Majestic Autumn Tasting September 2016

MajesticwintertitleDoesn’t seem like long ago I was at my local Majestic in Ruislip for their summer tasting, now with the nights drawing in it was time for another visit in-store and another excellent event. Majestic really do these tastings well, their staff are all friendly, always accommodating and nothing was too much trouble.

The tasting normally runs from 6.30pm -8.30pm but when my friend and I  arrived at around 6.15pm there was already a few people gathering. We were told that around a hundred were arriving which seemed rather a lot compared to other events I have attended, in the end probably around forty or so turned up over the course of the two hours, still quite a big turn out.

We were given a tasting sheet listing all the wines to be tasted and we were offered a chilled glass of Prosecco to start the evening off with.  Looking around the whites were all chilling nicely in large ice buckets on the tasting counter and the reds were positioned at various points around the store. The wines on show were, in no particular order

Whites – The Astronomer Australian Chardonnay, Toledana Gavi, Jackson Estate Grey Ghost Sauvignon Blanc, Pouilly Fume and an Alsace Gerwurztraminer.

Reds – Chateau Tour Haut Caussan Medoc 2006, Ciabot Berton Barolo 2011, Ben Marco Malbec, Astronomer Shiraz and  the Definition Beaujolais Villages.

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All good in their particular price range but I must say I was impressed with the JE Grey Ghost and the Barolo although both a little on the pricey side, not that the other wines were bad it’s just those two stood out.

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My Majestic buys

The evening was another hit and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, I didn’t buy any of the wines on show but I did buy 6 bottles including a Spanish Sauvignon Blanc, a Godello, Monastrell, Mencia, Beefsteak Malbec and a rather lovely Italian Tasca Regaleali made with local Inzolia, Greciano, Caterratto and Chardonnay.

 

Thanks again to the guys from Majestic Ruislip

 

A quick review – Majestic Summer Showcase 2016

MajesticwintertitleI recently attended another Summer wine Tasting event at my local Majestic store in Ruislip. As always it was a brilliant evening with lots of great wines on show, (Majestic do seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to these showcase tastings).The Whites and Rose’s were the stars and it’s probably the first time I’ve ever left the store having bought a case without a red in sight.

Among the highlights were….

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M de Minuty and Haut Vol classy Rosé’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WP_20160527_001 (337 x 599)Kumeu River Pinot Gris 2014 (£9.99 on Multi buy) – Fabulous NZ wine with tropical flavours, floral, peppery and slightly herbal. Dry but with a rich texture but not at all cloying, would pair brilliantly with Asian and spicy food. This enjoyed by everyone and a big hit on the night.

Cotes du Rhone Villages 2015 ( £8.99 on Multi Buy) – This was a late decision and was brought out towards the end of the evening but again it went down well with everyone. Lees ageing, rich and complex with peaches and again slightly floral.

Summer is arriving, well I think it is, so Rosé’s start making an appearance and there were two very nice ones out for us notably the M de Minuty Rosé 2105, Cótes de Provence (Grenache, Cinsault and Tibouren) and the Haut Vol Rosé 2014  ( Grenache & Carrignan)   (see picture above) both French, both extremely drinkable and highly recommended even though I’m not a big Rosé drinker myself.

Of the four reds two really stood out, although a bit on the expensive side these were the Petalos Bierzo 2014 (£13.99 on Multi Buy) from Northern Spain and the Angels Share Two Hands Shiraz 2014 (£17.99 on Multi Buy) from McClaren Vale Australia.

Thanks again to the guys at Majestic Ruislip for another fantastic evening tasting some pretty decent wines, ended up buying a case of whites and went home happy and content.

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.

 

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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.

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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

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

A Majestically Good Wine and Good Food Weekend

MajesticwintertitleDrinking great wine, eating great food, what better way is there to spend your time after a long week of work?

My weekend started with a Friday night Wine Tasting at Majestic Ruislip, showcasing their new range of winter wines along with a impressive selection of cheeses, Saturday was a eating day along with more wine spent at the Good Food & Wine Show at Olympia London, both very good, both putting a sizeable dent in my credit card balance.

Being regular visitors to a lot of Majestic Wine events my friend and I (wife had a prior engagement) were really looking forward to this particular one as it’s usually the biggest of the year. The evening started a 6.00pm and we arrived promptly we were also pretty much the last men standing when we finally left at around 9.00pm. Anyway, we were greeted with a selection of Fizz including Prosecco, Nyetimber Classic Cuvee and a Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne, nice start.

altAjePDPJMajesticwinter2(600 x 450)Moving on to the whites, there was a Alsace Riesling, Clos St-Jacques 2011, a Muscadet Le Pallet 2009, a Californian Viognier Nettie 2013 and a South African Chardonnay Trebuchet 2013. All were very nice with the lemony off dry Riesling being a lovely start but for me the stand out was the Muscadet which was a partially oaked beauty full of pears with a great minerality.

Majesticwinter3 (450 x 600)I was particularly excited about the reds when I spotted an odd looking dumpy bottle on the counter which contained a lesser known Spanish grape called Bobal and a great favourite of mine. The other reds were an Aussie Shiraz the Parcel series 2012 from the Clare Valley, a Cotes du Rhone Jaboulet Parallel, and a Chateau Beau-site St Esteph 2007and a 10 year old Portuguese Tawny Port Warre’s Otima.

Starting with the Bobal (Vox Populi) 2011, which I took upon myself to promote at every occasion. This was a big powerful tannic red but very drinkable despite the weightiness of it and I absolutely loved it. The Chateau Beu – Site Bordeaux was pretty decent and will improve, The Aussie Shiraz was your typical fruity, spicy offering, the Port was very light in colour and had an elegance about it, the Cotes du Rhone was a little disappointing but only because it was up against some good wines. Did I mention how good the Bobal was? Perhaps I did.

majesticwinter1As well as trying a selection on the tasting counter in which we both liked the Malbec we finished with a sweety the extremely nice Chateau La Rame 2012.
As usual the guys at Majestic were friendly and knowledgeable making us all feel comfortable with no hard sell although they didn’t need to as all the wines pretty much sold themselves. Another enjoyable evening, roll on the next one !

goodfood1On Saturday, my son, daughter and their partners along with my wife and I ventured off to our annual day out at the Good Food Show. Billed as bigger and better than ever it certainly lived up to the hype. We went armed with pre paid dining currency, tickets to the Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood show, tickets for the excellent Wine Tube Map Tasting and more tickets for the World of Wines Experience.

winetubemaptitleWith hundreds of stalls all giving out free samples of food a drink you could almost have a three course meal walking around if you planned it correctly. What I must do is tell you all about the first wine tasting we did as a group, it was the brilliant Wine TubeMap hosted by the very amiable Nikki Welch. I won’t go into how the tasting is run it’s better to look at their website http://conviviumwine.com/ but what I will mention is two wines which were the stars for me, the Ampakama Syrah Tannat from Argentina and a New Zealand Riesling.

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Wine Expert Susy Atkins and some bloke at the ‘Wines of the World’ at Olympia

The other tasting was the ‘Wines of the world Experience’ another new one for the show. This was a brilliant tasting of mostly fine wines in which you wandered around for an hour trying whatever took your fancy. The twist was every few minutes a guest celebrity Wine Expert would grab a microphone and call you over for a brief talk on whatever wine country they were promoting while we drank on, this was really interesting and we tasted some fantastic wines.

We ended the day with a cooking show featuring Mary Berry & Paul Hollywood.

All in all a good day out my wife enjoyed the food part and I had to put up with tasting wine all day, still we all have to make the odd sacrifice sometimes.