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Welcome to Majestic

Stratford-upon-Avon

Contact Information
T: 01789 299 385
F: 01789 299 385
E: stf@majestic.co.uk
Opening Hours
Monday 10am - 7pm
Tuesday 10am - 7pm
Wednesday 10am - 7pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Bank Hol 10am - 5pm
Store Address
145-147 Birmingham Road
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 0AP
United Kingdom

Store facilities

  • Fine wine available
  • Free chiller bin loan
  • Wine Courses
  • Free local delivery
  • Free glass loan
  • Free parking
  • Free tasting every day
Store News(646)

Rosé, Rosé, RoséDate published: 26/04/17

With Summer quickly on its way we'll hopefully start having a few more sunny days. Nothing can beat a glass of Rosé, whether it is relaxing in the garden or attending a BBQ. With so many options to choose from I've picked out a few of my favourites to drink for the months ahead. 

The most popular style of Rosé nowadays are the pale coloured wines from Provence. My two top picks would be:

Domaine La Chautarde; A light, dry and fruity rosé, with strawberry and red cherry flavours accompanying more subtle flavours of watermelon and nectarine. Great for just swigging by itself but also with some typical Provencal dishes like grilled sardines. 

Whispering Angel; The new kid on the block when it comes to big named Rosé wines. Former Chateau Prieure Lichine owner bought the estate exclaiming that "it's certainly easier to have a little fun being a Provence Rosé producer". This wine is best described as sophisticated fun in a bottle with crushed strawberries, peach, orange blossom and rose water oozing out of every drop.

If you wanted to stay in France there are options for you away from Provence, Sancerre have always produced lovely rosé wines and so too has Bergerac and the Cahor region. My choice comes from the west side of the southern French Coast, located near to the town of Carcassonne.

Château La Gravette; Wines have been produced in the Minervois area since the Roman times and in recent years this area of French Viticulture has undergone a huge resurgence in the quality of the wines produced. This wine has vanilla flowers and stewed strawberries among other red fruits. This wine is slightly off dry so goes nicely by itself or with slightly spicier dishes.

Looking outside of France provides Rose's of different styles, flavours and made from different grape varieties. Rarely as pale as their Provence counterparts countries such as New Zealand and Argentina offer real value alternatives and different options for your Rosé drinking delights.

The Ned: Made by the same people who do our top selling NZ Sauvignon Blanc this rosé is perfectly balanced and has a bit more structure than your average rosé wine. Rammed full of lots of summer berries and a creamy texture to go with it.  The lovely acidity to the wine makes this perfect for seafood risottos and paellas.

Hey Rosé: The female version of our very popular Hey Malbec offers a completely different style of rose of equal quality. This wine moves away from the strawberries and cream flavours and onto red currants, cherry and plums. With incredibly balanced flavours and a refreshing acidity this rosé goes great with any grilled meats and salads.

With many other rosé wines available instore in may well be worth experimenting to find your favourite glass for the summer.


End of offers!Date published: 22/04/17

The current April offers are due to end on the 24th April 

La Gioiosa DOCG

Heidsieck Gold Top Vintage

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 

Porta 6 

Natalie Verga Pinot Grigio

Don't Miss OUt  !!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if you don't need them until later in the year. 


Easter Opening HoursDate published: 13/04/17

Our store opening hours over Easter are as follows:

Good Friday = Open as Usual (10.00-20.00)

Easter Saturday = Open as Usual (09.00.-19.00)

Easter Sunday = Closed

Easter Monday = Open from 10am until 5pm

We hope all our customers have a wonderful Easter. 



Rioja 25% off till Monday evening!Date published: 17/03/17

Quite possibly one of my favorite week long offers that we do at Majestic Wine. 25% off the entire range of Rioja when you mix & match any six or more bottles of wine, spirits & fizz. 

If, like me me you are a great fan of Rioja, then I urge you that this is the week you'll need to pop in and see us! Whether you like the pocket friendly Eguia Crianza (£6.74*, this week only) or like to enjoy the decadence of Vina Ardanza (down to £17.99*) you are sure to pick up a great Rioja at a brilliant price... I'll certainly be taking advantage! We've even got some of our favorites open to taste this week, so you can try them for yourself.

Don't forget, dare I say Easter is not too far away, and with the traditional Easter Roast of Lamb, Rioja is the classic wine pairing, so stock up now! The quintessentially traditional Rioja Vina Ardanza is my top tip.

Click on www.majestic.co.uk for all our fantastic offers & range of wines. 

See you at the Tasting Counter.

Salud! 


25% off Rioja this week only!Date published: 14/03/17

We love a bit of warm fruity Rioja, and they are great with food or just on their own!

All week we will have 25% off all Rioja and plenty open to try in store. 

See more at www.majestic.co.uk/stratforduponavon

Charity prize competition Sat 04/02/2017Date published: 03/02/17

We at Majestic have started supporting Macmillan cancer support as our Charity of the year in 2017.

To celebrate and get things off to a great start we are holding a competition in store tomorrow! For a chance to win a bottle of KRUG Vintage (thats right!) worth £200, come in and try our blind taste challenge! And it couldn't be easier..

Pop in, stick £1 in the Charity tin, try some wine, have a guess at what variety it is and you could be the proud owner of an iconic Champagne- perfect for that grand occasion(with Valentines Day around the corner as well). See you tomorrow!

Last chance for some amazing deals!Date published: 27/01/17

We will be changing our deals next Tuesday, which means this weekend is last chance to grab the following great deals:

Marques de riscal reserva at £11.99*

Veuve Cliquot NV at £29.99*

Bollinger NV at £33.99*

Porta 6 at £6.99*

Marlborough ridge Sauvignon Blanc at £5.99*

*mix 6 prices


Plus, grab the last of our January sale items and explore our new WIGIGs! (When It's Gone It's Gone)

Give us a call on 01789 299 385 if you would like to order with FREE delivery!

Closing EarlyDate published: 22/01/17

To Customers,

Just a quick warning that the store will be shutting early today (22/01/17) due to a nationwide corporate event. Apologies for any inconvenince this may cause. We will be open at normal time on Monday 23rd January.

Thanks

James

10 Majestic New Years ResolutionsDate published: 03/01/17

10 Majestic New Year Resolutions:

1) Attend Tastings: Towards the back end of 2016 Majestic launched its new tasting club. This means that stores will be holding more tastings within store. Ranging from introductions to wine lessons, a masterclass on a particular region or country and Fine Wine experiences where some our of top range will be opened.

2) Join the Gin craze: All through last year craft gin's popularity has gone from strength to strength and so has our range. A lot are open to try in store so there's no better time to start liking Gin or find a new favourite.

3) Drink Better: Tired of drinking the same old bottles of wine? Treat yourself and trade up on a bottle of wine. Its nice to spoil yourself every once in a while so whether its for a special occasion or just for celebrating a Wednesday to brighten up your week, we have a bottle for you!

4) Plan a party: Majestic wine have all you need to plan a party. The only thing you need to bring is a reason to do so. Free glass hire and delivery, a free tasting to help you choose your wine and the option for sale or return are but a few things we offer with our party service.

5) Try new things: WIth our new WIGIG section and a ever improving range of wines there are lots of new things for customers to try. Whether it is a completely new grape variety like Pais from Chile, a small parcel aged Sangiovese or some big name Clarets and Small name prices.

6) Match your food and wine: You can't beat when the glass you are drinking compliments the fantastic meal you have cooked yourself.  Pop in and allow our knowledgable staff to pick out some perfect food and wine matchs.

7) Get crafty on other spirits: If Gin really isn't your thing then why not try some of our other craft spirits. Our range includes a Vodka made from milk, some very interesting spiced Rums from all over the world and Some exquisite Whiskies.

8) Be lazy: With even more of a range now available online, why not put your feet up and take advantage of our free delivery. (terms and conditions apply)

9)Beer: We have a great range of craft beers as well as your big name brands. So whether it is a bottle of peroni, a local ale or a craft IPA from an up and coming Brewery we have it here.

10) Price Match: why go else where? Majestic wines can price match up to 6 bottles if you can find them cheaper else where

NYE opening hoursDate published: 30/12/16

We are open New Years Eve the 31st from 9am -5pm. 

We are then closed on the 1st January 2017 and open again as usual from the 2nd January at 10am.


Have a Great New Years! We look forward to seeing you all in 2017!

Party service at Majestic winesDate published: 08/12/16

At Majestic, we’ve been helping our customers plan successful parties for years.

We offer the ultimate party service:

- Free Delivery

- Free Glass Hire

- Ice and Chiller Bin Hire

- Sale and Return on all wine and un-split cases of beer or cider

- Free tastings

Whether it’s a casual drinks bash or a full scale wedding we will make sure your party is one to remember.

Not sure which wine to choose or how much wine to order? Need help with glasses and chiller bins? We can help! These are questions we help answer every day and our expert staff are here to help.

We really enjoying offering our expertise to help take this weight off of your mind, allowing you to get on with having a great time. With our extensive range of drinks including soft drinks and spirits we can save you time with one point of contact, one delivery and one invoice.

We even offer in store tastings so that you can be sure the drinks you choose will be perfect for your occasion.

Christmas opening hoursDate published: 08/12/16

'Tis the season to drink lots of wine, so come and see us at Majestic Wine Stratford upon Avon. Our Christmas opening hours are as follows:

Monday-Friday 9am-8pm

Saturday 10th December 9am-7pm
Saturday 17th December 9am-8pm

Sundays 10am-5pm

Christmas Eve 9am-5pm

We will re-open on Tuesday 27th December 10am-5pm


Oktoberfest goodnessDate published: 15/10/16

We have an exciting range of craft beers which will be open to taste all weekend (15th/16th) and a discussion about the beers for anyone who is interested! We will be looking at the malts and hops that are used to make some of the beers and what gives them their delicious taste!

Please come down and join us to sample what we have and enjoy the Oktoberfest spirit!


We will also be doing a FREE beer course on Saturday the 22nd where you can get to grips with the history and methods of craft beer production ( £10 tickets and £10 voucher in return-groups welcome!)


November Showcase- 10th NovemberDate published: 15/10/16

It's back, our big free showcase tasting before Christmas will be returning on the 10th of November. 

Please RSVP for a spot today and we can take your contact infomation to remind you closer to the time.

This is a great chance to try loads of suitable festive wine and you can have some fun as well!

Please call us on 01789 299 385 or email us at stf@majestic.co.uk to confirm your place


Wigig- When its gone it's gone!Date published: 13/10/16

We have a great selection of wines with limited availablity in store.

These parcel wines offer fantastic value and are disappearing fast- and when they are gone they are gone!   


Current wines include:

Greg Norman Cab/Merlot @ £9.99* (was £19.99)

Wolf Blass Private release Shiraz @ £5.99*(was £8.99)

Dunavar Gruner Veltliner @£6.99*(was £7.99)

and many more in store.


Get yours at https://www.majestic.co.uk/wigig-wines or pop in store.



One week deals!Date published: 15/09/16

We have two amazing wines on a short term offer this week!


The Louis Latour Macon lugny and the Cune reserva Rioja are both reduced to £8.99/bottle when you buy any 6 wines and are sure to sell out fast.


Get yours by ordering on 01789 299 385 or visiting www.majestic.co.uk

We are hiring- Part time Driver/sales assistantDate published: 15/09/16

We are in need of a part time driver at Majestic Stratford upon Avon to help us deliver our excellent customer service in our van and in store. This is a great opportunity to learn about wine with a highly motivated team.

We will need you to work 21.5 hours a week over 3 or 4 shifts as necessary (typically 5 hours/day). Pay is £8.25 per hour and you also benefit from our staff discount policy.

If you are interested please contact the team in store or email Ken at stf@majestic.co.uk

Stratford Present their September Showcase Date published: 23/08/16

Stratford Presents their September Showcase tasting in store on Friday 16th September from 18:30 onwards. It is a great opportunity to taste some wines and meet the team. There will be a hand picked selection of wines open to taste from classic favourites through to new store arrivals.

To book your Free space please contact us on  01789 299385 or email us in store at stf@majestic.co.uk. 

We look forward to seeing you then

Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva 2009Date published: 26/07/16

Calling all Rioja fans!

Made from the traditional Grenache and Tempranillo grapes, it offers a nice integration of soft fruit and vanilla from the oak barrels that lingers in the mouth.

And is open on the tasting counter to try! Come and vist us in store to try for yourself.

Mix 6 price is at the great price of £17.99

Don't miss out!

Bollinger NV £29.99 - Short Term DealDate published: 26/07/16

Everyone loves a glass or two of Bolly. 

Don't miss out on this short term deal which ends August 1st. Always one of my favourites. With over 85% Grand and Premier Cru grapes, this is top level Champagne for the money. Let's not forget it's James Bond's favourite too!

To order yours, call us on 01789 299 385 or visit www.majestic.co.uk/stratford-upon-avon


25% off all Argentinian Malbec this weekend Only!! Date published: 18/06/16

This weekend only we have 25% off all Argentinian Malbec's!

With many big named Argentinian Malbecs open on the tasting couner this weekend! Now is the perfect time to take advantage of this offer and find the perfect wine!! 

25% Off New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Fri-MonDate published: 11/06/16

For this weekend only we have 25% Off New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, that means until 19:00 on Monday 13th June all you favourite Sav blancs from NZ are on a great deal:

Villa Maria £6.99!!

Oyster Bay £7.49

Mud House £6.59

Stock up whilst it lastsDate published: 26/05/16

Our current deals end on Monday 30th May so only a few days left to stock up on your favourites from May's deals. 

Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc @ £7.99 

Macon Lugny Latour @ £8.99

Guigal Cotes du Rhone @ £8.99

to name but a few. Don't be that person who says ' I wish I'd bought more when it was on offer. '

Rioja 25% off for this weekend only! Date published: 21/05/16

So not only do we have Ned Sauvignon Blanc at a great price this week we also have for you 25% off all Rioja for this weekend only. Both offers finish on Monday night!

Ned Sauvignon Blanc down to £6.99 for this week only !Date published: 17/05/16

Yes it's back. The Summer's favourite sunshine wine. You know you'll get through many bottles of this over the coming months so why not stock up now while it at this bargain price. But remember to keep it under lock and key otherwise it might disappear rather too quickly.

Offer ends Monday 23rd May . You do not want to miss out.  

25% off Champagnes for this weeekend Hurry! Hurry!Date published: 12/05/16

For this weekend only we have 25% off all our champagnes under £100 a bottle. 

So whether you have a Champagne breakfast at the weekend or are planning a celebration this year, now is the time to buy. 

Here are a few highlights :

Bollinger NV £29.99

Clicquot NV £29.99

Oeil de Perdrix Rose £17.24

Pol Roger NV £30.73

But there will be a deal on your favourite.

Don't delay, buy today!

Offer finishes at close of play on Monday 16th May

Nyetimber Rose Open to try today!Date published: 07/05/16

We here in Stratford just cant help ourselves, when a new wine arrives we have to open it. Therefore today we have opened for sampling a some rather excellent Nyetimber Rose! 

In the words of Bruce Forsyth "Come on down" 

(Pssssst 25% of all of Rioja is coming!) PLUS RIOJA SPOTLIGHT TASTING JUST ADDED!Date published: 06/05/16

We have just added a new Tasting date for you lucky people of Stratford.

On the Saturday the 21st of May we Will be holding a Spotlight tasting on Rioja. This is to coincide with a great upcoming promotion for that weekend of 25% off all of Rioja. This is a great opportunity for you lucky people to come and try and learn about some great wines from a great  region and to purchase them at a great price. 

 Come anytime through the day and we will be happy to go through the wines with you.

RSVP Required 

Summer Tasting Date published: 06/05/16

We're having our Summer Showcase tasting in store on Friday May 27th 18:00 onwards. It is a great opportunity to taste some wines and meet the team.
You’ll be warmly greeted with a glass of bubbly and then taken through a selection of reds, whites and rosés. 
Are you looking for refreshing whites for a sunny day? Or the perfect red to enjoy with friends around the BBQ (whatever the weather)? There will be plenty open to try from classic favorites to a wide range of our new arrivals.
And if you do decide to buy any of the wines you taste or just need to stock up, you will enjoy an extra 10% OFF all wines exclusively on the night!
Get in touch with us on 01789 299385 or email us at stf@majestic.co.uk and we'll secure your place for you.

If you are unable to make this date or time please let us know as we will be running a 2nd tasting on Saturday 28th to accommodate those customers, and yes you will still be able to claim your 10% off discount. 

25% off Chilean WinesDate published: 05/05/16

For this weekend only we have 25% off all* Chilean Wines! 

So zoom down to us here in Stratford and pick up some great wines at some great prices.


*wines under £6 and over £19.99 excluded 

Beer Offers!!Date published: 05/05/16

We have some cracking deals on Beer that have just started untill the end of May.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro 24x330ml = £26.88

Corona Extra 24x330ml = £24 (That is only £1 a bottle!)

and for the Ale Lovers:

London Pride 12x 500ml = £18

Spitfire 12x500ml = £18

So with the weather getting better why not grab you beer whilst shopping for your wine ready for the BBQ!

Red Hot BBQ WinesDate published: 26/04/16

Okay I will be the first to admit that it is hardly "Red Hot BBQ" weather out there but nevertheless we have some Red Hot Deals starting today to kick off our Summer Promotion. We have:-

Beronia Reserva 2011 (seriously great wine!)

£14.99 single bottle price

Save £5

£9.99 Mix Six price

Bodegas Beronia is named after the Berones, a Celtic tribe who lived during the 3rd Century BC, in the area now known as Rioja Alta where the winery is based. Dos Maderas means 'two woods': the barrels used by the winery are made from both American and French oak.

Taste

Deep ruby-maroon in colour, with plenty of density. The complex nose is dominated by cinnamon and clove notes, with hints of toasted bread. Plenty of warm fruit, sweet tannins, and a velvet texture.


Parrilla Malbec 

£9.99 Single bottle price

Save £2

£7.99 Mix Six Price


Origin

This wine is made by Bodegas Fabre, makers of the original single-varietal Argentine Malbecs, and is sourced from mature vineyards in Valle de Uco. 50% of the wine has been aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, to achieve a fruity yet complex flavour profile.

Taste

A deep ruby colour, this Malbec is crammed with damson, blackberry and plum flavours, accented by touches of oak toast. Smooth, ripe tannins offer a silky finish.

Enjoy

Pair with juicy steaks or sausages 'a la parrilla', or straight off the grill.



Fame at lastDate published: 22/04/16

Guess who was filming here on Wednesday this week? It was ' Saturday Kitchen ' . Can't tell you which wine they will be recommending though. We are sworn to secrecy. You'll have to watch on Saturday morning and then pop in and stock up before we sell out! Trust me its a corker! 

Mud House Offer Extended!!Date published: 18/04/16

Good news people of Stratford, our Mud House offer of £6.49 a bottle has been extended until 3pm on Monday 25th of April/

World Malbec Day with Majestic Stratford Upon AvonDate published: 13/04/16

Sunday marks World Malbec Day, and all this week we will have an array of Malbec's from around the world on offer to taste, from its origin in Cahors, France, to Argentina, where it has taken the grape to becoming one of the leading red wines of the world.

To celebrate, this week we have some fantastic offers on Malbecs...

Argento Malbec £5.99 (mix six, single bottle £8.99) - Ripe bramble and spicy blackberry notes on the nose are echoed on the richly textured palate, with hints of vanilla oak and balanced acidity on the finish.

Vinalba Reservado Malbec £7.99 (mix six, single bottle £10.99) - This wine wraps itself around every corner of your mouth with its ripe dark plum fruits, sweet tannins and dark chocolate and mocha. Flavours linger for a long time.

San Huberto Malbec £6.99 (mix six, single bottle £9.99) - An inky, almost opaque wine with a blackish-purple hue. The flavours are of plum, bramble and ripe blueberries, delivered with a forward, vigourous manner tempered by sweet, spicy oak.

Be sure to pop in this week and tell us your favourites...


Mud House at it's Lowest price at Majestic. £6.49 (Mix Six)Date published: 13/04/16

There's nothing like a NZ Sauvignon Blanc to get you in the Summer Mood and oh boy do we have a cracking one week deal for you.

The Mud House Sauvignon Blanc has, for one week only (until Monday 18th) dropped to its lowest ever price at Majestic.

It is £6.49 on the mix six (£8.49 single bottle).

Mud House Wines was started in 1996, and is a producer focused on sustainable viticulture. Just over half the fruit for this wine is sourced from their own Woolshed vineyard in the Upper Wairau Valley, with the remainder sourced from partner growers.

"This is something of a benchmark Kiwi sauvignon with lively, fresh fruit to the fore, including grapefruit, lemons and pears. It’s crisp, dry and goes well with food." Sunday Express – Jamie Goode – 21st June 2015

If you'd like to take advantage of this incredible deal do not hesitate to contact us in store on 01789 299385, pop in or order online.

Can you see the Summer coming? I definitely can.


NEW short term offers starting today until Monday 11th AprilDate published: 05/04/16

Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2015, Côteaux du Languedoc - now £6.49 in the mix 6
Picpoul is increasingly popular, easy drinking and a superb alternative to Sauvignon Blanc

Porta 6 2013, Lisboa - now £6.49 in the mix 6
now a cult favourite with Majestic after it featured on Saturday kitchen last year, you folks just cant get enough of it and an absolute bargain at that price

Quinta de Azevedo 2014, Vinho Verde - now £5.99 in the mix 6
Superb Portugese white, my Portuguese Vet Eduardo said it was the best white Portuguese wine he's ever found outside of Portugal so one not to be missed at that price



£10 Off Carluccio's!Date published: 05/04/16

Hi Everyone! We're giving every customer a £10 off voucher for Carluccio's Restaurant.when you make any purchase from ourselves.

 Your nearest Carluccio's is opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theater on 13 Waterside CV37 6BA

Pop in and grab a voucher when you make a purchase. 

When you visit Carluccio's they'll give you a Majestic voucher in return!

Win-Win


Offers ending today!Date published: 28/03/16

Offers Ending Today!

Ned Sauvignon Blanc £6.99

Guigal Cotes Du Rhone £7.99

Macon Lugny £8.99

Rioja Cune Reserva £8.99

De Telmont Champagne £13.99

https://www.majestic.co.uk/easter-star-wine-buys


Definition Pouilly Fume Date published: 24/03/16

Definition Pouilly Fume has landed!

What an absolute beauty of a wine! From the Lovely Loire, this unbelievably typical style of Pouilly-Fume has so much steely slate character and minerality. Being more racy, linear and edgy than Sancerre with more energy it is in a league of it's own. It emphasizes those delicious fruity, gooseberry charactersitics that naturally occur with Sauvignon Blanc. Wiith the added flinty and slaty character brought in by the climate and soils of the Loire valley making it a very original, specific and fresh.

Add this ti your Definition collection, you will not be dissappointed.


2 Week Deals Ending Soon!Date published: 23/03/16

Put it in your Diary, Monday Night is the close of our current 2 week deals:

Ned Sauvignon Blanc £6.99

Guigal Cotes Du Rhone £7.99

Macon Lugny £8.99

Rioja Cune Reserva £8.99

De Telmont Champagne £13.99


https://www.majestic.co.uk/easter-star-wine-buys

Dartington Glasses OfferDate published: 23/03/16

The Offer on these has been extended for a further few days! 

Stock up fast as we only have a few of these left and when they are gone, they are gone!

All you have to do is buy 12 bottles of wine and we will pop these in with your order whether that is online or instore


Easter Offers Have Started!Date published: 15/03/16

Eggcellent Offers have started! Check out what is on our Tasting Counter and pop in for sample!

Opening Hours for 31st/1st Jan/FebDate published: 30/01/16

On 31st January we shall be closing at 3:30 as opposed to our usual 5pm close, and opening at 10:30am on Monday 1st February

Thank you

Offers Ending!Date published: 27/01/16

Fight those January blues by adding a little bit of sparkle to your day!

Just because Christmas and New Year is over doesn't mean you can't open up a bottle of champagne and Laurent Perrier Brut, at only£24.99 Mix Six price is the perfect choice!

Toasty, citrusy and fresh with a delicate mousse, this champagne is absolutely stunning.

Every day should be a champagne day!


Our best price on Oyster Bay wines... for years!Date published: 25/01/16

After reminding the Oyster Bay winery about how much Majestic customers love New Zealand wines, Head Buyer Matt Pym has brought home a truly exceptional deal for you. We are delighted to offer both Oyster Bay Sauvignon and Merlot for the exceptional price of £7.49 when you buy a mix of any six wines. That’s a huge saving of £4.50 per bottle on our regular single bottle price. 

Oyster Bay take their name from a pristine spot on the coast of Marlborough. They rose to fame with the crisp, fresh and fruity flavours of their iconic Marlborough Sauvignon. Since winning'Best International Sauvignon' at the 1991 International Wine & Spirits Competition, they have only gone from strength to strength. 

When they turned their hand to reds the results were just as good. Their Merlot from New Zealand's premier region for the grape - Hawke’s Bay - is succulent with an elegant intensity of fruit flavours. Here’s a new world red you must try.

Buyers Choice: Lastarria MerlotDate published: 15/01/16

Merlot generally produces medium-bodied fruity wines that are great to drink by themselves or with food.

The grape is often sold as a single varietal wine, as it is here, but did you know that Merlot is widely planted in Bordeaux and is one of the two most important grape varieties along with Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Merlot Reserva from Lastarria is slightly fuller than most Merlot wines and has grippy tannins. It therefore makes a great food wine. Match it with roasted meats, stews and casseroles.

Try it for yourself today on the tasting counter.

Only £6.66 as part of our mix deal. 


Christmas Wines - What will you be drinking?Date published: 09/12/15

Aaron 

Nice and simple for me, start the day with a bottle of Pol Roger over breakfast with the wife then our fish starter will be paried with Chablis Vaucopin 2010 Depaquit. Then onto CUNE Gran Reserva 2004 (Voted wine of the year by Wine Spectator 2013) and for the extensive cheese board its, Royal Tokaji.


Simple

https://www.majestic.co.uk/Pol-Roger-Reserve-zid22276?tracking=|searchterm:

https://www.majestic.co.uk/Chablis-Vaucopin-zid04876?tracking=|searchterm:

https://www.majestic.co.uk/Rioja-Gran-Reserva-Imperial-zid14226?tracking=|searchterm:

https://www.majestic.co.uk/Royal-Tokaji-5-Puttonyos-zid21062?tracking=|searchterm:tokaji

Bordeaux Regions - Lalande-de-PomerolDate published: 07/09/15

Lalande-de-Pomerol - Appellation to the immediate north of Pomerol, that is very much in the shadow of this great red wine district of Bordeaux.  It includes the communes of Lalande-de-Pomerol and Néac and produces lush, Merlot-dominated wines which can offer a suggestion, sometimes a decidedly rustic suggestion, of the concentration available in a bottle of fine Pomerol but at a fraction of the price.  

Including about 1100ha of vineyards, the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation is much bigger than that of Pomerol, and its soils are composed of well-drained gravels, particularly in the south, where it is divided from the Pomerol appellation only by the Barbanne river.


Wine of the Week - 2nd SeptemberDate published: 05/09/15

This week's wine comes from an area famous for it's light fruity red wines, served slightly chilled.

Brouilly Tour De La Terriere 2013

£11.99 or £8.99 when you buy two 25% wines

The wine comes from a family owned estate under the shadow of Mont Brouilly in the heart of Beaujolais. The vineyards extend over a rock porphyry hill which add a unique character to the wine.

This wine is all about red fruit coming from the ripe Gamay grapes that are grown on the estate. Redcurrant's, raspberries and red cherry flavours are followed by a delicate mineral finish.

Try this one slightly chilled and with a rare tuna steak!


6 Things You Absolutely Didn't Know About ProseccoDate published: 03/09/15

1. "Prosecco" isn't the name of the grape! The word comes from the Italian village of Prosecco where it's believed the grape originated, and until recently was the name used worldwide. However, the Italians didn't like the idea of wines being made everywhere from America to Australia being called "Prosecco", so the grape's name was changed to "Glera", and now only wine made in a specific area of Northern Italy near Venice can call itself Prosecco. Simple!

2. "Dry" doesn't mean dry! The labelling system for sweetness on sparkling wines can be confusing so try to remember:

Brut = The driest style, only the smallest hint of sweetness

Extra Dry = The most common style, noticeably off-dry but still only delicately so

Dry = The least dry of the popular styles, the fruit flavours will be closer to sherbert

3. It's made in a tank! Unlike champagne and any other sparkling labelled "Traditional Method", where the wine becomes bubbly whilst already inside the bottle, Prosecco ferments under pressure in sealed tanks and is then transferred into bottles once sparkling. This gives you a light, citrussy, fruity wine without the savoury notes of Champagne.

4. It doesn't have to be drunk on its own! Prosecco's delicate, lemony flavours and good acidity (especially in the drier styles labelled "Brut") pair beautifully with light seafood and salads - a great match for many a summer lunch...

5. It's a great choice if you're trying to cut down. With many delicious examples available at around the 11% ABV mark, Prosecco is a great option for those looking to cut down on strength rather than quantity

6. You should drink it as young as possible. Being a fresh, youthful style it's definitely not one for laying down in your cellar. Buy it and drink it!


Sparkling Wine Explained - The Tank MethodDate published: 02/09/15

The Tank method, or Charmat method is one of the main ways sparkling wine is produced. For this method the second fermentation takes place in a sealed tank instead of taking place in a bottle, as in Champagne. The main advantage of using the tank method is that it reduces the production cost compared to other methods such as the traditional method. Due to the yeast not interacting with the wine so much, the producer can make sparkling wines that are full of fruit flavours, rather than the secondary yeasty flavours that you get in traditional method sparkling wines such as Champagne. Prosecco is often produced using the tank method.

BRAND NEW SPANISH PARCELDate published: 14/08/15

Dominio De Morfeo 2010 Castilla Y Leon

£6.66 down from £9.99 - Save 33%

Made by three brothers using grapes from three vineyards in three diverse areas of Castilla Y Leon. The three varieties used are traditional to the area including the little used Prieto Picudo, which is similar to tempranillo but is perhaps a little lighter.

This is a fabulous example of a mature, full flavoured blend of grapes from old vines. Dense and brimming with black cherry fruit balanced by refreshing acidity and integrated tannins.

This is a great match for full flavoured meat dishes such a roast lamb, beef or venison.

Give us a call on 01786 299 385 or order online @ https://www.majestic.co.uk/Dominio-De-Morfeo-zid14570?tracking=|searchterm:MORFEO


Plus it's open to try when you pop in!

Buyer's choice - Villa Neuva Malbec!Date published: 30/07/15

Villa Nueva Malbec 2014

Mendoza, Argentina

Where is Mendoza?

The grapes of this tantalising wine are grown on the slopes of the Mendoza river Valley, formed in the Andes range. Mendoza is located in the North central region of the province and is accountable for most modern-style malbec's that we know today.

So tell me about the wine?

This medium-bodied, fruit-driven wine displays characteristics of plum and fresh strawberry's. With gentle tannins this wine is well-balanced with a lengthy finish.

What are the ideal food matches with this wine?

With its soft and fruity character this wine is perfect to drink alone or to accompany grilled meats and mature cheese.

A perfect selection for the summer BBQ's!

Try for yourself in-store today!

£8.99 down to £5.99 on our 33% deal! 


Sparkling Saturday - Oyster Bay Rose!Date published: 25/07/15

On this fine Saturday, we have chosen to open the amazing Oyster Bay Rose!

Why not pop in and try a glass of this traditional modern sparkling, possessing typical New Zealand intensity expected with any great wine to come out of two of the most popular regions. This is a well-balanced blend of Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with subtle cherry and strawberry aromas. 

This is a perfectly elegant and crisp choice for Sparkling Saturday! 

MOST importantly - it is only £9.99 on the multi-buy deal.

Spotlight on a Region - RuedaDate published: 21/07/15

Rueda is a historic Spanish white wine zone named after the town on the main road from Madrid to Leon. In the Middle Ages, vineyards flourished here but decline followed after the ravages of phylloxera devastated the region.

For most of the 20th Century the local Verdejo grape was Rueda's sleeping beauty. It was awoken in the 1970s when Bodegas Marques de Riscal recognized the potential for dry white wine and sold a fresh Rueda white alongside its Rioja reds. Rueda was awarded DO status in 1980. Two forms of Rueda exist: fortified and unfortified. The fortified wines are declining and are mostly sold in bulk locally and on the Spanish coast.

In contrast, modern Rueda is a light, fruity dry white wine. It may be made form a blend of Viura and Verdejo or it may be a Sauvignon Blanc varietal. Rueda Superior must contain at least 85% Verdejo and , as more farmers convert their vineyards, there are ever more varietal wines.



New #Wotw: Waimea Estate Sauvignon BlancDate published: 17/07/15

Waimea Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Nelson, New Zealand

Where’s Nelson?...


Nelson lies to the west of Marlborough, on stony loam soils with high sunshine hours and a moderating maritime influence. The area has the highest sunshine hours in the country!


So tell me about this wine...


Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s iconic grape-crisp, dry and refreshing! This particular wine is full of vibrant floral notes and tropical fruit.


Why you should buy this wine…


Richer than most, the fruit in this wine takes on a higher level of texture thanks to some lees ageing.


Deliciously fantastic with oysters and scallops on a warm afternoon.



Try it for yourself in-store today!



£12.99 down to £8.65 on our 33% deal!

Web Exclusive: Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2006 ChampagneDate published: 09/07/15

Our latest Web Exclusive is a special parcel of the Moët 2006 Vintage Champagne at just £30 per bottle.


This is an amazing price - and currently £8 less than the NV Moët!


Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2006 Champagne

6x75cl bottles

£180.00 per case

Equivalent to £30.00 per bottle


Order yours at www.majestic.co.uk/Moet-Chandon-Grand-Vintage-zid22127x6

 Offer ends at 3pm Monday 13th July 2015!

New #Wotw : Hey Malbec!Date published: 09/07/15

Hey Malbec! 2013 Matias Riccitelli, Mendoza

Lets start with the label...


Straight out of a vintage comic book , this aqua coloured superhero label certainly attracts the eye, and the superhero in question seems to keep the wine flowing!



So tell me about this wine...


Malbec is the Argentinian flagship grape variety and this interesting wine hits all the right notes, packed full of juicy black fruits, black pepper with rich rounded tannins. Matias Riccitelli is an upcoming producer in Mendoza and a name to watch!



Why you should buy this wine…


At this time of year, its all about the BBQ and occasions you can get stuck into some great wines with friends. The quality in this wine means you won’t be casting glances to see what else you could be drinking but rather hoarding it to yourself!



Try it for yourself in-store today!



£14.99 down to £9.99 on our 33% deal!

Fine Wine Pick of the DayDate published: 06/07/15

A Lisa 2013 Bodega Noemía de Patagonia

£19.00 Save £10 when you buy two or more on the fine wine deal (Single price bottle £24.00)

Grape - Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot

Origin

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

Taste

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


Wine of the week - Magellan Pinot NoirDate published: 06/07/15

Magellan Pinot Noir 2014 Bruno Lafon, IGP Pays d'Oc

Grape - Pinot Noir

Origin

Areas of Limoux offer great potential for pinot noir with a combination of Mediterranean and oceanic climates tempered by altitude. Bruno Lafon is a scion of the famous Burgundian family that runs Comtes Lafon. In 1998 he moved to Limoux to make good quality, value wines.

Taste

Lovely aromas of red berries and roses are followed on the palate by cherries, liquorice and spice. The tannins are silky and the finish fresh.

Enjoy with grilled pork chops and sharp cheeses or even try this wine with grilled salmon.



Beer of the Week- Curious BrewDate published: 06/07/15

Curious Brew Lager, Chapel Down NV £17.99 (12x330ml)

Curious Brew is a truly premium lager beer. Brewed in England by one of the most famous wine producer, this beer is made with precision and passion to create a uniquely satisfying, drier, cleaner, fresher, lager beer.

GOLD MEDAL WINNER AT THE INTERNATIONAL BEER CHALLENGE 2012. 


New Craft Beer - Sam Adams Summer AleDate published: 29/06/15

It's summer, so what better way to celebrate than grabbing one of our American Craft Beers?! The perfect ale for the season has just arrived and it's from a well known producer, Sam Adams.

£9.99 when you buy any 2 craft beer 6 packs!

Crisp and tangy with refreshing lemon peel and a hint of pepper from rare Grains of Paradise. Golden, hazy, & thirst quenching, this American wheat ale balances bright citrus, Noble hops & spice for a lively brew that’s perfect on any summer day.


New Malbec Just in - Las Maletas Malbec 2014 MendozaDate published: 29/06/15

It's BBQ season and Malbec is the perfect wine to go with those meaty burgers and kebabs!  We have a new one from Mendoza in Argentina that's crying out for grilled meat!

Las Maletas Malbec 2014 Mendoza 

£10.49 or £6.99 when you buy two 33% wines

From Mendoza where high altitude, large daily temperature variations, low rainfall, lots of sunshine and good soil allows the malbec grape to thrive. It is no wonder that 70% of Argentina's wine production is in this area.

Intense flavours of blackberries and plums. Complexity and harmony is added to this wine by 9 months of ageing in oak barrels.



Sparkling SaturdayDate published: 27/06/15

Prosecco Salatin Valdobbiadene Superiore

Prosecco Salatin Valdobbiadene Superiore is made with grapes from the town of Valdobbiadene. Along with Conegliano,Valdobbiadene is considered one of the best towns for Prosecco. Prosecco can only be produced in the the Treviso region within Veneto. The region now enjoys DOCG status a guarantee of quality and geographical providence.


The Salatin family have lived in Valdobbiadene since the 1500’s. The winery was founded in 1947 and is today run by the grandchildren of the founders. The wine is soft and full, with an elegant mouthfeel from the bubbles. It has flavours of apples, pears and soft peach and petal aromas.It is a great wine to drink as an aperitif and matches well with light fish and chicken dishes.

£14.99 buy 2 save 33% = £9.99

Spotlight on a Region - Graves de VayresDate published: 23/06/15

Graves de Vayres is a small Bordeaux district named after the historic town of Vayres, which has nothing to do with Graves but is just across the river Dordogne from the town of Libourne.  From about 600 ha of gravelly soil, with patches of sand, the appellation produces mainly light red wines made substantially from Merlot grapes, although many of them are sold under the simple Bordeaux AC.  White wines, both sweet and dry, were once more important.  

Today the white is usually dry, occasionally given barrel maturation, and constitutes the minority of wine sold as Graves de Vayres.



Wine Words - Vielles VignesDate published: 23/06/15

Vielles Vignes - French for 'old vines'.  The term is used widely on wine labels in the hope that potential buyers are aware that wine quality is often associated with senior vine age.  There are few effective controls on the use of the term, however, and little agreement about exactly how many years it is before a vine can be deemed old.

New arrival: Chablis Montmains 2010; DepaquitDate published: 21/06/15

This 1er Cru site has deeper clay soils and is cooler thanmost meaning the grapes ripen later and more slowly imbuing the wine with depth and complexity. This is further enhanced by 6 month lees ageing and the wine will develop in bottle for at least 5 to 8 years.

A beautiful, brilliant yellow colour the wine expresses fine notes of flowers and toasted almonds. A rich and highly concentrated wine with a lovely refreshing finish.


£25 down to £20 on our buy 2 save £10 Fine wine offer

33% off Rioja This Weekend!Date published: 20/06/15

33% off All Rioja This Weekend.

Rioja always offers near unrivalled value in the global wine market but we've made it even more tempting with 33% off all Rioja this weekend.

Thanks to strict laws on grape varieties, vineyards and winemaking techniques, Rioja maintains a regional style and high quality that cannot be replicated anywhere. To put Rioja on a bottle of wine, it must tick all the boxes. Loosely speaking a Rioja Crianza will have the least oak ageing, Reserva will have 2-3 years and Gran Reserva must have 5 years by law. The results is ripe and fruity wines that have enjoyed extended oak ageing which softens the tannin and imparts sweet spice flavours like vanilla, clove and tobacco.

Here are two of my favourites

Vina Eguia Reserva 2010. £6.99. A real staple of our range. A great balance of blackcurrant fruit and sweet vanilla. Superb value. 

Marques de Caceres Reserva 2009. £10.65. Great Reserva from a winery that is best know for its class leading Crianza. The concentration of flavour is fantastic. At this price I can't think of anything else I would buy for £10. 

Offer ends Monday 22nd June, 7pm in-store and 3pm online.



New Arrival - Laurent Miquel Albarino 2014, Vin de FranceDate published: 20/06/15

We have a new wine in store for you from the south of France, and one that you may not expect to come from that region.  It is an Albarino from well known producer Laurent Miquel.

The Miquel family acquired the Les Auzines estate in Corbières in 2009, quickly discovering that it provided the ideal climate, soils and altitude for cultivating aromatic whites, and therefore planted it with Spanish grape Albariño.

Generously aromatic, this wine offers plenty of ripe apricot and golden apple character, with subtle hints of lime zest and floral nuances. The rounded palate feel is capped off by a zip of acidity.

Fish and seafood dishes are ideal for this wine!

£12.99 or £9.74 when you buy two 25% wines


Bordeaux For Fathers dayDate published: 20/06/15

Let him know how much you love with a 6 pack of Bordeaux in wooden cases!


New arrival :Château Barde-Haut 2002 - just in time for Father Day!Date published: 19/06/15


The Garcin-caithard family have invested significant sums in the chateau over the last few years, remodelling the winery and other buildings. The 16 hectares of vineyards located on an elevated limestone plateau are close to Troplong Mondot and planted with 90% Merlot and 10%Cabernet Franc. 

The wine is aged for 18 months in 80-100% new oak. This is a modern style St Emillion with rich black cherry and blackcurrant flavours and notes of chocolate and liqourice.

£30 down to £25 on our buy 2 save £10 deal

New #Wotw: El Viajero Sauvignon Blanc, ChileDate published: 19/06/15

El Viajero Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile Cool Sauvignon Blanc

The Leyda Valley is approximately half way down the country of Chile, to the south and west of Santiago.The vineyards are situated only 10 miles from the coast, meaning that the influence of the Pacific Ocean is very important to the region. The ocean helps moderate the temperatures, meaning that the winters are mild and the summers are warm rather than hot.This creates a cool climate for grape growing, and one grape that can produce fantastic wine in these conditions is Sauvignon Blanc.


Should I compare thee to a Loire or a Kiwi?

The Loire style of Sauvignon tends to be restrained, with subtle flavours of citrus, with some peachy or apricot flavours. The soft ripe flavours and sharp acidity make them great wines to drink with food.New Zealand wines tend to be bigger and bolder with citrus flavours and gooseberry being prominent.This cool climate Chilean wine falls somewhere between the two.The flavours are more obvious than that of a Loire wine, yet not as powerful as some from New Zealand.

Why should you buy this wine...?

If this wine were from the Loire it would be twice the price. The last few years have also seen a rise in price of New Zealand Sauvignon, so if you are looking for a quality, value Sauvignon Blanc, Chile is the place to look and you need look no further you’ve found it!

£9.99 buy 2 save 33% = £6.66

Staff pick of the weekDate published: 15/06/15

Château des Annereaux 2002 Lalande-de-Pomerol

£13.32 33% off when you two or more (£19.99 Single price bottle)

Grape : Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

A single 25-hectare vineyard site, Château des Annereaux is located in the western part of Lalande de Pomerol, where the descendants of the original Annereau family have been living ever since the 14th Century. The wine is a regionally typical Merlot-heavy blend.

Taste

Deep, bright ruby in colour, with a garnet rim. The nose is freshly fruity, revealing warm notes of subtle spice and undergrowth with exposure to the air, and the palate is round and silky.

Enjoy

Perfect with beef stew.



Grape of the day!Date published: 15/06/15

Grape of the Day - Sémillon

Sémillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, mostly in France and Australia.

The origin of the Sémillon grape is hard to determine. It is known that it first arrived in Australia in the early 19th century and by the 1820s the grape covered over 90 percent of South Africa's vineyards, where it was known asWyndruif, meaning "wine grape". It was once considered to be the most planted grape in the world, although this is no longer the case. In the 1950s, Chile's vineyards were made up of over 75% Sémillon. Today, it accounts for just 1% of South African Cape vines.

Sémillon, which is relatively easy to cultivate, consistently produces six to eight tons of grapes per acre from its vigorous vines. It is fairly resistant to disease, except for rot. The grape ripens early, when, in warmer climates, it acquires a pinkish hue. Since the grape has a thin skin, there is also a risk of sunburn in hotter climates; it is best suited to areas with sunny days and cool nights.

The Sémillon grape is rather heavy, with low acidity and an almost oily texture. It has a high yield and wines based on it can age a long time. Along with Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle, Sémillon is one of only three approved white wine varieties in the Bordeaux region. The grape is also key to the production of sweet wines such as Sauternes.

 

What Dreams are made ofDate published: 13/06/15

We've got it all going on today- 

Great whites and reds, lots of gins open to celebrate #WorldGinDay today and even some Brooke's Summer Cup punch. 

All perfect for sunny summer drinking!

New Red wine of the week: #Wotw Ben Marco MalbecDate published: 12/06/15

Ben Marco Malbec

Tell me about this wine...?
This wine is from Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza. The grapes are handpicked from vineyards in the foothills of the Andes. It’s a real expression of dedication to viticulture and winemaking, with a real focus on freshness. 
What does it taste like...?
It’s full bodied and concentrated with aromas of vanilla, ripe red fruits and roasted coffee beans. Smooth and well balanced.
What’s it great with...?
Barbequed/grilled/roasted red meats, strong cheeses and meat-based pasta dishes. 
PS.... 
Our own customers gave this wine 4/5 as part of our online reviews! Read the reviews at www.majestic.co.uk and search ‘Ben Marco’.
£17.99 buy 2 save 33% = £11.98

New white wine of the week #Wotw: Araldica CorteseDate published: 12/06/15


Araldica Cortese

Tell me about this wine...?
Araldica Castelvero is a cooperative cellar in the village of Castel Boglione, in Asti, Piedmont. The Cortese grapes are grown in Gavi and from vineyards in the surrounding Alto Monferrato region. 
If you like Gavi, you’ll love this, it’s the same grape variety ­ basically Gavi’s baby brother!
What does it taste like...?
It’s a classic Italian white; light, fresh and crisp. A perfect easy drinking summer wine – best enjoyed in the sunshine! Zesty citrus flavours with subtle hints of apple and pear.
What’s it great with...?
It’s great on its own or with food such as fish, appetizers or lighter pasta dishes.
Why should you buy this wine...?
It’s simple ­ its as good as Gavi without the price tag.
£7.99 buy 2 save 25% = £5.99

33% off New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for the weekend! Date published: 12/06/15

What an incredible offer!  FOR 4 DAYS ONLY all New Zealand Sauvignon's are 33% off! Here are just a few of my particular favorite Sauvignon's that are an absolute steal!

Black Cottage NZ Sauvignon Blanc:  Bright, pale yellow, with lime green tinges. Offers aromas of gooseberries with a hint of lychee and a leafy complexity. Tropical and herbaceous characters continue on the crisply acidic palate. £8.66 down from £12.99 when you buy 2 or more in the 33% off promotion!

Goldwater NZ Sauvignon Blanc: Offers masses of elderberry fruit and raspberry leaf aromas and exhibits an excellent minerally finish along the lines of Sancerre. £7.99 down from £11.99 when you buy 2 or more in the 33% off promotion.

Ned NZ Sauvignon Blanc: 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. £7.10 down from £10.65 when you buy 2 or more in the 33% off promotion..

DON'T WAIT GET YOURS WHILE STOCK LASTS!

Everyday White? Vina Sol @£4.99!Date published: 11/06/15

If you're looking for an everyday drinking white wine then Torres Vina Sol is for you! 

Fourth generation grower Miguel Torres uses his experience well in the production of this dry white. Now also holding vineyards in Chile and California, Torres have made wine in their winery in Vilafranca del Penedès since 1870.

Made using the grape variety Parellada, this is fresh and fruity on the nose, with a smooth, crisp palate, with plenty of apples and pineapple fruit. A refreshingly crisp wine.

A wine suitable for drinking anytime - pre or post siesta! Superb with rice, fish and shellfish.

£4.99 a bottle, when you buy any 2 from the 33% offer, single bottle price £7.49.


What is Cellar Circle?Date published: 10/06/15

Join the Cellar Circle

Are you thinking of starting your very own wine collection? Majestic together with the fabulous folk at Lay and Wheeler have launched Cellar circle; Cellar Circle gives access to the finest wines, expert advice, unrivalled service and exciting benefits – everything needed to build your dream cellar.

Membership of Cellar Circle starts from £100 a month, all of which will go towards your wines. You may wish to make a lump-sum payment to give your collection a push, and the more you put in, the faster you’ll see your cellar grow. You can amend your subscription at any time.

You can choose your own wines, seek advice, or have a varied selection hand picked for you by our resident wine aficionados! What's more, there are many benefits to be had when you join - 10% discount at Majestic Wine, for all your everyday needs. A year’s free professional wine storage for new customers to Lay & Wheeler, at our bonded warehouse, Vinothèque. Free case delivery to any Majestic store for ease of collection, and A case of wine, individually chosen for you by the Cellar Circle team, on the first anniversary of your membership.

For more information you can ask in store, visit the website www.laywheeler.com/cellarcircle or pick up a leaflet from your nearest Majestic.


Aarons Summer WhitesDate published: 09/06/15

Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2014 Côteaux du Languedoc

Youthfully pale lemon yellow, with a nose of lemon and lime fruit, and an intriguing blend of white blossom and green herb notes. Vibrant green apple fruit with a refreshingly dry and acidic finish.

Caixas Albariño 2013 Martín Códax, Rías Baixas

A light, fresh and youthful wine, with a zesty and well defined citrus backbone, overlayed with subtle hints of stone fruits and nectar. Crisp and refreshing, yet rounded and enduring on the finish.

Gavi 2014 Araldica

Zippy, fresh and predominantly citrus-flavoured wine, with a racy lime-zest and nettle aroma.

Serena Pinot Grigio 2013/2014 Banfi

The warm climate of southern Tuscany gives the delicate Pinot Grigio grape the ripeness and softness that really brings out the pear, melon and banana aromas here in this wine.

Alamos Viognier 2014 Catena, Mendoza

This unoaked Viognier offers ripe apricot and delicate blossom notes. Light and crisp on the palate, with concentrated peach flavours. Perfect with pork.



New Web Exclusive! Minuty Rose et Or 6 packsDate published: 08/06/15

Our latest Web Exclusive is a parcel of Château Minuty's top rosé cuvée in unsplit 6 packs.

Minuty Rose et Or 2014 Cotes de Provence
6x75cl bottles
£180 per case
Equivalent to £30 per bottle

Straight from one of the most iconic producers on the Côtes de Provence, the 2014 Minuty Rose et Or is an exceptionally refined and elegant wine. Created by winemakers Jean-Etienne and François Matton, their purpose is to make wine that embodies their generation - this is a Provence rosé with intense freshness and explosive fruit.

At the equivalent of £30 a bottle this is a very limited parcel of fine wine with quality and sophistication - the epitome of splendour and bon-viveur! This is the finest summer's day in a glass. 


Only available until 3pm Monday 15th June, or whilst stocks last. 

Order yours by copying the following address into your browser.. 

http://www.majestic.co.uk/Rose-Et-Or-zid08036x6



Sparkling Saturday - Codorniu Raventos NVDate published: 06/06/15

As part of our Sparkling Saturday today in store we have the tantalising Codorniu Seleccion Raventos NV open to taste!

This aromatic style is a perfect example of Cava from the Catalan region of Spain. Pale lemon in colour, this cava displays powerful citrus and peachy aromas and a full bodied, yet crisp, mineral acidity. 

This cava is excellent for the summertime, and partners very well with a selection of canapes. 

Asahi at just £1 a bottle!Date published: 05/06/15

Asahi Super 'dry' is an extremely fresh, dry style lager from Japan. It has excellent richness, smoothness and is perfectly refreshing for the summertime.

At just £1 a bottle it is an absolute steal!

NEW WOTW-Nord Est VermentinoDate published: 05/06/15

So this week we're celebrating all things Italian and we've got two delicious Wine of the Weeks from Italy open to try!

The first is the fantastic Nord Est Vermentino; read on to find out more...

Where does it come from?

The Vermentino grape variety was probably introduced to Sardinia by the Spanish. Vermentino has thrived in the North East of the island and the wine is named after its geographical location. The region has been awarded D.O.C.G status, which is the top status for a wine growing region in Italy.

The wine is made by a cooperative, Cantina Del Vermentino, which was founded in 1956. The cooperative has allowed for investment and development within the region, helping growers and winemakers concentrate on producing the best possible wines. The grapes come from the hills of Northern Sardinia around the town on Monti. The vines are planted close together at and elevation of between 300 and 450m and surrounded by dry stone walls typical of the area.

But what does it taste like?

A light, refreshing, dry wine with flavours of lemon and a hint of almond. It‘s an excellent match with grilled fish and lighter meats, such as chicken and pork.

Why should I buy it...?

2014 was an outstanding vintage in Sardinia. The wine is light and fresh, making it great at this time of year. A grape not known to all, but deserving of wider recognition. At £7.49 when you buy 2 bottles (save 25%, £9.99 single bottle price), it’s great value for money.


New web exclusive: Laurent Perrier 2006!Date published: 04/06/15

Buy 6 bottles of Laurent-Perrier 2006 online today for £199.86 – that's equivalent to £33.31 per bottle or a fantastic 33% off our current single bottle price in store. Get ready for the Summer season with this prestigious vintage Champagne from a famous house at an absolutely brilliant price. Shop online today!

Founded in 1812, Laurent-Perrier remains in family hands to this day. This superb Brut Millésime is a 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, all from grand cru vineyards.

Laurent-Perrier is very selective when declaring vintages – rarely declaring them and only in the very best years with a unique character. The 2006 Vintage is well rounded, achieving a harmonious balance between the unique characteristics of 2006 and the signature style of the House’s wines.

Available exclusively through our website in unsplit 6 packs until 3pm Monday 8th June, or whilst stocks last. Don’t miss out – shop online today. Head to www.majestic.co.uk to order now!

Due to the small size of this parcel, we'll be distributing this wine to stores specifically to cover web orders, so delivery may take longer than normal and is likely to be outside our normal 7–day guarantee.
Your local team will keep you up-to-date on when to expect delivery, or if you are collecting on when the wine will be available: we expect this to be between ​11​ - 26 ​June.


Want £10 off your next order?Date published: 04/06/15

If you want to save money and get £10 off your next order (and lets be honest, who wouldnt?!) then all you have to do is download our new Majestic Wine app from the Apple Store or Google Play. 

Once you've downloaded it and logged in, the drop-down menu will show 'Your Vouchers' where you can claim your £10 off code!

Why bother downloading the app? 

Once you've linked it to your account you can see all of your past purchases, and have all the tasting notes at the tips of your fingers! There is also a food and wine matching section and you can keep up-to-date with all your local stores postings on recent offers and interesting wine facts!

If you need any help feel free to ask any member of staff in-store and we will be happy to help!


New Arrivals.....Craft Spirits!Date published: 01/06/15

New Arrivals in our Craft Spirit Range

Cotswolds Gin

This is all about local flavours and making a gin as beautiful and quaint as the Cotswolds themselves. Delicately flavoured with all the classic hallmarks of a British gin, it's irresistibly smooth and far too easy to drink. The Cotswolds Gin is best served with just a slice of lemon and a lovely sunny day in the garden.

Glen Moray Port Cask Finish Whisky

Since the 19th century, Glen Moray distillery has been producing fine whisky in Elgin, the capital of Speyside. The whisky itself is a pale gold and boasts a nose of toasted vanilla, subtle oak, rich dried fruits, leather and dark chocolate. This is the whisky you don't want to share, curl up on the sofa with a glass after a long week at work.



New Arrival! Prosecco Salatin Valdobbiadene Superiore NV DOCG Extra DryDate published: 01/06/15

Prosecco Salatin has been a Majestic favourite over the past year and they've now released 'Superiore' version from the hills of Valdobbiadene - Italy's holy grail of Prosecco production. This is sure to be a great hit this summer!

Grape

Glera

Origin

The Salatin family have lived in and around the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene just north of Venice since at least 1528. The wine business was founded in 1947 and is today run by the grandchildren of the founders.

Taste

Soft and full with fine persistent bubbles. Flavours of apple, peach and rose petals make this a fruity and intense Prosecco.

Enjoy

Anytime as an aperitif or match with delicate fish or poultry dishes.



End of Offers: Don't Miss Out!!Date published: 30/05/15

Don't miss out!! Its your last chance to snap up some of our favourite wines at brilliant prices!

The following wines are just a few of our favourites due to leave the 33% off deal on Tuesday 2nd June.

* Laurent-Perrier Brut NV Champagne £24.98 from £37.50

* Viñalba Reservado Malbec 2013 Mendoza £8.65 from £12.99

* Alamos Malbec 2014 Catena, Mendoza £6.66 from £9.99

* Waimea Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Nelson £8.65 from £12.99

* Gavi 2014 La Toledana £7.99 from £11.99

AND Don't Forget Peroni at a £1 bottle..ending Tuesday!!

New #Wotw - Haut Vol RoséDate published: 30/05/15

Haut Vol Rosé ­ Pays D’Oc
Available to taste!

With June just around the corner our thoughts turn to summer holidays, barbecues and rosé wine. Rosé has started to become more popular throughout the year, but summer is when there is a big rise in demand. It is rosé from the South of France where there has been a big  growth in popularity. These typically pale pink wines offer great quality and value. Provence is probably the best known region for rosé, but other areas, such as the Pays D’Oc produce wines in a similar style. 

The wine is made predominantly from the Grenache grape, which gives the wine its delicate, light pinkish hue. The other grape variety in the blend is Carignan, which adds body and further flavours to the wine.

Why should I buy it...?
Light and delicate with flavours of strawberries and raspberries. The wine makes a fantastic aperitif and looks great at any al fresco dining occasion.  


£9.99 buy 2 save 33% = £6.66


New beer of the week: Hawthorn PilsnerDate published: 30/05/15

Hawthorn Brewery

Supreme Champion Brewer

What was it that brought the Hawthorn Brewery to the attention of our buyer, Matt Pym? Simply that Hawthorn was awarded the prestigious title of “Supreme Champion Brewer” at the International Beer Challenge in London. The awards encompass breweries from over 30 countries and Hawthorn beat the UK, North American and European Champions to be crowned Supreme Champion Brewer.


Hawthorn also collected a gold medal and three silver medals at the awards for individual beers. The Hawthorn Pilsner was one of their silver medal winners. Majestic is the exclusive UK importer of the Hawthorn Brewing Company.


Hawthorn’s Ethos

The Flavour Merchants established the Hawthorn Brewing Company to provide world class Australian Craft Beers that are heavily influenced by the best the world has to offer. As a consequence the Hawthorn Pilsner contains German and Czech hops and uses no 
added sugar, chemicals or preservatives (following the German Purity Laws).


Why buy this beer?

This is a highly refreshing beer which is light to medium bodied. A great summer tipple to enjoy whatever the occasion.
So, how much does it cost...?
£13.99 buy any 2 craft ales = £10.99


Meet the SipsmithsDate published: 28/05/15

Three great friends bursting with creative spirit and a passion for gin + the first license to distil in London since 1820 = Sipsmith.

Sam, Fairfax and Jared - and their London Distillery are on a mission to bring gin of uncompromising quality and character back to the city where it all began. The friends are committed to crafting gin the 'old school' way. 

Why not give them a try...they won't disappoint!

Sipsmith London Dry Gin £28.00 70cl, ABV 41.6%

Sipsmith Sloe Gin £24.00 50cl, ABV 29%

Sipsmith Sipping Vodka £28.00 70cl, ABV 40%

Sipsmith Damson Vodka £24.00 50cl, ABV 28%

We could not agree more with thisDate published: 28/05/15

It's Summer! At last you can start enjoying a casual G&T outdoors as mother nature intended!

New in - Hey MalbecDate published: 26/05/15

Located in the foothills of the Andes in Lujan de Cuyo, the winery has 40ha of vineyards most of which were planted at the beginning of the 20th century.

A classic flavour of ripe blackcurrant with spicy black pepper and violet notes. The soft tannins in the wine make it an ideal match for many foods but enjoyable on its own.

With all grilled or roasted red meats.

Priced at £9.99 as part of our 33% off deal

Its Bank Holiday Weekend AND 33% Off Champagne! Perfect Excuse For A Bit Of Bubbly!!Date published: 24/05/15

Come and make the most of 33% off all Champagne under £100  - this weekend only!!

A few top picks include:

* Veuve Clicquot Brut NV Champagne £29.31 from £44.00 - Veuve Clicquot ages their non-vintage for almost twice the required time, resulting in a superb marriage of freshness and power, with rich fruit and a mouth-filling mousse.

* Laurent-Perrier Brut NV Champagne £24.98 from £37.50 - A lighter house style. Subtle citrus, toast and spice predominate this perfectly balanced Champagne, with a strong structure giving the wine good food compatibility.

* Bollinger Special Cuvée NV Champagne £29.98 from £45.00 - 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.

OR why not go all out with a party sized magnum!

* Perrier Jouet NV, Magnum £49.97 from £75.00

* Laurent-Perrier Brut NV, Magnum £53.30 from £80.00

* Veuve Clicquot Brut NV, Magnum £63.29 from £95.00


New #Wotw - Ferrandiere RieslingDate published: 21/05/15

Ferrandière Riesling - Pays D’Oc

Available to taste!

Riesling - A favourite amongst wine enthusiasts

Riesling is not a grape variety that you’ll find on all restaurant menus, but amongst wine enthusiast, including many Majestic staff, Riesling is a favourite.

Riesling can be happily consumed as both a young fresh wine or once it has spent a few years in bottle. As a young wine Riesling tends to have aromas and flavours of citrus and apricot. As a Riesling ages in bottle the fresh fruit softens and can be replaced by honeyed flavours.

In style, Rieslings can range from dry and crisp to sweet and luscious, which is maybe helps explain why wine lovers are fascinated by it.

Domaine De La Ferrandière

The Domaine was established in 1922 and is located in the heart of the Pays D’Oc. The vineyards are situated on the site of a maritime lagoon. In order to reduce the salt content of the soil, which would be poisonous to the vines, the area is deliberately flooded once a year.

Why should I buy it…?

This a great wine. Fresh with aromas and flavours of lemon and lime, the wine is crisp and refreshing. It also has that lovely hint of minerality associated with quality Riesling.

Fantastic with grilled sardines!

£8.99 buy 2 save 25% = £6.74


A Summer of RoseDate published: 13/05/15

With Summer just around the corner why not sample our extensive range of rose or even better try something a little different with an IMPRESSIVE party size magnum!

What better way to enjoy summer than with a deliciously sippable rose. Here are a couple of our favourites to name but a few...

AIX Rosé 2014 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 150cl Magnum £19.99

An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit. A superb choice for any event! AND in a bold magnum, the perfect gift!! 

Miraval Rosé 2014 Côtes de Provence £17.99

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. A beautifully pale pink colour, with a nose of wild strawberry and stone fruit, with delicate floral touches. Great palate texture, with soft tangerine and peach notes joining layers of berry fruit. (Also available in a Magnum £38.00)

Château de Berne Rosé 2014 Côtes de Provence on offer at  £11.24 from £14.99

A stunning property and landmark of Provence, Château de Berne is a luxurious hotel and spa resort, located on an 18th-century wine estate and its historic cellars. This is their 'prestige cuvée' rosé in its iconic square bottle. An attractive and delicate honeysuckle pink wine with a lifted nose of summer fruits and tropical suggestions of mango. Intense, crisp, well balanced and refreshing on the palate.

M de Minuty Rosé 2014 Côtes de Provence on offer at £9.99 from £14.99

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.

WOTW: Alamos Malbec 2014Date published: 13/05/15

Alamos Malbec 2014 Mendoza

Mendoza is by far the biggest and most important region in Argentina. Classically hailing from the Cahors vineyards to the east of Bordeaux, Argentina is now arguably the home of Malbec.

This Malbec oozes dried raisiny fruit character, lots of blackberries, a full body and ripe sweet tannins.

Balanced by firm tannins and crisp, refreshing acidity on the finish.

Food match: Simply perfect with roast meats. Ready to drink now and over the next 2-5 years.

£6.66 when you buy two or more wines on the save 33% offer


Prosecco weekend!Date published: 09/05/15

This weekend get 33% off all our Proseccos!

To celebrate we have opened two new arrivals, the La Gioisa and the Pasqua Romeo and Juliet!

Pop in and give them a go

New: Brookes Original fruit cupDate published: 05/05/15

James Brook's original fruit cup is based on a traditional recipe, popular in the mid 20th Century at annual regattas held along the river Thames.

Simply add some lemonade, mint and fruit for a cool glass of Summer!

Only £9.99 for 70cl.

Wine for allDate published: 05/05/15

We spotted this little guy making his way into store today- must be keen to stock up! Maybe looking for sn-a(i)lbarino? Or maybe some Sloe(w) gin?

External tasting- Shipston WIDate published: 04/05/15

Last week Aaron and Ken went to the Shipston WI and did a tasting based on the wines of Spain! 

It was a fun night and we opened some great wine!

Here's a pic of Aaron getting ready for the quiz!


If you would be interested in having an external tasting give us a call on 01789 299 385 

or contact us via email : stf@majestic.co.uk

10% off on the Night at our Summer Tasting.Date published: 02/05/15

On Friday the 15th of May starting at 18:00 we will be having our annual Summer Tasting. For those of you unfamiliar with how these work I will give you a brief outline:-

A relaxed informal tasting that is in a "free flow" style so this is not a stuffy tasting at all, I will welcome you on arrival explain how the evening will work, hand you an empty wine glass and send you on your way to taste some wine. Simple.

Expert Staff to answer your every question (wine related) 

10-15 Wines open on the night.

A selection Beers and Ciders also available to taste.

A selection of meats and cheeses to compliment the wine 

And for the first time ever 10% off anything bought on the night, this is not restricted to just the wines for taste on the night this is off everything in store, 

If you would like to attend please contact us in store as places do book up very quickly indeed. 

Many thanks

Aaron 

New Wines from SpainDate published: 26/04/15

We love our new wine's philosophy- all about great food and wine!


Made by Vintae who brought us the great MATSU range, these wines are specifically matched to food-

 Albarino for Octopus (Pulpo) and 

Tempranillo for Cheese (Quesa)!


Currently on our 33% off deal, grab these wines for only £6.66!

It's sparkling Saturday!Date published: 25/04/15

We have the Seaview NV Chardonnay Pinot Noir open to try!

Sparkling Saturday- Seaview Chardonnay Pinot Noir NVDate published: 25/04/15

Seaview Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV

Origin

Seaview were among the earliest Australian wineries to begin making sparkling wines in the mould of Champagne using the classic grape varieties and blending with reserve wines, with the fruit sourced from vineyards in McLaren Vale and neighbouring regions.

Taste

Soft and elegant, with a persistent and creamy mousse. Subtle fruit characters include white apple and peach, with a lemon acidity that cleanses the palate.

Enjoy

Serve at any celebration. Will partner well with smoked salmon and other appetisers.

Open to try today!

WIN A TRIP DOWN UNDER!Date published: 24/04/15

!Win an Incredible Australian Wine Adventure.

Make 2015 the year you discover everything that is Australia. Stroll along the golden beaches, explore the vibrant cities and encounter weird and wonderful wildlife. Choose from one of two holiday itineraries and explore the very best of Australia's wine regions. 

A truly unforgettable adventure could be yours, so make sure you enter now!

To enter simply pop into the store and fill out an entry form and you could be in for a chance to wine a 10 night Australian adventure of your choice.

For full details visit majestic.co.uk/australia-competition  

GOOD LUCK!!!

*Closing date 27th April

NEW WOTW-Allegrini Bardolino RossoDate published: 24/04/15

Allegrini Bardolino Rosso - Italy

Available to taste!

Explore Italy…

Italy is not only a beautiful country, but one that is steeped in great wines and winemaking history. When it comes to choosing wine, Italy is one of those countries where many might understandably feel less comfortable as the wines are defined by the region they come from rather than the grape variety used to make the wine.

Bardolino: the area and the wine...

Bardolino is a small town located on the Eastern shore of Lake Garda in the region of Veneto. It is a beautiful walled city which is now a popular tourist destination.

The wine is a blend of three indigenous grapes: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.

Why buy this wine...

Our Buyer Suzie said: “This is a perfect summer wine. It has vibrant red fruit characteristics and could be lightly chilled.”


This wine is a great introduction to the fascinating wines that Italy has to offer and would be great with pizza or pasta.


£9.99 £8.81 buy 2 save 15% = £7.49


Ned Sauvignon Blanc down to £6.99Date published: 18/04/15

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc £6.99 means Summer has officially started!!!

We have just dropped the price of one of our best selling wines to a wallet friendly £6.99!

If the Ned's your favourite, or if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about - now is the time to shop!

We will only hold this price until our spring offers end online at 3​pm ​Monday​ 27 Ap​ril.

The Ned Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough
£10.99 £10.49 or buy 2 bottles save 33% = £6.99.

Open to try on our FREE tasting counter now!

New wine of the week-Parrilla MalbecDate published: 18/04/15

Parrilla Malbec - Mendoza, Argentina

Available to taste!

Argentinian Malbec…

Argentinian Malbec has been one of the most successful wines on the global market over the last few years.

In the 80s and 90s winemakers started to become aware of the potential to produce quality wines in Argentina. It was Malbec, already widely planted in Mendoza, that winemakers realised could be more than just a grape used in a blended wine.

With “savoir faire” from an influx of French and Spanish winemakers and local knowledge, Argentinian Malbec has established itself as a go to wine for great quality and value with a difference

Parrilla…

Parrilla is an Argentinian word for a barbeque. These are not the types of barbeque that we tend to have in Britain. The grills can be anything up to 20ft in length and meat is cooked anywhere from 45 minutes to many hours. A parrilla tends to be a local event where the whole community comes together. The struck matches on the bottle are a reminder of the fires around which communities gather..

What makes this wine different...

Parrilla is designed to really highlight the quality of the Malbec grapes used to make the wine. The wine is aged for a relatively short period of time and only 30% of the grapes are aged in oak barrels. The purpose of which is to allow the fruitiness of the wine to shine through. This wine is smooth, soft and crammed full of plum and blackberry flavours.

Why buy this wine…

The wine was made specifically for and is exclusive to Majestic. The wine was designed to allow the drinker to fully appreciate the deep fruity flavour that is Malbec.

£11.99 buy 2 save 33% = £7.99 


Open to try now on our FREE tasting counter.

FLASH DEAL-ROBERTSON CHENIN BLANCDate published: 18/04/15

Until 5pm Sunday Robertson Chenin Blanc is at £4.92 on our buy two offer, or just £5.79 single price. 

Dont Miss this amazing offer!!!

The warm and dry Robertson Valley, home to this winery of the same name, is further inland than most vineyards in South Africa, but the Breede River, running through it, provides a cooling influence and provides Chenin Blanc of excellent character and consistency. Crammed full with pineapple, melon and green apple fruits complemented by a firm structure and balancing acidity. Enjoy with seafood or roast chicken.

£4.92 buy two

£5.79 single price 

Call us on 01789 299 385  or head to www.majestic.co.uk

New Web Exclusive - Penfolds Collectors Selection CaseDate published: 09/04/15

We've partnered with Penfolds to bring you an exclusive case showcasing the range and quality of the Penfolds collection and demonstrating Penfolds' expertise with single and multi-regional blends. Available online only at majestic.co.uk until 3pm Tuesday 14 April or whilst stocks last, this is a case that no fans of Australian wine should miss.

Plus - for a limited time only - when you buy a Penfolds Collectors Selection Case, you'll qualify for an incredible offer on a sleek Haier Wine Cellar to store these wines in the splendour they deserve!

Order NOW at www.majestic.co.uk/stratforduponavon

Head to www.majestic.co.uk/Penfolds-Collectors-Selection-Case-zid19670x6 to find out more!

Finca Carelio back in stockDate published: 09/04/15

We now have a limited amount of Finca Carelio back in stock after it flew off the shelves a few weeks ago.

Just a reminder.. 

The mature bush vines in the hot, arid climate of Castilla y Leon produce very small bunches of grapes, which have concentrated flavours and fresh acidity due to hot days and cold nights. The wine has mellowed over 30 months' maturation mostly in barrel. Complex and layered, this wine offers rich aromas of ripe blackberries, leather and vanilla, and is wonderfully plush on the palate. Dry tannins and mature, lightly raisined fruit characters

It is £6.66 on the 33% off promotion. Bargain!

Sparkling Saturday - Prosecco La Gioiosa EtamarosaDate published: 28/03/15

Come in today to try..........our new Prosecco!

Origin

La Gioiosa is one of Italy's leading producers of Prosecco, and takes its name from an ancient local motto 'Marca gioiosa et amorosa', meaning 'Joyous and amorous March', The March of Treviso being an antiquated name for the province in which this wine is made.

Taste

Pale straw yellow with a fine and persistent mousse. Aromas are lightly floral and fruity, hinting at blossom intermingling with ripe apple. Off-dry and refreshing.

Enjoy

Chill well and enjoy on its own or with steamed fish and shellfish dishes.

Priced at £7.99 as part of our 33% off deal!

Top Picks From The Easter Flyer!Date published: 27/03/15

Last week saw the launch of our new Easter flyer; in it we see some brilliant deals. This article will highlight what I believe to be some of our most enticing deals!

The opening pick for me would be the deals on our English Sparkling Wines. Chapel Down Brut, Balfour 1503 Brut and Rose and Nyetimber  Classic Cuvee are all on the third off this Easter. English sparkling wines are an ever popular choice for those who love to buy local. If you are a Champagne drinker then why not give one of these fantastic fizzes a go?

Easter is a time of Spring Lamb and the classic wine to go with this is Rioja! My top pick would be a Majestic classic: the Marques de Riscal Reserva, again on the third off at only £9.99! With excellent body there are brilliant vanilla and toasted oak flavours alongside a spectrum of summer berry fruits. If you want something new world then why not try the Montes Reserva Malbec? At only £6.66 this is a real steal, brimming with blueberry and raspberry there is a subtlety of butterscotch and pudding spice aromas.

As we pray for the weather to improve and the sun to start shining it could be time to think of summer, or am I being overly optimistic? We have the M de Minuty Rose, from Provence, down to £9.99. With citrus and floral aromas there is also a candied note to the wine with an extremely refreshing acidity.

With the whites we have a brand new Vinho Verde, the Casal de Ventozela. This wine is at a very exciting £6.66 and is a perfectly refreshing tipple full of citrus, melon and green apple aromas. Further hints of white pepper and blossom are rounded off by notes of sherbet. For something with slightly more body we bring to you the Macon Villages 'Les Roches-Blanches' by Louis Jadot, another Majestic classic of recent years. A fresh, clean wine with apple and pear aromas complimented by tantalising minerality.

We have plenty more deals to explore so why not come in and see what you can find, there's something for everyone. Alternatively why not place an order on our website or over the phone for free delivery, we are always happy to help!


New wine of the week!Date published: 20/03/15

Hamilton Block Cabernet Sauvignon - Available to taste!


So tell me about the wine…Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most important grape varieties in Bordeaux. Its popularity and versatility has led to it being planted around the world. Coonawarra in Southern Australia has a relatively cool climate, but 2013 was a warm year. As a result a very approachable fruity wine has been produced.

The story of Hamilton Block…Richard Hamilton started making wine in Australia in Adelaide in 1837. In 1974, Sydney Hamilton founded the vineyard in Coonawarra. Sydney retired in 1981 after his 65th vintage. Sydney was bought out by his nephew, Dr Richard Hamilton who is the great-great-grandson of Richard.

Rich family winemaking history of over 175 years is rare to find in France, let alone Australia.

Why should I buy it...?Hamilton Block Cabernet Sauvignon is unashamedly fruity, with dark berry fruit flavours and hints of cedar. It’s a medium bodied wine which has had some oak ageing to soften the tannins that can sometimes be overpowering in other Cabernets. The tannins are soft and ripe which allows the flavours to nicely fill the mouth.

The wine may be rich, but the flavours are subtle which makes this wine an excellent accompaniment to a classic spring dish of roast lamb with seasonal veg.

£11.99 buy 2 save 25% = £8.99


Last chance to grab Pol Roger NV Champagne on offer at only £29.98Date published: 13/03/15

Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV

Don't miss out on Pol Roger for under £30 a bottle!! Last chance to grab Pol Roger NV Champagne on offer at only £29.98

The definitive house style, composed from 30 still base wines drawn from different vineyards, different vintages and the three varieties of Champagne, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier blended in equal portions.

The Pinot Noir gives body and depth as well as life extending tannins, whilst the Chardonnay provides lightness, elegance and finesse. Finally Pinot Meunier supplies a youthful freshness, vigour and plump character.

Pol Roger's historic underground cellars are 33m deep and average particularly low temperatures. They thus provide an environment uniquely suited to slow fermentation, and are responsible for this Champagne's famously super-fine mousse.

The nose is dominated by white flowers, green apple and brioche. On the palate you encounter notes of stone fruit, a certain nuttiness and a hint of honey supporting the freshness of the acidity.  


Great value Pilsner Urquell only £1 a botleDate published: 13/03/15

Like Peroni??

Then you'll love Pilsner Urquell!

Meaning “Pilsner from the original source”

This is the trademark of a golden lager born in the Bohemian city of Plzen.

Pouring a lovely golden colour, this beer has a subtle sweet malty character with a hint of honey and herbal notes.

A crisp, dry and malty lager which would certainly partner well with pork, grilled meats and even lighter seafood dishes.

And just when the weather is becoming nice again.....

£1 a bottle , £24 a Case!


Treat Your Mum to Something Special This Mothers Day..Date published: 12/03/15

Mothers Day gifts should be about celebrating the magnificent woman who has given you so much and what better way to do that than with a celebratory bottle of bubbly, a deliciously sippable rose or even an elegant and refreshing white. 

The PERFECT bottle of bubbly for Mothers Day: Oeil de Perdrix Rose NV £25.00 OR Mix and Match 2 bottles to save 33% £16.66

Oeil de Perdrix meaning 'eye of the partridge', this pale salmon pink rosé Champagne exhibits enticing complexity. Delicate in style, but with a perfect weight of fruit. A fantastic apéritif, and perfect for any occasion. Make Mothers Day perfect with that added sparkle!

Why not try something a little different with an IMPRESSIVE magnum of AIX rose: AIX Rosé 2014 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence 150cl Magnum £19.99

An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit. A superb choice for any event! AND in a bold magnum, the perfect gift!! 

OR maybe a white suitable for all occasions? Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough £11.99 OR Mix and Match 2 bottles to save 33% £7.99

Marlborough has been at the heart of a winemaking revolution, and Oyster Bay is one of the region's most dynamic wineries. Cool fermentation in stainless steel vats creates a wine bursting with flavour. Showing pronounced aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruits, alongside a subtle herbaceousness. Crisp, elegant and refreshing Oyster Bay is perfect for any occasion!


Australian spotlight week Thursday 19/03/2105Date published: 12/03/15

Make sure you join us for an amazing week of Australian wine from Thursday the 19th March. We will be focusing on Aussie wines all week on our free tasting counter, and kicking it off with a spotlight tasting on Thursday from 7pm. 

We'll have 6 wines open to try and go through each one with you  to help you find your new favourite.


Book your spot as places are limited! 

Tel:     01789 299385

Email: stf@majestic.co.uk

New wine of the week-Finca Carelio TempranilloDate published: 12/03/15

Finca Carelio Tempranillo - Special one-off Parcel

Available to taste!


So tell me about the wine…


It’s made from 100% Tempranillo, which is the grape best known as the dominant grape of red Rioja, Spain's most famous wine.

The grapes were hand harvested from old bush vines in Castilla y Leon, where the hot days and cool nights make for super oncentrated red berry flavours and precise acidity. The wine was aged for 30 months in French and American oak giving the smooth texture and spice so typical of the region.


What does it taste like…?


It’s certainly a fruit-driven wine, with plenty of red berry and cassis flavours. There are also savory notes of tobacco and eucalyptus making the wine more comparable to that of a Bordeaux in style; it doesn’t have that vanillary sweetness that Riojas can have.  


We think it would be great with a decent cheese board or some charcuterie.


Why should I buy it...?


Well it’s a bit of a bargain to be honest. This wine should have been given Ribera del Duero DO status (which would sell for over £15), but because a mere 10% of the grapes came from outside the designated area, sadly it didn’t meet the strict criteria.


Our Buyers are experts at spotting an opportunity and they swooped in to buy the lot, direct from the producers - it’s a one-off parcel so once it’s gone it’s gone…


£9.99 buy 2 save 33% = £6.66

To order yours, call us on 01789 299 385 or email us on stf@majestic.co.uk 


New beer of the week: Oakham CitraDate published: 04/03/15

New beer of the week:

Oakham Citra

Oakham Ales were the first brewery in the UK to use the American Citra hop. This single hop beer was first made as a seasonal special, but proved so popular is has now become one of Oakham's most successful core lines. A light refreshing beer with pungent grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas leading to a dry, bitter finish; this is a very modern version of a classic golden ale. Citra has won many awards since the first brew in 2011, culminating in being awarded the Champion Golden Ale at the CAMRA Great British Beer awards in 2014.

Established in Oakham, Rutland, in 1993, the brewery moved to Peterborough in 1998 where their brewery tap is the largest brewpub in Europe!

Open to try on the tasting counter all week


New beer of the week: Alhambra 1925Date published: 26/02/15

New beer of the week: Alhambra 1925

The Alhambra brewery was founded in Granada, Andalusia, in 1925 and is named after the city's magnificent Alhambra Palace. Regarded as the leading craft brewery in Spain, despite the arrival of modern equipment little has changed in the overall brewing process since 1925. All Alhambra beers are made with no additives and the water used is still drawn from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The traditional method employed by Alhambra for this beer involves slow, natural fermentation over a period of 35 days. This strong lager has a deep golden colour, and distinctive hop and caramel aromas. The unique bottle is a nod to the bottles used originally in 1925 when the brewery was founded - a Spanish icon, it has no label with all the branding and legal information embossed on the bottle.

"Pours a good fluffy head. Golden amber with lightly toasted aromas. Full-bodied, with a constant, well-rounded and very pleasing taste. Perfect balance of bitter and sweet flavours, with notes ranging from bitter orange to a slightly caramel finish"

In the words of Alex de Cata, Majestic BDM whose mum hails from Granada, this is an "Epic" beer!


New Wine of the week:Ravenswood ZinfandelDate published: 14/02/15

Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2012

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 Majestic favourite and an absolute bargain for £7.99!

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

£7.99 when you buy 2 or more!

Only until Monday the 16th February!


Wines of LoireDate published: 14/02/15

Wines of Loire

The Loire region includes the French wine regions situated along the Loire River, from Muscadet to Sancere and Pouilly Fume. The cool Loire Valley is famous for delicate, crisp white wines,such as Sauvignon Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne and Chenin Blanc. Our Loire range also includes elegant reds (Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc), rich dessert wines and lively sparkling wines. 

The Loire River significantly effects the mesoclimate of the region, providing the extra warmth required in order for the grapes to grow. The region has a continental climate which is heavily influenced by both the Loire River and the Atlantic Ocean. The climate can be very cool with the risk of damage from spring frost. The most common problem in Loire is that the cool climate prevents the grapes from ripening fully and developing the sugars needed to balance the naturally high acidity of the grapes. 

Loire is characterised by an avoidance of barrel ageing and malolactic fermentation, although winemakers are slowly beginning to experiment with such techniques. 

Loire wines have a characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavours. 

Why not try our Wine of the Week Perre-Jean Sauvion Chenin Blanc 2013 open to try now! Why wait?

The Loire region is the homeland of Chenin Blanc. This is an off-dry Chenin made by Chateau du Cleray in Western Loire. 

The cooling breeze from the ocean adds a crispness to the wines from the area. 

£8.99 buy 2 save 33% = £5.99





South African Spotlight WeekDate published: 12/02/15

Join us for South African Spotlight Week: Come in store and take home the bold, fruit-driven flavours this country is famous for. We'd like to invite you to explore a range of South African wines here at Majestic Stratford upon Avon from the 20th to the 26th of February.

Ken will be doing a spotlight tasting on Saturday the 21st at 13:00(-booking required!) and we'll have a selection of South African stunners open to try all week long, along with beer, cider and spirits! 

Did you Know?

South Africa exports around 450 million litres of wine.

It has over 100,000 hectares of vineyard.

It is the 9th largest wine producer globally.

Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted grape variety in South Africa.

Check out our range online and place your order today at www.majestic.co.uk or just give us a call on 01789 299 385 for FREE home delivery. 



New Web exclusive:Jackson Estate Somerset Pinot Noir 2011 Date published: 12/02/15


Jackson Estate Somerset Pinot Noir 2011 

Waihopai Valley, Marlborough 6x75cl 

Jackson Estate's Somerset Vineyard is located on the Waihopai Valley road, and is a planted on a classically Pinot-friendly area of loam, gravel and clay. This small hand-harvested vineyard yielded only 228 cases in 2011. The wine was bottled without fining or filtration.

An intense and concentrated red fruit character forms the backbone, while perfumed aromas of violet and rose petal accompany hints of spice on the nose. Refined and silky on the palate.

Ready to enjoy now, but will develop further complexity over 3-5 more years' careful cellaring.

£132/6x75cl bottles

http://www.majestic.co.uk/jackson-estate-somerset-pinot-noir-zid37349x6

New wine of the week: Pierre-Jean Sauvion Chenin Blanc 2013Date published: 12/02/15

New!

Pierre-Jean Sauvion Chenin Blanc 2013

Available to taste!



Where’s this wine from …?


The Loire region of France is the homeland of Chenin Blanc, where a variety of styles are produced, from dry to sweet dessert wines.

This is an off-dry Chenin made by the owners of Château du Cléray, one of the major wineries in the western Loire. The cooling breeze from the nearby ocean adds a certain crispness to the wines from here.


So what does it taste like...?


It’s a light style wine with a lovely flavour of sweet apples balanced by a grapefruity acidity.

It’s open on our tasting counter so try it for yourself!


Why should I buy it...?

A lighter style Chenin like this works really well with seafood, but would also make a great aperitif. At only 10.5% alcohol it’s great for lunchtime.


£8.99 buy 2 save 33% = £5.99




Wine of the week! Domaine de Fabrègues 2011Date published: 01/02/15

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


Cellar Circle Date published: 24/01/15

Cellar Circle: Start your wine cellar today

Starting a wine cellar of your own is an incredibly exciting prospect. With thousands of wines to choose from, you can build a collection perfectly suited to your own tastes. But this plethora of options can also feel daunting - we understand that working out where to start can hold you back.

That's where CELLAR CIRCLE comes in - a partnership between Lay & Wheeler who have spent 160 years building up relationships with the world's greatest producers, and Majestic Wine, with over 30 years experience inspiring people to discover and explore the fantastic world of wine. Cellar Circle is all about providing a bespoke, individual experience, giving you all the support and advice you need to create the cellar of your dreams.

Membership of Cellar Circle with full benefits starts from £100 a month, all of which will go towards your wines. You may wish to make a lump-sum payment to give your collection a push, and the more you put in, the faster you'll see your cellar grow. You can amend your subscription at any time.

Alongside building your dream wine cellar, belonging to Cellar Circle brings exclusive benefits and rewards, including:

● A year’s free storage at Vinothèque for customers new to Lay & Wheeler New!

● Free collection from any Majestic store New!

● 10% discount on all purchases from Majestic Wine

● A free case on the first anniversary of membership

Every ones requirements are different and there’s no “one size fits all” approach for us.By discussing your wine preferences and cellar planning aims in detail we tailor the recommendations we make to you.. You can then then decide how you would like to build your cellar

1. We choose for you

2. We help you choose

3. You choose

How to sign up?

Having decided on a monthly subscription, fill out our quick and easy online form. Pay your first month upfront, we'll then get a trouble free direct debit set up for you, and you can start enjoying all those Cellar Circle benefits.

New members can join us at www.cellarcircle.co.uk. 


The 5 best red grape varieties Date published: 23/01/15

THE 5 BEST RED GRAPE VARIETIES EVER (IMHO)

5. Primitivo/Zinfandel - From Italy and California respectively, these two grapes are genetically related. They are capable of producing very full bodied, ripe red wine, bursting full of character and depth.

4. Shiraz/Syrah - From the refined, elegant and spicy wines of the Rhone to big, juicy, peppery beasts of the Barossa. This grape is worthy of begin one the greats. It is gown around the world and produces complex and sophisticated wines, with the ability to age.

3. Tempranillo - Two words Port and Rioja. Ok, so other grapes are also used in the production of Port and Rioja, but without the presence of Tempranillo they wouldn't be half as good. Tempranillo is also used to make some of Spain's other great wines, is grown around the world and can be aged for a very long time indeed.

2. Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot - I know this is cheating a little, as Cabernet and Merlot are two grape varieties but they are like brother and sister and never show quite as well on their own. The blend of these two grapes is responsible for some of the most expensive wines in the world, mainly from Bordeaux.

1. Pinot Noir - In at No.1 is this blockbuster of a grape. Not only does this cool climate variety produce some of the worlds finest and intriguingly complex wines but has the versatility to make wonderfully fresh and elegant rosé. Furthermore, it has the prodigious title of being one of the grape varieties in white and pink Champagne, as well as renowed international sparkling wines!



The 5 Best white grape varietiesDate published: 22/01/15

The 5 best white grape varieties ever!! (IMHO)

No. 5 Semillon

Historically responsible for one of the most expensive wines in the world, Chateau D'yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux, even today Y'quem sells for prices in excess of £500 But it's not just lusciously-sweet wines Semillon can create, but a range from supple, fine and elegant, light unwooded Hunter Valley Semillons to richly-textured oily. vanilla scented wines. 

No. 4 Viognier

Slightly less versatile than Semillon, but a blockbuster nonetheless. Famously responsible for Condrieu, the Rhone's renowned white wine Appellation. But Viognier crops up (literally) all around the world. It prefers warm climates and creates whites that are punchy and can match well with very rich dishes. Try one with wild mushroom cream sauce, over tender pan-fried, butterfly chicken breast!

No. 3 Gewurztraminer

The naturally occurring, pungent aromatics are without a doubt impressive in their own right, but the grapes ability to age is equally impressive. A winemakers aim with this grape is minimum intervention and maximum extraction. It's one of the few wines that can stand up against spicy food and pairs really well with Thai food. The concentration of flavour is wonderful, it successful grows around the world's cooler viticultural climates meaning there are plenty of wonderful examples to try!

No. 2 Riesling

The MOST underrated grape variety in the world! This grape can do the lot, dry, sweet, young, old, noble rot... Ok, it doesn't like oak much nor warm climates but it still comes in many guises who cares. Let's revel in its glory, whether it be German, French, Austrian, New Zealand, Australia. Chile, California, Argentina, Canada... please try more it is famously. And its can pair with such a wide range of foods too!

No.1 Chardonnay

In at number 1 is this outstanding noble variety. It has become less popular in recent years due to a saturation in the market and poor use of oak. But lets have closer look it makes some of the most expensive white wines in the world (Chablis,Pouilly Fuisse, Meursault, Pouilly Montrachet) it makes some of the most expensive sparkling wines in the world (Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier) it makes some of the world's most expensive New World whites (Stag's Lead, Montelena) and it can be anywhere! Which means winemakers can achieve a huge range of styles, thus meaning it can pair with and equally large range of foods! So do not dismiss Chardonnay and reach for the unusual or treat yourself to the fabulous!


Strange but true - top 5 wine trade facts!Date published: 21/01/15

Top five wine trade nightmares!

Now, I know many of you think that working in the wine trade must be the best job in the world and in many ways it really is. However, there are a few things that I feel I need to get off my chest, this is for all of you that dream of spending days surrounded by fantastic wines and the non-stop opportunities to taste fantastic wines!

Here is my top five working in the wine trade nightmares!

1.

As soon as you start working in the wine trade you can guarantee that you will NEVER EVER be bought a bottle of wine as a present from any of your non-wine trade friends. Now, I know that this comes from a fear of getting it wrong, but the point is WE LOVE WINE. I personally love trying all the weird and wonderful wines out there. If you spot a strange grape variety from an lesser known wine producing country, I'm in!

2.

No matter what the occasion is you will forever now have the wine list thrust at you when in restaurants and bars and be told to “pick something we'll like”. Whilst picking great crowd pleasing wines is no problem for us, as we do this everyday for weddings parties, etc. Picking wine for a group of very different people who all are telling you their personal preferences, whilst expecting you to have some superhuman ability to pick them a wine which will induce an epiphany style moment for each one of them is a tad traumatic!

3

Disposable income drops dramatically as your wine purchases seem to grow. From here on in you will find you have wine stashed all over your house, (and in my case at my family's too!) That treat bottle that was £10 when you started in the trade has progressed to a much higher price tag. Setting a budget is something that seems long forgotten, as is your ability to reason that you can't really afford it! 

4

Whilst everyone else is watching Come Dine With Me paying attention to the row that is going on over what Bob said to Mary, we are desperately trying to figure out which wine it is they have on the table. How rude of them not to point the bottle so the label was facing the camera! This also applies for any bottles on screen, be it James bond and his Bollinger or Joe Blogs on that random soap that's on the telly, we want to see what they are drinking.

5

Dry January. Enough Said!


WOTW: Marlborough Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 GiesenDate published: 20/01/15

Marlborough Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Giesen

This fantastic wine originates from Marlborough, New Zealand and is a brilliant example of the Sauvignon Blanc grape which has now become synonymous with New Zealand wine making. This particular example is a great value wine from a well known New Zealand producer, Giesen.

Marlborough Ridge Sauvignon is sourced from several premium vineyards in Marlborough's famed Wairau Valley, but is vinified at Giesen's winery, a family winery still owned and run by the three brothers who founded it in the 1980s. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks helps retain the purity and freshness of flavours, whilst a screw cap closure ensures the freshness of the wine which is best enjoyed whilst still young and fruity.

Dry and mouthwatering. A typically vibrant Sauvignon Blanc packed with citrus and herbal notes, with kaffir, lime and crushed herb notes set against a backdrop of grapefruit and pungent tropical fruit. Well balanced with a crisp, refreshing acidity.

Food Match: Drink with freshly prepared cold sea food dishes.

£9.99 or Buy 2 Save £6, £6.66


Ready to try something new?Date published: 20/01/15

Are you the kind of person that always find yourself wandering round here at majestic, wanting to find something new you might like? The only problem is, although you might like to hear about some different styles, you are more than often going to fall back on something you already know. Its easily done. There are hundreds, if not thousands of bottles to choose from and finding the one right for you isn't the easiest task.

However, if I've caught you on a day you are feeling adventurous..... heres a lovely red to warm the cockles on a wet and cold January day like today.

Ive chosen..... Tautavel Arago 21, 2011, Cotes Du Roussillon Villages from Gerard Bertrand. £8.49 (when you buy any 2 or more 15% off wines)

Tautavel, in the south of France, although famous for its wine production, is also home to The European Center for Prehistoric Research Tautavel Man. It was here that the fossilized remains of prehistoric mankind was discovered and excavated in 1969 at the Arago Caves. The 'Arago 21' printed on on the bottle therefore take reference to the code given to the skull belonging to the Tautavel man. With the discovery, Tautavel man has now become a proposed subspecies of Homo erectus, which dates the remains to over 450,000 years old.

The wine itself, made of roughly equal proportions of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan grapes, exhibits a blend of interesting flavors and characteristics. Expect to find a blend of vibrant fruit along with spicy undertones, finished with firm tannins and wild herb nuances.

This wine would be perfect barbeque wine, if you are brave enough to face to weather. Failing that, why not chargrill your own meats in a blend of tomato paste, olive oil and spices? 

Best to eat like a caveman and drink like a scholar. 


What exactly is malbec?Date published: 19/01/15

Malbec Wine

Malbec is a black-skinned grape variety native to southern France (specifically the area around Cahors), but now better known as the icon wine grape of Argentina. Through its success in the vineyards of Mendoza, in a few short decades Malbec has shot from relative obscurity to international fame, simultaneously bringing new-found attention and respect to Argentina as a wine-producing nation.

Malbec typically ripens midway through the growing season and produces small, intensely colored grapes. As it is so sensitive to its growing environment the level of ripeness has a considerable effect on the structure of the eventual wine. Broadly speaking, French Malbec tends to be more meaty, rustic and tannic, while examples from Argentina seem to be uniformly rich, ripe, jammy and juicy. On both sides of the Atlantic, Malbec wines are generally aged in oak to enhance the wine’s structure and aging potential.

These are some of our favourites from Argentina:

San Huberto Malbec - £7.99 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 33% offer

Catena Malbec  - £9.74 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 25% offer

Alamos Malbec - £6.66 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 33% offer

Lunta Malbec - £10.49 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 25% offer


Wedding planning?Date published: 18/01/15

Wedding Wine Advice

Choosing the perfect wedding wines isn't as hard as you may think. The most important thing is to choose wines you and your partner both really enjoy and are good value.

It's often worth considering the corkage option when hiring a venue for a wedding – with Majestic's great range and prices you can often improve on the venue's house wines and save money. For example, if a house wine costs £17 a bottle but corkage would be £10 a bottle, you can spend up to £7 a bottle at Majestic – and almost certainly improve the quality of the wine you offer.

Our team are experienced at advising couples on wines to suit their tastes, their menu and their budget. We'd be happy to help point you in the direction of a few different whites, reds and sparkling to choose from.

The Arrival and Toast

At Majestic we're real sparkling specialists and always include a wide range of fantastic fizzes on amazing offers.

A standard sized bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine (75cl) will provide 6 flutes. For a wedding reception or toast you'll need 2-3 glasses per person. So for 100 guests you'll need at least 100 x 2 glasses = 200 flutes, or 34 bottles.

Consider using a big-name Champagne for toasts and a more cost-effective, great tasting sparkling wine for welcome drinks or further drinking.

The Meal and Party

Here you are ideally looking for versatile wines that broadly match the food and are good crowd pleasers. This way you will steer clear of obvious food and wine clashes and appeal to a wider audience at the same time.

As a general rule, allow half a bottle per person then add a margin for safety.

A standard sized bottle of wine (75cl) will provide 6 small wine glasses (125ml). So one case of wine (12 bottles) will provide 72 glasses. So for 100 guests you'll need 100 x 3 glasses = 300 glasses, or 50 bottles.

Preferences for red and white wines are usually evenly split, but be aware of seasonal variations (in warmer weather allow for more white than red, and vice versa in the winter) and don't forget about rosé!

Organise a Tasting

Make sure you are ordering the right wine by organising a tasting before you order. As well as giving advice, at Majestic we have an extensive range of wines open to taste on our tasting counters, and can often open specific bottles on request.

Another idea that's increasingly popular is to gather a few friends and family together one evening for a pre-wedding tasting. Open a few "shortlisted" wines and see what you and your trusted advisors think. (Remember, we can deliver the wines to your home and lend you glasses if you need them.) We'd recommend trying no more than three different whites, reds and fizzes in one sitting though or you risk being overwhelmed - and use small tasting samples rather than full glasses or you won't be in the best state for decision making by the end!

Free Glass Loan

You'll always get through more glasses than you expect! The Majestic Free Glass Loan service includes wine glasses, flutes, hi-ball tumblers and pint glasses.

All we ask for is a £1-a-glass deposit, payable in advance, and that the glasses are returned to us clean and ready for re-use. The deposit is fully refundable – all you pay for is breakages. And since you have paid a deposit, there's no time limit in which you have to return them.

Arranging glass loan with online orders

You can request glasses when you order online, by choosing the 'I would like free glass loan' option and entering how many multiples of 12 wine glasses, flutes or hi-ball tumblers you'd like. The £1 per glass deposit is added to your online order.

When you're done with the glasses, you'll need to take them to the Majestic store that delivered them (or that you collected from) - unfortunately we are not able to offer a collection service for glasses. If paying the deposit by debit or credit card you will need to bring the card with you when returning the glasses. All we ask is that the glasses are returned to us clean and ready to re-use - the good news is they are dishwasher-safe so there's no need to wash them all by hand! A deduction of £1 per glass will be made to cover any breakages or losses.

Glass loan is at your local store managers' discretion, is subject to availability, and only available to customers purchasing wines, spirits and beers in quantities proportionate to the number of glasses requested. Glass loan is only available in areas where we deliver direct from store, and not by courier.

Ice, Chiller Bins & Ice Buckets

It's important to plan how you're going to keep your drinks chilled. Majestic chiller bins hold 18-24 bottles of wine or Champagne or 2-3 cases (48-72 bottles) of lager when filled with ice and water. Filled with 3-4 bags of ice, drinks will be well chilled in 30-45 minutes and will be kept cold for several hours especially if kept in the shade. These are available on a £15-a-bin deposit basis, refunded in full on return.

Alternatively, for a more formal affair try our table-top ice buckets which are available to purchase or hire for £10 – these hold 4-5 bottles of Champagne, wine or water with 1 bag of ice.

Don't forget that we also sell bags of ice that we can deliver with the rest of your drinks.

Arranging ice and chiller bins with online orders

You can request chiller bins and order ice when you order online, by choosing the 'I would like chiller bins and/or ice' option and entering how many bins and how much ice you'd like. The £15 per bin deposit is added to your online order. Ice prices vary across the country, but the website calculates the most you'll ever need to pay - if the ice is cheaper locally, your local Majestic store will adjust accordingly before you are charged.

When you're done with the bins, you'll need to take them to the Majestic store that delivered them (or that you collected from) - unfortunately we are not able to offer a collection service for chiller bins. If paying the deposit by debit or credit card you will need to bring the card with you when returning the bins. All we ask is that the bins are returned to us clean and unbroken.

Chiller bin loan is at your local store managers' discretion, is subject to availability, and only available to customers purchasing wines, spirits and beers. Chiller bin loan is only available in areas where we deliver direct from store, and not by courier.

Free Delivery

The last thing you want to be worrying about on your wedding day is how to get the wine to the venue. We can deliver the wine to your venue, or wherever else you want it to go, on a date and time prescribed by you so you don't have to worry

Our delivery is FREE, 7 days a week. Deliveries are fulfilled by your local store (or by the store nearest your venue) so you're always dealing with the same store team you placed your order with.

Sale or Return

It's always difficult to know exactly how much to provide for a wedding and you certainly don't want to run out. Our people will be happy to offer advice on quantities but to put your mind at ease we also provide a sale-or-return policy.

All we ask is that you arrange sale-or-return in advance when you are placing your order and that everything comes back in a saleable condition – we cannot refund bottles with labels peeled off by chilling, or beer in opened or incomplete cases.

We do not collect leftovers or hire glasses so you will be responsible for returning them to your local store.

Sale-or-return is at your local store managers' discretion, and enquiries about sale-or-return on larger orders should be made to your local store.

Choosing a wedding list can be incredibly difficult especially when many couples may already have many of the items found on a traditional gift list. Wine makes an exciting alternative to the usual choice of toasters or crockery and can be enjoyed in many years to come.

Together with the help of our trained staff we can help you create a personal wine list that offers your guests a fun and interesting gift to choose from. What could be better than your own wine cellar to greet you home from your honeymoon?!


Last chance to buy!Date published: 17/01/15

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and this week see's some of great wines saying their goodbyes to their life at Majestic.

These include:

Lawson's Dry Hills Rose (New Zealand) - £7.32 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 33% offer

Talinay Chardonnay (Chili) - £11.32 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 33% offer

L'instant Passion Sauvignon Blanc (Southern France) - £6.66 when you buy 2 or more wines on the save 33% offer

These are selling fast so come and grab the last few bottles before it's too late! 


We are Majestic!Date published: 17/01/15

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

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

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

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


The History of Cloudy BayDate published: 09/01/15

With the range from Cloudy Bay currently on offer, we thought we'd have a little refresher on where it all began..

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was established in 1985 by Cape Mentelle Vineyards in Western Australia, and is today part of Estates & Wines, The Moët Hennessy Wine Division. Innovation, meticulous attention to detail and regional expression are the guiding principles of Cloudy Bay. The Cloudy Bay team is committed to producing ‘wines of region’ and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavours and stunning vibrancy, naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough.

The winery and vineyards are situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island. This unique and cool wine region enjoys a maritime climate with the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay has 250 hectares over four estate vineyards, and long-term supply agreements with nine Wairau Valley growers. The main varieties grown are Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot noir with lesser quantities of Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot gris.

Cloudy Bay wines are exported to over 30 markets, the principal ones being Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Europe and Japan. Cloudy Bay believes that the future success of specialist wineries lies in the production of high quality wines from varieties best suited to specific regions. At Cloudy Bay, emphasis is placed on individual fruit character and the development of a recognisable estate wine style.

Cloudy Bay Vineyards was a founding member of the New Zealand Integrated Winegrape Production scheme, set up to develop a programme for sustainable vineyard management, which is now monitored by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Cloudy Bay’s impeccable scorecard reflects the company’s commitment to environmentally friendly winery and vineyard management practices.

The winery takes its name from the bay at the eastern extremity of the Wairau Valley, which was named Cloudy Bay by Captain Cook on his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. At the time of Cook’s discovery, Marlborough was in flood and the Wairau River running into the bay was full of silt creating cloudy waters.


40% off offers!Date published: 09/01/15

This month we have introduced a new offer- 40% off some amazing products; and they are too good to miss.

Rioja Gran Reserva Berberana 2007 - £9.59 down from £15.99

Bollinger Grand Annee 2004 - £59.96 down from £100

Perrier-Jouet  Blason Rose NV - £26.99 down from £45.00

Louis Roderer Brut Premier NV - £26.99 down from 45.00

Laurent Perrier Brut NV - £22.29 down from £37.50

Laurent Perrier 2004 - £29.98 down from £50.00

Cloudy Bay Pelorus 2009 - £17.09 down from £28.29


New Zealand offersDate published: 08/01/15

Dry January? Nah not for us thanks. If you want to carry on the Christmas Spirit come and grab some great offers on some of our New Zealand specials:

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc - £18.33 down from £27.50

Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2005 - £19.99 down from £30.00

Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011 - £18.33 down from 27.50

Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012 - £23.32 down from £35.00

Cloudy Bay Riesling - £18.33 down from £27.50

Roaring Meg Pinot Noir - £15.33 down from £23.00

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir - £16.99 down from £25.00

Villia Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc - £7.33 down from 10.99

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc - £6.66 down from £9.99

Waimea Gewurtztraminer - £9.99 down from £14.99

Sound good? We think so! 

Wine of the Week - Berberana Gran ReservaDate published: 07/01/15

Rioja Gran Reserva 2006 Viña Alarde

£9.59per bottle

Down from £15.99

Save 40%

Founded in 1877 the Bodega in Cenicero in the Rioja Alta is now a modern winery, with cellaring facilities housing over 50,000 barrels, and this is where Berberana Gran Reserva is matured for a minimum 3 years in American oak cask and a further 3 years in bottle.

Ruby red colour with tawny hues. Subtle aromas of ripe dark cherries and strawberries. Smooth and full-bodied palate, with luscious fruit laced with vanilla, cloves and dried fruits.

Roast meats, pastas, tomato dishes, barbecued lamb and game.


New January Offers!Date published: 07/01/15

Beat the post-christmas blues with some of our great new offers:

Rioja Gran Reserva Vina Ardanza 2005 - £15.99 down from £24.00

La Difese Tenuta S'Guido - £14.00 down from £21.00

Belleruche CDR - £7.33 down from £10.99

Caixas Godello - £6.66 down from £9.99

Contesa Pecorino - £6.66 down from £9.99

Gavi Toledena - £7.99 down from £11.99

Domaine De La Gaffeliere - £13.32 down from £19.99

Santa Rita 120 Carmenere - £5.99 down from £8.99


Chateau Coufran 2004Date published: 23/12/14

Chateau Coufran 2004 Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois Supérieur

Grape

 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot


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.

£14.99 when you buy two or more fine wines!


Still taking orders for deliveries!Date published: 20/12/14

Christmas greetings to you all! 

We are still taking orders for delivery within a 5 mile radius up until Sunday night.


Majestic Stratford

Christmas tasting counterDate published: 20/12/14

We are spoiling you with our selection today- join us for some epic white Burgundy, including a Chablis 1er Cru ,some fabulous New Zealand whites, elegant Crozes Hermitage and big boy Amarone!!


Oh, and we've also got some Louis Roederer NV open to ease the stress of Christmas shopping!

Wines for a Fiver!Date published: 11/12/14

We now have a range of great wines priced at only £4.99

Bicchetto Trebbiano 2013, IGT Rubicone

Fresh and straight forward white wine which offers plenty of citrus fruit, white peach and pear fruit with subtle flower aromatics.

Bicchetto Sangiovese 2013, IGT Rubicone

A light and approachable red, with Sangiovese's typical redcurrant and cherry fruit charecters in abundance. 

La Serrana Macabeo 2013, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla

Fresh, floral aromas reminiscent of aromatic herbs such as anise and fennel. The smooth and velvety palate is fruit driven with citrus and banana flavours.

La Serrana Temparnillo 2013, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla

Classic Tempranillo notes of dark cherry and blackcurrant are lifted by a hint of dried flowers and spice.

El ToritoMerlot 2013, Valdepenas

Cool fermented for a youthful, fruit driven style, this is a soft and plummy Merlot with subtle tannins and a juicy palate full of ripe cherry and berry flavours.

Silver Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Central Valley

A medium bodied, fruit driven style of Cabernet that offers rounded, ripe red berry fruit with a plummy and easy going feel. Hints of green pepper and subtle oak notes on the nose.

Silver Ghost Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Central Valley

Invitingly fruity, offering a juicy citrus and gooseberry backbone overlaid with notes of lime zest and fresh green apples. Crisp acidity provides maximum refreshment.


We DeliverDate published: 10/12/14

 

Free Delivery Service

If you can't face going out in the cold and wet this winter or simply don't have the time to venture in to the store, don't forget that we offer free delivery straight from all our Majestic stores. As long as you buy any 6 bottles, we can bring your wine directly to your door. 

You order for delivery over the phone (01789 299385) and online (www.majestic.co.uk). You can add cases of beer, water and soft drinks to your wine order, and when you get to the online checkout you can take advantage of our free glass loan,chiller bin loan and order cubed ice. 

We go above and beyond; we're flexible enough to cater for most special requests. You can enter delivery instructions online which are sent to the team with your order, or discuss your requirements when we call to arrange delivery. We deliver 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends so we can always find a time to suit you.

So don't delay and try out our online service for delivery, or call us to place your order today - and we'll drive straight to you.

Christmas opening hoursDate published: 09/12/14

OPENING HOURS - Christmas & New Year

DECEMBER

Monday 8th - Friday 12th  9am-8pm

Saturday 13th 9am-7pm

Sunday 14th 10am-5pm

Monday 15th - Saturday 20th 9am-8pm

Sunday 21st 10am-5pm

Monday 22nd & Tuesday 23rd 9am-8pm

Wednesday 24th 9am-5pm

Thursday 25th & Friday 26th CLOSED- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Saturday 27th 9am-7pm

Sunday 28th 10am-5pm

Monday 29th & Tuesday 30th 10am-7pm

Wednesday 31st 10am-5pm

JANUARY

Thursday 1st Closed

Friday 2nd 10am-8pm

Saturday 3rd 9am-7pm

Sunday 4th 10am-5pm - Normal Hours Resume


WOTW: Jim Barry Cover drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2011Date published: 09/12/14

Jim Barry Cover drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Coonawarra

Australia

Jim Barry was a pioneer of the Australian wine Industry. He and his wife Nancy built a successful wine business making successful wines since its establishment in 1959. Jim Barry has four distinctive climatic and geographical sites in the Clare valley. In addition the company has a 14 hectare Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Coonawarra region.

'Sometimes it takes longer than a lifetime to do a lifetime's work.. it's now up to my children'.

This wine has been named in commemoration of the Penola cricket ground, which used to lie on the very site where Jim Barry now grows this premium Cabernet, which is blended with small parcels from the family's Clare Valley estate, then aged in French and American oak.

The nose is very fragrant, dominated by intense cassis and cedar, with nuances of fennel and damson. A generous palate with succulent tannins framing blackcurrant, liquorice and cherry flavours.

Food match: Classic beef Sunday roast

£14.99 or £9.99 when you buy 2 or more


New Spirits of the week!Date published: 08/12/14

As Christmas looms, we are opening lots of spirits to get you in the mood for time off with family and friends! Come in and try our new spirits of the week on the tasting counter:

‘The One’ British Blended Whisky £30.00  

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.



Langtons No.1 Gin £30.00 

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.



Jane MacQuitty's top 100 Winter whitesDate published: 06/12/14

Majestic has 5 wines in Jane MacQuitty's top 100 Winter whites!



Under £6.50 


05.017 Pierre-Jean Sauvion Sauvignon Blanc 2013 
£9.49, or £6.33 each when you buy 2 

19.112 DB Family Reserve Chardonnay 2013 
£9.49, or £6.33 each when you buy 2


Under £8 


13.266 Pietrariccia Fiano Surani 2013

£8.99, or £6.74 each when you buy 2
39.240 Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2013 
£11.99, or £7.99 each when you buy 2


Under £12

19.957 Peter Lehmann Riesling 2013
£11.99, or £8.99 each when you buy 2


Wine of the Week: Porta 6, LisboaDate published: 06/12/14

Porta 6 ,

Lisbon Portugal

Winemaker Antonio Ventura was named Portuguese Winemaker of the Year in 2006, and has produced an inviting wine with aromas of sweet spice, dried fruit and a hint of rosemary. On the palate, soft, well integrated tannins sit alongside black cherry, plum and blackberry fruit.

Comprised of a blend of native Portuguese Touriga Nacional, Aragonez (Tempranillo) and Castelao varieties, the cooling sea breezes over the vineyards just 30km from the Atlantic Ocean help form a fruit-driven wine with bright acidity.

Quintessentially Portuguese red, offering plenty of warm, jammy forest fruit flavours combined with heady aromas of violets and touches of spice. Supple, chewy tannins provide texture and length.

This wine is approachable enough to drink on its own but would be a great match for roast lamb.

£9.99 a bottle or

Buy 2 save 33%

Only £6.66 per bottle!


What to drink with BeefDate published: 02/12/14

Claret is the classic accompaniment to roast beef.  Choose a younger, perhaps lighter and livelier style if the meat is served cold.  A good Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia, California, Chile, Italy, New Zealand or South Africa would do just as well and would be preferable in the case of steaks that are charred on the outside and pink in the middle.  For pure beef burgers, an unpretentious, youthful red Cotes-du-Rhone with an honest, chunky, peppery flavour is ideal. But, frankly, almost any drinkable red wine of medium, medium-full, or full body from anywhere will accompany all beef dishes with some degree of competence, as will most full-bodied and rich-flavoured white wines.

Winter top 100Date published: 01/12/14


This weekend saw the release of Jane MacQuitty’s Winter Top 100 wines in the times. Here are some wines that feature in Majestic!


Under £6.50

40.138 Santa Ana Malbec 2014 
£8.99, or £5.99 each when you buy 2        

09.004 Domaine de Montval Syrah 2013 
£9.49, or £6.33 each when you buy 2       

Under £8 

39.250 Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere 2011

£11.99, or £7.99 each when you buy 2       

19.793 Wakefield Estate Shiraz 2013
£11.99, or £7.99 each when you buy 2       

13.617 Barbera d’Alba Sucule Lo Zoccolaio 2011
£11.99, or £7.99 each when you buy 2        

Under £12

40.145 003 Malbec 2013

£12.99, or £8.66 each when you buy 2       


06.035 Jaboulet Syrah 2013 
£11.99, or £8.99 each when you buy 2        

Under £25 

19.035 De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat NV
£13.99                                  

01.018 Chateau Senejac 2010 
£23.00, or £18.00 each when you buy 2       



03.717 Beaune Toussaints 1er Cru Albert Morot 2008
£22.00                                  

01.089 Chateau Haut-Bergey 2006 
£30.00, or £25.00 each when you buy 


Taittinger gift box!Date published: 28/11/14

We think this is awesome- £107 gets you 4 Taittinger Brut Nv and 4 branded Champagne flutes! Great for Christmas and wouldn't you want them yourself anyway?

Spirits of the weekDate published: 27/11/14


New !!

Spirits of the week



Broker’s Gin £19.99

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.

Roger Groult Réserve Calvados £30.00


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.


Pop in and try these awesome spirits on our tasting counter!

Beer of the week: Orchard PigDate published: 26/11/14

BEER OF THE WEEK

ORCHARD PIG REVELLER


Award winning craft cider. Light, crisp and gently sparkling with a rich cider aroma. Oinkingly refreshing with a tangy note of freshly squeezed lime in the finish. Reveller is a party for the senses – hold the glass up to the light as you pour the straw-coloured cider and listen to the bubbles gently break the surface. The cider has a rich, savoury aroma sparkling thoughts of dishes such as baked apple and apple sauce. The taste is lighter than the aroma suggests, helped by the gentle sparkle. Reveller is light, crisp and refreshing with a tangy note of freshly squeezed lime in the finish. A palate-cleansing counterpoint to a hearty roast pork dinner or crispy pork belly – or sup with a bag of crunchy, salty pork cracklings.


£25.20 (12 x 500ml bottles)

WINE OF THE WEEK: St Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon blancDate published: 25/11/14

St Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon blanc 2013 Marlborough

Saint Clair Family Estate is rapidly becoming one of the most reputed wineries in Marlborough, despite producing their first wines as recently as 1994. The Pioneer Block wines are sourced from outstanding parcels of fruit, identified by chief winemaker Matt Thomson. .

Saint Clair wines was established by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Their success is founded on 27 years of extensive and ongoing pioneering viticulture as a critical part of the highest quality winemaking practices. From 1994 when the first vintage won medals, including a gold, Saint Clair wine has always represented quality, and its award winning record continues today.

An almost otherworldly intensity of fruit, with pungent aromas of gooseberry and passionfruit, with a steely dryness, herbaceous characters, underlying minerality and a long, lingering finish. .

Food match: Asian-inspired cuisine is ideal, as the wine echoes the lemongrass and fresh coriander often used in these dishes.

£19.99, BUY TWO OR MORE AND

SAVE 33%, £13.32 FOR ONE WEEK ONLY!


Malbec- What's it all about?Date published: 21/11/14

As we celebrate a weekend of Argentinian malbec at 33% off this weekend, we take a closer look at this exciting grape and its wines.

Originally a French grape, Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The grapes tend to have an inky dark colour and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. The French plantations of Malbec are now found primarily in Cahors in South West France.

It is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine variety of wine and is being grown around the world. It was brought over to Argentina by French agricultural engineer Michel Pouget in 1868 and has become almost synonymous with top quality Argentinian wine. The high altitude of areas like Mendoza give the grapes a long ripening season which allows the thick skinned grapes to develop all their flavours gradually, leading to powerful but elegant wines.

We have a large range of Argentinian Malbecs, ranging from fresh, red-fruit focused styles to the big dark fruit and spicer, jammy style, and everything in between. Renowned for the smoothness and full flavour, these wines are perfect for any meat dishes from steak to stews but also can be drunk alone to ward off the chill as the nights draw in.

Some of our favourite deals this weekend include:

     Catena Malbec £12.99 buy 2 save 33% = £8.66 -Our wine of the Week and open to try

   Alamos Malbec £9.99 buy 2 save 33% = £6.66
   San Huberto Malbec £11.99 buy 2 save 33% = £7.99
   Parilla Malbec £11.99 buy 2 save 33% = £7.99

  

If you would like to order, please call 01789 299385 or email us on stf@majestic.co.uk.

Alternatively, pop in and see which offer entices you the most!


Wine of the Week: Catena Malbec! Date published: 21/11/14

Catena Malbec 2013 Mendoza

Nicolás and Laura Catena have worked tirelessly in the discovery, identification and development of key microclimates in the high altitude wine country of Mendoza. Their Malbec uses this work and combines grapes from various altitudes to create a unique profile of aromas.

Elegantly structured, and showing ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours, subtle vanilla and plenty of peppery spice. Balanced by firm tannins and crisp, refreshing acidity on the finish.

Food match: The complex character, tannins and acidity help suit this wine to further ageing and it will comfortably last five years.

£8.65 when you buy two or more wines on the save 33% offer


Spirits for Christmas!Date published: 20/11/14

New!!!

Spirits of the Week


Rumbullion! £34.00


Produced by the enigmatic Professor Cornelius Ampleforth, the label depicts a hand-drawn image of an old navy grog tub and this rum is based on the rich, full-bodied rums enjoyed by seafaring folk centuries ago.

Creamy Madagascan vanilla is added to the finest high proof Caribbean rum and a zesty orange peel note adds a distinctive freshness to this rum.  

A secret recipe was followed and is then finished with a handful of cinnamon and cloves and a hint of cardamom. Best enjoyed neat or with a little fresh lime and ice, this rum can also be an excellent cocktail component.

Langtons No.1 Gin  £30.00


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 Spirit Range!Date published: 19/11/14

Woohoo with the season to be jolly fast approaching, come and check out our new spirit range.  We think these are a little different from what may be lurking in the back of your drinks cupboard, and what's even better; several are open to taste!

Here are a few of our new favourites:

Rum

Reg Leg Spiced Rum - £19.99

Don Papa Small Batch Rum - £30.00

Gin

Brokers London Dry Gin - £19.99

Langtons No.1 Lakeland Gin - £30.00

Bathtub Gin - £33.00

Darnley's View Spiced Gin - £32.50

Vodka

Blackwoods 5XD Vodka - £22.50

Tito's Texan Vodka - 28.00

Calvados & Armagnac

Roger Groult Reserve 3-year-old Calvados - £30.00

Chateau Du Tariquet Armagnac - £35.00 (well worth it for the cool bottle)

wotw: Leon Perdigal RougeDate published: 14/11/14

Côtes du Rhône, 2013 Léon Perdigal

This classic blend has been named in honour of Léon Perdigal, the first cellarmaster at Ogier's when the company was founded in 1859 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Born in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Léon Perdigal knew all the secrets of how to take care of an exceptional wine from the Rhône Valley and quickly earned the nickname “The Pope of the Keys”.

This medium bodied red has a nose of red fruits and spice, with notes of subtle pepper. The red fruits and spice continue on the palate and pleasing length.

Food Match: Well balanced and fruity this wine is the perfect match for grilled meat, poultry and spiced cuisine.

£9.99

Buy two from our 33% offer £6.66


Wine of the Week: Santa Rita Cabernet Franc 2013Date published: 05/11/14

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Franc 2013 Central Valley

As well as being a constituent of many Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Franc is the classic red variety of the Loire region, particularly Saumur and Chinon. This Chilean example offers a rare glimpse of Cabernet Franc a single varietal wine from outside of France.

A medium-bodied, ruby red wine. A nose of red berries and spice follow through to a palate of concentrated flavours of ripe cherry and raspberry fruit with fresh acidity and rounded tannin.

Brilliant partnered with soft cheeses and fresh tomato pasta dishes.

£8.99 or Mix and Match our 33% off range Only £5.99


New Offers In Store Now!Date published: 31/10/14

Start preparing for Christmas early with some of our great offers:

Ned Sauvignon Blanc (yes, everyone's favourite is finally on offer!) - £7.33

Gavi La Toledana - £7.99

Edna Valley Chardonnay - £8.66

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc - £6.66

Vina Eguia Reserva - £6.66

Rioja Reserva 2010 CVNE - £9.99

San Huberto Malbec - £7.99

New Aussie Red: The Scribbler! Date published: 31/10/14

We love our big bodied Aussie reds, and we are greeted this week with a new arrival of the Scribbler 2010, by Yalumba.  Bronze winner of both the Decanter world wine awards and International Wine Challenge, we this our newcomer will go down a treat! 

Open on the tasting counter this weekend; so why not come and grab a glass and see what you think!

Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah-Shiraz

Origin

Named as an alternative to its own 'Signature' blend, The Scribbler is Yalumba's more youthful take on Australia's classic Cabernet-Shiraz combination, made with a view to early enjoyment.

Taste

Dense and vibrant purple in colour, with a nose of concentrated dark fruits, liquorice and black olive. The palate is lush and full, with a generous sweetness of fruit and plump, rounded tannins.


Yalumba recommends serving with a game pie with a truffled parmesan and parsnip mash.


£11.99 (reduced from £15.99) when you buy two or more wines on the save 25% offer.


New Champagne!Date published: 31/10/14


We are introducing a new and exciting Champagne to our range at a fantastic price of £30 buy 2 save 33% = £19.99. 

The wine is elegant and fresh on the nose; firm and intense with pear, spice, vanilla and a hint of acacia honey. Toasty bread, long on the palate with a light hazelnut after-taste. 

It's ideal as an aperitif, or as a perfect accompaniment for seafood, sashimi or even soft goat’s cheese

The family is all here..Date published: 28/10/14

Chateau Labegorce in a variety of sizes and vintages.. top quality bordeaux!

Wine of the Week: Gavi ToledanaDate published: 28/10/14

Gavi 2013 La Toledana

The white wines of the village of Gavi in Piedmont, North-West Italy, have been dubbed the Chablis of Italy, due to the fresh, steely minerality that they exhibit. Wines from the vineyards closest to the town are labelled Gavi di Gavi, and this one is made from late-harvested grapes. The Toledana has been a staff favourite for a long time and is a brilliantly versatile wine.

Made from 100% Cortese, this wine expresses ripe peach and pears with hints of citrus and a slight honeyed edge held together by good minerality and a fresh acidity.

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

£7.99 when you buy two or more wines on the save 33% offer!


New Cellar Circle offer -South AfricaDate published: 23/10/14

2009 Stellenbosch Bordeaux blends: Incredible producers, an outstanding vintage!

Attempts to recreate the great wines of Bordeaux are nothing new in South Africa, but pleasingly these are becoming more expressions, and less imitations. Amongst the most progressive of these estates is Glenelly, run by the irrepressible May-Eliane de Lencquesaing. For 30 years owner of 2nd growth Pichon-Lalande in Bordeaux, and elected Decanter Woman of the Year in 1994, Glenelly's top wine, offered here, is named in her honour. It is an exceptional example of this new wave of Bordeaux blends: an expression of a South African terroir, using Bordeaux savoir-faire. We offer Lady May alongside Rubicon from Meerlust, one of Stellenbosch's foremost producers: another wine with this fantastic philosophy. By taking what is great about Bordeaux and making it South African, both Glenelly Estate and Meerlust have been triumphant, particularly in a vintage as good as 2009! 

For all orders placed before midnight tomorrow (Thursday 23rd October), an additional 5% discount will be applied on the prices below

2009 Lady May, Glenelly Estate, Stellenbosch 
“It has an introverted nose at the moment with blackberry, leather, cedar and a touch of mint, all with very fine definition and unfurling with each swirl of the glass. The palate displays very fine tannins, very well integrated oak and a beautiful, pure, caressing finish that really satisfies both in terms of the senses and intellect. This is a succinctly crafted Bordeaux blend that will age with grace.” 94 points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate 
Drink: 2017 to 2025

£129.00 in bond
This wine is available in cases of 3 magnums or 6 bottles – the price is the same – the choice is yours.

2009 Rubicon, Meerlust, Stellenbosch 
A nose full of dark fruit, with mocha and sweet spice follows through onto the palate. Alongside the complexity there is a delightful freshness, making this a very well balanced wine. What really stands out is the texture: silky, supple tannins fill the mouth with a velvety enjoyment – superb! 
Drink: 2015 to 2025

£108.00
Per case of 6 bottles in bond

Not a member of the Cellar Circle? Head to: www.laywheeler.com/cellarcircle


Penfolds bin 2 on offer!Date published: 22/10/14

Penfolds is a winery that needs little introduction to lovers of wine. Responsible for some of the most iconic Australian wines ever, they are known for their purity of fruit and rich, powerful wines. 

Created in 1960, Bin 2 is a classic Penfolds blend based on Rhône varieties, made from fruit grown in Barossa, McLaren Vale and Padthaway, matured in French and American oak. Mourvedre makes up around 10% of the blend, lending body and structure.

A backbone of ripe blackcurrant, cherry and quince, overlaid with notes of liquorice, winter pudding and dark chocolate. Plush tannins provide an expansive mouth-feel.

Currently reduced to £13.32 on our 33% off deal. Get yours now!

Wine of the week: Brancott Estate Terrior SeriesDate published: 19/10/14

Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Awatere Valley 

Grape

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin

Brancott Estate have created the Terroir Series to showcase the individual characteristics displayed by Marlborough's diverse sub-regions. This Sauvignon demonstrates the style produced by Awatere Valley's cool, windy climate and very free-draining soils.

Taste

Displaying remarkable restraint and subtlety, this Sauvignon offers layers of citrus zest, flint and freshly cut herb aromas in fine balance. Refined and mineral-rich on the palate.

£8.99 when you buy two or more on the save 25% offer!


Great present idea!Date published: 17/10/14

It's been stored for 5 years at the Chateau, is from the spectacular 2009 vintage and comes in a lovely wooden box.

Freshly arrived in store, we have the Chateau Meaume 2009 Bordeaux, one of our most consistent Bordeaux superiors.

With developed aromas of prune, cigar box, redcurrant and a whiff of Cuban cigar, the jammy plum and black fruit packed palate is rich and supple.

At only £10.99 a bottle this is a true bargain, and just in time for Christmas! 

Reserve yours today by calling us on 01789 299 385!

Viva Sud de FranceDate published: 16/10/14

It's a great week to try something new at Majestic! We will be opening a selection of wines from Southern France this weekend, so why not come and try them for yourself!?

Southern French wines continue to improve in quality year on year. The region produces well made 'value for money' wines as well as the more premium wines. The vineyards of Southern France lie along the Mediterranean Coast, experiencing lots of sunshine and low rainfall – ideal conditions for growing grapes.

Southern French producers often like to blend grape varieties. Black grape varieties account for more than 75% of the plantings in the region, with Grenache being one of the most widely planted varieties across the whole of the South of France. The next two most widely planted black varieties are Syrah and Carignan. Syrah (or Shiraz) has experienced significant growth in the region in the last 20 years. You can also find significant but far smaller plantings of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Mourvèdre.

In terms of white varieties plantings are now dominated by international grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. There has also been a major increase in Viognier which seems likely to continue. Other varieties include Grenache Blanc, Picpoul and Macabeu to name a few.

So make sure you pop in as we open some stunning examples in store this weekend! 


WOTW: Chateau La Dourne St Chinian 2012Date published: 16/10/14

Chateau La Dournie 2012

St Chinian

Southern France

The South of France is always a great place to look for a great value red, and this week's offering is just that- an amazingly well made and lush blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Warming and rounded, this will be the perfect wine to combat the Autumnal weather with!

With old-vine Grenache up to 50 years in age supplemented with Syrah and Carignan, this complex red from the great value St-Chinian Appellation is a cracking wine for the money. Around 20% of the wine is matured in oak for one year.

This wine has a wonderfully expressive nose ranging from black cherry and prune through to nutmeg and mocha. The palate displays freshness with persistent dark berry flavours and an earthy spiciness.

Food Match: A great match for shish kebabs or minted lamb.

£9.99 reduced to £8.99!


Ali's favourites at 33% offDate published: 06/10/14

So here is a selection of some of my favourites currently on our 33% off offer...

Gavi 2013, Araldica

This is a particular favourite of mine. The Gavi boasts a clear and elegant flavour. It is zesty and fresh, bursting with lime citrus. It is definitely one to try, especially at just £5.99.

Lady Sauvignon 2014, Casablanca Valley

Fresh and fun WHATEVER the occasion! Packed full of lemon and lime flavours with tropical fruit aromas. Get this one chilling and enjoy!! A delicious and extremely popular Sauvignon at £6.66 - what could be better?

Rioja Gran Reserva 2004, Vina Eguia

This is without doubt one of my favourite Riojas, with flavours of ripe fruits, caramel and vanilla. It is remarkably fresh considering considering it has spent 30 months in oak and 7 and half years in bottle, and has proven the perfect accompaniment to many a good meal. 

Chateau de Sainte Gemme 2008, Haut-Medoc

This wine is exhibiting some of the best accents of Haut-Medoc with flavours of ripe red berry fruits such as strawberry and raspberry enhanced by toast and vanilla notes resulting from it's time in oak. At 33% off you are currently making a £5 saving at just £9.99 a bottle - an absolute bargain in my book!!


Bordeaux of the weekDate published: 05/10/14

Chateau Prieure-Lichine Margaux 2007

I opened this on Saturday night and decanted it for about an hour. That precaution proved unnecessary as there was almost no sediment in it. The wine opened up really well and expressed aromas of red berries and soft, earthy spice.

On the palate the fruit was elegant, redcurrant and crunchy red berries with blackcurrant tones in the background. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and silky with the supple tannins being very well integrated. The finish was long and feminine, with the fruit lingering past the tannins.

Reduced to £20 on our fine wine offer this 4th classe Bordeaux offers great value and is drinking really well now. A great introduction to the classic tastes of Margaux.


Sparkling Saturday - Prosecco La Marca Cuvée NV DOCGDate published: 04/10/14

Keeping in tune with our sparkling Saturday theme, today we have opened the staff and customer favourite - Prosecco La Marca Cuvee. Pop in for a glass - cos' lets face it, everyone loves a freebie!

Prosecco La Marca Cuvée NV DOCG

Grape:Prosecco

Origin:

La Marca Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Treviso area of Northern Italy. This wine is made from 100% Prosecco harvested from selected vineyards, made using the Charmat method.

Taste

Delicate and elegant with a distinctive aroma of apple, red pear and apricot. Medium bodied, soft, velvety and well-balanced.

Enjoy

An excellent apéritif, served with light starters or fruit salads.

£9.99 when you buy 2 or more off the save 33% offer.

Wine courses at MajesticDate published: 03/10/14

We regularly have Free wine courses at Majestic Stratford, which are a fun way of learning more about the best liquid on the planet!


Join us as we show you how we taste wine and do some fun food matching as well. the next course is Thursday the 23rd October from 6:30pm- book your spot by calling us on 01789 299 385 or email us at stf@majestic.co.uk

Beautiful Champers!Date published: 02/10/14

We have the Oeil De Perdrix open as part of our wine course.

 Bursting with red berries and red apple, this soft, elegant Champagne is an absolute steal at £19.99 when you buy 2 wines from our 33% off range! 

Giveaway!!Date 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

New Fine wine!Date published: 02/10/14


La Rioja  Alta 904 Gran Reserva 2004


From an excellent year and a fantastic producer, this Gran reserva is a wine that shows the true essence of Rioja in quality and taste.
Here is a review from the Wine advocate describing it:


"This 2004, from a superb vintage shows a beautiful light red color with a brick rim and a superb nose redolent of balsamic woods, spices, leather, well-hung meat, incense and truffles. The light to medium-bodied palate shows fully resolved tannins, great acidity and pure, pungent flavors that linger in the mouth forever and that can only be Rioja.This is a wine to smell over and over again... Drink 2016-2024." 96 points. Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate.


£36.00 a bottle, this is a chance to try some iconic Rioja! Call us on 01789 299 385

WOTW: Pomal Crianza 2011Date published: 01/10/14

Vina Pomal Crianza

Rioja DOC

2011

Viña Pomal is the flagship wine of Bodegas Bilbaínas, one of Rioja's oldest estates, and has now been produced for over 100 years. The winery had a bottling plant near London's Charing Cross in the 1940's, and Viña Pomal was reputed to be a favourite of Winston Churchill.

Rioja Alavesa is distinct from the other areas of Rioja – Alta and Baja – by reason of its poor soil. Vines have to be planted further apart in order to grow healthily. The low density planting results in wines higher in acidity and fuller in body.

This deep cherry red wine is full of black fruit and liquorice notes, with hints of cocoa and toast from 12 months' ageing in American oak barrels. Supple tannins and elegant on the palate.

Pairs with the typical Rioja matches like grilled red meats, but will also accompany rice dishes, cheese or pâté.

Part of our 33% off range, grab this for only £7.32 when mixing your case of 6!


Chateau Raymond-lafon Sauternes 2008Date published: 01/10/14

It's coming up to the festive season, so time to start snapping up some bargain sweet wine for the big day! Sauternes works well with fruit or pastry based desserts, with its rich honeyed stone fruit flavours and gorgeous acidity!

Raymond-Lafon has 16 hectares of vines, and is adjacent to the illustrious properties of Yquem and Suduiraut, producing one of the best value examples of quality Sauternes available. 

Composed of around 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon, it is a medium-bodied,balanced and elegant wine, combining tangerine and honey flavours with underlying minerality.

Sparkling Saturday - Soffio No.3 Prosecco Date published: 27/09/14

As it's sparkling Saturday, we have opened Soffio No. 3 Prosecco; as featured on ITV's "This Morning" previously this week! Our newbie prosecco's popularity has been taken by storm; come and try some today! 

Soffio No.3 Prosecco NV

Grape:Prosecco

Origin: A superb value Prosecco made by the Pizzolo family, one of the north of Italy's archetypal family businesses, run by four brothers from a facility close to Lake Garda. This wine is made using the Charmat method, in which it is rendered sparkling prior to bottling.

Taste

Apple and pear flavours predominate, which subtle notes of freshly cut flowers lift the nose. Soft mousse and gently ripe fruit makes for an easy-drinking style.

Enjoy

Enjoy on its own or with anything from seafood to simple chicken dishes.

£6.66 when you buy two or more wines on the save 33% deal.

What are Sulphites?Date published: 25/09/14

What are sulphites?

‘Sulphites’ is essentially a blanket term for a range of common sulphur compounds, several of which are found in food and drink. The one most commonly found in wine is sulphur dioxide (SO2) which has been used in winemaking for several hundred years.

Why are there sulphites in wine? Tiny amounts of sulphites occur in all wines as a natural result of the winemaking process, but most of the sulphites present in wine are those which have been added intentionally. Sulphites are commonly used for sterilising wine-making equipment such as barrels and tanks, which can lead to trace amounts being transferred to the wine. Later, SO2 is often added to the juice to control the fermentation process. For example, once the desired alcohol level has been reached, SO2 can be used to kill the yeast and thereby stop fermentation. It also kills other microbes, preventing the wine from spoiling due to bacterial activity. Sulphites are also highly effective at preventing oxidation, and the majority of winemakers (even those who have made the wine using natural processes with little or no SO2 throughout) will add sulphites at the bottling stage to help prevent oxidation and therefore improve the wine’s shelf-life.

Do they affect the taste? Sulphites are most easily detectable on the nose. Most people can identify sulfurous odours (often referred to as a ‘struck match’ smell) at SO2 concentrations as low as 50ppm (parts per million), especially in wines sealed by screwcap, which tends to preserve aromatics very effectively. The aromas are usually present for a very short time after the wine has been opened, and fade once the wine has received exposure to the air.

Are sulphites harmful?

At the low concentrations found in wine, sulphites cause no harmful effects in the vast majority of people. A very small number of people have a high sensitivity to sulphites, and may suffer symptoms such as chest tightening or wheezing (particularly in asthmatics), headaches or skin rash. Sulphite sensitivity is thought to affect only around 1% of the population, and the above symptoms are likely to require much higher doses than those typically found in wines or foodstuffs. Other foods which may contain sulphites in various amounts are beer/cider, fruit juice, tinned foods, processed vegetables, dried fruit, jams/preserves, biscuits and cakes, cured meats and many others.

What are the legal limits on the amount of sulphites in wine?You will find that the vast majority of wines now have ‘contains sulphites’ printed on the back label. EU regulations require that all wines with more than 10mg/lt (or only 10ppm) of sulphites display this warning, and wines with concentrations lower than this are extremely rare. The maximum levels of sulphites permitted in wines sold within the EU are 160mg/lt for red wine, 200mg/lt for white/rosé wine, and 400mg/lt for sweet wine.

How can I find a wine that’s low in sulphites?

Producers do not have to specify the actual level of sulphites in their wine on their labels, meaning they are of little help in finding which wines are the lowest in sulphites. For example, two white wines both labelled as containing sulphites could legally have sulphite concentrations of 10mg/lt and 200mg/lt respectively; a difference of 20 times the minimum amount. There are no hard and fast rules, but there are some general pointers which you may find helpful.Red wines, especially those rich in tannins, contain high levels of antioxidants and are therefore naturally more resistant to oxidation, requiring little or no added sulphites at bottling. Most producers will still add a small amount anyway, to ensure that the wine maintains its condition. White wines do not contain these antioxidants, and easily suffer discolouration or loss of freshness due to oxidation, and therefore require higher sulphite doses to keep them fresh. Sweet wines generally have much higher sulphite levels because their high sugar content makes them prone to bacterial spoilage or secondary fermentation. Sparkling wines may also have higher sulphite levels because they are often bottled with some yeast residue still present. As a general rule, wines produced in large volumes will have more added sulphites. Air exposure and yeast/microbes are harder to manage in volume production, and therefore the amounts of sulphites cannot be managed as finely. Many mass-market wines are also made with primary fruit flavours and fixed alcohol levels in mind, both of which may be managed using sulphites. Also, wines packaged in bag-in-box format, or shipped in bulk are more susceptible to air ingress and therefore benefit greatly from added sulphites to inhibit oxidation. This obviously suggests that cheaper wines will tend to have higher sulphite levels than premium or boutique wines, which is true to an extent. However, the mere fact that a wine is expensive is not a guarantee that it is low in sulphites.



New Wotw- Falkensteiner Hofberg Riesling 2008Date published: 25/09/14

Falkensteiner Hofberg Riesling 2008  Germany

Since 1561, viticulture has been practiced with the highest quality standards at Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium in Trier. Along 25 hectares of impressive steep slope sites in the Mosel and Saar valleys, Riesling grapes ripen to internationally recognised top quality.

________________________________________________


This came in as a special parcel and we are lucky enough to have some in store- Sweeter Rieslings are a fantastic way to step away from the usual wines and try something modern that has very historic roots.

________________________________________________

Light on the nose with lime zest and lanolin aromas. This wine is easy drinking with ripe citrus notes and a mouth-watering acidity.

Food Match: Perfect chilled on it's own or with a light salad.

Only £6.99


Brand new wines on the tasting counterDate published: 23/09/14

It's another great week to try something new at Majestic! #Montepulciano #Riesling #Rioja 

Wine of the week: Parrilla Malbec 2013Date published: 17/09/14

WINE OF THE WEEK

Parrilla Malbec, 2013, Vinalba Mendoza.

Made by Bodegas Fabre, makers of the original single-varietal Argentine Malbecs, this wine is sourced from mature vineyards in Valle de Uco.

50% of the wine has experienced french oak for 12 months, giving a fruity but complex wine.

Deep ruby in colour, the Parrilla presents aromas of blackcurrant and plum, with a light toast of oak. The tannins are light, with flavours of black pepper, blackcurrant and a touch of florality.

Perfect for matching with red meats or duck.

£8.99 when you buy two or more on the 33% offer.


New Wines from South Africa!Date published: 17/09/14

We have had a few new wines come in to store, in particular from South Africa. Here's a rundown of what is new in South Africa:

Fish Hoek Malbec 2014, Western Cape:

A dark ruby colour with purple flashes, this is a deeply fruit-driven wine that offers an abundance of ripe bramble, plum and black cherry fruit, with hints of smoky spice. Enjoy with char-grilled steaks. Only £5.99 when you buy any two wines from our Summer Selection. 

Trebuchet Red 2012, Western Cape:

Deep garnet-purple colour, offering flavours of of ripe blackberries and plums, accompanied by earth undertones. Firm tannins provide ample weight and structure, smoothed by gentle oak. Enjoy with rib eye steak. Only £6.66 when you buy any two wines from our Summer Selection.

Graham Beck Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Coastal Region:

Full of intense gooseberry and passion fruit flavour, offset by subtle notes of ripe figs, lemongrass and capsicum. Crisp, lively acidity and an enduring, stony finish. Partner with flavourful barbecued fish. Only £5.99 when you buy any two wines from our Summer Selection. 

Ondine Shiraz 2013, Western Cape:

A backbone of wild and black berries, with characteristic hints of cloves and other sweet spices. The tannins are weighty and abundant, yet soft and ripe in texture. Only £5.99 when you buy any two wines from our Summer Selection. 


My First Week at MajesticDate published: 13/09/14

My Majestic Career has begun with a very busy and exciting start. In my first week I have already had the chance to explore a great selection of wines on our tasting counter here at Stratford. Having tried the Prosecco Zonin I was pleasantly surprised. A great 'fizz' for a great price. Some more favourites from the tasting counter have to be the Vignoble Peyroli Chardonnay and the Eguia Rioja Gran Reserva. I look forward to continuing to explore wine and develop my knowledge further. I have particularly enjoyed exploring the wines on the tasting counter with our customers so thank you for a brilliant first week and here's to many more!!

Fizz-TasticDate published: 13/09/14

Everyone loves a spot of champagne, so why not treat your self.  Here are some of our favourites; all for £30 or under.

Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut NV Champagne 

Grape: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Produced in the Epernay region of Champagne, and dating back to 1811, Perrier Jouët consistently produces excellent Champagnes. The style is friendly and open, with a refreshing ripeness to the soft, appley fruit and a zesty mousse. Perfect with canapes. 

£24.99

Taittinger Brut Réserve NV Champagne

Grape: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

From Champagne's oldest cellars, this Champagne has peach and acacia notes on the nose, a citrus-fresh yet delicately honeyed palate, and a beautiful, elegant finish.

£27.99

Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial NV Champagne

Grape: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Perhaps the best known Champagne, the Brut Imperial from Moët embodies their house style: crisp and clean, this classic Champagne shows citrus aromas and hints of biscuity flavours. An excellent apéritif.

£28.98

Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne

Grape: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

From the maker of Cristal, a deliciously rich Champagne, with an overt fruitiness and nutty, yeasty notes. A long, complex and rewarding finish is a hallmark of the house style.

£29.98

Sparkling SaturdayDate published: 13/09/14

Come on down to Majestic and grab yourself a free glass of prosecco Zonin!  Bursting with green apple and citrus flavours, this prosecco is both a staff and customer favourite.  And for 2 weeks, its a steal at just £6.99.

Some other great wines under £7:

Gavi Montiero - £5.99

Pinot Grigio Breganze Rosato - £5.99 

Vina Eguia Crianza - £6.66

Codorníu Rosado NV Cava - £6.66



Krug - An outstanding Champagne for an extra special treatDate published: 03/07/14

Krug in Stock

We have just replenished our stocks of  Krug Grande Cuvee in store so we're exploring what makes this top shelf champagne so special. Krug's uncompromising and single-minded determination to produce the best Champagne is legendary, resulting in unquestionably one of the finest Champagnes in the world.

On the palate you get notes of toasted bread, hazelnut, nougat, citrus and jellied fruits, as well as hints of apple, blossom, almonds, marzipan, sweet spices, brioche and honey.

This wine is an extraordinary blend of over 120 wines from 10 different vintages, some of which may reach 15 years of age. Blending so many vintages gives Krug Grande Cuvee its unique fullness of flavours and aromas.

"All our anecdotes and stories influence our culture, stirring the senses and the heart. In the end, they carry us to where we want to go, to what we want to create: a hand-crafted exquisite Champagne that leaves no one indifferent." Oliver Krug, Sixth generation of the Krug family.

£140  £125


Useful tips for wedding planningDate published: 03/07/14

Wedding Wine Advice

Choosing the perfect wedding wines isn't as hard as you may think. The most important thing is to choose wines you and your partner both really enjoy and are good value.

It's often worth considering the corkage option when hiring a venue for a wedding – with Majestic's great range and prices you can often improve on the venue's house wines and save money. For example, if a house wine costs £17 a bottle but corkage would be £10 a bottle, you can spend up to £7 a bottle at Majestic – and almost certainly improve the quality of the wine you offer.

The team in your local Majestic are experienced at advising couples on wines to suit their tastes, their menu and their budget. We'd be happy to help point you in the direction of a few different whites, reds and sparkling to choose from.

 Call the Stratford team on 01789 299385

Provence spotlight tastingDate published: 03/07/14

Saturday 5th July 1-5pm

Mid-summer is Rosé time, and there is no more popular style at Majestic than the light, delicate rosés of Provence. So if you're already a fan, or you would like to give them a try then why not come along to our tasting event?

It is FREE and there will be some great rosés open to taste, just call 01789 299385 or email stf@majestic.co.uk to book your place


Interesting fact about MourvedreDate published: 03/07/14

The grape variety Mourvèdre, which has become so popular in the South of France, probably hails from over the border in Spain where it is know as Monastrell. In Australia it used to be called Mataro but is now often given its French name, either as a single variety or as part of a GSM blend. (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) It produces high alcohol, high tannin wines with gamey, animal flavours as well as intense blackberry fruit.

Offer alert...Bollinger Special Cuvée NVDate published: 14/04/14

Offer alert...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 £33.31 when you buy 2 or more save 33%, unit price £55.00

This offer runs out on April the 28th make sure you don't miss out...Call us on 01789 299385


Easter Opening HoursDate published: 12/04/14

The opening hours for the Easter weekend are as follows:

Friday 18th April - 10am - 8pm

Saturday 19th April - 9am - 7pm

Sunday 20th April - closed

Monday 21st April - 10am - 5pm


Wine Of the Week: Vinalba Reservado Malbec 2012Date published: 01/04/14

Vinalba Reserva Malbec 2012

Now Argentina's signature grape, Malbec originates from Bordeaux where it was historically used for producing inexpensive quaffing wines which often lacked flavour. When transported to the Southern hemisphere, it creates intensely flavoured, deeply coloured wines bursting with bramble fruits.

Altitude is the key to Argentinian Malbec, with producers competing to lay claim to the highest vineyards in the world. The cooler temperatures found there allow the grapes to benefit from longer hang-time without becoming overripe. Sited in the iconic Mendoza region, Vinalba are among the standard-bearers for Argentinian Malbec, with this offering winning a second Decanter Gold Medal in 2010.

Blackcurrant and bramble fruit demonstrate the essence of Malbec perfectly, with mocha and earth notes adding complexity. On the palate, the fruit is pleasingly obvious with integrated tannins adding just the right amount of structure.

Food match: Why mess with a classic match? It simply has to be a char-grilled lump of beef.

£11.99 per bottle or

BUY TWO AND SAVE 33.3% So only

£7.99 per bottle


New Wine of the Week: Paul Mas ViognierDate published: 19/03/14

Paul Mas Estate

Single Vineyard Collection

Viognier 2013

Paul Mas Estate Single Vineyard Collection wines come from Jean-Claude Mas's vineyards in the Languedoc region in the South of France. The 'Nicole vineyard' is situated within the dried salt water lake basin near Marseillette, drained in 1849 for agricultural use. This land is particularly suited to growing grapes. It is these 18 year old, non-grafted vines that are used to make this fresh, pure and aromatic wine.

Viognier makes up 100% of this wine, a grape that grows successfully in many regions across the world. Most famously in the Rhone Valley and in more recent years Southern Australia A small proportion of the wine that goes into this bottle is fermented in oak, this adds layers of complexity and character and produces a slightly softer Viognier.

A typical viognier with a notes of peaches & cream boiled sweets, vanilla dried apricot.

Food Match: Great on its own but try it with prawn green tie curry, served on a bed of crispy noodles

£9.99 or £6.66 when you buy 2 and save 33.3% 


Saturday KitchenDate published: 18/03/14

On Saturday Kitchen last weekend the Montagny Veilles Vignes Buxy 2010 was matched to a cod recipe by Paul Rankin.

This wine is a superb wine for £8.99 when you buy 2 or more.  In my opinion it is the best value white burgundy we do and for under £10 this is a real bargain.  This offers ripe lemon aromas, accompanied by subtle hints of white blossom. More refreshing citrus flavours on the palate and an elegant steely finish.

Excellent to either drink on its own or with shellfish.


Spring has sprung!Date published: 14/03/14

NEW ARRIVALS FOR SPRING!

El Patito Feo, Navarra - £6.99

Graciano grows brilliantly in Navarra, a region for so long in the shadow of Rioja. “The Ugly Duckling” is a fantastic fruity red if you like the stylr of Rioja but want a bit more freshness

Passimento, Pasqua - £8.99

A wonderful Italian red made by drying the grapes to concentrate their flavours. Perfect with some nice cheese, olives and salami!

El Rescatado Albarin, Tierra De Leon - £9.99

Not a mis-spelling! This isn't an Albarino! Albarin is an ancient, and almost extinct grape variety. Quite like Pinot Gris from Alsace with a spicy quality and Apricot fruits. An odd one to tick off the list of grape varieties you've tried!

Arrowfield Semillon, Hunter Valley - £6.99

A 6 year old white wine – should be past it's best right? Wrong! Hunter Valley Semillon is utterly fantastic with a few years bottle age! This is INCREDIBLE value for money! Do not miss out!

Yalumba Y-Series Cabernet, South Australia - £7.99

Classic Aussie Cabernet with ripe blackcurrant and leafy, eucalyptus notes. Hard to think of a better Cabernet for under a tenner.



Elaine's Supper of the Week Carpaccio of Beef with Rocket and ParmesanDate published: 13/03/14

Elaine's Supper of the Week

Carpaccio of Beef with Rocket and Parmesan

Firstly I should give out the health warning with this recipe: this recipe contains raw meat!! Its is a staple of the Italian restaurant menu and just goes to show that when the simple things are done well, it can be absolutely delicious. Match with the Poggioargentiera Morellino di Scansano at £9.99 for a wonderful supper or first course to a meal.

Take a 200g piece of fillet steak, preferably from the thinner end of the tail fillet. Using a very sharp knife, cut slices from the fillet as thin as you can: they should be wafer thin so that you can almost see through the piece. If you need to make it thinner, place the cut piece between two slices of clingfilm and batter with a rolling pin or meat mallet.

Place the pieces of beef in a thin layer on a large plate (they shouldn't overlap too much) and sprinkle with a couple of good handfuls of rocket leaves. Shave over around 100g of Parmesan, on top of the beef and rocket. Drizzle with the best extra virgin olive oil you can find and a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar. Easy.....simple....delicious....


Wines to match classic winter dishesDate published: 13/03/14

Steak and Ale Pie - This hearty dish should be enjoyed with an equally hearty and rich red such as an Argentinian Malbec or a big Aussie Shiraz.

Lamb Mousaka - Perfect with Rioja. The rich oaky vanilla notes in the wine stand up perfectly to the richness of the lamb yet is fruity enough to work perfectly with both the tomato based sauce in this dish.

Chicken and Dumplings - If it's white you're after than why not try a lightly oaked chardonnay to show off both the rich taste and texture of the dumplings whilst balancing the simplicity of the chicken with delicate and fresh citrus fruit.

Sausage Casserole - Fantastic combined with a medium/full weight Rhone blend with plenty of peppery spice in the background. 


Sherry should be for life not just for Christmas!Date published: 13/03/14

For quite a few decades now sherry seems to have been regarded as being unfashionable and labeled by many people as 'too sweet'.

In reality however sherry comes in a range of styles to suit all palates. It has extremely complex flavours which to me make it one of the most underrated and therefore best value products on the market.

The flavours of a dry sherry can range from a salty style which is perfect to accompany cured meats and olives, to nutty, dried fruit and burnt caramel flavours that match up well with rich, fatty foods such as pork and creamy cheeses.

The sweeter Pedro Ximinez style sherry then goes to the far extreme of tasting almost like an extremely concentrated raisin syrup. This can work extremely well dark chocolate, blue cheeses or as a topping for vanilla ice cream...Delicious!


Argentinian MalbecDate published: 13/03/14

Argentinian Malbec

The Malbec grape variety was first brought over to Argentina in 1850, when it was predominantly used for blending with several different grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It has since become the most planted grape variety in the country.

The Malbec grape will show regional differences in accordance with the changes in climactic conditions such as altitude.

Low altitude areas: these produce fuller bodied wines with greater hints of black fruit.

High altitude areas: these produce more elegant and silkier malbecs with less fruit influence and more floral aromas.

In Argentina there are 3 main growing areas for the Malbec grape. These are:

Mendoza Region: This region accounts for 70% of all wine produced in Argentina, and is one of the largest wine growing regions in the world. The climate is dry and almost desert like, and wine is influenced by both snow melting water for irrigation and high altitude due to the surrounding Andes Mountains and Argentine Pampas.

San Juan: This wine region is the second most important wine region of Argentina and is hotter and more arid than the Mendoza Region.

Rio Negro: This region is where some of the most high class wines from Argentina come from. The high winds, low rainfall and large diurnal range allow for high quality viticulture. In this region it is not dominated by altitude cooling but mostly latitudinal cooling.

TOP PICKS

Callia Bella Malbec 2013 San Juan – £5.99 

Light, fruity, relaxed, inviting and great value.

Catena Malbec 2011 Mendoza £12.99

Elegant, vanilla, spice, full bodied and warming.

Benegas Malbec 2011 Libertad Vineyards, Mendoza £16.99

Silky, luxurious, full bodied, lasting finish.


Producer Focus – Bodegas MugaDate published: 13/03/14

Producer Focus – Bodegas Muga


Producer Information

Bodegas Muga is located in the historical Barrio de La Estación (railway station district) in Haro. The facilities are two centuries old, built mainly of stone and oak. In fact, oak is paramount in the winery. There are 200 oak deposits as well as 14,000 barrels, made out of different types of European oak.

In Bodegas Muga wines you find both tradition and modernity side by side. They are an exact reflection of very specific climatic and geographic features, and that’s why they have a pronounced personality, or as the French would say, “terroir”.


Rioja Blanco 2013 Muga £9.99

Complex and toasted aromas with fresh, vibrant fruits give way to zesty lime, spicy and vanilla toasted oak flavours, fresh acidity, and a refreshing spicy finish.


Rioja Reserva 2009 Muga £14.99

An enticing and complex nose of pain grille, pencil lead, and blackberry leads into an elegant wine with layers of flavour, fruit and sweet-spice with ripe and integrated tannins and a lengthy finish.


Prada Enea 2005 Muga £30

The attack on the palate is powerful and unctuous, and in just a few seconds we have anintense, lasting feeling of plenitude. However, neither of these is the wine’s most surprising phase. There is a presence of acidity, but a pleasant one, with sweet, smooth tannins and an infinite mineral quality.


Web Exclusive: The Laurent Miquel Signature CaseDate published: 13/03/14

The Laurent Miquel Signature Case 6x75cl Bottles          £90.00

An exclusive mixed case of two single vineyard wines from one of the best wine makers in the Languedoc - Laurent Miquel. The Bardou Syrah has an intense, generous bouquet of complex red fruit and spices - superb with grilled meats. The Vérité Viognier is opulent and rich with well integrated oak. It has a lingering finish, pairing well with fine French cuisine such as grilled sea bass. 

We will be shipping direct from the winery to fulfil confirmed online orders only. The wines will be delivered to us direct from the winery at the beginning of April, so you can expect them to arrive with you mid-April.


Stella Chardonnay!Date published: 28/02/14

Stella Alpina Chardonnay 2012

Brand new to the Majestic range comes this harmonious and wonderfully rich Italian chardonnay. Golden in colour with an abundance of tropical fruit, this little gem will be perfect with Chicken breast stuffed with feta and a rich creamy sauce.

£9.33 as part of our fantastic Pick n Mix deal which is running for just one more week! 

Don't miss out!!!

Malbec 6 Day SpecialDate published: 26/02/14

Majestic Wine Stratford - Staff Picks from the

Malbec Week

Callia Malbec

£5.99*

An attractively deep purple wine, with an up-front and straightforward wild berry character, with hints of baking spices. Intense and generous on the palate, with plush tannins and good ripeness.

Alamos Malbec

£6.66*

Oozes dried raisiny fruit character, lots of blackberries, a full body and ripe sweet tannins. Simply perfect with roast beef. Ready to drink now and over the next 2-5.

Catena Malbec

£9.33*

Elegantly structured, and showing ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours, subtle vanilla and plenty of peppery spice. Balanced by firm tannins and crisp, refreshing acidity on the finish.

*When you buy two or more bottles.


Wine of the Week: Catena MalbecDate published: 26/02/14

Wine of the Week: Catena Malbec 2011 Mendoza

Throughout their 100 year history the Catena family has extensively researched soils and micro climates of the Mendoza region to find the best sites for the best clones of the Malbec grape.

Malbec is Argentina's signature grape and has increased in popularity markedly over the last two decades. It was, originally, a French grape, and is one of the six varieties permitted in the production of Bordeaux AC wines. It is also known as Auxerrois around Cahors and Pressac in other Southern French regions.

This complex wine is outstanding value, combining the full body and intense dark fruit typical of Malbec with notes of pepper and vanilla spice. With excellent structure and supple tannins balanced by refreshing acidity, this is essential in any wine rack.

Food match: What better than an Argentinian steak to take on this muscular wine?

£13.99

or save 33.3% as part of our February Pick 'n' Mix

£9.33


Wine of the Week: Gran VendemaDate published: 20/02/14

Wine of the Week - Rioja Crianza, Gran Vendema

Spain is capable of producing some of the worlds' greatest wines. Some of the most prestigeous producers can be found within the region of Rioja. This Crianza is from one of these big name Riojo Bodegas but has been exclusively relabled for Majestic making this wine a real bargain.

This wine is 100% Tempranillo. A widely planted variety throughout Northern Spain and the country's leading grape variety and comes under a range of names: Ull de Llebre, Cencibel and Tinto del Pais as well as Tinta Roriz. It ripens early and grows best on chalky soils. It can be light on tanins and so is often blended with other varities, however this particular example is 100% Tempranillo.

A classic youthful Rioja nose of red cherries and strawberries with a hint of vanilla. This follows through to the palate where a touhh of leather comes into the mix.

Food Match: Traditional roasted joint of British Lamb with all the trimmings coated in lashing of rich gravy

£5.99 as part of our February Pick n' Mix deal!

One Stop Party ShopDate published: 20/02/14

Are you thinking of having a party? If so, let us know as we can offer you plenty of advise on what and how much you will need. We can provide soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits, cider, lager, ice, chiller bins and glasses. We also offer a 'Sale-or-return' service so if you are left with boxes and boxes of unopened wine, coke, water and beer then we can refund you the money. The same goes for the chiller bins and glasses. Unfortunately the ice is non-refundable! (that was a joke). 

Our Glass hire is free, but we do ask for a 1 pound deposit for each glass which, if all glasses are returned clean, and in one piece we will refund. We offer Champagne flutes, medium wine glasses, pint glasses and high-ball glasses for gin and tonics etc. 

So what more could you want? Free Delivery? Well we can sort that out for you too as we deliver for free across the country. Each store has it's own area so if your party is in Cornwall, you probably won't be able to order through Stratford, but would have to arrange for the stock to come from the local Majestic store, all of which we would be more than happy to do for you. 

Give us ring on 01789 299385 or come in to the store and we will be more than happy to give you advice. 


Latest Online ParcelDate published: 19/02/14

If you receive our emails or went on to our website yesterday you may have seen we have just launched our latest web exclusive. 

Found in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand we have Delegat. A well established, well known family estate that has been producing amazing quality wine for 60 years. The vineyard produces brilliant reds  that our inspired but the style and quality of Bordeaux but with a New World twist.

There are two wines, both taken from 2009, a vintage which is one of the best of late.

First there is the Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend, bursting with lush black fruits, its vibrancy really shines through. Have this soft and velvety wine with steak or your weekend roast.

Secondly we have the single varietal Merlot, packed with ripe, juicy, dark fruit flavours and a full bodied richness; this wine is great with tomato pasta dishes and red meats.

Both of these wines work out at £41.94 for 6 bottles, that's only £6.99 a bottle! Snap up a great buy by going to http://www.majestic.co.uk/delegats-wine to place your order.


Perrier Jouet RoseDate published: 18/02/14

Cracking offer on Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé NV

An intense, luminous colour of salmon pink, with coppery highlights. Elegant aromas of raspberries, wild strawberries and rose petals are in abundance. This superb rosé can be enjoyed with fresh fruit desserts or on its own as an apéritif.

Currently £29.98 when you buy any 2 from our pick 'n' mix range save 33%, unit price £45.00*

Don't forget we deliver for free on orders on 6 bottles or more over £40. Call us on 01789 299385 to arrange.

Paul Mas RedsDate published: 17/02/14

Paul Mas 'Cabernet de Cabernet' £5.99 (down from £8.99)

This blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Cabernet Franc is in fact a mix of finished wines. Blackberry and roasted pepper characters sit well in a full-bodied, soft red with acres of character. Domaine Paul Mas combines mechanical harvesting with hand picking. The use of machines allows them to collect the largest amount of grapes at optimum ripeness. It also means that they can keep picking through the night to avoid the grapes oxidising in the heat of the day. 

Paul Mas Estate 'Gardemiel Vineyard' Malbec £6.66 (down from £9.99)

'Gardemiel' means 'the place where the honey is kept' and refers to a single vineyard plot located 200km from Malbec's birthplace in Cahors, this modern Malbec echoes both the Old World rusticity of Cahors, and the inky fruitiness found in the Malbecs of Argentina and the rest of the New World. This Malbec keeps its bright, ripe plum and blackberry fruit at the centre of the frame, with the edges softened by restrained use of new oak, and subtle herbaceous notes from the blend's 10% Cab Franc.

Paul Mas Estate Syrah Viognier 'Nicole Vineyard' £7.99 (down from £9.99)

This deep wine is a Languedoc interpretation of the famous Côte Rotie blend. Vinified by fermenting the Syrah with the 5% Viognier grapes already added for a more harmonious feel, with around a third of the wine then aged for 5 months in oak barrels before reblending. The Paul Mas Estate Single Vineyard Collection wines come from Jean Claude Mas's vinyards in the Languedoc Region in the south of France. The Nicole vinyard belongs to the Mas familly who has winemaking tradition of over 100 years. On the Herault valley hillsides the vines are planted on Chalky Clay soils producing very concentrate Syrah and Viognier. Blended together they make a silky smooth aromatic wine with rich and soft, very pure fruit. Dark redcurrant and blackcurrant fruit, the Viognier in this wine really stands out with its perfume qualities which give more elegance.


Brooklyn Brewery - A HistoryDate published: 14/02/14

Brooklyn Brewery is a microbrewery based in Brooklyn in New York City. It was started in 1987 by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter. Hindy learned to brew beer during a six-year stay in various Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia and Syria. Upon his return to his home in Brooklyn in 1984, he and Potter, his downstairs neighbor from Park Slope, quit their jobs and founded the brewery.

The pair hired graphic designer Milton Glaser, best known as the creator of the logo for the I Love New York campaign, to create the company logo and identity. Glaser received a share in the company in return.

Originally all their beer was brewed by contract by Matt Brewing Company, and the pair started their own distribution company and personally transported and marketed their beer to bars and retailers around New York City. In 1996, they acquired a former matzo factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and converted it into a functional brewery.

Although the brewery looked to expand its brewing capacity in the City, originally most of the production, including all Brooklyn Lager and all bottled products, were brewed by contract in the upstate New York city of Utica, due to the limited ability to meet demand at the Williamsburg brewery, its lack of a bottling line, and the cost benefits of contract brewing. The company later sought to expand its facilities in Brooklyn, but had difficulty finding a suitable site within the borough. However, an economic recession allowed them to remain in Williamsburg and undertake a $6.5 million expansion of the brewery in 2009.

Since 1994, Garrett Oliver has been the Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster. He had first been appointed brewmaster at the Manhattan Brewing Company of New York in 1993 where he began brewing professionally as an apprentice in 1989. In 2003 he published the book "The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food". Garrett has also been a judge at the Great American Beer Festival for eleven years.

This beer is currently on our craft beer offer £12.99 per 6 pack or buy any four 6 pack's and pay £9.99 per pack. That's £39.96 for 24 fantastic lagers!!!


Wither Hills Sauvignon BlancDate published: 13/02/14

Established as recently as 1994, Wither Hills has since become one of Marlborough's best-known wineries. Now owning vineyards spread right across the region, this Sauvignon is blended from a range of parcels, to provide a snapshot of the Marlborough region as a whole.

Alive with the intense aromas of gooseberry, guava and passionfruit. The palate is well balanced with mouth watering acidity and grapefruit flavours leading into a long finish of remarkable intensity.

Superb with goat's cheese, as well as fresh oysters

Price £9.99

Or buy 2 save 33%

£6.66


Our New Wine of the Week is...Date published: 12/02/14

...Côtes du Rhône, 2010E. Guigal

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.

In 2007, the release of the 2003 vintage of Guigal's "La La" wines set the record for most expensive release of any Rhone wine, with bottles retailing for as much as $800.

Robert Parker comments that "In the past 26 years I have spent visiting wineries and vignerons, I have never seen a producer so fanatical about quality as Marcel Guigal."

This densely coloured, full bodied red has a nose of blackbery and cassis and a full, rich palate. Great fruit flavours with hints of liquorice and some white pepper savouryness.

Food Match: A traditional French Beef Bavette

£11.99

Buy any two Feb Pick 'n' Mix wines and save 33%!

£7.99

Greywacke - back in stock!Date published: 05/02/14

You will want to move quickly on this one! We have limited supplies of Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc back in stock after a long absence, and it won't be here for long!

Greywacke is made by Kevin Judd, renowned for his previous success with Cloudy Bay. Pronounced "grey-wacky", it is named after the sedimentary rock that pervades the vineyard where the grapes for this wine are grown. As a result, the wine has a distinctly Sancerre feel.

Get it while you can!

Gavi-tastic!!Date published: 04/02/14

This little piece of Italian magic is our newest Gavi to the Majestic range. 

A crisp white wine made from the Cortese grape which is grown throughout the North of Italy. Gavi is a small town and winemaking sub-region in the South-East corner of Piedmont around 50km inland of the med. Piedmont translates as 'at the foot of the mountain' and another little fact, Piedmont has the largest area under vines in Italy for the production of DOC and DOCG wines, covering over 40 different appellations. Wow. 

A wine that would best match any seafood dish as it's stunningly crisp and zingy. On the palate you can enjoy notes of Lime, lemon zest and a beautiful hint of nettle which reminds me of my days spent outside lapping up the sun. I intend on drinking this on my next trip to Italy in a weeks time while taking a break from the slopes. 

A fantastic price at £7.99 a bottle when you buy two or more bottles of wine.

Majestic Wine Stratford - Staff Picks from the February Pick 'n' Mix...Date published: 04/02/14

Whites

Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay at just £7.99*

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc at just £6.66*

Errazuriz Chardonnay at just £6.66*

Ondine Sauvignon Blanc at just £5.99*

Reds

Errazuriz Carmenere at just £6.66*

Tournelles Voluptabilis at just £6.66*

Fizz

Graham Beck Brut at just £9.99*

Lindauer Special Reserve at just £9.99*

*Buy any 2 Pick 'n' Mix wines and save 33.3% - Minimum purchases of 6 bottles applies.


Our New Wine of the Week is...Date published: 04/02/14

...Passimento 2011, Pasqua

Brand new to the Majestic range, this wine is derrived from 'appassimento', 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 flavour!

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.

Enjoy immediately with slow-cooked red meat dishes.

£11.99 – buy 2 and save £6, making this just £8.99 per bottle!



Our New Wine of the Week is...Date published: 28/01/14

Rioja Blanco 'Antea', Barrel Fermented 2011/2012 Marqués de Cáceres


This is rich effort from Marqués de Cáceres, this Viura-dominated blend has a dash of Malvasia added and is aged on lees before maturation in new barrels. As soon as the oak integrates to a certain level the wine is removed as over-dominating oak is not desired. Soft citrus fruit and pear flavours mingle with the richer oak characters of spicy toastiness and a buttery character. An exceptional food partner that marries well with seafood, tuna, raw fish and even various types of cheese.

£11.99 – buy 2 wines and save £6, making this just £8.99 per bottle!


Our New Wine of the Week: Hamilton Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 CoonawarraDate published: 22/01/14

New to the Majestic range, this Cabernet is a typical example of Coonawarra's famous medium-bodied, intensely fruity and fragrant style. It comes from one of Leconfield's three mature vineyard blocks in Coonawarra, first planted in 1974, and has been matured with minimal oak contact.

Made in a deliberately fruit-forward style, offering inky blackcurrant and plum fruit, accented with hints of cedar and fresh leaves. Ripe and elegant, with long, soft tannins.

Enjoy immediately or cellar for 4-6 years to allow greater aromatic maturation.

£12.99 – buy any 2 wines of Australia and save 20%, making this just £10.39 per bottle!


Producer in Focus: Domaines Paul MasDate published: 17/01/14

Domaines Paul Mas

OWNED BY- The Mas family.

HERITAGE- Auguste Mas bought the first vineyard in 1892, close to Montagnac, taking over 9 ha of vines. His son, Raymond Mas, in 1934 grew the family vineyards to 15 ha. Paul and Maxime Mas, the sons of Raymond, developed further sites bringing the family vineyard plots to a total of 120 ha. In 1987, Paul Mas gave 35 ha over to his son, Jean-Claude. The estate now comprises 320 ha.

WHERE IS IT-Various sites across Southern France, centred on Pézenas.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Domaines Paul Mas is a regular award winner and you can see why – try their Vignes de Nicole Cab-Merlot, which won a silver medal in the 2013 Concours Géneral Agricole

Domaines Paul Mas wines are available across the globe in 45 countries

Jean-Claude Mas studied economics and advertisement, but could never escape from his love of wine, spending four years working in Bordeaux before returning to the family vineyards with pioneering ideas

Wine Selection

Vignes de Nicole Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot- #7wwr- Silky tannins, substantial fruit, need another glass!

Paul Mas Estate Carignan - #7wwr- Old vines, intense fruit, opens with time

Côté Mas Rouge - #7wwr- Smoky berries – feels like I'm in France...

Paul Mas Estate Marsanne - #7wwr- Exceptionally fragrant, a peach and apricot delight!


A New Cider Arrival...Date published: 16/01/14

Our latest cider has just been delivered from the depot. It is called Burrow Hill Cider and originates from Somerset

Burrow Hill Cider consistently rates as one of the best (and often the very best) cider in the UK. It features on the lists of many Michelin starred restaurants, and on the shelves of Harvey Nichols and Harrods. The owner, Julian Temperley has no interest in selling his cider through major supermarkets. 

All the apples are home grown on 160 acres of orchards, and are then pressed and blended in a very traditional, medium/dry style. In the world of increasingly commercial and flavoured ciders of varying quality and heritage – Burrow Hill Farm stands out for flying the flag of quality led, artisan cider and we are very pleased to offer it to you, our customers.

Available in an 8 x 500ml pack for £18. It will be available to taste on our Tasting Counter over the next week or so.

Wine of the Week: Mocha Java MerlotDate published: 15/01/14

Wine of the Week: Bellingham Mocha Java Merlot 2013 Coastal Region

Bellingham has been producing wine in the Western Cape of South Africa for over three hundred years. At Bellingham, they believe in intervening as little as possible in the growing of the grape. All of Bellingham's wines are designed with their texture principally in mind, and Mocha Java is no exception!

The grapes that make Mocha Java are all hand-harvested, a proportion of which are from low-yielding bush vines. These grapes make up a fruit-driven, cherry and plum wine, with particular thanks to the malolactic fermentation that softens the acid in the wine. Fermentation is completed in barrel, which emphasises the coffee aromas by interaction between wine and wood.

As the name suggests, this is a wine with more than a hint of freshly ground full roast coffee beans, supported by a plush plum and cherry fruit backbone.

Food match: Lambs shanks or any barbecued meat, or hefty tomato-based pasta dishes.

£8.99 – buy 2 save £3, £7.49 per bottle!


Brancott Sauvignon Blanc @ £6.99 per bottle.Date published: 09/01/14

On Tuesday we started a short term offer on Brancott Sauvignon Blanc. This classic Marlborugh Sauvignon is packed full of Gooseberry, Elderflower and Passionfruit: In short, it is classic Kiwi Savvy and shore to fly out of the door so make sure you head down and pick up a case or 2!

*6.99 when you buy 2 or more as part of a mixed case

Wine of the Week: Don Tiburcio BenegasDate published: 08/01/14

Don Tiburcio Benegas Malbec Blend 2007/2008

Mendoza, Argentina

Malbec originates from Bordeaux where it was historically used for producing inexpensive quaffing wines which often lacked flavour. When transported to the Southern hemisphere, it creates intensely flavoured, deeply coloured wines bursting with bramble fruits.

Federico Benegas Lynch, the owner of the estate and principal winemaker, has taken it a step further and created a Bordeaux blend with Malbec as the central component. Here, the full, rich Malbec meets the famous Claret grapes Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with nuance and character added by the Petit Verdot.

A deep red, almost purple, wine with potent bramble and forest fruit on the palate, verging on dried fruits. Formidable structure with mocha and vanilla spice from the ten months spent ageing in French oak.

Food match: Argentinian Malbec is a match made in heaven for roasted meats, especially if rubbed in spices. For a vegetarian option, try it with dishes with strong truffle or mushrooms flavours – it will be a magical combination and really enhance the wine's spice characteristics.

£11.99 per bottle or

Buy Two, Save £8 in the Majestic Bargain Hunt!

£7.99 per bottle

Wine of the Week: Casabel Vinho TintoDate published: 04/01/14

Casabel Vinho Tinto 2011 Lisboa

Find Casabel and other selected end-of-line wines in our Majestic Bargain Hunt for some excellent prices on some excellent wines!

Unlike the majority of Portuguese wines, Casabel comes from an area just to the north of Lisbon, in the region of Obidos.

The grapes that make up this wine are traditional local varieties, namely Aragones, Castelão and Tinta Miuda.

This is a wine made exceptionally carefully to achieve a fresh and vibrant character. The grapes are carefully de-stemmed in their entirety before being lightly crushed to achieve a smooth result. The wine is then matured for 6-8 months without oak, achieving a lighter, more fruit-driven style.

An interesting alternative to Côtes-du-Rhône, this Portuguese gem is full of forest fruit flavours with a hint of spice. A serious contender for seasoned roasted meats and stews.

£7.99 per bottle

Buy any two Bargain Hunt Wines save 33.3%

£5.32 per bottle


Bargain Hunt - Staff favourites. Date published: 03/01/14

Here at Majestic Stratford we love a good bargain. We are all excited about the start of the end of line bargain hunt, with 33.3% off a number of selected wines. 

Some of our favourites are:

Talinay Chardonnay from the Limari Valley in Chile down from £16.99 to £11.33

Cape Mentelle, sister winery of Cloudy Bay, produced in the Margaret River, reduced from £18.74 to £12.49

Casabel Vinho Tinto, a blend of native Portuguese grapes, reduced from £7.99 to £5.33.

Be sure to pop down and fill your trolleys with these and other great buys!

Wine of the Week: Château Le VivierDate published: 27/12/13

Wine of the Week: Château Le Vivier 2008 Médoc

Château Le Vivier's vineyard was once owned by Lafite-Rothschild until it was acquired by the Charoux family in 1990. It is sitated on top of the highest plateau in the Médoc.

With attention to sustainable agriculture, the limestone and clay-based soils that the Château's Cabernet and Merlot vines grow in produces rich and fruit-driven wines with minimal intervention.

The cellars built by the Charoux family are the largest found in the Médoc, and are known locally as “The Cathedral”. They were designed to house each vintage of Le Vivier until it becomes ready to drink.

This is a plummy, wild berry wine with developed tannins in pleasant contrast. With the unusual distinction of having been matured in both American and French oak, liqourice and spice notes offset the brambly backbone. Like any Claret, Le Vivier begs to be paired with roast beef!

£11.99

Buy 2 save £8

£7.99


Opening Hours Over ChristmasDate published: 23/12/13

Our opening hours over the Christmas period are:

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

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

Christmas Wine of the Week: Viña Ardanza 2004Date published: 18/12/13

Christmas Wine of the Week: Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2004 La Rioja Alta

From one of the most sought after vineyards in the prestigious D.O.C region of Rioja in northern Spain comes this complex and intriguing wine which is named after one of the regions founding fathers.

The Rioja Alta lies west of the city of Logroño and just south of the River Ebro. The predominant red grape variety here is Tempranillo which lends itself well to the distinctive, iron rich reddish tinted clay soils. With only superior quality grapes being sourced, Reservas must spend a minimum of three years in cask and bottle, at least one of which must be in oak. The 2004 vintage ranks up there as one of the very best in recent years. This pedigree shines through in a wine that is complex and elegant with an abundance of multi-layered flavours.

Fresh red fruits greet the palate which then develop seamlessly into more complex and perfumed secondary notes of earthy spices and vanilla. Silky smooth tannins help endow this wine with an elegant structure and an impressive length.

Food Match: Whilst lamb is often the classic match for a Rioja, try pairing this with roasted poultry, like your turkey or goose for Christmas!

£23.50 or Buy 2 selected fine wines

save £10, £18.50


Our New Wine of the Week: Portillo Malbec, SalenteinDate published: 17/12/13

Portillo is Salentein's entry-level range and since 2011 it has become Argentina's first wine to certify its carbon footprint. Salentein's 2,000ha estate and winery has a commitment to the environment. Only 700ha are planted to vines, which are farmed sustainably, and the estate stretches for 22km, at altitudes ranging from 1,050m to 1,550m.

Chief winemaker Jose Pepe Galante, formerly of Catena, displayed impeccable timing when he joined Salentein in 2010. Last year, the producer was awarded a Gold decanter award with its Reserve Malbec 2008 and in 2011 the Portillo Malbec won the ultimate accolade of best Argentine red single varietal under £10. This wine succeeded with its fragrant aromas and vibrant palate, cleverly expressing a modern style of Argentinian Malbec.

On the nose, heaps of earthy bramble fruit, with a slight floral character offset by attractive oak.

In the mouth it is full bodied and warm, with bags of blackberry and whispers of liquorice. Bound together by soft round tannin, good length and enough acidity to balance everything beautifully.

Food Match – Rare Argentinian steak with hand cut chips.

£9.99

Buy 2 and save £6

£6.99


Producer In Focus: Vina ErrazurizDate published: 13/12/13

Vina Errazuriz

OWNED BY- The Errazuriz Family

LOCATION - Aconcagua Valley

HERITAGE - Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870 in the Aconcagua Valley, 100 kms North of the capital, Santiago. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard.

PHILOSOPHY - Errazuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine”.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Average rainfall is 9.8 inches, about a quarter of the rainfall in Bordeaux.

The cooling influence of the Pacific means the grapes ripen 2-3 weeks later than other regions, enhancing flavour, intensity and concentration.

Irrigation is vital in the Aconcagua Valley, using the snowmelt from the Andes as the supply of fresh water.

Wine Selection

Wild Ferment Pinot Noir - #7wordwinereview- Plenty of body, rich smoke and spice!

Estate Reserva Chardonnay - #7wordwinereview- Like drinking peaches and cream, really summery!

Max Reserva Merlot - #7wordwinereview- Juicy dark berries, smooth fruit compote palate! 


Delivery for ChristmasDate published: 12/12/13

You may have noticed that the date for guaranteed delivery by Christmas (Monday 16th December) is creeping nearer - but do not fret! We will be delivering up to Christmas Eve, so do not hesitate to get in touch to see if we can get your all-important Christmas wine out to you in time for the big day!

Producer In Focus: Vina ErrazurizDate published: 12/12/13

OWNED BY- The Errazuriz Family

LOCATION - Aconcagua Valley

HERITAGE - Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870 in the Aconcagua Valley, 100 kms North of the capital, Santiago. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard.

PHILOSOPHY - Errazuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine”.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Average rainfall is 9.8 inches, about a quarter of the rainfall in Bordeaux.

The cooling influence of the Pacific means the grapes ripen 2-3 weeks later than other regions, enhancing flavour, intensity and concentration.

Irrigation is vital in the Aconcagua Valley, using the snowmelt from the Andes as the supply of fresh water.

Wine Selection

Wild Ferment Chardonnay - #7wordwinereview- Wild yeasts, tamed by a Chicken dinner !

Estate Sauvignon - #7wordwinereview- Grassy, Herbaceous, great alternative to Kiwi Sauvignon!

Estate Carmenere - #7wordwinereview- Damson, Plum, Tobacco. A rich, winter treat! 


Our New Wine of the Week: Château Chantalouette, Pomerol, 2007Date published: 11/12/13

This is the second wine of Château de Sales, and comes from the same vineyard estate. Château de Sales is the largest and highest estate in Pomerol and has been in family ownership for over five hundred years. 30-year-old vines planted on the western edge of the Pomerol appellation on limestone and clay soils. All grapes are hand harvested before being aged in oak barriques.

Each vintage, after fermentation is complete, various vats are selected for Chantalouette, which is created as is a softer, earlier-to-mature version of the De Sales blend.

A bright and inviting claret, with a nose of ripe black fruit and subtle hints of earth and forest floor. The mouth-feel is round and supple, yet enduring and possessing a pleasing complexity.

Like any Claret, this wine begs to be paired with roast beef or with a selection of firm, full-flavoured cheeses!

£19.99...

...but buy any 2 selected Fine Wines and save £10 making this just

£14.99


Don't Forget - English Sparkling Tasting!Date published: 10/12/13

Christmas is a time for celebration and sparkling wine - but why not forego the usual Champagne but keep the quality?

This weekend in Majestic Stratford-upon-Avon we will be opening a selection of English sparkling wines for you to sample, which we think are just as good, if not better than, any Champagne at the same price!

Come in this Saturday to sample our sparkling selection!

This weekend - English Sparkling!Date published: 10/12/13

Get yourself into store this weekend to have a taste of some unusually local bubbles...

England is providing some top notch, excellent value sparklings these days, so come in and give these a go.

We will have wines from both Nyetimber and Chapel Down open to try on the tasting counter - each exceptional in their own way and a real delight to pop open over Christmas!

So come in this Saturday (14th Dec) before it's all gone!

Our Top Pick for Christmas Lunch!Date published: 08/12/13

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2004 - The Wine for Every Christmas Table!

With different demands coming from every side of the dinner table - someone doesn't like chicken, another will only eat a certain kind of stuffing - you need a wine that will go with everything you are painstakingly putting together.

Enter Viña Ardanza! A wine with floods of fruit flavours (to match your cranberry sauce) and just enough oak to to lend structure and spice capable of standing up to all kinds of stuffing and enhancing whatever meat or poultry you have selected for the big day!

£18.50 when you buy two or more

Home Delivery over ChristmasDate published: 07/12/13

As we head into the busy Christmas period, we are eager to make things as easy as possible for you! If you choose to have your wine delivered to your house, we will aim to get it out to you in just a few days.

So you aren't stuck at home waiting for us to arrive, any details on a place we can leave your delivery if you are not in would be extremely helpful. Then we can unite you and your wine as quickly as possible!

Producer in Focus: Kangarilla RoadDate published: 06/12/13

Producer in Focus: Kangarilla Road

OWNED BY- Helen and Kevin O'Brien

LOCATION- In the McLaren Ranges, a few kilometres from the McLaren Vale township

HERITAGE- The winery was established in 1997 on the Kangarilla Road, which leads to the small town of Kangarilla, a word from the local Kaurna dialect meaning “place of two springs”. While Kevin has 20 years' experience as an oenologist , Helen has done extensive work in PR and promotions.

PHILOSOPHY- To make wines that show finesse, balance and integrity of their variety and vineyard, without compromising their intensity, structure and the region's natural generosity.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Viticulture was one of the first industries in the Kangarilla area since the town was originally settled in 1840.

The wines of McLaren Vale are full-bodied and sumptuous, with rich, smooth tannins and an intense concentration of fruit.

To stamp their own mark on the wines of McLaren Vale, Kangarilla Road uses sustainable viticulture including organic and biodynamic methods.

Wine Selection

Kangarilla Road Chardonnay - #7wordwinereview- Fragrant and aromatic, balanced with crisp acidity

Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon - #7wordwinereview- Generous black berry body with surprising freshness

The Ned at £6.99!Date published: 05/12/13

Everyone' favourite Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc is back and at the amazing price of £6.99 a bottle!

Perfect for any parties you're having over the Christmas period, this wine is just as good on its own as it is with fresh salads, seafood and buffet food - the ideal all-rounder!

Christmas Opening HoursDate published: 04/12/13

It can be a struggle to get everything done in time for Christmas, so to make things easier for you, have a look at our extended opening hours over December:

Mon 9th-Fri 13th: 09.00-20.00

Sat 14th: 09.00-19.00

Sun 15th: 10.00-17.00

Mon 16th-Fri 20th: 09.00-20.00

Sat 21st: 09.00-20.00

Sun 22nd: 10.00-17.00

Mon 23rd: 09.00-20.00

Tue 24th: 09.00-17.00

Christmas Day & Boxing Day: CLOSED

Fri 27th: 10.00-20.00

Sat 28th: 09.00-19.00

Sun 29th: 10.00-17.00

Mon 30th: 10.00-19.00

Tue 31st: 10.00-17.00

Wed 1st Jan: CLOSED

Thu 2nd-Fri 3rd Jan: 10.00-20.00

Sat 4th Jan: 09.00-19.00

Sun 5th Jan: 10.00-17.00

New wine of the weekDate published: 03/12/13

The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2011 Jim Barry, Clare Valley


The first qualified winemaker to move to the Clare Valley, the late Jim Barry's estate now totals over 200 hectares in this superb wine-growing region. The first time that Jim Barry walked on the soils of Lodge Hill he knew it was a special place. At 480 Metres the Lodge Hill is one of the highest points in the valley. Jim's initial plan was to devote the entire plot to Riesling however while exploring the soil with his trusty shovel he found the soil on the North facing slope was warmer than the rest of the property and therefore the land was perfect for growing Shiraz.

__________________________________________

This wine has a deep black colour with a magenta hue, aromatically it offers vibrant notes of blueberry and dark cherry. On the palate the tastes of cherry and blackberry are apparent, this is delicately built with fine, lingering tannins, wrapped up in integrated, well seasoned oak.

__________________________________________

Food Match: This wine works very well with grilled meats, lasagne and casserole and is a perfect partner to your Christmas turkey.

£14.99 or buy any two Australian wines and get the Jim Barry Shiraz for £11.99!


Spotlight on ChristmasDate published: 03/12/13

Don't miss our upcoming Spotlight Tasting on the the wines that are classic matches to your Christmas dinner. We've picked a few treats that will really make your family smile so book your place on either our 12am or 3pm session to learn a little bit about them in a relaxed and informal setting. Spaces are limited so call us on 01789299385 or email stf@majestic.co.uk to reserve your spot.

Producer In Focus: La GrilleDate published: 29/11/13

La Grille

OWNED BY- Charles and Philippa Sydney

LOCATION- The Loire

HERITAGE- Over the last twenty years, Charles and Philippa Sydney have been working as wine brokers with growers all along the Loire valley and also with a team of talented wine makers in order to produce a wide range of good quality, distinctive, reliable wines.

PHILOSOPHY- La Grille wines were created to offer a fun, tasty and trustworthy introduction to the wines of the Loire, while respecting the health of the land and workers.

WINEMAKER FACTS

La Grille actively promote sustainable viticulture. What does this mean? If there is a problem, treat it with the most effective and least damaging product available, whether man-made or organic

The climate of the region is marginal, making really fresh, fruity wines when handled carefully

La Grille wines are marked with the sub-region where it is well-known, e.g. Vouvray, but is otherwise marked with the grape where it is better known, e.g. Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Selection

La Grille Pinot Noir- #7wordwinereview- “Lightly chill for an alternative to Beaujolais”

La Grille Chenin Blanc- #7wordwinereview- “Hints of pear drop and sour sweets”

La Grille Sauvignon Blanc- #7wordwinereview- “Crisp and dry with a gooseberry tang”


Wine of the Week: Puy de Dome ChardonnayDate published: 27/11/13

Saint Roch de Chadeleuf – Chardonnay

IGP Puy-de-Dôme

2011

The Auvergne, the region in which this Chardonnay is made, is a remote and wild area of France, often referred to as its “green lung”.

The volcanic rock that also give rise to Volvic mineral water, is famously impermeable and was used to make the Plaques Michelin that graced the autoroutes of France. These, too, are the inspiration for the label of this wine.

White grapes are rarely grown in the Auvergne, but the grapes for this wine are taken from the finest parcels of land that the Cave has to offer, some as high in altitude as 570m.

All of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and is rested on its lees for nine months before bottling, softening the acidity and adding a yeasty flavour to the underlying minerality. With no oak aging, there is a freshness of lemony citrus with white stone fruit notes on the finish. Try with white fish to enjoy this wine at its best!

£11.99

Buy 2 from the Pick and Mix save 33.3%

£7.99


Wine of the Week: Puy de Dome ChardonnayDate published: 27/11/13

Saint Roch de Chadeleuf – Chardonnay

IGP Puy-de-Dôme

2011

The Auvergne, the region in which this Chardonnay is made, is a remote and wild area of France, often referred to as its “green lung”.

The volcanic rock that also give rise to Volvic mineral water, is famously impermeable and was used to make the Plaques Michelin that graced the autoroutes of France. These, too, are the inspiration for the label of this wine.

White grapes are rarely grown in the Auvergne, but the grapes for this wine are taken from the finest parcels of land that the Cave has to offer, some as high in altitude as 570m.

All of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and is rested on its lees for nine months before bottling, softening the acidity and adding a yeasty flavour to the underlying minerality. With no oak aging, there is a freshness of lemony citrus with white stone fruit notes on the finish. Try with white fish to enjoy this wine at its best!

£11.99

Buy 2 save £8

£7.99

Producer in Focus: Graham BeckDate published: 22/11/13

Graham Beck

OWNED BY- The Beck Family

LOCATION - Madeba, the Becks' Robertson Estate is in the Breede River Valley, with the farm located on Route 62, a meandering country road through the landscape of the Western Cape.

HERITAGE - The founder of the winery, Graham Beck, died on 27 July 2010 at the age of 80. He bought Madeba in 1983, installing a first rate cellar and tasting house. Having studied commerce at the University of Cape Town Beck spread out into various businesses, including home renovation, coal mining and horses. The Beck family are still great supporters of industry in South Africa.

PHILOSOPHY - Great wine is made in the vineyard. Focus on getting the basics right the first time.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Teamwork is essential to the Graham Beck winemakers, and they have chosen two quotes to demonstrate this:

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford

The first Graham Beck sparkling non-vintage was released in 1993, improving over the years thanks to improvements in the winery, vineyard and cellar, but always with an aim of elegance and finesse

Wine Selection

Graham Beck NV - #7wordwinereview- Champagne yeasty, lemon zesty Western Cape sparkles

Graham Beck Rosé NV - #7wordwinereview- Bright fizzy cherry and vibrant summer fruits

Graham Beck Antony's Yard - #7wordwinereview- Bordeaux Blend with a South African twist

Wine of the Week: Nicolas Potel Chardonnay 2011Date published: 20/11/13

Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Chardonnay 2011

Maison Nicolas Potel sources grapes from across the Burgundy region. Maison Nicolas Potel is a respected name in Burgundy, the Potel family having previously owned the prestigious Domaine de la Pousse d'Or in Volnay.

The hallmark of Potel wines has been to create something that was a valid representation of its terroir and its vintage, while still providing excellent value.

This Chardonnay is made from a blend of grapes from different sites across Burgundy, from Mâcon, to the Côte Chalonnaise and the Côte d'Or.

This is a Chardonnay after the style of Chablis. No oak has been used, rather, the wine is fermented in stainless steel casks, preserving the fresh citrus flavours and stony minerality. A smooth almond finish lends this wine some very affordable complexity! Excellent with chicken, but do also try it with pâté for a match made in heaven!

£12.99 or buy 2 save 1/3

£8.66

Spotlight on Rhone and BordeauxDate published: 19/11/13

Don't miss our upcoming Spotlight Tasting on the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. These 2 classic French regions are sure to be popular as we head into Christmas so book your place on either our 12am or 3pm session to learn a little bit about them in a relaxed and informal setting. Spaces are limited so call us on 01789299385 or email stf@majestic.co.uk to reserve your spot.

November Mix 'n' Match UpdateDate published: 18/11/13

Now that we're half way through November and our fantastic Mix 'n' Match offer we thought we should fill you in on some of our highlights and remind you that you have until Monday 2nd December to make the most of these great deals!

Staff Picks

James C - Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel £7.33 - A classic example of how good Zinfandel can be when left in the right hands and what better hands than the self styled 'King of Zin' Joel Peterson!

James McF - Tucumen Malbec £7.33 - I love Malbec and this offer jumped out at me so much that I made it my first Wine of the Week when I joined the team here at Majestic Stratford.

Sophie - Chateau Berliquet 2006 £19.99 - I'm a sucker for the finer things in life and this Grand Cru Classe St Emillion from a drinkers vintage ticks all the boxes and is sure to be on tables across Warwickshire this Christmas!

James C - Kings Favour Sauvignon £9.33 - I may be new to Majestic but anyone can see the sheer finesse and elegance that this Kiwi Sauvignon has to offer. A real contrast to the passion fruit and elder flower blockbusters that you first think of from Marlborough. 

*all prices are in effect when buying 2 or more wines from the Mix 'n' Match promotion as part of a mixed case.

Producer In Focus: YalumbaDate published: 15/11/13

Yalumba

OWNED BY- The Smith Family

HERITAGE- Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant and English brewer, who had brought his family to Angaston seeking a new life. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch "Yalumba" – aboriginal for "all the land around".

WHERE IS IT- Main plantings in Barossa and Coonawarra.

THE FUTURE...Soon look out for crisp, dry whites made from other Mediterranean grapes, such as Vermentino and Fiano, and in a few years Sauvignon-Blanc style whites made from the drought tolerant Verdejo.

WINEMAKER FACTS

The first screw-cap used at Yalumba was the Stelcap in 1970.

Some of their vines have been thriving for over 70 years.

'Yalumba' translates as 'the land all around'.

Wine Selection

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache- #7wordwinereview- “Smokey, like Guy Fawkes eating a blueberry”

Yalumba 'Y' series Viogner- #7wordwinereview- “Egg custard, Peach Melba, in liquid form”

Oxford Landing Estates Sauvignon Blanc- #7wordwinereview- “Bet you didn't know this was Yalumba!”


NEW: Pedro's Almacenista SelectionDate published: 14/11/13

Pedro’s Almacenista Selection

We are proud to introduce a fresh and innovative new Sherry range which consists of the following:

Pedro’s Fino £8.99

Pedro’s Amontillado £9.99

Pedro’s Olorosso £11.99

Pedro’s Palo Cortado £14.99

The Sherries come from small, boutique, family-owned cellars (called Almacenista's in Jerez) and carry a greater degree of weight and complexity than you will find in more mainstream Sherry at similar prices. For example, 20% of the Fino blend is from an aged Fino solera (average age around 15-20 years), which gives it impressive extra depth. 

The conception of these Sherries is in no small way down to our relationship with Pedro Dauthieu who is a local man that helped us bring the whole concept together. In fact, he proved such an invaluable asset that we decided to name the range after him. Pedro knows everyone in Jerez. He is a one-man Sherry institution with contacts in every bodega, bar and restaurant in the city.

The labels are a selection of vintage posters from the September Jerez festival, taken from the 50's and 60's; they are as authentic as the wine inside and really reflect the vibrancy and enjoyment that good Sherry can bring!

New Snacks for Nights InDate published: 13/11/13

You may have noticed we've had a bit of a hiatus on the snack front here in Stratford. Well, worry not! We're back in the snack business!

We've now got a range of the super-good-value Pipers Crisps in stock - proper crisps, made by proper farmers at only £1.33 a bag (when you buy two or more, £1.99 single packet price).

We'll have some open at our Winter Wine Evening tonight if you want to give them a go, but at the price, they're worth a punt at any time!

A New Beer Arrival...Date published: 13/11/13

I'd like to introduce you to a new craft beer we have started to stock here at Majestic Wine in Stratford Upon Avon. Welcome to Punk IPA from BrewDog. A heavily, but stylishly hopped (twice) India Pale Ale 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.

Punk IPA is available by the case - 6x330ml cans. They are £12.99 per case or buy any 4 cases of selected craft beer and save £12, making each just £9.99!


Wine of the Week: Chateau Le Vivier 2008Date published: 13/11/13

Château Le Vivier 2008 Médoc

Château Le Vivier's vineyard was once owned by Lafite-Rothschild until it was acquired by the Charoux family in 1990. It is sitated on top of the highest plateau in the Médoc.

With attention to sustainable agriculture, the limestone and clay-based soils that the Château's Cabernet and Merlot vines grow in produces rich and fruit-driven wines with minimal intervention.

The cellars built by the Charoux family are the largest found in the Médoc, and are known locally as “The Cathedral”. They were designed to house each vintage of Le Vivier until it becomes ready to drink.

This is a plummy, wild berry wine with developed tannins in pleasant contrast. With the unusual distinction of having been matured in both American and French oak, liqourice and spice notes offset the brambly backbone. Like any Claret, Le Vivier begs to be paired with roast beef!

£11.99

Buy 2 save £8

£7.99


New Grape To GlassDate published: 12/11/13

Today we launch the winter edition of our fantastic in house magazine 'Grape to Glass'. As ever it is packed full of articles, interviews, recommendations, staff picks and recipes. Yours should arrive through the post this week but if you aren't a regular customer and would like one then feel free to drop us a line on 01789 299385 or stf@majestic.co.uk and we'll pop one in the post to you.

Veuve Clicquot NV at £29.99Date published: 11/11/13

Christmas has come early at Majestic Stratford as we are able to offer the ever popular Veuve Clicquot NV at only £29.99 per bottle as part of our November  Pick 'n' Mix offer. With ageing of nearly twice the required time, this excellent non vintage is able to marry freshness and power with rich fruit to achieve a truly iconic Champagne!! Get it while stocks last.

Producer In Focus: Vina MontesDate published: 08/11/13

Vina Montes

FOUNDED IN: 1987 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand

LOCATION: Plots all over Chile with a Winery in Colchagua

HERITAGE AND PHILOSOPHY: Originally called Discover Wines, Montes began with the vision of creating Premium quality wines which didn't exist at that time. There identity has been defined by the qualities of the founding members of Montes and it is this passion, commitment and knowledge which still powers the winery today

WINEMAKER FACTS

The now iconic Super Premium Carmenere called Purple Angel was first made in 2005 and is a blend of grapes from Colchagua and Marchigue

Vineyard Management is paramount at Montes with Aurelio Montes maintaining that '80% of good wine comes from the vineyard and 20% comes from the cellar

Since day one Montes have been concerned with sustainability and the environment and this has lead to them being officially recognised by the Global Reporting Initiative, a non-profit organisation that evaluates companies on their global sustainability

Wine Selection

Montes Reserva Malbec 2012 - #7wordwinereview – A hedgerow bonfire, smoke over bramble fruits

Montes Alpha Merlot 2011 - #7wordwinereview – Chile's first Premium wine. Still stands out

Winter Wine Evening WinesDate published: 06/11/13

With a week to go we've bashed some heads together and picked the wines for our upcoming Winter Wine Evening and we thought you might like it if we whet your appetite by letting you see what you're in for when you join us from 6.30 on Wednesday 13th.

Prosecco Zonin

Torres Vina Sol 

Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 

Puy de Dome Chardonnay

Geyser Peak Chardonnay *NEW*

Salice Salentino Vereto *NEW*

Rioja Reserva Vina Eguia 

Chateau Coufran *NEW*

Cousino-Macul Cabernet Sauvignon *NEW*

Yalumba 'The Scribbler' £11.99 *NEW

Wine of the Week: E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2010Date published: 06/11/13

Côtes du Rhône, 2010

E. Guigal

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.

In 2007, the release of the 2003 vintage of Guigal's "La La" wines set the record for most expensive release of any Rhone wine, with bottles retailing for as much as $800.

Robert Parker comments that "In the past 26 years I have spent visiting wineries and vignerons, I have never seen a producer so fanatical about quality as Marcel Guigal."

This densely coloured, full bodied red has a nose of blackbery and cassis and a full, rich palate. Great fruit flavours with hints of liquorice and some white pepper savouryness.

Food Match: A traditional French Beef Bavette

£9.99

Buy two, save 20%!

£7.99


Producer In Focus: Maison Louis JadotDate published: 31/10/13

Maison Louis Jadot

OWNED BY- The Jadot family. Pierre-Henry Gagey is the current President.

HERITAGE- Maison Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 by the Louis Henri Denis Jadot, but their winemaking history stretches back further, to 1826, when the Jadot family purchased their first plot of land, “Clos des Ursules”. As his family came from Belgium, Jadot expanded their market into northern Europe, and his successor, Louis Auguste Jadot, took further steps, entering the UK and US markets.

WHERE IS IT-Various sites across Burgundy

WINEMAKER FACTS

Maison Louis Jadot has 270 hectares of land in Burgundy and only produces AOC wines

Their Château des Jacques, while marketed as a Bourgogne, could be regarded as a white Beaujolais, as the grapes are grown in Moulin-à-Vent

Maison Jadot is responsible for one fifth of the production of Pouilly Fuissé

Wine Selection

Beaune Premier Cru 2010- #7wwr- savoury, woody spice balancing intense juicy redcurrant £20 when you buy 2 bottles of selected fine wines.

Château des Jacques 2009 - #7wwr- Toasty oak and ripe peach – amazing value! £10.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

Mâcon Villages 2011 - #7wwr- Fresh, crisp, vibrant apple and pear flavours £7.99 when you buy 2 bottles. 


November Offers - So Much to Choose From!Date published: 29/10/13

Have you noticed our November offers? We're knocking the price down on Fizz, Old World and New World, Reds and Whites... In fact, there are so many I can't write them all down here - you will have to come in and see them for yourself!

Cantina Negrar Amarone on the Tasting Counter!Date published: 26/10/13

For the final weekend of October we have a treat for you...

Cantina Negrar's Amarone is open to try on the tasting counter!

Amarone is famous for deep, full-bodied wines with volumes of dark fruit. Cantina Negrar's example complements this with Christmas cake flavours of cinnamon, spice and ripe berry fruits.

Come in and give it a go!

£18 when you buy two selected fine wines

Producer in Focus: Bodegas MurielDate published: 25/10/13

Producer in Focus: Bodegas Muriel

OWNED BY- Founded in 1986 by Julián Murua.

LOCATION - Rioja Alavesa in Elciego, Northern Spain.

HERITAGE - A relatively young company founded only 27 years ago after Julián Murua recovered his parents wine cellar (dates back to 1926) to begin producing wines with the Rioja Appellation Controllee. The site is now 22,000 square metres in size.

WINEMAKER FACTS

The wines produced by Bodegas Muriel offer exceptional quality and great value for money. They strive to improve and maintain a high standard of excellence.

Eguia is one of the wines that Bodegas Muriel produce, Eguia is a neighbourhood in San Sebastian, covering about 117 hectares.

Wine Selection

Vina Eguia Reserva 2008- #7wordwinereview – A nose full of cedar and spices

Muriel Gran Reserva 2004 - #7wordwinereview – Mature fruit complemented by leather and tobacco


Wine of the Week: L'Instant Passion Sauvignon BlancDate published: 24/10/13

Rigal Instant Passion Sauvignon Blanc

This wine comes from Côtes de Gascogne in the South-West France region, it is carefully selected from several vineyards across Gascony. Although there is most certainly passion that goes into the making of this wine the name actually refers to passion fruit, one of the noted characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc.

Côtes de Gascogne has a similar climate to Bordeaux in that it is a moderate maritime climate, although being further away from the Atlantic Ocean results in less rainfall.

Rigal was established in Cahors in 1755 and has been developing its expertise ever since. They seek to establish and maintain tradition, authenticity and quality through all their wines.

Rigal specialise in Malbec, which has since risen to great fame in Argentina. If you are looking for an alternative to New Zealand Sauvignon, then similarly, this is a wonderful alternative. An excellent aperitif, this wine is also at its best with simple seafood dishes

£8.99 Buy two or more save £3, £7.49

Producer in Focus: Wakefield EstateDate published: 19/10/13

Wakefield Estate

OWNED BY- Mitchell, Justin, Clinton and Bill Taylor

HERITAGE- Originally founded by Bill Taylor (Snr) and his sons Bill and John in 1969 on a 178 Hectare site in the Clare Valley. The combination of climate (hot during the day, cold at night) and soil type Terra Rosa proved to make excellent quality wines.

WHERE IS IT- Clare Valley is situated in the northern Mount Lofty ranges in South Australia.

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY-“Bringing great wines to life”

WINEMAKER FACTS

The family run company logo bears three seahorses which is the result of finding fossilised seahorses in the limestones beneath the vineyard.

The first vintage to be entered into the Royal Adelaide Wine Show won the Montgomery Trophy for best red.  

To date Wakefield Estate wines has won 3900 medals including 48 trophies, 437 Gold and 1023 Silver medals.

Wine Selection

Wakefield Shiraz 2010- #7wwr- Rich, sweetly spiced with cinnamon and vanilla.

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2010/2012- #7wwr- Intense cassis and redcurrant hints of herbs.

Wakefield Chardonnay 2012- #7wwr- Soft white peach and vanilla, subtly oaked. 


Château SénéjacDate published: 19/10/13

For the third weekend of October, we have the Haut Médoc Château Sénéjac open for you to try on the tasting counter!

This wine has a backbone of black berry fruits accentuated by notes of graphite, from the region's mineral soils, and mocha. With smooth but sturdy tannins, this wine is drinking well now, but will also develop over the next decade.

£18 when you buy two selected fine wines


This is in addition to our Bordeaux Spotlight Tasting, so there are many things worth trying in store today!

Wine of the Week: Barista Pinotage 2012Date published: 16/10/13

Barista Pinotage 2012 Western Cape

Wine production in the cape winelands dates back to 1825, however this is a deliberately modern offering by winemaker Bertus Fourie of the Val de Vie wine estate.

Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (spelt without the 'l' in South Africa) and creates wines with a range of styles. Typical characters include red berry fruits. Old bush vines can be very full bodied with rich, spiced fruit, meat, coffee and chocolate.

On the nose layers of aroma, with an intense bouquet of coffee and chocolate, followed by a hint of rubber finishing with meaty red fruit.

In the mouth coffee and chocolate again take the foreground with sour rasperries and cherries. Fresh grippy tannins suit the red fruit and the finish is good.

Enjoy on its own or with Chargrilled meat.

£9.49 per bottle

Or buy 2 save 20%

£7.59 per bottle 


New Offers In Store Now!Date published: 15/10/13

Time to snap up a bargain, folks! We have some excellent offers on for two weeks from today!

Wakefield Estate Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Merlot - all £8.99

Chapoutier Cotes-du-Rhone - £7.99

Quinta de Azevedo - £5.99

And if you are after something sparkling...

Prosecco Zonin - £6.99

De Telmont - £15

Louis Roederer - £27.99

Laurent Perrier Rose - £50

So drop in to get yours before they go! Offers will end on 28th October!

Angels' Share on the Tasting Counter!Date published: 12/10/13

Our second fine wine of October is now open on the tasting counter! This time, it is the Australian producer Two Hands' Angels' Share Shiraz.

Here we have a wine of great depth and mouth-filling richness. The mulberry, damson and plum base is accentuated by notes of coffee and cocoa, joined by smooth, developed tannins.

This is a must-try! Come in and have a taste!


£18 when you buy two selected fine wines

Producer In Focus: Catena ZapataDate published: 11/10/13

Bodegas Catena Zapata

OWNED BY- Nicolas and Laura Catena

HERITAGE- Nicola Catena arrived from Italy to Argentina in 1898. In 1902 he planted his first Malbec Vineyard and by the time his son had inherited the estate it had become one of the largest wineries in Mendoza.

WHERE IS IT- High Altitude vineyard sites in the the Andes Mountains, Mendoza, Argentina

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY-'We are dedicated to unlocking the secrets of our land and are proud to bring Mendoza's wines to the rest of the world'.

WINEMAKER FACTS

The Alamos brand makes flavourful drinkable wines that preserve each varietals aroma, flavour and texture.

Nicolas won 'Decanter Man of the Year 2009' award.

In the 1980s Nicolas Catena left Argentina to become professor of Economics at the University of California.

Wine Selection

Alamos Malbec 2011- #7wwr- Soft tannins with bramble fruits to spare.

Catena Chardonnay 2011- #7wwr- Forever the benchmark for good Argentinian Chardonnay

Alamos Chardonnay 2011- #7wwr- An explosion of citrus fruits and pineapple

Wine of the Week: Kaiken MalbecDate published: 09/10/13

Wine of the Week: Kaiken - Malbec Bonarda Petit Verdot Limited Selection 2010 Mendoza

A Kaiken is a kind of Patagonian goose that migrates across the Andes each year. This migration was the inspiration for the name of this winery, whose owner, Aurelio Montes came to Argentina from Chile.

Having learnt his art in the vineyards of Mendoza, Montes seeks to create a true expression of terroir and climate, making wines with “true character, personality, elegance and expression”.

Bonarda is more widely planted in Argentina than anywhere else in the world, but originates from the Savoie region of France, where it is called Douce Noir, meaning “sweet, black grape”.

This is a rich, dark berry-driven wine, with a charming plumminess highlighted by notes of vanilla and spice from ageing in French oak. Try with any tomato dish or with succulent pork for a perfect partner.

£9.99 Or Buy Two save £4 - £7.99 each


Bordeaux Bounty!Date published: 09/10/13

For those of you coming to our Fine Wine Bordeaux Spotlight Tasting on Saturday 19th October at 12pm or 3pm here is a little sneaky peek at the wines which we will be tasting:

From North to South down the left bank:

Chateau Potensac 2006 Medoc

Chateau Lynch Moussas 2006 Grand Cru Classe Pauillac

Chateau Gloria 2007 Saint Julien

Chateau Senejac 2010 Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc

La Sirene de Giscours 2006 Margaux

Chateau Larrivet Haut Brion 2004 Pessac-Leognan

For those of you who would like to attend the tasting there are still a few spaces left. Please call us on 01789 299385 to reserve a spot!

Special Offers - get them while you can!Date published: 07/10/13

You may have noticed some of our short term offers recently:

Macon-Villages - Jadot at £7.99

Portillo Malbec at £6.99

Serena Pinot Grigio at £5.99

Beaujolais Villages - DuBoeuf at £5.99

Along with some excellent offers on sparkly!

Louis Roederer - £27.99

Moet & Chandon - £27.99

Nicolas Feuillatte NV - £16.66

Prosecco Corte Alta - £6.99

Remember, these end on Monday 14th October, so pay us a visit soon to pick up a bargain!

New Sherry Range Available!Date published: 07/10/13

We are pleased to announce that a fantastic new range of Sherries has just arrived in store!

Pedro's Almacenista Selection includes a Fino, Amontillado, Olorosso, and Palo Cortado. Pedro's Almacenista is a small boutique family owned cellar who produce authentic traditional style sherries. The labels are taken from a selection of 1950s and 1960s posters from the September Jerez festival and are quite unique.

If you fancy getting a bottle of Sherry for that tapas party you have been meaning to have then look no further!

My Tuscan Wine Diary: Day TwoDate published: 07/10/13

We began day two with an al fresco breakfast on the patio of the villa overlooking the beautiful Tuscan hills which were rolling in mist. We then drove to the Carpineto winery for Cappuccino, Cantucci (a traditional Tuscan style of Biscotti) and some of Carpineto's delicious 1986 Vintage Vinsanto. Vinsanto, or 'Holy Wine' is named as such because it used to be supplied to the popes. It is a style of Tuscan dessert wine made from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes and tasted rather like a Fino Sherry, which went down amazingly well with the Cantucci.

The next stop on our list was the Frescobaldi Pomino Estate to the North East of Florence. The Frescobaldi family are a prominent Florentine family, originally from Bruges, who began their careers in banking but turned their hand to wine in Tuscany in the 1300's and have been influential ever since. We took a private tour of the Pomino estate which dates back to the 1500's! Interestingly the vineyards at Pomino are placed at the highest altitude in Tuscany at 737 metres! This included a tour of their private chapel and a peek at the body of the Saint within. We then sat down to a tasting of the wines they produce at the estate including their White Pomino Benefizio Riserva: a deliciously Burgundian style Chardonnay and their Pomino Pinot Nero.

After a short drive we arrived at the second of Frescobaldi's five estates Castello di Nipozzano located to the North East of Firenze in the heart of the prestigious territory of Chianti Rufina. We took a tour of the Castle, its surrounding estates and cellars which included a glimpse of the Frescobaldi family's private collection of Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva which contained vintages dating back to 1864!

We were then treated to an amazing four course lunch in the heart of the castle in the family's favourite dining room which has hosted important people including Prince Charles and Camilla, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas and John Malcovich. Here we tried some of Frescobaldi's most famous wines including the Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva vintages 2009 and 1980, Montesodi Riserva 2007 (a 100% single vineyard Sangiovese) and the Mormoreto 2010 (a single vineyard blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). Both the wines and the food were simply divine and we all left the beautiful estate feeling very full indeed. Our next stop...


Stay tuned, the next installment of my Tuscan Wine Diary will be on its way to you soon!


Fine Wine on the Tasting Counter!Date published: 05/10/13

We've had a number of fine wines open to try on the tasting counter over the course of September. Now, for the first weekend of October, we have Domaine Seguinot-Bordet's Chablis Premier Cru available to taste!

A step up from simple Chablis, you have more citrus fruit on the palette, with a slight creaminess from the addition of a little oak and a racy minerality.

Come and try some!

Producer in Focus: RustenbergDate published: 04/10/13

#Prif : Rustenberg

OWNED BY- The Barlow family since 1941, now run by the son of the original purchasers, Simon Barlow.

LOCATION - Stellenbosch

HERITAGE - Roelof Pasman was the founder of the Rustenberg estate in 1682, moving to the area from the Rhine. By the end of the eighteenth century, over 6000 cases of wine were being produced. It passed hands a number of times before being bought by Peter and Pamela Barlow.

PHILOSOPHY - Informed by centuries of human influence striving to understand and work with nature to produce wines of distinct character true to their terroir, variety and informed style

WINEMAKER FACTS

The estate was split by owner Jacob Eksteen in the early 1800s, giving a section to his son-in-law, who named it Schoongezicht and sold it on soon after.

Schoongezicht was reunited with the rest of the estate in 1892 by Sir Jacob Barry and his brother-in-law, John X Merriman, who later became Prime Minister of the Cape and has a Rustenberg wine named after him

Rustenberg also run a nursery for propagation, providing better quality rootstocks to upgrading existing vineyards and experimentation.

Wine Selection

Rustenberg Buzzard Kloof Syrah 2010 - #7wordwinereview – A hedgerow bonfire, smoke over bramble fruits

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2012 - #7wordwinereview – Starburst for grown-ups, pear, vanilla, tropical fruit!


Wine of the Week: Portillo Malbec 2012Date published: 02/10/13

Salentein Portillo Malbec, 2012

Mendoza, Argentina

Portillo is Salentein's entry-level range and since 2011 it has become Argentina's first wine to certify its carbon footprint. Salentein's 2,000ha estate and winery has a commitment to the environment. Only 700ha are planted to vines, which are farmed sustainably, and the estate stretches for 22km, at altitudes ranging from 1,050m to 1,550m.

Chief winemaker Jose Pepe Galante, formerly of Catena, displayed impeccable timing when he joined Salentein in 2010. Last year, the producer was awarded a Gold decanter award with its Reserve Malbec 2008 and in 2011 the Portillo Malbec won the ultimate accolade of best Argentine red single varietal under £10. This wine succeeded with its fragrant aromas and vibrant palate, cleverly expressing a modern style of Argentinian Malbec.

On the nose, heaps of earthy bramble fruit, with a slight floral character offset by attractive oak.

In the mouth it is full bodied and warm, with bags of blackberry and whispers of liquorice. Bound together by soft round tannin, good length and enough acidity to balance everything beautifully.

Food Match – Rare Argentinian steak with hand cut chips.

£9.99

Buy 2 and save £6

£6.99


My Tuscan Wine DiaryDate published: 29/09/13

Day 1

Tuscany: famed for its rolling hills, picturesque medieval cities, simple honest food and delicious wines of course! Tuscany's signature grape variety is Sangiovese which they grow in abundance but it can also be blended with other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon which they have been growing in Tuscany since the 10th century. In early September I was lucky enough to be invited along on an educational study trip to this beautiful area of Northern Italy with five other bright eyed Majestics.

After a hop, skip and a jump across to the airport at Pisa it was just a short drive to the tiny village of Dudda located within the Chianti district of Greves. We were warmly welcomed at the Carpineto winery headquarters by Antonio the co-owner and Katerina, the head winemaker, who gave us an awe inspiring tour of their cellars, bottling plant and estate. (Some delicious Carpineto wines that you might have tasted include the delicious Dogajolo and Spolverino; both easily recognisable by their autumn leaves and black cockerel label designs!)

We were then lucky enough to sample the majority of the Carpineto winery range from their entry level Merlot and Vermentino right up to their delicious Chianti Classico Reserva made from Tuscany's most notable grape variety Sangiovese. We were also able to taste their award winning Farnito Cabernet Sauvignon which was divine.

Just when we thought this day couldn't possibly get any better we were invited to a delicious traditional Tuscan dinner in a 15th century cellar on Carpineto's olive oil estate. (Of course many Tuscan wineries also produce fabulous olive oil). Here we were treated to the top wines produced by Carpineto including their Vino Nobile de Montepulciano and their three single vineyard Brunello di Montelcino. My favourite wine was the Poggio Sant Enrique 2004 single vineyard Brunello di Montelcino which had a fantastic velvety smooth texture, lashings of ripe dark berries and soft vanilla spice with a length that went on and on. These delicious wines were accompanied by an abundance of cured meats, cheese, tomatoes, fresh bread and the largest steaks I have ever seen!

We ended the day with a short drive to a fantastic hotel located within an 17th century villa just north of San Gimignano. It was once I arrived here, upon reflection, that I realised just how much I had learned about Tuscan wines in one day. I couldn't wait for day 2...

Stay tuned, the next installment of 'My Tuscan Wine Diary' will follow shortly.

Syrah/Shiraz Spotlight Tasting TutorialDate published: 27/09/13

On Saturday 28th September we will be tasting 6 delicious Shiraz/ Syrah wines as part of a short 30 minute tasting tutorial at 12pm and 3pm. If you would like to book a place please call us on 01789 299385 or email us at stf@majestic.co.uk we still have a few spaces available!

The wines we will be tasting are as follows:

Amazing Value:

Luis Felipe Edwards Signature Series Syrah Reserva 2012, Chile

Ramos Reserva 2012, Portugal

Gerard Bertrand Blends:

Domaine de Villemajou 2011 Corbieres-Boutenac, France

Grand Terroir Montpeyroux 2011 gerard Bertrand, France

Producer Focus:

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise 2012, South Australia

Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2011, Australia

Fantastic Fine Wine Open This Weekend!Date published: 27/09/13

This weekend we will have open a bottle of the delicious Saint Clair Pioneers Block Sauvignon Blanc 2012 on our tasting counter. So if your a fan of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, or you want to try something a little bit special then why not pop in and let us know what you think?

Producer in Focus: Wirra WirraDate published: 27/09/13

Wirra Wirra

OWNED BY- Greg and Roger Trott

LOCATION- McLaren Vale, South Australia

HERITAGE- Established in 1894 by South Australian cricketer Robert Strangways Wigley. The winery produced a range of wines including Shiraz and Burgundy. The winery proved prosperous until 1925 following the death of Mr Wigley in 1924, when it fell into disrepair; it wasn't until 1969 that cousins Greg and Roger Trott revived it.

PHILOSOPHY- Wirra Wirra wines were created to reflect the pleasant things in life; excellent food, scintillating conversation, beautiful surroundings and a great bottle of wine.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Wirra Wirra is an aboriginal name meaning “amongst the gum trees”.

The Mediterranean climate of the region combined with its close proximity to the Gulf St. Vincent produces consistent, richly complex and long lived wines from classic grape varieties, Shiraz being an excellent example.

Roger and Greg Trott made their first wine with an ancient Bagshaw crusher, a pump and an old French press gathered from the ruins of the winery.

Wine Selection

Scrubby Rise - #7wordwinereview- A wine of inky darkness and body! £7.99 a bottle when you buy 2

Church Block - #7wordwinereview- Mocha and cinnamon, a perfect autumn tipple! £12.49 a bottle!


New Wine Course Date!Date published: 25/09/13

Join us on Wednesday 4th November for our FREE Wine Course!

Start time is 18.45, and we will be trying three whites, three reds and a champagne.

Drop us a line if you would like to come along!

New Spotlight Tasting DatesDate published: 25/09/13

We've just posted the dates for our next block of FREE Spotlight Tastings. Whether you want to know whats new to Majestic or what to drink with your Turkey at Christmas, there's sure to be one to fit your pallet!

Saturday 9th November - New Arrivals

Saturday 23rd Novemebr - Rhone/Bordeaux

Saturday 7th December - Christmas Wines

Sessions are informal with an emphasis on fun and start at 12pm & 3pm. Sign up via our events section or simply call 01789 299385 to book your space.

Save 25% On Spanish WinesDate published: 25/09/13

We have a spectacular offer available to our customers for one week only Save 25% on all Spanish Wines ending on Monday 30th September! 

Some highlights include:

Gran Vendema Rioja Crianza 2009 at £5.62 a bottle

Lagunilla Rioja Reserva 2008 £6.55 a bottle

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2008 £10.30 a bottle

We also have fantastic deals on Albarinio, Ribera del Duero and Godello.




Wine of the Week: Cave St Verny Pinot NoirDate published: 25/09/13

Wine of the Week: Cave Saint Verny – Pinot Noir

IGP Puy de Dôme

2011

The Auvergne, the region in which this Pinot Noir is made, is a remote and wild area of France, often referred to as its “green lung”. This part of the Auvergne is actually part of the Greater Loire region, lying as it does on the Allier, a tributary of the Loire.

The volcanic rock that also give rise to Volvic mineral water, is famously impermeable and was used to make the Plaques Michelin that graced the autoroutes of France. These, too, are the inspiration for the label of this wine.

Cave St Verny produces nearly half the wine of the appellation Côtes d'Auvergne, but labels this wine as Puy de Dôme IGP as wines cannot be made under the Côtes d'Auvergne label if made of 100% Pinot Noir.

No oak is used in the production of this Pinot Noir, which is full of vibrant red fruits. The softness of this wine would allow you to drink it on its own, but do try it with a smooth pâté for an excellent complementary experience!

£11.99

Buy 2 save £6

£8.99

Winter Wine EveningDate published: 23/09/13

It's nearly that time of year again, folks! Stratford Majestic's Winter Wine Evening is taking place on Wednesday 13th November from 18.30 to 21.00!

Bring your friends and join us for an informal evening of wine and chat and nibbles. We will have a range of things open for you to try, so whether you like your zesty Sauvignon Blancs or oaky reds, there will be something for everyone!

Fancy signing up, or want to know more? Just drop into the store or get in touch:

Tel: 01789 299 385

email: stf@majestic.co.uk

These have been really popular in the past, so sign up now! We look forward to seeing you there!


Producer in Focus: BoschendalDate published: 20/09/13

Boschendal

OWNED BY- The Anglo-American Corporation

LOCATION - Between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch in South Africa's Western Cape

HERITAGE - The estate's first owner, Jean de Long, was in a party of 200 French Huguenot refugees fleeing persecution in Europe. It passed through the family until, in 1887, the estate was bought by Cecil Rhodes as part of his commercial fruit business, Rhodes Fruit Farms. This became Boschendal – the Estate. Finally, in the late 1960s, the estate was taken over by the Anglo-American Corporation.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Boschendal is the Dutch for “wood and dale”

The vineyards at Boschendal cover 2.54 km² between Groot Drakenstein and Simonsberg

The Boschendal estate still contains the original Cape Dutch manor house, which is open to visitors along with restaurants and other attractions

Wine Selection

Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc 2013- #7wordwinereview- Zesty and crisp, an astoundingly zingy SB!

Boschendal Chenin Blanc 2012- #7wordwinereview- Peachy and melony with a lingering finish

Boschendal Cab Merlot 2011- #7wordwinereview- A good value Bordeaux blend, juicy fruits

Veuve Vintage 2004 at £30 a bottle!Date published: 19/09/13

For a very short time only majestic.co.uk has Veuve Clicquot 2004 Vintage on offer at £180 per 6 bottle case. This is a fantastic offer and as we only have a tiny amount of stock available for this online exclusive be sure to take advantage of what is a classic expression of the Clicquot style only made in the best years.

Autumn Magic of Fine Wine Tasting- OctoberDate published: 19/09/13

We know it can be daunting to buy a fine wine without having tried it beforehand, but we also believe that it is worth spending a little more every now and then to excite the tastebuds with a fabulous example of any given style of wine.

This Autumn, we would really like to share our enjoyment of fine wine with you, and to help our cause, we are going to have a different bottle of fine wine open on our tasting counter every weekend for you to sample!

Choose from any or all of what is to come:

4th October - Chablis Premiere Cru Fourchaume Seguinot-Bordet

11th October - Two Hands 'Angel's Share' Shiraz

18th October - Chateau Senejac, Cru Borgeoise

25th October - Amarone Della Valpolicella, Cantina Negrar

Join us from 14.00 on Fridays and all through the weekend to give these wines a go!

More than that, there is a fantastic offer on at the moment: buy any two selected fine wines, save £10!

Wine of the Week - Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon BlancDate published: 18/09/13

Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Casablanca Valley


Viña Errázuriz was founded by Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 kms north of Chile's capital city, Santiago. 140 years on, one of his descendants, Eduardo Chadwick, is now at the helm and is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Dedicated to producing wines of excellent quality, Errázuriz places an emphasis on the delicate handling of wines to produce elegant, complex wines. Errázuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine.”

The La Escultura vineyard is located in the Casablanca Valley, a stone's throw away from the Pacific Ocean and thus benefits from a maritime influence with cool coastal breezes that aid a steady ripening of the grapes which help to preserve their flavours and ensure a good level of acidity.

Intense grassy and tropical aromas on the nose are coupled with zesty citrus fruit on the palate. Refreshing acidity and a fantastic length make this a great alternative to the en vogue New Zealand Sauvignon.

Match with Puff pastry-wrapped salmon coulibiac with basil and spring onions for a match made in heaven!


£10.99 Or Buy two save £4 - £8.99 each

Producer in Focus - Louis JadotDate published: 13/09/13

Maison Louis Jadot


OWNED BY- The Jadot family. Pierre-Henry Gagey is the current President.

HERITAGE- Maison Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 by the Louis Henri Denis Jadot, but their winemaking history stretches back further, to 1826, when the Jadot family purchased their first plot of land, “Clos des Ursules”. As his family came from Belgium, Jadot expanded their market into northern Europe, and his successor, Louis Auguste Jadot, took further steps, entering the UK and US markets.

WHERE IS IT- Various sites across Burgundy


WINEMAKER FACTS

  • Maison Louis Jadot has 270 hectares of land in Burgundy and only produces AOC wines

  • Their Château des Jacques, while marketed as a Bourgogne, could be regarded as a white Beaujolais, as the grapes are grown in Moulin-à-Vent

  • Maison Jadot is responsible for one fifth of the production of Pouilly Fuissé


WINE SELECTION

Beaune Premier Cru 2010- #7wwr- savoury, woody spice balancing intense juicy redcurrant £20 when you buy 2 bottles of selected fine wines.

Château des Jacques 2009 - #7wwr- Toasty oak and ripe peach – amazing value! £11.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

Mâcon Villages 2011 - #7wwr- Fresh, crisp, vibrant apple and pear flavours £17.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

Wine of the Week - Arienzo de RiscalDate published: 11/09/13

Wine of the Week: Arienzo de Marqués de Riscal

Rioja DOC

2010

This wine is made from grapes grown in Elciego in the prestigious region of Rioja Alavesa. The winery Marqués de Arienzo was bought in 2010 by Marqués de Riscal, who were looking for the correct product to set them up in the Crianza market.

Rioja Alavesa is distinct from the other areas of Rioja – Alta and Baja – by reason of its poor soil. Vines have to be planted further apart in order to grow healthily. The low density planting results in wines higher in acidity and fuller in body.

2010 is both the first year that the Arienzo has been produced solely by Riscal in the same winery that their Reserva is made, and a year declared by the Consejo Regulador as a 5 star outstanding vintage. The summer was hot and dry, giving wines great fruit structure.

The Arienzo is made from 90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano and aged in American oak for eighteen months. The oak gives a spicy lift to the fresh raspberry and redcurrant backbone, with sweet vanilla and coconut notes. Ideal for grilled white meats and pork dishes.


£10.99


Buy 2 Spanish wines save 20%


£8.79

Fine Wine Bordeaux Spotlight Tasting: A Little TasterDate published: 10/09/13

As some of you may have heard on Saturday 19th October at 12pm and 3pm we are offering our Stratford Upon Avon customers the exclusive opportunity to taste five delicious fine wines from different appellations located on the left bank of Bordeaux. In anticipation of this exciting event here are a 10 interesting facts about Bordeaux.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is the world largest supplier of high-quality ageworthy table wine. 

It lies on both sides of the banks of the River Gironde.

75% of Bordeaux's production of wine is red.

The two key grape varieties used to make Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Left Bank Bordeaux blends are Cabernet Sauvignon dominated whilst those wines made on the Right bank are driven by the softer fruitier Merlot.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a highly pigmented, astringent, tannic grape which ripens late and is resistent to rot due to its thick skins. It adds strength, colour, character and longevity to Bordeaux blends.

In the Medoc 40-85% of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are added to the blend compaired to only 0-50% in the Right Bank wines of St-Emilion and Pomerol. 

5-45% of Medoc wines are Merlot driven whilst the lesser known Cabernet Franc accounts for just 0-30%.

Petit Verdot accounts for up to just 5% of Left bank blends.

We will be tasting five delicious left bank Bordeaxs at our tasting. We will provide you with a few details of the stylistic differences between the appellations in the next couple of weeks.

To book a spot on this exciting tasting event please call us in store on 01789 299385


Producer in Focus: Bodegas Catena ZapataDate published: 06/09/13

Bodegas Catena Zapata

OWNED BY- Nicolas and Laura Catena

HERITAGE- Nicola Catena arrived from Italy to Argentina in 1898. In 1902 he planted his first Malbec Vineyard and by the time his son had inherited the estate it had become one of the largest wineries in Mendoza.

WHERE IS IT- High Altitude vineyard sites in the the Andes Mountains, Mendoza, Argentina

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY-'We are dedicated to unlocking the secrets of our land and are proud to bring Mendoza's wines to the rest of the world'.

WINEMAKER FACTS

The Alamos brand makes flavourful drinkable wines that preserve each varietals aroma, flavour and texture.

Nicolas won 'Decanter Man of the Year 2009' award.

In the 1980s Nicolas Catena left Argentina to become professor of Economics at the University of California.

Wine Selection

Alamos Chardonnay 2010- #7wwr- Tropical fruit harmony, a splash of oak. £6.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2010- #7wwr- Luscious blackberries take you to the mountains. £9.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

Catena Malbec 2011- #7wwr- A big wine for a juicy steak! £9.99 when you buy 2 bottles.

Fine Wine Chardonnay Open to Taste!Date published: 05/09/13

This weekend our Stratford Upon Avon Customers are in for a treat! Not only will we have the delicious Jermann Italian Pinot Grigio 2012 open on our tasting counter as part of our Autumn Magic of Fine Wine Tasting promotion, but in addition to this we will also be opening the following two Fine Wine Chardonnays:

Planeta Chardonnay 2011, Sicily- From the pioneers of Sicilian producers comes this beautifully balanced fine wine which oozes soft butterscotch and subtle oak influence.

Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011, Marlborough New Zealand- Cloudy Bay have achieved a fantastic reputation for their wines. This Chardonnay is no exception with a silky smooth palate, and soft long finish. 

All three of these fabulous fine wines will be open on our tasting counter this weekend so why not pop in and let us know what you think?

Autumn Magic of Fine Wine Tastings - SeptemberDate published: 04/09/13

We know it can be daunting to buy a fine wine without having tried it beforehand, but we also believe that it is worth spending a little more every now and then to excite the tastebuds with a fabulous example of any given style of wine.

This Autumn, we would really like to share our enjoyment of fine wine with you, and to help our cause, we are going to have a different bottle of fine wine open on our tasting counter every weekend for you to sample!

Choose from any or all of what is to come:

6th September - Jermann Pinot Grigio

13th September - Louis Jadot Beaune Premier Cru

20th September - Coney Pinot Noir

27th September - St Clair Wairau Valley Sauvignon

Join us from 14.00 on Fridays and all through the weekend to give these wines a go!

More than that, there is a fantastic offer on at the moment: buy any two selected fine wines, save £10!

Wine of the Week: Saint Roch de Chadeleuf ChardonnayDate published: 04/09/13

Wine of the Week: Saint Roch de Chadeleuf – Chardonnay

IGP Puy-de-Dôme

2011


The Auvergne, the region in which this Chardonnay is made, is a remote and wild area of France, often referred to as its “green lung”.


The volcanic rock that also give rise to Volvic mineral water, is famously impermeable and was used to make the Plaques Michelin that graced the autoroutes of France. These, too, are the inspiration for the label of this wine.


White grapes are rarely grown in the Auvergne, but the grapes for this wine are taken from the finest parcels of land that the Cave has to offer, some as high in altitude as 570m.


All of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and is rested on its lees for nine months before bottling, softening the acidity and adding a yeasty flavour to the underlying minerality. With no oak aging, there is a freshness of lemony citrus with white stone fruit notes on the finish. Try with white fish to enjoy this wine at its best!


£11.99

Buy 2 save £6

£8.99

Producer In Focus - VergelegenDate published: 30/08/13

Producer In Focus - Vergelegen

OWNED BY- Anglo American since 1987.

LOCATION - 40 mins from the centre of Cape Town.

HERITAGE - Since 1685 and to this day, the Estate has been crafted by some of the world's great explorers and visionaries, who each in their own way have helped shape Vergelegen to what it is today: a world-class Estate.

PHILOSOPHY - Vergelegen's winemaking philosophy is simple : there must be harmony between the old and the new.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Vergelegen translates as “situated far away”

Vergelegen has a diverse animal population that includes numerous antelope species, snake weasels, silver foxes and spotted genet, and now have images to confirm the presence of leopard, honey badgers and caracal.

Award-winning winemaker Andre van Rensburg ensures that Vergelegen's handcrafted wines reach the highest possible level of satisfaction.

Wine Selection

Vergelegen Cabernet/Merlot 2009 - #7wordwinereview - BBQ friendly with damson, plum and blackcurrant!

Vergelegen Chardonnay 2011 - #7wordwinereview - Classy example of what Vergelegen's all about.

Vergelegen Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - #7wordwinereview - A grassy alternative to Kiwi fruit bombs!

Last Chance WeekendDate published: 29/08/13

This weekend sees the last chance to make full use of the current Summer offers. As a reminder these include:

20% off all New Zealand wines. This means that The Ned Sauvignon is only £7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

25% off all Italian wines. We only have a country wide deal on Italy once a year so this is you last chance to make up a mixed case with such a generous discount on the lot.

20% off all Beaujolais. Make the most of Summer with the self styled 'King of Beaujolais' George Duboeuf.

20% off all Australian wines. The much heralded 'Wine Lake' has long since gone and so offers like this are truly the best chance to grab an Aussie bargain.

20% off all Chilean wines. Always a popular promotion and the go to region for all your party needs.

Peroni £1 per bottle. Majestics favourite lager at our favourite price!!

We are open Thursday and Friday 10-8, Saturday 9-7 and Sunday 10-5. Alternatively you can shop online or call us on 01789299385

Wine of the Week: Matsu 'El Picaro' Date published: 28/08/13

MATSU 'El Picaro'

Toro, Spain

2011

Vintae have been taking the wine world by storm, creating wines that break tradition but look and taste great. One of Vintae's signatures, is their eye catching label designs. You may have seen these wines on Majestic shelves, but been too afraid to try them out – Now is your chance as we have the great 'El Picaro' open to taste all week!

The Matsu ‘El Picaro’ is a youthful, 100% temperanillo wine from Toro. The vineyard area here are naturally pest free, so the wines are all organic.

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.

A beautiful crimson-purple in the glass, the nose is full of plump ripe blackberries and raspberries with a touch of vanilla and mocha. The palate is bold, rounded and with just the right amount of youthful tannins to make this cheeky rascal stand out in the crowd.

________________________________________________

Food Match: A great all rounder that is perfect for varied tapas dishes and best enjoed with friends!

£9.99 a bottle

Or Buy 2 Bottles Save £4!

So only £7.99

Exclusive Fine Wines of Bordeaux Spotlight TastingDate published: 26/08/13

We are pleased to announce that on Saturday 19th October at 12pm and 3pm we will be running an exclusive Fine Wines of Bordeaux Spotlight tasting for our customers in Stratford Upon Avon. We will look in detail at 6 different fine wines from 6 different left bank Bordeaux appellations comparing and contrasting their stylistic differences exploring what makes them 'Fine Wine'. This is the perfect opportunity before the Christmas rush to choose your holiday claret as well as a great opportunity to try some truly fantastic wine. Spaces are limited so please book yours today. Details of the appellations that we will be exploring and wines that we will be tasting will be announced shortly!

Bank Holiday Opening HoursDate published: 25/08/13

This Bank Holiday Weekend we are open

Saturday 24th August 9-7pm

Sunday 25th August 10-5pm

Monday 26th August 10-5pm

Tuesday 27th August Normal hours resume (10-7pm)

Producer in Focus: GiesenDate published: 23/08/13

Giesen

OWNED BY- The Giesen Brothers, Theo, Alex and Marcel.

LOCATION - Marlborough, New Zealand

HERITAGE - The Giesen Brothers came to Marlborough New Zealand in 1981 from Germany and began making wine. Today they own over 720 acres of vineyards across 13 different sites and are one of New Zealand's most recognisable brands.

PHILOSOPHY - The Giesen Estate range is a window into the Giesen Brothers winemaking passion. It intends to showcase the diverse and outstanding winemaking practices delivering consistency, honesty and approachable wines.

WINEMAKER FACTS

The Giesen Brothers own a state of the art winery in Dillon's point in Marlborough's Wairau Valley and another in the town of Blenheim.

The Giesen Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes sourced from across 32 separate vineyard parcels.

Each vintage of the Giesen Brothers wines are selected by the winemaker from the most expressive parcels of wine.

Wine Selection

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2012- #7wordwinereview- Tropical Sauvignon, great with sun and seafood!

Giesen East Coast Merlot 2012- #7wordwinereview- Light bodied, low alcohol fruit driven Merlot!

The Brothers Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012- #7wordwinereview- Smooth, spicy Pinot well done 'The Brothers'!

Wine of the Week: Vernaccia di San GimignanoDate published: 21/08/13

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

2012

A Passoni, Italy

This Wine of the Week provides delightful easy drinking for a hot summers day and with this bank holiday weekend set to be a scorcher it is ideal! The winery is owned by Milan born Francesco Passoni who, along with his wife, set about improving the Cantina di Passoni winery in the 1990s. Today his passion and love of wine can be seen through the excellent bottles he produces.

The Vernaccia di San Gimignano, made from the Vernaccia grape, is a lively intense wine with an abundance of acidity and fruit on the palate. However, on the nose this wine is soft and delicate with subtle citrus aromas and hints of almonds.

It is a crisp and refreshing wine with bursts of zesty citrus, crunchy green apple and limes. These are backed up by the classic Vernaccia flavour of almonds which give the wine depth and complexity.

` Food match: A great summer wine that goes well with grilled fish, poultry and crunchy summer salads.

£11.99

Or Buy Any 2+ Italian Wines Save 25%

Only £8.99

Producer in Focus: TorresDate published: 16/08/13

Torres

OWNED BY- The Torres Family

LOCATION - Catalunya, Spain & Central Valley, Chile

HERITAGE - The Torres family have been making wine since the 17th century and today the winery is owned by the fourth generation of the family. They are the largest winery in Spain with the largest Denomination of Origin in Penedez. They also own the Miguel Torres Winery in Chile's Central Valley.

PHILOSOPHY – To maintain their 100 year old tradition as a family company and to turn every customer into a friend.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Torres's heartland is in Catalunya but they also have vineyards in Chile, China and California!

'Sangre de Toro' translates as bulls blood and is named after the deep ruby colour of the wine.

Torres also produce Spanish brandy, their most famous are Torres 5 and Torres 10!

The Viña Sol is made from Parellada, and the Rose and Sangre de Toro from Garnacha and Cariñena although many of Torres' other wines are made from international grape varieties.

Wine Selection

Torres Viña Sol Rose 2012 - #7wordwinereview- Dry & delicate, like a berry smoothie!

Torres Viña Sol 2012 - #7wordwinereview- A refreshingly crisp wine, perfect for parties!

Torres Sangre de Toro 2011 - #7wordwinereview- Liquorice and blackberries dominate a robust palate.

WOTW: Testimonio Reserve Blend Luigi BoscaDate published: 14/08/13

Testimonio Reserve Blend Luigi Bosca

2010

Argentina


Bodegas Luigi Bosca has been running since 1901 when it was established by Leoncio Arizu. The Arizu family stand for tradition and quality promising to uphold traditional winemaking methods producing wines of premium quality. They are now in their third generation and are keeping to their promise.


The Testimonio reserve is a blend of three interesting grape varieties: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Shiraz and 15% Tannat. The fruit is sourced from specially selected small estate vineyard plots. They are aged in oak casks to create balance and structure representing the classic 'house style'. 'Testimonio' symbolises the testimony that this wine makes to the Arizu family's identity, tradition and style.


On the nose, this wine emits intense aromas of dark forest fruits, mocha, leather and tobacco spice. The palate is smooth and fruit forward with flavours of dark plum, cherry and blackcurrant.

Food match: perfect with rare sirloin steak with porcini mushrooms in a red wine jus.


£12.99 a bottle or buy 2 save £8 so only


£8.99 a bottle!

25% off Italian Wines!Date published: 12/08/13

We have some rather exciting news; Starting Tuesday 20th August for two weeks only, in honour of the end of our summer promotion, all our Italian Wines will be on an improved offer going from save 20% across the range to a fantastic Save 25% This excludes wines under £5, wines over £20 and sparkling wines but there are still many more amazing wines available including Barolos, Barberas, Gavi, Pecorinos, Pinot Grigios, and Vermentinos! So pop in and see whats on offer, we will be happy to recommend you some of our favourites!

Producer in Focus: Santa RitaDate published: 09/08/13

Santa Rita

OWNED BY- Grupo Claro

LOCATION - The Alto Jahuel area of Chile, & the Limari Valley

HERITAGE - The 120 series wines are named after the 120 patriot soldiers who sought refuge in Santa Rita's hacienda during the war for Chile's independence. These wines are made in a modern fruit driven style. The Medalla Real wines are made in a more classic style with secondary savoury characteristics. Santa Rita are now looking towards producing high-end wine of outstanding quality.

PHILOSOPHY - “Making peoples moments enjoyable”

WINEMAKER FACTS

Today the winery own some 3,500 hectares of vineyards

Pehuen is an iconic fine wine carmenere first produced in 2004 with a great cult following which is ever growing in status

In 2006 Cecilia Torres won 'best winemaker of the year' whilst Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 was awarded 'top 100 wines of the year' by Wine spectator magazine

Wine Selection

Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Franc 2012- #7wordwinereview- Rich, smokey wine from Bordeaux constituent variety!

Santa Rita Medalla Real Carmenere 2009- #7wordwinereview- Intriguing coffee & dark chocolate breathes complexity!

Santa Rite 120 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 - #7wordwinereview- Great softer fruitier alternative to NZ Sauvignon!

Three Great Wines That Go With Summer Salad!Date published: 08/08/13

So it looks like summer has finally arrived in the UK (at last, we have been waiting for years for a decent one)! I don't know about you, but at this time of year I tend to watch what I eat a little more as very soon I will be needing to squeeze into my bathing suit as I head off on my hollibobs. Now what is more summery, and great for those of you who are a little health conscious, than a delicious light summer salad? My absolute favourite salad recipe is to mix some low fat mozzarella cheese with slices of fresh juicy tomatoes, add a few olives, a sprinkling of olive oil, black pepper and some wild rocket and watercress, delicious! But which wines do you pair with such a dish? Now I know what your thinking, wine isn't the most obvious choice for those who are trying to watch what they eat, but a small glass of wine once or twice a week is fine in moderation and a great way to relax and unwind after a busy week at the office. It is certainly my guilty pleasure, but would you expect any less from someone who is carving a career out for herself in the wine industry?! Here are my top three wines that complement this dish:

1- Contesa Pecorino 2012 IGT Colline Pescaresi. This Pecorino is one of my absolute favourite wines, it is full of zesty citrus and melon fruit flavours. Its racy acidity perfectly complements the flavours of the tomato and it has a delicious mineral complexity on the finish that goes well with the pepperiness of the rocket. At just £7.99 when you buy any 2 Italian wines its a great buy.

2- St Clair Estate Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2012. A perfect match to green leafy salads is Sauvignon Blanc because it mimics their herbaceous green flavour. I especially like the St Clair Sauvignon because it delicately balances ripe gooseberry and blackcurrent leaf flavours with more savoury vegetal notes of asparagus and green pepper. Its fresh style cuts through the protein in the cheese leaving the palate feeling clean and light. This wine is currently just £10.99 a bottle when you buy any 2 or more New Zealand wines as part of the save 20% deal.

3- Cotes de Provence Sainte Victoire 2012 Famille Negrel Rose. The perfect summer wine to go with the perfect summer salad has to involve a nice chilled bottle of rose somewhere. I recommend the Sainte Victoire, a delicious blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah that is dry and crisp on the palate. It is made in the classic Provence style: mainly citrus driven with a subtle hint of red cherry and soft peach on the palate. Elegant and subtle this wine will not overpower but enhance the delicate flavours of the salad. At just £8.99 a bottle when you buy two or more bottles this Southern French stunner is always a crowd pleaser.

So there we have it three very different but equally tasty wines that go well with my salad recommendation. They are all incredibly versatile and will go with many other salad recipes so why not make your own and let us know what you think?

Wine of the Week: Montenovo Godello 2012Date published: 07/08/13

Montenovo Godello

2012

Valdesil, Valdeorras, Galicia Spain

This Wine of the Week choice comes from the beautiful Valdeorras, an appellation in an inland area of Galicia in Northern Spain. This region has gained an exceptionally high reputation for its white wines made from the little known local grape variety known as Godello. This grape is perfectly suited to Galicias moderate maritime climate and rocky soils which are rich in slate.

On the nose this wine is clean and fresh with aromas of straw and grassy herbaceous tones. These are complemented by nuances of soft white pear and a hint of pineapple fruits.

Lush and yellow in colour this wine is surprisingly soft and smooth on the palate. It is delicate yet not lacking in flavour tasting of juicy pear and melon fruits with a subtle hint of herbs.

Food match: This wine works wonderfully with seafood dishes such as lightly grilled sardines or calamares!

£10.99 or buy 2 save £2 so

Only £9.99

Giesen Marlborough Sauvignon at £5.99!Date published: 06/08/13

With Giesen at £5.99 until until Monday 12th August, we thought we would take a quick look at the background of this great value NZ Sauvignon!

Giesen was founded in the 1980s by three German brothers: Theo, Alex and Marcel. Their estate now spans the prestigious Wairau Valley, comprising thirteen vineyards. The wine is then blended together from thirty-two parcels of land under vine. The large number of parcels of land allows each one to be managed individually to obtain the desired ripeness and with the quintessential Giesen flavour.

The key to the Giesen philosophy is simplicity and their Sauvignon Blanc is an apt representation of this. Classic Marlborough flavours of gooseberry and citrus make up the backbone of the wine, with its characteristic zesty acidity complemented by herbaceous lemongrass notes.

And at £5.99, who could argue with that?

Wine of the Week: Septimo Dia MalbecDate published: 31/07/13

Septimo Dia Malbec

2011

Mendoza - Luján de Cuyo & San Carlos

Luján de Cuyo, situated half way between the Andes mountains and the plains in the east, is an area of high altitude vineyards, up to 1000m above sea level, that produce some of the best Malbec in Argentina. San Carlos is at an even higher altitude at around 1300m.

Bodega Septimo Dia was founded in 2001 by Codorníu (of Cava fame) and has over 150 hectares of vineyards. Its purpose-built winery has cellars stretching over 5500m², with the ability to contain over 3,000,000 bottles

Hail is an ever-present risk this high up in the mountains, so the vines are entirely protected by hail nets to protect the crop and ensure the consistent and high quality of the grapes.

The Septimo Dia Malbec is made from a combination of grapes from the high altitude vineyards of Luján de Cuyo and San Carlos. The resulting wine is deeply intense, with dark, fully-ripe fruit, complemented by accents of spicy cocoa.

Food match: This rich and spicy Malbec would be excellent with lamb, whether grilled, charred on the barbecue or slow-cooked in a hefty stew.

£9.99 a bottle or

Buy 2 save £4

Only £7.99 per bottle!

Wine of the Week: Commendarie de Peyrassol Rose 2011Date published: 26/07/13

Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé

2011

Côtes de Provence

Provence is a beautiful area of South-eastern France steeped in history and culture. It is from this picturesque setting from its high mountains down to the coast that the world famous Provence Rosé is lovingly cultivated.

The Commanderie de Peyrassol winery, like the region it is from, is steeped in history. It was founded in 1308 by the Knights Templar. Today, as well as owning 80ha of vines, the winery possesses 2500 olive trees, 200 oak truffle trees and a private hunting area which contains wild boar, deer, hinds and mouflons.

This light and crisp Rose is made from a delightful blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah grapes. On the nose aromas of citrus, red berries and a spicy warmth give a delicate yet enticing display.

The palate is soft and dry with subtle flavours of red cherry, juicy strawberries and a dash of white pepper for complexity. Refreshing acidity and a gentle peachy finish make this an ideal wine for a hot summers day.

Food match: This elegant rosé is a perfect match for delicate white fish dishes or a tapas selection of olives, cold meats and soft cheeses.

£10.99 a bottle or

Buy 2 save £2

Only £9.99 per bottle!

Wine of the Week: Poggioargentiera Vermentino Date published: 17/07/13

Poggioargentierra, 2011

Maremma, Tuscany

Vineyards in Tuscany are at the forefront of developments in viticulture and winemaking in Italy. The region is very hilly with many sites providing excellent exposure to sunlight. Many of the vineyards are at altitude, and the resulting wide variations in temperature between day and night help the grapes develop aromas and retain their natural acidity. Poggioargentiera is located in the Maremma, located in the southern most point of Tuscany by the Mediterranean sea.

Vermentino is a late ripening white grape variety, primarily found in Italian wine. The vines are often grown on slopes facing the sea where they can benefit from the additional reflected light. Within Tuscany, Vermentino is grown exclusively in Maremmaand gives a true taste of Tuscan sun.

A delicate lemon green colour: the nose has enticing aromas of peach, stone fruits and citrus. This follows through to a beautifully textured palate complete with a long finish. Perfect summer wine

Food match: Pan seared tuna cooked in Thai spices on a bed of crispy noodles.

£9.99

Buy Any Two Italian Wines Save 20%

£7.99

Producer in Focus: ErrazurizDate published: 12/07/13

Vina Errazuriz

OWNED BY- The Errazuriz Family

LOCATION - Aconcagua Valley

HERITAGE - Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870 in the Aconcagua Valley, 100 kms North of the capital, Santiago. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard.

PHILOSOPHY - Errazuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine”.

WINEMAKER FACTS

Average rainfall is 9.8 inches, about a quarter of the rainfall in Bordeaux.

The cooling influence of the Pacific means the grapes ripen 2-3 weeks later than other regions, enhancing flavour, intensity and concentration.

Irrigation is vital in the Aconcagua Valley, using the snowmelt from the Andes as the supply of fresh water.

Wine Selection

Wild Ferment Pinot Noir - #7wordwinereview- Plenty of body, rich smoke and spice!

Estate Reserva Chardonnay - #7wordwinereview- Like drinking peaches and cream, really summery!

Max Reserva Merlot - #7wordwinereview- Juicy dark berries, smooth fruit compote palate!

WOTW: Chateau Barthes Bandol Rose 2012Date published: 10/07/13

Chateau Barthes Rose

Bandol Rose

2012

Monique Barthes was a former fashion model in the 1960s but has now turned her attention to all things wine after marrying the owner of a wine company in Bandol Provence. She has grown the reputation of her 40ha estate which is famed for making fantastic quality wines and has won several awards.

The Chateau Barthes Bandol Rose is made in the classic Provence style froma blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault. It is light, delicate, crisp and dry making it the perfect summer tipple. As the weather looks set to remain hot and sunny this easy-drinking rose makes a perfect party pleaser.

The nose is soft with aromas of red berry fruits, pears and a hint of floral perfume. The palate is smooth with flavours of strawberries, red cherries, a slight hint of spice and well integrated very delicate tannins.

Food Match: Wonderful with lightly grilled white fish and crisp green summer salads.

£11.99 Buy 2 bottles save £4

Only £9.99

Producer In Focus - YalumbaDate published: 05/07/13

Yalumba

OWNED BY- The Smith Family

HERITAGE- Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant and English brewer, who had brought his family to Angaston seeking a new life. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch "Yalumba" – aboriginal for "all the land around".

WHERE IS IT- Main plantings in Barossa and Coonawarra.

THE FUTURE...Soon look out for crisp, dry whites made from other Mediterranean grapes, such as Vermentino and Fiano, and in a few years Sauvignon-Blanc style whites made from the drought tolerant Verdejo.

WINEMAKER FACTS

The first screw-cap used at Yalumba was the Stelcap in 1970.

Some of their vines have been thriving for over 70 years.

'Yalumba' translates as 'the land all around'.

Wine Selection

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache- #7wordwinereview- “Smokey, like Guy Fawkes eating a blueberry”

Yalumba 'Y' series Viogner- #7wordwinereview- “Egg custard, Peach Melba, in liquid form”

Oxford Landing Estates Sauvignon Blanc- #7wordwinereview- “Bet you didn't know this was Yalumba!”

Wine of the Week: Joffre Malbec 2012Date published: 03/07/13

Joffré Malbec 2012,

Mendoza, Argentina

Made in the renowned Uco Valley area of Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes by Raul Jofre (only 1 'f'). The RJ Vinedos estate is comprised of 116 hectares of vineyards situated at 1,000 to 1,400m altitude in the Uco Valley. The vineyards are planted with Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Chenin and Chardonnay with some of the vines as much as 60 years old. The deep, sandy, stony and moderately fertile soil has excellent natural drainage, and the vines are irrigated by drip method from melted snow from the nearby Andes mountain range. The cool breezes from the mountains, and temperatures that vary by at least 15°C from day to night create perfect ripening conditions, ensuring a deep concentration of aromas and flavour in the fruit.

Malbec grapes were hand harvested at optimum ripeness, before undergoing further selection and then a pre-fermentation maceration. Selected yeasts were added, and then after fermentation 15% of the wine was put into French and American oak barrels for 6 months before blending and bottling took place.

The end result is deep and concentrated, red in colour with purplish hues. It is packed with aromas of expressive ripe red fruits (plums, cherries and strawberries) along with delicate mineral notes and hints of chocolate and vanilla. It is sweet and round on the palate with velvety, mature tannins. Well-balanced and full-bodied with a strong personality and a long finish.

Food Match:Best served slightly chilled at 16–18° C. A versatile wine, it goes well with red meat, game dishes, pasta and tangy cheeses, or on its own!

£10.99 or buy 2 and save £4

Only £8.99

Top Summer Whites and RoseDate published: 29/06/13

Well it looks like summer is finally on its way and now is the time to start deciding which crisp white and fruity rose wines you want to have with your summer salads and British BBQ's. To help you with this devilish task Jane MacQuitty has kindly provided all her Saturday Times Readers with a list of her 'Top Summer 100 Whites and Rose Wines' which is handily split into price categories for those on a budget. Several of the wines featured are Majestic Wines and in celebration of this exclusive list we will be opening a couple of the wines featured on our tasting counter for you all to try!

Under £6

Grand Heron Marc Ducournau 2012 £7.99 Buy 2 bottles Save £4   Only £5.99

An unusual blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc from the Cotes de Gascogne this wine brimms with fresh grassy notes, ripe grapefruit and has a delightful crisp fresh finish. It works wonderfully with delicate seafood dishes such as lightly grilled king prawns.

Under £12

Pouilly Fume 'Les Cascadelles' 2012 £11.99 Buy 2 bottles Save £4 Only £9.99

This fresh and fruity Loire Sauvignon Blanc displays flavours of lime citrus, elderflower blossom, soft gooseberry and garden herbs. The perfect summer tipple, works amazingly with soft goats cheese!

Other Majestic features include:

Yali Merlot Rose 2012 £7.49 Buy 2 Chilean Wines save 20% Only £5.99

Vouvray Domaine des Aubuisieres 2012 £9.99 Buy 2 bottles Save £4 Only £7.99

Sancerre 'Clos des Bouffants' Neveu 2012 £14.99 Buy 2 bottles Save £6 Only £11.99

Muga Rioja Rosado 2012 £10.99 Buy 2 bottles Save £4 Only £8.99

Chassagne Montrachet Phillipe Colin 2010 (Lay and Wheeler) £24.95 sales@layandwheeler.com

So why not pop down to the store this weekend and check out some of our delicious summer wines we will also have plenty of other fantastic wines for you to taste!

#PrIF- Vina Luis Felipe Edwards Date published: 28/06/13

Luis Felipe Edwards

OWNED BY- Luis Felipe Edwards Family

HERITAGE- At the beginning of the 19th Century a London- born doctor settled in la Serena, his grandson became the first member of the Edwards family to make wine in Chile and thereby founded a family tradition.

WHERE IS IT- In 1976 his descendant Luis Felipe Edwards purchased a large estate at Puquillay some of the best viticultural land in Chile's Central Valley.

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY-'Every glass of wine reflects our family values of caring, tradition and quality, yet always striving to improve'

WINEMAKER FACTS

The winery exports to more than 60 countries

Some of their vines have been thriving for over 70 years

Their vineyards range from flat valley floor to the lofty mountain slopes

Wine Selection

LFE Gran Reserva Chardonnay- #7wwr- Perfect for lovers of soft buttery whites. £8.74 or £6.99 (when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines)

LFE Gran Reserva Merlot- #7wwr- Definate BBQ wine that will amaze friends! £8.74 or £6.99 (when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines)

Signature Series Pinot Noir- #7wwr- Approachable in both price and style. Winner. £7.99 or £6.39 (when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines)

Wine of the Week: Commanderie de Peyrassol RoseDate published: 26/06/13

Commanderie de Peyrassol Rosé

2011

Côtes de Provence

Provence is a beautiful area of South-eastern France steeped in history and culture. It is from this picturesque setting from its high mountains down to the coast that the world famous Provence Rosé is lovingly cultivated.

The Commanderie de Peyrassol winery, like the region it is from, is steeped in history. It was founded in 1308 by the Knights Templar. Today, as well as owning 80ha of vines, the winery possesses 2500 olive trees, 200 oak truffle trees and a private hunting area which contains wild boar, deer, hinds and mouflons.

This light and crisp Rose is made from a delightful blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah grapes. On the nose aromas of citrus, red berries and a spicy warmth give a delicate yet enticing display.

The palate is soft and dry with subtle flavours of red cherry, juicy strawberries and a dash of white pepper for complexity. Refreshing acidity and a gentle peachy finish make this an ideal wine for a hot summers day.

Food match: This elegant rosé is a perfect match for delicate white fish dishes or a tapas selection of olives, cold meats and soft cheeses.

£10.99 a bottle or

Buy 2 save £2

Only £9.99 per bottle!

#PrIF Producer in Focus- Jim Barry WinesDate published: 21/06/13

Jim Barry Wines

OWNED BY- The Barry Family Estate

HERITAGE- Jim Barry was a pioneer of the Austrailian wine Industry. He and his wife Nancy built a successful wine business making successful wines since its establishment in 1959.

WHERE IS IT- Jim Barry has four distinctive climatic and geographical sites in the Clare valley. In addition the company has a 14 hectare Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the Coonwarra region.

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY-'Sometimes it takes longer than a lifetime to do a lifetime's work.. it's now up to my children'

WINEMAKER FACTS

-The first qualifed winemaker to move to the Clare Valley

-The Lodge Hill site was originally meant for Riesling but instead chosen to make his premium reserved Shiraz

-50% of Production is now destined for overseas markets

Wine Selection

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Shiraz- #7wwr- Unbeatable at this price, a Majestic favourite .£13.74 or £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more Aussie wines)

The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon- #7wwr- Alternative cold remedy with plenty of menthol £13.74 or £10.99 (when you buy 2 or more Aussie wines)

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling- #7wwr- Award winning and it's absolutely ripper, mate!£12.49 or £9.99 (when you buy 2 or more Aussie Wines)

WOTW - Gavi di Gavi 2012 La ToledanaDate published: 19/06/13

Gavi di Gavi 2012 La Toledana

Italy

Hailing from the village of Gavi in north west Italy this engaging Italian white wine really showcases the Cortese grape it is made from. With a delicious 'steeliness' to it, uncommon in other Italian wines, this is a great introduction to this region of the country.

The Piemonte region in Italy is renowned for its great dry white wines. None more so than the Town of Gavi, where the vines are heavily influenced by the limestone-rich southern hillside vineyards. In the case of the Cortese grape, the first mentions of which can be traced back to 1659, its use in the wines of Gavi has been carefully honed over the years. A good, clean acidity and flavours of ripe peaches and pears has made it a favourite with the fish restaurants of Genoa and the Ligurian coast not far to the south.

Intense freshly cut granny smith apples and citrus on the nose lead to a refreshing palate of peaches, apples and pears with a long mineraly finish.

Food Match: This Gavi would be the ideal partner to a nicoise salad or a nice piece of grilled monkfish.

£9.99 or buy 2 save 20% at £7.99

Producer in Focus: Marques de la ConcordiaDate published: 14/06/13

Marqués de la Concordia

OWNED BY- United Wineries

HERITAGE- Don José Abascal was honoured with the title 'Marqués de la Concordia' in 1812 by King Ferdinand VII for uniting the Old Europe with former Spanish colonies in South America.

WHERE IS IT- Several vineyards across Spain including ones located in Hacienda de susar, Rueda within Castilla y Leon, Arribes del Duero and Andalus

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY-'to bring together the best of two worlds: New world style wine making and old world terroir'

WINEMAKER FACTS

Winner of 136 International awards since 2004 and highly regarded by leading wine critics.

Vega de la Reina Rueda Verdejo was awarded “Best White Wine in the World” and a Grand Gold medal at the Concours Mondiale de Bruxelles 2012

They pride themselves in leading an ongoing 21st century revolution in Spanish winemaking.

Wine Selection

Hacienda Zorita Tempranillo- #7wwr- Red berries mingled with mocha and vanilla.£9.99 or £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more)

Rioja Reserva 2007 Marques de la Concordia- #7wwr- smooth cedar spice with powerful dark fruits £11.99 or £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more)

Vega de la Reina Verdejo- #7wwr- Lively lemon zing meets softer melon touches £8.99 or £6.99 (when you buy 2 or more)

BBQ Wines Tasting TutorialDate published: 13/06/13

On Saturday 15th June at 12pm and 3pm we will be holiding a fantastic BBQ themed tasting tutorial which will feature a selection of wines that perfectly accompany a variety of different BBQ foods. Heres a little sneak preview at what we shall be tasting:

Aperitif

The aperitif was conceptualised by a French chemist in the mid 1800s today its something no party should ever be without. We will try the Codorniu Reina Christina Blanc de Noirs 2010 and discuss why its fresh refreshing style is perfect for this purpose!

Fish

Wine and fish have a history of being served together but when you add flame grilling into the equation its not so simple. We will show you why the Pietriccia Fiano Surani is a great match for flame grilled fish and which fishes make the best partners.

Chicken

Chicken is a very popular meat at BBQs and tends to make an appearance in some form or other. We have chosen the Anakena Single Vineyard 'Tama' Viognier as the perfect match to BBQ chicken dishes, come and find out why!

Sausage

Now its the turn of a British classic: the sausage. Nowadays there are so many different sausage and flavour combinations it can be a little tricky to find the perfect wine match but we think we have it sussed with the Corbieres La Combe des Olivers. Let us know what you think!

Burgers

Burgers are a real BBQ staple but can be very difficult to match with wine. We have decided to pair them with a delicious new wine in our range the Parcel Series Merlot from South Africa, the land where the sun shines and BBQs are commonplace.

Steak

Steak is one of my favourite BBQ meats and can really be enhanced by the right wine match. We will be tasting the Chateau Musar 2005 a delightful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan to show how big hearty reds can make an exceptional wine match.

If you would like to book a  place call us on 01789299385 or tweet us @majesticstrat

Wine of the Week: CVNE Rioja Reserva 2008Date published: 12/06/13

CVNE Rioja Reserva

2008

Rioja, Spain

This Wine of the Week choice comes from the fifth generation winemaking family owned winery of CVNE (that's Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España to you and me) which was founded in 1879. Today the wines are still made in the family original winery in Haro in Rioja.

A delicate blend of Grenache and Tempranillo grapes are used to produce the reserva which are lovingly hand-picked to ensure that only fruit of the highest quality makes it into the wine. These are then ages for at least one year in a mixture of American and French Oak casks before being bottle aged for a minimum of one year prior to release. This gives the wine greater depth of flavour and silky smooth tannins making it a sumptuous silky red.

On the nose this delicious wine oozes aromas of strawberries and blackberries with hints of herbs and spice. The palate is fabulously smooth and soft with nuances of coffee, caramel and leather over a bramble fruit backbone. The tannins are supple whilst the length of this wine lingers highlighting its exceptional quality.

Food match: This wine is perfect with rich red meat dishes such as grilled lamb chops in crusted herbs

£13.99 per bottle

or buy 2 save 20%

Only £9.99 per bottle

Producer in Focus an introduction!Date published: 07/06/13

POGGIO ARGENTIERA

OWNED BY- Gianpaolo Paglia & Justine Keeling

ESTATE AQUIRED- 1997

WHERE IS IT- Vineyards are in Maremma near Grossetto in Tuscany

WINE MAKER'S PHILOSOPHY- 'To make a wine that has a sense of place, where the terroir is allowed to show itself unbiased'

WINEMAKER FACTS

Since 2009 they have been organic farming & following natural and no-intervention approach to their cellar

Despite being a young winery they have an impressive number of awards

Poggio Argentiera is loosely translated as 'Silver mine hill'

Wine Selection

Poggio Argentiera Rosato- #7wwr- Summer rose with ripe and invigorating aromatics. £9.99 or £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines)

Poggio Argentiera Vermentino- #7wwr- Fresh, zesty and fruity, summer salad favourite. £9.99 or £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines)

Poggio Argentiera Morrelino di Scansano- #7wwr- Fresh yet rustic, cherry flavours dominate throughout. £11.99 or £9.59 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines)

WOTW- MARTIN CODAX ALBARINO Date published: 05/06/13

MARTIN CODAX Albariño 2011

Rias Baixas

Spain

Are you in need of something different now summer has started. Want to be experimental and try a different white from the usual Sauvignon on Pinot Grigio..? Here is the ideal candidate!

Albariño is found in few places outside its native Galicia and Northern Portugal, where it is known as Alvarinho. It dominates plantings, accounting for around 90%, but strong local demand ensures that only a small proportion is ever exported.

The Rias Baixas DOC is located in Galicia, the most north-westerly part of Spain, where the moderate climate, proximity of the Atlantic Ocean and above average rainfull ensure that wine making is always challenging. Codax regularly defy expectations and produce stunning examples such as this, making their wines highly sought-after.

This delightful wine demonstrates Albariño at its best: delicate and perfumed on the nose, with a peach-driven palate of surprising intensity. Simply superb.

Food match: Fresh seafood tapas

£12.49 or £9.99 when you buy 2 or more

Tuesday Wine Quiz Date published: 04/06/13

Come on you Quizzie Rascals can you guess our wine of the week!

I am going to give you five clues, these clues should lead you to the identity of this weeks wine of the week. It is just for fun but if you get it right then you can expect some words of encouragment from the team here at @majesticstrat.


Buzzers at the ready.

1. This Grape variety is also known as Alvarinho/Cainho Branco in Portugal

2. The aroma of this wine is stone fruits like peach and apricot

3. The wine is named after a famous Galician medieval joglar

4. It has a distinctive label in the design of medial poems on vindel parchment

5. It is ideal as an apertif or with fresh lobster 

Any ideas? Tweet us @majesticstrat or comment here on facebook with your answers.


Thorn Brook CiderDate published: 31/05/13

Thorn Brook Cider are a local couple making cider on the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire border. They use 100% fresh English apples which make a fruity, refreshing and slightly sparkling beverage just right to enjoy on a sunny day like today. They have a range of three ciders starting at the Premium Craft Cider at 5.4%, moving up to the Fat Knight Cider at 6.5% and finishing with my personal favourite the Strong Artisan Cider 7.2%. All three are a true reflection of the apples individuality and are available in store to buy and taste NOW!!

Craggy Range 'range'!Date published: 30/05/13

We've got a lovely selection of Craggy Range wines open to taste at the moment. Why not pop down and see what this fabulous North Island producer has to offer! To further entice you here is a quick #7wordwinereview of the wines.

Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc- 'Look outside Marlborough for herbaceous nettle goodness'

Te Muna Road Pinot Noir - 'Sour red berries, savoury notes, silky mouthfeel'

Te Kahu Red - 'Bordeaux blend but clear Gimblett Gravels class'

Why not join us for our NZ Sauvignon Tutorial on Saturday 1st June at 12am and 3pm. Spaces are free but limited. Call us on 01789 299385 or email us stf@majestic.co.uk

Aspara Fest 2013Date published: 29/05/13

Well its time again for the annual Asparagus Festival in Evesham. This year its being held at Ashdown Farm in Badsey on Saturday 1st and Sunday the 2nd June. There will be a whole hoast of special Asparagus related events going on across these two days including live music, a mobile zoo, vintage cars, face painting and of course the crowning of this years Asparagus King and Queen! Don't worry, there will be plenty of Asparagus available to eat as well for all you Asparagus lovers out there!

Food and Wine Match

A classic Asparagus food and wine match is to griddle a bunch of fresh asparagus in some butter and serve with a delicious glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. My personal favourite is the Ned Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2012 because it is particularly herbacous and brimming with ripe gooseberry.The zesty herbaceous character of the wine complements the flavour of the asparagus whilst its acidity cuts through the rich butter dressing. Delicious!


Wine of the Week: Chautarde 2012 RoseDate published: 29/05/13

Domaine Chautarde Rose

Coteaux Varois en Provence

2012

Well last bank holiday weekend was certainly a good one with lots of lovely sunshine. This weekend is again tipped to be a little warmer and sunnier and in anticipation of this we have decided to make our wine of the week a Rose!

Provence is an area in Southwest France famous for its dry refreshing Roses. Domaine Chautarde is located near to the city of Brignoles in the heart of Provence. The estate is beautiful, surrounded by 245ha of Pine and Oak forests, olive groves and 32ha of vineyards.

_____

La Rioja Alta are consistently one of the best producers

On the nose this wine is soft and fruity with hints of subtle citrus, ripe red cherry and strawberries aromas.

The palate is crisp and refreshing displaying an array of red berry fruits including strawberries, raspberries and red cherries. These are accompanied by more subtle flavours of white peach and watermelon giving this elegant wine a little more depth and complexity than your average wine from Provence!

____________________________________________________

Food Match: A wonderful aperitif wine perfect to drink on a hot summers day. This wine also goes well with fresh green salads.

£8.99 per bottle

Buy 2 bottles and save £4

Only £6.99 per bottle!

London International Wine Fair 2013Date published: 24/05/13

So this week saw the return of the annual london International Wine Fair at eXcel, the event is an oppourtunity for producers and distributors to show off their product. Having never been before myself (@redbeforebed) and Kenneth (@kenny_m82) ventured down on the Monday excited to sample some fine wine, here are our top three..

Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir Black Label Reserve – Loads of black cherry, redcurrant, a hint of smoke and a mineral streak

Penfolds RWT – available from our sister company www.laywheeler.com

Matsu El Recio 2010 – Deep black fruit, mocha and vanilla pod, weighty yet silky

We are both already looking forward to next years event to be held at Olympia.

New Zealand Tasting TutorialDate published: 22/05/13

We've just chosen the wines for our upcoming New Zealand Sauvignon Tutorials on Saturday June 1st (12-12.30 and 3- 3.30) and thought we'd whet your appetites by sharing them with you.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc v Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Waimea Sauvignon Blance v Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc
St Clair Wairau Reserve v Te Mata Cape Crest

To book a place on these Tutorials email us stf@majestic.co.uk or call 01789299385.

Wine of the Week: Vermentino PoggioargentieraDate published: 22/05/13

Vermentino Poggioargentiera

2012 Tuscany, Italy

We have high hopes for a lovely warm summer this year. In celebration of this, our wine of the week this week is the perfect refreshing easy drinking white for those warm summer days!

Poggioargentiera are based in Maremma in the southernmost part of Tuscany. The estate owner Gianpaolo Paglia was born here and imparts his Tuscan heritage into his winemaking. Vermentino is native to Italy and thrives in the sunny warm Mediterranean climate resulting in soft fruity white wines.

On the nose this wine is clean and fresh. Aromas of ripe peach, lemon and lime citrus leap out of the glass and embrace you.

The palate is crisp, dry and refreshing, perfect for those hot summer days! It oozes with an array of stone fruits, white pear and a hint of blossom. A zesty lime streak gives this wine its backbone adding a little more depth of flavour.

Food Match: This wine has good acidity making it the perfect match to a crisp green lettice and tomato salads served with pan seared fillet of salmon.

£9.99

Buy Any 2+ Italian Wines Save 20% So Only

£7.99 per bottle!

Wines with a Twist!Date published: 18/05/13

Over the past few years in majestic, if there is one thing I have learned, it is that it is always worth re-visiting a wine. Whether it be trying a wine you have had before but haven't tasted for many months, daring to sample a grape variety you love made by a different producer, or tasting a wine that comes from a grape variety you know and love but is completely different to anything you have ever tasted before. It is this rare and enigmatic breed of wine that I love the most, something that makes you re-evaluate everything that you thought you knew about wine. For me it is this category of wine that makes my job an absolute joy and I am going to share a couple of these secret little pleasures with you.

To me Pinot Grigio has never been my favourite grape. It is light, citrus driven, full of refreshing acidity and therefore a great party pleaser but I have at times found it a little lacking in complexity and depth of flavour. Because of this opinion I have often shyed away from trying Pinot Grigio on the tasting counter bunging it under the 'if you have tried one you have tried them all' category. Despite this, I am pleased to say that I proved myself completely wrong with this assumption. I recently tried a New World Pinot Grigio, not from Italy but New Zealand, and found it be delicious. The wine was bursting with lemon and lime citrus as you would expect, but it also had amazing floral and pear drop aromas on the nose. These followed through on the palate making it soft, smooth and juicy. They were complemented by soft melon and nectarine flavours which I wasn't expecting but was extremely grateful for. This delicious, exciting and complex wine was the Ned Pinot Grigio and I am happy to report that having tasted this wine I will never look at Pinot Grigio in quite the same way again.

I am a big fan of Merlots, especially the Chilean ones. I love the silky smooth tannins, rich palate of dark fruits which are so often backed up with an abundance of sweet vanilla spice and hints of mocha and cocoa. My particular favourite is the Errazuriz Max Reserva Merlot because of its big chewy style and complexity. I was however a little dubious of the new South African Parcel Series Merlot we received. How good can a £5.99 South African Merlot really be? Well, I was shocked to discover that that answer is pretty darn amazing actually! I had read the spiel about it being made by a top secret great quality South African producer and the blurb about its usual retail price being much higher and had been sceptical. However, tasting this wine brought the word Merlot to a whole new level. It was incredibly smooth, like melt in the mouth chocolate and oozed chocolate and vanilla like you wouldn't believe. The tannins were soft and supple and the length just went on and on and on (infact I can still taste it now)! I was absolutely stunned that you can buy a wine of this outstanding quality for such a reasonable price.

These are just two of my recent discoveries but there are many many more wines out these that will leave you shocked, stunned and bewildered at just how good some wines can really be. So my advice is always re-visit wines, change your opinions constantly and taste as many different wines as you possibly can. There are some real gems hiding out there just waiting for you to find them and it is a real treat when you do. These two wines certainly left a smile on my face.


Italian Tasting Tutorial WinesDate published: 17/05/13

Tomorrow at 12pm and 3pm we are holding an Italian Tasting Tutorial so here is a taster of what we will be opening:

Focus On Soave:

'Soave' derives from the Latin word for 'delightful' and we will be opening two delightful examples of Soave at its best. We will begin with the Fattori Soave 2012, a family owned third generation winery, and comparing it to the Soave Classica Inama 2011, a pioneering Soave producer from Northern Italy. Through these wines we will show two very different but very delicious styles that Soave can be made in.

Favourite Northerners:

Northern Italy produces a whole hoast of different types and styles of wines. We will be showcasing two of our Northern bestsellers to show just what this beautiful region has to offer. First we will taste the Barbera d'Alba Sucule 2009 Lo Zoccolaio a fantastic Barbera made in true old world style. We will then sample the Campfiorin 2009 Masi, a pioneering style known as 'Super Venetian' made from a blend of Rondinella, Corvina and Molinara grapes.

Explore Tuscany:

We will end our exploration of Italian wines in Tuscany, one of the worlds most famous wine regions. Known as the spiritual home of Sangiovese we will explore this exciting grape variety through two forms. Starting with an old favourite the Chianti Classico San Leonini 2008 Tenimenti Angelini, we will then move on to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 'La Ciarliana' 2008 a deep fruity example of Sangiovese from the Montepulciano region of Tuscany.





WOTW - King's Thorn Pinot GrisDate published: 15/05/13

The King's Thorn Pinot Gris 2012, Marlborough

In 1155, despite the Mariscos possesion of Lundy, King Henry II, for political reasons, gifted the Island to the popular Order of the Knights Templar.

However, the de Mariscos refused to relinquish it and were fined for not doing so. They remained a constant thorn in the King's side, retaining possesion of the island for nearly 90 years.

Something of a thorn in the side for some winemakers, Pinot Gris requires a very measured approach in order to achieve a balance of texture, sweetness, acidity and fruit character.

This excellent example treads the fine line between the Alsatian and the Italian styles.

Delicately pink, indicating natural sun ripening. The nose is lifted and perfumed with honeysuckle and peach. A lightly unctuous and off-dry palate are lifted by acidity and a hint of natural spritz.

Try with anything from grilled prawns to creamy cheeses.

£12.49

20% OFF NEW ZEALAND WINES

£9.99

Monday Wine QuizDate published: 13/05/13

So its that time again, time for me and you to get quizzical.

I am going to give you five clues, these clues should lead you to the identity of this weeks wine of the week. It is just for fun but if you get it right then you can expect some words of encouragment from the team here at @majesticstrat.

Thinking caps on, here we go...

1. This fantastic wine comes from a country where 50% of all plantings are Sauvignon Blanc.

2. It is however made from a grape that is more commonly associated with Italy and goes under a slightly different name.

3. It is a very versatile wine that can be drunk with anything from grilled prawns to white meats to creamy cheeses.

4. During the 12th and 13th centuries descendants of these winemakers inhabited the island of Lundy off the South-West coast of England.

5. Our boss James is currently in the company of the head winemaker at this vineyard!

Any ideas? Tweet us @majesticstrat or comment here on facebook with your answers.

Welcome Dan Date published: 10/05/13

Hi everyone

I am Dan the newest member of the Majestic Stratford-upon-Avon team. I have been in the company for 7 months at the Wolverhampton store. I have learnt loads since joining and have taken my WSET level 3 exam(still awaiting results so fingers crossed). My background is in Gastro-pubs so I love talking about places to go to eat and drink, so any recommendations are forthcoming. I also went to college in this lovely town so I am quite familiar with the area and hope to see some old faces.

I would like to recommend 3 of my favourite wines that I have enjoyed since starting with Majestic.

No.1 Surani, Costarossa Primitivo £7.99 (when you buy 2 or more Italian wines. £9.99 single bottle price)

This wine was one of the first I tried when I joined Majestic. The one word to describe is unbelievable, I have never had anyone guess it is under £10. The grapes for this wine are left on the vine to over ripen that creates an intense dried fruit flavour, then they under go a long maceration and oak ageing to add a subtle sweet spice character. This wine is deep, bold and intense and pairs well with any rich, red meat dishes.

No.2 McManis Family vineyard, Viognier £8.99 (when you buy 2 or more. £10.99 single bottle price)

I first tried this wine at Wolverhampton's winter tasting event and my love affair with Viognier started and is now one of my favourite grape varieties. This wine is made just south of Lodi in California and the grapes are grown on the family estate. The grapes benefit from the cooling influence of the two surrounding rivers. It has the lovely stone fruit flavours but is still aromatic. It is a wine that is ideal for long summer days and pairs well with a pulled pork salad with a honey dressing.

No.3 Fairbourne, Sauvignon Blanc £13.99 (when you buy 2 or more NZ wines. £17.49 single bottle price)

I was lucky enough to try this wine at a supplier tasting. This wine is different to most New Zealand Sauvignons, it is varying at every vintage with the producers trying something different every year to improve the wine and match how the grapes have grown in that current year. This wine has had a lot of effort and thought put into it and when you hear the story it makes you realise you're still not paying enough. It has a flinty minerality and the new vintages have a slight oak influence to make them even more complex. This wine is comparable to the best the Loire has to offer and goes well with delicate cuisine and sashimi.

I hope to meet you all very soon and don't hesitate to ask for more recommendations.

Dan

Wine of the weekDate published: 08/05/13

Fleurie Flower Label 2011, Georges Duboeuf

The wines from Beaujolais are all made from the Gamay grape variety. Gamay when coupled with the carbonic maceration technique gives a wine that is very light in body and fruity, a perfect summer red. Because of its lightness in body and almost non existent tanins beaujolais would be quite happy to be served slightly chilled.

Fleurie is one of the ten crus of Beaujolais and one of the most sought after. Georges Duboeuf is one of the best known winemakers in this region to the south of Burgundy, and has been nicknames the King of Beaujolais.

Classic Fleurie with fresh cherry fruits and a fragrant, floral perfume. Concentrated fruit and light tannic prescence are testament to the cru status of this wine. An attractive wine with a silky texture.

Food match: Serve lightly chilled at lucntime with a selection of cold meats, soft cheeses and fresh bread.

£9.99

save 20% when you buy 2 or more Beaujolais

£7.99

Farewell from KenDate published: 06/05/13


Many customers at the Stratford store know me as the “South African one”, or “the big guy”. Some even know me as Ken. It is with a little sadness I say farewell as I move on to a new posting for Majestic at the Wolverhampton branch where I will keep learning about (and trying) wine in all its glorious forms.

I have certainly learnt a lot during my time in Stratford upon Avon, the team and customers here definitely embrace all aspects of wine culture, from the history to food matching, and of course the sheer enjoyment of it!

Christmas was particularly good, with everybody in a very buoyant mood and loads of hustle and bustle. I think this summer will be excellent and wish you lots of good weather- and great wine of course.

I hope I have contributed more than the occasional lecture about Braai and how BBQ just aren't the same (fully embracing my birth country's attitude of disdain at gas as a cooking method!)

Dan from Wolves will be my replacement, and I'm sure he will enjoy the town and customers as much as I have. He isn't African but don't hold that against him.

So goodbye Stratford, I know the team here will keep looking after your wine needs, and if you find yourself in Wolverhampton, pop in and say hello!

Until then, Cheers!

Ken

Wine of the week take 2!Date published: 26/04/13

This weeks wine of the week proved so popular that we have run out! So here is an alternative...'El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa' Old Vine Garnacha 2008 Navarra

Spain

Grenache is widely planted around the Mediterranean as well as being the most widely planted grape of the southern Rhone where it is often blended with Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault. In Spain, however, the grape is known as Garnacha.

Garnacha is often used in Rioja blends. This wine, however, is 100% Garnacha from the Navarra region. El Chaparral gets it's name from the indigenous Chaparros forests that surround the Nekeas Valley near the northern Navarra town of Añorbe where Bodega Nekeas is situated. The traditionally bush-trained vines from this part of the Nekeas Valley are between 70 and 100 years old, and yield low numbers of high quality berries. The combination of vine age and excellent soil allied to the winemaker's skill have produced a superbly balanced wine that really showcases this impressive grape

An alluring purple in the glass this wine displays rich blackberry and rasperries on the nose – some say even a hint if Turkish delight. The palate display a greater prominence of raspberries and red fruits while the structure of the tannins give the wine a smoothly agreeable composition.

Food Match: This would be a perfect accompaniment to a spit-roasted wild boar with generous helpings of tangy bramley apple sauce thrown into the fray.

£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines

Wine of the Week: Date published: 24/04/13

Rioja Blanco Vina Real Cune 2011 Rioja, Spain

Well, it looks like the weather is finally starting to pick up and this week's wine of the week is a delicious easy drinking white, perfect for those lazy afternoons in the sun.

The grape variety used to make this wine is Macabeo, but it is known as Viura in the Rioja region of northern Spain. Ever popular, Viura makes up about 90% of the regions still white wine production! The grapes are particularly suited to Rioja Alta's hot dry conditions and, as it is prone to late budding, often avoiding the regions late spring frosts.

CVNE have been producing wine in Haro in Rioja Alta since 1879 and have established a reputation as one of Rioja's top wine producers.

_____ La Rioja Alta are consistently one of the best producers. On the nose this wine gives aromas of citrus, grapefruit and subtle cinnamon and vanilla.

The palate is rounded and smooth with a great length and delicate hints of biscuit and yeast. ____________________________________________________

Food Match: This elegant soft and fruity white wine is the ideal match to tapas, and in particular Paella Valencia.

£9.36

Buy 2 bottles and save 20%

So Only £7.49 per bottle!

The Monday Wine Quiz!Date published: 22/04/13

Well, its that again...so I am proud to present this weeks installment of the Monday Wine Quiz! Lets see how you get on this week shall we?

1- The name of the grape variety used to make this wine is a synonym for 'Macabeo'.

2- 90% of the regions still white wine output is produced from the grape variety used to make this weeks wine of the week.

3- The region this wine is produced is know for its hot, dry conditions, red wine, and tapas!

4- The people who make this wine founded their winery in 1879 in Haro in Rioja Alta.

5- The nose of this wine is soft and fruity with aromas of vanilla and cinnamon.

6- The palate is full bodied and round with a hint of grapefruit, biscuit and yeast. The finish is long and elegant.

7- This wine is a perfect match for Paella!

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.Remember this wine will be open on our tasting counter for you to try!

Wine of the Week: Umbral MalbecDate published: 17/04/13

Umbral de Los Tiempos Malbec 2010 Mendoza, Argentina

Malbec originates from Bordeaux where it was historically used for producing inexpensive quaffing wines which often lacked flavour. When transported to the Southern hemisphere, it creates intensely flavoured, deeply coloured wines bursting with bramble fruits. This Wednesday the 17th April is the 3rd World Malbec Day globally raising awareness of this amazing grape variety. It commemorates the day when Argentinian president, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento officially made his mission to transform Argentuina's wine industry. On that day, back in 1853, he tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines. Amongst his selection, was Malbec, which has since become Argentinas most well kniown grape.  

This 100% Malbec gets 12 months oak ageing and exhibits bramble, red fruit and spice.

Ken says:”Rich and powerful, this wine is a serious beast but offers lots of subtle notes of toasted oak and soft spice to lend it complexity. Perfect for a steak or homemade burgers on the BBQ.”  

Food match: Why mess with a classic match? It simply has to be a char-grilled lump of rare beef or lamb steaks, rubbed with garlic and rosemary.

£12.99 per bottle or BUY TWO AND SAVE £4 So only £9.99 per bottle  

The Monday Wine Quiz!Date published: 15/04/13

Here we are again with our infamous Monday Wine Quiz. Today's wine is an absolute stunner so lets see if you can guess it!

1- The grape variety used to make this wine originates from Bordeaux.

2-The country that produces this wine is in the southern hemisphere and is famous for its production of heart red wines and beef!

3- Wednesday 17th April is a special day for this type of wine.

4- The winery matures the fermented grape juice in oak for twelve months to give it extre depth and spice.

5- On the palate this wine is rich and powerful with lashings of dark fruits, vanilla spice and toasty oak.

6- The perfect food match for this wine is BBQ'ed meats.

7- The name of this wines translates as 'shadow' in Latin and 'threshold' in Spanish.

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.Remember this wine will be open on our tasting counter for you to try!

Wine of the Week: Falabella Bianco 2012Date published: 10/04/13

Falabella Bianco 2012, Tenuta Ulisse, Terre di Chieti  

In the early 1900's, Antonio Ulisse started a small vineyard close to the town of Crecchio in Abruzzo, but it was not until 2006 when his grandsons transformed it into the commercial winery it is today, making wines from the fruit of three family-owned estates.  

An exciting blend of three of Abruzzo's principal white grapes, combining citrus and tropical stone fruit flavours with a lifted spiciness and a touch of mineral grip. Food Match: Very versatile with food, works well with semi- mature cheese all the way to pasta alle frutti di mare.

£9.99 or buy 2 save £4,

£7.99

Fine Wine Friday...Date published: 05/04/13

Today (5th April 2013) saw a sad end to the Majestic Fine Wine Friday. Before you panic, this is not an end to the opening of Fine Wines from our vast range but we will now be making the approach more relevant for you, for example, on various Saturdays we do Tasting Tutorials so now we may pop open some mid range wines and then a fine wine to compare the difference in quality. This gives you the chance to put the wine in perspective against wines from the same region or from the same grape.

So here in Stratford, as a tip of the hat to FWF, we really pushed the boat out and opened two truly outstanding examples from Rioja and got some cured meats to go with! Check out what we opened and the #7wordwinereview's we did to go with them...

The first was a Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2004 - "Outstanding wine, really takes your breath away"

And the second was a La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza 2004 - "A new vintage but same high quality"

WOTW: Morellino di Scansano PoggioargentieraDate published: 04/04/13

WOTW: Morellino di Scansano Poggioargentiera

Vineyards in Tuscany are at the forefront of developments in viticulture and winemaking in Italy. The region is very hilly with many sites providing excellent exposure to sunlight. Many of the vineyards are at altitude, and the resulting wide variations in temperature between day and night help the grapes develop aromas and retain their natural acidity. Poggioargentiera is located in the Maremma, located in the southern most point of Tuscany by the Mediterranean sea.

In Scansano, in the southern part of Tuscany, Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese. In this case blended with 15% Ciliegiolo, another indigenous local grape, this is a slim and youthful style of red, with only a third of the blend spending 6-8 months in new oak.

Ripe cherry and strawberry fruit forms the backbone of this wine, which is medium-bodied and approachable, and fresh in feel. A subtly rustic streak gives a touch of complexity and food frendliness.

Food match: Anything from lamb chops to game.

£11.99 or buy two bottles and save £6 = £8.99

Monday wine quiz...Date published: 01/04/13

So it's Bank Holiday Monday, I imagine many of you will have treated yourself to some glorious wine over the weekend, but now it's time to get serious with our Monday wine quiz.

Each week we offer you the chance to show off your knowledge and try to guess what our wine of the week will be using the following clues, so here we go, this is a tricky one so put your thinking caps on....

1.This wines country of origin has an annual production of nearly five billion litres.

2. This wine is a blend of local grape varieties, 85% of which is a subtype of Sangiovese.

3.The winerys name loosely translates as 'Silvermine Hill' and covers 22hectares/55acres.

4. Ripe cherry and Strawberry form the backbone of this wine, which is medium bodied and fresh with a rustic streak that adds complexity and food friendliness.

5. Partner this wine with anything from lamb chops to game and you are in for a treat.

Can you tell what it is yet? (That isn't a clue by the way) 

We are closed on Easter SundayDate published: 28/03/13

Please note that we will be closed on Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013. We are open our normal Friday hours on Good Friday and our bank holiday hours on Easter Monday.

Wine of the Week: Vinalba Malbec Reservado 2011Date published: 27/03/13

Vinalba Reservado Malbec 2011

Now Argentina's signature grape, Malbec originates from Bordeaux where it was historically used for producing inexpensive quaffing wines which often lacked flavour. When transported to the Southern hemisphere, it creates intensely flavoured, deeply coloured wines bursting with bramble fruits. Altitude is the key to Argentinian Malbec, with producers competing to lay claim to the highest vineyards in the world. The cooler temperatures found there allow the grapes to benefit from longer hang-time without becoming overripe. Sited in the iconic Mendoza region, Vinalba are among the standard-bearers for Argentinian Malbec, with this offering winning a second Decanter Gold Medal in 2010. Blackcurrant and bramble fruit demonstrate the essence of Malbec perfectly, with mocha and earth notes adding complexity. On the palate, the fruit is pleasingly obvious with integrated tannins adding just the right amount of structure. Food match: Why mess with a classic match? It simply has to be a char-grilled lump of beef.

£10.99 per bottle or

BUY TWO AND SAVE £6 So only

£7.99 per bottle

The Monday Wine Quiz!Date published: 25/03/13

Well it's time again for our Monday Wine Quiz. Below are a list of clues that hint at what our Wine of the Week will be. We will give you the answer on Wednesday so stay tuned!

1. The country this wine comes from is located in the Southern Hemisphere and is famous for its steaks!

2. The wine is made from a grape variety that originated in the South of France but has been made the iconic National grape variety of this country.

3. The grapes that are used to make this wine are cultivated from vines that grow at the foot of a famous mountain range and some that are cultivated at very high altitudes of over 1000m above sea level.

4. This wine won a Decanter Gold Medal Award in 2010 for its quality.

5. On the nose this wine is full of rich dark fruit aromas of dark plum, blackberries, blackcurrants and toasty vanilla spice.

6. The palate is rich and full bodied with ample tannins, lashings of dark fruits and hints of smoke.

7. This wine will go well with any red meat dish but is sublime with a big juicy steak.

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.Remember this wine will be open on our tasting counter for you to try!

WOTW: Vina Eguia Gran Reserva 2004Date published: 20/03/13

 

 

 

 

 

Vina Eguia Gran Reserva 2004 Rioja, Spain

Located in Elciego in the Rioja Alavesa subregion, this winery was started in 1973, and is now run by father and son, Jose and Julian Muriel of Bodegas Muriel since 2010. Elciego is close to the “Basque” region whose word for truth 'eguia' lends itself to the winery's brand name. The hand upraised on the book shaped label is likened to swearing to tell the truth on the bible. ________________________________________________

This wine is made from selected Tempranillo grapes from the best vineyards. Temperature controlled fermentation followed by 30 months in oak barrels and then 3 years in bottle gives this wine a traditional, elegant Rioja character. ______________________________________________

Full of mature red fruit and currants, with lovely vanillin aromas and cinnamon. Medium bodied with raisins, clove and caramelised grapes with a long, smooth finish. A classic lighter Rioja.  

Food Match: Perfect accompaniment for roast lamb, slow cooked on a Sunday afternoon.

Price: £9.99, buy 2 Spanish wines, save 20%, £7.99

Monday Wine Quiz!Date published: 18/03/13

Well it's time again for our Monday Wine Quiz. Below are a list of clues that hint at what our Wine of the Week will be. We will give you the answer on Wednesday so stay tuned!

1. The country this wine comes from is famous for its sunny days and vibrant culture.

2. The wine is made from vines with an average age of forty years.

3. The area this wine comes from gets it's name from the river that runs through the region.

4. The name of the wine is inspired by the Basque word for 'truth' and the label reflects this, showing a hand 'swearing' on a book.

5. This wine has been aged in oak barrels for 30 months,followed by 3 years in bottle.

6. On the nose this wine is full of mature fruits, accompanied by clove and vanilla spice.

7. The palate is full bodied and exhibits raisin, prune and caramel notes.

8. This wine is the perfect match for slow cooked lamb or nutty cheese. Ole!

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.Remember this wine will be open on our tasting counter for you to try!  

WOTW: JORDAN Cab Merlot 2010Date published: 13/03/13

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010 Stellenbosch South Africa

Ted and Sheelagh Jordan took over their spectacular 146-hectare Stellenbosch estate in 1982, and set about replanting it with international grape varieties. Now run by their son Gary and his wife, Kathy, who built the new winery, developing the modern Jordan range. As part of our current South African promotion this is an exceptionally good wine at a great price. ________________________________________________

Warmth tempered by cooling breezes from the ocean make Stellenbosch famous for the finest red wines . This classic 'Bordeaux blend' of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is aged in small French oak Barriques to add spicy complexity to the blend. ________________________________________________

Full of ripe plum and black berries, this also has subtle hints of menthol and cocoa powder. The jammy fruit and soft, smooth tannins develop into a medium full-bodied warmth.  

Food Match: Perfect accompaniment for meaty pasta dishes or steak pie on a windy March night.

Price: £9.99, buy 2 save 20%, £7.99.

Don't cry for me Argentina, the truth is your wines are awesome...Date published: 08/03/13

  Argentina is the 5th largest wine producing country in the world, with a history of wine production dating back to 1557 when cuttings brought from Chile were taken to the Mendoza Province.

  Most of the vineyards lie close to the Andes, in a series of irrigated oases, the majority sit 600m or more above sea level, often extending to 2000m or more to allow cool sites to be found near the equator.

  Large quantities of ripe, healthy fruit can be produced at a low cost due to high yielding vineyards, dry sunny weather and cheap labour. Only a handful of estates make wine the old fashioned way, using old oak casks for pre bottle ageing, with most choosing to ferment in stainless steel vats and oak barriques.

  Many grape varieties are grown in the country, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah widely planted for red wine and Chardonnay and Viogner for whites, however for marketing purposes they choose to promote three main varieties:

  Malbec is the most widely planted grape variety in Argentina, and has been used for full-bodied, ripe, black fruit, spicy red wines. It shows regional differences that reflect the climatic conditions in which it is grown and in the last 10 years has produced much more elegant wines.   Highly recommend is the Salentein Portillo Malbec, 2011, from Mendoza. On a buy 2 save £6 offer at £6.99 represents excellent value for this award winning wine.

  Bonarda is the second most grown varietal, recently overtaken by Malbec, found mostly in the east of Mendoza. The La Posta Bonarda 2010, from Mendoza is a round, medium bodied example of this varietal, inky in colour with spicy cedar and black berries on the palate.         On a buy 2 save £4 offer at £7.99.

  Torrontés is Argentina's signature white grape variety, a distant relation of Muscat, and due to investment has a great future.The variety produces intense fruity, floral wines with medium body and acidity. The Viñalba Selección Torrontés 2012, from Lujan de Cuyo is a great example and £8.99 when you buy 2 and save £2.

Wine of the Week: Portillo Malbec 2011Date published: 06/03/13

Salentein Portillo Malbec, 2011 Mendoza, Argentina Portillo is Salentein's entry-level range and since 2011 it has become Argentina's first wine to certify its carbon footprint. Salentein's 2,000ha estate and winery has a commitment to the environment. Only 700ha are planted to vines, which are farmed sustainably, and the estate stretches for 22km, at altitudes ranging from 1,050m to 1,550m.  

Chief winemaker Jose Pepe Galante, formerly of Catena, displayed impeccable timing when he joined Salentein in 2010. Last year, the producer was awarded a Gold decanter award with its Reserve Malbec 2008 and this year the Portillo Malbec 2011 won the ultimate accolade of best Argentine red single varietal under £10. This wine succeeded with its fragrant aromas and vibrant palate, cleverly expressing a modern style of Argentinian Malbec.  

On the nose, heaps of earthy bramble fruit, with a slight floral character offset by attractive oak.

In the mouth it is full bodied and warm, with bags of blackberry and whispers of liquorice. Bound together by soft round tannin, good length and enough acidity to balance everything beautifully.

Food Match – Rare Argentinian steak with hand cut chips. £9.99

Buy 2 and save £6

£6.99

Wines of South America Tutored Tasting UpdateDate published: 05/03/13

On Saturday 9th March at 11am and 3pm it is our Wines of South America Tutored Tasting in store so here is a little taster of the wines we will be trying.

We will begin by 'Comparing Chardonnay: Argentina vs. Chile'. Here we will taste Alamos Chardonnay 2011 and the Santa Rita Medalla Real Chardonnay 2011.

Next we will look at 'Comparing Chilean Carmenere: Blend vs. single varietal'. Here we will try the Koyle Carmenere Reserva 2010 and the Santa Rite Medalla Real Carmenere 2009.

Lastly we will explore Argentina's signature grape variety: Malbec. We will taste the Vinalba Malbec Touriga Nacional 2010 comparing this blend to the single varietal Catena Malbec 2010.

We still have spaces available on both sessions so drop us a line on 01789 299385 to reserve your spot.

The Monday Wine Quiz! Date published: 04/03/13

Well its time again for our Monday Wine Quiz. Below are a list of clues that hint at what our Wine of the Week will be. We will give you the answer on Wednesday so stay tuned!

1. The country this wine comes from is famous for its mountain ranges, high altitude vineyard sites and beef!

2. The wine is made from a traditional French grape variety that this country has now made its signature grape.

3. This particular winery is located in the heart of the best known winegrowing region of this country. Its vineyards lie 1050 metres above sea level.

4. The name of the wine is inspired by a high elevation mountain pass located in the mountains which represents a gateway to the family vineyards.

5. This wine recently won the Decanter Magazine award of 'Best Under £10 Trophy' for its country.

6. On the nose this wine is full of rich bramble fruits, ripe plums and vanilla spice.

7. The palate is rich, spicy, full of dark fruits and is incredibly full bodied.

8. This wine is the perfect match to a big juicy steak.

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.Remember this wine will be open on our tasting counter for you to try!

Wine Label or Wine Fable: Porcupine Ridge Merlot 2011Date published: 01/03/13

Welcome to this week's edition of wine label or wine fable? This week we focus on the Porcupine Ridge Merlot 2011 from Boekenhoutskloof from the Coastal region of the Cape Winelands in South Africa.

This label is striking from the off, with a sketched drawing of a porcupine on the front. On the back it starts off with the cryptic words "HYSTRIX AFRICAEAUSTRALIS". This turns out to be the Latin for the Crested Porcupine which are well represented in South africa. It then describes the beast as "covered in spines and quills which when raised present a formidable fence of sharp spikes." They go on to elaborate that it is a noisy animal that moves with a ponderous gait accompanied by much snuffling and grunting. They are nocturnal, shy and always welcomed by the families around the Boekenhoutskloof farm.

Inside the bottle the comparison continues as the initial fruit aromas and smooth finish make this a very welcome wine. The plums and black berry compete for your attention while it's oak influence warms the way for its chocolate and coffee flavours. The coffee won't keep you up like our friendly porcupine though.

A perfect full bodied party wine, this wine definitely represents the South African 'style' of easy drinking yet earthy and rich wine. A great bottle to open on a cold night! I make this a wine Fable not label this time I think, although I could imagine some 'snuffling' if I saw one in my vicinity. The wine is just too smooth to be compared to a porcupine! It is now 2:2 so all tied on the Label:Fable front.

Wine of the Week: Planalto Douro White Reserva 2011Date published: 27/02/13

Planalto White Reserva 2011 Douro Valley Portugal

This Wine of the Week choice comes from Portugals Douro Valley. This area is the home of port but is increasingly becoming known for its still table wines. It stretches from the city of Oporto on the coast all the way to the Spanish boarder where it becomes the Duero. The grapes used in the production of this wine are indigenous to the Douro area and as such are a fantastic expression of its terroir. It is a complex blend of Malvasia Fina,Viosinho, Gouveio, and Codega. Despite its traditional blend the wine is vinified in a modern style. The grapes are crushed and de-stalked then fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel vats to retain the fresh and aromatic style of the fruit.

On the nose this wine has hints of white pear and green apple with overtones of soft blossom. The palate is dry and delicate yet aromatic with citrus, juicy pear and melon flavours. The acidity is good giving this wine fantastic balance and elegance.

Food match: Great with seafood dishes such as pan fried sea bass in a herb crust.

£7.99 or buy 2 Portuguese Wines Save 20%

Only £6.49 per bottle

Wines of Classic France Tutored Tasting UpdateDate published: 26/02/13

On Saturday 2nd March at 11am and 3pm it is our Wines of Classic France Tutored Tasting in store so here is a little taster of the wines we will be trying.

We will begin by 'Comparing Burgundy Appelations: Regional vs Comune' with the Bourgogne Chardonnay Côtes D'Auxerre 2011 Pascal Bouchard vs. the Chablis Vocoret 2011.

Next we will explore the grape variety of Gamay in 'Beaujolais vs. Burgundy' when we look at the Georges Duboeuf 2011 Beaujolais Village and the Louis Jadot Mâcon Rouge 'Les Roches Rouges'.

Lastly we will compare Rhone Valley Wines looking at 'Cotes du Rhone vs Chateauneuf du Pape'. We will taste the Plan de Dieu 2010 from Domaine Durieu and the Châteauneuf du Pape Serabel 2010.

We still have spaces available on both sessions so drop us a line on 01789 299385 to reserve your spot.

Six of the Best: South AfricaDate published: 22/02/13

Six of the Best: South Africa

South Africa has a long and interesting history in most fields of interest, and is quite notorious for well known reasons. It 's wine industry also has an interesting past, stretching back over 350 years.

In previous centuries South African wines were highly regarded in Europe, in particular the Vin De Constance, Napoleon's favourite sweet wine. Since democracy in 1994, the wine industry in the Western Cape has undergone significant changes and modernisation to bring it back to worldwide standards in quality.

While we only see a fraction of the South African wines (the ones who export), we do get some cracking wines. I, as a neutral South African (hah), have gone through the Majestic range and picked 6 of my favourites. All of the prices quoted are the reduced prices from our 20% off South Africa offer.

Whites

South Africa white wine production was previously dominated by Chenin blanc, but after extensive re-planting in the 1990's, is establishing it's current reputation of producing exceptional Chardonnays (particularly in the cooler areas) and fresh and lively Sauvignon Blancs.

Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc 2012 [Sauvignon Blanc]

£6.99

An invigorating wine, this cool fermented Sauvignon Blanc is ideal for garden parties or plain everyday drinking. Dry and refreshing with a clean fruity nose and lots of tropical fruit and lime citrus with a crisp finish.

DMZ (De Morgenzon) Chardonnay 2012 [Chardonnay]

£8.79

This vineyards name means”The morning sun” and is renowned for playing Mozart in its vineyards, to promote “order in the grapes”. This Chardonnay is made from free-run juice only before being partially fermented in French oak and aged in barrel for 10 months on its lees. Gold in colour with tropical fruit and vanilla on the nose, it has a clean peach flavour with delicate oak and subtle spice on the tongue. Lovely.

Bellingham' The Bernard Series' Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2011 [Chenin Blanc]

£8.79

This is made from an exceptional plot of old, low yielding Bush vines and named after Bellingham's founder, Bernard Podlashuk. Even ripening and low yield vines give these grapes great flavour intensity. It is then matured in French oak. Tropical fruit, citrus, limestone minerality and the oak are all present on the nose, with the palette being round and full and dominated by apricot and peach with vanillin spice and honeysuckle.

Reds

Well known for being the birthplace of Pinotage (a crossing of the Cinsault and Pinot noir grapes), South Africa is also known for delivering powerful Bordeaux blends, usually of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Their forward, fruit-driven styles makes them widely appealing and ideal food matching wines.

KC( Klein Constantia) 2010 [Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc]

£8.79 on offer

A great wine, this blend delivers smooth toasty notes with plenty of ripe black fruit to entice the palette. Matured for 20 months in oak, its spicy tannins perfectly balance its ripe black cherry and chocolate flavours.

Barista pinotage 2010 [Pinotage]

£6.99 on offer

This deliberately modern pinotage has intense aromas of coffee,chocolate and cherry and it delivers a smooth medium full bodied punch of mulberry and dark plum on the palette with a finish of espresso crema. A must try for coffee and wine lovers.

Thelema Mountain Red 2010 [Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Grenache/Petit verdot/Cabernet Franc]

£8.79 on offer

From the Elgin region, this blend is aged in mature oak barrels for 18 months and offers ripe cherry and plum flavours. This wine is beautiful now but would benefit from a couple of years ageing, if you can resist it!

Rioja, a love affair...Date published: 22/02/13

  My love for Rioja began when I was just nine years old, in the Spanish seaside town of Caleta de Velez where my Grandmother lived, 900km away from the region on the Costa del Sol.

  I must at this point make clear that I wasn't drinking at such a young age, well not heavily, and the only logic to my near obsession with all things Alta now must be closely related to those experiences in my youth.

  One of my most vivid memories as a child is walking through a Spanish market for the first time. I can still hear the chatter of old women wearing their long black fur coats (it was 20°C in December, that's summer here!), still smell the mountains of ripe, fresh off the tree oranges, and the hundreds of handmade leather bags hanging from racks above my head. Then the heartstopping dust track drive up into the mountains for a lunch of whole bbq leg of lamb, stuffed with huge garlic cloves and the freshest rosemary, in a restaurant co-owned by the footballer Alan Ball. (see photo)

  So, I realise I've not mentioned wine thus far! There is method to my waffle though. My thought is, have I made a sub-concious connection between childhood memories and the wines of Rioja? Have all of the previously mentioned sights, sounds, smells and tastes naturally drawn me to the more mature wines of this region? The things I enjoy the most about these Red wines are the fruit that seems to dry out but still retain some freshness, the warming, comfortable sweet spice, the velvety soft mouthfeel that seems to hug you from the inside out, but most of all the ability to make a leg of lamb sing like it was still jumping around a field. It feels like a real treat when I pop the cork on a 22 year old wine, just like it was visiting my Gran 22 years ago. If only her name was Reserva and not Barbera!

I've picked three of my current in store favourites at different price points and given them a #7wordwinereview...

 Everyday drinker - Muriel, Rioja Reserva Vendimia Seleccionada 2007 - £6.99 when you buy 2 as part of a mixed case

'Firm body. Polished tannins. Herbs, wood and leather.'

 Dinner party - La Rioja Alta, Vina Ardanza Reserva 2004 - £18.00 when you buy 2 as part of a mixed case 

'Rich, powerful, complex and perfumed. Loves duck!'

 To lay down - Marques de Caceres, Gaudium 2005 - £40.00

'Massive. Young. Needs some time to rest'

WOTW:Quinta Da Crasto Douro 2010Date published: 20/02/13

Quinta Da Crasto 2010, Douro D.O.C, Portugal

The Douro DOC is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world and is located roughly 80km east of Oporto and stretches from the Marão mountains to the frontier with Spain. Its climate varies from warm maritime at the coastal end to hot continental in the eastern areas. Quinta da Crasto is located about halfway along this stretch. This wine is made from four of the great port grapes- Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barocca.  

While the grapes and country are more known for their Port, their table wines are gaining more recognition as being quality red wines with intense fruit combined with finesse in their structure. Full of ripe blackberries and raspberries, this wine has impressive structure and firm tannins. A touch of spice is present in both aroma and on the palate.

Food match: Ideal with spicy cured meat and harder cheeses. Works well with homemade Chilli con Carne.  

£9.99, down to £8.49 when you buy any 2 or more Portuguese wines

The Monday Wine QuizDate published: 18/02/13

This is the second instalment of our fabulous new wine quiz. Did you guess last weeks wine of the week? If so well done! If not then lets see if you fare any better with this one...

From the following clues can you guess what our 'Wine of the Week' will be this Wednesday?

1. The country this wine comes from is better known for its beaches, golf and fortified wine than for its table wine.

2. The winery is located on the banks of the river which gives the region its name.

3.The wine is made from a traditional blend of local grape varieties also used in the production of the regions infamous fortified wine.

4. This wine comes from one of the most prestigious producers in the area.

5.It has a soft nose of wild raspberries and blackberries.

6.The palate is rich, fruity and full of wild dark berry fruit flavours and gentle vanilla spice.

7.It is a great match to spicy cured meats or paella.

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.  

7 word wine review in BirminghamDate published: 15/02/13

Recently team Stratford went out to an evening of wine tasting and reviewing in Birmingham! The idea behind '7 word wine review' is simple- people come together to try different wines and then tweet their short 7 word wine reviews on Twitter. It is a great way to meet people who are into their wine and also try a lot of new or unusual wines in one sitting!

We all bought or brought our own bottle and shared them amongst the group. Here's the wines and some tweets that went out:

First up, we started on the Deutz Champagne Classic Brut " Muller rhubarb crumble corner yoghurt, creamy goodness"

Next up, the Italian white wine: A Pecorino from Umbria "fleshy, hint of savoury and easy drinking"

Third bottle was another Italian: the Apollonio Salice Salentino 2007 "smokey, smooth and epic in the mouth"

On to the fourth, a Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa " makes you want to eat a steak"

Fifth bottle opened was a Bordeaux from Saint Estephe, the Chateau Beau Site Haut Vignoble 2004 "Barn,red fruit with good spice,structure"

To finish up, a Churchills White Port "Sherry'esque with oxidised spicy oak and raisins" also " Full of rich raisins and almond goodness"

It was a great night out, with interesting wines and lots of laughs! I can't wait until the next one! If you would like to join in and send your own reviews of interesting wines, just add #7wwr to your wine tweets!

Head over to our facebook page to see more pictures https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon (Give us a 'like' to keep informed of our activities)

Portugal Perhaps?Date published: 15/02/13

Time to try Portugal?

When Portugal is discussed its usually sun, golf and Port at the forefront of people's thinking. In conjunction with our buy 2 save £3 offer on Portuguese wines, we thought we'd examine their table wines, which are frankly vastly underrated.

As mentioned, Portugal's reputation for table wine used to be somewhat inconsistent at the best of times. In the last decades, quality has been on the rise, due to vineyard restructuring and new wineries with all the modern equipment to successfully provide this consistent quality. In 2003, a viticultural strategy was implemented to ensure small vineyards and estates were restructured to produce sustainable qualities of quality wines. We will look at a couple you can find in your local Majestic.

As a white wine, Vinho Verde is refreshingly different from the norm. Meaning 'Green Wine' , these can be made from a variety of grapes but lean towards a wine that is pale lemon in colour, with a subtle spritz and high acidity. The flavours are fresh and vibrant, with white peach and tropical fruit flavours and a distinct aroma of blossom and citrus.

The Quinta De Azevedo Vinho Verde is currently on offer at £6.49 when you buy 2 Portuguese wines.

The River Douro runs through Portugal from Porto all the way into Spain. The Douro Doc is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Wines made along the river benefit from its cooling effect during the day and it's moderating effect at night. The 'schist' soil famed through the region is important as it allows good drainage but also sufficient moisture throughout the hot summers. The Crasto douro red wine is made from four indigenous port grapes and gives concentrated flavours of raspberry and blackberry, alongside notes of dried fruits and smokiness.

The Crasto Douro red is currently on offer at £8.49 when you buy 2 Portuguese wines.

The Churchill Estates Douro is also from this region and made using native Duoro grape varieties this wine is fermented in stainless steel before being aged for 8 months in new and old French oak. It has ripe cherry and strawberry aromas on the nose, joined on the palate by vanilla and spice.

The Churchill Estates Douro is currently on offer at £9.99 when you buy 2 Portuguese wines.

We think these wines are great and now is the perfect time to try them if you are new to what the country offers. See you in store!.

WOTW:Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2012Date published: 13/02/13

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough

This fantastic wine hails from the famed Wairau plains in the Marlborough region of New Zealand and is made up up from a blend of 32 parcels of grapes from areas that have different micro climates. These are blended and balanced together to create this wine's complexity.  

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. The river that carves through this valley deposits various soils that help creat diversity and give their grape parcels different characteristics.  

Very aromatic on the nose with scents of nettle, tropical fruit and zesty lime. The palate is loaded with gooseberry and citrus with hints of mango and melon. Crisp and dry with a refreshing mouthfeel and finish.  

Food Match: Great with all seafood, the acidity would help carve through a riostto as well.

 

 

£9.99 or Buy 2 Save £6, £6.99

New Zealand Tutored Tasting UpdateDate published: 12/02/13

This Saturday at 11am and 3pm is our New Zealand Tutored Tasting so here is a little bit of information on the wines that we will be tasting.

To begin with we will look at 'Same Grape, Different Style' comparing the Villa Maria Pinot Grigio 2011 to the Waimea Estate Pinot Gris 2010.

We will then explore the grape that New Zealand is famous for: Sauvignon Blanc from the two 'Family-owned' wineries of Goldwater and Blind River.

Finally we will 'Compare Pinot Noirs' from two very different and distinct regions: The Villa Maria Cella Selection Pinot Noir 2009 from Marlborough, and the Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2010 from Central Otago.

We still have spaces available on both sessions so drop us a line on 01789 299385 to reserve your spot.

Valentines Day Date published: 12/02/13

Valentines Day Dinner Delights

Its that time of year again, when Cupid lets loose his arrows of love, and people all around the world celebrate their relationships. As it's a special time to spend together with your loved one, I thought I'd share my idea of a great Valentines day dinner(for two).

The setting is crucial and care must be taken when laying the table. Get some flowers in, maybe some candles too. Rose petals strewn everywhere and romantic music are cheesy but might work for you.

To start, I would want to pause together and relax with with a glass of bubbly. Pink fizz is the order of the day and something like the Oeil De Perdrix*, with it's fruity elegance and luxurious bubbles would set the mood just right. It's name literally means 'the eye of the partridge' and its soft pink colour does indeed resemble the game birds eye. At only £15, it'll leave you with enough money for the starter, some lovely Scottish scallops accompanied by a light lemon and thyme cream.

Onto the main course and keeping it light and spicy, by grilling some butterflied chicken thighs in some lime and chilli and serving on a bed of fresh rocket and micro-herbs. I would have something light with a fine spritz like the Portuguese Vinho Verde*, which has great acidity and is really refreshing.

For dessert, it would have to something classic, like a strawberry and vanilla panna cotta served with fresh strawberries and mint leaves. Sweet and fresh, it would go lovely with a moscato dessert wine, like the Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro* which also has a lovely blossom aroma to keep things romantic.

After that, its up to you- a romantic walk(if its not too cold), cosy up in front of the fire, or whatever you fancy. I'm sure you'll think of something..

Ken

* Oeil de Perdrix only £15 http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-Top+10+Fizz/product-is-22218 Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde £7.99, or buy 2 save £3, £6.49 http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-quinta/product-is-15103 Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro 50cl £9.99, or buy 2 save £5, £7.49.

 

The Monday Wine QuizDate published: 11/02/13

Every Wednesday we launch a new 'Wine of the Week' both in store and online. This wine usually represents something that we are excited to share with you or think is a great buy at the moment. We want you to be as excited about these wines as we are and so we thought it might be fun to give you a few clues about what we've selected a few days before the launch.

From the following clues can you guess what our 'Wine of the Week' will be this Wednesday?

1.The Coriolanus Effect is present at the winery.

2.The winery is named after the 2 brothers who started it in the 1980's.

3.The grape variety is synonymous with this area but originally hails from the Loire in France.

4. The name of the wine is also a region in Germany.

5.It has a youthful nose of tropical fruit, lime and green herbs.

6.The palate is laden with gooseberry and citrus.

7.It is a great match to Seafood risotto or Paella.

We'd love to hear your guesses via twitter @MajesticStrat or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/majesticwinestratforduponavon and don't forget to check back on Wednesday to see if you were right.

Fine Wine, Chorizo and SnookerDate published: 08/02/13

Recently we took the opportunity to get together with the guys from our Mere Green store for a couple of frames of snooker and a few bottles of Fine Wine. With the busy Majestic schedule these opportunities don't come around all that often so we seized the opportunity and made sure that we all brought along a real treat with the aim of making the night a highlight of our vinous year!

There was a real spread of countries and regions represented and it would be fair to say that the wine was considerably better than our skills around a snooker table!

The line up read is below and I have attached the #7wordwinereview for each that we posted on Twitter (@MajesticStrat) that night

Ken Forrester FMC 2011 Chenin Blanc

Kicking off tonight with @kfwines FMC! #7WordWineReview 'breathtakingly good Chenin. Jaws dropped all round'

Chateau Fuisse Pouilly Fuisse 2006

Chateau Fuisse 2006 from @laywheeler #7WordWineReview 'marauding at the peak of it's powers'

Marques de Caceres Gaudium 2005

Marques de Caceres Gaudium 2005. #7WordWineReview 'colossal Rioja that deserves far more ageing'

Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon

Next up is @RidgeVineyards Santa Cruz Mountains. #7WordWineReview 'Awesome isn't a good enough description people'

Chateau Phelan Segur 2000

Little break for Snooker for but back with Phelan Segur 2000. #7WordWineReview 'good with the pâté by the way'

Warres 1977 Port

Last but by no means least is Warres 1977 Port! #7WordWineReview 'if awesome had a taste then surely...'

We even managed to do a little bit of food matching with particular highlights being Époisses de Bourgogne cheese paired with the Warres 1977 and red wine boiled chorizo paired with the Gaudium.

It's fair to say we had a great night and it was a wonderful way to kick off 2013. And just in case you were wandering, Team Mere Green narrowly beat Team Stratford at snooker!

Spain & Italy Tutored Tasting UpdateDate published: 07/02/13

Ahead of our Italy & Spain Tutored Tastng this Saturday at 11am and 3pm I can now reveal what will be the focus of the session.

Firstly we will look at 'Contrasting Spanish Whites' featuring Marques De La Concordia Vega de la Reina Sauvingon Blanc and Martin Codax Caixas Albarino.

Secondly, we're going to compare 'Italy's Native White Grapes' by focussing on Gavi Montiero, Fattori Soave and Contesa Pecorino Colline Pescaresi.

Finally, we go back to Spain and venture 'Beyond Rioja' by comparing Pizarras de Otero from Bierzo and Lamatum Crianza from the Ribera Del Duero.

We still have spaces available on both sessions so drop us a line on 01789 299385 to reserve your spot.

WOTW: Inama Soave Classico 2011Date published: 06/02/13

WOTW: Inama Soave Classico 2011

Soave is located in the North East of Italy, on the banks of the river Adige. Soave is neighbour to the region of Valpolicella, where the Corvina grape is king, however Soave is the land of the white variety known as Garganega. This region plays a very important part in Italy's wine industry being the second best selling DOC wine in Italy, after Chianti. For a long time its main selling point was that it was a wine that would offend nobody (i.e. Boring). This is no longer the case, the quality has increased dramatically prompting the promotion of Soave Superiore to DOCG status. The Garganega grape is characterised by delicate flavours of almonds and some acidity and when yields are low can display floral notes and 'grapey' fruit. In Soave, Garganega can be blended with the Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay though the latter may account for no more than 30%. Some of the best wines come from the Classico region, which are around the town of Soave itself. This Soave Classico from Inama is no exception, offering a great alternative to Kiwi Sauvignon this summer.

This clean and clear wine offers a bouquet dominated by lime, with undertones of pineapple. A minerality is also apparent on the nose. On the palate there is a continued lime twist to this dry wine, with impressive length. This, matched with the fresh and crisp acidity, makes an ideal accompaniment this summer.

Food Match: Chicken Ceaser Salad £13.99 or buy 2 save £4.00, £11.99

Wine Label or Wine Fable? Morellino di Scansano 2011 PoggioargentieraDate published: 01/02/13

Welcome back to this weeks installment of Wine Label or Wine Fable? This week its the turn of the Morellino di Scansano 2011 Poggioargentiera a delightful Italian blend of Sangiovese and Ciliegiolo, an indigenous local grape variety, from Scansano in Southern Tuscany. So lets check out the label shall we?

It begins with some factual information including the blend (85% Sangiovese 15% Ciliegiolo) and the wine's DOCG status. So far so good, then the label states that the wine is 'guaranteed to be of the highest quality. This bottle comes from one of the top wineries in Tuscany's Maremma'. We tested this theory in the good old fashioned way: by cracking open a bottle and tasting it for ourselves. The verdict was that this wine is excellent displaying a fantastic bouquet of red fruits on the nose followed by a rich and full pallet of ripe red cherries, strawberries and sweet spice. The wine's racy acidity, good length and rustic charm make it a perfect match for classic Italian dishes such as pizza, pasta or game. In other words, we think this wine is top notch and the label is pretty close to the mark!

However, the label then says 'Best drunk with good food and good company'. Sorry Morellino di Scansano. Unfortunately you are our first wine to make it into the wine fable category! We completely disagree with this statement. Obviously drinking this wine with good food is going to show it in its best light, but we think the Morellino is such a fab wine that it is excellent whether you drink it with poor company, family, friends, pets, enemies or even on your own! So wine Fable it is!

Thats it for this weeks installment of Wine Label or Wine Fable. So far Wine label is winning 2:1! Of course you can always play this game at home with any bottle of wine that you choose. See you next week!

Wotw: Filosur Chardonnay 2011Date published: 30/01/13

FILOSUR Chardonnay 2011 Argentina

Andeluna cellars is an ultra modern winery, founded in 2003, right in the centre of 70 hectares of excellent high-altitude vineyards in Tupungato. Winemaker Silvio Alberto is a rising star in Argentina's wine scene, and makes wine in consultation with Michel Rolland an influential Bordeaux-based oenologist .  

Made from hand selected grapes grown at higher elevations in the foothills of the Andes in Mendoza. The sunny days and cool nights of this outstanding terroir produce the grapes that give this wine its rich and concentrated character.  

An unoaked Chardonnay, this wine is all about the fresh flavours of lime, green apples and white peach. The flavours are vibrant and youthful, and the palate is naturally soft and rounded in feel.  

Food match: Refreshing on its own, or will accompany a huge range of fish and white meat dishes.

 

 

£6.66 as part of our bargain hunt specials*

*when you buy at least 2 bottles as part of a mixed case

Wine Label or Wine Fable? Arago 21Date published: 25/01/13

This week we are looking at the Arago 21 Tautavel 2009 a delicious blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan produced by Gerard Bertrand in the Rousillon region of Southern France.

The label on the back of the bottle reads thus: 'It was Tautavel a small village in the Rousillon region of Southern France, in the small cave of Araco, that the oldest archaeological remains of homo erectus in Europe were found, dating back to 450,000 years. Arago 21 is the name given to the largest find, the cranium'.

As a graduated Archaeology and Ancient History student I find all this information incredibly fascinating and would love to do further research into the region and its archaeological remains. However, this information has little relevance to the wine itself other than of course its name. Is this wine label then a wine fabel? Well whilst the label does not tell us very much about the wine it is a fantastic insight into the regions history and is of course situated within the realms of fact. It therefore simply cannot be listed as a wine fabel and must be awarded the status of wine label!

The label does go on to read that the Arago 21is 'an excellent choice to drink with red meat and game dishes'. We got our enthusiastic trainee Luke to test this hypothesis and his verdict was that this is both an 'acurate' and 'welcome' suggestion adding that it goes particularly well with game pie! So tune in next week for the next installment of wine label or wine fabel?

Wine of the Week: Catalpa Chardonnay 2011Date published: 23/01/13

Catalpa Chardonnay 2011 Atamisque Argentina

Whilst Argentina's signature white grape variety has become the delicate and floral Torrontes over the past few years, they also do a cracking good job at producing great wines from other varietals. This weeks Wine of the Week is a fantastic example of a rich and rounded Chardonnay produced by Catalpa.  

The name 'Catalpa' comes from a tree which grows in the Atamisque estate in Argentina. The grapes themselves are lovingly hand harvested to ensure only the best quality grapes are used to produce the wine. The juice is then fermented in new French Oak barrels to impart sweet spice and vanilla flavours. Only 30% of the wine is aged for 10 months in the oak before it is blended with the remainder of the wine to add depth, complexity and structure.  

On the nose this wine exubes rich stone fruit, crunchy red apples and vanilla spice. The palate is soft and full with Burgundian elegance that defies the aromas. Delicate white peach, apricots and toasty vanilla spice materialise on the palate. The finish is long and smooth and leaves you wanting more.

Food match: The perfect match for creamy Poultry dishes.

 

Food match:

 

 

£12.99 per bottle

or just £8.49 per bottle when you buy two!

Wine Label or Wine Fable? An Introduction..Date published: 21/01/13

When it comes to selling their wine many winemakers certainly don't hold back and the labels on the back of some bottles of wine can be an interesting read. Here at Majestic Wine Stratford-Upon-Avon we have decided to make it our mission to bring some of these descriptions to light and see if they really are interesting and educational wine labels or simply wine fables...

This week our chosen wine is the Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from New Zealands Wairau Valley located in the ever popular region of Marlborough.

The label on the reverse of the bottle reads as such 'On first impression, our Sauvignon might remind you of gooseberries, passion fruit, and limes'.So far so good this is a fantastic and very acurate description of the delightfully zesty fruity style of the Goldwater Sauvignon.

The label then continues 'But dig a little deeper and you'll uncover the cool mountain winds and fist-sized stones that distinguish our region'. Now I know what your thinking, I certainly cannot find mountain ranges and large stones in my bottle of Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc! Is this then a wine fable?

Well never fear this is in fact a clever metaphor which highlights the way that the wine directly expresses the terroir of the region from which it is produced. The Goldwater has a distinctive herbaceous character reminiscent of raspberry leaves, nettles and a hint of elderflower directly linking the grapes to the picturesque Wairau Valley where the grapes were cultivated. It is this terroir and the flavour that it imparts into the Goldwater that makes it  far more than your average New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

With all this information to hand team Stratford believe that this is a genuinely useful and imaginative wine label. So congratulations Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc you are the first wine to make it into our wine label category!

Stay tuned this time next week for the next installment of wine label or wine fable.

Weather Update!Date published: 19/01/13

No worries Stratford Customers Majestic Wine Stratford-Upon-Avon are open for business as usual despite the inclement weather conditions. Its also our Southern French Tasting Week so please pop in and see what delights we have open to taste!

 

Many Thanks

 

Team Stratford

Winter warmers....Date published: 18/01/13

So, the snow is here, the ground is crisp and the traffic is slow, but I have a question for you...

...If you were stranded in the snow, who would you want to be with, what would you want to eat, but most importantly what wine would you want by your side?

Luke:

It is an easy answer for me, I would want to be with my beautiful wife and furry cat, sat in front of a roaring fire eating a very slowly roasted Lamb shoulder with a wonderfully mature Rioja, the one at the forefront of my mind being Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva 1994, not a wine that ive tried but one that i would really love to get stuck in to. Robert Parker gave it 96 points and that its drinking until 2025! Incredible.

Anna:

When it snows its always nice to have family around so I would want to be with my Mother, Father, Sister and Boyfriend (again in front of a roaring fire) eating a good old fashioned roast beef dinner. Being a Yorkshire Lass this would definitely include Yorkshire Puddings and roast potatoes with a selection of roasted veg. My ideal wine to go with this would be the Numanthia 2007. A fantastic Toro wine made from tempranillo grapes that is rich, full bodied and completed with lashings of spice and an abundance of dark fruits. Perfect match for a roast dinner this robust and hearty style of wine will also keep that winter chill at bay.

Why not let us know what your perfect snow situation would be?

Wine of The Week: Te Mata Chardonnay 2010 Date published: 16/01/13

Te Mata Chardonnay 2010 Woodthorpe vineyard Hawkes bay, New Zealand

Established in 1896, Te Mata Estate is New Zealand's oldest winery and remains family owned. It has, over nearly thirty years, produced a stunning array of red and white wines. They have also developed a unique single vineyard from which it produces its Woodthorpe wines. Hawkes Bay is second only to Marlborough in extent of plantings and has the longest sunshine hours and is therefore the warmest viticultural area. Variety in soils, altitude and aspect means this region produces many different styles of wines.  

On the nose this Chardonnay has ripe stone fruit and tropical mango fruit characters. These are subtly enhanced by fermentation in seasoned oak barrels, lees contact and a creamy malolactic influence. This creates a rich and elegant wine with ample fruit character but sufficient complexity to make it a fantastic wine.

Food match: Drink with rich creamy chicken dishes, or a lovely veal saltimbocca.

 

Bargain Hunt - Special Offer

Buy 2 still New Zealand wines save 20% £10.99  

WOTW - Valencay, Le Clos du Chateau Claude Lafond 2010Date published: 09/01/13

Valencay, Le Clos du Chateau Claude Lafond Loire 2010

Our next four wines of the week will be taken from our 'Bargain Hunt' selection. The bargain hunt is an oppourtunity for you to get your hands on wines we have now de-listed from our range, at an amazing price. Instead of allowing them to sell through naturally we further reduce them to free up space for new stock and give our customers improved deals.

The 10th century walled vineyard or “Clos” of the beautiful Loire Valley Chateau de Valencay was once owned by the Prince de Talleyrand. Recently aquired by Claude Lafond – star winemaker of nearby Reuilly – it is planted with the region's classic Sauvignon Blanc.

Fermented cool so as to retain all the fresh fruit of these graet grape varieties, the wine was matured on its lees to add depth of flavour and a very light natural spritz.

Food Match: Crisp, fresh and attractively complex, this is great on its own or with fresh lobster, sushi or fine Chinese cuisine.

£8.99

Buy two save £6

£5.99

 

WOTW - VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESIDate published: 02/01/13

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Monte Schiavo Italy 2011

After the fun, fetivities and over indulgence of the Christmas period, why not refresh your palate with this signature wine from the Marche region on the Adriatic coast.

Marches, or Marche (pronounced Mar-kay) in Italian, is a region on the eastern side of central Italy. It occupies a roughly triangular area whose longer sides are formed by the Apennine Mountains in the west and the Adriatic Sea in the east.

One of the most famous and historically noteworthy offerings in the Marches region, the dry white wines sold under this title are made from the ancient Verdicchio grape variety. Legend has it that when the troops of the king of the Visigoths, Alarich (370-410), marched on Rome, they were provided with barrels of Verdicchio to maintain their strength.

With pure citrus fruit, especially pineapple and lime, and a refreshing crisp finish, the palate is left invigorated after drinking this wine.

Food Match: A wonderful aperitif wine, would work well with light dishes. Maybe a fresh, detox based salad with some flaked white fish?

£7.99

Buy 2 bottles and save £2

£6.99

Wine of the Week: LFE Gran Reserva MerlotDate published: 28/12/12

Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Merlot 2011 Colchagua Valley, Chile

Quite possibly Chile's most celebrated red varietal: Merlot can be found in plantings from across Colchagua Valley. This smooth, softy and fruity grape variety is perfect for easy drinking. This particular example contains 15% fruit from nearby Casablanca Valley to give extra freshness of flavour.  

The wine is then lovingly ages in 30% French New Oak and American Oak barrels for 12 months to give the wine a little extra depth and richness.  

The result is a delicious wine with a silky smooth texture, soft tannins and lashings of dark fruits. Juicy plum, soft strawberries and black cherries are in abundance. These are followed by toasty vanilla spice and hints of green tobacco leaf.  

Food match: Spicy sausage casserole.

£9.99 a bottle

Or Buy Any 2 Chilean Wines and save 20% so only

£7.99 per bottle!

The Perfect Christmas Day From Champagne O'Clock!Date published: 21/12/12

Christmas day is all about good food, even better wine and great company so here is our perfect Christmas Day food and wine matches from the team at Majestic Wine Stratford:

Anna's Perfect Breakfast:

My perfect Christmas day breakfast has to be smoked salmon and asparagus on crispy bread topped off with a poached egg and lashings of black pepper. It is absolutely delicious and a great way to start a busy day of opening presents and seeing family. The perfect wine match to this dish is Champagne (any excuse to open a bottle of fizz)! The Canard Duchene Charles VII is my Champagne of choice; its elegant soft creamy style makes it fabulously smooth on the palate. The toasty brioche notes complement the crispy bread whilst the Champagnes acidity cuts through the oiliness of the smoked salmon making it the perfect breakfast combo.

Luke's Perfect Lunch:

Warning, this is a turkey free zone!

My perfect Christmas day lunch has to start with pan seared scallops, served with leeks and lemon chilli butter. This will most definatley be washed down with Weingärten, Grüner Veltliner, the absolute perfect match.

On to the main event, like I mentioned previously, not a Turkey in sight. I will be roasting a fillet of beef and serving it with a pink pheasant breast, roast potatoes, sprouts, peas, cauliflower cheese, and of course yorkshire puddings! This I feel needs Chateaux Destieux, 1997, St-Emillion Grand Cru.

James's Perfect Christmas Day Dessert

I'm far more of a traditionalist than Luke and so it would have to be a good old fashioned Christmas Pud with lashings of custard. My Mother in Law makes a fabulous Christmas Pudding that has chunks of dark chocolate spread through it. For this I can't think of a better match than Vin de Constance from Klein Constantia. Rich raisined fruits and a real sense of decadent oppulence make this a must for Christmas Pudding!

Ken's Perfect Cheese board:

Always a nice way to end up, the cheese board varies regularly but always has soft brie, baked camembert with cranberry jam, as well as the classic Lincolnshire Poacher and mature cheddar. Guests have included Black Bomber, some smelly goats cheese from Toulouse and an incredibly awful German blue cheese which offended everyone. This year we'll keep it simple and match with some Hidalgo Amontillado Seco Sherry and a nice entry level Bordeaux like the Chateau Picard 2004, which has a great finish and good tannins to match the cheese.

WOTW: San Leonino Chianti Classico 2008Date published: 19/12/12

Chianti Classico San Leonino 2008 Tenimenti Angelini Tuscany, Italy

Chianti is a fantastic Italian wine produced in the beautiful region of Tuscan in West-Central Italy. This particular Chianti comes from the very heart of the Chianti zone from the delightful village of San Leonino. It has been awarded 'Chianti Classico' status showing the excellent quality of this delicious red wine.  

A perfect blend of Caniolo and Sangiovese grapes make the San leonino Chianti Classico a very traditional style of Chianti. The vines are left to ripen on South-Easterly facing slopes which means that long sunshine hours help the grapes to reach maximum ripeness imparting a delicious fruitful character in the wine.  

 

 

 

£9.99 per bottle Or Buy 2 bottles Save £2! So only

£8.99 per bottle!

Christmas DeliveriesDate published: 15/12/12

Need some wine for Christmas? We still have plenty of delivery slots available right up until Christmas eve! So why not give us a call on 01789 299385

Rather Tasty Roast Turkey Matches!Date published: 14/12/12

Rather Tasty Roast Turkey Matches!

Christmas is a time for good company, delicious food and fantastic wine. It has come to be a great British tradition that we settle down to roast turkey on Christmas day (and more than likely for many days afterwards) so here is my guide to rather tasty roast turkey wine matches!

A classic roast turkey white wine match is white Burgundy. My personal favourite is the Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2010: something a little bit special for festive celebrations! This delicate Chardonnay is soft and rounded with flavours of green apple, white peach and hints of vanilla on the finish. A perfect model of finesse and elegance the wine matches the delicate flavour of roasted turkey without overwhelming it.

A superb traditional red wine match for roasted turkey is claret. The La Reserve de Leoville-Barton 2006 is a great choice. The second wine of this historic property is somewhat of a 'Cinderella' wine being overshadowed by the outstanding 2005 vintage. However this 2006 vintage wine is of fantastic quality at a fraction of the price. Smokey blackberry fruit, soft leather and pencil lead aromas will work wonderfully with roasted meat making this wine a great Christmas claret.

If you fancy a twist on these more traditional wine matches then I have a couple of interesting wines that work wonderfully with roasted turkey.

The Kings Thorn Pinot Gris 2011is a delicate fruity wine with soft peach and honeysuckle flavours that wonderfully complement the creamy flavour of roasted turkey. It is an excellent example of balance between texture, sweetness, acidity and fruit and as a result is an incredibly versatile wine that is also delicious when drank on its own.

A slightly unusual but delicious red wine match to roasted turkey is Chianti and the Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2009 Frescobaldi. A blend of Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon produces this rich fruity wine. Lush blackcurrant, raspberry, black cherry and blueberries are abundant on the palate along with cinnamon spice, leather and herbs. These flavours perfectly complement sage and onion stuffing and roasted vegetables making it is fantastic roast dinner wine!

Why not try any one of these rather tasty roast turkey matches and make your Christmas Majestical (Magical/Majestic)! Or pop in to your local Majestic store and we will be more than happy to point out some other great Christmas dinner matches!

Invivo Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012Date published: 12/12/12

Invivo Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012

New Zealand

The grapes in this wine were harvested at night, de-stemmed and crushed then settled for 48 hours. Various yeasts were added to the juice to add complex aroma's and texture. Average fermentation was 3 weeks, then the tanks were topped up and stirred for 10-12 weeks.

The Awatere Valley microclimate is unique in that it rarely recieves frosts but has very cool nights, this means the grapes are harvested later than other regions in New Zealand, this extra time on the vine locks in the pungent fruit flavours. The grapes are selected from four vineyards in the Westhaven Estate giving a variance in flavour and texture, however, extensive fruit thinning was carried out to ensure the fruit was able to deliver intensity and weight.

Initial aromas of tropical fruits, fresh bell peppers and zesty lime are backed up by a full, rounded mouthfeel with soft textures and fresh cutting acidity. Contact with lees gives an extra dimension to the focused palate and tropical fruit. With time the wine will develop in the bottle and its complexity will become more marked.  

Food Match: This wine is the perfect match to soft goats cheese tart.

£12.49 a bottle

Or buy any 2+ New Zealand Wines Save 20%

Only £9.99 per bottle!

Christmas Opening HoursDate published: 11/12/12

Obviously December is a busy month for us all and we at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon want to give you the widest possible window to grab all your Christmas essentials before the big day. With this in mind, we are now open from 9am Monday to Friday. As ever we close at 8pm during the week but there is a slight change to our opening hours on Saturday 22nd when we will be open untill 8pm instead of our normal 7pm.

Sunday opening hours are the same of 10am - 5pm and if you're still in need of our services on Christmas Eve then we will be open from 9am - 5pm.

To re-cap, find a table of our Christmas hours is below.

Monday 10th - Friday 14th, 9am - 8pm

Saturday 15th, 9am - 7pm

Sunday 16th, 10am - 5pm

Monday 17th - Saturday 22nd, 9am - 8pm

Sunday 23rd, 10am - 5pm

Monday 24th, 9am - 5pm

Finally, if you can't get into Stratford to see us, we are offering free delivery all the way up to Christmas Eve so why not check out the website or give us a call on 01789 299385 to place your order.

Christmas in 140 CharactersDate published: 07/12/12

Everyone has an 'ideal' Christmas day and here at Majestic Stratford we're no different so we thought it would be fun to try and condense our perfect Christmas day in to the length of a tweet. After you've read ours why not drop us a line @majesticstrat with your perfect Christmas day.

James

Champers & chocs, bacon sarnies, long walk in the park then settle down to turkey, trimmings & Classed Growth Claret. Downton Abbey @ 9pm!

Luke

Gifts & fizzy brekkie. Sprouts prepped beef in, to the pub! Ardanza'01 with cow&pheasant, snooze, to the folks for more booze and charades.

Ken

Waking up next to my missus, pancakes and xmas pj's, fizz, then preparing the feast! Plenty of banter,booze, hugs and lots of laughs too!

Anna

Opening presents in pj's, chocolate breakfast, frosty Yorkshire morning walk, pub with family, embarassing hats, fizz & good Burgundy!

WOTW: 'Sassiaolo' Rosso Piceno Monte Schiavo 2010Date published: 05/12/12

'Sassaiolo' Rosso Piceno Superiore Monte Schiavo 2010 Italy Rosso Piceno DOC is located in the region of the Marches and lies just north of Rome on the Italian east coast. Historically wines from this region were very popular during the Roman period and a popular myth reports that Hannibal used red wine from the Marches to rub down his horses to give them vigour.  

This delicious Italian red is a blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese: two Italian classics. The Sangiovese gives the wine elegance and finesse whilst the Montepulciano imparts ripe fruit flavours adding complexity and depth.

On the nose this wine has an array of juicy red fruits including red cherries, strawberries and raspberries. The palate follows through from the nose with a faint hint of nutmeg and silky tannins.

Food match: This wine is perfect with tomato based dishes and therefore goes very well with both pizza and pasta! £8.49 a bottle

Or Buy 2 and save £3

So just £6.99 a bottle!

Super Stocking FillersDate published: 30/11/12

Super Stocking Fillers

With Christmas fast approaching its time to turn thoughts to gift ideas so here are a few suggestions for great stocking fillers!

1- How about a waiters friend? A cheeky little corkscrew that you simply cannot do without at Christmas with all those bottles to open!

2- Christmas is the time for Sherry so why not buy a bottle of PX sherry? The 1985 Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez Bodegas Toro Albala half bottle is a handy size to fit into stockings and tastes of luscious dried fruits, caramel and chocolate.

3- Why not buy a Majestic Wine gift voucher? Take the stress out of choosing wine to match your friends tastes and let them come and explore!

4- How about a delicious bottle of dessert wine? We have a fabulous selection of dessert wines that all come in half bottles (perfect for a snug stocking fit). I would recommend a bottle Castelnau Suduiraut Sauternes. A soft dessert wine with citrus aromas and a silky smooth palate: the perfect match to those creamy blue cheeses you see during the festive period.

5- Fizz is always a welcome sight at Christmas and we have some fantastic Nicholas Feuilatte NV half bottles of champagne! What better way to start Christmas Day breakfast than with a delicious Champagne that oozes crisp green apple, zesty citrus and toasty brioche flavours with a delicate mousse.

These are just a couple of ideas however we have a selection of other half bottles of champagnes, red & white wines, dessert wines and many more so why not pop in and see what we have available? Remember that we offer free delivery on all orders of 6 bottles over £40!

WOTW: Marques de la Concordia Rioja Reserva 2007Date published: 28/11/12

Marques de la Concordia Rioja Reserva 2007 Rioja Spain

This Wine of the Week comes from a traditional Spanish winery named after one of Spain's most eminent figures. Don Jose Abascal was granted the title of 'Marques de la Concordia' after unifying the New World with the Old in the Americas in 1812 during his position of viceroy of Peru.  

This old vs. new world theme has been continued into the Marques de la Concordia wines unifying a New world style of winemaking with old terroir. Only the very best grapes are used to create a Rioja Reserva of extremely high quality from a blend of Grenach and Tempranillo.  

Food match:

£11.99 a bottle or buy 2 save £9 so only

£7.49 a bottle!

Majestic Stratford Upon Avon's '6 Questions we ask Everyone' with Jayne BridgesDate published: 26/11/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we have local Wine Educator Jayne Bridges.

Jayne entered the wine trade in 1986. She worked with ASDA giving public tastings to raise money for Charity. Over a period of nine years and 15000 events they raised more than £100.000 In 2000 she presented a 15 part TV series for Carlton entitled Mrs Bridges Boozers. Over the years she has worked as a consultant to Safeway, Beefeater Steakhouses, Scottish and Newcastle Breweries and other clients. She has worked in wineries in Chile, Tasmania and Argentina. Currently through her company Winespeak, she works for a number of the Generic Wine Boards, hosts Corporate and Private Tastings and offers ten week wine courses in Warwickshire. She is a member of the Association Of Wine Educators.

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

On a visit to Australia in the 90's I was fortunate to taste the 1971 Penfolds Grange Hermitage I joined 8 invited guests and we tasted this outstanding wine in a wonderful apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour and the Opera House - it doesn't get much better than that.

2. Best food and wine match?

Manzanilla with Garlic Shrimps, Prawns or Clams,

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

New Zealand, as the scenery is stunning, the ever changing sky is beautiful, the people are welcoming and the wine and food ain't bad either.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

I know it's naff-but occasionally I enjoy a glass of Sparkling Shiraz

5. Wine to try before you die?

I long to taste the legendary 1990 Romanee-Conti. Fat chance!

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Before 6.00pm, builder's tea, and at weekends after 6.00pm, Hendricks Gin with Fever Tree Tonic Water, masses of ice and a twist of lime.  

Thanks Jayne, I think we can all agree that we would've loved to have been one of the other 8 drinking 1971 Penfolds Grange overlooking the Opera House in Sydney!

Fantastic Festive AlesDate published: 23/11/12

Fantastic Festive Ales

Here in Majestic its not all about wine. We have also have a fantastic range of Spirits, Champagnes, Ales and Lagers. We are also starting to specialise in locally brewed beers and are proud to stock the Purity and Hook Norton lines. We are constantly expanding our range and have recently managed to get hold of the delicious range of Hopping Mad Ales!

Hopping Mad Brewery are based just outside of Milton Keynes and are passionate about producing high quality ales using traditional methods. Their motto is 'Its all about the flavour' and if you have tasted their ale then you will know this phrase to be true!

Available in store is a range of Hopping Mad Mini Casks which are a revolutionary new design. Not only do you get just under 9 pints on tap but the casks contain a layer of Carbon Dioxide meaning that the ale inside will last for between 5-10 weeks. This makes Hopping Mad mini casks perfect for the festive period and we have a selection of different flavours to choose from all priced at just £20 a cask!

My personal favourite is the 'Liberty Pale Ale'. It is a very smooth 5% American Style Pale Ale made from a blend of three different hops. The result is a delicious ale with hints of floral spice and tropical fruit. We also have a sample of this ale open on our tasting counter so why not pop in and have a taste?

Another gem is the 'Hop Notch' a 3.6% tawny brown ale with intense flavours of hops and malt it is a festive favourite! It also works fantastically in beef and ale pie!

If you have any questions about our range of Ales then don't hesitate to ask a team member! Please pop in and check out our range!  

WOTW: Testimonio Reserve Blend Luigi Bosca 2010Date published: 21/11/12

Testimonio Reserve Blend Luigi Bosca 2010 Argentina

This Wine of the Week is a newcomer to the majestic range. Bodegas Luigi Bosca has been running since 1901 when it was established by Leoncio Arizu. The Arizu family stand for tradition and quality promising to uphold traditional winemaking methods producing wines of premium quality. They are now in their third generation and are keeping to their promise.

The Testimonio reserve is a blend of three interesting grape varieties: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% shiraz and 15% Tannat. The fruit is sourced from specially selected small estate vineyard plots. They are aged in oak casks to create balance and structure representing the classic 'house style'. 'Testimonio' symbolises the testimony that this wine makes to the Arizu family's identity, tradition and style.

On the nose, this wine emits intense aromas of dark forest fruits, mocha, leather and tobacco spice. The palate is smooth and fruit forward with flavours of dark plum, cherry and blackcurrant. Food match: perfect with rare sirloin steak with porcini mushrooms in a red wine jus.

£12.99 a bottle or buy 2 save £8 so only

£8.99 a bottle!

Majestic Stratford Upon Avon's '6 Questions we ask Everyone' with Matt Lindsley from Buckingham SchenkDate published: 20/11/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we are lucky enough to have Matt Lindsley from Buckingham Schenk who are the UK importers of our hugely popular Vinalba range. Vinalba are a multi award winning winery based in Mendoza, Argentina. The wines are made by Bordeaux born Herve J. Fabre who is a pioneer for Argentine wine and in particular, the Malbec grape. Vinalba was launched in 2008 and has gone on to win 117 awards including being named as IWSC Argentine Producer of the Year 2010.

Over to you Matt...

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Probably the Krug 1981, I was given this by Henri Krug (and some glasses to put it in!)and had it with Fish & Chips. Quite possibly the best fish and chips I’ve ever had!

2. Best food and wine match?

See above!! Or Vinalba Reserve Malbec with Steak and Chimichurri

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Well I have been fortunate to visit many different regions around the world but I don’t think Mendoza can be beaten for dramatic scenery beautiful wines and wonderful people

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Massively oaked Chardonnays

5. Wine to try before you die?

Something from my own vinyards! Not that I have any yet but I can dream

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Guinness really, I guess, as I love going to the rugby and this is always a safe bet!  

If you've enjoyed what Matt has to say then be sure to say hello when he joins us on Wednesday 28th of November for our Winter Wine Evening. Matt will be showcasing the wines from the Vinalba range including the ever popular Malbec Reserva and the new Chardonnay.

A Sipsmith Vintage ComparisonDate published: 18/11/12

Sloe Gin season is a real highlight of Autumn and we always get very excited when the new vintage of Sipsmith Sloe Gin arrives in-store. This year we decided to do a comparison betweent he 2010 vintage and the 2011. We were amazed at how different the 2 vintages were and decided to tweet out our results.

For the 2010 we wrote:

The 2010 @SipsmithSam Sloe Gin is deliciously sweet and unctuous. Perfect for walking the dog on a frosty Winter afternoon!

For the 2011 we wrote:

Intriguingly, the 2011 @SipsmithSam Sloe Gin is drier than it's predecessor with a touch of spice and ginger. Great around the chiminea!

So the next time you're in-store why not ask us to show you the comparison.

Sip a Sherry This Season! Date published: 16/11/12

Sip a Sherry This Season!

Now the festive season is upon us it will soon be Sherry O'clock and there is a wide variety of different styles to choose from. Sherry is undervalued in Britain and i'm sure many of you will be familiar with the image of grandma nodding off in the corner of the room with a Christmas hat on and a glass of cream Sherry in her hand. However, despite this image Sherry is a fantastic all-year round drink for people of all ages and it is great news that Sherry bars are finally beginning to open up across London! I am a perfect example of this: in my mid 20s I love Sherry and drink it all year round! In fact, I even have a bottle of delicious Manzanilla in my fridge at home right now! Sherry is produced in Jerez in Spain where it does not have negative stigma attached to it and is drunk by people of all ages, particularly with tapas such as olives, smoked almonds and anchovies (perfect festive nibbles).

My absolute favourite style of Sherry is fino or dry Sherry and right at the top of my list is the 'La Gitana' Hidalgo Manzanilla. Matured on the shores of Sanlucar de Barrameda Manzanilla is said to take on the salty influence of the sea which gives this delicious Sherry its fresh, tangy flavour. It has a fantastic nutty complex with crisp hints of almonds and is perfect as an aperitif although it goes especially well with mixed olives and salted nuts!

If you fancy something a little bit different I would recommend the Napoleon Amontillado Hidalgo. This dry style Sherry comes from one of Spain's oldest wine producers Bodegas Hidalgo which was established in 1792 this traditional Amontillado Sherry is made from Manzanilla Sherry that has matured in American Oak casks for several years. This gives the Sherry a distinct dark amber hue with rich nutty aromas of walnuts and a yeasty tang.

If you have a sweet tooth then the Pedro Ximenez Triana Hidalgo Sherry (one of the sweetest wines in the world) is for you! The Pedro Ximenez grapes are dried on straw mats before being fermented, fortified and aged in the solera system. This gives the Sherry deliciously rich flavours of figs, toffee, raisins and caramel. The palate is thick and indulgent with fabulous length and is wonderful when poured over vanilla ice cream for a festive treat! Its Christmas in a glass!

So why not sip a Sherry this season and see which of these fabulous styles is for you?!

The Autumn Tasting TrailDate published: 15/11/12

As Autumn draws to a close and Winter starts to set in we wanted to remind you that we still have plenty of great wines open to taste that are perfectly matched to long Autumn nights and log fires. So with that in mind we decided to make the route to to our Tasting Counter just that little bit more Autumnal!

Why not come down and help us #makeautumnred

WOTW: Copertino 2008, Masseria Monaci Date published: 14/11/12

Copertino 2008, Masseria Monaci

Puglia, Italy

Copertino DOC is named after the town of Copertino, but also includes five other villages. It comes from the South of Italy, specificlly the Puglia region, which gets its name from the Latin for lack of rain (a-pluvia). It is a fertile, hot and vibrant region for growing grapes. Made from the Negroamaro grape, which is arguably Puglia's most interesting grape variety, it is darker skinned with chunkier tannins and later ripening fruit than the areas other notable grape variety, Primitivo. This grape variety was thought to be introduced by the invading Greeks in the 8th or 9th century but this particular offering is made from the fruit of 10-30 year old vines.  

Thick and luscious with dark, plummy fruits and hints of almonds and spice box. Well balanced and soft on the palate, this is an intriguing wine. We thought this was a light red Italian wine with lots of fruit and typical ripe cherry and berry flavours matched with soft spices of cinnamon and vanilla.  

Food match: Ideal with pizza and pasta dishes, indeed any Italian cooking! Light enough to enjoy with a business lunch or cheeky ham sandwich as well.  

£7.99 or buy 2, save £2, only £6.99

Majestic Stratford Upon Avon's '6 Questions we ask Everyone' with Hazel TattersallDate published: 12/11/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week is the turn of Stratford based Wine Educator, Hazel Tattersall.

Hazel has kindly done a little bio for us so sit back and enjoy...

Food brought me into wine. With catering qualifications, I then taught in further education colleges for a number of years. I completed by WSET Diploma and wine education seemed a natural progression. I have a passion for food and wine pairing and always incorporate it into my presentations. I am co-author of a book - 'Wine production - Grape to Glass' (Blackwells) and a WSET Certified Tutor. Also a member of the Association of Wine Educators and Circle of Wine Writers. I run wine courses, consumer and corporate events.

1 Best wine ever drunk

Vega Sicilia Valbuena 1991

2 Best food and wine match

Christmas pudding (my own family recipe) with Asti Spumante

3 Favourite wine region to visit

Galicia, a spectacular region matched by its seafood and Albarino

4 Wine guilty pleasure

A glass of Nyetimber after a hard week!

5 Wine to try before you die

Sassicaia Cabernet Sauvignon - any vintage from the 1990s

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Sparkling water, best option after a long trade tasting!!

 

Thanks Hazel.

Don't forget to join us next week for another interview.

A South African and a log fire!Date published: 09/11/12

So, mainly because I couldn't afford an overseas holiday but still needed a break before Christmas, this past weekend I managed to escape to the Lake District. Ostensibly for a landscape photography course, I was also looking forward to relaxing and seeing some lovely countryside (read Pubs).

To accompany our pub discovering walks, I had also taken up some late night red wine to share by the fireplace. November weather plays its part in forcing me to really get stuck into some big lovely reds and I decided on opening my rather special 1982 Vina Ardanza Reserva on the Friday and a Banfi Brunello di Montalcino.

After all the commuting on the Friday (aaarghhh half term traffic!) and everyone getting our rented cottage in running order (and finding some wood for the fire) we set off for the pub. Getting in our order just before the kitchen closed, we had a tasty and really surprising meal. There was Cumbrian ale pies, brandy snaps and chantilly cream and steak and white chocolate risotto! Walking off our food induced sleepiness got us back by the fireplace where we opened the Rioja. Being an aged wine, I wish we had a decanter but the wine was surprisingly open and fragrant. We smelt lots of dried and smoky aromas, with hint of leather, tobacco leaf and orange zest. The taste was full and round with amazing depth and length, and left a big smile on everyone's face. Lots of smoky currants and soft spice and vanilla joined in with the smell of wood smoke and the crisp mountain air.

On the Saturday, we spent the entire morning and afternoon walking and taking lots of photos. It always amazes me the amount weather gives the photos different moods. We had it all as well, from snow to rain to brilliant late afternoon sun! After another amazing meal at night, the Brunello was opened and left for an hour to warm as we had accidentally turned off the heating and had to wait for the fire. Full of sour cherry and soft red fruit notes, this went well with the wind howling outside.

Sunday brought a change as the sun came out and the wind died away. We went to Lake Windermere and rounded off a great weekend by relaxing at the waters edge. I still hadn't forgotten about the amazing quality of the Rioja I drank on Friday and will be sure to stock up on the remaining wines from what has been a truly unbelievable parcel.

I ended up taking hundreds of photos which got us thinking of your autumn snaps, so if you're keen send your photos of autumn to stf@majestic.co.uk and we'd love to post yours on our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Majestic-Wine-Stratford-upon-Avon/127058090677647- cut and paste into your browser). Don't forget, there are extra brownie points for photos with bottles of wine in them.

Whilst the colours on the ground outside were distinctly Autumnal, we definitely didn't miss the opportunity to #makeautumnred whilst inside!

WOTW: Spolverino Toscano, CarpinetoDate published: 07/11/12

Spolverino Toscano 2010/11, Carpineto

Spolverino translates as 'feather duster', refering to the black rooster, the emblem of Chianti and Tuscany'swine country, sweeping away corks on the label. This is a de-classified Chianti Classico due to the use of screw top not traditional cork, hence the tounge in cheek reference.

The wine is a traditional blend of Sangiovese with several other local grapes, predominantly Canaiolo, giving an intense red cherry fruit nose and palate, with tobacco and violet notes. It has a medium-full body and is rich and juicy with bright fresh acidity.

Ripe cherries with a hint of juicy strawberry, followed by a delicate tannic bite as the flavours invade your mouth. Smooth and flavoursome with a lovely finish.

Match with all Italian dishes as well as cured meats and Prosciutto.

Majestic Stratford Upon Avon's '6 Questions we ask everyone' with Clemens TemeggerDate published: 05/11/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we caught up with Clemens Temegger from Chateau Sainte Michelle in Washington State. Chateau Sainte Michelle are one of the largest producers in Washington State and are the biggest producer of Riesling in the world. They have partnerships with Dr Loosen of Germany and Villa Antinori of Italy and also own Stags Leap Vineyards in the Napa Valley.

Take it away Clemens...

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Chateau Rayas Blanc Reserve 1996

2. Best food and wine match?

Medium rare Rib Eye with Napa Cab

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Piedmont

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

YES ;-)

5. Wine to try before you die?

Screaming Eagle

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Cheese on the plate  

 

Thanks for taking time to complete our questionnaire we hope to catch up with you again the next ime you're in the UK.

Getting to know... Ken!Date published: 02/11/12

In conjunction with some new arrivals at Majestic, I am brand new to the Stratford-Upon-Avon store. I started my career at the Evesham branch in July and am excited to now be in Stratford, just in time for the festive season.

Born in South Africa (Johannesburg-so no vineyards I'm afraid), I have spent the last decade travelling the world and doing many random and interesting jobs, from picking fruit in Australia to running bars in Edinburgh, and even working for some charities.

Back in the UK early this year, I thought I'd make a proper go at finding some long term satisfying work. Enter Majestic, which combines my customer service history with my fascination with wine. I am always keen to discuss tastes and preferences as well as point out any unusual (to my mind anyway) varieties or bottles I find. I think I will learn loads in Stratford, both from my new team, and the customers who are already giving me new knowledge every time we chat.

At the moment I am in love with the Spanish Parcel which Majestic has acquired, consisting of aged, ready to drink Riojas. My favourite has to be the Marquis de Murrieta Reserva 1994, which goes amazingly with a Sunday roast lamb with its notes of dried fruit, leather and baked wood. I also love using the tasting counter in-store, since every week I seem to be discovering a new wine style or food match.

So that's a little bit of me, I look forward to meeting you or serving you in the future, and hope I help you find a new wine to fall in love with.

Ken

Welcome to Our Winter Wine Evening!Date published: 30/10/12

Join us for our ever popular Winter Wine Evening, on Wednesday 28th November from 6:30pm. It is a fantastic oppourtunity to try some of our new wines along with some old favourites. As ever there will be nibbles and a warm welcome so please get in touch if you would like to attend. Its completely free!

You can call us on 01789 299385 or tweet us on @majesticstrat or drop us an e-mail at stf@majestic.co.uk

Wine of the week: Cà del Pipa Corvina Rosso Veronese 2009Date published: 29/10/12

Ca' del Pipa Corvina Rosso Veronese 2009 Valpolicella, Italy

This is one of the Cà del Pipa wines which are produced by the Michelle Castellani estate, now run by Michelle's son, Sergio Castellani. Corvina is the main grape variety for the production of Amarone. This is 100% Corvina grapes, which undergo a two month drying process, followed by at least twelve months in oak, to give a full, intense and complex taste.

Corvina grapes have thick skins and often undergo appassimento – the process of partially drying grapes before fermenting them. Such wines show more raisin and dried-fruit flavours, usually with a distinctive richness.  

this wine displays aromas of black currants and black berries, liquorice and spice. It is a full bodied wine with soft, ripe tannins, ripe juicy black fruit flavours and hints of spice and violets.  

Food match: A great accompaniment to any rich red meats. The soft mouth feel also makes this wine enjoyable on its own.

£9.99

Buy 2 and save £2

£8.99

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's '6 Questions we ask Everyone' with Rachel BrownDate published: 29/10/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we return to the hallowed walls of the WSET in London to interview Rachel Brown. Rachel has been in the wine industry for 7yrs and like many people working in the trade she cut her teeth with Majestic, working across the Midlands and East Anglia. she left Majestic to take up her post with the WSET earlier this year and her new role sees her overseeing the administration of the various WSET courses outside of the UK.

Rachel, over to you...

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

I was fortunate enough to go to a tasting of fine and rare fortified wines, and the star of the show was most definitely the 1908 Cossart Gordon Bual Madeira. Already over 100 years old but had plenty of life left in it – AMAZING!!!!!!

2. Best food and wine match?

I’m always very happy with a rare steak and a bottle of a chunky Californian such as Stags Leap Artemis

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Absolutely spoilt for choice really and I’ve been lucky to see some beautiful places – but I think I can only really say Tuscany. It was during a year working in Italy that I totally fell in love with wine and decided that wine was the career path for me….

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

I always feel like Sherry should be a guilty pleasure because of its attachment to the 1970’s….but I absolutely love it – fino, manzanilla, oloroso….and even Hardys…..

5. Wine to try before you die?

I would love to try a First Growth 1982, not only to celebrate my birth year but to really understand what all the fuss is about! Clearly I wouldn’t want to pay the bill though.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

A Hendricks Gin with Fever Tree Tonic, a slither of cucumber and a few ice cubes….a perfect accompaniment to a ‘hot’ British summer!  

Beat the Autumn Blues!Date published: 26/10/12

With Autumn seemingly already upon us we thought we'd suggest a few ways to beat the Autumn blues and embrace the opportunity to #makeautumnred.

1. When you get home from taking the dog out for his Evening walk pop the cork on a bottle of warm and rich Ribera Del Duero. We stock many here at Majestic but perhaps go for the excellent Cardela Crianza which is currently £8.79 when you buy 2 or more. We can't guarantee it is the perfect match for the smell of wet dog but we think you won't mind once you've tasted it.

2. Invite friends over for Sunday Lunch and go for one of the all time classic food and wine matches. Roast beef and Claret is often overlooked as being too obvious but it really is a classic for a reason as the tanin in the Claret is broken down by the protein in the beef giving way to harmony of flavour rarely matched elsewhere. We recommend Les Tourelle de Longueville 2007 from Pauillac. This 'second' wine from Pichon Baron is drinking beautifully at the moment and has fantastic notes of blackcurrant and bacon fat.

3. Light the fire, draw the curtains and start exploring New Zealand Pinot Noir. A Kiwi Pinot is often a touch fuller bodied than the Burgundian examples but they are silky smooth and genuinely approchable as much on there own as they are with food. Why not start with Saint Clair Pioneers Block Pinot Noir 2010 from Marlborough before moving onto a Central Otago effort from Mount Difficulty, perhaps Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2011.

Obviously these are just a few suggestions and we'd love to hear how you are taking the opportunity to #makeautumnred so don't hesitate to get in touch via twitter @majesticstrat

W.O.T.W: Côtes du Rhône, 2009, E. Guigal Date published: 24/10/12

W.O.T.W: Côtes du Rhône, 2009, E. Guigal

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.

In 2007, the release of the 2003 vintage of Guigal's "La La" wines set the record for most expensive release of any Rhone wine, with bottles retailing for as much as $800.

Robert Parker comments that "In the past 26 years I have spent visiting wineries and vignerons, I have never seen a producer so fanatical about quality as Marcel Guigal."  

This densely coloured, full bodied red has a nose of blackbery and cassis and a full, rich palate. Great fruit flavours with hints of liquorice and some white pepper savouryness.  

Food Match: A traditional French Beef Bavette

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone with Louisa Rose!Date published: 22/10/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we have answers to our #6Qs from the incredible Louisa Rose - The queen of Viogner!

I was really pleased to have caught up with Louisa Rose whilst she was on the Negotiants Winemaker Tour here in the UK last month. Winemaker for Yalumba, Louisa Rose is one of Australia's most experienced and talented winemakers, named ‘Winemaker of the Year’ by the prestigious Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine.

Louisa is particularly famous for her Viognier which she developed for Yalumba and is the creator of ‘The Virgilius’ Viognier – Yalumba’s pre-eminent white wine.

In addition to her role of Chief Winemaker at Yalumba, Louisa is heavily involved in judging at Australian and International Wine Shows and was the first female Chair of Judges at the Perth Royal Wine Show.

Here are her answers!

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

1999 Alion – In Segovia, drank with suckling pig and looking up at the Aqueduct.

2. Best food and wine match?

Viognier with Moroccan Tajine

(So good is this match that Louisa designed a recipe to perfectly compliment her Viogniers! Email us for a copy - stf@majestic.co.uk!)

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Clare – there are so many hidden valleys and vineyards to discover

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Yes!

5. Wine to try before you die?

As many ‘other’ varieties as I can...

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Coffee.

 

Thanks Louisa - I'll definitley be trying that recipe!

 

There will be more #6Qs next week, however I am moving on to a different Majestic store, so James and Luke will be taking over. It has been great fun interviewing all of our guests!

If you like what I do, check out my articles and blog at www.WoodandWine.co.uk for more and follow me on twitter: @Wood_and_Wine.

 

Matt

Getting to know Stratford's latest team member...Date published: 19/10/12

Getting to Know Stratford's Latest Team Member

Hello. Some of you might have noticed that Stratford-Upon-Avon has a new Assistant Manager and that is me! My name is Anna and I am here to help you with all your wine questions, queries and needs! If you see me in store please don't be afraid to say hello or ask me anything wine related (you can ask me things unrelated to wine but I might not be quite as helpful!).

My favourite wine has to be Chardonnay but I love it in all its glorious forms from big rich and creamy New World Chardonnays to delicate and elegant White Burgundies! At the moment I am particularly enjoying the Christoph Cordier 'Macon Terroir de Charnay' 2011 which is a soft Chardonnay from the Maconnaise. It displays citrus and green apple fruit flavours with a hint of hazelnut and vanilla on the finish-YUM! At just £9.99 a bottle when you buy two bottles this is a fantastic white wine that can often be seen on my wine rack (when its not in my fridge that is!). 

I am also partial to a good Rioja, especially when its being served with tapas! I recently tried the Vina Ardanza 2001 Rioja Reserva Especial which is an amazing red with black cherry and plum fruits, lashings of spice, hints of dried figs and orange blossom aromas! Currently £17.59 a bottle on the save 20% Spanish deal; I would definitely recommend this as a treat for yourself!

Our #makeautumnred questionaire results are in!Date published: 19/10/12

We wanting to see how our customers like to #makeautumnred so we drew up a quick questionaire. The results are now in, and the we can reveal the top three answers make up the floowing way to spend an autumnal evening:

Stratford-upon-Avon likes a large glass of wine in front of the fire. The wine of choice, being Chilean Merlot. After that they will be tucking into a Beef Stew!

Who can blame them?

Sounds good to us!

 

Wine of the Week: Peter Lehmann 2009 Cabernet SauvignonDate published: 17/10/12

Peter Lehmann Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Barossa Valley

Peter Lehmann is a real character with great depth: just like his wine! He began his own wine growing business in the 1970s after a band of struggling wineries banded together. Today he has a close relationship with all his growers sourcing grapes from 140 small wineries across the Barossa region.

The Barossa wine growing region is located just one hour north of Adelaide. Here the climate on the valley floor is warm and well suited to red wine production. Around 80 wine producers are located within the Barossa Valley and of these Peter Lehmann is nicknamed the 'Baron of Barossa'! Although this region is famed for its rich spicy Shiraz it produces some delicious Cabernet Sauvignons as well as delicate Rieslings and rich Chardonnays.

The nose displays a rich array of dark fruits a hint of warm spice. The palate is weighty with a relatively full body and ripe blackcurrant, cassis and dark plum fruits. A subtle hint of toasty vanilla spice and herbs are framed by fine persistent tannins and a long finish.

This wine is the perfect accompaniment to roasted meats and therefore would be ideal with roasted beef wrapped in palma ham with a porcini mushroom sauce.

£10.49 Or Buy 2 Save £5 so Only £7.99 per bottle!

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone with Clive Jones!Date published: 15/10/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week I caught up with Nautilus Estate Winemaker Clive Jones.

Nautilus began making wines in 1985. They are a small, family-owned winery based in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Nautilus produce beautiful experessive wines from the clean, cool and diverse valleys of Marlborough. Their logo, the Nautilus shell, represents natural beauty and mathematical perfection. This reflects the aim to create a collection of expressive, textural, precisely crafted wines.

Clive Jones manages Nautilus' winery with energetic and innovative viticulture. Under his guidance, the winemaking team takes the approach of blending several different parcels of grapes to achieve layered and complex wines. One of the things I like about Nautilus is that they have a strong focus on thier wines being enjoyed with food and offer some great recipe ideas and food matches for all the wines on thier website - www.nautilusestate.com.

Over to you Clive!

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

1967 Chateau d’Yquem while doing harvest at Domain Dujac, My wife’s birth year & drunk on her birthday – Unfortunately she was not there to share it (not sure I have ever been forgiven for this)!

2. Best food and wine match?

The above wine with Foie Gras & fresh ciabatta bread – A true wine & food epiphany.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

I have just spent a few days in the Kamptal/Wachau regions of Austria which was delightful.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Prunotto Moscato d’Asti – a Xmas morning treat shared with the kids while opening presents.

5. Wine to try before you die?

Domaine des Comte Lafon Montrachet.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

A local craft beer ('Number 8 Wired' is my current favourite) or a G’nT.

 

Thanks Clive, that d'Yquem and Foie Gras combo has given me serious food/wine envy!

More #6Qs next week people!

Getting to know me!Date published: 12/10/12

If you are a regular to the store you may have noticed that I am new to Majestic Stratford (if not then read my bio to the left of this page) and now that I've had a couple of weeks to get my feet under the table I thought I'd take the oppourtunity to share a couple of wine experiences I have had recently.

A favourite of mine that only gets opened occasionally is the Jackson Estate Pinot Noir 2010, its a lovely example of what good Marlborough Pinot Noir can be about. For me is at its best on a Sunday with a nice pink joint of roast pork with all the trimmings. If I'm feeling particularly generous I might even see if my parents want to come round and help me drink it.

One of the nicest and most approachable wines, from both an eaters and drinkers perspective that I have drunk in years is the Vina Alberdi Crianza 1994 from our recent parcel of mature Rioja. The nose brings back fond memories of wandering through Spanish markets as a child and in the mouth it is wonderfully soft and full of leathery, spiced fruit. I have a secret bottle stashed away for a quiet night in with a lamb tagine.

WOTW - BARISTA PINOTAGE 2011Date published: 10/10/12

Barista Pinotage 2011 Western Cape

Wine production in the cape winelands dates back to 1825, however this is a deliberately modern offering by winemaker Bertus Fourie of the Val de Vie wine estate.

Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (spelt without the 'l' in South Africa) and creates wines with a range of styles. Typical characters include red berry fruits. Old bush vines can be very full bodied with rich, spiced fruit, meat, coffee and chocolate.

On the nose layers of aroma, with an intense bouquet of coffee and chocolate, followed by a hint of rubber finishing with meaty red fruit.

In the mouth coffee and chocolate again take the foreground with sour rasperries and cherries. Fresh grippy tannins suit the red fruit and the finish is good.

Enjoy on its own or with Chargrilled meat.
 

£8.74, buy 2 save 20%, £6.99 per bottle
 

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone with Tom Barry!Date published: 08/10/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week I interviewed Tom Barry, winemaker at Jim Barry Wines.

Tom is the Grandson of legendary Australian producer Jim Barry who founded the company in 1959. Jim was the first qualified winemaker to move to the Clare Valley, the late Jim Barry's estate now totals over 200 hectares in this superb wine-growing region and operates several other vineyards including an old cricket ground in Coonawarra where they make one of my favourite Cabs!

I was lucky enough to taste the Jim Barry range with Tom on the Bristol stop of the 'Negotiant Winemakers Tour' last month. Tom is a big Riesling fan (as you will see from his answers) bringing his expertise from seasons in Germany to the Clare valley to create some stunning expressions of the variety.

Fire away Tom:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

A 1981 Joh Jos Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinet Riesling tasted with Katarina Prum in Wehlen in 2010. A truly inspiring wine!

2. Best food and wine match?

A dry Clare Riesling with South Australian Oysters. The acidity and citrus characters marry beautifully with the oysters.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

The Mosel in Germany with a few late nights in Bernkastel at Dr Loosen.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

I can't say that I drink this often but the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose is a great drop.

5. Wine to try before you die?

I would have to say 1982 Petrus. I'm not sure why but this wine seems to intrigue me!

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

A clean cold beer after work. At the end of a long day in Clare there isn't anything that comes close.

 

Cheers Tom!

More #SixQs coming up next Monday!

 

FINE WINE FRIDAY! Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2009Date published: 05/10/12

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2009

Jim Clendenen is one of the pioneers of the Central Coast. At their best, his wines capture striking expressions of some of the region’s top sites deeply influenced by a huge passion and admiration for the great wines of Burgundy.
Au Bon Climat's superb Pinot Noirs, made in a classic but easy-drinking style. This example is sourced from several vineyards including Le Bon Climat and the legendary Bien Nacido in Santa Barbara. You will recognise some if these vineyards from the award winning motion picture Sideways!
A delicate and pretty nose of ripe strawberry, cherry and plum fruit, with a very subtle earthiness. Soft and supple on the palate, with great fruit focus and smooth tannins.
Partner with anything from grilled salmon fillets, to poultry and game.

£20.00 per bottle, when buying any two bottles as part of a six bottle mixed case

WOTW: Salentein Portillo Malbec 2011Date published: 03/10/12

Portillo is Salentein's entry-level range and since 2011 it has become Argentina's first wine to certify its carbon footprint. Salentein's 2,000ha estate and winery has a commitment to the environment. Only 700ha are planted to vines, which are farmed sustainably, and the estate stretches for 22km, at altitudes ranging from 1,050m to 1,550m.

Chief winemaker Jose Pepe Galante, formerly of Catena, displayed impeccable timing when he joined Salentein in 2010. Last year, the producer was awarded a Gold decanter award with its Reserve Malbec 2008 and this year the Portillo Malbec 2011 won the ultimate accolade of best Argentine red single varietal under £10. This wine succeeded with its fragrant aromas and vibrant palate, cleverly expressing a modern style of Argentinian Malbec.

On the nose, heaps of earthy bramble fruit, with a slight floral character offset by attractive oak.

In the mouth it is full bodied and warm, with bags of blackberry and whispers of liquorice. Bound together by soft round tannin, good length and enough acidity to balance everything beautifully.

Food Match – Rare Argentinian steak with hand cut chips.

£6.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone with Ricardo from Vintae!Date published: 02/10/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week it's the turn of Ricardo Arambarri Perez from Vintae. Vintae are a Spanish producer that are new to us here at Majestic. They have a genuine thirst for quality and combine this with some innovative marketing. An example of which can be seen on the labels of our Matsu wines that feature pictures of a man of varying age to demonstrate the age and style of the wine.

Ricardo, over to you;

1. Best bottle ever drunk?
Lopez Heredia Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva blanco 1964 in an amazing tasting of their best vintages with Maria Jose L. Heredia


2. Best food and wine match?

Lechazo asado (roasted baby lamb) in Aranda del Duero with a Ribera del Duero


3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Bourgogne. Just love getting lost visiting small and passionate vignerons around those amazing hills and villages.


4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Drinking tinto de verano in the beach of my beloved Formentera island in Mediterranean sea. Cannot imagine a better place to be right now


5. Wine to try before you die?

I'm 27 so the best is still about to come. I'm really looking forward to visit deeply many wine regions that I still didnt have the time to get lost into!


6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

I'm a beer lover too!

Un abrazo!!
 

Lay & Wheeler Left Bank Bordeaux Tasting at Hotel du Vin, BirminghamDate published: 28/09/12

Matt and James headed to the Lay & Wheeler tasting of Left Bank Bordeaux to check out some serious claret. Instead of yet another report of tasting notes, we've decided to match the wines with some classic French inspired dishes instaead. Enjoy!

 

2009 La Dame de Montrose, St-Estèphe

2009 La Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien

2009 Les Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac

These three wines are all great examples of top Chateau's 'second wine'. They are still young, but as they are made in a more approachable style they are drinking well now especielly with the right food. Try these wines with good gastropub food such as fillet steak and Béarnaise sauce served with chunky hand cut chips and a watercress salad.

2008 Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux

2006 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan

These racier examples show tight concentrated fruit and taught acidity. Dishes with equal intensity of flavour and some acidity are required. Try with Confit de Canard (Duck Confit) served with a sour cherry and port reduction. You could serve with dauphinoise potatoes.

2004 Château Montrose, St-Estèphe

2002 Château Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien

Complex, yet with rounder and softer tanins these wines would be ideal with a slow cooked, braised leg of lamb with celeriac mash. 

2000 Château Batailley, Pauillac

Batailley's brasher style is well suited to flavoursome meat dishes. Try with a traditional Sunday roast beef joint with all the trimmings! 

1996 Château Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan

With age has come complexity and maturity. Always consider mature claret with slightly more delicate meats with rich flavour; game for example. This wine would be also be delicious with a lean and rich tasting 'Lapin A La Cocotte' (French Rabbit Stew).

1995 Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux

A truly iconic wine drinking beautifully. This was the star of the show and in France they often save their best wine for the cheesebaord. Fill your cheese board with fine French cheeses; Brie de Meaux, Munster, Camembert, Reblochon or Pont-l'évêque. Pair with Walnuts and dried figs. Substitute those boring crackers for a traditional homemade baguette! Très bon!

WOTW: Gerard Bertrand Montpeyroux 2009Date published: 26/09/12

Why not #makeautumnred with this weeks fabulous Wine of the Week from Majestic stalwart Gerard Bertrand

This delightful blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah is a wine the Languedoc can really be proud of. Gerard Bertrand is a real champion of the South of France, carefully selecting vineyards, vines and grapes that will really showcase the best of what the South of France has to offer.

With the cooling influence of the Mediterranean sea, and the sun and rain shelter of the Larzac mountains, the Terrior of the vineyard really is Grand. The influence both have on the continental climate makes the conditions prefect for the grapes.

With a deep ruby red colour, this wine offers powerful aromas of cocoa, rose petal, pepper and hints of red fruit. This gives way to a palate dominated by cassis and blackberry.

Food match: A great partner to Toulouse sausages

Majestic Stratford Upon Avon's '6 Questions we ask everyone' with Lucy BarberDate published: 24/09/12

Here at Majestic Stratford Upon Avon we have created a quickfire interview for Majestic Staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer. So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we complete the triumvirate of our favourite Lay & Wheeler staff with Buying Co-Ordinator Lucy Barber. Lucy originally hails from the Stratford area and often pops in when she is local. She'll next be in the midlands this week when she is hosting a Tasting in Birmingham of some of the amazing wines from the Lay & Wheeler range.

Lucy, over to you...

Best bottle ever drunk?
I’ve been so lucky to taste some incredible wines but they have been mere sips, and often ridiculously young samples. However, the first bottle to really make an impression was a Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Estournelles-St-Jacques, Humbert Frères in a restaurant in Beaune on my first visit to Burgundy. Then there was a bottle of 2005 Vosne-Romanée, Sylvain Cathiard from my own small ‘cellar’, shared earlier this year with friends – everything I ever want in a red burgundy! Or maybe it was the bottles (yes plural!) of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie enjoyed with bowls full of moules marnières on a campsite in coastal Vendée with my extended family after finishing my dissertation research…

Best food and wine matching?
Quite obvious but fish and chips (from a decent chippy) with champagne. – or good prosecco will do. I recently enjoyed grilled hake and a warm salad of broad beans, peas and rocket with a fantastic blend of Godello, Albariño and Treixadura from Bodegas Mariñan. Or bangers and mash, onion gravy and greens with Mont de Milan rouge, Corbières.

Favourite wine region to visit?
I can’t decide! I will always love Burgundy and my first work trip to Italy earlier this year was a snow-covered week in Piemonte I’ll always remember. Five years ago I spent a month in Argentina and have fond memories of a long lunch at the winery with the owner of O.Fournier (and my friend) in the Valle de Uco, Mendoza with the snowy Andes providing the perfect backdrop. *sigh* I’m hoping that a trip to California (non-work!) will be on the cards in the next couple of years…

Wine guilty pleasure?
Chilled, cheap, quaffable Pinot Grigio-esque whites on a warm evening. Saving my good stuff to share with people who will appreciate them.

Wine to try before you die?
Bit of a cliché but almost anything from DRC just to see whether it’s worth the hype. And I recently tasted some newer vintages from Ridge and now I would love to taste older years and other comparative wines from the Sunshine State.

If it’s not wine in your glass, what is it?
Fentimann’s Ginger Beer, Cider (Aspalls, Westons preferred) or a good G&T.
 

A chance to try something a little differentDate published: 22/09/12

On Thursday I was asked to do some wine matching to another of the excellent Cooking Demo's at Bower Willis in Shipston. As I have now done a few of these and have started to develop a good idea of the style of food that will be prepared by there resident chef Bevan Fleming I took the opportunity to mix in a few more 'left field' matches with the more traditional pairings that I have used at previous demo's.

Here is a list of the food and what I paired to it. Let me know what you think of the matches by tweeting @majesticstrat or emailing us on stf@majestic.co.uk

Pea and Mint Soup

Paired to Chablis Vocoret

Thai Stir Fry

Paired to Parcel Series 'Eden Valley' Riesling

Sea Bass on a bed of Beetroot Risotto

Paired with chilled Pinot Noir La Grille from the Loire

Tandorri Chicken

Paired with Black Cottage Pinot Noir Rose from New Zealand

Moroccan style Lamb Hotpot

Paired with Vina Alberdi Rioja Crianza 1994

Pear Tarte Tatin

Paired with Rustenberg Straw Wine from South Africa

On the night the majority of the matches were greeted with both intrigue and a touch of apprehension but by and large feedback was positive and everone wlecomed the chance to try something a bit different with food they might cook at home.

W.O.T.W. - La Rioja Alta, S.A. 'Vina Alberdi' Crianza Rioja, Spain 1994Date published: 19/09/12

La Rioja Alta, S.A. 'Vina Alberdi' Crianza Rioja, Spain 1994

This wine is one of the many great wines we received in our 'one off' Spanish parcel of over 100,000 bottles of mature Rioja, exclusively from great vintages and top Bodegas.

The stock had been acquired over many years by a man known only as ‘Fernando’ who ran a very successful catering company supplying high society weddings and corporate functions. Fernando is now retired and has wound up his business; fortunately (for us) inventory control wasn’t one of his strong points. The sheer volume of wine and the current economic climate means that a single buyer was an attractive option which is where Majestic stepped in!

The wines all come from awesome vintages The bulk of the wines are from 1994, 1995 and 2001 - all 5 star outstanding vintages!

La Rioja Alta are consistently one of the best producers
Viña Alberdi crianza is made from 100% Tempranillo, from vineyards in Haro, Labastida and Briñas, and spends 24 months in new and used American oak casks. A fruity, lively wine that has mellowed gracefully with time, offering soft, sweet spice notes framed by smooth, rounded tannins.


Food Match: With the extended bottle age, this wine has lost a lot of it's tanins but is still great with softer meat dishes such as slow roasted lamb or stew.

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Vim 12x75Date published: 17/09/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we ask Vim from the awesome wine blog 12x75.com. If you have not visited his website, then make sure you check it out! Vim also created the #7wordwinereview that you may have seen us use to tweet out snappy, and often a little bit ridiculous, '7 word' wine reviews.

Take it away Vim!

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?


Wow, this is a really tough one as I've been lucky enough to try quite a few great bottles. I would say for whatever reason I love my Pontet Cantet 96s. I have an empty bottle on my desk and always ensure that I've got at least a couple of bottles lying around at home


2. Best food and wine match?


Lafite Rothschild 81 with a Calzone from Sfizio. (shared with the rest of the London #7WordWineReview crowd)


3. Favourite wine region to visit?


This is a difficult one, not really sure I have a favourite. If I was forced to chose, then I would have to say Tuscany.


4. Wine guilty pleasure?


Must tweet about it as soon as I've tried something new.


5. Wine to try before you die?


I would love to try a Cheval Blanc '61 with my Chicken Royale from Burger King, whilst wearing a TUX ;)


6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?


Beer, whisky, limoncello, really anything - depends on the weather and the company !


Awesome, thanks Vim - Loving the Sideways reference :-)

More 'six questions next week'...

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Polly 'the not so starving artistDate published: 10/09/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we interviewed young food blogger Polly whose blog, thenotsostarvingartist.blogspot.co.uk, is wealth of tips, recipe ideas and restaurant reviews. She's on her way to taking the British food scene by storm - Here are her answers!

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Without a doubt I have to say a bottle of 1994 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon drunk with roast beef. What can I say the stars aligned.
 

2. Best food and wine match?
Roquefort and Sauternes is my favourite - There is something special to be said about this combo; the saltiness of the cheese works really well with the sweetness of the wine.


3. Favourite wine region to visit?

I can't say I have visited many but I think England's vineyards are underrated and deserve recognition for making some excellent sparkling wines.


4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Struggling on this one, why should any pleasure be burdened by guilt? That said, I am sure plenty of wine snobs would dissaprove of my love of cheap sweet rose and the ample use of fine wine in my gravy.


5. Wine to try before you die?

82' Latour simply because I love sideways (the book!)


6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

I'm quite a big fan of cider

 

Thanks Polly. More 'six Q's' next week!

A well deserved treat!Date published: 07/09/12

On September the 30th I shall be running the Berlin Marathon. The training started in January and has seen me running 3 times a week and taking part in 4 Half Marathons across the Midlands. I am currently running over 100km a month with weekly runs in excess of 16 miles.

Obviously all this physical training would be no good without some serious alterations to my diet along the way and so as I get closer to the big day I have significantly reduced my wine intake to the point that wine is now considered a bit of treat. With this in mind I thought I'd share a few of the things that fit into this category for me?

Chateau Labegorce 2002

A Sunday Roast is a bit of must in our house and as it usually ties in with my weekly 'long run' it provides a great opportunity to uncork some Claret. Chateau Labegorce is a fantastic Margaux property that dates back to the 14th Century. The wine itself is medium bodied and typical of the region. Dark forest fruits and plums and knit together by taut acidity and grippy tannins. Perfect for a Sunday Roast!

£19.99 per bottle

Shadowfax Chardonnay 2010

Sometimes, after a long hard day at work you really fancy a crisp clean glass of wine to help you unwind and I've developed a bit of a crush on this offering from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. This area of Australia has gained recent fame mainly through the exploits of cult winery 'Ten Minutes By Tractor' but Shadowfax is one of a number of wineries hanging onto it's coat tails and making utterly compelling Chardonnay. Crisp acidity and balanced oak are married with pineapple, peach and hazelnut. Certainly worthy of 'treat' status!

£20.00 when you buy 2 or more bottles

WOTW: MATSU 'El Picaro' Toro, Spain 2011Date published: 05/09/12

MATSU 'El Picaro'. Toro, Spain 2011

Vintae have been taking the wine world by storm, creating wines that break tradition but look and taste great. One of Vintae's signatures, is their eye catching label designs. You may have seen these wines on Majestic shelves, but been too afraid to try them out – Now is your chance as we have the great 'El Picaro' open to taste all week!

The Matsu ‘El Picaro’ is a youthful, 100% temperanillo wine from Toro. The vineyard area here are naturally pest free, so the wines are all organic.

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.
 

A beautiful crimson-purple in the glass, the nose is full of plump ripe blackberries and raspberries with a touch of vanilla and mocha. The palate is bold, rounded and with just the right amount of youthful tannins to make this cheeky rascal stand out in the crowd.
 

Food Match: A great all rounder that is perfect for varied tapas dishes and best enjoed with friends!

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Jancis RobinsonDate published: 03/09/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week, it is our honour to present the answers of her royal highness of the grape; Jancis Robinson OBE, MW.

Jancis Robinson is one of the worlds leading wine writers. After becoming the first person outside the wine trade to become a Master of Wine in 1984, Jancis went on the pen 'the bible' for wine lovers and students; The Oxford Companion to Wine and also the world's leading wine atlas; The World Atlas of Wine with Hugh Johnson. Jancis has appeared in her own BBC television show, has an honouray doctrate from the Open University, and was made an OBE in 2003. Among numerous other awards for her writing, her accolades include multiple Glenfiddich Awards and André Simon Memorial Awards, and a selection as the Decanter "Woman of the Year" awards.

Be sure to sign up for 'purple pages' at www.jancisrobinson.com for over 9,000 articles and 70,000 tasting notes! There is also exclusive online access to 'The Oxford Companion to Wine' and all the latest wine news, comments and videos from the great lady herself!

Here are her answers:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Bottom of a magnum of Cheval Blanc 1947 owned by a renowned HK collector drunk in Burgundy in 1994 and another bottle bought by Phillip Schofield. I’ve been lucky enough to taste this wine quite few times but these were definitely the best two examples.


2. Best food and wine match?

Saucisson and Beaujolais.


3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Napa Valley – The food and light are so good.


4. Wine guilty pleasure?

I hardly dare mention this because last time I did it caused a firestorm, but Gallo Moscato is surprisingly delicious.


5. Wine to try before you die?

More 1928s and 1929s please!


6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Even I have to admit that water is an excellent drink.

 

Epic... Thanks Jancis. Stay tuned for more 'six questions' next week!

Nyetimber: English fizz at its bestDate published: 31/08/12

Nyetimber: English fizz at its best

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to have Samantha from Nyetimber join us on a Saturday afternoon to entice our customers with samples of there wonderful range of English Sparkling Wines. A fun afternoon was had by all and we even learnt a little bit more about their range:

Nyetimber have been producing English Sparkling Wine for over twenty years from their estate in West Sussex. They have a simple aim of producing the best English Sparkling Wine possible and making it a match for the finest sparkling wines in the world, including Champagne. They have collected numerous international awards and have proven that England can produce wines of 'Grande Marque' standard.

Classic Cuvee

Using the 3 classic sparkling wine grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meurnier and using the Traditional Method, this is a classic non vintage style that is more than a match for many of the Champagne 'glitterati'. It has a generous creamy texture and is perfect as an aperitif but also weighty enough to stand up to fish and poultry dishes.

Blancs De Blancs

Made from 100% Chardonnay and once again vinified by the Traditional Method. The Blanc De Blanc is typically elegant with delicate citrus and green apple flavours and an invigorating finish. Any seafood dish would benefit from having this as a partner!

Rose

Nyetimber only produce small quantities of this high quality Rose and the rich colour comes from specially selected Pinot Noir grapes and Chardonnay. As ever, it is made via the Traditional Method and has notes of berry fruit and cherry. It is infinitely refreshing and boasts a beautifully elegant finish. An aperitif worthy of starting any party.

W.O.T.W: Papa Luna, Calatayud, Spain 2007Date published: 29/08/12

This red from Papa Luna contains a blend of Grenache, Mazuelo, Monastrell and Syrah grapes, resulting in great-value complexity.

The Calatayud is a dynamic denominated wine zone in Aragón, north-east Spain. An arid, continental climate is kept at bay by the Pyrenees mountains to the north, the meltwater of which provides natural irrigation to the vineyards.

An enticing nose of black cherries and raspberries is accompanied by an earthy note laced with subtle spices. The palate largely follows on from the nose, with a combination of smooth tannins and robust body giving a rewarding mouth feel. Will benefit from being opened 1-2 hours before serving.

Food Match: Rack of lamb with a redcurrent sauce

£9.99 Buy two, save £4.00 £7.99
 

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Russell DentDate published: 27/08/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week Russell Dent gives us his answers. Having started off in the wine industry with Majestic, a few years back, Russell is now the Programme Manager for Consumer Events at the WSET International Wine & Spirit Centre in London. Russell is responsible for the great range of educational and informal wine tastings at the WSET building in Bermondsey Street. The Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) are the worlds leading wine educaters and Majestic wine were awarded the 'Educater of the Year' award earlier this year.
 

Here are Russell's answers:

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

I seem to remember a staff “Fine Wine” evening at Majestic Wine in Birmingham where we sampled a Castillo Ygay Late Release Rioja, 1978. I can still remember how it tasted and confirmed to me that my career change into the wine industry was the right one.

2. Best food and wine match?

The best food and wine pairings seem to be the simplest – charcuterie, cheese and pickles with acidic, fruity reds (Valpolicella and Beaujolais) and light, refreshing whites (Chablis) with all things seafood fishy.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Burgundy – probably less so for the wine – more for the food.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Asti Spumante - fizzy, sweet, refreshing, and light in alcohol – feels like I’m keeping my local Tesco’s in business.

5. Wine to try before you die?

Something I’ve produced – not owning any vineyards this might be a long way off, but it’s good to have long term goals.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Gin and tonic – specifically Plymouth Navy Strength, Fever-Tree “Naturally Light” Tonic and half a lime – if I’m feeling fussy!
 

Thanks Russell! Stay tuned for more 'six questions' next week...

The revenge of Cava! So much more than just poor mans bubbles! Date published: 24/08/12

Known originally as 'Champaña', the term 'Cava' was only coined once Spain joined the EU in 1986. Since then it has been a household name.

Recently, however, the reputation of Cava seems to have suffered a little - too many cheap supermarket deals of varied quality have pushed the British consumer to look elsewhere for thier fizzy alternatives to champagne; Prosecco and new world sparkling wines are filling our shelves and baskets.

Well, at Majestic we have some top Cava in stock and below are some of our favourites! But first, a little history...

The beginnings of Cava were when a man named Josep Raventos returned to his native Catalonia from working in Champagne in the early 1870s. He was convinced a similar wine could be made, but using local spanish grape varieties such as Macabeu, Xarel-lo and Parellada in the blend. Other than the grapes (and some modern producers are now using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the blend also), the production is almost identical to that of champagne; with the second fermentation occurring in the bottle. There is usually less ageing on the 'lees' (or sediment) for a fresher style.

So, what's the difference in taste? Well, champagne tends to have flavours of green apples, citrus and more obvious bread or biscuit notes. Cava tends to be fresher, often with pear and extotic flavours of apricot, peach and melon for a fruity complxity.

Our current favourites are the following:

 

Cava Calamino NV

Fresh and harmonious, displaying plenty of apple and toast flavours, yet intensely dry and mouth-watering.

£6.49 when purchasing any two bottles as part of any mixed six bottle case

 

Codorníu Selección Raventos NV

A modern example of Cava from the Catalan region of Spain. The Codorníu family have been pioneers in the region since first producing Cava in 1872, and in 1985 incorporated Chardonnay into the blend of traditional grape varieties in order to make a more aromatic style.

£7.49 when purchased as part of any mixed six bottle case

 

Codorníu Reina Maria Cristina Blanc de Noirs 2008

This Cava Brut was launched in honour of the Regent Queen María Cristina of Austria who in 1897 granted Codorníu with the title of 'Official Provider of the Royal House'.

With fine bubbles and persistent beading, this deliciously dry Cava has fresh, light, floral aromas with delicately rounded, well-balanced pear and brioche flavours.

£9.99 when purchased as part of any mixed six bottle case
 

 

 

WOTW- Vinalba Seleccion Torrontes 2011 Date published: 22/08/12

WOTW: Vinalba Seleccion Torrontes 2011


Vineyards in Argentina lie mostly close to the Andes and are spread over nearly 1000km, from the province of Salta in the sub-tropical north, to Rio Negro in the south on the frontiers of Patagonia.

Viñalba is a relatively new Argentinian winery, founded in 2008, that has quickly won huge acclaim for its wines, in particular its multi-award-winning Malbecs. Winemaker Hervé J. Fabre is originally from Bordeaux, and produces wines of elegance and charm.

Torrontes is Argentina's signature white grape and this is a classic example from Vinalba crafted by Herve. The Torrontes grape is found in many regions of Argentina: Rioja, Salta, San Jaun and Mendoza. Vinalba's grapes come from Mendoza where the high altitude and long summers mean that the wine has wonderfully pure tasting fruit.

The nose is fresh and inviting, with bright tropical fruit notes and citrus hints. On the palate, refreshing pineapple and white peach flavours.

Food match: Great match with a Thai green curry or spicy barbecued prawn skewers.

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Edwina WatsonDate published: 20/08/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week it is Edwina Watson's turn. Edwina is a Buying Assistant for Lay & Wheeler . She says she has a particular fondness for wines from the Rhône valley and is always keen to try something new, especially when accompanied by good food and company!

Here are her answers:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Why is it surprisingly hard to remember the best bottle ever drunk!? I know I’m probably forgetting something crucial, but I would have to say the best wine I’ve drunk this year was Dominus 2004. Sometimes you just want to smell a wine without tasting it because it is that good!

2. Best food and wine match?

Last month I went to Mersea Island – just off the coast of Essex and not far from our L&W offices. There’s a fantastic restaurant there called The Company Shed; an unpretentious place filled with plastic tables and chairs and paper table cloths and where they bring in the fresh shellfish from the fishing boats just outside. You take along your own bread and wine to accompany the most amazing platters of crab, mussels, cockles, prawns, shrimps, scallops, salmon, mackerel, oysters, lobster… you name it! All of this – drizzled in lemon juice – washed down with the mouth-watering and delicious 2010 Vacheron Sancerre, was the most wonderful food and wine match I’ve had in a long time! Sometimes the best combinations are the simplest.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

I’ve been lucky enough to have just come back from Tuscany on a buying trip, so it would have to be there! Beginning in Florence, I visited Chianti and ventured down to Montalcino and Montepulciano, finishing off on the Bolgheri coast at the iconic estates of Sassacaia and Ornellaia. We covered a lot of ground; the scenery is absolutely breathtaking – and it was particularly interesting to see the landscape change from the steep and compact valleys of Chianti to the rolling hills and beautiful, expansive farming-land around Montalcino. I have become a true Sangiovese convert – and Vin Santo was something of a revelation too!

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Too many to list! People in the wine trade like to pretend they drink fancy fine wines all the time (and god, do they go on about it!) but in reality we don’t paid enough for that! So I have far more guilty pleasures than ultra-desirable wine experiences! Recently I spent a weekend camping in Annecy in the pouring rain and my friend and I ended up drinking Michel Gros 2007 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Clos de Réas from plastic cups in the car with a ‘picnic’ of sorts whilst staring out at the rain-soaked lake listening to bad French radio. It was a waste of good Burgundy, but it was memorable!

5. Wine to try before you die?

Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises – any vintage will do! It’s fair to say I’m a little bit obsessed with Champagne.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

A gin and tonic of course – Sipsmith if I can help it! And it has to have lime – not lemon! Fickle, moi!?

 

Thanks Edwina! Stay tuned for more 'six questions' coming soon...

Au Bon Climat Hildegard 2007, Santa Maria ValleyDate published: 17/08/12

The Hildegard is a most unusual wine, made by top Californian producer Jim Clendenon...

Jim Clendenen is one of the pioneers of the Central Coast. At their best, his wines capture striking expressions of some of the region’s top sites deeply influenced by a huge passion and admiration for the great wines of Burgundy.

The 2007 Hildegard is a unique wine made from 55% Pinot Beurot (Pinot Gris), 40% Pinot Blanc and 5% Aligote inspired by the composition of the Corton Charlemagne vineyard in Burgundy as it was believed to have been planted during Charlemagne’s reign as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Hildegard is a rich, textured white laced with white peaches, flowers, almond paste and subtle spiciness from the French oak. It shows lovely precision all the way through to the rich, creamy finish. Despite the wine’s generous, open texture, there is no sense of heaviness at all, except for the bottle itself.

(Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015)

£25.00 per bottle, when purchased as a part of any six bottle mixed case

WOTW - Sainte Victoire Provence Rose 2011Date published: 15/08/12

WOTW - Sainte Victoire Provence Rose 2011

Provence, once known for its over-strong and under flavoured rose was invaded by individuals hell-bent on upgrading quality, the same sort of individuals who have been leaving their mark elsewhere. Rose is still the order of the day in Provence, but the difference now is that they are gently made and offer a delicate perfumed character of berry fruits, which are dry enough to match with much of the regional cuisine of olives and garlic.

The Negrel family settled at the domaine Mas de Cadenet in 1813, and has now been there for 7 generations. Sainte Victoire is a sub-region within the Côtes de Provence, situated on the upper parts of the slopes, and is known for producing particularly high quality wines.

A light nose of herbs, strawberries and cherry follows through to a refreshing and delicate palate showing further floral notes.

Food match: A great accompaniment to olives, bread and oils

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Andy LloydDate published: 13/08/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we quiz Majestic Wine Buyer Andy Lloyd. Andy is the main man behind our fabulous Chilean wine selection, so we have him to thank for some great wines and spme great deals. Andy is also a keen wine writer, winning the Young Wine Writer of the Year award a few years back.

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Ch Doisy Daene 1942. My team won it, alongside some aged Claret from the 1980's. We cooked a decadent dinner and tasted the lot on a dark January night. The Doisy Daene was simply outstanding and as fresh as a daisy. To think it was made in war-time was almost inconceivable.

2. Best food and wine match?

Dry Madeira with pork chops. Mmmmmm.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Margaret River is where it all began for me, picking grapes when I was 19. It is still my spiritual home. The wine, the surfing, the coffee - the whole experience.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Lindemans Bin 65. We will talk no more about this.

5. Wine to try before you die?

Lafite 82 - to see if what kick started the entire modern fine wine trade is actually worth all the fuss.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Does a mug count? A morning cappuccino from Monmouth St is one of my all time favourite things.

 

Thanks Andy - Some jealousy inducing wines in there for sure! Stay tuned for more 'six questions' next week!

Fine Wine of the Month: Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2001Date published: 10/08/12

From one of the most sought after vineyards in the prestigious D.O.C region of Rioja in northern Spain comes this complex and intriguing wine which is named after one of the regions founding fathers.

The Rioja Alta lies west of the city of Logroño and just south of the River Ebro. The predominant red grape variety here is Tempranillo which lends itself well to the distinctive, iron rich reddish tinted clay soils. With only superior quality grapes being sourced, Reservas must spend a minimum of three years in cask and bottle, at least one of which must be in oak. The 2001 vintage ranks up there as one of the very best in recent years. This pedigree shines through in a wine that is complex and elegant with an abundance of multi-layered flavours.

Fresh red fruits greet the palate which then develop seamlessly into more complex and perfumed secondary notes of earthy spices and vanilla. Silky smooth tannins help endow this wine with an elegant structure and an impressive length.

Food Match: Whilst lamb is often the classic match for a Rioja, try pairing this with roasted duck for an indulgent and luxurious treat.

WOTW: Montagny Vielles Vignes 2009Date published: 08/08/12

Montagny Vielles Vignes 2009

This week's wine of the week is a welcome return to Majestic Stratford. Situated in the heart of wine-growing Burgundy, the Côte Chalonnaise is ideally placed to convey every nuance of the region. Montagny is the one all-white appellation and includes the neighbouring Buxy. This co-operative is probably the most successful in Southern Burgundy. The wines here are fuller and the best are more like minor Cote de Beaune wines than leaner Rullys.

The firm of Louis Latour long ago discovered what good value wines from Montagny could be and they are now responsible for a significant proportion of total production. This wine however is not from the Burgundy power house of Louis Latour. The Cave des Vignerons de Buxy is the result of collective enterprise and the work of 120 wine-growers and 40 employees. It was founded in 1931 with the collective aim of finding a solution to their problems relating to making, storing and selling wines. The grapes for this wine come from old vines (Vielles Vignes), 30 year old vines to be precise. Older vines tend to produces lower yields, however the fruit that is produced tends to be higher in flavour concentration. This is evident in this superb value white Burgundy.

Lemon zest and citrus fruits, hints of blossom and elderflower on the nose. The palate brings rounded lemon flavours and a classic steely minerality.

Food Match: Meaty white fish such as Turbot or Halibut.

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Penny FrearDate published: 07/08/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we quiz Penny Frear. Penny is the UK Market Manager for New Zealand's 'Villa Maria Estate'. Founded in 1961, Villa Maria has vineyards in Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Auckland. They are one of the most awarded wineries in New Zeland and continue to produce qulaity wines which are a staff and customer favourite!

Here are Penny's answers:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

On my first visit to the winery I worked for previously, they bought out a bottle of Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon from the year of my birth. The wine had held up really well for its age (haha!), but it was the personal touch that made it unforgettable.

2. Best food and wine match?

Just can’t beat fresh seafood with NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Probably Bordeaux. I love France and Bordeaux has it all – Great town, countryside, amazing wines and loads of history.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

A glass or two of Champagne in the bath!

5. Wine to try before you die?

Henschke’s Hill of Grace. I’ve been to the Cellar Door, but sadly they didn’t have a bottle open that day.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Tends to be a mug … Of tea.
 

WOTW: Beaujolais Lantignié 2010, Louis JadotDate published: 01/08/12

The wines from Beaujolais are all made from the Gamay grape variety. Gamay when coupled with the carbonic maceration technique gives a wine that is very light in body and fruity, a perfect summer red. Because of its lightness in body and almost non existent tanins beaujolais would be quite happy to be served slightly chilled.
 

The village of Latignié is just north-west of Regnié in the heart of the Beaujolais-Villages region. Maison Louis Jadot is a well known name across the Burgundy region. Their aim is to express the true nature of Burgundy and this wine is no exception.
 

Bright and vibrant with bags of fresh strawberries and rasberry. Soft, apealing tanins and a refreshing and delicate acidity on the palate.
 

Food match: Serve lightly chilled at lucntime with a selection of cold meats, soft cheeses and fresh bread.

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Rex Pickett!Date published: 30/07/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we are super exited to have the answers of Rex Pickett; author of the ultimate wine novel; Sideways

 

Here are Rex's answers:

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

A hard question. I guess I go back in time to a '67 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Georges de Latour Private Reserve when I was all of 19 years old.


2. Best food and wine match?

Pinot and roast chicken.


3. Favourite wine region to visit?

I guess I would have to say the Santa Ynez Valley because it's so close. Sonoma and the Willamette Valley are a close second though, but I don't get there there often enough.


4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Anything under $10 that's quaffable!


5. Wine to try before you die?

A '90 Richebourg or '90 La Tache.


6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Synergy Mango Passion kombucha.

 

More 'six questions we ask everyone' next week!
 

WOTW Inama Soave Classico 2011Date published: 25/07/12

Soave is located in the North East of Italy, on the banks of the river Adige. Soave is neighbour to the region of Valpolicella, where the Corvina grape is king, however Soave is the land of the white variety known as Garganega. This region plays a very important part in Italy's wine industry being the second best selling DOC wine in Italy, after Chianti. For a long time its main selling point was that it was a wine that would offend nobody
(i.e. Boring). This is no longer the case, the quality has increased dramatically prompting the promotion of Soave Superiore to DOCG status.
 

The Garganega grape is characterised by delicate flavours of almonds and some acidity and when yields are low can display floral notes and 'grapey' fruit. In Soave, Garganega can be blended with the Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay though the latter may account for no more than 30%. Some of the best wines come from the Classico region, which are around the town of Soave itself. This Soave Classico from Inama is no exception, offering a great alternative to Kiwi Sauvignon this summer.

This clean and clear wine offers a bouquet dominated by lime, with undertones of pineapple. A minerality is also apparent on the nose. On the palate there is a continued lime twist to this dry wine, with impressive length. This, matched with the fresh and crisp acidity, makes an ideal accompaniment this summer.

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Nyetimber!Date published: 23/07/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

Samantha Phillips is our regional representative for Nyetimber, who produce what is undoubtedly the best sparkling wine in the country. The French were harder to convince until 1997 when in a blind tasting Nyetimber's 1992 Blanc de Blancs caused a debate as to which area of France it came from. Nyetimber wines have since won rave-reviews and International medals and, have also won the admiration of members of the Royal Family and various Heads of State.

Here are her answers:

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

1982 Chateau Palmer, still youthful and fresh with impeccable fruit, silky tannins and a super long finish!

2. Best food and wine match?

Fresh Cornish crab with Nyetimber Rosé (of course!)

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

The Swartland really excites me at the moment, lots of exciting wines and it is beautiful there.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

If you’re going to feel guilty about it, don’t do it!

5. Wine to try before you die?

Got to be Romanée-Conti, any vintage I can afford to buy.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Usually good ales but I am a big Madeira fan (although still wine) and have an 1815 vintage Boal to try in September!

 

Thanks Samantha! Stay tuned for more 'six questions we ask everyone'next week!

Four staff, four steaks and four bottles of awesome wine!Date published: 20/07/12

Last Sunday night, the team here at Majestic Stratford-upon-Avon got together for a fine wine dinner. It was a great chance to catch up outside of work, eat some great food and drink some great wines...

We started off with a 1999 Laurent Perrier that James pulled out of his awesome (and nicely stocked!) wine fridge. It was a real treat – So young a fresh despite an already lenthgy bottle age, still having loads of citrus and apple fruits but lashings of brioche also. James' tweet of '#smug' seemed to sum it up nicely!

After a starter of James' homemade chicken and Parma ham terrine, John got on with cooking up our sirloins. This seemed the oportune time to crack open a bottle of 2009 Gaya Promis; a modern Tuscan blend from a legendary winery. It had a massive array of aromas on the nose, and the palate was dominated by dark plums, cassis, spice, tobacco and a touch of classic Italian iron.

With our steaks ready, Matt poured out the main event, a 1989 Clos Du Marquis, into his four Riedel Bordeaux glasses. The mature Saint Julien claret is the second wine of Léoville-Las-Cases, it had a seriously complex bouquet of leather, spice, and toasty oak. As you'd expect from such a top Bordeaux, the palate was lush, smooth and well structred!

For our cheese board we had a dorset goats cheese named 'Rachel' and an Epoisses. If you've not heard of it before, Epoisses is a pungent unpasteurized cows-milk cheese washed in marc de Bourgogne (local pomace brandy from Burgundy). The match would have been classic Burgundy Rouge, but we opted for a new world alternative; The Matinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009. The seductive aromas of red cherry, spice, tobacco and earth gave way to a perfectly balanced, elegant and structured tanins with a lingering finish.

All in all a great night! Cheers!
 

Wines:

Laurent Perrier Millesime Vintage 1999 - N/A

Promis 2009 Gaja, Toscana IGT £22.00 - per bottle when purchasing any two bottles or more and part of any mixed six bottle case.

Clos du Marquis 1989 St-Julien £75.00 - per bottle when part of any mixed six bottle case.

Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 £24.00 - per bottle when purchasing any two bottles or more and part of any mixed six bottle case.

Bourgogne Pinot Noir 'Les Pierres Rouges' 2009, Louis JadotDate published: 18/07/12

Maison Louis Jadot has been making wine in Burgundy since before 1859. They control over 154 hectares (380 acres) of vineyards making them one of France's biggest names in wine!
 

This great value Burgundy from a top producer is made in a classic, yet very approachable, style with six months ageing in French Oak. Winemaker Jacques Lardière aims to celebrate Burgundy's diversity and reflect all the aspects and natural dfifferenes of the uinique terroirs. Therefore, the blend is made up from selected parcels of Pinot Noir grapes from across northern Burgundy.
 

A bright nose of berries of red fruit. The palate is well rounded with cherries, raspberry fruits with some nice smokiness and spice. Gently tannic and with good length.
 

Food Match: Pan fried duck breasts with a red fruit reduction

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Olly Smith!Date published: 16/07/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we are honoured to have the answers of the fabulous Olly Smith! If you are in the wine biz, or even if you are not, I'm sure you have heard of Olly. He is an award winning wine expert, writer and personality. A regular on Saturday Kitchen, columnist for The Mail and presenter of The Secret Supper Club.

Here are Olly's answers:

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

My most memorable bottle was a magnum of 1975 Bollinger RD which I correctly identified at a blind tasting with Barbara Broccoli who produces the James Bond films. We were in the Jules Verne restaurant halfway up the Eiffel Tower which is in A View To A Kill Jerome Philippon, the President of Bollinger, challenged the assembled wine experts to identify the vintage and vino. I was so chuffed to get it right, mainly because the 1975 Bollinger RD is served to Roger Moore blind in the Jules Verne restaurant in A View To A Kill and when Rog correctly identifies it, his lunch companion Achille Aubergine says "I see you are a connoisseur". The empty bottle of Bollinger sits proudly on my desk to this very day.

 

2. Best food and wine match?

The simple ones! Prosecco and Mozzarella, Sauvignon Blanc and goats cheese, Moscato and strawberries, Port and dark chocolate, Lamb with Rioja. I've often wondered what wine was served at the banquet in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to pair with those chilled monkey brains.

 

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Too tough to pick just one but Chile is up there for its diversity and wild beauty. And of course the vino.

 

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

I'll do anything for Tokaji. Anything.

 

5. Wine to try before you die?

Easy. The wine that's in your glass as you bellow your final words: "Cheers!" Then you can snuff it with pride.

 

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Beer - the craft beer revolution is exciting and enticing and I flipping love the stuff.

Which Rosé to Choose This Summer?! Date published: 13/07/12

So summer is here (not that you would know it judging by the weather!), and with it out comes the rosé to enjoy whilst basking in the British sunshine! Although it seems the obligatory tipple to enjoy this time of year, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy, and more importantly which one you will actually enjoy. Unlike reds and whites, we tend to buy rosé only in the summer months and so don't have time to try the different varieties and regional variations avaliable to us.

So here is a brief list of some styles of rosé we have on offer, to help you choose from our extensive range and make the right choice for you to have in your glass this summer.

Light, Dry and glugable!
If you're looking for an easy drinking, low alcohol rosé look no further than the Pinot Grigio Braganze. A floral nose is followed by a palate infused with soft notes of apricot and peach. A fresh acidity makes this a perfect tipple on a warm summers afternoon.

Elegant, Soft and Refined!
Trying to find a rosé with style and finesse? Then get your hands on a bottle of our provence rosé! Often a blend of Grenache and Cinsault, these wines are elegently fruity with a unique floral character. There delightfully subtle charm allows them to be paired easily with summer picnic food and light barbequed meats and fish. The pick of the range for us here would be the Chateau Sainte Marguerite- Classically provence in style, with a lingering finish that encourages you to top up your glass!

Rich, Smooth and Valuptuous!
Wanting a rose with a more robust finish? How about a Bordeaux rosé? A region famed for its big, complex reds also produces some fantastically lengthy and rich rosés. Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate, creating bright coloured wines which lead to plum and berry flavours on the palate. The Chateau Meaume is a brilliant rosé, with enough backbone to stand up to a barbecued steak.

Bold, Brash and Beautiful!
So you like your rosé to have a bit of ooomph?! Head to the New World! The warmer climate of Chile produces rosé wine that will leave a warming, spicy finish on your tongue and a fruity kick that will have you pouring until the bottle runs dry! Pick of the bunch has to be the Santa Rita 120- Juicy red fruits, hints of sweet spice and a crisp, clean finish makes this the wine for those who want a fun, powerful rosé this summer!

So there we have it! Which one sounds like the rosé for you then? Come in soon and stock up ready for that sunny day we're all praying for!

WOTW: Caixas Albariño 2011 Martín Códax, Rías BaixasDate published: 11/07/12

Albarino is Galicia's signature white wine. This grape variety was thought to be brought to Spain by French Cuny monks in the twelfth century. the name "Alba-Riño" actually means "the white from the Rhine" and has locally been thought to be a Riesling clone that originated from the Alsace region of France. It is actually more likely to be that the grape is a relative of Petit Manseng, which is grown primarily in the Languedoc.
 

This albarino, made by one of the regions top producers, is a light, fresh and youthful wine that has been made exclusively for majestic with some of the grapes possibly having been picked by Majestic's own staff, as a small number go to Galicia each year to help with the harvest
 

A nose of apricots and peaches with hint of honeysuckle nectar. The palate brings a zesty and well defined citrus backbone, but overlayed with soft stone fruits. Crisp and refreshing, yet rounded and enduring on the finish. A great, lighter, alternative to something like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc...
 

Our food and wine match would be grilled sardines with a lemon mayonnaise. This wine would also be fantastic to accompany mussels and other shellfish.

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Simon WoodsDate published: 09/07/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we are honoured to present the answers of Simon Woods. Simon is an award winning wine writer and speaker. He likes to call himself a 'wine inspirer' whose aim, in his words, is to get people 'enthusiastic about fermented grape juice'!  You can learn more at www.simonwoods.com.

Here are Simon's answers:

 

1. Best bottle ever drunk?


1970 Vega Sicilia in the café at Fortnum & Mason. Part of a thank-you lunch with someone I’d done some work for. Honest simple food, delightful company and what my dining companion called ‘smug wine’ - you know that no one else in the vicinity is having anything remotely as good.


2. Best food and wine match?


More a case of the situation than any particular food/wine chemistry, but will never forget octopus cooked in a large bucket with a large immersion heater, chopped into chunks, sprinkled with salt and pepper and served up with Godello from Valdeorras.


3. Favourite wine region to visit?


Burgundy – still makes my knees go wobbly when I drive through all those famous villages


4. Wine guilty pleasure?


Saving some of my favourite bottles for evenings when I know my wife is going to be out…


5. Wine to try before you die?


Very Old Madeira – just love the richness and intensity with scalp-itching acidity.


6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?


Timothy Taylor’s Landlord

 

Thanks Simon! What a great set of answers... 'smug wine'; brilliant! Stay tuned for more of the 'six questions we ask everyone' coming soon...

Fine Wine Friday - Atarxia Chardonnay 2009Date published: 06/07/12

Having put Hamilton Russell on the map, winemaker Kevin Grant departed to establish “Ataraxia” in the idyllic Hemel-en-Aarde valley. Since debuting in 2005 with out-sourced fruit, he has already fashioned some of South Africa’s finest Chardonnays, but he is already enthusiastic about his own fledgling Kevin is very much uses the French philosophy of wine making in that your wine should be an expression of terrior (the combined effect of climate, soil types and other influencing factors) rather than fruit.

It is hardly suprising that Kevin wants his wines to be an expression of their environment, Ataraxia is situated in an area called The Skyfields. It is unique, lying as it does on the most elevated section of the Hemel-en-Aarde area. Nestled on this commanding rise beneath the soaring Babylons Toren mountain range, the vineyards are planted on some of the most spectacular terroirs South Africa has to offer. It is a place where wines of incredible finesse, balance and depth are crafted, that proudly hold their own in the international arena.

The name Ataraxia derives from Greek mythology. The word was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies a state of  calmness or peace of mind; emotional tranquillity. A feeling all those who drink this fabulous Chardonnay can share.

'The nose is beautifully defined with scents of melon, honeysuckle and white peach with just a hint of creme patissiere. The palate is fresh and crisp on the entry with subtle almond and hazelnut. It has wonderfully integrated vanilla-tinged oak and a tense, mineral-rich finish that is Corton-Charlemagne in all but name and price. This is one of South Africa’s benchmark Chardonnays - 93/100' - (Robert Parker)

WOTW: Anakena Indo CarmenereDate published: 04/07/12

This Wine of the Week choice comes from Chile's Cachapoal Valley. Geographically speaking Chile is the very essence of isolation. It is this isolation, caused by the inhospitable Andes to the east, the Pacific to the west, the deserts to the north and Antarctica to the south, that makes Chile's winemaking potential so great. It's isolation has kept them free from the Phylloxera louse which attacks the roots of the vine, this louse is a problem in almost all other wine growing regions across the world and is a cause of major expense.

Indo Anakena is fairly new to the Majestic range but all of their wines have proven to be very popular and the Carmenere is no exception. 'Indo' derives from 'Indio', the name given to the natives by Columbus when he first arrived in the Americas. Anakena used this in the name to celebrate the encounter and coming together of the two worlds. The aim of the Indo range is to be a true expression of terrior.

On the nose, an intense hit of rich plum and smoke. This follows through to a medium palate with a good acidity and smooth tannins that would let itself to a variety of food

Food match: Rack of ribs in a sticky sauce straight from the BBQ

£6.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Kat WigginsDate published: 02/07/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week it is Kat Wiggin's turn. Kat is the Senior Wine Advisor for Lay & Wheeler and a consultant for the Fine Wine Plan. She is an expert on all things 'en primeur' and here at Stratford we all turn to her for her advice on the best buys from each vintage!

Here are Kat's answers:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

I have had a lot of lovely wines and sometimes the best bottles are not the most expensive, but more to do with where you are and who you’re with. However a bottle of 1990 La Tache, bought by and shared with a client in London, was pretty darned special. I am very lucky to have had the chance to taste that wine.

2. Best food and wine match?

Young dry white bordeaux and oysters. Heaven.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

As of last week, Tuscany. A truly beautiful place, amazing wines and some of the friendliest winemakers I’ve ever encountered. Am looking forward to going to New Zealand in the Autumn though!

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Fizz. I don’t need a valid “excuse” to enjoy champagne and sparkling wine. I remember decorating my house when I first bought it, with a bottle of Pol White Foil on the bottom step of the stepladder. Ridiculous. But made painting much more fun!

5. Wine to try before you die?

Salon Champagne. I’ve never tried it and am desperate to know what the fuss is about!

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Gin & Tonic



Thanks Kat! Stay tuned for more 'six questions we ask everyone' coming soon!

When Only A Magnum Will Do!Date published: 29/06/12

What a great way to kick off a party, Sunday lunch or a BBQ. Put a magnum of wine on the table and you will be everyone's friend! Here are our favourite picks of our current line up of magnums...


Veuve Clicquot NV


All good parties start with bubbles!


An archetypal Champagne from an historic house. Madame Clicquot's wine displays a superb marriage of freshness and power - gorgeous and deceptively pale colour with fine, persistent bubbles -a poised, delicately bready nose - and on the palate a richness of fruit and mouthfilling mousse that lingers long.


£65.00 per bottle as part of a six bottle mixed case

 

AIX Rosé 2011, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence


It's summer time! An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Boldly brought to you in a party-ready magnum!

£19.99 per bottle as part of a six bottle mixed case


Viñalba Malbec Reserva 2010 Mendoza


The ultimate BBQ Magnum! Dark plum fruits, sweet tannins and dark chocolate and mocha Full-bodied wine, yet with juicy tannins...

£17.99 per bottle as part of a six bottle mixed case

 

Marques de Riscal, Rioja Reserva 2007


A classic Rioja; full bodied, summer fruits with toasted oak and vanilla. Perfect match to a Spring lamb Sunday Roast.


£22.00 per bottle as part of a six bottle mixed case
 

Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyone' with Rob PriceDate published: 28/06/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

This week we pick the brain of Rob Price. Rob is head of Birmingham Wine School as well a WSET Advanced Instructor and an educater for the Bordeaux L'Ecole Du Vin. He writes for several publications, including the Lichfield Journal, and to top it all off is a hell of nice bloke! More info can be found at www.birminghamwineschool.com.

Here are his answers:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Best bottle, 1997 Ch Latour. Best sip, 1961 Ch Latour. Best wine in the world, clearly Bordeaux!

2. Best food and wine match?

Easy, must be fish and chips with Champagne. There should be a law that insists every fish and chip shop installs a Champagne vending machine. Could be a great business opportunity. Dragons Den here I come!

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

What else but Bordeaux...

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Starting to drink wine while cooking, and then finding out that by the time I've finished cooking, I may need to open another bottle for my wife when she arrives home - oops!

5. Wine to try before you die?

Too many, I just love to find new wines with new grape varieties I've not tasted before. So many wines, too little time!

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Just Air! What else is there?


Thanks Rob! Stay tuned for more 'six questions we ask everyone' coming soon...


 

WOTW: Bardolino 'Naiano' Allegrini 2011Date published: 27/06/12

This wine of the week is a straightforward and unmistakably Italian. Naiano is located in the hills close to the small town of Bardolino on the Eastern shore of Lake Garda. The aspect of these vineyards is perfect for viticulture, the Southwesterley slopes give the grapes excellent sun exposure and the altitutude and cool temperatures helps to ensure lengthy and gradual ripening.

Allegrini is the leading producer in the Valpolicella Classico region and one of Italy's and the world's most highly acclaimed wineries. The family's roots in Valpolicella date back to the 16th Century. Today the winery consists of more than 100 hectares (257 acres) and they are pioneering experimentation and innovation in grape drying processes and in the cellar itself. This particular example from Allegrini is by know means from the top end of their range but the quality and expertise of the winemakers shine through.

Lashing of dark cherry on the nose lead to a lively pallet of strawberry and raspberry followed by a surprisingly long finish with hints of white pepper.

Food match: A classic quatro formaggio pizza

NEW! Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon's 'six questions we ask everyoneDate published: 25/06/12

Here at Majestic Stratford-Upon-Avon we have created a quick fire interview for majestic staff, people in the wine biz, collectors, writers, celebrities and anyone who will answer! So here they are; the 'six questions we ask everyone'...

To start us off, and show you how it's done, Majestic manager James Carey and trainnee manager Matt Orton gives you thier six answers...


James:


1. Best bottle ever drunk?

Château Lafite 1990. Clearly this would be a highlight to any wine lover but I was lucky enough to have it over lunch at the vineyard.

2. Best food and wine match?

White port with almonds. A bit of a classic but often forgotten about.

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Stunning NZ reds from a setting with panoramic views over the ocean from where ever you are.

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

Every pay-day when I was a Trainee Manager I used to treat myself to a takeaway pizza and a bottle of red that I'd had my eye on all month. The red was always to good for the takeaway but it was always something to look forward to.

5. Wine to try before you die?

Vega Sicilia Unico. The mystique around this winery makes it a must for any wine fan.

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

A chilled glass of Diet Coke.


Matt:

1. Best bottle ever drunk?

I fell in love with Bordeaux wines after tasting Château Léoville-Barton 2005. It has been the benchmark on which I judge all good claret ever since

2. Best food and wine match?

Sauternes and Roquefort cheese. A classic combo that my fiancé and I love to share

3. Favourite wine region to visit?

Tuscany, Itlay. I visited as a young child but I still have never forgotten the scenary

4. Wine guilty pleasure?

I love good wine, but can't always stretch to nice food day to day, so I've drunk some nice bottles with microwave ready meals!

5. Wine to try before you die?

I'm a massive Sideways fan, so it would have to be 1961 Cheval Blanc!

6. If it's not wine in your glass, what is it?

Coffee! Particularly 'proper' Italian Espresso...

It's a hard job, but someone has to do it... Date published: 22/06/12

I recently attended a champagne tasting hosted by Moët Hennessy. I know what you're thinking; it is a hard job, but someone has to do it! If you are unfamiliar with 'LVMH Moët Hennessy ', they essentially own every luxury brand there is, including nearly all of Champagne's biggest names; Moët & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Krug and Ruinart.

Our evening started off with the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV. I'm not usually a fan of Blanc de Blancs, personally, I find the 100% chardonnay can often be a little 'sharp'. However, it was a warm evening and the tight, fresh citrus and peach punch was a spectacular aperatif leaving most of us staring sadly at our quickly drained flutes with the lingering white floral aromas still on our plates.

Next up was head to head with two Rosés: Moët & Chandon NV and Veuve Clicquot NV. It was hard to pick a favourite – both were great examples of how lovely Rosé champagne can be. The veuve has a great Pinot Noir 'attack' characteristic (similar to that of it's Brut NV counterpart) with a soft and round red fruit core. The Moët, a lively wild strawberry nose and palate with hints of pink peppercorn and even mint. It got me thinking about the up coming Wimbledon tennis tournament and how well these wines would go with the classic stawberries and cream.

Having now sampled some of the fruitier side, it was time to indulge in the richness of vintage chmapagne! First on the line up was Moët & Chandon's 2002. This exceptional vintage has yielded an indulgantly full-bodied, well-structured chmpagne with great balance. It is dry and rich with toast and brioche. The Veuve Clicquot 2004 is a classic expression of thier vintage house style. The fine mousse almost explodes on the tip of your tongue and then gives way to the richness, balance and finesse you would expect from such a qulaity concious producer.


Last but not least, and with no need for introduction, it was time to sample Dom Pérignon 2003! The 2003 vintage has been considered largely 'hit and miss' by the experts and even our host said he was surpised when he had learnt the Dom Perignon would release a vintage champagne that year. Well, I'm glad to report that it turned out to be a roaring success; classic smooth and elegant house style (described by our host as 'smoother than a bryllcreamed otter!') with just the 'perfect' blend of freshness and richness. Don't just take my word for it though; it scored 94 points from Antonio Galloni (Wine Advocate) who also stated he would 'not be surprised if in 20 years’ time the 2003 is considered an iconic Champagne'.


After much deliberating over our favourites and comparing tasting notes our gracious hosts put on a fnatastic evening supper of fish'n'chips – A classic combination with the champagne (if you have not tried it yet, you are missing out) which received a loud cheer from us all. Some chilled magnums of Moët & Chandon NV found their way onto each table and heloped to round of a fantastic evening. Like I said at the start of this article, it is hard work, but someone has to do it!

Wines Tasted

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV £40.00 when purchased as a part of mixed six bottle case
Moët & Chandon Rosé NV £35.00 when purchased as a part of mixed six bottle case
Veuve Clicquot Rosé NV £40.00 when purchased as a part of mixed six bottle case
Moët & Chandon 2002 £40.00 when purchased as a part of mixed six bottle case
Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 £42.00 when purchased as a part of mixed six bottle case
Dom Pérignon 2003 £108.00 when purchasing six bottles

WOTW: Chateau Sainte Marguerite Provence RoseDate published: 20/06/12

Provence, once known for its over-strong and under flavoured rose was invaded by individuals hellbent on upgrading quality, the same sort of individuals who have been leaving their mark elsewhere. Rose is still the order of the day in Provence, but the difference now is that they are gentley made and offer a delicate perfumed character of berry fruits, which are dry enough to match with much of the regional cuisine of olives and garlic.

Chateau Sainte Marguerite was created in 1929 and was acquired by the Fayard family in 1977. The Domaine received its Cru Classe status in 1955 for the authenticity and quality of its wine. The Fayard family believes the qulaity of the wine is influenced by the environment, this wine is therefore very true to its terrior. Taking it one step further, this wine is 100% organically made so the Grenache and Syrah vines that make up this wine see no chemicals.

A light nose of herbs, strawberries and cherry follows through to a refreshing and delicate palate showing further floral notes.

Food match: Pair with lashings of 'The Sun'

£9.99 When you buy 2 or more bottles.

New world alternatives to Bordeaux?Date published: 15/06/12

We have had the fabulous Meerlust Merlot 2008 open on our tasting counter this week and it got us thinkig about new world alternatives to Bordeaux blends. This article highlights three key regions and our favourite picks from the Majestic range for you to try!


South Western Australia

Despite only being home to around 7% of Australia’s vineyards and only 3% of grapes crushed, the winemaking regions of the South-West of the state, attract a large amount of media attention. They are considered to be some of the finest winemaking regions in Australia, especially for Bordeaux variety blends.

The influence of Antarctic currents and onshore westerlies offer a more temperate climate, much more akin to that in Bordeaux and therefore the predominant grape varieties cultivated include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot rather than Shiraz which dominates most other parts of Australia.

Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot 2007
(Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot)
Blackcurrant and cherry aromas, rich palate of liquorice and cedar.
£11.99 when you buy any two Australian wines as part of a six bottle mixed case


Stellenbosch, South Africa

The Stellenbosch district is the second oldest wine region in South Africa. It is responsible for around 14% of the country's annual wine production. The bay tempers the climate and keep average temperatures during the summer growing season to just slightly warmer than Bordeaux making the conditions here ideal for full bodied ripe blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Kanonkop 'Paul Sauer' 2008
(Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot)
Full body, rich flavours of blackcurrant, red berry and cassis
£25.00 per bottle as part of a six bottle mixed case


Napa Valley, USA

When two Napa Valley wines bested top French labels at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, the region's reputation was cemented as a producer of world class wines. Today Napa Valley is home to more than 450 wineries. Amongst other variatals including the popular Zinfandel, there is a keen focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and crafting classic, elegant wines that rival the best of Bordeaux.

Stag's Leap 'Artemis' 2007
(Cabernet Sauvignon)
Intense nose of cassis, blackberry, cedar and liquorice. Huge flavours of cherry, coffee and chocolate.
£40.00 per bottle as part of a six bottle mixed case

Tasty Tapas and Vintage VintaeDate published: 14/06/12

Here at Majestic, we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend tastings held by our producers. This week Matt and I attended a tasting put on by one of our newest producers, Vintae. We headed off to the Malmaison in Birmingham with the promise of sampling a range of wines they produce called Matsu. These are wines that have been intriguing us since they first arrived in-stores as they feature a picture of a man who's age relates to the style of the wine. For example, the youngest in age is adorned with the face of a man in his mid-twenties and so on.

We knew that tapas would be served with these wines and were interested to see how these wines paired up to what is always a tasty variety of flavours. Needless to say we weren't disappointed and you can read some notes on the wines below.

Matsu El Picaro 2010, Toro
El Picaro is a young signature wine. The grapes come from mature 50 year old vines, but the wine only spends 3 months in oak, preserving a youthful, fresh and fruit driven profile. This wine makes an easy drinking red, with plenty of blackberry and raspberry notes on the palate followed by a refreshing mineral grip.
£7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Matsu El Recio 2009, Toro
El Recio translates as 'the tough guy' and is a more serious, mature wine. It is the product of some of the oldest vines in Toro. The wine is then stored in new French oak for 14 months. The wine was weighty and full bodied, with rich notes of deep black fruit, chocolate and vanilla on the palate.
£12.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Matsu El Viejo 2009, Toro
'The Old One' of the Matsu range, made from the fruit of selected Tinta de Toro vines, averaging 110 years of age. The wine is powerful and full of interesting flavours. There is still plenty of cherry and bramble, but with mature notes of lavender and tobacco. A brilliant wine to partner with steak or rich stews.
£20 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Yalumba: A love affair with ViognierDate published: 08/06/12

Yalumba is Australia's oldest family owned winery and was founded in 1849 by an English immigrant named Samuel Smith. He arrived in Australia with the aim of making a new life for him and his family and purchased a 30 acre plot near Angaston, South Australia and named it Yalumba meaning 'all the land around' in aboriginal.

The Yalumba love affair with viognier started after Yalumba' s Peter Wall took a trip to the Rhone. This lead to the first plantings of the variety in 1980 with 1.2 hectares being put under vine in the Barossa. Over time this has become 29 hectares an now represnts the largest mature Viognier resource in Southern Australia.

Today Yalumba make 4 Viogniers. 3 of these are table wines with the other being a Noble Pick Botrytis Viognier. Here at Majestic Stratford we are lucky enough to have all 3 of the table wines.

The 'Y' Series Viognier

Aromas of honeysuckle, poached quince and orange peel. A rich almost oily texture that is typical of the grape variety marries with a palate of grapefruit, citrus and stone fruits.

£7.59 when you buy any 2 Australian wines.

Eden Valley Viognier

Perfumed and luscious - displaying aromas of apricot nectar and orange oil. The palate is long and rich with intense stone fruit while the finish has an aromatic citrus finish.

£10.99 when you buy any 2 Australian wines.

The Virgilius

The jewel in the crown of 'New World' Viogniers. A montage of grape flavours; apricot nectar, lifted spice, lychees and orange blossom.

£22.50 when you buy 2 bottles.

WOTW - Rioja Reserva 2007, Viña PomalDate published: 05/06/12

The first Viña Pomal release was over 100 years ago and was once a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill. This wine is a classic 100% Tempranillo Rioja from one of the oldest and largest producers in the Rioja Alta.

At a private tasting at this years LIWF, head winemaker Diego Pinnella-Navarro described Viña Pomal as a 'traditional' style Rioja made with 100% Tempranillo and using American oak only for maturation. The cooler vineyard conditions and the classic stone construction of the Bodegas itself help give this wine a crisper and more refreshing character with more fruit than you would expect from a Rioja.

The fresh crisp style of Viña Pomal is alive with red fruit, blackberry and raspberries framed with a traditional vanilla oak character. Soft velvety tannins and a long finish with fresh acidity make this a refreshing change to the many Rioja wines on the market and excellent for partnering with food.

Food Match: Steer away from the obvious 'roast lamb' and go for Marinated pork chops on the BBQ or a hearty sausage and mash topped with caramelised onions.

WOTW: Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Date published: 31/05/12

Viña Errázuriz was founded by Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 kms north of Chile's capital city, Santiago. 140 years on, one of his descendants, Eduardo Chadwick, is now at the helm and is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Dedicated to producing wines of excellent quality, Errázuriz places an emphasis on the delicate handling of wines to produce elegant, complex wines. Errázuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine.”

The La Escultura vineyard is located in the Casablanca Valley, a stone's throw away from the Pacific Ocean and thus benefits from a maritime influence with cool coastal breezes that aid a steady ripening of the grapes which help to preserve their flavours and ensure a good level of acidity.

Intense grassy and tropical aromas on the nose are coupled with zesty citrus fruit on the palate. Refreshing acidity and a fantastic length make this a great alternative to the en vogue New Zealand Sauvignon.

Match with Puff pastry-wrapped salmon coulibiac with basil and spring onions for a match made in heaven!

£9.99 Or Buy Any Two Chilean Wines Save 20% - £7.99 each

The ultimate guide to guilty pleasuresDate published: 28/05/12

Ok, let's face it; some nights, you just can't be bothered to cook and it's time to dig out the take away menus! So, you've placed your order or picked up your cuisine of choice, but which wines should you pull off the rack?


Often, takeaways present a bit of a food and wine matching challenge. Here are our suggestions to help out!

Chinese
The massive array of flavours in Chinese cuisine makes this a tough wine match. Many of the flavours we have come to associate with Chinese dishes – such and 'sweet and sour' and aromatic spices are not common in the classic wine producing regions. Most French, Italian and Spanish wines are therefore inappropriate. Our favourite combination would have to be an aromatic Riesling. Many of the characteristics in the wine help balance the flavours in the food. The good levels of acidity and the off-dry style most of the wines are made in, work particularly well. If you are picking a spicier dish, the slightly lower level of alcohol in these wines will help to not emphasise any harsh burning sensation from chilli.

Our pick is actually going to be a Main Divide Riesling 2009 from Waipara, New Zealand. This slightly off-dry wine has a full body of honeysuckle, ripe apricots and limes and works perfectly with Chinese duck and stir fry.


Main Divide Riesling, New Zealand 2009
£9.99 when you buy two bottles...

Curry
This is the toughest of all the takeaways to match food with! Ideally we would stick to nice cold pint of Indian lager! However, if wine is to the preference of you and your guests, then certain considerations must be made. Try to avoid high alcohol wines – These tend to increase the chilli heat burning sensation with spicy dishes. High-tannins can also make the wine taste bitter and astringent with spicy or fragrant dishes so unfortunately most reds are inappropriate. Lighter whites such as Italian Pinot Grigio can work well to cleanse you palate, but don't stand up to the robust flavours of the food, so our pick would have to be an oaked Chardonnay such as the Laurent Miquel L'Artisan Chardonnay 2010 from the South of France. Complex honeydew melon and pear on the palate add freshness to your meal and the oak adds a hint of coconut and a creaminess that compliments rich curries such as Chicken Korma or Tikka Masala perfectly.


Laurent Miquel L'Artisan, Chardonnay 2010, South of France
£6.99 when you buy two bottles...


Fish and Chips
You may or may not already be aware of this classic combination. There really is nothing better than Brut Champagne with your fish and chips! The high acidity cuts through the 'oiliness' of the fish and helps to offset some of the greasy batter... Our pick would most definitely be the Bollinger Special Cuvée. The densely packed apple and pear fruits punch through the food and give way to a noticeably creamy, caramel-like finish. Absolutely fabulous!

Bollinger Special Cuvée
£37.00 when you buy two bottles...

Part two of our guilty pleasures article is on fast food. Picture the scene, you have just swung by the drive-through and picked up your choice of dinner. When you get home, which wine will best compliment the food?


Pizza
Pizza is, unsurprisingly, a classic match with most Italian red wines. The high acidity found in classic Italian reds, is really offset by the tomato base of the pizza but is robust enough to deal with any number of your favourite delicious toppings such as pepperoni, salami and smoked hams. Our choice is the Dogajolo Carpineto 2010 Toscana. This 'Baby Tuscan' wine is made with Sangiovese and a small proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon to create a harmonious blend that is soft and intensely fruity on the palate.


Dogajolo Carpineto 2010 Toscana
£8.39 when you buy two bottles...

Burgers
You might think our match here is more than a little extravagant, but let us explain! In the 2004 wine themed comedy drama Sideways, the lead character Miles, drinks his prized wine; a 1961 Cheval Blanc from a disposable cup, with his beef burger in a roadside dinner after hearing some most depressing news. As lonely as the scene is, that wine must have been spectacular, so our match here definitely has to be a classic St Emilion. Given that Cheval-Blanc is generally out of most budgets, we have picked a wine from the North-west part of the St Emilion plateau in close proximity to it: The Chateau Chauvin 2006, St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe. This fantastic claret is drinking wonderfully now and has an expressive palate of blueberry, violet and spice.
Chateau Chauvin 2006, St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe
£35.00 per bottle...

 

Fried Chicken
White burgundy is always a classic match for roast chicken, but the challenge here is the spicy batter and often greasy texture. Therefore we have picked the Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay from California. It is perhaps less elegant than its French counterpart, but packed full of toasty oak and zesty pineapple fruit that works great with the strong flavours of the food.
Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay 2009 from the Sonoma Coast
£9.99 when you buy two bottles...
 

WOTW - Spolverino 2010Date published: 23/05/12

Tuscany is arguably the most important wine making region in Italy and is at the forefront of the country's developments in viticulture and winemaking. Sangiovese is the main grape variety here. Many sites within the region have excellent exposure to sunlight due to it's hilly topography. The grapes also have the opportunity to develop complex aromas and retain their natural acidity as many of the vineyards are at altitude resulting in wide variations in temperature. Tuscany is home to many of the famous DOCG's; Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and off course the 'Super Tuscans (IGT)'
 

There is more to this wine than meets the eye. At first glance the jovial label may just look like a Rooster. It is in actual fact a little 'dig' at the classification system with the Black Rooster using his 'Spolverino' (Italian for 'feather duster') to sweep away centuries old customs. The Black Rooster is the emblem/seal for Chianti Classico and had the estate used cork closure rather than a screw cap it could have applied for 'Chianti Classico' status. However, they sacrificed 'Chianti Classico' classification in favour of a more reliable and convenient screw cap closure. As such, this wine offers superb value for money as with Chianti status it would command a far higher price.
 

A classic chianti nose of sour cherry and vanilla, this follows through to the racy palate you would expect from an Italian red.

Food match: Vieille escalope in a tomato sauce

Beaujolais uncut:Date published: 22/05/12

For any of you who were unlucky enough to miss Jahan's three part article on Beaujolais, here it is again in its entirety:

Surely there can't be a more Summer appropriate red wine than Beaujolais and with our current promotion discounting the entire range by 20% now is the time to learn more about a region that is able to offer significant variety despite growing predominantly only 1 grape variety.


Beaujolais lies beyond the southern border of Burgundy. To the north and west of the region, the vineyards are planted on a series of rolling hills with granite soils. On these hills, ten villages are recognised to produce wines of particular distinction and identifiable character. These are referred to as the Beaujolais crus.


Here the grape variety Gamay is grown, disguished by its fruity character, very light tannins and fragrance of rasberry and cherry. The grapes undergo a process called carbonic maceration to release the liquid from the grapes. In this, bunches of uncrushed grapes, together with their stalks are placed in a vat under carbon dioxide. The grapes naturally burst and fermentation then begins. This extracts the colour but not the tannins and produces light, soft, fruity wines which Beaujolais are famed for. The wines produced are intended to be drunk straight away and not aged.


Of  the ten Beaujolais Crus, the following three produce the lightest bodied Cru Beaujolais and are intended to be drunk within three years of the vintage.


Brouilly
The largest Cru in Beaujolais, situated around Mont Brouilly and contains within its boundaries the sub-district of Mont Brouilly. The wines are noted for their aromas of blueberries, cherries, raspberries and currants. This is the only region that permits grapes other than Gamay to be produced in the area, with vineyards growing Chardonnay, Aligote and Melon-de-Bourgogne. 


Regnie
The most recognised Cru, graduating from a Beaujolais-Villages are to Cru Beaujolais in 1988. One of the more fuller bodied crus in this catagory. It is noted for its redcurrant and raspberry notes.


Chiroubles
This cru has vineyards at some of the highest altitudes among the Cru Beaujolais. Chiroubles cru are noted for their delicate perfume that often includes aromas of violets.
Now that we've covered the lighter styles of the Beaujolais Cru we're going to let you catch your breath and we'll focus on the more medium bodied styles next week. So dust off the calender and set a reminder on your phone!

These crus are recommended to under-go one year ageing in the bottle, and to be consumed witihin four years of the vintage.

Cote-de-Brouilly
Located on the higher slopes of the extinct volcano Mont Brouilly within the Brouilly Cru Beaujolais. The wines from this region are more deeply concentrated with less earthiness than Brouilly wine.


Fleurie
One of the most widely exported Cru Beaujolais, these wines often have a a velvet texture with a fruity and floral bouquet. In ideal vintages, a vin de garde (wine for ageing) is produced that is meant to age for at least four years before consuming and can last up to 16 years.


Saint-Amour
The wines from Saint-Amour are noted for their spicy flavours, with aromas of peaches. The vin-de-garde wines require at least four years ageing and can last up to 12 years.


Following on from our first two sections focussing on the Beaujolais Crus that produces the lighter and medium bodied styles, this week we look at the final four crus that produce the fullest bodied examples of Beaujolais.


Chenas
Once contained many of the vineyards that are now sold under the Moulin-a-Vent designation. It is now the smallest Cru Beaujolais with wines that are noted for their aroma of wild roses. In ideal vintages, a vin-de-garde  is produced that is meant to age at least five years before consuming and last up to 15. The areas name is derived from the forest of French oak trees (Chene) that used to dot the hillside.


Julienas
This cru is based around the village named after Julius Caesar. The wines made from this area are noted for their richness and spice with aromas reminiscent of peonies.


Morgon
Produces earthy wines that can take on a Burgundian character or silky texture after five years ageing. These wines are generally the deepest colour and the most rich Cru Beaujolais with aromas of apricots and peaches. Within this Cru there is a particular hillside, known as Cote de Py, in the centre of Morgon that produces the most powerful examples of Morgon wines.


Moulin-a-Vent
Wines are very similar to the nearby Chenas Cru Beaujolais. This region produces some of the longest lasting examples of Beaujolais wine, with some lasting up to ten years. Some producers will age their Moulin-a-Vent in oak which gives these wines more tannin and structure than other Beaujolais wines. The phrase futs-du-chene (oak casks) will sometimes appear on the wine label of these oak aged wines.


The region is noted for the high level of manganese in the soil, which can be toxic to the vines in high levels. The level of toxocity in Moulin-a-Vent does not kill the vine but is enough to cause chlorosis and alter the vines metabolism to severly reduce yields. The resulting wine from Moulin-a-Vent are the most full bodied and powerful examples in Beaujolais. The vin-de-garde styles require at least 6 years ageing and can last up to 20 years.



 

World Gin Day June 9th 2012Date published: 17/05/12

The fourth World Gin Day approaches and it promises to be as big as ever! Gin, that lovely juniper based spirit. In the past it has had a bad reputation but this is a day to share the gin love.

So many styles of gin are available that mean you will be able to find one (or more) that you love. We will be opening up several of our finest gins for you to try on our tasting counter, including: Sipsmiths, Martin Millers!

WOTW: McGuigan SemillonDate published: 16/05/12

Australia and its dynamic winemakers re-wrote the rules during the 1980s and 1990s, producing great value, fruity wines at unmatchable prices. Now we recognised Australia as capable of so much more, including refined and sophisticated wines from boutique producers. Nestled in the Hunter Valley the McGuigan winery has become very popular with Aussie wine lovers, with its 'Grey Label' & 'Signature' wines offering great value for money.

Semillon is an internationally grown variety, cultivated for its production in sweet and dry wine production alike. Grown widely in Australia, particularly in the Hunter Valley it is also one of two white varieties permitted in Bordeaux, the second being Sauvignon Blanc. These two varieties together produce some of the world's most prestigious and expensive wines, most notably Sauternes. In its dry format it is also often blended with Sauvignon Blanc, both in Bordeaux and internationally. This example from McGuigan is 100% Semillon

Hints of tropical fruits and a mouthwatering zesty citrus palate.

Serve with a pan fried lemon sole with samphire and parsley butter.

Guilty Pleasures Part Two: Fast Food Wine MatchingDate published: 14/05/12

Part two of our guilty pleasures article is on fast food. Picture the scene, you have just swung by the drive-through and picked up your choice of dinner. When you get home, which wine will best compliment the food?

Pizza
Pizza is, unsurprisingly, a classic match with most Italian red wines. The high acidity found in classic Italian reds, is really offset by the tomato base of the pizza but is robust enough to deal with any number of your favourite delicious toppings such as pepperoni, salami and smoked hams. Our choice is the Dogajolo Carpineto 2010 Toscana. This 'Baby Tuscan' wine is made with Sangiovese and a small proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon to create a harmonious blend that is soft and intensely fruity on the palate.

Dogajolo Carpineto 2010 Toscana
£8.39 when you buy two bottles...


Burgers
You might think our match here is more than a little extravagant, but let us explain! In the 2004 wine themed comedy drama Sideways, the lead character Miles, drinks his prized wine; a 1961 Cheval Blanc from a disposable cup, with his beef burger in a roadside dinner after hearing some most depressing news. As lonely as the scene is, that wine must have been spectacular, so our match here definitely has to be a classic St Emilion. Given that Cheval-Blanc is generally out of most budgets, we have picked a wine from the North-west part of the St Emilion plateau in close proximity to it: The Chateau Chauvin 2006, St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe. This fantastic claret is drinking wonderfully now and has an expressive palate of blueberry, violet and spice.

Chateau Chauvin 2006, St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe
£35.00 per bottle...


Fried Chicken
White burgundy is always a classic match for roast chicken, but the challenge here is the spicy batter and often greasy texture. Therefore we have picked the Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay from California. It is perhaps less elegant than its French counterpart, but packed full of toasty oak and zesty pineapple fruit that works great with the strong flavours of the food.

Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay 2009 from the Sonoma Coast
£9.99 when you buy two bottles...

Beaujolais: The Diversity of Gamay Part ThreeDate published: 11/05/12

Following on from our first two sections focussing on the Beaujolais Crus that produces the lighter and medium bodied styles, this week we look at the final four crus that produce the fullest bodied examples of Beaujolais.

Chenas

Once contained many of the vineyards that are now sold under the Moulin-a-Vent designation. It is now the smallest Cru Beaujolais with wines that are noted for their aroma of wild roses. In ideal vintages, a vin-de-garde  is produced that is meant to age at least five years before consuming and last up to 15. The areas name is derived from the forest of French oak trees (Chene) that used to dot the hillside.

Julienas

This cru is based around the village named after Julius Caesar. The wines made from this area are noted for their richness and spice with aromas reminiscent of peonies.

Morgon

Produces earthy wines that can take on a Burgundian character or silky texture after five years ageing. These wines are generally the deepest colour and the most rich Cru Beaujolais with aromas of apricots and peaches. Within this Cru there is a particular hillside, known as Cote de Py, in the centre of Morgon that produces the most powerful examples of Morgon wines.

Moulin-a-Vent

Wines are very similar to the nearby Chenas Cru Beaujolais. This region produces some of the longest lasting examples of Beaujolais wine, with some lasting up to ten years. Some producers will age their Moulin-a-Vent in oak which gives these wines more tannin and structure than other Beaujolais wines. The phrase futs-du-chene (oak casks) will sometimes appear on the wine label of these oak aged wines.

The region is noted for the high level of manganese in the soil, which can be toxic to the vines in high levels. The level of toxocity in Moulin-a-Vent does not kill the vine but is enough to cause chlorosis and alter the vines metabolism to severly reduce yields. The resulting wine from Moulin-a-Vent are the most full bodied and powerful examples in Beaujolais. The vin-de-garde styles require at least 6 years ageing and can last up to 20 years.

So why not 'come and explore' this often misunderstood region armed with your new found knowledge on all things Beaujolais.

If you want to taste some of the Cru Villages against eachother we have a Loire and Beaujolais Tasting Week starting on Friday 26th of July.

WOTW - Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Pinot NoirDate published: 09/05/12

Burgundy enjoys a northern continental climate, with severe winters and hot summers. The main vineyards of the region lie to the East of the Massif Central, protecting them from the summer hailstorms and rains, which can cause the grapes to rot. Four grape varieties predominate in the region- the two whites being Chardonnay and Aligote, and the two reds Pinot Noir and Gamay.

Pinot Noir is the classic red Burgundy grape variety. This grape variety can mutate very easily, so you may find notable style differences in wine that is grown very close to each other. Classic Burgundian Pinot Noir has fruity flavours of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. These can evolve over time to become vegetal, savoury and gamey. Levels of tannin are usually very low, but there is usually a fresh acidity which lifts the soft fruit notes and leaves a lengthier finish.

A soft mix of berry fruits and blackcurrant on the palate. A fresh acidity alongside a subtle tannin, gives this wine a slight weight and a lasting finish, that makes you want to go back for another glass!
 

Guilty Pleasures, Part One: Takeaway Wine Matching...Date published: 07/05/12

Ok, let's face it; some nights, you just can't be bothered to cook and it's time to dig out the take away menus! So, you've placed your order or picked up your cuisine of choice, but which wines should you pull off the rack?

Often, takeaways present a bit of a food and wine matching challenge. Here are our suggestions to help out!

Chinese
The massive array of flavours in Chinese cuisine makes this a tough wine match. Many of the flavours we have come to associate with Chinese dishes – such and 'sweet and sour' and aromatic spices are not common in the classic wine producing regions. Most French, Italian and Spanish wines are therefore inappropriate. Our favourite combination would have to be an aromatic Riesling. Many of the characteristics in the wine help balance the flavours in the food. The good levels of acidity and the off-dry style most of the wines are made in, work particularly well. If you are picking a spicier dish, the slightly lower level of alcohol in these wines will help to not emphasise any harsh burning sensation from chilli. Our pick is actually going to be a Main Divide Riesling 2009 from Waipara, New Zealand. This slightly off-dry wine has a full body of honeysuckle, ripe apricots and limes and works perfectly with Chinese duck and stir fry.

Main Divide Riesling, New Zealand 2009
£9.99 when you buy two bottles...

Curry
This is the toughest of all the takeaways to match food with! Ideally we would stick to nice cold pint of Indian lager! However, if wine is to the preference of you and your guests, then certain considerations must be made. Try to avoid high alcohol wines – These tend to increase the chilli heat burning sensation with spicy dishes. High-tannins can also make the wine taste bitter and astringent with spicy or fragrant dishes so unfortunately most reds are inappropriate. Lighter whites such as Italian Pinot Grigio can work well to cleanse you palate, but don't stand up to the robust flavours of the food, so our pick would have to be an oaked Chardonnay such as the Laurent Miquel L'Artisan Chardonnay 2010 from the South of France. Complex honeydew melon and pear on the palate add freshness to your meal and the oak adds a hint of coconut and a creaminess that compliments rich curries such as Chicken Korma or Tikka Masala perfectly.

Laurent Miquel L'Artisan, Chardonnay 2010, South of France
£6.99 when you buy two bottles...

Fish and Chips
You may or may not already be aware of this classic combination. There really is nothing better than Brut Champagne with your fish and chips! The high acidity cuts through the 'oiliness' of the fish and helps to offset some of the greasy batter... Our pick would most definitely be the Bollinger Special Cuvée. The densely packed apple and pear fruits punch through the food and give way to a noticeably creamy, caramel-like finish. Absolutely fabulous!

Bollinger Special Cuvée
£37.00 when you buy two bottles...

Beaujolais: The Diversity of Gamay Part TwoDate published: 04/05/12

Lasts weeks article concentrated on the lighter bodied crus of Beaujolais. This week, we'll give you an insight into the more medium bodied Cru Beaujolais. These crus are recommended to under-go one year ageing in the bottle, and to be consumed witihin four years of the vintage.

Cote-de-Brouilly

Located on the higher slopes of the extinct volcano Mont Brouilly within the Brouilly Cru Beaujolais. The wines from this region are more deeply concentrated with less earthiness than Brouilly wine.

Fleurie

One of the most widely exported Cru Beaujolais, these wines often have a a velvet texture with a fruity and floral bouquet. In ideal vintages, a vin de garde (wine for ageing) is produced that is meant to age for at least four years before consuming and can last up to 16 years.

Saint-Amour

The wines from Saint-Amour are noted for their spicy flavours, with aromas of peaches. The vin-de-garde wines require at least four years ageing and can last up to 12 years.

Catch up with us next week, when we conclude this gentle jaunt through the fascinating area of Beaujolais by concluding with the more full bodied Cru-Villages.

WOTW: Crios Torrontes 2011Date published: 02/05/12

Our wine of the week is the Crios Torrontés, 2011. Torrontés is considered the Argentine white variety with the greatest potential. Ideally suited to the arid growing conditions of Argentina, it is characterful with a light body and high acidity. Interestingly, there are actually three varieties of Torrontes grapes; Torrontés Riojano, Torrontés Sanjuanino and Torrontés Mendocino. These three grapes are blended to capture the best qualities from each and simply labelled 'Torrontés'.

The characteristics of Torrontés are often considered similar to Muscat. Jancis Robinson describes these wines as "early drinking, not too heavy, high in acidity and intriguingly aromatic”.

On the noise this wine has bags of zesty lime. This continues onto the palate, but is softened with stone fruit and minerality.

Food match: A wonderful apéritif but we think it would be great, with a Greek summer salad.

£7.99 when you buy 2 bottles

Beaujolais: The diversity of Gamay Part 1Date published: 27/04/12

Surely there can't be a more Summer appropriate red wine than Beaujolais and with our current promotion discounting the entire range by 20% now is the time to learn more about a region that is able to offer significant variety despite growing predominantly only 1 grape variety.

Beaujolais lies beyond the southern border of Burgundy. To the north and west of the region, the vineyards are planted on a series of rolling hills with granite soils. On these hills, ten villages are recognised to produce wines of particular distinction and identifiable character. These are referred to as the Beaujolais crus. 

Here the grape variety Gamay is grown, disguished by its fruity character, very light tannins and fragrance of rasberry and cherry. The grapes undergo a process called carbonic maceration to release the liquid from the grapes. In this, bunches of uncrushed grapes, together with their stalks are placed in a vat under carbon dioxide. The grapes naturally burst and fermentation then begins. This extracts the colour but not the tannins and produces light, soft, fruity wines which Beaujolais are famed for. The wines produced are intended to be drunk straight away and not aged.

Of  the ten Beaujolais Crus, the following three produce the lightest bodied Cru Beaujolais and are intended to be drunk within three years of the vintage.

Brouilly

The largest Cru in Beaujolais, situated around Mont Brouilly and contains within its boundaries the sub-district of Mont Brouilly. The wines are noted for their aromas of blueberries, cherries, raspberries and currants. This is the only region that permits grapes other than Gamay to be produced in the area, with vineyards growing Chardonnay, Aligote and Melon-de-Bourgogne. 

Regnie

The most recognised Cru, graduating from a Beaujolais-Villages are to Cru Beaujolais in 1988. One of the more fuller bodied crus in this catagory. It is noted for its redcurrant and raspberry notes.

Chiroubles

This cru has vineyards at some of the highest altitudes among the Cru Beaujolais. Chiroubles cru are noted for their delicate perfume that often includes aromas of violets.

Now that we've covered the lighter styles of the Beaujolais Cru we're going to let you catch your breath and we'll focus on the more medium bodied styles next week. So dust off the calender and set a reminder on your phone!

Sensational Stir Fry's & Racy RieslingDate published: 26/04/12

James was asked to attend another Cooking Demo at Bower Willis UK in Shipston this week and Stir Fry's were very much the order of the day.

Matching wine to Oriental foods can often be quite tricky. As a general rule of thumb it is always a pretty safe bet to match food that you are cooking with wine from the same region as the dish. Hence Italian reds go fantastically well with lasagne and other pasta dishes while Argentinian Malbec and steak is another match made in heaven.

However, as not much wine is currently made in China and the far east, dishes from these parts of the world pose a bit more of a problem to someone keen to marry food and wine.

Professional chef Bevan Fleming embarked on preparing 3 different types of stir fry for the audience and I decided to come up with one white and one red that would be suitable for all dishes and therefore suitable if serving a stir fry at a Dinner Party.

As Bevan was using ginger, garlic and other aromatic spices I decided to go for Main Divide Riesling (£9.99 when you buy 2 bottles) from New Zealand. As a new world Riesling the Main Divide offers a beautiful balance between classic lime and citrus fruits along with a great racy acidity that is more synonymous with the new world.

For the red I went for Anakena Single Vineyard Pinot Noir from Chile (£6.99 when you buy 2 bottles). Bevan was using minced meats for his Stir Fry's which tend to be a bit lighter in flavour than whole cuts and so I went for a lighter red. In addition to this, Pinot Noir can often have aromas of clove and cinammon. This Chilean example was no exception and married well with the spices in the dish.

The guests at the Demo got stuck into the food with gusto and the empty glasses at the end of the night told me that the wines were equally well received.

WOTW Poggioargentierra, Maremma, TuscanyDate published: 25/04/12

Vineyards in Tuscany are at the forefront of developments in viticulture and winemaking in Italy. The region is very hilly with many sites providing excellent exposure to sunlight. Many of the vineyards are at altitude, and the resulting wide variations in temperature between day and night help the grapes develop aromas and retain their natural acidity. Poggioargentiera is located in the Maremma, located in the southern most point of Tuscany by the Mediterranean sea.

Vermentino is a late ripening white grape variety, primarily found in Italian wine. The vines are often grown on slopes facing the sea where they can benefit from the additional reflected light. Within Tuscany, Vermentino is grown exclusively in Maremmaand gives a true taste of Tuscan sun.

A delicate lemon green colour: the nose has enticing aromas of peach, stone fruits and citrus. This follows through to a beautifully textured palate complete with a long finish. Perfect summer wine

Food match: Pan seared tuna cooked in Thai spices on a bed of crispy noodles

New Zealand: The kings of Sauvignon Blanc?Date published: 24/04/12

New Zealand is the home to what many wine critics consider the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. It has attracted not only the palates of wine lovers across the UK, but also from critics such as Oz Clarke, who as far back as 1990 wrote that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was "arguably the best in the world". So what makes these wines so popular and how are they different to the wines from their old world counterparts?

Sauvignon Blanc originates from the Bordeaux region of France. It's origins as an indigenous grape of France probably led to its naming from the French words sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white"). The most famous regions for Sauvignon Blanc are, of course, Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé from the Loire Valley. The distinctly continental climate here produces wines with naturally high acidity and the potential to exhibit the mineral and flint qualities as well as citrus notes. So how do these differ from New Zealand?

The Marlborough region, producing over 60% of all New Zealand's wine is considered the new world benchmark for Sauvignon Blanc. The first vines were planted in Marlborough as late as 1973. Large investment of modern wine making techniques and equipment has seen the area boom considerably over the last decade and confirmed New Zealand as true pioneers of the wine world. Interestingly, Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first fine wines to be bottled with a screwcap. A concept largley pioneered by New Zealand winemakers to preserve freshness.

The strong contrast between the hot sunny days and cool nights allow an extended ripening that cannot be achieved in the classic regions of France giving the wines a different character. Intense fruit concentration of gooseberry with notes of cut grass, elderflower and some stony minerality characterise the wines from this region. The riper and more tropical fruits lead to a more friendly style that can be drunk with or without food unlike the French styles which are often more suited foods such as goats cheese, salads and seafood.

 

The Ned Black Label Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough
A nose of nettles and grass leads to generous gooseberry flavours with a smoky herbal twist on the palate reminiscent of a well crafted Sancerre. £6.49 when you buy two or more bottles.

Fairleigh Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010/2011 Marlborough
This is a benchmark Sauvignon Blanc which is exclusive to Majestic. It is a balanced, fruit driven wine with good acidity and a clean and gooseberry fresh finish. £6.99 when you buy two or more bottles.

Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Marlborough
Bright, pale yellow, with lime green tinges. Offers aromas of gooseberries with a hint of lychee, grapefruit and kiwi. A leafy complexity makes this wine a cut above your average Kiwi Sauvignon. £8.79 when you buy two or more bottles.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough
Saint Clair have selected grapes from their Block 6 and Block 19 vineyards to create two individual single-vineyard Sauvignons, each displaying the New Zealand hallmarks of punchy aromatics and fresh citrus intensity. We cannot guarantee availability of both Blocks across all stores. £13.99 when you buy two or more bottles.

WOTW Week Awards: The ResultsDate published: 20/04/12

Over the Easter weekend we set about finding out which of our 'Wine's of the Week' for the last year  would be crowned as the ultimate Wine of the Week.

We pitted the 2 best selling reds against the 2 best selling whites and asked you, the good folks of Stratford to decide. The 2 red wines were a Spanish Ribera del Duero Crianza called Lamatum and an Italian Montepulciano D'Abruzzo from Masciarelli while the 2 whites were both from New Zealand. A Pinot Grigio from Villa Maria and a Sauvignon Blanc from Fairhall Cliffs.

We kicked off on Good Friday and as the weather was nice we expected the whites to set the pace but it was pretty even all day with a 3 way tie for the lead by the time we closed. Saturday was a different matter as the 2 reds fought off the whites and then went head-to-head for the ultimate title of 'Wine of the Week of the Year'.

On Easter Sunday we came in and processed the results to establish our triumphant  winner. You could cut the tension with a knife but eventually we declared a champion!

With 32.1% of the vote your 'Wine of the Week of the Year' is

Lamatum Crianza 2008, Ribera del Duero.

A deserved winner, this Ribera Crianza delivers on all fronts, it has an expressive palate of strawberry, raspberry and dark cherry with hint of vanilla and tobacco. A bargain at only £6.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles.

We really enjoyed getting you all involved and will definitely be doing similar things during the year so keep an eye on the homepage to keep abreast of all the events we schedule.

WOTW: Domaine Chanson FleurieDate published: 18/04/12

This week's Wine of the Week originates from Beaujolais, located in the South of Burgundy. Fleurie AC is one of ten Beaujolais Cru Village appellations in the region. Villages are only awarded a Beaujolais Cru status if it can consistently produce a quality wine that is genuinely individual to the village.

Beaujolais is responsible for half of Burgundy's viticultural production, with its sole red grape being Gamay. The only other grape of note grown there is Chardonnay, which accounts for less then 1% of total production. Fleurie lays on rolling hills with granitic schist soil. This works well with the Gamay grape, and gives it a unique character that cannot be replicated else where. This vines are free-standing and trained en gobelet to avoid poor circulation of air and therefore prevent fungus.

With a bright garnet appearance, this Fleurie has a scent of raspberry and redcurrant with a hint of bell pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with silky tannins and an elegance typical of the region.

Food Match: Pan-fried Calves liver on a bed of couscous.

WOTW Chateau Guiot 2010Date published: 11/04/12

Our wine of the week hails from the Costieres de Nimes. This area actually has more in common with the Rhone Valley, across the river, than it does with the immediately neighbouring Languedoc region. Chateau Guiot is located just outside the city of Nimes, right in the centre of the appellation. The 75 hectare property, whose vineyards are Grenache and Syrah dominated, has been owned by François and Sylvia Cornet since 1977

The blend in this wine is one of hand picked Grenache and Syrah grape varieties. These grapes undergo traditional tank fermentation and maturation and after 6 months the wine is bottled. The two grape varieties used in this wine are heavily associated with wines of the Rhone valley and are two of the thirteen varieties permitted in the world renowned Chateauneuf Du Pape.
 

Ruby red appearance, spicy bramble fruits on the nose with a hint of white pepper. Spice and oak come through on the palate with an lasting finish of black currant.
 

Food match: Red meats cooked on the barbeque

Easter Opening TimesDate published: 06/04/12

Majestic Stratford is open for all your vinous needs over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend and here are our opening hours:

Good Friday 10am - 8pm

Easter Saturday 9am -7pm

Easter Sunday 10am -5pm

Easter Monday 10am - 5pm

As ever we will have loads of fantastic wines open to taste and we look forward to welcoming you to the store.

2012 Statford Wine of the Week AwardsDate published: 05/04/12

Easter weekend marks the date of the first annual ‘Wine of the Week Awards’. As the article below details, this is your chance to decide on which of our most popular ‘Wine of the Weeks’ should be awarded the ultimate prize of Wine of the Week of the Year.

Every week for the last 12 months one of the Team here at Majestic Stratford have chosen a wine to showcase for you to try. These wines are hand picked to show off new grapes, areas or producers and always represent great value from the Majestic range.

Our 'Wine of the Week' Awards are an opportunity to pit the best received of these wines against each other with the ultimate prize of Wine of the Week of the Year' being decided by you!

This years four finalists are:

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2009, Masciarelli

Lamatum Crianza 2008, Ribera del Duero

Fairhall Cliff Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough

Villa Maria Pinot Grigio 2010, Marlborough

The awards weekend takes place from Thursday 5th April to Sunday 8th April so why not come down and vote for your favourite.

For those of you who are 'Twitter' minded we will also be tweeting throughout the weekend with the hashtag #WOTWAwards

WOTW - Il Sodero 2008Date published: 04/04/12

Tenuta Moraia is located in Maremma, in the south-western part of Tuscany. A blend of Cabernet-Sauvignon and Sangiovese, this wine is classed as a Super-Tuscan as it contains grape varieties outside of the DOC system. Super-Tuscans were produced experimentally to contest the idea that Sangiovese was the only grape variety that could grow sucessfully. The introduction of Super-Tuscans has been viewed as a turning point for the international image of Italian wines.

Sangiovese, the indigenious grape variety makes up 60% of this wine.
Cabernet-Sauvignon aged in 'barriques' forms the rest of the blend, this adds the dark fruit aroma and character, as well as increasing the body of the wine.

Deliciously fruity. Light cherry and strawberry on the palate followed by a subtle spice and note of pepper. The Cabernet Sauvignon adds a touch of dark fruit that adds to the depth of the wine. Medium bodied, with a fresh and lengthy acidity. This is a perfect summer red.

Food match: Perfect with lasagne and a garden salad

What is Terrior?Date published: 29/03/12

Terroir is a French term that is used to define the natural influences that affect the composition of the grapes that make wine. Climate, aspect, slope and soils are some of the factors that are encompassed in the word terrior, and these regional variations create unique and distinctive wines.
Some of these variations can be subtle, but some can be expressive and unique. Winemakers have realised the importance the terrior can have on selling their wines, for example chardonnay can be grown anywhere, but Chablis cannot. Have you noticed the steely, lively and citrusy notes a Chablis has compared to chardonnay grown in the much warmer climate and fertile soils of Chile? Here chardonnay is richer and flavours tend to be more tropical and developed.

The soils that feed the vines play a huge role in the qualities of the grape. Although you may think that the best grapes grow in the most fertile soils, it is often the case that vines that have to work harder to find nutrients and water in the soil, produce higher quality grapes. Irrigating dry soils can be seen as something that distorts terroir and create inconsistancies in the quality of wine from a region. In some cases there are strict regulations on permitting irrigation in certain countries. Soil can also contribute in other ways, for instance the 'pudding stones' or galets that cover the vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape act as storage heaters and contribute to the high alcohol content that characterises that wine. The dark slate in some German vineyards and the gravel in Bordeaux act in a similar way.

Terroir also embodies the aspect and slope of the vineyard. These can enhance or hinder the exposure of vines to the sun. East facing vineyards benefit from the gentle warmth of a rising sun, where as west facing slopes expose vines to a fiercer afternoon warmth. This will affect how quickly grapes ripen, which in turn affects alcohol content and may increase the body of a wine.
Vineyards on slopes tend to have better drainage and air circulation compared to vineyards on flat sites, which can greatly improve the quality of the grapes.

Essentially the terroir can be responsible for many of the variances in your wine. Next time you're in store, why not try a selection of wines from different regions and countries and see if you can identify how the terroir has affected whats in your glass of wine!

Domaine Paul Cherrier Sancerre Veilles Vignes 2010 FranceDate published: 28/03/12

The crisp wines of Sancerre and Pouilly Fume (from across the Loire river) are perhaps the most easily recognisable of French wines. The limestone and clay hills of the Loire Valley are in a near-continental climate. These influencing factors allow some of the finer and more complex expressions of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

Domaine Paul Cherrier is a family run estate who predominatly grow Sauvignon Blanc in and around the area of Chaudoux-Verdigny in Sancerre. The use of old vines points to a better quality of wine as the vine shows reduced vigour and therefore lower and more concentrated yields.

Harmonious grassy citrus fruits on the nose lead to a light and refreshing palate of mineral passionfruit. All coupled with taut acidity and a satisfying length.

Food Match: This fantastically refreshing wine would be the perfect partner to a feta salad with plenty of dressing. Tres Bon!

£12.99 or buy 2 save £2 at £11.99

WOTW - Orvieto Classico MortaroDate published: 21/03/12

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.

Malvasia is a group of grape varieties grown historically in the Mediterranean, Balearic islands and the island of Madeira, but now grown in many of the wine making regions of the world. In the past, the names Malvasia, Malvazia, and Malmsey have been used interchangeably for Malvasia-based wines; however, in modern oeneology , "Malmsey" is now used almost exclusively for a sweet variety of Madeira wine.

Attractive pale colour with green lights and a fresh, fruity nose. Clean and full of citrussy fruity, with a nice nuttiness on the palate and a very crisp finish.

Food match: Great with salmon, pasta and pesto salad

The Traditional Champagne MethodDate published: 19/03/12

The primary grapes used to produce Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Muenier. Champagne appellation law only permit grapes grown to a specified standard on designated plots to be used in the production of Champagne. The traditional method of Champagne production is where fermentation of the wine takes place in the bottle.

The first process to this method is to produce a still wine which will undergo first fermentation. The winemaker at this point is looking to produce a crisp, high acidity wine with a moderate level of alcohol present. The wine will then be fermented, typically in temperature controlled stainless steel., however some producers still opt for old oak casks.

Once the wine has fermented, the second stage is to blend the wine. If the winemaker is producing a non-vintage champagne, they may use reserve wines from previous vintages in order to create a style consistent with previous vintages. If there has been a particularly good harvest, the winemaker may wish to produce a vintage Champagne, whereby they are only allowed to use grapes from that one year.

Before the blend has been bottled, a small proportion of liqueur de tirage is added. This is a cocktail of wine, sugar, yeast nutrients and a claryfying agent. This mix will initiate the second fermentation in the bottle and create the sparkle. The bottle is then temporarily sealed usually using a crown cap, with a plastic cup inserted to collect the dead yeast cells.

Once sealed, bottles are laid horizontally, preferably  at a cool temperature to slow down the fermentation process, allowing richer and more complex flavours to develop. Once the yeasts begin to digest the sugars, three components are created; alcohol, carbon dioxide and a deposit of dead yeast once the process has been completed. During the fermentation process, gasses produced are unable to escape the bottle and so dissolve into the wine. 

The dead yeast cells begin to break down and their enzymes interact with the wine, this process is called yeast autolysis and intiatates the maturation of the wine. This process releases compounds that flavour the wine with typical Champagne characteristics, such as biscuit, toast and bread. The autolysis process usually lasts between four and five years, but has been known to last up to ten years. Non-vintage Champagne must spend a minimum of 15 months on their lees, or 3 years for vintage Champagne.

Once the Champagne has spent enough time on their lees, it is time to remove the sediment from the bottle. To do this the bottles are laid horizontally, allowing the sediment to collect on the side of the bottle. A process called Riddling then takes place, whereby the bottle is gradually moved from its horizontal position to an upside-down vertical position. The extra time the wine is spent on its lees whilst riddling takes places is called the sur pointe and adds a further richness and dimension to the wine.

Once the sediment has settled on the inside of the crown cap, the pressure in the bottle will drive it out once it is opened. This process is known as disgorgement. At this point, the winemaker freezes the the neck of the bottle to allow the sediment to be released in one solid, frozen piece. During the removal of the sediment, a small amount of the wine will be lost, so the winemaker will top this up with a mixture of wine and sugar cane solution known as liqueur d'expedition. The level of sugar added will detirmine how sweet the producer wants the final product to be. This process is known as dosage. The sweetness-dryness level of wine is catagorised and stated on the bottle. It ranges from ultra brut (dryest level) to sweet.

The final process is to seal the wine with a compressed cork. A wire muzzle is then attached to fully secure the cork. The thick foil found around the bottle was once used to hide the fact some bottles were once not topped up after digorgement, but these are now used purely for decoration.

The 'Traditional Method' allows the sparkling wine to evolve in the bottle, with the bubbles becoming creamier and the sugars from the liqueur d'expedition to develop into notes of honey and toast. Compounds remaining from autolysis can develop in rich fruit and biscuit.

More to Portugal than PortDate published: 16/03/12

Most of you will know Portugal, in it's wine sense, for its Port. There are however, many more strings to Portugal's wine bow.

Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced to the region by ancient civilizations, such as the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and mostly the Romans. Portugal started to export its wines to Rome during the Roman Empire.

Modern exports developed with trade to England after the Methuen Treaty in 1703. From this commerce a wide variety of wines started to be grown in Portugal. And, in 1758, the first wine-producing region of the world, the Região Demarcada do Douro was created under the orientation of Marquis of Pombal, in the Douro Valley.

Portugal possesses a large array of native varietals, producing an abundant variety of different wines. The wide array of Portuguese grape varietals contributes as significantly as the soil and climate to wine differentiation, producing very distinctive wines. Many of Portugal's native grape varieties will only be found within Portuagal itself, although some new world producers are beginning to see the value of these varieties. For example the Argentinian producer 'Vinalba' has started to use Touriga-Nacional as part of a Malbec blend.

This weekend we will have a selection of the best wines Portugal has to offer open for you to taste, so please pop in and give these fantastic wines a go.

The Reds of New ZealandDate published: 15/03/12

Many of you will be familiar with the fantastic quality Pinot Noir that New Zealand has brought to the world market, infact I'm sure that most of you have tried a great number of them.

What you might not have tried are some of New Zealand's other fantastic red wines made from other varities such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Early success in Hawkes Bay in the 1960s led to wide red grape planting and production concentrating on Cabernet Sauvignon. With the improvement of viticultural techniques tailored to New Zealand's maritime climate, more Merlot and other Bordeaux-style grapes were planted, which saw an increase in quality and quantity. The increase has ment that plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Syrah now account for 2,496 hectares across New Zealand.

Typically, Bordeaux blends come from regions and sub-regions of New Zealand that are relatively hot and dry. 86% of production is centered in Hawke's Bay, with Waiheke Island also producing some notable wines. Wineries that have made a name for Waiheke Island include Stonyridge and Cable Bay.

Te Kahu from producer Craggy Range typifies wines from Hawkes Bay and at Majestic we are beginning to see more non Pinot Noir reds joining the range, mostly from the Hawkes Bay region. Including; Southbank Syrah, Villa Maria Cabernet Merlot and Saint Clair Pioneer Block Syrah. All of these great wines are in stock and are well worth going out of your NZ Pinot Noir comfort zone to try.

Further to the above wines, we currently have a limited supply of online exclusive wines from Craggy Range. As well as a Pinot Noir, there is also a fantastic Bordeaux style blend and a Syrah from the 'legendary' 2009 vintage.

Copy and paste this link to take you to this great parcel of wines.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-Craggy+Range/

WOTW - Villa Maria Pinot GrigioDate published: 14/03/12

Across the two narrow islands that make up New-Zealand are some of the most important and influential wine producing regions in the world. From the warm, northern tip of Auckland, down to the fertile east coast of Gisborne, through the sunny northern region of Marlborough on the South Island, to the dry Central Otago, the diverse terrior of this compact country never fails to create an abundant variety of expressive and individual wines.

Villa Maria is one of New Zealand's most renowned and trusted brands and has been a Majestic favourite for many years. This pinot grigio has been sourced from a number of different terroirs across the east coast, creating an expressive and flavourful wine.

On the nose, aromas of pear and apple are followed by a rich honey finish. On the palate a fresh burst of green apple and candied pear is lengthened by a well balanced zesty acidity.

Food match: Moules Frites.

Wine Of The Week AwardsDate published: 13/03/12

Easter weekend marks the date of the first annual ‘Wine of the Week Awards’. As the article below details, this is your chance to decide on which of our most popular ‘Wine of the Weeks’ should be awarded the ultimate prize of Wine of the Week of the Year.

Every week for the last 12 months one of the Team here at Majestic Stratford have chosen a wine to showcase for you to try. These wines are hand picked to show off new grapes, areas or producers and always represent great  value from the Majestic range.

Our 'Wine of the Week' Awards are an opportunity to pit the best received of these wines against each other with the ultimate prize of Wine of the Week of the Year' being decided by you!

This years four finalists are:

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2009, Masciarelli

Lamatum Crianza 2008, Ribera del Duero

Fairhall Cliff Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Marlborough

Villa Maria Pinot Grigio 2010, Marlborough

The awards weekend takes place from Thursday 5th April to Sunday 8th April so why not come down and vote for your favourite.

For those of you who are 'Twitter' minded we will also be tweeting throughout the weekend with the hashtag #WOTWAwards

Do you like Ned Sauvignon Blanc?Date published: 08/03/12

Here at Majestic Stratford we appreciate the frustration that accompanies dropping by for a box of your favourite wine only to find it's promptly sold out. So, ever attuned to the needs of our customers, and with The Ned Sauvignon Blanc being one of our most popular wines, we've decided to implement a Ned only, Stratford specific database for those loyal 'Neddites' out there.

To make sure that you never miss out on any Ned-related news again all you need to do is pass on your email to one of the team in store and we'll add you to our dedicated Ned list. This way you'll be the amongst the first to hear about any stock issues, price changes or special offers featuring The Ned.

WOTW: Thelema Mountain Red 2009 ElginDate published: 07/03/12

This intriguing wine showcases both the the versatility of its varietal grapes as well as the uniquely bountiful Elgin Valley from which it comes. As part of our current South African promotion this is an exceptionally good wine at a great price.

A unique confluence of diverse micro-climates with close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, cooling cloud cover and high altitude, cold winters and adequate rainfall combined with complex and ancient soils all contribute in making the Elgin Valley one of the world's ideal wine growing regions. This is a harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (42%), Shiraz (30%), Grenache (14%) and Petit Verdot (14%) with all components having spent 18 months of maturation in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill oak barrels. The result is a stunningly accessible red which, whilst ready to drink now, would also reward further cellaring.

Rich red fruits and spicy black pepper dominate the nose with brilliant cherry and blackcurrant that linger on the palate. A firm tannin structure holds together the wine for a clean and refreshing finish.

Food Match: Perfect accompaniment for spicy pork bangers and mash on a wet windy Wednesday afternoon.

Price: £10.99, buy 2 save 20%, £8.79

Up Close with ArgentinaDate published: 06/03/12

Of all the New World wine producers, perhaps none has experienced such rapid growth in recent years as Argentina.

Thanks to the mid 19th century immigration from Spain and Italy, Argentina is able to boast an enviable diversity of grape varieties. Bonarda, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Torrontes to name a few. Prior to the mid 1990's, Argentina had no real aspirations to export their wines, which used to be overage in old vats and would often be oxidised.

However, in the mid 1990's there was a rapid change of pace from the world's 5th largest wine producing country. Huge investment into equipment, rejuvenation of cellars and new vineyards saw a massive leap forward in wine quality.

Without doubt, the most important region in Argentina is Mendoza. At the beginning of the 21st century, the vineyard acreage in Mendoza alone was slightly less than half of the entire planted acreage in the United States and more than the acreage of New Zealand and Australia combined. Argentina’s most highly rated Malbec wines originate from Mendoza’s high altitude wine regions of Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. These Districts are located in the foothills of the Andes mountains between 2,800 and 5,000 feet elevation. Argentine vintner Nicolas Catena Zapata has been widely credited for elevating the status of Argentine Malbec and the Mendoza region through serious experimentation into the effects of high altitude. In 1994, he was the first to plant a Malbec vineyard at almost 5,000 feet elevation in the Gualtallary sub-district of Tupungato, the Adrianna Vineyard, and to develop a clonal selection of Argentine Malbec.

At Majestic Stratford we have a few favourites that we have picked out that are all must tries.

 

Crios Malbec 2009 Mendoza
From a family run winery in Mendoza, this lovely Malbec utilizes all the expertise of the family's know how, from Susana's degree in oenology to Pedro and his daughter in law's label designs. This is a fabulous expression of Argentina's synonymous grape variety. With its rich ruby colour and lashings of toasty cherries and oak this wine delivers fruit and spice backed by ample tannins making it an ideal match for any barbecued foods.

£7.99 when you buy two or more bottles

 

Catena Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2009 Mendoza
This unique wine is actually a blend of grapes from three different vineyard sites: La Pirámide, Domingo and Adrianna. This results in a wine with strong varietal identity and an intense concentration of flavour. Notes of luscious tropical fruits on the nose, coupled with a stony minerality, lead to a clean and refreshing palate of pear and fig. This is a wine that would be perfect foil for roast chicken.

£7.99 when you buy two or more bottles

 

Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon 2010/2011 Catena
The cooler evening temperatures of the Andes have helped develop the varietal flavours of the fresh tasting gem. Sourced from high altitude vineyards and made exclusively with free-run juice this jammy wine hits the palate with ripe black fruit. To be drunk at room temperature this is a wine that will go equally as well with all manner of meats and cheeses as it will on its own.

£6.49 when you buy two or more bottles

Fine Wine Friday: Amarone Costasera Masi - A modern day Italian MasterpieceDate published: 02/03/12

All you fans of Italian wines will be familiar with Amarone, one of the countries most famous wines and probably equally familiar with the producer of this month's 'Fine Wine Friday', Masi.

Amarone della Valpolicella, usually known as Amarone, is a typically rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara varieties. The wine was assigned Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in December 1990. On 4 December 2009, Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella were promoted to the status of Denominazione di Origine Controllatae Garantita (DOCG)

Grapes are harvested ripe in the first two weeks of October, by carefully choosing bunches having fruits not too close to each other, to let the air flow. Grapes are allowed to dry, traditionally on straw mats. This process is called appassimento or rasinate (to dry and shrivel) in Italian. This concentrates the remaining sugars and flavours and is similar to the production of French Vin de Pays. The pomace left over from pressing off the Amarone is used in the production of Ripasso Valpolicellas.

 

This stupendous effort from Costasera Masi displays a dense deep appearance, with aromas of slow baked fruit, plums and cherries. This follows through to a wonderfully balanced palate of rich red fruits, coffee and cocoa.

This beast of a wine needs an equally beast like food match, to be more specific something like a rich venison steak served with a fruity redcurrant jelly.

£30 or £26 each if you buy two or more bottles as part of your case of 6.

Bargain Hunt - New ArrivalsDate published: 01/03/12

After the success of the first round of Bargain Hunt wines were so well recieved we have been scouring other stores with the hope of securing a few more treats for you to enjoy at these seriously reduced prices.

Our search has finally been rewarded with 2 Chilean Sauvignon Blanc's.

  • Matetic Sauvignon 2010 - £10.99 reduced to £7.32
  • Costero Sauvignon 2009 - £9.49 reduced to £6.32

As before, supplies of these wines are limited so stock up before you miss out.

WOTW: Argento Chardonnay 2011Date published: 29/02/12

Vineyards in Argentina lie mostly close to the Andes and are spread over nearly 1000km, from the province of Salta in the sub-tropical north, to Rio Negro in the south on the frontiers of Patagonia.
Although wine production is spread over nearly 1000km, it is in Mendoza where the bulk of all wine is made. In fact the Mendoza region accounts for over 90% of all wine produced in Argentina.

Chardonnay is the most planted white variety in Argentina and really suits the cooler climate areas closer to the Andes. These higher vineyards such as Tupungato and Agrelo enjoy optimum sunshine and terroir that is particularly suited to white varieties such as Chardonnay. This example has had very little oak so as to ensure clean fruit flavours and a pure expression of the grape.

A delicate light golden colour: the nose has enticing aromas of pineapple and crisp green apples. Subtle vanilla on the palate and a lingering finish.

Food match: Chicken Ceaser Salad

£5.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Spotlight on: BarbarescoDate published: 25/02/12

Made from the nebbiolo grape and grown primarily around the village of Barbaresco in Piemonte, north west Italy. For many years, Barbaresco was considered to be a lighter version of Barolo and as such didn't attract the same praise or kudos. However, in the 1960's Giovanni Gaja focussed his attention on showcasing this fantastic wine and the demonstration of it's true powers.

Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco than Barolo while the wines tend to be a bit lighter as the region is further east than Barolo. The lighter style of wine is reflected in the ageing requirements. Barbaresco is only required to have 2 years age before release with at least one of these being in oak. This is a year less than for Barolo.

Here at Majestic Stratford we are lucky enough to stock a Barbaresco from Piero Busso. Here the ethos is to produce wines that have purity of fruit and are an expression of the vineyard from which they have come. This leads to soft tannins, velvety red berry fruits and a delicate florality. It is supple and yet has enough structure to ensure potential to age in bottle.

£19.99 per bottle and open to taste until Tuesday 28/02/2012

St Hallett Poacher's BlendDate published: 24/02/12

We all love a good bargain, and whilst we always have plenty, every once in a while a real belter comes along. That is exactly what we have found in the St Halletts Poacher's Blend. The wine is a blend of 60% Semillon, 25% Riesling and 15% Sauvignon Blanc, with all fruit sourced from the Barossa Valley.

Located in the heart of Australia's iconic Barossa wine region, St Hallett Wines has been producing fine wines since it was established in 1944. All the fruit used in St Hallett wines are grown and made in the Barossa, with the region's rich and diverse soils enabling us to create an exciting range of full flavoured and interestingly textured wines - these are savoured around the world and recognised as benchmarks of the Barossa.

Pale straw yellow with a subtle green hue. The nose is brimming with lifted limes and tropical fruit aromas of passion fruit and rock melon, with underlying grassy aromas. The palate is full flavoured and generous, exhibiting an array of lime and tropical fruit flavours that persist over the whole length of the palate, finishing with a zesty lemon twist. The slightly phenolic backbone provides structure and mouth feel, which is balanced with zingy crisp acidity.
 

Matching Ethnic Foods to WineDate published: 24/02/12

I was asked to pair wines to a local cooking demo held at Bower Willis Design in Shipston on Stour this week. The food was primarily of a Moroccan and Thai flavour so presented me with quite a challenge. Both of these styles of food have plenty of spice and can be really tricky to match.

Upon arrival Bevan, the professional chef who was doing the demo prepared a simple Chicken Liver Parfait with rehydrated bread rolls. For this I decided to push the guests out of there comfort zones and serve Chateau La Rame. This sweet wine form Sainte Croix du Mont near Sauternes is rich and honeyed while the sweetness cuts through the fat of the parfait beautifully.

The next course was a Thai stir fry made with pork mince which is a much more traditional style of stir fry than we usually see in the UK. For this I chose a bit of safe option, Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer. Top quality Alsace Gewurztraminer is always a winner with Thai food and this one proved no different as everybody welcomed how the aromas of lychee really suited the chilli and garlic in the stir fry.

The final two courses were traditional British dishes given a real Moroccan face-lift. Firstly, there was a Moroccan style Lamb Wellington and secondly a Moroccan Lamb Tagine Hotpot. For these I chose a Ribera del Duero crianza from Lamatum and the Y Series Viognier from Yalumba in Australia. The Crianza is 100% Tempranillo which gives it a touch more body than a Rioja and this really suited the powerful flavours of the Moroccan spices. The Viognier has lovely aromas of stone fruits and cream, and was picked to match to the dried fruits that are often in Tagines.

Over all, I really enjoyed the challenge and am really looking forward to the next one.

WOTW: Lamatum Crianza 2005 - Ribera Del DueroDate published: 22/02/12

When it comes to Spanish wine, we all know and love Rioja, coming in its many different styles, Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas. Not everyone is as familiar with the region to the south west of Rioja, 'Ribera Del Duero'. A region which is beginning to get cult status for many of its superb red wines and indeed is home to some of the country's most prestigious wines. It is also home to this weeks choice for wine of the week.

This wine comes from plots of old vines, located at 8-900m above sea level, in the continental climate of the central Riberal del Duero region. 15 months in French oak creates the mellow and approachable Crianza style.

An upfront nose of cherries and bramble fruits gives may to a luscious palate of strawberries, vanilla and allspice.

Food Match: Try this one with a lamb casserole pepped up with a bit of chorizo, served with riced potato.

Paul Mas: Stalwart of the LanguedocDate published: 20/02/12

The Domaines of Paul Mas cover a group of four family estates on the hills bordering the Hérault Valley in the South of France. Close to the Mediterranean, the climate allows for a fantastic array of grapes to ripen and form the basis of a wide variety of wines. Here at Majestic, we are lucky to stock many great wines from one of the top producers of the Languedoc.

The history of the Paul Mas family winery can be traced back to 1892. With ancestry steeped in the farming traditions of nearby Saint-Pargoire and Saint-Pons-de-Mauchiens, Auguste Mas farmed 22 acres of vineyard on the Mas de Bicq. Subsequent expansions followed in 1934 and 1954, which helped expand the area under vine to almost 300 acres. From 1987 onwards, Paul Mas and his sons, Michel and Jean Claude, have run the winery as we know it today.

Whilst local climate, viticulture and other variables may affect the quality of the grapes harvested, and consequently the wine produced, it is at the winery where the artistry of the winemaker is expressed. This is where all the commitment and attention to detail comes to fruition. In the case of Paul Mas, it is the blending of the traditional and the modern which has resulted in such a successful venture. Hand picked grapes rest alongside those harvested by mechanical means, maximising the amount of high quality fruit for production, whilst de-stalkers and pneumatic presses help prep the raw ingredients for maturation and ageing in 100 year old oak barrels.

Ultimately the success of any winery is in the hands of those who purchase its wines. With such an incredible array of wines on offer Paul Mas is proving to be one of the most dependable and successful producers in Languedoc.
 

Spotlight on South AfricaDate published: 17/02/12

Our new promotional period has just begun. This time around our '20% off' deals are being modeled by South Africa. So we thought we'd take the opportunity to give you the lowdown on the world’s 7th biggest wine producing country.

South Africa exports around 400 million litres of wine
There are over 112,700 hectares of vineyard in South Africa
The 2010 wine grape harvest is estimated at 1,231,405 tons

Constantia
On the southern slopes of the Table Mountain range lies the historic Constantia valley, the cradle of wine-making in the Cape. The valley was the site of Simon van der Stel's 17th-century wine farm and the origin of the Constantia dessert wines which became famous throughout Europe during the 18th century. Rooted in ancient soils, the vineyards climb up the east-facing slopes of the Constantiaberg, where the vines benefit from the cool sea breezes blowing in from False Bay. The ward receives about 1,000mm of rain annually, making irrigation unnecessary, and has a mean February temperature of 20.6°C. There are only a handful of cellars in this premier ward, where the cool climate favours the production of white wines, notably Sauvignon Blanc, and where the tradition of producing remarkable wines since 1685 continues.

One of our favourites from this region is Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc. From one of the oldest wine producing farms in South Africa, producing wine since 1685. This sauvignon is typical of the area, displaying fresh gooseberries, guava and green pepper with a hint of minerality The perfect partner to shellfish or a simple chicken dish.

£9.99 if you buy 2 or more

Stellenbosch
Heading further inland we soon come across the district of Stellenbosch, a leafy university town which is also home to the South African wine academe. With a great range of terroir and micro climates throughout the region, Stellenbosch is home to an eclectic array of wine makers. In its western valley, with its light and sandy soil, Chenin Blanc has found a home. Meanwhile, with its noticeably warmer climate, and soils of decomposed granite in the north, a different style of wine is prevalent which nods towards sumptuous full bodied reds from Bordeaux varieties and, of course, Pinotage. With such a variety and quantity of well established vineyards in the region it has taken some considerable time to subdivide the districts into wards as per the official South African wine nomenclature.
The terrific Caracal, Neethlingshof is a Bordeaux blend from one of the capes oldest estates, taking its name from an indigenous cat which was introduced as a form of natural pest control to the region. Smooth tannins and juicy, rich blackcurrant flavours make this the ideal partner to red meat dishes.

£11.99 if you buy 2 or more

Robertson
Robertson wine region is situated in the Western Cape province, forming the central belt of the Brede River Valley region, it is named after its founder Minister Dr William Robertson who initially used it for Ostrich farming. Robertson is affectionately known as 'The valley of the wines and roses' which refers to its verdant soils which allow excellent growing conditions for grapes to ripen on a major scale. This is fantastic agriculturally as it allows for bulk fruit growing, however top quality wine production requires low yields of concentrated grapes, therefore the region has a reputation for low quality mass produced wines. There are, as always, exceptions to the rule with some boutique producers making the most of pockets of low yielding chalk rich soils with great drainage and producing fantastic wines notably from the Sauvignon Blanc grape.
The Springfield Special Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc 2009/2010 displays intense steely mineral notes, covered with layers of luscious passion fruit flavours, together with classic gooseberry, lime, citrus fruit and classic South African green pepper.

£9.59 if you buy two or more

Elgin
The Elgin Valley is uniquely bountiful within its brief wine history. Its elegant wines have won a disproportionately large clutch of coveted local and international awards. A unique confluence of diverse micro-climates with close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, cooling cloud cover and high altitude, cold winters and adequate rainfall combined with complex and ancient soils all contribute in making The Elgin Valley one of the world's ideal wine growing regions. Since the pioneering vineyards were planted in the 19th century the quality of the grapes from Elgin have been something of a secret until the early 1990s brought new energy and new vineyards to the steep Elgin slopes. The wines crafted are elegant and pure. The cool climate creates naturally fresh, graceful wines.
Iona's Sauvignon Blanc is a wonderfully expressive Sauvignon with citrus peel, lemongrass and elderberry on the nose. The palate has a surprising richness to it with layers of gooseberry and apple, and a slatey minerality.

 £9.99 if you buy two or more

WOTW - Fairhall Cliffs Sauvignon BlancDate published: 15/02/12

New Zealand is well-established as a Sauvignon Blanc producer. The grape grows particularly well in the cool climates, creating a crisp and refreshing drink. Marlborough Sauvignon's are famous for their gooseberry character. The grape is often described as “crisp, elegant and fresh.”.

Marlborough is located in the north-east of the South Island. It has a unique cool climate with long days, cool nights and bright sunshine, perfect for growing grapes with high natural acidity, which is what gives sauvignon's their famous “crispness”. The vineyard has produced an excellent, textbook sauvignon blanc which is real value for money.

Very zesty on the pallet with lots of lime and nettley herbaceousness. This is an aromatic and classic NZ sauvignon with a refreshing dry finish.

Food Match: Moule Marinere!

£6.49 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Game On: Cork vs Screw CapDate published: 09/02/12

Whilst perhaps not garnering the same amount of column inches as the current discussion regarding Fabio Capello, Harry Redknapp and the vacant England manager's position, the topic of what constitutes the best method of closure for a bottle of wine is a topic that rears its head from time to time in the wine trade. Following on from a discussion with some of the Stratford faithful in store the other day, I've decided to dig a little deeper and look at some of the merits of the two most commonly found types of enclosure.

 

Cork

The traditional method of closure. The image of popping a cork off a bottle of champagne is well entrenched in public consciousness. A product whose natural elasticity enables it to form perfect seals in bottles with inconsistent neck diameters. Unfortunately, due to naturally occurring defects in the cork itself it is widely accepted that around 10% of all wines bottled with a cork enclosure will suffer from some kind of cork taint or other defect. It is usually advised that wines are rested or stored on their side as the wine being in contact with the cork helps prevent the cork from drying out and subsequently loosening the seal.

 

Screw Cap

Modern designs of screw caps made with aluminum can form tighter seals than cork and offer an increased level of protection against oxidation. A small measure of inert gas is injected to help prevent air inside the bottle reacting with the wine. Tests would seem to indicate that, for the short term, screw caps can help maintain the freshness of a wine. That would perhaps explain why they are used so prevalently in places like New Zealand, whose famed sauvignon blancs are intended to be drunk young with maximum freshness preserved. Obviously, however, due to their composition screw caps are not biodegradable in the same way as corks.

Unfortunately it would appear that there is somewhat of an image problem with screw caps in that they are still largely perceived by consumers to be used for 'cheap' wines. This would appear to be unfair based on the evidence of empirical studies. However, whether or not they will ever evolve to have the same romantic appeal as uncorking a bottle of wine or champagne for that special occasion remains to be seen.



 

WOTW: Planalto Douro White Reserva 2010Date published: 09/02/12

The Douro D.O.C is named after the river which winds its way through through the hard granite mountains of northern Portugal. Although most well-known for the production of port the region is increasingly becoming well known for the production of unfortified table wine. Indeed, local laws dictate that whilst in every vintage there is a quota (known locally as the beneficio) limiting the production of port, those grapes not used for fortified wine production go into the production of light wines.

Situated further inland the Douro does not benefit from the cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean in the way that the surrounding areas do. The maritime climate of coastal regions gives way to a hotter, drier continental climate. This blend of indigenous varieties Malvasia, Viosinho, Gouverio and Codega is undergoes cold fermentation in order to preserve the most of the fresh fruit flavours and maximise the aromatic expression of the wine.

An intriguing nose of blossom and rich citrus fruits leads to a refreshing palate of tropical fruits with peach and pears leading the way.

Food Match: Pair this with seafood pasta for the perfect evening meal combo

Price: £7.49 Buy ANY 2 Portuguese wines SAVE £3, £5.99

An Ode to PinotageDate published: 04/02/12

With the different soils, climates and terroirs found around the world certain grapes and styles of wine have almost come to define a particular region or even country. For any amateur wine enthusiast Malbec will most often conjure thoughts of Argentina whilst Sauvignon Blanc seems virtually synonymous with New Zealand. In the most classic of all regions, Bordeaux, one pictures ripe and luscious full-bodied reds composed largely of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Turning one's head to South Africa and it's Pinotage that takes centre stage.

Pinotage is a crossing of two parent grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Cinsault, as first conceived by A. I. Perold in 1925. Since its inception it has proved itself to be a very good vineyard performer. It is used to create a range of wines diverse in style. Grapes from older vines can be used for full-bodied, rich and spicy wines. Well managed use of French and American oak along with careful cellaring can also create layers of dense fruit accessible for early drinking. Although in and out of fashion over the years Pinotage is still a relatively young variety whose full potential is yet to be explored.

Our current Wine of the Week, Barista Pinotage is great example of what this versatile grape is all about.

New Wine of the Week - Barista PinotageDate published: 01/02/12

Barista Pinotage hails from the Val de Vie winery in the heart of the Paarl district in the western cape. The vines are situated inland from Stellenbosch and hence grow in a hotter climate without the tempering ocean breeze or 'Cape Doctor' as it is locally known. Due to the heat the signature South African crossing Pinotage (Pinot Noir x Cinsault) grows fantastically well developing a deep ruby colour and intense dark fruit flavours.

The name Barista refers to the intense secondary coffee flavours evident in the wine which is in no small part due to the heavily toasted French oak barrels used to mature the product. The individual nature of the wine has developed a cult status for 'coffee Pinotage' which is enhanced further by the instantly recognisable chequered pattern on Barista products. This is a truly modern wine created by winemaker Bertus Fourie and has set the standard for modern viniculture in the increasingly exciting and intriguing South Africa.

Plums, cherries and spicy mulberries explode out of the glass onto the nose. The palate delights with soft, supple plums and an intoxicating hint of freshly ground full roast coffee beans.

Food match: Lambs shanks and peppery roasted parsnips.

£8.74, buy 2 save 20%, £6.99 per bottle
 

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.

Here at Majestic Stratford we've highlighted some of the best deals we've currently got on offer:

 

Our Remaining Bin End Bargains

Domaine Les Yeuses Sirius  - £5.32

Domaine Les Yeuses Dry Muscat - £5.32

Clos D'Yvigne Cuvee Nicholas - £6.66

 

Due to what we expect will be high demand for these discounted bargains please be advised that they will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis only. Feel free, however, to add them to any existing orders or deliveries that we've already scheduled.

Happy Bargain Grabbing!

WOTW - Chateau Aigues VivesDate published: 25/01/12

This delightful blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah is a wine the Languedoc can really be proud of. Gerard Bertrand is a real champion of the South of France, carefully selecting vineyards, vines and grapes that will really showcase the best of what the South of France has to offer.

With the cooling influence of the Mediterranean Terrior of the vineyard really is excellent, and creates the perfect environment for the growing of grapes. The Chateau Aigues Vives was built in 1817 on the ruins of an old roman thermal baths (agua viva), hence its name.

With a deep ruby red colour, this wine offers powerful aromas of cocoa, rose petal, pepper and hints of red fruit. This gives way to a palate dominated by cassis and blackberry.

Food match: A great partner to sausages

WOTW - Gestos Malbec 2010 Finca Flichman, Mendoza Date published: 18/01/12

With an impressive wine making history deeply steeped in the traditions of European (mainly Spanish) colonizers who first introduced the vinifera vines to the region, Argentina has made great strides over the past two decades in catering for the international market. As the economy opened up during the 1990s with foreign investment, production emphasis began to change from mass producing cheap, rustic vino de mesa to a more internationally friendly style offering great value in a competitive wine market.

The continental climate of Mendoza with its clearly defined seasons allows the grapes to grow, mature and rest with no extremes of temperature and modest rainfall. This wine is a skilful blend of two different yields of Malbec. 50% from Tupungato, home to some of the most highly regarded vineyards in Argentina, at heights of up to 1,200m giving the wine freshness and structure. The remaining 50% - also Malbec – comes from vines in Barrancas (at a mere 700m) which adds colour and density. After blending the wine is aged for 6 months in American and French oak to add structure and depth.

An enticing nose of ripe bramble fruits and subtle oak influence follow through to a rich palate of raspberry and white pepper. Rounded off with soft, supple tannins and a pleasing length.

Food match: Steak with peppercorn sauce.

£7.99 Special Offer Price: £5.99

Winter HighlightsDate published: 17/01/12

With the end of the Winter offers fast approaching we thought it would be a good time to review what we feel have been the best buys throughout the festive season and beyond.

James

Winter is all about big full bodied reds as far as I'm concerned and so I've gone for Vinalba malbec Reserva. This classic Argentinean malbec is full, smooth and bursting with bramble fruits. It has wonderfully integrated tannins and the slightest hints of earth, mocha and vanilla. This fabulous malbec is the perfect match for a rare steak and a hot bowl of hand-cut chips.

£7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles.

Jon

In my view, the big winner of the last three months has to be the Reserve Pinot Gris from Domaine Zind Humbrecht. £11.99 is just a fraction of what one of Zind Humbrecht's Reserve wines would normally cost and the refreshing palate of grapefruit and melon with notes of honey and toast make this wine a big hit. It also pairs perfectly with my favourite food; roasted belly of pork.

£11.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

David

For me, the star of our winter promotions has been Gran Vendema Crianza. Whilst Rioja has long been one of my favourite wine regions I was simply blown away by the value for money on offer here. With its classic raspberry and strawberry nose and soft, easy drinking palate with touches of vanilla and hints of oak this is a terrific wine that can be enjoyed either on its own or paired with a warming stew. 

£5.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles.

James G

I've always had a soft spot for bubbles and so I'm going for Codorniu Raventos NV. This silky Cava from the biggest selling producer in Spain is unusually Chardonnay dominant. Traditionally Chardonnay wasn't a permitted grape variety in the production of Cava but new laws have seen many plantings across the region. In this Cava the Chardonnay lends a trademark elegance and finesse to the blend that really makes it a great value alternative to Champagne.

£7.49 per bottle reduced from £9.99

New Arrival: Greywacke Sauvignon BlancDate published: 14/01/12

‘Greywacke’ pronounced ‘Grey Wacky’ Sauvignon Blanc is the new venture by veteran ‘Cloudy Bay’ winemaker Kevin Judd, created in 2009 it has received universal praise from major wine critics and dubbed the next best thing in New Zealand Sauvignon.

English born Kevin Judd moved to Australia when he was a child and began his winemaking career in New Zealand in his twenties. A true winemaking pioneer, Judd saw New Zealand’s potential of premium quality wine production in the mid Eighties. When Judd arrived in New Zealand more vines were being removed than planted with the 70’s sweet wine grape Muller Thurgau dominating plantings. Now that Judd has left after 25 years with Cloudy Bay, New Zealand Sauvignon is by far the UKs best selling wine variety and the ‘New World’ winemaking techniques of temperature control, stainless steel, canopy and yield management systems utilised by people like Judd are now universally adopted.

The boutique Cloudy Bay winery developed cult status in the early nineties and established a reputation for premium quality that remains to this day. Cloudy Bay’s mythical status was created almost through a lack of marketing initially, with high critical acclaim but little press marketing. This coupled with a policy of not entering wine competitions allowed the winery cult status. This mystical quality of Cloudy Bay was only enhanced by Judd’s own picture of the greyscale Richmond mountains of Marlborough on the label. Judd quit his post as head winemaker at Cloudy Bay recently after the company had been taken over by luxury goods giant LVMH. It is probable Judd felt less in control of the finished product as the brand grew bigger, he has been quoted as saying “I want to keep it small and personal so I can be responsible for the decisions myself.”

Judd had a vision of creating his own personal wine in the early nineties when he registered the name ‘Greywacke’ which refers to the grey sandstone prevalent as rounded pebbles in the Marlborough region. The wine is produced from high quality parcels of grapes from the Brancott and Wairau valleys from vineyards covered in ‘Greywacke’ pebbles. Grapes are picked in the cool of the night and immediately pressed, it is then vinified at the acclaimed Dog Point winery with 10% of the product being matured in French oak barriques.

The resulting wine has intense tropical fruit flavours of papaya and guava with a streak of classic Sauvignon gooseberry fruit and tight flinty minerality, followed by a long herbal citrus finish.

Already a hit with the critics and Robert Parker giving the wine 90 points, this wine is sure to increase in popularity and demand over the coming years. It is currently part of the 20% off New Zealand offer at Majestic and therefore allows fine wine quality at an approachable price.

£15.99 when you buy any 2 New Zealand wines
 

WOTW Paul Mas Sauvignon BlancDate published: 11/01/12

Paul Mas Estate Single Vineyard Collection wines come from Jean-Claude Mas's vineyards in the Languedoc region in the South of France. The 'Pepinere vineyard' (meaning nursery vineyard) is situated within the dried salt water lake basin near Marseillette, drained in 1849 for agricultural use. This land is particularly suited to growing grapes. It is these 18 year old, non-grafted vines that are used to make this fresh, pure and aromatic wine.

Sauvignon Blanc makes up 100% of this wine, a grape that grows successfully in many regions across the world. Most famously in the Loire Valley, Bordeaux and in more recent year in New Zealand. A small proportion of the wine that goes into this bottle is fermented in oak, this adds layers of complexity and character and produces a slightly softer Sauvignon Blanc.

Tasting note:

A fresh, herbaceous, smoky white with rich tropical fruit characters and carefully balanced acidity.

Food Match:

Great on its own but try it with prawn green tie curry, served on a bed of crispy noodles

WOTW: Chateau de Flaugergues LanguedocDate published: 04/01/12

Chateau de Flaugergues was originally built in the 17th Century as a 'folly' by a wealthy merchant plying his trade in the nearby port city of Montpelier. Vines at the Chateau have allegedly been present since the Romans cultivated them here around 2,000 years ago.

Grenache makes up 50% of the blend and grows fantastically well in the prickly heat of southern France, the Chateau sits on pebbly soil not dissimilar to that of the Southern Rhone. The grapes are all Chateau bottled and taken from a 75 acres plot of land from 22 year old vines giving good depth of flavour.

Rich ruby in colour, this wine has an enticing warm Autumnal nose with red berry fruit and classic Languedoc herbal, leafy complexity. The palate has brooding blackberry fruit with a spicy, savoury and earthy finish.

Food Match: A great match with a hearty beef stew and dumplings

£8.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 and save £2

Great value for the New YearDate published: 03/01/12

As we enter the New Year many people are looking to top-up their cellars with more economical options following the Christmas indulgence. As ever, here at Majestic, we've a great array of wines to suit no matter what your budget.


Here are just a few of our offerings which represent great value for money this January, all coming in at less than £6 a bottle.


Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
With its hallmark characteristics of intense gooseberry and passionfruit aromas coupled with a refreshing acidity and satisfying length, this classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will really whet the appetites of white wine lovers. As part of our 20% off New Zealand promotion this is a fabulous, wallet-friendly corker of a wine.

Price: £7.49, Buy any 2 still New Zealand wines save 20%, £5.99

Serena Pinot Grigio, Banfi
Offering astonishing value for money, this easy-drinking Pinot Grigio offers much more depth of flavour than many of its peers. Benefiting from the warm Tuscan climate this wine delights with supple pear and tropical fruits on the palate, offering a perfect match for all manner of dishes from fish to poultry.

Price: £8.99, Buy 2 bottles save £6, £5.99

Château Mont Milan, Corbières
This Gold Medal (2009 Decanter World Wine Awards) winning wine from Corbières is an outstanding take on the traditional French blend of the region. Skillfully combining Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah the winemaker has succeeded in making a well rounded wine which throws up unmistakable notes of dried fruits and well integrated hints of vanilla. To be enjoyed now whilst still at its best, preferably accompanying spicy red meat dishes.

Price: £5.99, Buy 2 bottles save £2, £4.99

Luis Felipe Edwards Mountain View Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley
From the largest family owned winery in Chile today comes this versatile Cabernet Sauvignon. Loaded with rich plum and blackcurrant flavours the smooth tannins make this wine accessible for all. Matching well with seasoned red meat dishes this sub £5 wine is a great new addition to our Chilean range heading into 2012.

Price: £6.24, Buy any 2 still Chilean wines save 20%, £4.99

For more suggestions regarding what wines to kick-start 2012 with join us in store where we've wines open to taste 7-days a week and are always on hand to lend assistance.

WOTW: Peter Lehman Dry Riesling 2010Date published: 28/12/11

Peter Lehman was born and bred breathing the hot air of the Barossa Valley and has come to be known as the King of the Barossa. He started his wine career in 1947 working for the Yalumba winery. In 1977 He went on to create his own winery known as 'Masterson' Barossa, named after the gambling character 'Sky Masterson', from the musical Guys and Dolls, due to the fact that these were tough economic times and attempting to save local growers from financial ruin was a major gamble. This association with gambling has continued to this day with the club logo appearing on bottles and local artists creating bottle labels inspired by playing cards. This Riesling sports a picture of the queen of clubs.

The Eden Valley neighbours Barossa, although it differs in climate. Due to the higher altitude the weather is wetter and cooler than the hot, continental climate of the Barossa valley, and therefore is perfect for the production of Riesling wines with typical Australian tropical Lime characteristics and fresh, mouth-watering acidity.

A light and delicate appearance disguises this punchy Riesling's fresh and full aromas of lime juice, blossom and cut grass. Refreshingly zingy with a tight acidity on the palate accompanied by vibrant lemon-lime zest, brilliant passion fruit and a long, mouth-watering steely finish.

Food Match: Try with a hand tossed goat's cheese salad sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

£9.99 or buy 2 save 20%, £7.99 each

WOTW - JACKSON ESTATE 'STICH' SAUVIGNON BLANCDate published: 15/12/11

Jackson Estate is located on New Zealand's South Island, deep in the region of Marlborough, world renowned for its superb Sauvignon Blanc, packed with flavours of gooseberries and cut cross. The Jackson an Stichbury families have been farming the plains of the Wairu Valley for 160 years, in 1988 the Stichburys planted the first vines and their first vintage was bottles in 1991. 20 years later they are still producing Sauvignon Blanc, amoungst others, of the hifghest quality.

As part of a handful of pioneering winegrowers, Jackson Estate has helped forge Marlborough's international reputation for producing cool climate wine styles that clearly speak of both vineyard and region. Sauvignon Blanc has found its home in the new world in New Zealand.

Displaying gooseberry, lime and rhubarb on the nose, this is a classic and elegant Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The palate combines these green fruit flavours with mineral notes and a palate-cleansing acidity.

Food match: Pan-fried Sea Bass served with oven-roasted cherry tomatoes

Christmas/New Year Delivery Information *Updated 28th Dec*Date published: 07/12/11

With Christmas Day still fresh in the memory most people will now be thinking about stocking up for the New Year's celebrations. Luckily, we've stil got plenty of delivery slots open between now and New Year's Eve if you're not able to make it to the store.

For local deliveries - those within Stratford Upon Avon - we're able to offer an extremely prompt service, typically fulfilling orders with 24 hours.

Even for deliveries at the periphery of our delivery area we are offering delivery within the next 2-3 days, still in plenty of time for any 'last minute' orders.*

As ever, if you'd rather come in and pick up your wines yourself, we'll have them prepared and waiting for you. You can also sample what we've currently open to taste at the same time.

* All delivery timelines are estimates and based on having ordered items in stock

 

WOTW - Nicolas Potel Pinot NoirDate published: 07/12/11

Maison Nicolas Potel sources grapes from across the Burgundy region, primarily from old Cote d'Or vines. Maison Nicolas Potel is a respected name in Burgundy, the Potel family having previously owned the prestigious Domaine de la Pousse d'Or in Volnay.

Despite many excellent examples coming from the 'New World', Burgundy is the true home of Pinot Noir. It's climate and soil types lend itself very well to such a terrior sensitive grape variety. Some of the best and certainly most expensive Pinot Noir are produced in Burgundy, with wines such as Domaine Romanee Conti selling for more than £1000 per bottle.

A delicate nose of strawberries and black berries follows through to a light refreshing palate.

Nice on its own but try it with Merguez sausages on a bed of cous cous.

Remedial Road WorksDate published: 02/12/11

Remedial road works are taking place on the pavements of the Birmingham today. We have been assured that any works taking place outside Majestic won't affect access to the car park.

Thanks.

WOTW Yering Station ChardonnayDate published: 30/11/11

n 1838 William Ryrie planted the first vines in Victoria at Yerring Station. In 1850, Paul de Castella, was responsible for its development from primarily a cattle station into one of Victoria's most important wineries. In 1889 Yering Station wines were triumphant at the World Exhibition in Paris where they where awarded with a 'Grand Prix'.

In many ways Victoria is the most interesting, the most dynamic, and certainly the most varied of Australia's wine states, even if today it is nowhere near as quantitatively important as it was at the end of the 19th Century when it had as much vineyard area as New South Wales and South Australia combined.

A honeyed banana esque nose with a hint of tropical fruits leads to a palate of more pronounced tropical fruits, citrus and a kiss of vanilla

Try this wine as your white option for your Christmas Turkey.

December Opening HoursDate published: 26/11/11

As we head into the festive period we at Majestic Stratford thought you might find it useful to know our exact opening hours.

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

Saturday 10th December 9-7

Sunday 11th December 10-5

Monday 11th - Saturday 17th December 9-8

Sunday 18th December 10-5

Monday 19th - Friday 23rd December 9-8

Saturday 24th December 9-5

Saturday 25th - Tuesday 27th December Closed

Wednesday 28th - Friday 30th December 10-8

Saturday 31st December 9-5

Sunday 1st January Closed

Monday 2nd January 10-5

Normal Hours thereafter.

WOTW: Château Grivière 2002Date published: 23/11/11

Originating in the famed Médoc of Bordeaux this is a classically styled red to suit many an occasion. From a region where Cabernet Sauvignon has long reined as the red grape king this is a refreshing, Merlot dominated blend. Whilst the region is home to some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world – often under communal appellations such as Margeaux and St-Estephe, this Médoc AC wine represents excellent value.

The soothing influence of the Gulf Stream sweeping down the Atlantic coast gives rise to long, warm summers and cool, wet winters. Whilst Cabernet still rules in the South with its free-draining gravel banks, further North as the land becomes flatter and clay displaces gravel, Merlot has taken a stranglehold. This blend is 60% Merlot with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. A period of 18 months ageing in underground cellars develops a well balanced, floral and fruity wine.

Classic Bordeaux nose of plums and blackcurrant with a hint of vanilla. A soft fruit driven palate that would compliment all manor of foods.

Food Match: Beef wellington

£11.99, Buy 2 Save £8, £7.99

Why Aren't All Wines Vegetarian?Date published: 17/11/11

In response to a question put to us by one of our customers, I've put together this brief low-down on one of the quirks of the wine world. Since everybody knows that wines are made from grapes it would logically follow that all wines are vegetarian, yes? Well, it's not quite as straight forward as that.

A key part of the vinification process is the filtration of the wine before it is bottled. This ensures that the wines are bright and clear in the bottle as well as helping to reduce the amount of sediments and deposits that would otherwise come with an unfiltered wine. Many fining elements are used throughout the world, often reflecting local nuances and customs. Some of these fining elements are derived from animal based products, for example: casein, isinglass (derived from fish bladders), gelatin and egg white. In the case of agents such as casein and egg whites, being derived from dairy products, wines filtered with these elements would be suitable for vegetarians but not vegans. In some Mediterranean countries Bull's blood has been used as a traditional fining agent. As the agent sinks through the wine, unwanted particles adhere to it and are thus removed from suspension.

Of course, any agents used in the fining process are removed from the finished product and not all wines are filtered in this way. In fact, many prestigious producers from the esteemed regions do very little or no filtration as customers expect to find sediment and to decant the wines before serving. There are many other factors which could affect the dietary compatibility of a wine. Look out for further articles on this in the future.
 

Much ado about MusarDate published: 17/11/11

We can't wait for our Tasting Evening on the 23rd November, featuring a member of the prestigious Chateau Musar family sharing some of the best wines in their range with us. Whilst our mouths water with the prospect here is a brief introduction to the fascinating world of Chateau Musar...

Chateau Musar is the only Lebanese winery in our range, it is a country with a small total production and only 10% of Lebanese grapes going on to make wine. A high proportion of grapes go on to brandy production.

The best Lebanese wines hail from the high altitude Bekaa valley, surrounded by snow capped mountains where chilled air cools the climate to allow high quality viticulture.

Musar grapes are hand harvested by local Bedouins and are organically produced using minimal sulphur and no fining or filtration (therefore will leave a deposit and should be decanted).

Musar use a blend of local and Bordeaux grape varieties and give complex and full bodied wines with a lot of character. Due to the organic nature of the wines oxidative flavours such as honey and confected fruit come through on the palate and create a range of high quality wines that are interesting, complex and very moreish.

Chateau Musar 2004
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.

Hochar 2005
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.

WOTW - Majestic Peaks Pinot NoirDate published: 16/11/11

New Zealand is increasingly producing very high quality Pinot Noir at a much more approachable price point than Burgundy. The grape is notoriously hard to grow given its thin skin which gives in to rot easily and only has a short period of optimum ripeness. Otago's Pinot Noirs are famous for their delicious juicy red fruit flavour.

Otago is located in the Centre of the South Island and is the most southerly wine region in the world. It has a unqiue warm continental climate at high altitude with long warm days, cool nights and bright sunshine, perfect for growing grapes with full ripeness, which is what gives Otago Pinot Noirs their famous 'New World fruit'. The vineyard has produced an excellent, textbook Pinot Noir which is real value for money.

Bursting with sweet strawberries and youthful red fruit on the nose with a subtle hint of spice. The nose follows through to the palate with its clean, crisp and refreshing flavours. This is a great example of a NZ Pinot Noir at an approachable price tag.

Food Match: Sage and game pie on a bed of roasted parsnip mash.

£8.79 when you buy 2 or more

WOTW - Rioja Gran Vendema Crianza 2008Date published: 09/11/11

Spain is capable of producing some of the worlds' greatest wines. Some of the most prestigeous producers can be found within the region of Rioja. This Crianza is from one of these big name Riojo Bodegas but has been exclusively relabled for Majestic making this wine a real bargain.

 

This wine is 100% Tempranillo. A widely planted variety throughout Northern Spain and the country's leading grape variety and comes under a range of names: Ull de Llebre, Cencibel and Tinto del Pais as well as Tinta Roriz. It ripens early and grows best on chalky soils. It can be light on tanins and so is often blended with other varities, however this particular example is 100% Tempranillo.
 

A classic youthful Rioja nose of red cherries and strawberries with a hint of vanilla. This follows through to the palate where a touhh of leather comes into the mix.

 

Food Match: Traditional roasted joint of British Lamb with all the trimmings coated in lashing of rich gravy

WOTW: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2009, MasciarelliDate published: 02/11/11

Montepulciano is a red grape variety grown on the Adriatic Coast of Italy. It offers great value for money as it is very rarely over priced. The finest zone for Montepulciano grown in the wild Abruzzi Hills is around the town of Teramo, which in 2003 was awarded the DOCG Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane. This example from the Masciarelli winery comes from the almost as good town of San Martino.


Since its founding in 1978, the family run winery has grown from its original 2.5 hectare plot to a total of 320 hectares, spread across the 14 different towns and villages throughouyt Abruzzo's provinces.

This ruby coloured wine has an enticing nose of red cherries and blackcurrants. This follows through to a medium bodied palate with an acidity and tanin structure to match any meaty Italian dish

Food match: Lasagne with a simple green salad

Car Park ClosureDate published: 02/11/11

Due to re-surfacing works outside our store, customers will be unable to access the car park between 1pm and 4pm today (Wednesday 2nd November).

We are still open and able to take orders via internet and over the phone.

Sorry for any inconvienience.

WOTW: Bellingham Mocha Java Merlot 2010 Coastal RegionDate published: 27/10/11

With a history of wine production stretching back for some 350 years it should come as no surprise that South Africa is the birthplace of many great wines. This lovely wine from Bellingham will delight with its delicious coffee twist on the palate.

Hailing from the coastal region at the South-Western tip of South Africa this sumptuous Merlot benefits from the predominately Mediterranean character of the climate, which is well suited to the production of wine. With a greater demand for red wines than white, production is focusing on the more notable grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce wines for the international market. The Mocha Java Merlot offers a very modern style of wine at great value.

On the nose copious quantities of black cherry and coffee follow through to a palate of ripe red berries braced by an unmistakable lick of coffee bean and hints of rich, spiced chocolate.

Food match: This wine could be enjoyed either on its own or partnered with all manner of grilled/barbecued meats.

£7.49, buy 2 save 20%, £5.99 per bottle

WOTW Waiki Cabernet Sauvignon 2009Date published: 19/10/11

For many years Chile has been producing excellent value, every day wines and is now building a reputation for finer wines. The Maipo Valley in Chile has the hottest climate and the smallest vineyard area of the greater Central Valley regions, yet a high concentration of Bodegas. It's proximity to the capital spawned a tradition of grand plantations and extensive homesteds belonging to Chile's 19th Century gentlemen farmers.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape with perhaps the widest reputation for the production of red wine. Whilst the classic grape of the Medoc in Bordeaux it is also widely planted throughout the new world. It typically gives low yields of full-bodied, high tannin wines which age well. The classic blackcurrant flavour is bolstered in the warmer climate of Chile by black cherry and olive.
The nose, is dominated by a rich scent of blackcurrant and liquorice while showing hints of spice and vanila. This follows through to a medium to full bodied pallate where a good level of acidity and grippy tannins give this wine real balance.

With winter well and truly om its way and a real dip in temperature, match this warming Chilean red with a hearty beef stew.

WOTW: Fairhall Cliffs Sauvignon Blanc 2010Date published: 13/10/11

New Zealand is well-established as a Sauvignon Blanc producer. The grape grows particualrly well in the cool climates, creating a crisp and refreshing drink. Marlborough Sauvignon's are famous for their goosberry character. The grape is often described as “crisp, elegant and fresh.”.
 

Marlborough is located in the northeast of the South Island. It has a unqiue cool climate with long days, cool nights and bright sunshine, perfect for growing grapes with high natural acidity, which is what gives sauvignon's their famous “crispness”. The vineyard has produced an excellent, textbook sauvignon blanc which is real value for money.

Very zesty on the palate with lots of lime and nettly herbaceousness. This is an aromatic and classic NZ sauvignon with a refreshing dry finish.

WOTW: St Clair Estate Selection Pinot NoirDate published: 05/10/11

This most elusive grape variety is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terrior. Too hot and it will rippen too fast and fail to develop any of the many fascinating flavours harboured in the skins. Too cold and it will fail to rippen altogether. It's true home is in Burgundy's Cote d'Or but it is also grown with success in Oregon, the coolest corners of California, Australia and across the Land of the Long White Cloud, and it is from New Zealand where this offering from St Clair hails.

Saint Clair wines was established by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Their success is founded on 27 years of extensive and ongoing pioneering viticulture as a critical part of the highest quality winemaking practices. From 1994 when the first vintage won medals, including a gold, Saint Clair wine has always represented quality, and its award winning record continues today.

Hints of smoke and fresh herb on the the nose. The palate is much more fruit driven and has hints of cherry, raspberry and vanilla. Medium bodied with an enticing length and mouthwatering acidity.

Food match: Crispy Duck

WOTW: Dry Furmint 2008 Royal TokajiDate published: 29/09/11

Whilst the name Tokaji (pronounced “Tokay” in English) is most widely associated with the famous sweet wine of Hungary, this delicious dry white wine is a great example of what else the region is also capable of producing.

The town of Tokaji produces wines split into two groups. Quality wines that are bottled and shipped in standard 75cl bottles and Special Quality wines that are exported in the more traditional 50cl 'dump' bottles. This wine is an example of a Quality wine made entirely from Furmint that has been unaffected by the noble rot which induces such sweetness in its famous cousin.

Lovely, ripe stone fruits on the nose leads to a cleansing minerality on the palate with hints of exotic fruit falvours.

Food match: Perfect foil for a board of rich, creamy cheese and a dollop of traditional english chutney.

£9.99, BUY TWO AND SAVE £4, £7.99

New: Staff Reviews OnlineDate published: 22/09/11

One of the things which our customers often praise us for at Majestic is our knowledge and enthusiasm for the wine that we sell. For us, having a chance of being able to share our passion about such a great product with any of our customers is one of the highlights of the job. Whether it's choosing a great value wine for a party or function or finding that perfect match for your Sunday Lunch we're keen to share our expertise and assist in any way we can.

Regular visitors to the Majestic website may have a noticed a fabulous new feature whilst browsing our comprehensive range online. In addition to the existing customer reviews there is now a Staff Review feature which lets us express our thoughts on any given wine directly onto the homepage. Since we're always trying new wines here in store it's a great new way for us to immediately share our thoughts on a particular wine.

As ever, here at Majestic Stratford, we like to be at the forefront of new innovations and ways of communicating with customers. Some of the wines we've left our tasting notes on thus far include:

Kanonkop Kadette 2009/2010 Stellenbosch £10.99, buy 2 save 20%, £8.79 per bottle
"Displaying a lovely ruby colour in the glass, a vibrant nose shows plenty of ripe raspberries, black currant and mocha flavours with dark chocolate and blackberry fruit on the palate. Good length with a dry finish. Make the most of the dying days of our British summer and enjoy this with some barbequed lamb studded with garlic and rosemary."

'El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa' Old Vine Garnacha 2008 Navarra £9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines
"An alluring purple in the glass, this wine displays rich blackberry and rasperries on the nose – some say even a hint if Turkish delight. The palate display a greater prominence of red fruits while the structure of the tannins give the wine a smoothly agreeable composition."

Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010 £9.99 or save £4 when you buy 2 bottles - £7.99 each
"Intense grassy and tropical aromas on the nose are coupled with zesty citrus fruit on the palate. Refreshing acidity and a fantastic length make this a great alternative to the en vogue New Zealand Sauvignon."

Of course, we'll continue to update our own store page regularly too, keeping you up top date with all the latest and best offers and upcoming events.

WOTW: 'El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa' Old Vine Garnacha 2008Date published: 21/09/11

In support of World Grenache Day (23rd Sept) we've chosen this lovely offering from Bodega Nekeas of the Navarra Valley, Spain. Grenache is widely planted around the Mediterranean as well as being the most widely planted grape of the southern Rhone where it is often blended with Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault. In Spain, however, the grape is known as Garnacha.

Garnacha is often used in Rioja blends. This wine, however, is 100% Garnacha from the Navarra region. El Chaparral gets it's name from the indigenous Chaparros forests that surround the Nekeas Valley near the northern Navarra town of Añorbe where Bodega Nekeas is situated. The traditionally bush-trained vines from this part of the Nekeas Valley are between 70 and 100 years old, and yield low numbers of high quality berries. The combination of vine age and excellent soil allied to the winemaker's skill have produced a superbly balanced wine that really showcases this impressive grape

An alluring purple in the glass this wine displays rich blackberry and rasperries on the nose – some say even a hint if Turkish delight. The palate display a greater prominence of raspberries and red fruits while the structure of the tannins give the wine a smoothly agreeable composition.

Food Match: This would be a perfect accompaniment to a spit-roasted wild boar with generous helpings of tangy bramley apple sauce thrown into the fray.

£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 or more Spanish wines

Sud de France Festival - An OverviewDate published: 16/09/11

To celebrate our Sud de France Tasting this weekend, we at Majestic Stratford are delving into the myriad of rather complicated appellations in the South of France. The Languedoc region takes its name from a time when its inhabitants spoke Occitan, the language in which 'oc' is the word for 'yes' hence 'langue d'oc'. The region offers fantastic value for money producing a wide variety of wines ranging from zesty, citrussy whites to robust, spicy reds. Owing to the size of the region, the appellation system is rather complicated so we have highlighted a couple here to give you an insight into the fabulous wines that Languedoc-Roussillon has to offer.

Pic-St-Loup
Situated north of Montpellier, typically Pic-St-Loup wines will be made up of a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre which is unusual in that the majority of the appelations in the Languedoc have a tendancy towards Carignan. About 5000 hectares are able to produce Appellation quality wine and Pic-St-Loup is considered to be one of the more succesful of the Appellations within the Languedoc.

St-Chinian
A much more diverse Appelation that produces red, rose and white wines from diverse selection of mainly Rhone Varietals. Carignan may account for no more than 40% of the blend in all red wines and a combination of Syrah, Mourvedre, Llandoner Pelut and Grenache must account for at least 60% of the blend. St-Chinian itself is a small town at the heart of the Appelation which runs over arid mountainous terrain in the foothills of the Cevennes.

Corbières
A significant appel;ation in the Languedoc region, which produces excitingly dense and heavy red wines, a small amount of rose and increasingly well made whites from more than 29,000 acres of vineyards. Situated in the foothills of the Pyranese the terrain is very varied which makes generalising about soil types and topography particularly difficult. Therefore in the 1990s the appellation was sub divided into two zones. In short the southernmost corner is between costal zones influenced by the Mediterranean, the westernmost wineyards are effected both by the Atlantic and by altitude.
Carignan is the dominant variety, making up over half of all vines planted. Warmer parts of Corbières can also ripen Mourvedre on a regular basis, however planting of Syrah and Cinsault are less common than in neighbouring Minervois.

Fitou
Fitou was granted the Languedoc's first appellation in 1948 and consists of two enclaves bisected by the Corbières appellation. The clay-limestone soils of Fitou Maritime are quite different from the more schistic soils of the more mountainous, inland Fitou. Co-operatives play an extremely important role in Fitou with the Mont Tauch co-operative in Tuchan (the oldest in Languedoc) being responsible for over 50% of all production. Carignan is the dominant grape variety as in neighbouring Corbières but must not constitute more than 70% of the blend. Grenache also features as does Mourvèdre in Fitou Maritime and Syrah in Fitou Montagneux.

Picpoul de Pinet
Picpoul de Pinet is one of the most dynamic named crus of the Coteaux du Languedoc and is unique in that only one grape variety is used to make its signature green-gold, full-bodied, lemon-flavoured wines from Picpoul Blanc grapes. Picpoul or Piquepoul literally translates as 'lip-stinger', alluding to the grape's naturally high acidity. Given its status as one of France's few varietally named ACs, Picpoul de Pinet has become increasingly popular and sales of this refreshingly zesty wines have surged.

WOTW: Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010Date published: 14/09/11

Viña Errázuriz was founded by Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 kms north of Chile's capital city, Santiago. 140 years on, one of his descendants, Eduardo Chadwick, is now at the helm and is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Dedicated to producing wines of excellent quality, Errázuriz places an emphasis on the delicate handling of wines to produce elegant, complex wines. Errázuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine.”

The La Escultura vineyard is located in the Casablanca Valley, a stone's throw away from the Pacific Ocean and thus benefits from a maritime influence with cool coastal breezes that aid a steady ripening of the grapes which help to preserve their flavours and ensure a good level of acidity.

Intense grassy and tropical aromas on the nose are coupled with zesty citrus fruit on the palate. Refreshing acidity and a fantastic length make this a great alternative to the en vogue New Zealand Sauvignon.

Match with Puff pastry-wrapped salmon coulibiac with basil and spring onions for a match made in heaven!

WOTW: Kanonkop Kadette 2010Date published: 13/09/11

The Kanonkop Estate has been described by those in the know as being the South African equivalent of a Premier Cru or First Growth and international awards accumulated over more than a decade have gone a long way to substantiate these claims.

Located in the heart of The Cape, Stelenbosch is renowned for producing some of the worlds finer wines. In particular Bordeaux style wines. 'The Kadette' is Kanonkops second label. A blend of 50% plus Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Matured in 225 litre French Nevers barrels for up to 16 months.

Displaying a lovely ruby colour in the glass, a vibrant nose shows plenty of ripe raspberries, black currant and mocha flavours on the nose and has dark chocolate and blackberry fruit on the palate. Good length with a dry finish.

Food match: Make the most of the dying days of our British summer and enjoy this with some barbequed lamb studded with garlic and rosemary.

£10.99, buy 2 save 20%, £8.79 per bottle

A special year in Champagne...Date published: 10/09/11

As a languages student, part of my degree consisted of leaving the confines of university and embarking on a year abroad. After 5 months living in the south of Spain, I was extremely lucky to then spend 6 months working at a Champagne house in Bouzy (about 20 minutes from Epernay). 6 months simply was not enough in this wonderful part of Champagne and I have subsequently returned many times, including for the harvest in 2009 and 2010.

Les vendanges (harvests) are a wonderful part of the year, where the past 11 months' hard work, dedication and attention come to fruition. However, weather conditions earlier on in the year play a huge part as too little rain can lead to the grapes not achieving maximum ripeness but too much rain in the weeks leading up to the harvest can cause the grape skins to burst from absorbing too much water. 2010 suffered from the latter conditions – the summer was extremely hot and dry until the 3rd week in August when the region was hit by heavy rains that continued until the harvest. The grapes consequently ripened unevenly and rot posed a huge problem.

2011, on the other hand, is already shaping up to be a vintage year. Plenty of sunshine in spring and after flowering along with sufficient rainfall in the early summer months have lead to perfect ripeness, both in terms of the sugar content (which will be converted into alcohol during the fermentation process) and phenolic ripeness of the pips. Consequently, the harvest started a full 3 weeks earlier than normal and in many crus picking commenced on the 22nd August. Although we won't know the true quality of this year's grapes for some time – blending of the still wines this winter to make each house's “style” will give us an indication but ultimately we will need to wait several years for the champagne to undergo its secondary fermentation (which makes it bubbly) to discover its true potential.

To celebrate what could be a bumper vintage year for Champagne, I have selected the best of our vintage champagnes currently on offer:

Taittinger 2004 £35 when you buy any 2 selected champagnes (£40 single bottle price)

Made from 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay exclusively from first pressings, Taittinger Vintage is aged for 4 years before release. A wonderfully complex champagne, aromas of brioche and fresh fruit continue on to the palate along with notes of plum and greengage.

Moët & Chandon Grande Vintage 2002 £45 when you buy any 2 selected champagnes (£50 single bottle price)

Usually all three of the main Champagne grape varieties, this Grande Vintage is a blend of 50% Chardonnay with £34% Pinot Noir and 16% Pinot Meunier. 2002 was a classic vintage with fruit and acidity perfectly balanced with secondary characteristics of toast and brioche. Full-bodied, well-structured and with an elegant finish this champagne is drinking superbly now but will continue to improve over the next 5 years (if you can wait that long)!

Or, for everyday drinking, why not try the Heidsieck Gold Top 2005 £20? This deliciously soft, rich champagne oozes elegance and displays citrus and apple notes on the palate as well as lick of vanilla.

Our Autumn PicksDate published: 31/08/11

As the Summer comes to an end and the barbeques are put back in to the garage for another year, here at Majestic Stratford we're desperate for a bit of sunshine! Our thoughts have naturally turned to South Africa, Argentina and Spain. Unfortunately a quick trip isn't on the cards, but we can bring you our selection of the best offers from these fabulous wine-making regions along with a classic New Zealand white to help you maximise any leftover days of Summer in the good ol' UK!

James: Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvingon Blanc 2010, 8.49 when you buy 2 bottles.
Classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc jam packed with Elderflower and Gooseberry notes. The grapes for this wine have been sourced from the very best vineyards across the Marlborough region and this really reflects in the overall quality. An unexpected level of extra depth has been added by a brief spell on its lees during fermentation and this really helps to elevate this wine from the rest of the chasing pack.

Jon: Pazo Señorans Albariño 2010, Rias Baixas, £13.99 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines.
Winging its way from the low-lying coastal area of Rias Baixas in Northern Spain this is a great example of the Albariño grape variety. The regular rainfall and warm temperatures lead to a long ripening season which helps accentuate the qualities of this grape. Aromatic blossom on the nose gives way to a refreshing dash of citrus, peach and apple on the palate. A Spanish white that will match well with all manner of tapas dishes, particularly those featuring seafood such as hake or squid.

Rachel: DMZ Syrah 2009 De Morgenzon, Stellenbosch, £7.99 when you buy any 2 South Africa wines.
This new arrival comes from young vines in De Morgenzon's own estate, situated in the upper reaches of the Stellenboschkloof. The grapes are hand-picked, fermented in stainless steel tanks and then transferred to French oak barrels and matured for 11 months. Lashings of plum, blackberry and cherries dominate the nose with notes of cinnamon and vanilla in the background. Try with grilled lamb steak with rosemary butter and chargrilled broccoli for a match made in heaven!

Dave: Alamos Malbec 2010 Catena, £7.99 when you buy any 2 Argentinean wines
This wine might not be a new arrival in the Majestic range but it's certainly on a new and improved offer. Coming from Mendoza, the biggest wine producing region in the country, this terrificly easy-drinking Malbec offers up plenty of blackberries and raisins on the palate backed up by ample body and smooth, sweet tannins. Drinking well now, this would accompany all manner of roast meats. Perfect for a Sunday Roast!

Super-sized Spain!Date published: 31/08/11

Here at Majestic Stratford we love throwing a good dinner party and getting together with friends and sharing a great bottle of wine. As the evenings draw in and thoughts turn from barbeques to hearty roasts and stews, there is one crowd-pleaser that never fails to impress  - Rioja. One bottle is rarely enough for a dinner party so why not give one of our Rioja magnums a try this autumn, guaranteed to add a touch of opulence to your meal and marry fantastically with all roasted red meats.

Here are our top 3 offerings:

If a younger more fruit driven Rioja is what you're after we have Marques de la Concordia Crianza 2004 (£11.99 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines; £14.99 single bottle price). Bursting with strawberry & raspberry fruits and just a hint of vanilla this is a real stunner that would suit a range of dishes.

For the more classic Rioja lover we also stock Marques de Riscal Reserva 2005 (£22.00 down from £30.00). Demonstrating a fantastic balance between summer fruits and the classic secondary characteristics of leather and cigar box that we associate with Rioja, this would be a perfect match to roast lamb.

And finally for something a little spicier, why not opt for Rioja Reserva 2002 Casa del Comendador, Lagunilla (£13.99 when you buy any 2 Spanish wines; £17.49 single bottle price)? Spicy, earthy notes dominate the nose with hints of coffee and pipe tobacco in the background. Soft red forest fruits explode on the palate leading to a lingering, spicy finish. Try with braised oxtail for a match made in heaven!

WOTW: Winemaker’s Lot Cabernet Sauvignon BlendDate published: 31/08/11

More than 125 years have passed since Don Melcher Concha y Toro started his company which now produces wines sold all over the world. With its ideal climate and geography Chile has many advantages stacked in its favour when it comes to the production of quality wines. A small domestic market has resulted the prevalence of the main international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay amongst others.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape with perhaps the widest reputation for the production of red wine. Whilst the classic grape of the Medoc in Bordeaux it is also widely planted throughout the new world. It typically gives low yields of full-bodied, high tannin wines which age well. The classic blackcurrant flavour is bolstered in the warmer climate of Chile by black cherry and olive. This example from the Maipo Valley highlights vines from the famous Puente Alto vineyard and really shows off the classic Cabernet Sauvignon characteristics in a terrific blended wine incorporating Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot into the finished wine.

Displaying a lovely ruby colour in the glass, a vibrant nose shows plenty of the black fruit to come on the palate. On the palate rich tones of blackcurrant and cherry spring to the fore with well integrated tannins. Satisfying and easy to drink.

Food match: Roast beef with freshly baked potatoes and thick gravy.

£12.49, buy 2 save £7, £8.99 per bottle

The Finer Things...Date published: 26/08/11

It's always nice when you get to sample the finer things in life. We here at Majestic Stratford had been saving our pennies and vouchers and all chipped in to end the week in truly fine style this past Sunday. What ensued was an evening of fine dining and even finer wine.

Starter: Goat's Cheese Salad à la Jon.
Whilst Jon's dish was a great way to kick off proceedings the real star was the Sancerre Alphonse Mellot 2008 (£32 per bottle). The herbaceous nose follows through onto a delicious palate of pears and stoney fruit. Whilst it could pair easily with a whole host of food matches it really went down well with the goat's cheese and topped off a great start to the evening. Yum!

Main: Roasted Pork with Sweet Potatoes, Mangetout, Gravy and Crackling
James, who was hosting the event, was tasked with the main course. At this time it was only right that we pulled out the big guns: Château Cos D'Estournel 2002 (£95 per bottle), Tignanello 2007 Antinori (Price £70 per bottle) and Pouilly-Fuissé 'Vers Pouilly' 2009 (£25 per single bottle buy 2 save £2, £24). With a classic Bordeaux heading up the list we thought nothing would compliment it better than a good ol' Sunday roast. The Château Cos D'Estournel was the perfect accompaniment with it's mature and soft blackcurrant, licorice and cedar wood palate bouyed by sumptuous red fruit flavours and coupled with soft smooth tannins. The Tignanello also impressed with its ripe and vibrant blackberry fruit and lingering length on the palate. This was our first 'Super Tuscan' and we were duly impressed. The Pouilly-Fuissé 'Vers Pouilly also excelled with its purity of fruit and subtle apircot and mineral flavours.

Dessert: Rachel's Homemade Pear & Amaretto Cheesecake
By this point of the evening we were all gearing up for the dessert wines we had selected: Dr Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese 2006 Mosel Quarter-Bottle (£10.99 per bottle) with its luscious honeyed fruits and long finish. Sweet but never too heavy. Also the Rustenberg Straw Wine 2010 Half-Bottle (£12.49 buy 2 save £5, £9.99 per bottle), made from grapes that have been laid out and dried on Straw mats for 4 weeks weighed in with rich marmalade and sweet apricot flavours and a satisfying length. Both went superbly with Rachel's cheesecake and we were well and truly impressed by all our wines thus far.

Cheese: Staffordshire Blue, Stichelton and Langres
To round off the meal we had selection of cheeses. Hailing from Champagne we thought the soft Langres would be a great match for our final wine of the evening, Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2002 Louis Latour (£35 per bottle). An elegant Grand Cru red from Burgundy displaying subtle cherry fruit and a bouquet of wild mushroom. Whilst it could probably improve with further bottle aging we weren't prepared to wait and are pleased to report it's drinking excellent right now.

All in all it was a wonderful evening. Great food and fabulous wines. Here's to the next Majestic Stratford fine wine evening.

WOTW: Domaine Tranquillite 2009Date published: 24/08/11

The Languedoc region in Southern France is the source of some of the best value wines around. In style they are typically spicy, full-bodied reds with a a great range of potential food matches. This stunning example comes from from acclaimed Bordeaux winemaker Bernard Magrez.

This particular wine is somewhat of a hybrid, using the traditional grape varities of Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and blending them with varities more associated with the Languedoc, namely Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Bernard Magrez employs techniques such as hand harvesting and individual berry selection to ensure the highest level of quality is achieved.

Notes of black fruit and cherry dominate the nose with hints of leather, liquorice and spice in the background. Black cherry and strawberry explode on the palate, supported by ample tannins, giving a lingering finish.

Food match: Lamb and paprika kebabs served with couscous salad.

WOTW: Chateau de Sours Rose 2010Date published: 17/08/11

For many, Bordeaux is synonÉymous with high quality red wines (often referred to as 'claret'), yet it is also home to some prestigious whites and desert wines as well as some impressive rosés. Recently renovated, the winery at Château de Sours can be dated back to 1792 and sits amidst an impressive 80 hectare property, which yields some 850,000 bottles a year.

The vines of the Château average 40 years of age and produce a modest yield of the high quality fruit needed for the production of premium wines. A varied terroir of deep limestone and clay throughout the vineyards leads leads to fruit driven wines of great mineral complexity and balance. Regular de-leafing and tending by hand throughout the year by the skilled workforce help concentrate the intrinsic character of the terroir into the best possible fruit. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc really showcases what this winery has to offer.

With a punchy nose of ripe red fruits packed in with a little bubblegum, this fantastic wine from Bordeaux delivers with plenty of strawberry and plum on the pallet. Rounded off by a good length this versatile wine will match well with food. A real summer classic.

Food match: Ideal on a warm day served with a selection of cold meats, or pâtes .

WOTW: Marques De La Concordia Reserva 2006Date published: 16/08/11

Hailing from Rioja, Spain's most renowned wine making region, this fabulous wine combines New World wine making style with classic Old World terroir. A full-flavoured wine which can be enjoyed now and that will also reward careful cellaring.

Protected by inclement weather on three sides by surrounding mountains, Rioja has become a major player in the world of wine ever since phylloxera destroyed the vineyards of Bordeaux and many of the leading winemakers and merchants migrated to the region to ply their trade in fresh soils. Made solely with the Tempranillo grape, which produces strawberry scented wines low in acidity that age well, this Reserva style has been aged in new American and French oak casks for 24 months prior to bottling. This careful aging helps draw out many of the secondary flavour charracteristics which are often associated with Riojas.

Hints of vanilla are the first thing to hit you on the nose leading to notes of cherries and dried fruit. On the palate, a refreshing acidity and firm tanins. The cherries and vanilla follow through from the nose with a bit of added strawberry.

Food Match: A butterflied leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary cooked on the barbeque and simply served with new potatoes and a fresh green salad would be the perfect partner to this sensational Spaniard.

£11.99 Buy two or more save £8, £7.99

A Polish DelightDate published: 07/08/11

Having spent a fascinating six months living and working in Poland I thought I should share with our customers one of the hidden gems of our range which it may often be easy to overlook: Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka. If you like vodka or are looking to expand your hozizons then you can't go wrong with this intriguing spirit.

Celebrating my 26th birthday at the local steak house in my then home-town of Tarnów, approximately one hour east of Krakow, my work colleagues presented me with a rather conspicuos looking bottle of vodka. I say conspicuous because I had not previously come across any vodka bottles that come with their own sleeping jackets! Unzipping the jackets revealed a slightly pale olive looking vodka with a single blade of bison grass lurking within. From the last primeval forest in Europe in Bialoieza, this intensely aromatic plant brings a lovely freshness to the smooth drinking vodka. Żubrówka was an instant hit with both myself and my friends.

Chilled in the freezer this vodka can be drunk neat without a hint of the harshness that often accompanies more inexpensive vodkas. However, the classic match, as advised by my hosts, is with apple juice. The slight sweetness of the juice is a pefect foil for the pervading hints of coconut, vanilla and almonds.

Here at Majestic we sell this vodka (complete with furry sleeve) at a cracking price of just £19.00. Next time you pop by your local Majestic, look out for it on the shelves behind the till – it shouldn't be too hard to see....

A Guide to the Languedoc - Part DeuxDate published: 03/08/11

It's time for our second installment of our guide to the Languedoc. In this follow up arrticle we shall explore another appelation and get beneath the tip of the metaphorical iceberg that is the Languedoc.

Corbieres

A significant appelation in the Languedoc region, which produces excitingly dense and heavy red wines, a small amount of rose and increasingly well made whites from more than 29,000 acres of vineyards. Situated in the foothills of the Pyranese the terrain is very varried which makes generalising about soil types and topography particularly difficult. Therefore in the 1990s the appelation was sub divided into two zones. In short the southernmost corner is between costal zones influenced by the Mediterranean, the westernmost wineyards are effected both by the Atlantic and by altitude.

Carignan is the dominant variety, making up over half of all vines planted. Warmer parts of Corbieres can also ripen Mourvedre on a regular basis, however planting of Syrah and Cinsault are less common than in neighbouring Minervois.

A particular in-store favourite is the Blasson D'Aussieres from the Bordeaux power house Domaines Barons de Rothschild. At £9.99 we think this wine is a bargain.

 

WOTW: Roero Arneis Marco PorelloDate published: 03/08/11

Roero is situated in the Piedmont region in north west Italy and takes its name from the villages of Montaldo Roero, Monteu Roero and Santo Stefano Roero. Lying on the left bank of the river Tanaro, Roero benefits from fertile sandy soils and a long ripening period in the summer, making it the perfect region to grow the Arneis grape.

Arneis, also sometimes called Barolo Bianco, is a dry, scented varietal wine that was traditionally used to soften Nebbiolo. After being on the verge of disappearing in the 1970s, Arneis experienced a huge resurgence in popularity in the 1980s, especially amongst the Piedmont producers. Arneis gives light wines with a refreshing wines and are best drunk young, when they display aromatic blossom and citrus notes.

A classic Italian nose of citrus and green apple lead into a pallet of tropical and stone fruit with just hint of a waxy finish.

Food Match: This fantastically refreshing wine would be the perfect partner to goat's cheese and basil ravioli in a lemongrass scented prawn broth!

New WOTW: Blason d'Aussières 2007/2008 Corbières Date published: 28/07/11

 

The Languedoc region in Southern France is the source of some of the best value wines around. In style they are typically spicy, full-bodied reds with a a great range of potential food matches. This stunning example comes from one of the most esteemed and prestigious names in the world of wine.
 

The ancient Château was revived by Domaines Barons de Rothschild in 1997. Most widely associated with its premium Bordeaux wines the expertise at their disposal is clearly evident in this fabulous second wine of Château d'Aussières. Like most other red wines from the Corbières region this is a blend of Rhone grape varieties: Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. However, extra subtlty and complexity is gained by ageing apprioximately 20% of the blend in oak for up to a year prior to bottling.
 

Spice and ripe bramble fruits dominate the nose whilst on the palate smooth tannins accompany this surprsingly easy-drinking wine. The rich and persistant finish is a sure sign of quality.


Food Match: Steak with black pepper and mushroom sauce served alongside a bed of homemade chips.

Price £9.99 per bottle

A Guide to the Languedoc - Part 1Date published: 28/07/11

In this occasonal guide we are aiming to tell you a little bit more about the myriad of Appelations within the Languedoc: perhaps the  most diverse and exciting area of France for wine production.

Pic-St-Loup

Situated north of Montpellier, typically Pic-St-Loup wines will be made up of a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre which is unusual in that the majority of the appelations in the Languedoc have a tendancy towards Carignan. About 5000 hectares are able to produce Appelation quality wine and Pic-St-Loup is considered to be one of the more succesful of the Appelations within the Languedoc.

St-Chinian

A much more diverse Appelation that produces red, rose and white wines from diverse selection of mainly Rhone Varietals. Carignan may account for no more than 40% of the blend in all red wines and a combination of Syrah, Mourvedre, Llandoner Pelut and Grenache must account for at least 60% of the blend. St-Chinian itself is a small town at the heart of the Appelation which runs over arid mountainous terrain in the foothills of the Cevennes.

These 2 Appelations are just the tip of the iceberg so keep an eye out for the next article and join us as we get to know these Appelations a little better.

Chinon Clos De Danzay - Wine of the weekDate published: 21/07/11

This fabulously expressive red comes from one of the most well established vineyards in Chinon. Although quintessentially a wine of refreshment this wine has benefited from a significant amount of bottle ageing.

Across the Loire Valley Chinon AC is widely regarded as the pre-eminent red wine producing Appellation. The dominance of Cabernet Franc adds a level of rusticity which requires a period of bottle ageing. This is in addition to the 18-24 months of barrel ageing which it has already undergone prior to bottling. Whilst similar to Cabernet Sauvignon it is much better suited to the cooler climate of the Loire Valley and where it couples a juicy fragrance to light tannins and crisp acidity.

The nose comes alive with hints of blueberry, cherries and dashes of vanilla. This mature nose follows through onto the light-bodied palate of blackberries with smooth tannins.

Food match: Breast of wood pigeon and sweet potato rosti with buttered savoy cabbage and red wine sauce

WIne of the Week: Aigues Vives Corbieres 2007Date published: 14/07/11

The name of this estate is derived from 'Agua Viva', the Roman thermal baths that once stood on this site, whose underground water supply today quenches the otherwise arid soils. The modern winery was developed by Phillipe Dourthe but is now owned by Gérard Bertrand.

Whilst the varied terrain of the region makes it difficult to generalize about the topography of the vineyards, Corbières has built a reputation for producing a wide range of excitingly dense, herby red wines. The dominant grape variety in the region is Carignan, but an increasing number of differing vines are being planted which ensure that grapes varieties such as: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre now make upwards of 50% of the blend in red wines produced.

With delightful nose of rose petals, mixed red fruits and a light sprinkling of white pepper this great value wine delivers an abundance of intriguing flavours. The palate comes alive with vibrant blackberry and cassiss accompanied healthy tannins

Food Match: A versatile wine that will complement all ranges of dishes from grilled red meats to hard cheeses.

'Vino-licious': Spanish tipple and why I think Riojas Rock!Date published: 10/07/11

Over the past few years I've been fortunate enough to have experienced living and working abroad in a variety of roles having spent stints in France, Spain and Poland. This has provided me with ample opportunity to indulge in some of the national dishes and beverages of my host nation. From fine Parisian risotto to indulgent pierogi in Kraków.

In 2007 I spent three months on a work experience scheme in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Whilst the work was tough and demanding (a late rise in the morning, followed by a five minute stroll to the beach before a midday siesta and then working in the afternoon till early evening) there was plenty of time to sample good cuisine. Cold beers were essential, and what could be more quintessentially Spanish than San Miguel. Light and refreshing so it didn't bog you down in the hot weather, but also with enough of a crisp flavour to pair up with some paella or tapas late into the evening. Here at Majestic, we're selling San Miguel in 24 x 330ml cases for just £25.92 (£1.09 per bottle).

Fast forward a few years and I'm in Barcelona, Catalonia on a training course. In January and February the summer heat is yet to arrive but the days are pleasant and refreshing. A lunch time seat on the cobbles of Las Ramblas with tapas and a glass of Hidalgo Manzanilla La Gitana NV Sherry really hits the spot. Things get better when I discover a local café away from the tourist crowds that sells a glass of beer, sherry or wine and a plate of tapas for just €1.00! We're currently offering a saving on 2 or more bottles of this delicious, tapas-accompanying customer favourite bringing it down to just £8.49 when you buy 2 or more bottles.

I often say to customers and colleagues that it was a Rioja that first got me 'into' wine in a serious way. Up until my university days I had been very much a buy-on-price kind of a guy who never read the labels, looked at grape varieties etc. That all changed with my first bottle of Rioja Crianza Vendimia Seleccionada 2007 Marqués de Cáceres (currently down to £9.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles) , given to me by a good (Spanish) friend. This opened up a whole new and intriguing world and soon after that I began to seek a greater understanding of the different varieties of grapes, styles and production techniques employed by wine producers. Working for a company like Majestic has certainly given me a chance to try all sorts of fascinating wines from all over the world. However, it's always Rioja I come back to.

Rioja is the leading wine producing region in Spain and predominately outputs red wine, of which there are three main categories: Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. These are references to the ageing undergone by these wines and these different ageing criteria give rise to the delicious range of styles and flavours emanating from the region.

Crianzas must be aged for a minimum of 2 years, with at least 6 months of that total time spent in oak casks. We've currently got a stunning offer on Rioja Crianza 2007 Viña Eguia with its ripe fruit flavours and subtle hints of oak integration bringing notes of vanilla to the palate.
Price: £4.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Reservas, meanwhile, must have had 3 years of ageing, one full year of which must have been in oak casks. This extra ageing helps bring out more of the secondary flavours to the nose and palate. The Rioja Reserva 2005 Viña Eguia offers staggering value on a wine now with 6 years of ageing throwing up hints of clove on the nose and ripe red fruits and a dash of spice on the palate.
Price: £5.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Finally, Gran Reservas offer up some of the most exciting and delectable wines of Rioja. Only produced in exceptional vintages these are not available until they've had at least 5 years of ageing, 2 of which is had in traditional oak barrels. Coming to the fore in these wines are elegant characteristics such as the classic cigar box notes on the nose and the elegant stewed fruits on the palate. Complex and full of character these wines really highlight this fabulous wine-making region. Look no further than the Rioja Gran Reserva 1999/2001 Bodegas Muriel with its subtle elegance of cedar and leather on the nose and lingering length on the palate.
Price: £9.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Of course, I've barely touched the surface of our range of Spanish wines here at Majestic. With many more available on our website or in store I'm sure you will agree with me that Spain really is a veritable treasure trove of fascinating offerings.

Hasta luego
 

Jane MacQuitty recommends Majestic's stunners!Date published: 07/07/11

Here at Majestic, we are always proud of the diversity and exceptional quality of our wines but it is nevertheless fantastic when wine critics recommend our wines too! For the past 2 weekends in The Times, Jane MacQuitty has recommended her 50 best white and red wines for the summer, from everyday drinking to something a little bit special. If you missed either of the articles, here's a quick recap of our wines featured:

Best white wines for summer:

Under £6

2010 Vignobles des Aubas, Côtes de Gascogne, Duffour - £5.99 when you buy 2

2010 The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, Waihopai River, Marlborough, New Zealand - £5.99 when you buy 2 (price valid until 18th July)

Under £12

2010 Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa - £9.99 when you buy 2

2009 Main Divide Riesling, Waipara Valley, New Zealand - £9.99 when you buy 2

2010 McGuigan The Shortlist Chardonnay, Adealide Hills, Australia - £11.99 when you buy 2

2010 Chapel Down Bacchus, Tenterden, England - £9.49

Under £25

2010 Pouilly-Fuissé Terroirs Rares, Vin de Bourgogne, Christophe Cordier - £17.99 when you buy 2

2009 Puligny Montrachet, Jean-Louis Chavy, France - £25

Best rosé

2010 Domaine Begude, Pinot Rosé, Pays d'Oc, France - £7.99 when you buy 2

 

Best red wines for summer:

Under £6

2010 La Vieille Ferm Côtes du Ventoux, Perrin, France - £5.99 when you buy 2 (until 18th July)

2008 Domaine Tranquillité, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Bernard Magrez, France - £5.99 when you buy 2

2009 Yali National Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile - £5.99 when you buy 2 (until 18th July)

2007 Syrah, Vin de Pays d'Ardèche, Cave Saint Desirat, France - £5.99 when you buy 2

Under £8

2007 Château Aigues Vives, Cuvée d'Exception, Corbières, Gérard Bertrand, France - £6.99 when you buy 2

2009 Gaillard Syrah, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, France - £7.99 when you buy 2

2007 Château La Rose Chatain, Lalande-de-Pomerol, Yvon Mau, France - £7.99 when you buy 2

Under £12

2007 Domaine de Mercey Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise, France - £11.99 when you buy 2

Under £25

2009 Duckhorn Decoy Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California - £19.99

2007 Réserve de la Comtesse, Pauillac, Bordeaux - £25 (until 18th July)

Fantastic new Wine of the Week: Macon-Lugny, Louis Latour 2009Date published: 06/07/11

Maison Louis Latour is one of the most highly-respected négociant-éléveurs in Burgundy with a history of viticulture dating back to 1797. The family-run company have the largest Grand Cru property in the Cote d'Or with vineyards stretching from Chambertin in the north to Chevalier-Montrachet in the south, solely growing the two noble grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
 

Of the 42 villages that belong to the Mâcon-Villages appellation, the finest is without a doubt Mâcon-Lugny. Benefiting from limestone soils and a warm climate, Lugny produces rich, buttery wines with the typicity and style of the Mâcon.

Notes of apricot and peach dominate the nose along with hints of lychee and citrus becoming more apparent on the palate. With tones of honeysuckle in the background, this is a complex, well-integrated medium-bodied wine.

Although ideal as an apéritif, this wine would be the perfect match to a chicken and pea risotto or steamed fillets of sea bass with a leek coulis, delicious!
 

Wine of the Week: Montes Alpha MerlotDate published: 29/06/11

Montes Alpha was the first of the Chilean premium wines and remains the spectacular wine it has always been. The range includes a Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and recently the Alpha Carmenere

This Merlot has a deep, intense red colour. On the nose it presents red berry aromas, especially cherry and strawberry, accompanied by interesting floral notes which are perfectly blended with the coffee and tobacco flavours developed from its twelve months of oak ageing.

On the palate it’s a full-bodied wine of great finesse with a long, smooth and pleasant finish.

The grapes mostly come from their now famous “La Finca de Apalta” Estate in the Apalta Valley, reputed to be the best for red wines in Chile.

Food Match:Perfect for hearty beef dishes or Summer BBQs!

Just Desserts Date published: 22/06/11

I like to bake!! I know it’s not that cool and I’m sure there are more constructive things I could do with my time off but there we have it. I like to bake not just for the sweet and savoury treats that come out of the oven but also for the wine that I can match to my creations.

Baking has given me the opportunity to indulge in not one but two of my favourite vinous pleasures! Firstly it lets me pour a chilled glass of dry Sherry as a trusted companion for my recipe and secondly it gives me a fantastic chance to pop a cork on a bottle of Dessert wine.

The Sherry choice that will help me to navigate the chosen recipe while I fold, knead, blend and mix is usually Hidalgo Manzanilla La Gitana, which is currently £8.49 when you buy 2 or more bottles. This beautiful example of Manzanilla is searing dry and delicate with a nose that almost transports you to the sea front in Sanlucar de Barrameda.

Once my creations have cooled down I’m always quick to pull a bottle of Concha y Toro Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc out of the fridge. This uncomplicated dessert wine has plenty of apricot and orange peel on the pallet and is a bargain at only £4.79 when you buy any 2 Chilean wines.

So why not try baking this weekend and if you haven’t been able to get to your local Majestic beforehand, a big mug of coffee and slice of cake is winner as well!

Wine of the weekDate published: 22/06/11

Gavi di Gavi 2010 La Toledana
Italy
 

Hailing from the village of Gavi in north west Italy this engaging Italian white wine really showcases the Cortese grape it is made from. With a delicious 'steeliness' to it, uncommon in other Italian wines, this is a great introduction to this region of the country.
 

The Piemonte region in Italy is renowned for its great dry white wines. None more so than the Town of Gavi, where the vines are heavily influenced by the limestone-rich southern hillside vineyards. In the case of the Cortese grape, the first mentions of which can be traced back to 1659, its use in the wines of Gavi has been carefully honed over the years. A good, clean acidity and flavours of ripe peaches and pears has made it a favourite with the fish restaurants of Genoa and the Ligurian coast not far to the south.
 

Intense freshly cut granny smith apples and citrus on the nose lead to a refreshing palate of peaches, apples and pears with a long mineraly finish.

 

Food Match: This Gavi would be the ideal partner to a nicoise salad or a nice piece of grilled monkfish.
 

The Midweek ChallengeDate published: 21/06/11

Not a day goes by where I don’t get set the challenge by a customer to put together a case of ‘everyday’ or ‘midweek’ wines. The only stipulation tends to be that the wines need to be between six and eight pounds and quite food friendly.

When trusted with this task I like to think about some of the classic midweek meals that are prepared up and down the country and then match my wine choices to them.

Italian food is relatively easy to cook and can be made quickly after a long day at the office. A lasagne or simple bowl of pasta with a tomato sauce or even a pizza are all great midweek fayre and with 20% off Italian wines this Summer they provide such an easy match. For these I would recommend Mandrielle Sangiovese Banfi. This superb example of Sangiovese is more than a match to rich tomato sauces and won’t break the bank at £6.79 when you buy 2 or more bottles.

Classic British meals often provide inspiration for us all during a long working week. Sausage and mash or Shepherds pie are always popular in my house and I like to pick reds with a little bit of body to match to the gravy in these dishes. Rioja is throwing up plenty of bargains at the moment and none more so than Rioja Reserva Vina Eguia 2005, which is currently reduced from £9.99 to £5.99 when you buy 2 or more.

During the summer there won’t be a household in the land that won’t take advantage of the long evenings by preparing a salad to enjoy in the garden with a glass of something cold and crisp. Weather permitting I would always recommend a zingy fruit driven New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and surely there are none better than The Ned Black Label Sauvignon Blanc 2010. This perennial Majestic favourite is currently reduced to £5.99 when you buy any 2 New Zealand wines.

For those people who like to indulge in something a bit spicier during the week like a Thai curry or a simple Stir-fry, I would always lean towards a white bursting with fruit and opulence like Cono Sur Gewurtztraminer 2010 from Chile. This enticing white with hints of lychee, blossom and marzipan is a steal at only £5.99 when you buy any 2 Chilean wines.

We love talking about food and wine matching and so the next time you’re in Majestic why not ask us what to match with dinner that night. Alternatively you can always contact us on twitter @majesticstrat and we’d be happy to advise.
 

Wine of the Week: Beaujolais Village TerriereDate published: 15/06/11

The wines from Beaujolais are all made from the Gamay grape variety. Gamay when coupled with the carbonic maceration technique gives a wine that is very light in body and fruity, a perfect summer red. Because of its lightness in body and almost non existent tanins beaujolais would be quite happy to be served slightly chilled. Beaujolais can be split into ten crus villages, Fleurie, Morgon and Brouilly to name three. Beaujolais village is given to a sub region within Beaujolais, this sub region contains all the cru villages. Any wine from this sub region but not from the cru villages will be labeled 'Beaujolais Village'.

From old vines on the border of the Brouilly cru, this is a Beaujolais-Villages wine with the depth and complexity of a top cru wine. The Château itself dates back to 1535, with grapes now used to make wines on the estate instead of being sold to negociants.

This village level wine brings the finese and elegance of a Fleurie and the depth and complexity of a Morgan. This wine has fresh red fruit aromas, particularly strawbery along with a slight earthiness. Further strawberry and cherry on the palate make this wine from the outstanding 2009 vintage a pleasure to drink.

Food match: Ideal on a warm day served with a selection of cold meats, or pâtes.

Wine of the Week - Château de Sours Rosé 2010 BordeauxDate published: 09/06/11

 

For many, Bordeaux is synoymous with high quality red wines (often referred to as 'claret'), yet it is also home to some prestigious whites and desert wines as well as some impressive rosés. This cracking rosé offers the flavour, finesse and the versatility needed for a Great British summer.

Recently renovated, the winery at Château de Sours can be dated back to 1792 and sits amidst an impressive 80 hectare property, which yields some 850,000 bottles a year. The vines of the Château average 40 years of age and produce a modest yield of the high quality fruit needed for the production of premium wines. A varied terroir of deep limestone and clay throughout the vineyards leads to fruit driven wines of great mineral complexity and balance. Regular de-leafing and tending by hand throughout the year by the skilled workforce help concentrate the intrinsic character of the terroir into the best possible fruit. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc really showcases what this winery has to offer.
 

With a punchy nose of ripe red fruits packed in with a little bubblegum, this fantastic wine from Bordeaux delivers with plenty of strawberry and plum on the pallet. Rounded off by a good length this versatile wine will match well with food. A real summer classic.
 

Food match: Ideal on a warm day served with a selection of cold meats, or pâtes .

£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Fine Wine FridayDate published: 02/06/11

Château Lynch-Moussas 2006 Pauillac

Hailing from Paulliac, on the left bank of Bordeaux, this months 'Fine Wine Friday' selection is the Château Lynch-Moussas 2006 Pauillac. Although 2006 did not live up to the excellent vintage the year before, this wine really bucks that trend.

Paulliac is located in the north of Haut-Medoc, between St. Estephe and St. Julien, and enjoys a maritime climate with the Gironde and Atlantic Ocean either side. This can increase humiditymaking noble rot an issue. This proximity to water does however, irradicate the risk of frost.

An array of different scents can be taken from the nose. Just some of those include liquorice, jammy blackcurrents and cigar box. This wine has been carefully aged in French oak, and one can really tell with the elegant vanilla flavourings running through that remain in balance with tobacco and black fruit notes. The tannins also remain in balance, making this wine very approachable for the experience and novice wine fans alike. This wine will be lingering in your mouth long after you drink it, a sign of a quality wine.

£25 a bottle as part of a mixed case.

DOMAINE DE L'AIGLE Pinot Noir 2008 Date published: 01/06/11

The founding principles behind Gérard Bertrand's wines date back to 1992, when at the end of his rugby career, Gérard decided to create a business reuniting the best winemakers of the Languedoc. The result is a range of high quality estates and wines, including this 2008 Pinot Noir.
 

The Domaine de l’Aigle is one of the highest vineyards in the Languedoc region. A fresh climate and slower harvest help the aromas of the grapes to develop, and aids the ageing process.
 

Red fruits and a pleasantly earthy note create an elegant yet slightly reserved nose that belies the full-bodied grab of the first sip. On the palate, well-integrated tannins and acidity vie for attention, before fading into the classical Pinot Noir finish promised by the nose.
 

Food match: An indulgent pheasant casserole, or lamb steaks smothered in a redcurrant glaze.

£99.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 or more bottles
 

New Australian Parcel now in-storeDate published: 30/05/11

Here at Majestic in Stratford we have just received a new parcel with some exceptional value Australian white wines, perfect for this summer's BBQ antics. So why not pop in-store and check them out and BBQ how the Aussies intended it to be done.

Crocodile Rock Chardonnay £3.99

Such a versatile wine, this will be a great partner to that BBQ chicken that will no doubt be just on the black side of burnt. Stone Fruits and apples will also found in abundance.

Somerton Semillon Sauvignon 2008 Miranda £4.49

A family run winery entering its 3rd generation, this is a real bargain. Big gooseberries and citrus flavours will refresh your palate and leave you wanting more and more.

Heritage Road Moonstone Sauvignon Blanc £4.99

Based in the Lower Hunter Valley, Heritage Road is part of the Mcguigan family. The grapes for this wine are purposefully harvested at night so that we can enjoy a crisp and refreshing acidity.

Nepenthe Tryst Red £4.99

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Zinfandel, this wine is a real gem. All of the wines were vinified separately, and hail from different corners of South Australia. A really interesting blend that will really match up to those spicy dishes you love, but struggle to find a wine that works.

Heritage Road Brut NV £5.49

Good value fizz for them impromptu celebrations.

Why not pop in-store and give them a go before its too late.

Wine of the Week: Grand Terrior MontpeyrouxDate published: 25/05/11

This delightful blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah is a wine the Languedoc can really be proud of. Gerard Bertrand is a real champion of the South of France, carefully selecting vineyards, vines and grapes that will really showcase the best of what the South of France has to offer.

With the cooling influence of the Mediterranean sea, and the sun and rain shelter of the Larzac mountains, the Terrior of the vineyard really is Grand. The influence both have on the continental climate makes the conditions prefect for the grapes. The Montpeyroux, which translates into stone mount, help moderate the heat overnight, allowing the chalky soil to produce great grapes for a great wine.


With a deep ruby red colour, this wine offers a luscious red fruit nose, with undertones of spice. On the palate waiting to be discovered are bitter cherries, with elements of red currents following on from the nose. A lovely spice completes this wine that will be lingering on the palate for a while after.


Food match: A BBQ Favourite, try with venison burger and melted mature cheddar cheese.
 

£8.99, down to £6.49 when you buy 2 or more bottles

Whatever the weatherDate published: 20/05/11

This year has seen some truly bizarre weather, making picking wine a lot more trivial then it needs to be. From 25 degrees heat in the blistering sunshine, to torrential rainfall that you stare at through the window whilst sitting next to the fire. The weather just has not made its mind up. But fear not, for here at Majestic Wine in Stratford we have devised a list of 5 top wines that will go down a treat no matter what it may be doing outside.

In at number 5 is;

Gerard Bertrand's Grand Terroir Montpeyroux. £7.49 when you buy two or more

This masterpiece is an ideal accompaniment to a blistering hot Sunday BBQ. This wine is a great match to any red meat cooked on the BBQ, as the soft tannins and great fruit character will really add a 3rd dimension. The only downfall in this scenario is the inlaws, but relax and let Gerard Bertrand haze then into the background, as you concentrate on the taste sensation that is this wine.

However, rarely does it happen that the British weather will keep such good form for any longer then an hour or two. But don't let that put you off. Let this very same wine dazzle you with its jammy autumn fruits after a long and cold day in the office. And when dinner is served, the spice running through the wine will stand up excellently well to that beef casserole that warms you up for next day (which will most likely include rain and work).

At 4:

L'Aigle Chardonnay 2008 £7.99 when you buy two or more

This creamy Languedoc wine never fails to impress. Whether its with Mild cheddar cheese sandwich on that picnic you've promised the kids, yet been trying to avoid for months, or a more traditional Sunday Chicken roast that seems just so fitting when the heavens open, and the flood warnings suddenly appear on the news. With its tropical fruit and full-bodied texture, it can really transform a simple sandwich into something rather special.

This full and creamy texture is also a classic match for a slowly roasted chicken, with all the trimmings. This really will make Grannies sprouts bearable.

Number 3 is;

Vinalba Reserve Malbec 2008 £8.99 when you buy two or more

As we return to the BBQ in the few hours of sun that we may get, the ultimate match must be this Malbec. A big juicy steak, and a glass of this really will take your mind of cleaning the BBQ the morning after the night before.

Equally amazing with a beef Wellington after a stressful day at work that has been capped off by a sudden downpour of thunder and lightening on your way home from work.

A valiant number 2;

Escarpment Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 £17.60 when you buy two or more NZ wines

Ideal for red and white drinkers alike. This Pinot Noir has a classy light body, with a flavour that will leave savouring the taste. After a hard days work this will help you escape the daily routine of work (for a while at least) as you lay back in the sun, working on your tan for the remaining moments of sunlight that the working day allows you to enjoy.

On the ironic off chance of rain this summer, write this Pinot off at your own pearel. Such a versatile wine that will go very well indeed with a crisp pork belly whilst the hail stones bounce against the windows.

At number 1 it could only be;

Domaines Baron de Rothschild Champagne £39

Come rain or shine, there is always something to celebrate! The most stylish way to do this is with this Champagne, owned by Chateau Lafite (one of the five 1st Growth Chateau of the 1855 classification in Bordeaux). So whether its an anniversary, a loved ones birthday, moving house, or promotion at work, let the Rothschild family seduce you  with this Champagne's elegance and finesse.

So there you have it, you don't always have to let the weather dictate what you drink. These options will see you right, whatever the weather maybe.

Wine of the Week - Brouilly Maison NeuvesDate published: 19/05/11

This offering is from the village of Brouilly, in Beaujolais. Beaujolais is in the very south of Burgundy, and accounts for no less then half of all wines produced in Burgundy. The village of Brouilly itself is one of only ten recognised villages in Beaujolais that produces wine of a distinct and individual Character.

The grape of this wine is Gamay, which has a particular affinity for the limestone based soil that can be found in the rolling hills of Beaujolais. The vines are free-standing and trained en goblet. That is, the leaves are left on the vine to shelter the grapes against the roaring sun of the French summer. The combination of the soil, and the training techniques, make for an light and elegant wine.

Sweet cherry and raspberry mark this out as a classic Beaujolais. The palate shows soft tannins and a balanced acidity on the finish.

Food match: Enjoy this beaujalais on its own or with a plater of cold meats.

Chateau Lafite-RothschildDate published: 16/05/11

The history of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild stretches as far back as 1355. However, no mention of the wines produced from the Chateau was made until 1641. Indeed it wasn't until the early eighteenth century that Chateau Lafite first earned the glowing reviews that we now have become accustomed to. The London Gazette have reviews of Lafite wines dating from 1707. Indeed it was not uncommon for Sir Robert Walpole to import Lafite wines into England in the late 1730's.

During the eighteenth century the Chateau was under the ownership of Marquis de Segur, who also owned the other great Chateau of Bordeaux, Chateau Latour. After Segur's death, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild was merely noted on an inventory as a 'Maison Noble'. From this moment onwards the ownership of Lafite becomes very complicated.

James Rothschild brought into the Chateau in 1868, and it is the Rothschild families intervention that has really propelled the Chateau to the status it enjoys today.

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild is now one of the most famous and prestigious Chateaux in all of Bordeaux, with over 9 hectares under vine, more then any other first growth vineyard in Bordeaux. In recent years Chateau Lafite-Rothschild have been experimenting with other wine producing regions around the world. Here are three of their most successful efforts:

Champagne Barons de Rothschild £39

This fantastic Champagne is exclusive to Majestic and offers exceptional value. It is dominated by the Chardonnay grape, offering a great finesse, yet maintaining a fine structure.

Blasson d'Aussieres £9.99

The vineyard's of Chateau Blasson d'Aussieres were restored to their former glory by Domaines Baron de Rothschild in 1997, and have not looked back since. This full-bodied wine offers a great black fruit intensity with an elegant olive finish.

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon £7.99

Outstanding value that will be sure to impress your guests. This Cabernet will not last long, with many already taking advantage of its elegance and Bordeaux roots.

And the winner is...Date published: 16/05/11

The whole team at Majestic Wine in Stratford would like to thank all of our guest judges (customers) who cast their vote over our 8 Eurovision finalists. Whilst there wasn't quite the glitz and glamour that many had to endure in Dusseldorf, there were some great wines that were enjoyed by all.

The entries were varied and spectacular, each in their own way. There was certainly something for everyone's taste buds, ranging from the Spanish entry of Berberana Reserva, to the more esoteric offering Hungary's dry furmint. There was definitely an eclectic range, similar to the "singing" competition, of which Azerbaijan will be hosting in 2012.

So, onto the results then.

It was a fiercely fought competition, both at the top and bottom, but as the competition went on, a clear winner was found. Congratulations to Italy, who in the end, were clear of joint second place (Hungary and Spain) by a full 15 points. In fourth place was Austria's Gruner, which seemed to be rated good by all. Austria will however be happy to have just piped their neighbours Germany to fourth.

So with Germany in fifth, the U.K. were resigned to another unsuccessful year of Eurovision. However, it gets worse for the patriots out there, The U.K were beaten to the post by both France and Portugal. So with the U.K bottom of the pile yet again, what is next for the home grown wines of the U.K..? All is not lost for British wine, just check out the Chapel Down Sparkling options for a start.

So Again, we congratulate Italy on their efforts, with notable respect being reserved for both Hungary and Spain. The winner of our prize draw for a bottle of the winner will be made shortly, with the winner being informed via e-mail.

Wine of the Week: Montes Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon/Carmenere Date published: 11/05/11


The near-perfect climate conditions in Chile have enabled its wine producers to fortify the country's position as the most important exporter of South American wines to the world market. The prevailing winds of the Pacific, long ripening seasons and virtually unlimited supplies of snowmelt from the Andes mountains, to supplement the relatively low rainfall, has led to an impressive line-up of wines emanating from Chile. With its small domestic market, wine makers in Chile cater largely for the internationally demanded varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Hailing from the “La Finca” estate in the Apalta Valley (a sub-denomination of Colchagua Valley) this blend of two famous grapes has been carefully combined in perfect proportions to allow the flavours and varietal nuances of each to compliment the other. Aged in American oak and undergoing a single soft filtering, this wine is ready to drink now but will also continue to develop, given careful cellaring, for at least another six years. To enjoy it at its best, try decanting roughly thirty minutes before serving

Displaying a vibrant bouquet of berry fruits and cassis this sumptuous wine delivers with a rich and full bodied flavour of blackcurrant and a subtle hint of chocolate.

Food match: Enjoy with a hearty dish of pasta with a rich meaty sauce.

£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 or more Chilean wines
 

Euro-vision Tasting EventDate published: 10/05/11

In honour of what can be one of the strangest spectacles in the European calendar, Majestic Stratford will be hosting our very own Euro-vision themed wine tasting .

We will be pitching wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and even England against each other. The winners and losers will be chosen by you.

To encourage you all to come into the store to try these fantastic wines we will be running a free draw to win a bottle of whichever wine gets the highest score from your votes.

We will ask you to rank the wines and leave an email address, your rankings will be collated then put into a box and at the end of the tasting we will draw a winner.

The results of our tasting event will of course be posted on our store homepage on the Majestic website (http://www.majestic.co.uk/stratforduponavon)

So who is in the competition?

 

England

Chapel Down Bacchus £9.49:

Complex aromas of rose petals, herbs and lychee on the nose; the palate
shows apple, pear and white pepper. Well balanced with crisp acidity on
the finish.

Hungary

Dry Furmint, Royal Tokaji £7.99

Well-defined aromatics comprising rich honey notes and stone fruits on
the nose. Plenty of acidity gives the palate crispness and bite, with
mineral tinges accenting the fruit-laden, exotic feel.

Austria

Grüner Veltliner, Weingärten Weissenkirchen £8.99

The colour of fresh straw, an alluring nose of gooseberries with a hint of
green apple and flowers. Well balanced acidity and citrus fruits leading
to a spicy, lively wine of minerality and elegance

Germany

Prince Von Hessen Riesling £7.99

Delicately dry, this pale, crisp Riesling displays green apple and apricot
fruit, with a fine, lingering minerality that gives a pleasant length.

Italy

San Gimignano Sangiovese £8.39

With a medium-full weight in the mouth and lashings of ripe red-cherry
fruit, this modern style of Sangiovese still maintains a classic backbone
of rounded tannins and sweet spice.

France

Givry Rouge 2008, Antonin Rodet

Bright garnet red, with an eye-catching luminosity. Aromas are of
raspberry and sour cherry, with restrained toasty notes. Slim and elegant
on the palate, with mature tannins.

Spain

Rioja Reserva 2006, Berberana £6.99

Deep ruby red, with delicious vanilla overtones backed up by juicy soft
strawberry and morello cherry flavours. Round and full, well balanced,
long and elegant.

Portugal

Malvis Douro Tinto £7.49

Full bodied and dense and lots of powerfull ripe black berry fruit, plums
and black cherries, mixed with sweet spices and hints of cedar.

Don't forget, your votes count so come down and take you revenge on all the Countries that will no doubt be awarding us 'nil points'!!

Louis LatourDate published: 05/05/11

The Latour company is unique in Burgundy in that after more than 200 years it remains family owned and family run, having been passed down from father to son for over ten generations. Maison Louis Latour is one of the most highly-respected négociants in Burgundy. Known across the globe for the quality of its red and white wines, the company has built a reputation for tradition and innovation.

 

Although the majority of the wine under the Louis Latour label are from burgundy, they also have a small number of red and whites from outside the region. Namely from the Ardèche and the Côteaux de Verdon which are both gaining serious recognition for the quality of wine from outside of the Burgundy region. (The Grand Ardeche Chardonnay and Valmoissine Pinot Noir to name two from the Majestic range)

 

The Latour family themselves have produced wine since the 17th century and in that time have accrued in the region of 125 acres. All of the grapes from the Latour estate are vinified and aged in the attractive cuverie of Château Corton Grancey in Aloxe-Corton. This was the first purpose-built cuverie in France and remains the oldest still-functioning. The winery boasts a unique railway system with elevators which allows the entire wine-making process to be achieved by the use of gravity. This eliminates the threat of oxidation from unnecessary pumping of the must.

Majestic carry a selection of Latour wines. Our favourites include:

Macon Lugny £9.99 each Buy 2 save £2  £8.99

Flowery bouquet of fruit and nuances of lemon - fresh and lively on the palate

Corton Grancy 2002 £35

This Grand Cru has a lovely garnet colour and a distinct nose packed with aromas of leather, spiced fruit and oak. In the mouth this bold wine has balanced acidity and tannin and explodes with flavours of cherries, candied fruits and vanilla all complimented by leather and oak notes.

And finally our feature wine:

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Truffieres £32

Deep yellow in colour, with a delicate and discreet bouquet of mango, tea and pepper. A generous and mellow wine which is already very expressive.

Hot Sausage SaladDate published: 03/05/11

As the days get longer and the temperature starts to rise why not try this simple little recipe?

Ingredients

1 medium pack of Charlotte potatoes

6 Sausages (Sun-dried tomato and pork works well)

A couple of hand fulls of Mange Tout

Grated Cheese

Method

Simply bring a pan of seasoned water to the boil then add the potatoes. While the potatoes are boiling put a wok on the hob and add a dash of olive oil. Chop the sausages into the wok and fry until they are sealed and starting to brown. At this point add the mange tout and continue to fry. The sausages and the mange tout should be cooked around the same time and so all you need to do at this point is drain the potatoes and add them to the wok. Toss the wok over a high heat for a minute or so and then transfer to bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Serves 3/4

Perfect served with a large glass of Gavi La Lancellotta. This dry and crisp Italian white will cut through the fat in the sausage but has enough tropical and citrus fruit characters so as not to be overwhelmed. Only £6.99 when you buy any 2 Italian wines.

Wine of the Week: Sistina PecorinoDate published: 29/04/11

Italy is home to a plethora of native grape varieties, of which Pecorino is a vine speciality of the Abruzzo region. This grape tends towards firm, dry, minerally white wines, and makes an interesting alternative to Italy's better known white grapes Pinot Grigio and Soave.

The Abruzzo region is located within East-Central Italy, stretching along the Adriatic Coast. The Mediterranean climate gives hot, dry summers and cool winters.

Crisp Granny Smith apples and hints of melon and grape dominate the palate along with a refreshing acidity and a long lingering finish.

Food Match: A traditional Carbonara.

£8.99 or £6.99 when you buy 2 and save £4

New Arrival - Jacquart L'OenothequeDate published: 25/04/11

Regular customers to Majestic have always known about the clean, well made elegance and value for money of Jacquart Brut Tradition NV or the charming breadiness of the Jacquart Brut Mosaique vintage but now there is a chance to discover a new limited edition Champagne from this ever reliable House.

The Brut Grand Millesime 2000 is an expression of one of the best vintages ever produced by the Champagne region. With grapes sourced predominantly from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards this represents one of the finest Cuvees in the Houses cellar.

The nose is an enticing mix of cherry blossom and maple syrup allied to hints of raspberries and ripe fresh plums. The same red fruits follow through onto the palate, this time with hints of white stone fruit.

Why not have a glass with tempura style langoustines?

Available in-store for a limited time only at £20 per bottle!

Royal Wedding Opening HoursDate published: 25/04/11

In the week leading up to the big day we will be open from 10am-8pm as normal but on the day of the Wedding (29th of April) we will be open standard Bank Holiday hours of 10am-5pm.

Royal Wedding FeverDate published: 23/04/11

In anticipation of the up coming royal wedding, Jane MacQuitty of The Times has put together her 30 best sparkling wines and Champagnes. Here at Majestic Stratford we have a whopping 11 in our range:

Champagne

  • G. Brenner Brut NV £13.99
  • Heidseick & Co Monopole gold top 2005 £17.99
  • Oeil de Perdrix NV Rose Brut £20
  • Pol Roger Reserve Brut NV £24.99
  • Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV £24.99
  • Laurent Perrier Brut 2002 £28
  • Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut NV £32
  • Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut Rose NV £39.99
  • Moet & Chandon Imperial rose Brut NV £40
  • La Grande Annee Bollinger Brut 2002 £60
  • Dom Perignon Brut 2002 £90

In-store we would like to also highlight the following reduce prices;

  • Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut NV £29 (down from £34)
  • Bollinger Special Cuvee NV £30 (down from £37)

Sparkling Wines

  • Extra Cuvee Seleccionada Codorniu Brut NV £5.99 when you buy 2 or more
  • Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blancs £7.99 (Open to taste on the Tasting Counter this weekend)

Also...

Just arrived, we now have Gratien & Meyer Saumur Brut NV £7.99

All of the above are subject to limited stock so pop in-store today or call us on 01789 299 385 to place your order.

Wine of the Week- Polago Vallesanta 2009Date published: 20/04/11

Along with France, Italy is the other superpower of the wine world, producing well in excess of 45 million hectolitres of wine every year. This wine is from the Orvieto region of Umbria, Central Italy. Orvieto is famed for its sweet white wines, so this red wine is of great interest.


The provence of Orvieto is one of Italy's oldest wine-growing regions, with records stretching back to before the Romans. Umbria as a whole, benefits from a Mediteranean climate, albeit slightly cooler then Tuscany. Centred around the city of Perugia, Umbria has a similar tuffeau soil to that of Vouvray in the Loire Valley. This complements the Sangiovese and Montepulciano grapes used in this wine to great affect in this wine.

This wine promises much on the nose with a great scent of perfume and ripe red cherries. This promise is kept on the palate as this light-bodied number offers a great taste of red cherries, with interesting oak notes, and a refreshing acidity. All in all this light-bodied red offers an interesting alternative to Beaujolais.

Food Match: Traditional Italian tomato and basil pasta dish.

Wine of the Week - Gérard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier 2010 Date published: 13/04/11

Gérard Bertrand's wine-making journey began in 1992, at the end of his Rugby career, when he created a business that brought together the best winemakers of the Languedoc. Fast forward 19 years and Gérard has re-built the reputation of the Languedoc, and has made some exceptional wines.
 

The Languedoc surrounds the City of Montpellier, and benefits from a limestone soil, which, paired with its consistent Mediterranean climate, offers great conditions for fantastic wines to be made. This particular wine comes from the Chateau Laville Bertrou where the grapes are hand-picked for your enjoyment. It is insisted that yields are kept low, and old vines pruned to flourish, so that the wine is of real quality.


With a powerful stone and tropical fruit nose, this wine promises much, and more then delivers on the palate. The peach notes in this wine are intensified on the palate, offering a great flavour with a minerality that will linger. This, coupled with a refreshing acidity makes this wine an ideal pairing with the summer sunshine.

Food Match: Poached Chicken on a bed of Rocket leaves

£7.99 or buy 2 save £3, £6.49

Gérard Bertrand: The Man, The WinesDate published: 13/04/11

 

Gérard Bertrand is a name which is increasingly becoming synonymous with quality and excellence in the world of wine. The former French international rugby player is proprietor of over 600 hectares of of land in some of France's best wine producing regions. But where did this passion for wine come from, and what drives him?

As an illustrious rugby career drew to a close, Gérard decided to pursue a new business venture that would gather together some the best winemakers from the Languadoc alongside his own wine-making activities.. His hope was to help re-establish the Languadoc as a great wine producing region. Gérard, in turn, went about developing a new venture with those winemakers and estates that shared his scope of ambition. From his native appellation of the Corbières, introducing a new range of wines into the region was always going to be a difficult affair. They had to convince a sceptical cultural audience of the revolution they were seeking to implant, in addition to meeting demanding consumer expectations of quality. In order to expand the horizons of his venture he chose to systematically invest in other wines of the Languedoc which had strong potential. In1994 he bought the Cigalus Vin de Pays d’Oc parcels, then three years later the 58 hectares of Château Laville-Bertrou in Minervois La Livinière. From 1992 to 1998, Gérard Bertrand and his team (15 people at that time) "worked the land" and "scoured" unknown terrain in search of the real quality hidden in New Languedoc.

Of course, a key determiner in the success of any business is to understand, and cater for, the needs of your customer. This is where Gérard excelled, understanding the on-going evolution of consumer preference towards expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines. By offering great wines at fair prices his success was immediate and he quickly gained a reputation as a point of reference in the opinion of the professionals. Gérard's motivation and enthusiasm have enabled him to take on the biggest commercial players both in France and abroad. With success knocking at the door, Gérard Bertrand has seized the moment to invest in the means of production at each domain, to reinforce the teams who work his properties, and to develop marketing strategies fit for the 21st century. One such move was to develop the concept of the "Gérard Bertrand" signature wines for the varietal wines, the Appellation wines, and for the wines of the domains and châteaux.

The proof of his efforts and the quality of his wines is reflected by how quickly consumers take up Gérard Bertrand’s wines and return to them again and again.


We stock a variety of his wines at Majestic, including this week's delicious Wine of the Week, as picked by David F:

Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2010 Gérard Bertrand, Vin de Pays d'Oc
With a powerful stone and tropical fruit nose, this wine promises much, and more then delivers on the palate. The peach notes in this wine are intensified on the palate, offering a great flavour with a minerality that will linger. This, coupled with a refreshing acidity makes this wine an ideal pairing with the summer sunshine.

Food Match: Poached Chicken on a bed of Rocket leaves

£7.99 or buy 2 save £3, £6.49

why not try also,


Muscat Sec 2009/2010 Gérard Bertrand, Vin de Pays d'Oc

A rare dry Muscat wine from one of the top producers from the Languedoc. Pale yellow in colour, the nose shows aromas of exotic fruit and blossom, which develop on the rich, medium-bodied palate. With a lively acidity on the finish, and a dry, flinty conclusion.

Food Match: Enjoy this as an excellent aperitif, but would also make a great partner to asparagus, artichokes or fish.

£6.99 or buy 2 save £2, £5.99

 

Grand Terroir Montpeyroux 2008 Gérard Bertrand

Montpeyroux is ideally located between the Mediterranean sea and Larzac mountains and has gained a distinctive reputation for its preserved landscapes and chalky soils. Made from a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan and Grenache, the Montpeyroux vineyards (meaning 'Stone Mount') produce wines with wonderful concentration and deep colour with aromas of ripe fruit and peppery spices.

Food Match: Ideal alongside poultry and ripe cheese.


£8.99 or buy 2 save £3, £7.49

 

For a really special treat why not indulge in our following Fine Wine recommendation:

Château l'Hospitalet 2008 Grand Vin, Gérard Bertrand

The flagship wine of Gérard Bertrand's braod range, created from prime vineyard sites on the steep, rocky slopes surrounding La Clape, where the estate stands overlooking its 1000 hectares of vineyards, pine forests and heathland. This muscular wine displays an intense blend of firm tannins, inky black fruit and lifted spice and floral aromas, smoothed and integrated by the influence of over a year in French oak barriques. Meaty and robust, this wine will show its best after 3-5 years' cellarage.

Food Match: Discover the true potential of this wine by pairing it with red meats and game.

£19.99 per bottle

Rose: The Best of BothDate published: 08/04/11

On a hot summers day, what can be better then chilling out in the back garden with a nice glass of rose? Traditionally, the region most famous for its rose is Provence, France. This was due to local demand for a dry wine, refreshing enough to be drunk chilled on a hot summer's day, but that still bears relation to the red wine so adored by the French. For centuries rose wines originating from Provence have been renowned for their unusual skittle-shaped bottles.

At first glance, one may be forgiven for assuming that the easiest way to produce a rosé is by merely mixing red and white wine. However, this is just one of three methods, and is in fact forbidden in the EU, for the production of quality wine (with the exception of rose champagne).  Arguably the most simple method is identical to how white wine is made, but using black grapes. They are pressed and then fermented (without the skins).

The most widely used method is essentially an abbreviated red wine vinification. The crushed grapes are macerated for one to three days. The pale juice that is produced then runs off to continue fermentation without the skins.

.The final process is called the Saignee Method. This requires the grapes to be separated from the stalks, and lightly crushed, but not pressed. They are then vatted for 12-24 hours (The less contact the paler to colour). The juice is then fermented without the skin.

Most roses are fermented in stainless steel tanks, as opposed to oak barriques, and bottled young to retain freshness. The majority of rose wines in our range will be from a recent vintage, ensuring that you will always get that refreshing and fruitful taste that this weather yearns for.

We have an eclectic range of rose wines from all over the world available in-store. Here are a couple of our favourites:

Château de Sours Rosé 2009/2010 Bordeaux £7.99 when you buy 2 or more (£9.99)

Château de Sours, situated on a limestone plateau near Libourne and Pomerol, has been producing wine for over 200 years and is leading the renewed interest in Bordeaux rosé. A deep, bright-coloured rosé with rich strawberry and plum fruit flavours and a long lingering finish. Try with cold meats and pâtes.

Rioja Rosado 2010 Marqués de Cáceres £7.19 when you any 2 Spanish wines (£8.99)

A blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenache this wine is macerated for several hours before the skins are removed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. An attractive, pale pink colour with a pleasant bouquet of strawberries and raspberries mingling with fresh, floral notes. The palate is fresh and lively with mineral nuances and long-lasting fruit. Rich yet balanced on the palate, it makes an excellent match to typical Mediterranean cuisine, such as paella and lightly spiced dishes.
 

Pinot Grigio Rosé 2010 Cantina Beato Bartolomeo di Breganze £5.99 when you buy 2 or more (£7.99)

Although thought of as a white grape, the Pinot Grigio grape's skins naturally develop a pink tinge when the berries are fully ripe, and it is these colour pigments that make this wine lightly rosé in colour. Fresh fruit, such as apricot and peach on the nose; soft floral flavours on the palate and a refreshing, pleasantly smooth finish. Excellent with appetizers, fish dishes, soups and white meat. This easy drinking rosé makes a great a apéritif for lazy summer afternoons!

Château Saint Roch-les-Vignes 2009/2010 Côtes de Provence £6.49 when you buy 2 or more (£6.99)

A delicious rosé showing soft spice and attractive fruit from this top winery in St. Tropez. Perfect with Mediterranean style food or simply on its own.

If you want to browse our range of rose wines some more then check out http://www.majestic.co.uk/find/keyword-is-rose/Colour-is-Ros%C3%A9+Wine

Wine of the Week - Chateau Aigues Vives CorbieresDate published: 06/04/11

The name of this estate is derived from 'Agua Viva', the Roman thermal baths that once stood on this site, whose underground water supply today quenches the otherwise arid soils. The modern winery was developed by Phillipe Dourthe but is now owned by Gérard Bertrand.

Whilst the varied terrain of the region makes it difficult to generalize about the topography of the vineyards, Corbières has built a reputation for producing a wide range of excitingly dense, herby red wines. The dominant grape variety in the region is Carignan, but an increasing number of differing vines are being planted which ensure that grapes varieties such as: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre now make upwards of 50% of the blend in red wines produced.

With delightful nose of rose petals, mixed red fruits and a light sprinkling of white pepper this great value wine delivers an abundance of intriguing flavours. The palate comes alive with vibrant blackberry and cassiss accompanied healthy tannins

Food Match: A versatile wine that will complement all ranges of dishes from grilled red meats to hard cheeses.


£9.99 or buy 2 save £6, £6.99

Producer of the Month: Catena ZapataDate published: 05/04/11

Catena Zapata is now regarded as one of the best wine producers in the New World, producing some of the world's best wines. The journey to get to this position was over 100 years in the making.


Bodega Catena Zapata was founded by Nicolas Catena some 111 years ago when he migrated from his native Italy and planted his first Malbec seeds in Agrelo, Mendoza. Nicolas  then passed the family 'business' onto his son Domingo. Whilst under Domingo's leadership, Catena Zapata really grew, becoming one of the biggest vineyard holders in Mendoza. It was, however, Domingo's son Nicolas, who really transformed Catena Zapata into the producer that it is today.


This was hardly surprising as Nicolas held a doctorate in Economics, and in 1980 became a visiting professor of the University of California, Berkeley. This was instrumental in the growth of the Bodega as he drew comparisons to the success of Californian wine, in particular, that of the Napa Valley, which at the time was fast emerging as a world-class region.


Nicolas immediately began to revolutionize the Bodega, with the confidence that Mendoza could be home to some of the world's best wine. He began this by modernizing production. This also saw the introduction of the technology and techniques used in Europe. This included the use of small French oak casks and drip irrigation.


Nicolas also pioneered a number of initiatives in order to discover the best growing regions in Mendoza. This included experimenting at different altitudes (up to 5,000ft) with Nicolas' best cuttings, so called 'Catena Cuttings'. This led to the Catena Alta Malbec the first 100% Malbec wine to be recognized as world class.
 

Catena's range now offers a comprehensive range of wines:

Catena Alta Malbec 2007 Mendoza £21 when you buy 2 (£26)

Deep, dark purple in colour, the nose shows intense blackberry fruit aromas with hints of violets and sweet spice. Full bodied on the palate this elegant wine explodes with black cherry fruits and spices like black pepper. Soft tannins follow to a lingering finish.

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2008 Mendoza £17 when you buy 2 (£21)

From the Adrianna vineyard located 1,500 metres above sea level, the nose offers white stone fruits with a touch of banana and mango, notes of sweet spice and pan grille. The mouth feel is full and rich, but with wonderful freshness, showing ripe pear and fig flavours with a light notes of tropical fruit, delicate floral tones. The finish is long and lingering with wonderful minerality and clean, crisp acidity.

Catena Malbec 2008 Mendoza £9.99 when you buy 2 (£11.99)

With grapes sourced from different microclimates from different altitudes to accentuate the unique Argentinian terroir, this is benchmark Malbec made by the Catena family, whose name is synonymous with quality. Showing ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit flavours, subtle vanilla oak and plenty of peppery spice balanced by firm tannins and crisp, refreshing acidity on the finish.

Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Mendoza £9.99 when you by 2 (£11.99)

The Agrelo vineyards are well known for producing wines of great finesse as they possess ideal soil and micro climatic conditions for growing classic varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon. A full bodied wine with rich, dark, cassis-scented black fruit and a warm, spicy finish.

Catena Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2009 Mendoza £9.99 when you buy 2 (£11.99)

A blend of grapes from three, high altitude vineyard sties, La Pirámide, Domingo and Adrianna, creating a wine of unique character that has balance, concentration and a strong varietal identity. Showing notes of mango, banana and apple, with a hint of sweet spice and wet stone. Full yet clean on the palate, with pear and fig fruit flavours rounded off with fresh, crisp acidity.

Alamos Malbec 2009/2010 Mendoza £5.99 when you buy 2 (7.99)

This Malbec oozes dried raisiny fruit character and has ripe sweet tannins, resulting in an incredibly approachable wine. Ready to drink now and over the next 2-5 years.

Alamos Torrontes 2009/2010 Mendoza £5.99 when you buy 2 (£7.99)

Torrontés has often been called Argentina's signature white varietal and this wine from Alamos captures all of the explosive aromatic character of this Argentine grape, with lively notes of citrus and peach interwoven with delicate layers of jasmine and blossom. Light and fresh on the palate with excellent balance and finishing with a bright, crisp acidity.

Alamos Chardonnay 2009 Mendoza £5.99 when you buy 2 (£7.99)

Outstanding flavour yet again achieved from Nicholas Catena where the emphasis is on ripe, varietal fruit characteristics and a more moderate use of oak. This wine displays a stunning array of ripe peach, pear and apple flavours which marry harmoniously with toasty oak.

All of these are available in-store, and are well worth a go, so why not pop in-store and check them out.

Wine Of The Week - Soave Cantina NegrarDate published: 31/03/11

Soave is located in the North East of Italy, on the banks of the river Adige. Soave is neighbour to the region of Valpolicella, where the Corvina grape is king, however Soave is the land of the white variety known as Garganega. This region plays a very important part in Italy's wine industry being the second best selling DOC wine in Italy, after Chianti. For a long time its main selling point was that it was a wine that would offend nobody (i.e. Boring). This is no longer the case, the quality has increased dramatically prompting the promotion of Soave Superiore to DOCG status.

The Garganega grape is characterised by delicate flavours of almonds and some acidity and when yields are low can display floral notes and 'grapey' fruit. In Soave Garganega can be blended with the Trebbiano di Soave and Chardonnay though the latter may account for no more than 30%. Some of the best wines come from the Classico region, which are around the town of Soave itself. This Soave Classico from Cantinia Di Negra is no exception, offering a great value alternative to Kiwi Sauvignon this summer.

This clean and clear wine offers a bouquet dominated by lime, with undertones of pineapple. A minerality is also apparent on the nose. On the palate there is a continued lime twist to this dry wine, with impressive length. This, matched with the fresh and crisp acidity, makes an ideal accompaniment this summer.

Food Match: Chicken Ceaser Salad

£7.99 or buy 2 save £3, £6.49

When Only A Magnum Will Do!- Part TwoDate published: 30/03/11

Previously we brought you our range of Red Wine Magnums, now it is the turn of our fabulous Champange Magnums. If you thought that a Red WIne Magnum would have an impact on your dinner party, then a Champagne Magnum will blow your socks off!!

Taittinger NV

A fine old house with a distinctively light, pure style, Taittinger is a consistent crowd pleaser. Pale in colour with a fine, strong bubble, the nose is of clean green fruit, matched in the mouth with a pleasingly refreshing acidity that makes this an excellent Champagne to drink with delicately flavoured food.

Veuve Cliquot NV

An archetypal Champagne from an historic house. Madame Clicquot's wine displays a superb marriage of freshness and power: gorgeous and deceptively pale colour with fine, persistent bubbles; a poised, delicately bready nose; and on the palate a richness of fruit and mouthfilling mousse that lingers long

Bollinger NV

The famous house of Mme Lily Bollinger produces a mighty, full-bodied Champagne of great class. Delightfully pale gold in colour, the mousse is light and persistent. Densely packed apple and pear fruits give way to a noticeably creamy, caramel-like finish. An 'Absolutely Fabulous' Champagne!

Louis Roederer NV

Perhaps most famous for its prestige cuvée 'Cristal', Roederer Brut Premier is a serious non-vintage Champagne. Deliciously rich, with an overt fruitiness and nutty, yeasty notes, the finish is long, complex and rewarding.

Now thats how you really impress at a dinner party!

The Return of Marlborough!Date published: 23/03/11

Fear no longer, for Marlborough has returned to Stratford.

We know how much the good people of Stratford love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so we have now bulked up our range, and backed them up with some pretty keen prices.

The big hitter that will all know about is the Marlborough Hills Sauvignon Blanc, now down to £4.99 when you buy two or more. This great value Sauvignon typifies everything that is great about Kiwi Sauvignon, with crisp acidity, and plenty of gooseberries.

We now have Brancott's, Proud sponsors of the Rugby World Cup 2011, Sauvignon Blanc in store at just £5.99. This strong New Zealand wine has a gerat minerality to it that will keep you refreshed through the summer months.

Another great deal is the now infamous Ned! This Sauvignon Blanc is down to £6.49 a bottle when you buy two or more, with plenty in stock...at the moment! With more tropical notes, this mineral offering wont last for long.

A personal favourite of mine that definitely deserves a mention is the mighty Vava Sour Sauvignon Blanc at £6.99 (when you buy two or more). This gooseberry driven wine has a delightful asparagus finish, and is a big favourite of mine.

Last but by no means least, Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, and its charming sister Chardonnay, now a steal at £7.99 (when you buy two or more). What more needs to be said, its Oyster Bay!

Wine of the Week- Chateau de PitrayDate published: 22/03/11

This weeks Wine of the Week has come all the way from the right bank of Bordeaux. With its powerful plum flavours, and subtle notes of vanilla and black cherry, this one is sure to be winner!!!

Definitely a food wine! I can imagine a nice Beef Wellington and glass of Chateau de Pitray to say a final fairwell to winter, in eager anticipation of what is bound to be a summer of sun (likely to be interrupted by an abundance of drizzle and cloud)!

Down to £7.99 when you buy two or more as part of a mixed case!

Spotlight on .... Cloudy BayDate published: 21/03/11

Spotlight on.....   Cloudy Bay 


All you 'Kiwi Sauvignon' lovers out there will no doubt already be familiar with the prestigious producer,  Cloudy Bay . For those of you who are as of yet uninitiated with the name then this may serve as a brief introduction and background to one of our favorite ranges of wines. Hailing from the Wairau Valley, situated in the iconic Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island, Cloudy Bay exports its wines to over 30 markets around the world. Innovation, attention to detail and a commitment to embedding  a unique regional identity into each of its wines lays the bedrock for Cloudy Bay's impressive line-up.  

Stretching down to meet the coast at Cloudy Bay – so named by Captain Cook in 1770 – and extending up to 26km inland the flood plain of the Wairau River is bordered by a series of dramatic ranges which give rise to the four tributary valleys (sub regions) within the Wairau. The cool maritime climate of the Wairau Valley helps ensure relative cool conditions during the growing season, despite enjoying more sunlight hours than anywhere else in New Zealand. Meanwhile strong westerly winds, prevailing through November and December, help to reduce diseases in the region's vineyards.


For many Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is regarded as the truest expression of a region renowned worldwide for it's white wines. A real benchmark of a wine, full of fresh herbal aromas and layers of ripe guava and passion-fruit. Medium bodied, the palate is succulent and crisp with a long flavorsome finish. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc at its most intense.
Current Price £24.00 per single bottle or BUY 2 SAVE £10 = £19.00


Those who are more inclined to enjoy a fine Chardonnay could not do much better than Cloudy Bay Chardonnay. Released 2 years after their vintage dates this sought after New Zealand Chardonnay delivers a complex bouquet that ranges from figs and lemon butter to more savory elements of fresh hay with hints of butterscotch. The palate is substantial and rounded with a toasty complexity and a lingering finish. Eminently drinkable now but it will reward those with the patience to age the wine for a further 3 or 4 years.
Current Price £24.00 per single bottle or BUY 2 SAVE £10 = £19.00

If you're more of a red wine connoisseur then, don't worry either. Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir will certainly hit the spot. From its first bottling in 1989 the team at Cloudy Bay have carefully cropped their vineyards at very low levels to help cultivate this often tricky grape. Blended from as many as 40 unique parcels from 25 different sites this care and attention has has been rewarded with an intensely varietal palate of dark red fruits and savory dried herbs, cherry oak and tannins.
Current Price £27.00 per single bottle or BUY 2 SAVE £10 = £22.00

In addition to its impressive still wines Cloudy Bay also offer sparkling alternatives to champagne with its Pelorus Vintage & NV and a sumptuous fine wine, Te Koko. To find out more about the range of Cloudy Bay wines offered here at majestic, feel free to pop into the store or give us a call. We'll be delighted to share our love of these great wines.

WIne Of The Week - Mas Des Mas Pinot Blanc 2010Date published: 16/03/11

Mas des Mas 'Zucco Vineyard' Pinot Blanc 2010

This week's Wine of the Week is rarely seen outside of Alsace and Germany, this single varietal Pinot Blanc comes from Jean Claude Mas's experimental Languedoc plantings and the 2010 is the first release from the 'Zucco Vineyard'.

The Mediterranean-influenced climate is very well suited to the cultivation of the vine, although it can be subject to the occasional bit of stormy weather. There are many different micro climates in The Languedoc which allows this region to produce many different wines of varying style. It is the largest wine producing region in France stretching from Camargue to the Spanish boarder and has become the 'wine well' for French consumers with a thirst for wines of all quality. The grapes for this wine are planted in the cool land of Etang de Marseillette at the foothills of the Montagne Noire.

This pinot blanc offers a bright lemon green appearance, the nose displays plenty of lemon and lime with hints of granny smith apple and wet stone. The palate is dry with a refreshing acidity and the citrus and apple character follows through from the nose with a touch more of the minerality.

Food Match: Breaded wolf fish with a wedge of lemon served with thin cut fries.


£9.99 or buy 2 save £4, £7.99

Portugal: More Than Just Port!Date published: 14/03/11

Whilst most famed for it's wide array of delicious Ports, a rapidly developing and expanding wine industry has taken foothold in Portugal. It's ocean-facing location gives rise to a dramatic range of climatic conditions throughout the country. From the maritime coastal climates with their warm summers and cool, wet winters to the inland continental conditions characterised by hot and dry weather, a huge variety of wines and styles emanate from this often overlooked wine making hub.
Here at Majestic, of course, we appreciate good wines no matter where they're from. Come and join us for our Portuguese tasting weekend (18/03-21/03) and we'll talk you through some of our favourites, including the following:

Quinta de Azevedo 2009
Made solely from Loureiro, which brings an almost Riesling like fresh aroma and acidity, this stimulating wine has a gentle spritz which helps accentuate the aromas of rich tropical fruits and flowers. Coupled with a well balanced acidity and featuring a clean, crisp finish this will partner your seafood or pasta excellently.

Crasto Douro 2008
Located on the right bank of the river Douro this wine showcases what can be done when a winemaker uses his skill to blend some of the national grapes. Made from a carefully selected blend of grape varieties this is driven predominately by Tinta Roriz (the official Portuguese name for the more familiar sounding Tempranillo) this 'not-too-heavy' red greets the palate with wild berries and ample spice. The perfect match for any Spanish themed paella, cured meats or cheeses which will melt away the soft tannins.

Altano Douro Organic 2009
Featuring the much vaunted Touriga Nacional (most famous for it's use in Port) this wine hails from the north-eastern corner of the Upper Douro - sometimes referred to as Douro Superior. It's organically grown vines average 25 years of age and produce a wine with port-like aromas of blueberry and rose petals. The palate is rich and warm with luscious and dark loganberry fruit. Enjoy it now with red meat dishes, cured ham or hard savoury cheeses.

Chateau RougetDate published: 14/03/11

Situated on the right bank of the Gironde, Pomerol is the smallest red wine district of Bordeaux and produces some of the most expensive, exhilarating and glamorous wines in the world. Yet Pomerol remains the only major appelation of Bordeaux not to have its wines formally placed in a rigid hierarchy of quality.

Chateau Rouget sits on the gravelly-clay soils of the northern slopes a high plateau, adjoining the prestigous La Croix-de-Gay vineyards. It is a long established vineyard, originally belonging to the Mayor of Pomerol, now run by the Labruyere family. This is still a very traditionally run property with the old wooden 'cuves' still in place, although now supplemented by cement ones. As a result of its position and the methods employed, their wines tend to be powerful, tannic old fashioned pomerols. It could be said that the reputation of this property lags behind its true worth, partly because it is not widely distributed but also because it is not an immediate charmer and requires patience, but given patience you can see what this fantastic wine has to offer.

"A terrific example from this estate, Rouget’s 2001 is a sleeper of the vintage. Equal in quality to the much more expensive and renowned 2000, it possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as a rich nose of black cherry liqueur, raspberries, wood smoke, balsam wood, and a hint of caramel. This medium to full-bodied, hedonistic, sexy, fleshy, pure Pomerol is impossible to resist. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years". 90 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

 

PX Pancakes!Date published: 07/03/11

With Shrove Tuesday just hours away my taste buds are already quivering in anticipation.  As a child, I always looked forward to Pancake Day and even to this day it just doesn't feel right to eat a pancake any other time of year. I just can't imagine getting home after a normal day, settling down for dinner then tossing a few pancakes. No, it's one day a year. You've got one (depending how many pancakes you can stomach) shot and in order to do it right we need to get those perfect ingredients.
So, now for the tricky bit - what to put on it! As a boy I'd try my utmost to 'guilt-trip' my parents into splashing out on some strawberry sauce to lather over healthy dollops delicious ice-cream. Now, however, older and wiser, I'm recommending a strictly 18+ only pancake. Dave F nailed it this morning with his wickedly indulgent PX & Pancake combo.

Pedro Ximénez, Triana, Hidalgo

Taking its name from the grapes used to make it, this is a fantastic wine choice for pancakes. But, unlike a traditional wine/food match, this should not be drunk from a glass accompanying the meal. No, this stuff needs to go straight onto the plate itself! With a whopping 360g of residual sugar per litre this sugary delight will lay itself nicely right on top or your favourite ice-cream.

After being dried in the hot Spanish sun of Jerez, the grapes are pressed and vinified before a period ageing in soleras of American Oak barrels. During it's long journey from vine to bottle the grapes acquire pungent notes of raisins and prunes on the nose, leaping out the glass to draw your taste buds in, chasing after it. It follows through on the palate with a tour de force of opulently sweet figs.

Of course, it can also be enjoyed as a desert wine on its own. Yet as it's only Pancake Day once a year there's no reason not to treat yourself to something different, something special. I'm salivating already at the thought of my pancakes tomorrow. I've got my perfect pancake ingredients ready, but this year the strawberry sauce will be left unopened.

Catena Alta MalbecDate published: 04/03/11

Catena Alta Malbec is sourced from small, highly selected estate grown vineyards: Angelica vineyard at 2,850' elevation (10%), La Piramide vineyard at 3,100' elevation (6%), Nicasia vineyard at 3,870' elevation (30%) and Adrianna 4,725' elevation (54%). Being grown at different altitudes allows the grapes to develop their own unique flavours and aromas which have been harmoniously blended by Catena to produce a wine of exceptional quality.

Malbec is a grape who's original home was in Bordeaux where it would be used in blends to add colour and tannin, however its importance here is declining. It has been given a new lease of life and has rapidly become the signature grape variety of Argentina where it is bottled as a single variety.
 

Deep, dark purple in colour, the nose shows intense blackberry fruit aromas with hints of violets and sweet spice. Full bodied on the palate this elegant wine explodes with black cherry fruits and spices like black pepper. Soft tannins follow to a lingering finish.




Food Match: A bit cliché but the perfect partner to to wine would be a slab of medium rare steak with potato wedges. Maybe with a pepper corn sauce to pick up the spicy notes of the wine but best without it.

As seen on TVDate published: 01/03/11

A selection of wines from the Majestic range have recently been featured on BBC's Saturday Kitchen Live:

1. Costero Riesling - A dry riesling with a refreshing citrus charachter balanced with a good minerality gives this wine complexity.                                       Great with oriental dishes.

2. Errazuriz Chardonnay - An aromatic chardonnay displaying pineapple and manadrins with toasted notes from the oak barrels.                                               This wine is well matched with cornish sole or creamy chicken dishes.

3. Chateau La Dournie St Chinian -  A blend of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache. This offering from the South of France expresses                                                                      cherreis and prune on the nose leading to dark berries and an earthy spiciness on the palate.                                     .                                   Great friends with lightly spiced duck breast

 

 

England vs FranceDate published: 26/02/11

Today sees two of the biggest Rugby nations go head to head in the 6 nations. Have you decided what  will accompany you through the excitment?

Maybe something former French Rugby star Gerard Bertrand's range?

Domaine l'Aigle Chardonnay down to £7.99 when you buy 2 or more?

Or his Muscat at £5.99?

Or something a bit more 'English' from our great range of Ales...

Kick off is at 5pm so why not pop in-store and make sure your prepared wine, lose or draw.

JUST ARRIVED!!!Date published: 25/02/11

Starborough Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand.

This parcel has just arrived in store, and is a steal at just £4.99 a bottle.

With signs of citrus and tropcial fruits, this refreshing Sauvignon won't last for long.

 

To make an order simpy call us on 01789 299 385 or pop into store.

When Only A Magnum Will Do!Date published: 24/02/11

Here at Majestic Stratford we appreciate the impact a Magnum can have at a dinner party and so we offer a range of Magnums to suit all tastes.

Rioja

If a younger more fruit driven Rioja is what you're after we have Marques de la Concordia Crianza 2004. Bursting with strawberry & raspberry fruits and just a hiny of vanilla this is a real crowd pleaser that would suit a range of dishes.

For the more classic Rioja lover we also stock Marques de Riscal Reserva 2005. Demonstrating a fantastic balance between summer fruits and the classic secondary charcteristics of leather and cigar box that we associate wiht Rioja, this would be a perfect match to a Spring lamb Sunday Roast.

Bordeaux

If you're looking for everyday elegance at a price everyone can afford, look no further than Chateau Meaume 2005. This Bordeaux Superior has always had a fantastic following with Majestic customers who have always loved the ripe balckcurrant &plum fruits on offer.

The Haut-Medoc has always supplied us with some fantastic Claret that demonstrates real character and value for money. Caronne Ste-Gemme is no different and the 2004 offering has firm tannins, notes of cassis, vanilla and forest fruits. A long lingering length and balnaced acidity make this Cru Bougeois to ideal match for Beef Wellington.

Burgundy

The  much improving Domaine of Lignier Michelot have crafted a startling example of what 2006 Gevrey Chambertain can produce. Using a blend of modern and traditional production techniques they have acheived a wine with incredible purity of red fruit that dazzles at every turn. Whilst this wine is a great match for game dishes now it will also reward some further cellaring.

 

So with all these wines to choose from for your next dinner party, all you need to do is invite some friends!

Did you know...Date published: 20/02/11

...If there is a particular wine that you are after, from our range, but you cannot find it in store, we can usually source it from another store.

So next time you are in-store, don't be afraid to ask staff about your favourite Pinot Grigio, or a trusted Chilean Cabernet.

St Clair Pioneers Block Sauvignon BlancDate published: 13/02/11

After what seems like a lifetime of waiting we are now happy to report that the ever popular St Clair Pioneers Block Sauvignon Blanc is back in stock.

So if you've been eagerly waitng for its return or would just love to find out what all the fuss is about come in to store or give us a call on 01789 299385.

New 6 Bottle CarrierDate published: 10/02/11

We have just received 6 bottle carriers in-store for our customer's convenience.

They are made from predominantly recycled materials, and ALL profits made will go to our charity of the year Maggies. They are just 75p and are for a great cause.

 

Ask in-store for more details.

Is it beer o'clock?Date published: 04/02/11

With the RBS 6 Nations fast approaching, we thought now would be a good time to remind you of  a sample of the Real Ales we stock at Majestic Stratford.

From around the Midlands we have Brakspear, Wychwood, Marstons and Stratfords own Purity.

From futher afield we are proud to stock Adnams, Thwiates, Fullers and if Real Ale isn't your thing how about some Suffolk cider from Aspalls?

Wine ReliefDate published: 27/01/11

Majestic will once again be participating in 'Wine Relief'.

Majestic will donate 10% of sales from a selection of wines (purchased between 3rd Febuary and 18th March) to Comic Relief.

So why not pop into store and see how we can all support Comic Relief!!!

New Zealand Favourites Are Back!Date published: 20/01/11

I'm sure many of you noticed how the enormous popularity of our New Zealand deals left us scraping around for stock! So finally we have The Ned Sauvignon and Villa Maria Sauvignon back in stock and on sale from today!  Remember to stock up before the 20% off New Zealand offer ends on the 31st January!

The Wine CourseDate published: 06/01/11

With the New Year comes a new focus on helping our customers to get the most enjoyment out of buying and drinking wine - through our fun and informal Introduction to Wine, held in store by the team at Stratford. Want to know which wines complement which dishes? Or what makes a good wine and why? Our relaxed 2 hour introduction and tasting session will provide you with a great understanding of wine, from grape to glass. What's more, it's absolutely free and you're welcome to bring a friend. Have a look at our events section where a list of dates show when we will be holding our Wine Courses over the next few months. If it sounds like something you or a friend would be interested in, you can sign up online, by phone or in store, or feel free to give us a call and chat with one of the team to find out more.

Sunday 9th January and Monday 10th JanuaryDate published: 30/12/10

Please note that we will be closing at 4pm on Sunday the 9th of January and will not re-open untill 1pm on Monday the 10th of January.

Apologies for any in-convienience.

Delivery Information Update - 22nd DecemberDate published: 22/12/10

As of today, 22nd December, we are only able to accept orders for delivery to Stratford Town Centre before Christmas.  Orders for collection can still be placed - the store is open from 9am until 8pm on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd, and from 9am until 5pm on Christmas Eve. 

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Deliveries - Weather ConditionsDate published: 18/12/10

Whilst we are still able to offer delivery before Christmas (see the delivery schedule article for details of when and where the van will be), the current weather conditions are obviously causing problems.  We are endeavouring to make deliveries where possible but please try and be as flexible as possible.

We would also benefit from any relevant information regarding deliveryi in your area.

Thanks

Stratford's Christmas MenuDate published: 09/12/10

Join us in store this weekend, when our Tasting Counter will be full of wines we think are suitable for a festive feast.  Check out the events page for more details.

Hope to see you over the weekend!

Bollinger Grande Annee 2000 now only £45Date published: 08/12/10

With the festive season approaching, what better way to celebrate than with a bottle of Bollinger Grande Annee 2000.  The house of Bollinger produces vintage champagne only on the occasion of a truly exceptional harvest, when the grapes are of perfect quality and ripeness, balanced in sugar and acidity.  Hence the denomination 'La Grande Annee' given to this wine which, unlike the 'Special Cuvee' is made solely with the products of this exceptional harvest.

Only £45, while stocks last

Veuve Clicquot Offer Ends Monday 6th DecemberDate published: 04/12/10

The fantastic Veuve Clicquot offer will be ending at 8pm on Monday 6th December, so make sure you're fully stocked for the rest of the year's celebrations! Current prices are:

Veuve Clicquot NV £27

Veuve Clicquot 2002 £35

Veuve Clicquot 'La Grande Dame' 1998 £100

Christmas ClaretDate published: 01/12/10

Few wines are more festive than Claret, which is why this weekend sees the start of our Bordeaux Tasting Week.  We'll be opening a range of reds from this esteemed region for you to try, including Chateau Tour St Christophe and the ever-popular Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme.  Yet Bordeaux produces much more than red wine - some of the greatest sweet wines in the world are made here, and they're just perfect with the Christmas pudding!   As ever, James and the team will be on hand to offer advice and help you find the wines that best match your festive dining plans.

4 Days ONLY - Heidsieck Gold Top 2004 just £14.99 Date published: 25/11/10

From 10am Friday 26th November until 8pm Monday 29th November Heidsieck Gold Top Vintage will be at an incredible price of just £30 £20 £14.99.

Excellent value for money, this classy Fizz is bursting with lemons and creamy elegance, ensuring it's place as one of Stratford's favourite value-for-money Champagnes. Copy and paste this link to the Majestic website (http://www.majestic.co.uk/productreviews.aspx?pid=22386) to see how Heidsieck scores 5/5 for customer reviews again and again, with comments such as 'Probably the vintage champagne bargain of the year' and 'A wonderful champagne which felt like an elegant luxury'.   We'll have it open on the Tasting Counter so that you can see for yourself what a bargain this fizz represents.

Make sure you don't miss out on this incredible offer!

New Chassagne MontrachetDate published: 19/11/10

The rather classy Chassagne-Montrachet 2008 'Les Houllieres' Morey-Coffinet as recommended by our Fine WIne Manager Clayton is now in-store. See the article in the Winter edition of Grape to Glass for details or simply click on the link below.

http://blog.majestic.co.uk/grape-to-glass-winter-2010/fine-wine-for-christmas/

The Spirit(s) of ChristmasDate published: 19/11/10

Received yesterday - our allocation of Christmas spirits! Including Miller's Gin, Remy Coeur de Cognac and Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky. With over 15 new lines we should have something for everyone, so come down and treat yourself or someone else to their favourite post-meal liqueur.

New Wine of The WeekDate published: 17/11/10

Heather has chosen Peter Lehman Riesling 2008 as this week's 'wine of the week'.

Open on the Tasting Counter until Tuesday 23rd November.

Wines of Burgundy & Rhone Tasting weekDate published: 10/11/10

Starting this Friday the 13th of November the company wide FREE tasting of some of our highlights from the Rhone and Burgundy regions.

New Wine Of The WeekDate published: 10/11/10

Heather has chosen Barbera D'alba Sucule Lanata for this weeks 'Wine Of  The Week'. This classic Italian wine with plenty of acidity and ripe cherryfruits will be available to taste all week.

Burgundy Fine Wine night at SummertownDate published: 05/11/10

On Saturday evening, the team from Stratford will be attending a staff Fine Wine night at the Summertown store - it's a chance for us to try a range of Burgundies from Fine Wine Range.  We're starting with a Grand Cru Chablis, which I'm particularly looking forward to, then moving on to a comparative tasting of Puligny Montrachet and Meursault before rounding off the evening with a selection of what should be exceptional reds from the Cotes de Nuits.

Come and quiz us instore on our new found knowledge on Sunday!

Store Events(2)

Seasonal Showcase

19 May 2017 (18:30 - 20:00)

We are hosting a Summer Showcase evening! Join us in tasting 10 wines and fizz to get you in the mood for Summer! Extra 10 Discount on the night! We will also be joined by some surprise guests showing off their wares. Booking is essential- pop in or call us on 01789 299 385

RSVP