 2013 and Villa Maria 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, it's time to see how the new vintage stacks up compared to the very successful 2011 and slightly more tricky 2012. With many areas in New Zealand suffering drought, Marlborough was spared with some timely rainfall allowing the vines to produce grapes of great intesity without over dilution. Although the weather fronts were particularly tempremental this year, the cool nights allowed the grapes to retain excellent acidity and express the famous gooseberry and passion fruit flavours.

The actual harvest period was a full 11 days shorter than most vintages, putting exceptional pressure on the wineries to pick at the right time and get the fruit to press. With all the challenges encountered through 2013 the harvest quality was exceptional, and having tried a few 2013 wines already, I for one am excited about the new wines ahead.

By the way, the Pinot Noir is excellent too!

Producer in focus: Kiwi Sauvignon Fairbourne's local reputation for excellenceDate published: 27/07/13

Fairbourne Sauvignon Blanc (37.230) £17.49 Buy 2 New Zealand wines save 20% = £13.99

This wine, exclusive to Majestic, has been garnering some impressive reviews in the New Zealand local media.

Fairbourne only make Sauvignon Blanc, and are the only Sauvignon producer in "The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand", a collective that picks specialists for particular varieties who produce, in their own words, "the most exciting, difficult to find wines, lovingly nurtured and matured for the discerning enthusiast. Gathered together under this prestigious banner, they provide the opportunity for fine wine lovers around the world to experience exceptional single-vineyard wines produced by some of New Zealand’s most exceptional winemakers."

Wine Orbit review

From their north-facing hillside vineyard with clay/gravel soils, this is a stylish expression of Marlborough sauvignon blanc made from hand-harvested grapes; the juice was fermented at cool temperatures then an extended lees contact with a small portion of the wine matured in seasoned French oak barrels. The resulting wine is not as pungent on the nose as a typical Marlborough example, it's delicately fragrant showing white peach, lime zest, feijoa and a hint of oatmeal characters. However, the palate shows amazing intensity and richness together with a rounded texture and well-balanced acidity. It's superbly concentrated and very long on the finish. At its best: now to 2017. 94 points.

Raymond Chan review

Bright, very pale straw colour with green hues, near colourless on rim. The bouquet is very refined with subtly entwined aromas of white florals, gooseberries and minerals, expressed with great purity and building intensity. Dry to taste, this has a very finely concentrated and tight core, with lifted floral, gooseberry and minerally flavours, which are expressed with restraint and style. The fruit is underlined by soft, mouthwatering, acidity that provides poise and excellent tension. The mouthfeel is firm and taut, with real linearity and drive and the palate has elegance and proportion that leads to a very long and nuanced dry finish. This is a tight and very refined Sauvignon Blanc, with white floral and mineral overtones akin to classical Sancerre. Serve with seafood and antipasto over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from a north-facing Southern Valleys hillside vineyard with clay gravel soils, fermented to 13.5% alc. and dryness, a small portion of the wine aged in French oak. 19.0/20.

Recent critic's choices from Majestic:Date published: 27/07/13

The following wines in our range have been mentioned in the Press recently:

The Times – Bob Tyrer – 14th July
2006 Château Griviere
Soft, merlot-based cru bourgeois from Medoc that has lost its youthful fruit and reemerged
as a gently minerally claret.

The Telegraph – Giles Kime – 14th July
2010 Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Shiraz Merlot
Look no further than this classy Australian blend that is big on flavour without being
overpowering.

The Sun – Giselle Wainwright – 14th July
2012 Picpoul de Pinet Villemarin
Imagine you’re across the channel with a glass of crisp, zesty wine from the Languedoc
region. Picpoul de Pinet Villemarin is packed with lemon and lime flavours and has a
dry finish. Santé!

The Herald – Pete Stewart – 14th July
2011 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Pinot Gris
This beautifully spicy, aromatic Pinot Gris is a real treat.

Open to Taste: Domaine des Maisons Neuves Brouilly 2011Date published: 27/07/13

Brouilly 2011, Domaine des Maisons Neuves

£11.24

Buy 2 - £8.99 each

Brouilly is the largest and southern most of the 10 Beaujolais Crus. Domaine des Maison Neuves is found in the heart of the Brouilly appellation and has seen 5 generations of wine makers who eschew the use of herbicides for healthier vines which are now 50 years old.

This wine has been aged for 7 months in large oak casks. Deeply coloured with an incredible finesse. The nose has powerful aromas of ripe berries and currants. A fruity palate with soft tannins and a long crisp finish makes this wine a great match for white meat.

Open to taste: Claudius Morand Fleurie 2010Date published: 26/07/13

The most effeminate of the Beaujolais Crus, Fleurie is often coined as the 'Queen of Beaujolais'. Light and aromatic in style, this is the perfect summertime red, and benefits from twenty minutes refrigeration before being opened.

Classically floral in style, rose petals and violets jump out the glass, and are substantiated by soft, slightly sweet summer fruits of peach and raspberry. The mouth feel is made complete with fine, smooth tannins.

A fantastic food wine, Fleurie is the ideal red for these hot days we've been having, and long may they continue! When chilled, it would pair well with a variety of meats, and be perfect with your BBQ. Lamb, pork and marinated kebabs come alive when matched with this little gem. £12.49 or buy any 2 Beaujolais wines save 20% = £9.99

Wine of the Week!Date published: 26/07/13

Brunello di Montalcino 2005,

Gianni Brunelli

£30

The town of Montalcino lies in the rolling hills of Southern Tuscany and produces some of the regions most prestigious wines. They take a great deal of patience with late-harvesting, slow fermentation and long ageing combining to create a monster.

Despite being 8 years old, the '05 is still quite young, both in appearance and on the palate. Full bodied with powerful fine-grained tannins, a quintessentially Italian streak of racey acidity and mind-blowing purity of Sangiovese fruit.

With over a decade of life ahead of it, Brunelli's offering is most enjoyable when served with rich red meat dishes.

Party planning made easy with MajesticDate published: 26/07/13

Having a party but not sure what to order in what quantities? Not sure whether to order chiller bins, ice or glasses? Majestic's Party Planner is here to help! Go to http://www.majestic.co.uk/services/parties to see more and work out what you'll be needing with the easy online calculator; just fill in a few simple pieces of information such as how many people are attending and we will generate the number of bottles of wine/lager/ales/champagne you will probably need! The page also contains all the information you'll need to know about adding glasses, chiller bins & other extras to your order.Happy party planning!

Explore the Loire Valley this week with MajesticDate published: 25/07/13

The Loire Valley

With our Loire and Beaujolais tasting due to start on Friday I thought I'd give a little insight as to what to expect.

The Loire Valley stretches 280km from the cool continental climates of the famous appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, where world class Sauvignon Blanc is produced as well as interesting reds and rosés from Pinot Noir. Other less prestigious but still impressive villages making wine in a similar style include Quincy and Reuilly.  Next stop is the Touraine where some more reasonably priced Sauvignon Blancs can be found as well as fantastic Chenin Blanc from villages like Vouvray and Bonnezaux, made in a variety of styles from lusciously sweet to sparkling. Chinon (also in the Touraine) is the home of the red wines of Loire where they make age worthy, gamey Cabernet Franc which can even be drunk chilled. In the West by the coast is the Nantais where the Maritime climate of Muscadet suits dry whites made from Melon de Bourgogne.  These have been paired with the local seafood for many, many years.

If you like the sound of that then pop in any day between Friday 28th July to Thursday 1st August to taste all that Loire has to offer.

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 24/07/13

New in Majestic Belgravia this week:

Vina Ardanza 2004 Rioja Reserva - £22/£18

Chateau Chantalouette 2007 Pomerol - £19.99/£14.99

Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Rouge 2008 - £23/£19

Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011 - £27.50/£21.99

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy offer.  Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Wine of the Week!Date published: 21/07/13

Organistrum Albarino 2009, Martin Codax

Albarino is an aromatic, high quality vine grown in North West Spain in Galicia. The grapes thick skins help it to withstand the damp climate and produces wine with high alcohol, acidity and plenty of flavor to match. Albarino was the first Spanish white to be produced as a varietal and encounted on labels.

This particular Albarino hails from the Rias Baixas region, which is recognized for its production of Albarino. The grapes are specially selected from a South West facing plot, meaning they tend to ripen earlier then the rest of the Martin Codax's vineyard. The wine is fermented initially in stainless steel under strict temperature control but completed with a brief period in French oak.

The wine has a medium intensity on the noes that is both subtle and complex. Dominated by stoned fruit with a hit of spice and a vegetal tinge. The palate does not disappoint with well balanced acidity and plenty of flavor.

It's our wine of the week, so feel free to drop in and give it a try for yourself.

A Perfect DayDate published: 20/07/13

Question: what could be better than a day spent lying in the sun listening to Test Match Special? Answer: a day spent lying in the sun listening to England trounce the Aussies on TMS while drinking a perfectly chilled glass of wine. At Majestic, not only do we have a peerless range of whites and rosés for summer, we also have ice buckets and chiller bins available to hire, as well as a ready supply of ice. But what to drink? Jim Barry's Cover Drive suggests itself, but although it's absolutely delicious (and a cracking foil to a barbecue), in this weather I don't crave Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. Top of my wish list would be a lightly oaked Burgundy - perhaps the Montagny Vieilles Vignes from the Cave de Buxy - or a bone dry Provencal rosé. Happily stationed with my glass and radio beside me and the sun shining overhead, an ice bucket would ensure I don't have to keep dashing to the fridge and missing the fall of yet another Australian wicket. Bliss!

Context is KingDate published: 17/07/13

I believe that for every context there is an appropriate wine. Remember that delicious dry white you drank by the gallon on holiday last summer? Then proudly uncorking a bottle for friends back in the UK and YUCK! Context is the key to this all too familiar experience. At Majestic, each wine has its own specifically written 'POS' - the card with the price on it - which gives you information about the wine's origins and what to expect when you taste it, as well as a recommended dish to accompany it. Hopefully, the 'POS' and a brief chat with a member of staff will give you an insight into the place a given wine hails from and its local cuisine. Talk to our assistant manager Greg (a talented chef) and you may even walk away with a new recipe. By pairing a wine with something its producers are likely to eat, you're bound to maximise its potential. Better still, think about the context as a whole: the current heatwave is a wonderful excuse to uncork the kind of wines that simply don't work in drizzle!

Producer Profile: CVNEDate published: 16/07/13

Founded in 1879 by Raimundo & Eusebio Real De Asua, CVNE has long been at the forefront of wine production in the Rioja region. Still family owned, the company employs traditional methods that have been passed down through the generations whilst pioneering new advancements in both the winery and the vineyard.

Still based on the original site, the winery at Haro retains many original features including a pillar-less cellar designed by the Architectural firm of Alexandre-Gustav Eiffel (he of the Tower). Two of CVNE's top wine brands are produced here:

Cune - The original name for this wine was supposed to have been CVNE, like the company, but an early misspelling decided this wine’s name for good. It was the first wine produced by CVNE.

Situated at Cerro de la Mesa, the Viña Real winery produces a range wines which aim to truly reflect the Rioja Alavesa landscape from which the grapes are sourced. A Crianza called 'Plata' (Silver), a Reserva, 'Oro' and a Gran Reserva are currently produced.

What's Next for British Drinkers?Date published: 16/07/13

There's an interesting article in the July edition of Decanter entitled "What is the next big thing?"  We have seen the growth in popularity of wines like Albarino and Picpoul. So what is next?  Well, Portugal is currently making waves in the wine world.  I attended a tasting of Portuguese wines this year, which was lead by Ollie Smith. It showcased some lovely wines, including a number of superb Ports, as well as a range of great, subtly oaked whites. The country offers great value whites such as Vinho Verde, made from a variety of different native grapes.  Us Brits are increasingly drawn to lower alcohol wines of around 11-12% abv, which are not too intense in flavour and offer a nice crisp finish.  Vinho Verde certainly hits the nail on the head in this regard. If not there's always 2011 vintage Port, which is selling extremely well on the basis that it represents better value than En Primeur Bordeaux and the vintage quality is superb. Lets see what happens!

Belgravia's Picks - the best of the best available in-storeDate published: 11/07/13

Available in-store:


Chateau d'Yquem 2005 1er grand cru classé Sauternes 2005 - £580

Chateau Talbot 4eme grand cru classé St-Julien 1986 - £170

Chateau la Mission Haut-Brion 1er grand cru classé Pessac-Léognan 2007 - £150

Chateau Léoville Poyferré 2eme grand cru classé St-Julien 2001 - £170 (Magnum)

Chateau Léoville las-cases 2eme grand cru classé St-Julien 1990 - £390

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 2eme grand cru classé St-Julien 1985 - £130

Chateau Lynch-Bages 5eme grand cru classé Pauillac 2001 - £120  Owen's Pick

 Maison Roche de Bellene Lés Grands-Echézauz Grand Cru 2009 - £120 Will's Pick

Domaine Jean-Grivot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2007 - £85

Domaine de Colombier Hermitage blanc 2008 - £50

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clavaillon' 2005 - £90  Greg's Pick

Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009 - £85

Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Clos de la Mouchere' 2007 - £53

Ladoucette Baron de 'L' Pouilly Fumé 2008 - £55

P. Antinori Tignanello Toscana 2008 - £70

Vega Sicilia Valbuena Ribera del Duero 2007 - £110  Harry's Pick

Torre Muga Rioja 2006 - £45

Jim Barry 'The Armagh' Shiraz Clare Valley 2007 - £100

Craggy range 'Le Sol' Syrah Gimblett Gravels 2009 - £50

Catena Zapata 'Argentino' Malbec Mendoza 2008 - £60  Sam's Pick


Give us a call on 0207 881 0804 to discuss our favourites or get opinions and ratings on other wines


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 10/07/13

New in Majestic Belgravia this week:

Ridge 'Lytton Springs' 2011 - £30
Ridge 'Geyserville' 2011 - £30
Luca Malbec 2009 - £22.99/£17.99
Quinta de Bacalhoa 2010 - £13.99/£12.99
Montes 'Purple Angel' Carmenere 2009 - £32.50/£25.99
Martin Codax 'Organistrum' Albarino 2010 - £25/£20

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is the multibuy offer.  Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Famille Abeille Rosé, Côtes de ProvenceDate published: 04/07/13


I typically prefer fuller-bodied rosé over the more delicate and light Provencal styles, though I'll happily make an exception for this one. This wine comes from a family-owned estate which is part of Château Riotor, located in the heart of Provence in the commune of Cannet des Maures. The vineyards are only 30km from the Med, and enjoy a warm, maritime climate influenced by the Mistral.

For me, the key factor that distinguishes this Provence rosé from the others I have tried is the vibrant and fruity nose, which follows through on the palate: fresh peach, clementine, pear and raspberry. Delicious!

£9.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Peter Lehmann Portrait ShirazDate published: 04/07/13

Peter Lehmann Portrait Shiraz, 2010

Like the man whose silhouette graces the label (the eponymous Peter Lehmann), Peter Lehmann Shiraz has real depth and character.

Made from 100% Shiraz grapes selected from the best vineyards in the Barossa Valley, then aged in French and American oak for 12 months this wine represents fantastic value at just £8.79 when you buy any 2 Australian wines.

On the palate the wine offers flavours of plum, dark chocolate and bramble fruit. Full bodied and rich, this is a classic Barossa Shiraz.

This wine would work perfectly with a spicy beef burger topped with jalapeño peppers and burger sauce.

Exploring Spanish fine wine outside classic Rioja Date published: 04/07/13

While the core of our Spanish fine wine range is classic Rioja, customers will find some really special wines by exploring off the beaten path. Here are a few of my favourite recent arrivals.

Tomás Postigo Crianza, 2010, Ribera del Duero - £26

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 its rare shistous soils, high altitude and the fluctuation between day and night-time temperatures that encourages complexity in the wines. There are few people who have done more than Tomás Postigo to put the Ribera del Duero on the map and to establish the style of the region as 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 to 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 Peñafiel.

Marqués de Cáceres Gaudium, 2005, Rioja - £40

Technically a Rioja Reserva, in order to achieve the best possible wine that they can produce Marqués de Cáceres play outside of the regulations that apply to Rioja when making Guadium. 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 barriques, 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 for over ten years.

A focus on fine Grenache based Châteauneuf-du-PapeDate published: 03/07/13

The area around the ruins of the 13th century Papal Château is home to some of the greatest vineyards in the world, producing wines from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre amongst others from the large 'pudding stone' or Galet atop a layer of ancient clay soils. The high number of sunshine hours in the region results in very ripe grapes that produce wines with both immediate drinking appeal and aging potential.

Domaine la Barroche cuvée Signature - £35

Records show that the Barrot family, who own the vineyards, have been in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape area since the 17th century. As befits an estate with such heritage, many of the vineyards are over 60 years old; several old vine parcels of Grenache are over 100 years old! In 2003 the winery began to bottle its own wines. The Cuvée Signature is dominated by old vine Grenache, producing a wine that consistently receives high praise (and scores) from critics.

Clos St Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape - £27

Made from fruit sourced from 70 year old vines in the La Crau vineyard; the most famous and highly regarded vineyard within the appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The estate was founded around 1900, and is run by two brothers who have continued the traditional style with a modern take. Predominantly Grenache, the wine is full of vibrant, juicy fruits that will develop over time.

Restaurant or pub? Find out about our commercial team...Date published: 03/07/13

If you run a pub or restaurant and would like to learn a bit more about what the Majestic Commercial team can offer here is your answer:

 - Trade only commercial wines - on trade exclusives with a superb rangeincluding many award winning wine.

 - Fast efficient delivery, often same day

 - Dedicated account manager to help you choose the right wines for your list

 - Wine list production

These are just a few of the advantages of buying the wine for your establishment from us, if you would like to know more please get in touch on 01252 711988 or e-mail far@majestic.co.uk and we will put you in toucvh with an account manager.

New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 01/07/13

Vignoble Abeille Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009 - £26/£22
Brunello di Montalcino Castello di Banfi 2008 - £30/£26
Costasera Masi Amarone 2008 - £30/£27
Quartz Reef PInot Noir, Otago 2011 - £19.99/£15.99

Where 2 prices are listed the lower is a multibuy offer.
Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Belgravia's Wine of the Week:Date published: 28/06/13

Chateau de Berne Rosé 2012

Provence is located in the South East of France and is truly a Mediterranean wine producing region. The region produces a multitude of wine styles although, much of the focus is on the Cotes de Provence Rosé.

The Chateau de Berne is an iconic landmark of Provence and a excellent producer of classic Cotes de Provence Rosé. This perticular wine is the prestige cuvée and is instantly distinguishable by its square botttle.

The wine has a typical Provence light pink hue and a nose of summer and tropical fruits. Its packed full of flavour, well ballenced with a legnthy finish. Ideal with Provencale fish dishes or alternatively great as an apéritif. The best thing of all is that it is on our tasting counter to try before you buy.



New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 26/06/13

Catena Alta Malbec 2010 - £29

Chablis Vocoret 'Valmur' Grand Cru 2011 - £25

Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.

Harry's new favourite Champagne!Date published: 25/06/13

I was recently a guest of LVMH at a tasting to mark the release of the new vintages of their prestige Champagnes, and was privileged enough to taste a number of them next to each other.  Dom Perignon 2004 was obviously a hit - I was more impressed with this than I had been with the more celebrated 2002 when I first tried it.

The wine of the night without doubt however was Krug Vintage 2000.  Rich, powerful, restrained subtle - like a golden sledgehammer wrapped in the finest velvet.  You'll be seeing it on our shelves very soon...


New Fine Wines this week:Date published: 18/06/13

New in Majestic Belgravia this week:

Jim Barry 'The Armagh' Shiraz 2007 - £100
Guidalberto, Tenuta San Guido 2010 - £30/£26
Jackson Estate 'Grey Ghost' Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - £22.50/£17.99
Chateau Bourgneuf Pomerol 1999 - £19.99
Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2008 - £19.99

Check out the main website or call us in-store for details.


Mmm to Dessert WinesDate published: 09/06/13

Got your Rose, Champagne, Prosecco, Cremant, Sparkling and not to forget Pimms?  Besides chinging your glasses, the other summer phenomenon is ice cream.  If they have sold out then scones, jam, honey, strawberries and cream are next on the list.  What better way to enjoy combined with a nicely chilled dessert wine.  Like Vietnamese coffee made from monkey poo, these bad boys are made from rotten grapes, intensifying the flavour.

New from Argentina: Cuvée Diane 2009, Viñalba, MendozaDate published: 09/06/13

Named after the wife of Viñalba winemaker Hervé Joyaux Fabre, this  is a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, grown in high quality massal-selected vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. A richand inviting wine that hints at Hervé's Bordeaux background, this blend is full of dark fruit and spice aromas, and has a wonderful palate complexity, offering a plum and damson backbone bolstered by smooth tannins and spicy oak.  At £30 its a bit of a treat but would stand up to any of the lesser cru classés with ease - as always with Argentina you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Wine of the Week: Jim Barry #Armagh 2006 ShirazDate published: 07/06/13

This big Australian Shiraz would knock most contenders for a perfect BBQ wine for six!  This is one of Australias icon shiraz wines and appreciated by the Robert Parker team, who scored the 2006 vintage 98 points.

Lying on a north-west-facing slope of the Clare Valley, Jim Barry's vineyard is a natural sun trap, providing superb ripening conditions for Shiraz. Dense and purple in colour, the wine has an abundance of blackberry and mulberry flavours, with notes of mint and eucalyptus adding tremendous complexity on the palate, leading to a long finish packed with cinnamon, star anise and hints of rosemary.

Aged in French and American oak for 17 months, the wine is polished and generous in its youth, but will develop immeasurably given 10+ years in bottle.

It is selling at a good price at £90, which will rise to £100 in 10 days time. Get in there!

#Giesen at £5.99Date published: 29/05/13

One of the most populr New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The Giesen brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel started the winery in the 1980s and today have 13 vineyards covering the length and breadth of the Wairau Valley.

This wine is blended from 32 separate vineyard parcels, vinified in the winery in the town of Blenheim. A richly tropical nose, dominated by youthful aromas of lime, lemongrass and green herbs. Fruit on the palate leans more toward gooseberry and citrus, with a zesty acidity.

Drink with a seafood risotto or paella.

Eguia Reserva #Rioja £5.99Date published: 29/05/13

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

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

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

Our #EnPrimer #Bordeaux RangeDate published: 27/05/13

The Bank Holiday weekend gives most of us some time to ponder and spend a bit more time on hobbies or projects.  If you are thinking of delving into buying any en primer wines, we have got some very popular wines at the moment.

The 2001 Lynch Bages and 2004 Pontet Canet are selling consistently well, and are really worth a shout. Both from Pauillac give refined cedar and cassis flavours with great depth. The 2009 Branaire-Ducru comes from a great Vintage. This is a big Saint Julien with notes of flowers. It will push any second growth for taste and quality. The 2007 La Mission Haut-Brion is proving a cult legend each year by pushing itself up in reputation and price. Lastly the Leoville Poyferre is a typical Saint Julien with blackcurrent and big smoke flavours.

#Cricket: #England vs. #NewZealandDate published: 25/05/13

Wondering what to drink for the cricket over the bank holiday weekend? Below is the answer. 

Kings Thorn Pinot Gris £12.49 down to £9.99
Saint Clair Pioneer Block Pinot Noir £14.99 down to £11.98
Fairleigh Estate Pinot Noir Rose £8.74 down to £6.99
Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc £11.24 down to £8.99
Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir £35.00 down to £27.98

Alternatively, go fo some Chapel Down or Nyetimber English sparkling!

Leigh: A Majestic enigmaDate published: 24/05/13

Quoting a well known phrase:- 'to fall off one's bike one should get right back on again'. In our trainee Leigh's case I'm sure there's nothing he'd like more, however currently recovering from a broken finger due to a recent bike accident it may take a little longer before he's back in the saddle. Broken finger aside Leigh has an eager to please, can do attitude and you'll find him mostly tweeting, providing you with all manor of information regarding wines and activities going on in-store. Leigh has an ever expanding interest in all things wine and has recently partaken in Majestic's Fine wine plan and is looking to build a healthy collection of which he'll be more than happy to talk about with anyone who'll listen. Recently when asked what wine he'd be interested to try at our forthcoming wine evening he simply replied "Pimms" God love him!

#Pimms O'ClockDate published: 23/05/13

Pimms is the Summer Drink in the UK. Already advertsising on television, we have the No. 1 stocked up. We also have also managed to get the Special Edition Blackberry and Elderflower in. They are on great offers at the minute priced down to £13. #comeandexplore

Harry: the Bald TruthDate published: 21/05/13

Harry is frequently mistaken for a policeman. Although it's unclear why this happens, he certainly has a talent for solving our customers' wine conundrums. Looking for a bargain red to pair with yak's testicles? Harry's your man. He's a relaxed but highly effective boss who always encourages us to join him at the tasting counter come quarter to seven. There, like a favourite oenophile uncle, he shares with us his vast knowledge of all things vinous and tells tales of his intrepid adventures in Iceland, Australia and elsewhere.

Living the Etruscan dream - wines in focusDate published: 18/05/13

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

Chianti Classico San Leonino, 2008, Tenimenti Angelini -£11.24 Buy any 2 Italian wines save 20% £8.99

Interestingly, after fermentation in steel fermenters, the wine is aged in Slavonian oak for 15 months. Slavonia is a small region in northeastern Croatia and is becoming more and more popular for Italian producers, especially in Tuscany and Piedmont. It tends to have a tighter grain than French oak, which leads to a softer, more subtle seasoning.

The resulting wine has an intriguing nose of black fruit and tobacco, with a traditional palate of cherry and spice and a long silky finish. As with most Italian wines, it will be perfectly matched to most Italian cuisine, particularly a Meaty Pizza.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana', 2008 - £18.74 Buy any 2 Italian wines save 20% £14.99

La Ciarliana have put a lot of effort into clonal selection to make sure they have the perfect strain of Sangiovese for their land. As such they make wines of age-worthy intensity and that take on real character. It is an area of viticulture often overlooked, but is a very good way for winemakers to differentiate themselves from their neighbours.

This boasts delicate violet and raspberry on the nose which leads to a palate of powerful fruit and spice with fine tannins and a fresh acidity. THE match for roast meats, particularly Rib of Beef.

Team Member in focus - GregDate published: 17/05/13

Possessing a rare joie de vivre, all who meet him wish to know him, and those that do regale in him.  Having spent a number of years in the wine trade, he's the man to speak to about top Burgundy and Bordeaux.  A talented yet reticent chef, we really feel that he should shower the team with his talents more often.


Belgravia Staff: Will aka The Poster BoyDate published: 15/05/13

Will is a great, friendly,open-minded chap, who is very photogenic.  He is into anything French including regional red wines and conversing with customers who speak the language.  He also sports a fashionable scarf, skinny jeans and hat in his vava voom style. Alternative in a great way, Will also has an eye for wines, which needs to be appreciated. He enjoys a glass of the Italian Tiefenbrunner Gewurztraminer, which has great floral notes, as well as the New Zealand Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, which gives subtle oak flavours on the palate. Otherwise, Will enjoys his music and can be seen jiving in the store, or posing for photos.

Old Rioja VintagesDate published: 14/05/13

We have some great old Rioja Vintages on display at the front of the store.  From the 80s and early 90s, they are a great way to experience what the ageing process does to wine.  Besides chemical reactions inside the wine, the affects of oxygen, also adds extra flavours to the complexity of the wine.  Enjoy the browner colour, more complex caramel flavours, combined with the red berry spice notes.

Belgravia Store Tour: PortDate published: 12/05/13

The 2011 Ports have been declared a Vintage by all the major Port Houses, such as Fladgate, Symington and SoGrape.  We stock some of the classic varieties like Taylors, Fonseca, Warres, Croft, Delaforce, Ramos Pinto and our own Lay & Wheeler (2011 Port vintage is available). The Taylors Quinta de Vargellas 2001(top middle of picture) is on a special offer, down from £30 to £25, which is a great find.  We have a Fonseca 1992 Vintage(top right), and probably my favourite, the Ramos Pinto 20 year old Tawny (top middle). Alternatively go for the Taylors First estate (bottom left) on a special offer of £8.99, which goes fantastic with cheese.  I will try get one opened for our Summer Tasting on Thursday the 23rd May at 18:00pm onwards.

Veuve Rose Champagne CompetitionDate published: 10/05/13

Part of the LVMH Group Veuve is a Champagne name synonymous with class.  Championing a yellow/orange label since 1772 to reflect the excellence in quality of their Champagne blends.  The Rose they make from Pinot Noir grapes has lovely flavours of red fruit, with the zing of the bubbles.  Right now if you buy only 1 bottle you get a Veuve Calendar to take home.  Each has a unique code on the back, which if you enter onto the Veuve www.facebook.com/veuveclicquotuk page, you stand a chance to win some awesome prizes. These include: VIP Experiences, which gives you lunch/champagne and a round car serviced trip, as well as Season Accessory Kits which give a heap of Veuve gifts. Cheers!

Mountains in the Belgravia StoreDate published: 09/05/13

We stock a lot of Champagne in our store, which is great!  From Veuve, Moet, Krug, Bollinger, Nicolas Feuillatte, Taittinger and Ruinart we have plenty to choose from. As you can see the amount of boxes means our shelves resemble mountains; okay maybe a slight exaggeration. Anyway come and experience the thin air with a bottle of Champagne (brings out the bubbles)...much cheaper than Mt. Everest.

The Joy of RoséDate published: 06/05/13

It's difficult to describe what constitutes a good rosé - besides, the playfulness of rosé discourages analysis. Like Champagne, rosé is a tremendously evocative drink. A sip of Minuty transports me to Provence, a part of France I've never visited, and yet in spirit... there I am.  The pink stuff is, of course, hazardously easy to drink without food, but don't underestimate its potential as a partner to fish dishes or a summer salad. Barbecue season is upon us and though an Aussie shiraz might better suit burgers, sausages etc, it's likely to leave most drinkers decidedly dozy, so - particularly at lunchtime - why not think pink? And our Aix magnums are bound to make you the most popular person at any social event this year summer.                                                                                  

Belgravia Store Tour: Fine WineDate published: 06/05/13

We have some fantastic fine wines in our store.  A 1990 second growth Leoville Las Cases from Bordeaux.  There are some well priced Red and White Burgundy from Vosne-Romanee, Puligny Montrachet and Corton Charlemagne.  Italy and Rhone are popular in the wine market at the moment.  We have stocked some great Hermitage, Cote-Rotie, Sassicaia and Amarone.  Our range includes some excellent wines from Ribera Del Deuro. From the new world there are some great worldwide strong branded wines.  These popular wines include Caymus, Purple Angel, The Armagh, Mount Difficulty and Vergelegen. Really worth a browse if you want to by something special for any occassion.  If you are brave enough we have a 2005 Yquem for £580, which will really be the perfect ending to any evening.

Belgravia Store Tour: SpiritsDate published: 06/05/13

We have a great selection of spirits you can add to your 6 bottle order. With summer around the corner we have put out some Pimms No 1 Cup.  We also have some Creme de Cassis you can add to your favourites. From Armangnacs/Cognacs (top left picture), Bourbon/Liquers (bottom left), Single Malt Whiskey/Blended Whiskey (top right), Vodkas/Gin (Middle), and Rums (bottom), there is plenty to try!

California and England BeersDate published: 04/05/13

The Anchor Steam dates back to the 19th century. The name may have come about from the primitive brewing conditions used to make the beer...how things have changed. Brooklyn Lager dates back to the pre-Prohibition days.  This is the brewery's best selling beer and found across the USA. The Curious Brew from Kent is created by England's winemaker Chapel Down Group.  It is fermented with Champagne yeast, which gives it a clean, dry finish.

Check out the Tasting CounterDate published: 04/05/13

We have updated our tasting counter for the coming fine weather. You can find the details on our store page www.majestic.co.uk/belgravia  #comeandexplore

New Store LayoutDate published: 03/05/13

As our store wine range is ever expanding we have changed our layout. 

In Italy and Beaujolais we have some new stacks for you to take a look at., With the store packed full of summer wines we were getting a little tight for space but made good use out of the extra boxes as you can see, making it easier for you to browse wines in store.

#come and explore

New Zealand SparklingDate published: 03/05/13

A lot is happening to wine in New Zealand at the moment.

A poor 2012 Vintage reduced yields, combined with the trouble of export duties to markets, such as ours, which are affected by the global economic downturn, has led to higher prices.  Coupled with high demand in Asia, New Zealand producers are targeting the geographically closer export markets like China.

Some good news is the growth being sought in other areas.  LVMH purchased Cloudy Bay, which is now very accessible in the UK.  Additionally they make a higher priced Pelorus Sparkling wine, which is high in quality and increasingly popular.  Jumping on the band wagon is another popular New Zealand Brand, Oyster Bay.  We have New sparkling wines from them, which are great for the UK summer.  A brut and rose are available for customers seeking an alternative to Brancott, Lindauer or Pelorus.

Fine Wine at House Wine Prices...Boom!Date published: 30/04/13

As part of our New Promotion to get £8 off selected Fine Wines, we decided to re-vamp our front counter display. We have put up all the wines, which are part of the offer, for your perusal.  Just looking at it is making us want to buy some.  Treat yourself!

California ParcelDate published: 30/04/13

From the sun and Beach Boys of California comes two great new parcels for you to consider.

From Clois du Bois farm in Sonoma County, California comes a great Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These are made by the grapes of local growers.

They are great value, quality wines, with much effort goin into the wine making process.  Whether it be aged on less, cool harvested, barrel aged or blended there is a style for everyone, with a quality to match.

Summer Fine Wine OfferDate published: 30/04/13

Below are some of the biggest selling Fine Wines at Majestic. 

We are doing a great deal of  "Buy any 2 selected Fine Wines and save £8".  These come from popular styles and regions, so this is a great opportunity to experience fine wines as part of your 6 or more bottles.

- Ch. Guillot Pomerol - Cepazzane Carmignano- Ch. Grand Faire Larose - Vina Ardanza - Santenay Gatsulards- ABC Santa Barbara Chardonnay - Jadot 1er Beaune - Mondavi Napa Cabernet - Chablis 1er Fourchaume - Angels Share Shiraz - Meursault le Meurger VV - Sexy Beast Cabernet - CNDP Domaine Durieu - Petaluma Shed Block - CNDP Vignoble Abeille - Gnarly Dudes - Guidalberto - Meerlust Merlot - Banfi Brunello di Montalcino - Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon - Le Volte dell’Ornellaia - Thelema Shiraz - Amarone Negrar - Mendel Malbec - Jermann Pinot Grigio

Belgravia Store Tour: ChampagneDate published: 24/04/13

Our store Champagne selection is awesome!  It is a trait of our store in the company, which always puts us in the top 5 stores nationally for Champagne sales.  We stock half bottle Ruinart Rose, which are on a special offer from £35 down to £22.50; full bottle Nicolas Feuillate  down from £25 to £16; Bollinger down from £42 to £30 and Dom Perignon 2003 down from £130 to £117. Most of these promotions will end on the 29th April, when our Summer Promotion starts.  The best Champagne deal we have is the Louis Roederer.  Similar quality to Bollinger, with a slightly lighter flavour, it is on a steal at £25, which is why it only runs from today until Monday 29th. Get in there!

Louis Roederer £25 Until Monday 29thDate published: 24/04/13

The Louis Roederer Champagne is running at a fantastic offer price of £25.  Great to drink for this weekend, or add to your stock of Champagnes. Hurry offer expires on Monday 29th!

New Wines In BelgraviaDate published: 23/04/13

We have some great New Wines in from Italy, Australia, Loire and Spain. From illustrious families, native grown grapes, signature styles or mammoth ageing, each has its own unique story.

Bellero Barbera 2012 DOC

Piemonte is attracting great attention for its red wines at the minute. Great cherry notes with good level of acidity make this a great match for Italian pasta dishes or lasagne.

Alion 2008 Ribel del Duero

Bodegas Alion is the sister vineyard of Vega Sicilia, which produces this single cuvee of 100% Tempranillo. Over 5 years of ageing gives this wine tremendous power with great finesse. A great structure is accompanied by exotic spice, wood smoke and lavender.

William Hardy Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

From an illustrious family this typical Ozzie Cabernet sauvignon comes from various sub-regions in South Australia. Blended together this gives a full bodied bold style of fruit, oak and menthol.

Pouilly Fume Jean Vincent 2010

Another illustrious family, who treat individual plot on their estate individually. This great great aromas of gooseberry to accompany the flinty character.

Fremondo Greco 2012

Made from the Greco grape, thought to be of Greek Origin. This full textured wine gives apricot, peach flavours with a long mineral finish. Great with seafood such as Monkfish.

Summer Tasting 23 May With Lay Wheeler plus NyetimberDate published: 22/04/13

We are very appreciative of the fact we will be joined for our Summer Tasting, not only by our Sister Company Lay & Wheeler, but also English Sparkling Wine Producer Nyetimber.

Kicking of at 18:00pm we will have various Sparkling wines from Nyetimber for you to sample, as well as some Fine Wines from Lay & Wheeler.  Added to this there will be various stations with our chosen store wines for you. To help make the evening more fabulous, we will provide a range of snacks and tasting sheets, so you can record your likes or dislikes.

We expect an audience of 50-70 people and a great atmosphere for a tasting, which always goes down well; too well in the sense it is hard to get customers out, even well after the finishing time of 20:30pm.

If you are keen to join the fun please let us know, so we can save a place for you. Cheers!

Italys Piemonte and Tuscany Region are making WavesDate published: 21/04/13

We have had some fantastic wines from Piemonte and Tuscanyarrive this week, much to my delight as a lover of all things Italian (but especially the wine!).

Barbera d Asti, Bricco della Bigotta 2005, Brida, Rochetta Tanaro

As the slightly shabby cousin of Nebbiolo, Barbera has forever lived in the shade of its more prestigious relative.  Given the chance to shine on the best sites in the region however, Barbera can certainly hold its own, and this is exactly what Giacomo Braida has done here.  Wonderfully concentrated with a restrained power, this wine is released with 7 years barrel and bottle age and is still as fresh as a daisy.  A fine wine selling itself on everything apart from prestige is a rare and wonderful thing.

Isole e Olena Cepparello 2008, Tuscany

Pure unadulterated Sangiovese from the picturesque Tuscan heartland comes a wine described as Italy's answer to Haut-Brion by the wine advocate and achieves consistently high ratings year after year.  For those of us who can't afford 09 and 10 classed growths from Bordeaux, this is a chance to try a wine with the finesse and structure without the extortionate price tag.

Wines to Consider Date published: 21/04/13

NEW IN!

Julienas Flower Label: Now the weather is getting warmer, this new wine from Beaujolais is a great refreshing red

Rondini Verdicchio: Italian wines are very popular at the moment and this is a great Verdicchio, which will go well with any salad.

M de Minuty Rose: From Provence, so very pale in colour and in a very shapely bottle.

Grand Ardeche Chardonnay: A high quality alternative to white Burgundy from Regional France. Very popular in our store.

What's New for established Customers? Date published: 20/04/13

Having built up your palate and a taste for the best, we have something extra to offer you. Our sister company Lay and Wheeler provides a service for those keen to build up their own wine collection but have no place to store it, or are not too sure where or how to start. Apart from Bordeaux they are one of the best suppliers for Burgundy, as well as having access to the great wines of Rhone, Italy and the rest of the world.

The benefits they can bring are:

- Excellent advice and knowledge

- En primeur wines (wines in barrel or bottle, which have not yet been released)

- Choice of fantastic new and old vintage wines from around the world

- Free case of La Croix de Beacaillou 2009 (the second wine of second growth Chateax Ducru Beacaillou)

- 10% off at Majestic Wine  

NEW is a Good Reason to Shop at Majestic WineDate published: 16/04/13

If you are a new customer at Majestic we would like to welcome you to Majestic Wine. Once we have set you up with a customer account, we can impart the great benefits of our service to you, which includes:

- carry your wines to your car

- keep a history of your purchased wines

- provide tasting notes of the wines in your purchase

- give free delivery for 6/or more bottle orders to your billing address

- a New Customer voucher, which gives you a free bottle of wine on your next purchase so you can get something extra like your favourite wine, something new to try, or something to give to somebody else

BeersDate published: 15/03/13

Beer

One of my favourite drinks on a warm day, especially served ice cold. I think being ice cold takes away the fizz a little bit when drinking lagers, but otherwise I never quite grasped why I prefer ice cold.

We have got some Samuel Adams Boston Lager, which came in yesterday.

Otherwise some other great beers are:

Peroni Nastro A classic lager at our store. Very popular and great for parties.

Becks Another great popular lager

Cornish Pale Ale I enjoy a good pale ale. Sourced from our own South West coast it makes a good beer to try.

Krombacher Wheat Beer NEW in to our store. I love a good wheat beer and put it top of my favourite beer list.

Anchor Steam Beer and Brooklyn Lager New in. Very American and great to drink in their bottles.

Cheers!

#ORWADate published: 15/03/13

Yesterday evening we were named the winner of the Customer Service Initiative of the Year Award at the Oracle Retail Week Awards for our store-based social media programme.

I hope our tweets, articles and events have given you helpful informaion and filled your minds with great wine ideas.  Please feel free to tweet this and #ORWA

All the best from Majestic Belgravia

New Wines In BelgraviaDate published: 14/03/13

We are currently stocking up in store.  Some wines to check out would be:

Beyerskloof Pinotage 2011

Gives lovely big berry fruit wih some spice flavours.  Great producer for Pinotage.

Laurent Perrier Brut

Great branded Champagne, which is relatively light and a great drink in the coming warmer weather.

Valpolicella La Casetta

A classic Majestic Italian with big sweet fruit flavours.

Prosecco La Marca Cuvee

One of the best Prosecco we do.

Stella Alpino Pinot Grigio

Been out for a while but back in for nice light drinking.

Come pop in to check out our NEW Arrivals!!!

 

 

Wines of Portugal Annual TastingDate published: 08/03/13

Wine of Portugal Annual Tasting

I got a great opportunity to visit the Portugal Annual Tasting in London. It was a large event with many of the big Producers of Portuguese wines. As ever whites from Vinho Verde and classic POrtugal Red blends with international varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah were making a distinct impression. On a personal note I was very happy to taste the various Ports, from white, fruity lower cost, vintage and 40 year old tawny.

It was fantastic to meet people in the trade, whether they were looking for UK exports, simply promoting wines, buyers or sellers or agents. I also got a glimpse of Oz Clarke in person who attended the event.

I am happy to list my stand out wines below:

Alvarinho Parcela Unica 2011 Great Vinho Verde which undergoes 9 months oak ageing in New Barrels. A great combo.

Butler Nephew & Co 10 Years White First white Port I ever tasted and I was very impressed. I would definitely try some more.

Alambre 20 Year Old A great dessert wine to rival many. A blend of vintages with lovely burnt caramel flavours.

Sandeman Port 40 Year Old Tawny What can I say really. It was awesome. A lovely balance of oak and caramel.

Grahams Six Grapes Reserve NV Fruity and very aromatic makes a nice alternative. Lovely!

Overall I was really chuffed. It was good to see our Quinta Bacalhoa and I could not resist a sample. The wine and producers really hold their own at the event and have much respect from all attending.

Come Dine with us at Majestic BelgraviaDate published: 04/03/13

Majestic employees tend to share certain common interests: wine (of course), travel and food. At the Belgravia store, we've been chatting recently about the 'Desert Island Dishes' we love to cook and to eat, and which we return to time and again. Here's an example of what the team might come up with left to our own devices in a well stocked kitchen.

Starter by Greg

"I'll do one of my signature dishes - roasted aubergine with an olive oil, garlic and parsley dressing; served with crumbled feta and roasted, crushed pine nuts. All finished off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Lovely!"

Main Course by Owen

"I'm going to do jerk chicken, ackee, salt fish... the whole lot. With rice and peas of course!"

Dessert by Leigh

"Chocola - actually, no. Waffle, vanilla, ice cream, honey and Bob's your uncle."

Washing up by Will

But choosing wines to accompany such bold, diverse dishes could be tricky. Luckily, at Majestic, we have a broad enough range to cater for any taste or occasion, and to match any food. To begin, Greg recommends Martín Códax albariño, which he says will cope well with the acidity of the lemon, potent garlic and salty feta. Next, why not try the bombastic Tiefenbrunner Gewürztraminer with Owen's fiery jerk chicken - not a combination for the faint-hearted but bound to be memorable. Finally, Leigh fancies a bottle 1985 Gran Reserva PX from Bodegas Toro Albalá, which is a deliciously decadent way to end any meal.

So there you have it, somewhat unorthodox but certainly characterful. And even if the food's not up to scratch, I guarantee that the wines are.

 

Yalumba TastingDate published: 01/03/13

Yalumba originates from the Barossa Valley area in Australia. The current owners, the Smiths, have owned the vineyards for the last 5 generations. Some of the ways Yalumba differentiate themselves is by using wild yeast to ferment their wines.

They are notorious for their Voigniers, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blends made by wine maker Jane Ferrari, who did a fantastic job hosting the recent tasting.

The Yalumba Y series and Eden Vale Voigniers have characteristic apricot, oily texture and a zesty finish on the palate. The Bush Vine Grenache has distinct red berry and pepper notes. I was fortunate to have some food matching for the Scribbler, which is a Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend. This went really well with a little treat from Australia, the Cherry Ripe Chocolate Bar. Red cherry, spice with a sweet finish.

...and If you get the chance try find some of their fortified wines.

Wine of the Week!Date published: 01/03/13

Vergelegen "The Red" 2005 Stellenbosch

From one of South Africa's premier wine estates comes a great Bordeaux blend. Made by sustainable viticulture using unirrigated vines it is matured in new oak barrels for 24 months. All this gives a long elegant finish of cassis, red berry, toast and savoury leather.

Given 91 points by Robert Parker, this flagship red by Vergelegen challenges even the best Bordeaux for quality and complexity. The combination of new oak ageing and a long finish of sweet cherries is a great combination, which is not easy to forget.

Usually at £35 with 20% off South African wines if you buy any two, right now it is yours for only £27.99. Definitley money well spent for a great wine.  

Goings On In BelgraviaDate published: 23/02/13

Well the weather is cold with fluffy snow flakes and we have the six nations and football to watch in our warm homes.  However here are very valid reasons to ppp into our store.

Right now beers for weekend celebrations are going down well. A bit of patriotism showing with some Chapel Down Rose Sparkling wine, as well as the Oeil de Perdrix Rose at just £15 a bottle.

To add to the Rugby background we have two NEW wines, which have come in from France, which are made by British Producers. The Red Fitou Mlle Jones and White Etoile De Begude Limoux promise to make a good impression.

On the tasting counter I have been very impressed with the Vocoret Chablis. Lovely minerality and body is a nice alternative to the typical steely citrus Chablis some prefer. Today we opened the Crasto Douro Red from Portugal. Made from blend grapes used in Port fortified wines it is intense, spicy and a great way to keep your hands warm during the current cold spell.  

Tiefenbrunner Gewurztraminer: Simply ExtraordinaryDate published: 23/02/13

One of the best things about working for Majestic is, of course, the opportunity to sample a huge range of wines on the Tasting Counter. I don't enjoy everything we open (almost everything, admittedly) but it's safe to assume that at least one of my colleagues will have the polar opposite reaction to me when we swirl, sniff and sip any given wine. Undoubtedly, certain wines show better than others on the TC: a powerful Aussie Shiraz makes such a satisfying impression at 7pm on a Friday evening that a delicate Fleurie might struggle in its shadow. And then, just occasionally, one encounters a wine with a unique set of characteristics - a wine that's unforgettable.

Last night, scouring the shop for something a little different to complement the Chablis and Sauvgnon Blancs already open, Leigh and I were simultaneously drawn to the Tiefenbrunner Gewurztraminer. I remember Chris, our former boss, now at the Notting Hill store, describing it as 'Gewurzt turned up to 11.' And it didn't disappoint. At 14.5% abv, and with myriad flavours including tropical fruits, ginger, honey and a touch of black pepper, this isn't a wine for faint-hearted. But what a wonderful reminder of the stunning diversity of wine! In fact, it seems ludicrous that we can use a single word to describe Tiefenbrunner and - say - a deliberately neutral, irresistibly drinkable Pinot Grigio.

As usual, I implore you not to take my word it. Come in and share a glass with us at the Tasting Counter.

Warm Praise for ChileDate published: 11/02/13

In the three decades since Miguel Torres declared Chile a winemaker's paradise Chilean wine has become synonymous with reliability and value. Now though, flush with self-confidence, the country's wine industry has entered a new phase: one of innovation, experimentation and no small amount of flair.

Chile continues to produce rich, ripe Cabernet Sauvignons which - in my view - represent the best pound for pound expressions of that grape on the market. To name just two from Majestic's wide range, Peñalolen and Errazuriz Max Reserva are stunning wines that belie their price tags of £8.99 and £9.99 respectively.

But what about the magnificent Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir (£7.99) or Leyda Reserva Syrah (£6.99)? The latter recently won a Decanter award for best Rhône varietal under £10 - one sip and it's impossible to argue with the (lucky) Decanter tasters' verdict. These are wines that effortlessly combine power with finesse, which are capable of seducing devotees of New and Old World styles alike.

As for whites, Chile has hit a purple patch in its production of rieslings, and can compete with New Zealand when it comes to punchy, affordable sauvignon blancs. Leyda Riesling (£7.99) and 120 Sauvignon Blanc (£5.99) would be excellent starting points for the uninitiated.

But, of course, don't take my word for it - come and see/taste for yourself!

Hennessy CognacDate published: 04/02/13

Hennessy of LVMH does is one of if not the largest producer of Cognac. They have 3 special drinks to carefully consider.

First the Hennessy XO. Full bodied with a lovely intensity from the oak ageing combined with dried fruits. Great with a cigar.

Second the Hennessy Paradis. A much more mellow drink vs the XO. Really lovely cinnamon and vanilla notes with lovely candied fruit flavours. Got to say it is my favourite of the bunch.

Lastly but not least is the Hennessy Paradis Imperial. Originally created for the Royals of Russia it has come back in a majestic way. Sweet aromas with subtle oak flavours gives it a lovely elegance. However do not be surprised by the pronounced aromas you get on the throat and nose; very uplifting. Lastly, do not forget the luxury of £1375 a bottle. Cheers!

Ocean CurrentsDate published: 24/01/13

Anyone see Africa on BBC One last night? Great programme narrated by Attenborough.

It focused on Southern Africa, which included Cape Town. This is a main wine region in the world. Ok, the programme was looking at the wildlife and ecosystem but it did bring up important points on the geographic location of Cape Town.

The city is split by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the warmer Indian Ocean to the east. This is also an area bisected by two currents, one being the cold Benguela current. This is where the wine comes in. In regards to grape growing things like ocean current are an important influence on the local climate. The Benguela Current bring in colder air to the inland, which helps drop the temperature to make it more ideal for grape growing.

A strange comparison would be to think of the African Penguins on the programme last night. Penguins in Africa? They were attracted to the region due to the cold influence of the Benguela Current. Just shows the influence a current can have and why it is important for grape growing in the region.

 

Sherry is for life, not just for Christmas.Date published: 20/01/13

I visited my parents in Linolnshire last week. Lincolnshire: land of sausages and... not much else. Anyway, I took with me a bottle of Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla. Sherry in general - and Hidalgo Sherries in particular - represent tremendous value for money at the moment. Tangy, mouth-watering La Gitana is currently on offer at £7.99, while Triana Pedro Ximinez and Napoleon Amontillado are down to £11.99. All three are benchmark examples of the dramatically different styles of fortified wine known collectively as Sherry.

I took La Gitana home primarily as a cooking ingredient. Quickly fry sliced chorizo in olive oil, adding a generous splash of any dry sherry once the chorizo starts to crisp. Chuck that into larger (already sizzling) pan with chicken thighs, onion, garlic, celery, chickpeas and a handful of parsley and Roberto es tu tio. Or should that be Pepe?

Naturally, we polished off the rest of the bottle with a bowl of green olives, then the main meal. After all, sherry really comes into its own as an acompaniment to food - virtually any food.

Like many regular wine drinkers, my parents still associate sherry with the elderly relatives who turn up each Christmas. They were pleasantly surprised by this fabulous drink, whose savoury, saline characteristics have nothing in common with - say - a cream sherry.

So there you have it. For me, a rare culinary success story. For my parents, new appreciation for an old drink. Why not make sherry tasting one of your new year's resolutions?

Wedding Planning for 2013 and Beyond!Date published: 11/01/13

At Majestic we have a lot of customers coming in to select drinks for their wedding days. It is great to be able to have a conversation with them about the big occasion.

In store we are able to offer advice, answer any questions and on accession provide some tasting or samples for the Bride and Groom to take home and try.

Some of the major areas and questions we can help with are:

How many bottles do we need? How many glasses would this correspond with? How much are we looking to spend on each bottle? Will the audience want to drink red or white? What is a good wine to have at a wedding? What wine should we have with the roasted chicken? Should we go with Champagne or Sparkling? What about beers? What will the total cost come too?

If you have any plans to get married, or are just thinking to get some ideas for the future then please feel to get in touch. We understand the importance of the big day and will do our best to make the occasion a majestic one.  

Winter WarmersDate published: 03/12/12

The air outside is too cold to ignore the fact sometimes a wine which has some intensity and grip to it, is a great way to give you a warming feeling. Whether it be a sourness, high acidity, high tannins, spices or strong fruit flavours, the immediate eyebrow raising affect really helps to perk you up.

Here are some suggestions from us in the Belgravia store:

Medalla Real Carmenere 2009

We currently have this on the tasting counter. It has a great sharpness from the wonderful combination of strong spice, chocolate, black berries and oak.

Villa Maria Syrah 2010

Syrah reputation for pepper is very well represented by this wine. The black pepper aromas shoot out the glass and the intensity is followed when you taste it too.

 

Chateaneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Antiques 2009

Not only does this wine have strong pepper notes, it also has black fruits, good body and is a classic partner for roast beef.  

Nyetimber Sparkling Wine?Date published: 17/11/12

Nyetimber was the first port of call for our winter tasting on Wednesday this week.  Attendees enjoy sampling a nice chilled sparkling when they come into our store.  Nyetimber from the UK are a typical emerging UK producer who are breaking into the market.  Customers are aware of them but may not have tried some of their wines, so are a bit cautious in regards to buying a bottle or two to taste.   

In regards to the tasting Nyetimber definitely set the mood giving a great impression at the start.  We had a lot of positive feedback from customers and staff alike.  The Blanc de Blanc was the favourite with notes of ice cream and butterscotch on the nose.  My personal favourite was the Brut.  Being a fan of Bollinger the yeasty dough flavours were akin to what I really enjoy from a Champagne.  The point is the Nyetimber impressed that much it would not be unfair to label it the "Champagne of England". 

It was great to have Nyetimber here and too have the chance to sample their great sparkling wines. Cheers!

Listening to the Beach Boys and Drinking Wine in CaliforniaDate published: 02/11/12

I went to visit California for my holiday and decided to go to Napa and do some wine tasting. Listening to the Beach Boys and driving to the various vineyards is definitely an experience I would recommend. It was ironic on the plane journey one of the movies available was "Sideways", whose story takes place on a wine tasting road trip.

I never realised how well set up Napa was for wine tourism. There were clear detailed maps of all the vineyards in all the major tourist pitstops. The first thing I noticed was the huge swaths of fog rolling over the hills, followed by a intense sunshine. This different weather gave a clue to the story of how California wine makers need to pick the right time to harvest their grapes.

I was lucky enough to visit the vineyards of Duckhorn, Silver Oak and Cline Cellars. They all make fantastic wine, so I took some back home with me. I got to say the visit definitely made a mark on my palate and I now love trying and drinking Californian wines. My favourites are the fruity Zinfandels and oaky Chardonnays. Cheers!

The NedDate published: 18/10/12

The Ned is the highest mountain in its mountain range. The wine also has such an awesome presence at Majestic Wine being very popular with customers. It has citrus and passion fruit flavours, which are familiar to New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. For Marisco vineyards, who make it, it is the horsepower behind their company, which is understandable based on how much we stock at Majestic. They also do a Ned Pinot Noir.

However, there is also much more Marisco vineyards has to offer. Some of these include The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc, which has more intense flavours from the selected grape parcels used to make the wine vs it's cousin, the Ned. It also won a Gold Award in the 2012 New Zealand National Wine Awards.

The Kings Thorn Pinot Gris is made with New Oak puncheons, which gives it a nice toasty character in addition to more complexity with the citrus floral flavours. It won a Gold Award in a recent UK competition.

Lastly, there is the Stick End. It has won 7 international awards and is a great desert wine. Currently, we have its cousin in store, The Ned Noble Sauvignon.

The next time you pop into Majestic and see a mountain of black boxes, also consider the smaller cousins. Whilst not as big, they make up for it with extra attention to detail.  

Trade CustomerDate published: 06/10/12

 

If you're shopping for a business please contact us on 0207 881 0804 or bel@majestic.co.uk 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. "
 

Bollinger Grande Annee 2002Date published: 23/08/12

Bollinger!

Just saying the name gives the sense of something immense.

People often ask which is your favourite Champagne? Without any doubt and with no thought I have to go for the Bollinger. The next question asked is why? Well, to put it simply it is full bodied, with apple and pear aromas, a strong biscuit flavour, which is all combined with a light mousse. The intensity in the glass really comes through more than most other Champagnes, which is something I love and makes the Bollinger that extra bit special!

What is lovely about the way Madam Lilly Bollinger started her Champagne House, is the attention to detail to make this exceptional house style Champagne. Typically Bollinger spends more time on its lees, leading to yeast autolysis, which gives it the extra biscuit flavours I love. Added to this, the Champagne is bottle aged for a longer period than most, so after the dosage is added, you get the the lovely caramelised flavour which comes through to give the immense taste you get from Bollinger.

At £70.00 down to £60.00 the Bollinger Grande Annee 2002, which is made from the best grape parcels, in my opinion, is worth that bit extra.
 

Wine of the Week - Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Date published: 15/08/12

Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Coonawarra

A cricket-themed Cab from Coonawarra in South Australia; a region famed for its Cabernet Sauvignon from Terra Rossa soils.  The vineyards are planted on the site that used to host the old Penola cricket ground.

A wine with the power of Matthew Hayden in his pomp, flavours more beguiling than a Shane Warne flipper and a finish longer than Merv Hughes' mustache.

Intense dark fruit flavours of cherries, blackcurrants and damsons are accompanied by cedar and liqourice creating a long and balanced finish.  Make the most of what is left of the summer and open by the barbeque.  An ideal match with steak.

£10.99 When you buy 2 or more Australian wines

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/product-is-19026

Wine of the Week - Muriel Gran Reserva 2004Date published: 11/08/12

Rioja Gran Reserva 2004, Bodegas Muriel

From the renowned Rioja Alavese sub-region of Rioja, and from an outstanding vintage, Bodegas Muriel have made an excellent wine at a very reasonable price.

A mature, silky wine that has benefited from 30 months in oak and 3 years maturation in bottle.  The result is a deep, complex wine with mature red fruit character and vanilla, tobacco and leather notes.

A good match with red meats, ideal with a great big juicy barbecued leg of lamb!

£10.99 when you buy 2 or more

RuinartDate published: 08/08/12

Here at Majestic Wine Belgravia, we enjoy the odd glass of bubbly. One of our favourite Champagne houses is actually the oldest; Ruinart, founded in 1729. Ruinart was the first house to export champagne and has a well deserved reputation for champagnes of great elegance. If you pass our store you may notice our rather lovely new Ruinart window display and if you venture in you will be pleased to see the new special offers on the range:

Ruinart NV £50 £30

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs £60 £40

Ruinart Rosé £60 £40

Dom Ruinart £125

 

And for those of you feeling a little abstemious how about a nice little half bottle:

Ruinart Rosé Half Bottle £30 £20

 

And for the ambitious ones amongst you, we have some good deals on the Magnums too!

Ruinart NV Magnum £90 £60

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Magnum £110 £80

Ruinart Rosé Magnum £110 £80

BBQ SlurpingDate published: 05/08/12

We may not be having the best summer weather, but we're good at making the most of it, and a good way to make the most of a full day's sunshine is to have a great BBQ. The key ingredients are a good wannabe chef, a lot of meat and a nice snack selection. The best also have excellent drinks from water and soft drinks to beers and wines.


Ok, so you got your coke and beer and are staring into the abyss of a multiple selection of wines. A nice approach to selecting good wines is simply to get what your guests will appreciate and enjoy. You can also consider the food choices to help you do this. To start with, a good bottle of white is a great choice for salads, chicken and those who prefer something more light and fresh to a red. We recommend the Anakena Single Vineyard 'Lilen' 2011 Voignier from £9.99 down to £7.49 when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines. The apricot aromas and peach, citrus flavours from the Voignier grape help give fruity balance to the wine, and the smoky notes also add to the burning charcoal and succulent red meat aromas coming from the BBQ.


This leads nicely onto the reds. The Syrah grape is a great option, as the peppery notes really compliment the salty red meat. A good choice is the Cotes Du Rhone Belleruche 2010, M. Chapoutier from France, which is £9.99 down to £6.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles. It is predominantly made from the Grenache grape, which gives a nice richness of dark fruit, blackberry and cherry fruit flavours. Included in the wine is Syrah, which adds the spice giving a nice balance to the wine. A second option to include as an alternative is the Joffre Malbec 2010 from Argentina. Maybe not as spicy but with a lovely full bodied richness and packed with aromas from plum and cherry to vanilla and chocolate making it more inviting on the palate.


Lastly, to really polish off a BBQ, give your guests the option of some fizz. It really adds to the atmosphere by impressing everyone and building some excitement. A good option is the Heidsick Gold Top 2005 Vintage champagne on special offer at £20.00. A vintage Champagne has a greater complexity but also really highlights the house style, and shows this off by being made from best years and parcels. It is a good example of dry citrus flavours combined with bready, yeasty notes you get from a nicely balanced Champagne. Cheers!

Deliveries during the OlympicsDate published: 09/07/12

As you are probably well aware, the Olympics are just around the corner and, due to the setting up of the new Olympic Route Network and with some of the road events taking place in our area, we are expecting some minor disruptions to our delivery service. Listed below are a few of the dates and the areas that will be affected:-

  • On the weekend of July 28th/29th,Saturday 4th and Tuesday 7th, we won't be doing any deliveries due to the cycling and  triathlon events taking place.
  • On the weekends of August 5th/11th/12th no deliveries to sw1a, sw1e, sw1y due to the marathon and race walk

If you require stock on these days we strongly recomend  ordering in advance. However if you have any last minute orders please phone us in store and we will endeavour to help you as best we can.

It,s a tough job but someone has to do it.Date published: 16/05/12

Earlier this week myself and a few other Majestic staff were lucky enough to visit the Champagne region with Taittinger. The trip did not get off to the best of starts when our crossing in the tunnel was delayed and lunch had to be a quick pitstop at a service station. However we were soon checking into our hotel in the beautiful city of Reims. The fabulous dinner we were treated to later in the evening was a great opportunity to taste some of Taittinger's wines including the incredible Comtes de Champagne 2000. It also showed how well champagne can work with a wide variety of food.

The second day started with a very interesting tour of the cathedral. We were then taken to the Taittinger cellars. These are an ancient maze of tunnels carved into the chalk beneath the city. It is here that the magic happens as the bottles gracefully mature in the perfect conditions of the cellars. Even for the entry level Taittinger brut they age them for 3 years and this rises to at least 10 years for the Comtes. Seeing hundreds of thousands of bottles being aged ready for sale is an impressive sight and really makes you realise why Champagne costs what it does.

After seeing the cellars it was a quick drive over the Montagne de Reims to Epernay to visit the Chateau du Folie Marquetterie. This beautiful property is owned by Taittinger and produces a single vineyard Champagne Taittinger Folie Marquetterie. We were then lucky enough to taste the Taittinger range, particular highlights being the new 2005 Vintage and the Prelude grands cru. Both of these champagnes offer exceptional value, in my opinion being considerably better than most non-vintage Champagnes but for only a small amount more. The trip concluded with a fantastic lunch which again showed just how well Champagne can work with food.

Overall it was a fantastically informative and interesting trip giving myself and the other Majestic staff on the trip first hand experience of what makes Taittinger such a great Champagne house as well as improving our knowledge of the region as a whole.
 

Being 2nd isn't so bad...Date published: 12/04/12

Customer - "I'll have a bottle of the Chateau Margaux 2000 please."

Sommelier - "Of course sir, that will be £500,000."

Customer - "I'm leaving."

A lot has been said in recent years about the increasingly astronomical pricing of Bordeaux wines. Of course Bordeaux has never been the cheapest of wines, especially if you have ever wanted a top quality example of what this illustrious region can produce. But due to the ceaseless demand from customers old and new from around the globe, prices are only likely to head skywards for the foreseeable future.

So where does this leave those of us who love great claret but don't want to pay hefty prices for such pleasure? Well one good way is to look for the many second wines of well-known Chateaux. These second wines are made from cuves or vines that are not considered good enough to go into the main wine (grand vin) but of sufficient quality to make a wine that can still be associated with the estate. Although the trend for second wines began in the 18th Century, it wasn't until the the 1980s that these wines became more commercially successful due to the demand for ever better quality in the grands vins. As these wines got better, so did their younger, cheaper siblings, which have almost become a first port of call for lovers of affordable Bordeaux. Basically you're getting a great example of what a renowned Chateau is trying to achieve at a fraction of the price.

Here at Majestic Wine Belgravia, we are happy to say we have a plethora of excellent and well-priced second wines from some of the best estates in Bordeaux. These include:-

Les Pagodes de Cos 2001  -  £40  (Second wine of Ch. Cos D'Estournel)

Les Tourelles de Longueville 2007  -  £28   (Second wine of Ch. Pichon Longueville)

La Réserve de Léoville Barton 2006  -  £25  (Second wine of Ch. Léoville Barton)

Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2002  -  £25   (Second wine of Ch. Gruaud Larose)

Chateau Lacoste-Borie 2007  -  £19.99   (Second wine of Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste)

Although not necessarily cheap, these wines do represent outstanding value for money. The grands vins of each of these wines from the same vintage can cost twice, thrice or even four times as much as their "deuxieme" and in some cases the relative difference in quality might not justify such a difference in price. Another great advantage of second wines is that they can be drunk young, and certainly younger than their more prestigious counterparts. So no need to wait around for years, even decades, before pulling the cork. Open one of these little beauties now and enjoy. And if you really like it, just imagine what the first wine is like...

The Majestic Bargain HuntDate 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.

Fine Wine E-Mail NewsletterDate published: 06/01/12

If you're interested in being the first to hear about our exciting new fine wine parcels then sign up to our Fine Wine E-Mail Newsletter.

Give us a call, drop us an e-mail or pop in and ask a member of staff for details.

On the Plus SideDate published: 24/08/11

Wine, like golf, is a hobby that travels well. Having been abroad a few times since joining the wine trade, it's interesting to see so many familiar faces from the Majestic shelves. But what is extraordinary is that most of the time we sell the wines at a comparable price, if not cheaper, than the local outlets. Even sometimes at the cellar door. Next time you go away, have a look, I'd love to see the biggest savings you could make buying from us - #Bordeaux might be a good place to start!

New Wave Spirits hit BelgraviaDate published: 13/08/11

This weekend we are spicing up our tasting counter with some of the finest spirits available on the market today.

A bunch of chaps calling themselves Sipsmith who have their distillery in Hammersmith of course have a range of absolutely premium quality spirits including a vintage Sloe Gin. Achtung! Do not be bothered waiting for Christmas to try this. To be honest it's so delicious I doubt it'll survive on the shelves for Christmas! I love it as it has a touch of sweetness as well as lovely stewed winter fruits to tantalise the palate. My food & wine matching is generally a bit err left field but I can't help thinking you could drink a chilled glass of this whilst devouring a mountain of Eton mess. My dentist  certainly seems to think it's a good idea.

Bursting with botanicals we have  the London Dry Gin. It's whole purpose of creation is to be the best gin for the classic G & T . Clean, fresh, alive. 

The Barley Vodka has a nice creamy palate thanks to the copperstill which has become synonymous with the Sipsmith name.

Sipsmith are a multi award winning independent who are dedicated to creating super premium spirits bringing traditional methods back to life to ensure uncompromising quality. There is no better time than this weekend to come down & give them a try. There is no room for disappointment.

If that isn't enough to get the old English blood racing next we have the Chase range.

Again we are looking at Super premium stuff. How does Orange marmalade vodka sound? Unbelievably better than you could possibly imagine. Not to be murdered by mixer. How about ' voted best vodka in the world' . Yup. Or maybe a gin made from organic apples, turned into cider, turned into vodka then into gin?  Amazing stuff. To  taste is to dream. And as an aesthete to me the bottle is goddam sexy as hell in all it's Gothic glory.

Any tasting samples will be served with no less than Fever Tree tonic.

See you all soon then.

Wines to Drink Before You Die Part 1Date published: 06/08/11

Meeting your heroes can be a dangerous game. For schmoozy crooner Rodriguez the sweetest kiss was the one he never tasted. I have always been a sucker for a product and here at Belgravia we see some pretty fine wines, and sometimes you can only take so many coy glances from the Fine Wine shelf before you crack and part with a day's wages. I particularly liked manager Felix's conclusion that £50 was a bit steep for a flight to Europe, but that an '07 Puligny was very much a justifiable purchase.

But Charlie was leaving. There was never a better excuse. The full team would be in. It was a 1990. A 98 Parker point vintage. A 99 point wine, "an extraordinary effort", one of the richest Yquems he ever tasted. Yquem is just one of those wines you feel you need to try to fully understand wine. A guage, the top end of the scale, one of those extraordinary creations. Rotting raisins. A glass per vine. Without doubt, a wine to try before you die.

Deep amber, throwing off some weird morning breath as it awoke from its slumber. Someone thought it would be funny to say it was corked. Was it oxidised? Patience, patience. It was never going to be as I thought. With wines like this you build up an image in your mind, a composite of previous experiences, and the reality is always a little different, though you can't quite remember how afterwards. Like appreciative diners, there was a hush round the table. I nearly passed out as I forgot to exhale. Waves of barley sugar, dried mango, ginger, marmalade. The first sip. Rich but clean. Poised, luscious, and then a whoosh of racy tanginess sweeping the palate. The flavours, again in waves, going on and on and on. And on. And on. It's still going. What a decadent pleasure to take a full swig.

Was it all I dreamed and more? Yes. And no. £50 each was definitely a great way to do it, we got 4 rounds from the bottle, giving it a chance to develop as we went along. I am certainly very pleased to have tried it., it was delicious. But there is certainly a long list of things I would spend that money on before being able to justify the expense. And the at the top of that list is a First Growth claret. Watch this space.

Viva Pomal!Date published: 06/08/11

Actually it's Vina Pomal & it's thanks to them that I saw  The Newcastle Falcons conquer The Saracens in the Rugby 7's final last night @ Twickenham stoop.

Newcastle looked good from the beginning-great ball handling skills, quick on the hoof & solid rugby technique got them on top. A big guy for 7's standard with a white man afro making breaks left, right & centre always helps too.

My condolences to Nick Mantella & his Harlequins.

Make sure you try the Vina Pomal range in the Spanish promo that's just around the corner. It's more than just  'a red wine', which one of the commentators blurted to a large man in a big clear ball last night (long & amusing story).  It's a well balanced Rioja,made in traditional style with a gentle tannic grip ready to tackle any grilled red meats. Good stuff.

A big thanks to Carolyn & Mark for being great hosts & great company.

France Vs. The World.Date published: 05/08/11

We've themed our tasting counter this week with French Chardonnay & Syrah battling it out against some tough competition from Australia, N.Z, Argentina & Chile.

In the French corner we have the quite often over looked Grand Ardeche from Louis Latour. For a Southern French wine they push the boat out using new French Oak coopered by their on-site Cooper. It's rich, rather opulent & very satisfying. My friend Joe loves it. His first child will certainly be named Ardeche.

In the New Zealand corner we have Fairleigh Estate Chardonnay. This poor chap generally sits in the shadow of the Fairleigh Estate Sauvignon Blanc stack but also offers great value for money. Sure it has some oak, so it should, but it is delicious. It has lovely tropical fruit to keep it bright on the pallet so try it with something like Bbqed Cajun spiced fish.

In the red ring to start we have a delicious Syrah from the Vin de Pays collines rhodanniennes which sits in the Rhone Alpes. Delicious blackcurrant with peppery undertones are ready to challenge any Crozes Hermitage.

His Aussie nemesis is the cool climate Knappstein Shiraz from the Clare Valley. It's leaner than your typical Aussie blockbuster, yet ripe black fruit & spice keeps things interesting.

 

Tomorrow we'll see how the Matetic Syrah from Chile stands up, relay any customer opinions & look at comparing Cordier's Veille vigne Macon Fuisse with the Argentinian Capalta Chardonnay.

 

My days off.Date published: 28/05/11

Times are hard when your two days off are spent in Epernay drinking Champagne. But I took it on the chin, jumped on the Eurostar & before I knew it I was staring bewildered at the pre-Phylloxera vineyards of Bollinger. As we strolled through the Grand cru vineyards I couldn't help noticing the early flowering on the vines. Not surprising really considering the unseasonal warmth, not that I'm complaining. So an early vintage for Champagne this year then. Not unlike '76 apparently. I'll have to take their word for it as I wasn't allowed to drink at 6 years old. I had very restrictive parents.

The unevitable tasting commenced starting with the ever palatable & rich Special Cuvee. One amazing fact that I learnt was Bolly store their reserve wines in magnum rather than stainless steel tanks. This fact for all wine geeks everywhere is impressive. To the layman it explains why Bollinger is such a complex & tantalising Champagne.

Next was the 2002 Grand Année Blanc. If I was to write everything that impressed me about this wine I'd run out of space so the short of the long is that it's absolutely delicious. Even in youth it is powerful, weighty & complex. And for the romantics out there, they still riddle all the Grand Année range & the R.D (recently disgorged). NIce, err, touch.

Bolly Grand Année Rosé 2002 was next. Read the above & include red fruits,  rhurbarb & generally pleasing sensations. This is big enough to compete with pork & lighter duck dishes. Or by itself in good company during a summers day on Primrose Hill saluting celebrities as they pass. Considering the high prices of it's contemporaries, the G.A Rosé is a steal, and a delight.

Of course, we tried the non vintage Rosé which again has the hallmark Bollinger structure with bold Pinot Noir red fruit flavours abound. As it is obviously more fresh & lively  try it with strawberries soaked in wine with hazelnut ice cream & a perfectly baked Madeleine. That's what we had with it for dessert. It was lovely. Tres lovely even. Add to that one cigar (un petit), one Cognac & maybe a few more glasses of Special Cuvée for nostalgia & that completes a thoroughly enjoyable trip to Bollinger.

 

 

 

Store Events(0)
Store Tasting(0)

What we're tasting today...

Meet the team...

  • Luke Manager

    3 Years deep at Majestic, Belgravia is my first Managership and I'm loving it. I enjoy wines from all over the world but have a particular soft spot for Californian Zins and Valpolicella wines having visited both regions recently! I also love dogs, so if you have one (or more) feel free to bring them in!
  • Freddie Assistant Manager

  • Emily Trainee Manager

  • Tom Trainee Manager

  • Seb Driver

    Seb is our "Man in the van", you have never met a more curtious delivery driver. Fact.

How to find us