Kuhlmann-Plate Riesling 2015

Having a Chinese takeaway? not sure what wine to drink with it, why not try a Riesling and this Kuhlmann- Plate from the Alsace region of France may well fit the bill.

Now I’m not a great lover of Chinese food although my wife is, so I do give in now and then and I do like to have a nice bottle of something with it normally Riesling so I always have a bottle in the fridge on stand by.

This particular bottle I first tasted at my local Majestic store and seemed to be going down well with most who were trying it, so I bought a couple to try at home.

First let me say that this bottle is not going to blow anyone away its just a nice French Alsace which is perfect for the multitude of flavours associated with any Asian dish, in my opinion it’s not worth spending too much on an expensive Riesling for a Friday night take away but this bottle just seemed to do the job well.

Well chilled , this was a pale golden colour in the glass with aromas of nectarines, lemons and peaches. On first sip it was bright and acidic but with a slightly sweet finish, green apples, lemons and peaches to the fore with a honeyed edge.

This is a very enjoyable Riesling on its own, or in this case with a Chinese take way and it did cope with all the different sweet, spicy and sour flavours thrown at it admirably.

Why don’t I like Chinese food? well, in most cases it gives me a bit of a headache or head rush and no it’s not the wine. So maybe its a bit unfair to say I don’t like it maybe it just doesn’t like me.

The wine I would recommend as a no fuss reasonably priced Riesling and I enjoyed it.

My Rating 7.5 / 10 Corks

Majestic around £8.99

Majestic Winter Tasting (Nov 2015)

MajesticwintertitleThought I’d missed the boat this year for the ‘Majestic Winter Tasting’ until I received an email a few days before with an invitation to attend. I’ve always enjoyed Majestic evenings in the past and this one was no different if a little busier than usual.

I went along with my daughter Laura (her first time at one of these events) and John a friend of mine who has regularly come along to previous tastings.

The event was supposed to start at 6.30pm and when we arrived at around 6.15pm the shop was already heaving with people. We were greeted with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne, when I say glass, it was a fairly small sample which was a shame because it was a pretty decent drop. At previous evenings we were always given around half to three-quarters of a glass as a welcome drink but maybe the fact that there was more people there than usual limited what they could pour out.

The wines on show for tasting were three whites and 6 reds which included a Port. We started with the whites and a Spanish Godello the Montenovo 2014 from the Galicia region of northern Spain which I have tasted previously and bought a few bottles of. I love Godello, I love the texture and the freshness of it, this one was unoaked and fairly dry with a hint of pineapples and tropical fruits, it pairs beautifully with any fish dish.  Next up was the Sancerre ‘Clos des Bouffants 2014’ which was Laura’s favourite white being a big lover of Sauvignon Blanc or as she calls it (Sovvy Bee). I thought it was Ok, minerally and steely with bright acidity as you would expect from a Sancerre but it just lacked something. Lastly, my favourite white the excellent ‘Domaine Saint Ferreol Viognier 2013’ This had a fantastic aroma of peaches and apricots and tastes of rich tropical fruits, complex layers and a lovely creaminess to the finish, this really was very nice indeed.

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My daughter Laura & me

Whites done we fought our way through the crowded warehouse which was starting to fill up rapidly and made our way to the reds table. On show this time were some pretty heavy hitting bottles and all pretty pricey. Chateau Musar (£21), Masi Amarone (£27), Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz (£13.32), CNDP Capouliers (£13.32), Pomerol La Pointe (£19.99) and a Fonsecca in 27 Port (£10).

I particularly enjoyed the Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz, with ripe rich red fruits, liquorice and mocha, the Pomerol La Pointe which was the second wine from Chateau La Pointe, was also excellent with classic blackcurrants, wood, smoke and mocha. The Chateau Musar was impressive as always but the Chateaunuef -du-Pape and the Amarone were for me a little disappointing, didn’t get around to trying the Port. John and Laura were less enthusiastic about the reds although Laura quite liked the Pomerol.

 

Dave&John Majestic2015

All wines in the winter tasting complete we decided to investigate the free tasting counter in which we found a few gems, notably the Wakefield Shiraz which for me and John was the star of the night and only £8.99 on Multi buy. This was aromatic with stewed dark fruits, slightly floral, spicy and chocolatey, a real treat. Another very good red was the strangely named La La Land Malbec from Australia.

This was another brilliant night at Majestic even if it was a little more hectic than normal but judging by the amount of people with full baskets of wine walking around the shop a successful one for the staff although I suspect that was a fair bit of clearing up to do after but I’m sure it was worth it.

La La Land Malbec
La La Land Malbec
Wakefield Shiraz
Wakefield Shiraz

 

 

 

We all ended up buying our favourites and going home happy with a few boxes of vino. majestic2015winter

Portuguese Beauty

porta 6

Porta 6 Vinho Tinto Portugal

Hauke Vagt
Hauke Vagt paintings of Alfama district in Lisbon

First tasted this in the Majestic store in Calais a few months back, it was on the tasting counter and one of their featured wines. I was initially drawn by the bright cartoon like label which was painted by Portuguese artist Hauke Vagt.

This wine was also featured on the food show Saturday Kitchen when Wine expert Susie Barrie MW picked it out as a perfect match for a lamb dish and prompted James Martin to announce that it is one of the nicest reds he has tasted in ten years of doing the show and that he had just bought three cases of it online.

I must admit when I initially tasted this in Calais I thought it was pretty decent but for some unknown reason I didn’t buy any which in hindsight was a mistake as everyone I know who has tasted it since have really enjoyed it.

The Porta 6 is  a blend of Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), Castelao and Touriga Nacional, in the glass it’s a dark crimson colour and smells of dark forest fruits and Vanilla. When you first sip this there is an explosion of sweet juicy jammy fruits along with that creamy vanilla and a little spice. Not very tannic although there is a soft gripiness about it but soft dark cherries, red currant and raspberries are what really stand out.

A lot of people will and do like this wine and I can understand why but if I had to make a small criticism it would be that it’s perhaps a touch too sweet for me. Nevertheless this is, for the price a brilliant wine and one I would highly recommend.

8.5corks

 

My Rating 8.5/10 corks

Majestic 7.49 on Multi Buy

 

Dominio De Morfeo 2010

MorfeoSpain 13.5%

First alerted to this by a friend on Twitter whilst he was stocking up at his local Majestic store, although he hadn’t tasted it he thought I might like it. Was he right? well, a resounding yes from me.

Another bonus was the fact that it features a new grape for me Prieto Picudo from the northern Spanish region of Castilla y León which has been blended with Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) and Garnacha.

Be warned though, if you’re not into tannic wines this may well dry the inside of your mouth for a week. Dark and brooding in the glass aromas of black cherries. a touch of smoke and dried herbs.

On first taste the juicy dark cherries burst in your mouth quickly followed by the tannins which  douse the juiciness a bit. Oak is prominent and a smokiness (bonfire ash) give this wine a real edge while still being rather drinkable as long as it’s with food, this is definitely a food wine and not a wine for the faint-hearted.

Left in the glass for a while it did mellow slightly and I kept a little back to see if it softens a bit the next day, I will add a comment on the bottom of this post after tasting it again.

8corks

 

My Rating 8/10 Corks  Majestic £6.66 on Multi Buy

 

** Update** Second day the tannins had softened a little, still noticeably tannic but the cherry flavour and acidity coming through more. Still very nice !

Majestic Summer Tasting 2015

MajesticwintertitleAlways look forward to these tastings, hosted by the friendly and amiable staff at the Ruislip branch who always deliver a very enjoyable evening.

We arrived at a round 6.15pm, I went with a friend, my son and his girlfriend and considering it was a miserable evening with wind and rain there was already a good turn out even though it wasn’t starting until 6.30pm.

We were greeted with a smile and a glass of English Sparkling wine, the Balfour 1503 Brut NV from the Hush Heath Estate in Kent. Stream of fine bubbles, nice citrus apples, with biscuity flavours finishing with a little peppery spice, a good start .

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On to the whites we started with an expensive (£18 a bottle with discount) Jermann Pinot Grigio (Italy). This was lovely and much more complex than I thought initially. A very fruity aroma but with subtle vanilla and almonds in the background also very dry, couldn’t justify spending £18 though unfortunately.

Next was the Ferrandiere Riesling 2014, (Southern France) youthful, dry and fresh tasting, with lemons & limes and a bracing minerality, we all enjoyed this.

Lopez Haro Rioja Blanco (Spain) another one we all enjoyed, from the Viura grape with  soft citrus fruits, pears, vanilla cream and smoke, very nice white Rioja.

El Viajero Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Chile), very aromatic full of ripe gooseberries, cut grass, unfortunately the taste let it down slightly, a little chemically and a short finish.

Haut Vol Rose 2014 (Grenache & Carignan) This was all about summer fruits, especially strawberries, very dry, even though I’m not a big fan of Rose I liked it, the others thought it was ok.

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Next on to the reds, starting with the Perrin st Fils Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2013 (Grenache & Syrah) what a great start, this was again enjoyed by all of us. Aromas of rich dark cherries, smokey, vibrant with mild tannins. Couple of these found their way into my basket.

Parcel Series Clare Valley Shiraz 2012 Another excellent red, typically Aussie Shiraz, this was full of spice and rich dark fruits, sweet with hints of woody forest.

Maretti Langhe Rosso 2013 (Italy) Nebbiolo & Barbera) My Favourite red of the night, dark brooding colour, herby, tannic, robust, earthy and absolutely delicious. You guessed it a few bottles again found their way into my basket.  There was a pretty much a 50/50 split on liking this wine, for me though no contest.

Chocolate Block 2013 (South Africa) Bit of a mixture this with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Viognier. Velvety smooth, black currants, blackberries, leather all feature. My son and I really liked this but only sticking point was the price £22 on a deal.

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Finally with all wines featured tasted we hit the free tasting counter in which the two stars were the Spanish Albarino and the French Chardonnay and we also enjoyed the Sauternes Dessert wine.

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Our tasting team, (Right to left) My son David & his Girlfriend Shirley, finally our friend John

 

As the evening drew to a close I noticed there was still some Italian Maretti Rosso left in the bottle, it seemed  a shame to leave it as it was for me the star of the night.

Thanks again to Majestic for another fantastic evening roll on the winter tasting.

8.5corks

 

Majestic Summer Tasting

My Rating 8.5/10 Corks