Summer is a good time to head down to Majestic and – especially – to give a “taste drive” to whatever currently graces their Tasting Bar.
If getting to a bricks and mortar store is difficult then (a) go online, (b) use Majestic’s newly enhanced delivery service and (c) follow the pointers here about what to buy.
Single bottle prices (the higher of those shown below) are significantly discounted when you buy six or more, mixed however you like, but follow the links to see how the mixed six policy works and the different pricing arrangements that apply in Scotland.
As usual, click on any bottle for an enlarged image to help spot the wine on a crowded display.
No longer a newcomer but still impressive
With its lively acidity, aromatic background but distinctive flavours picpoul is now an established star, producing (especially shell-fish friendly) wine that differs markedly from most other whites from Languedoc.
Revel in those differences with the floral and textured 2016 Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet (£7.99/£9.99 and 12.5% abv), enjoying in particular the fresh mouth-feel of its grapefruit acidity, green apple sherbet touches and contrasting suspicion of all-spice.
A defining moment for an Italian star
Piedmont’s cortese grape probably attains its highest quality levels and most celebrated style in the wines of Gavi – which, consistent with the Definition range’s objective, this example illustrates perfectly.
With softness, smoothness and above all delicacy, 2016 Definition Gavi (£8.99/£9.99 and 12%) delivers apple and pear fruit with evolving, zesty citrus based acidity and a subtle twist of minerality.
Here’s that Portuguese red I told you about
Portugal’s Setubal peninsular – across the river from Lisbon – is acquiring a reputation with international grape varieties yet is still able to produce well priced, easy drinking, castelao (periquita) based red wine like this.
Light in colour but firm in tannin, 2015 Terras Pegoes Vinho Tinto (£5.49/£6.99 and 12.5%) provides toasty plum and blackberry fruit with modest acidity but attractive suggestions of clove, vanilla and aniseed in the background.
Best of the Rest
Reliable red even for innocents abroad
Any visitors to Spain looking for a reliable, safe wine haven usually turn to the Torres family – Vina Sol for white or this one for a red – and these wines seldom disappoint anyone anywhere, especially at this excellent price.
So, relish the soft medium bodied and slightly perfumed 2014 Torres Sangre De Toro (£5.25 – instead of £7 until 6 April and 13.5%) with its raspberry and red cherry fruit, measured tannin but bold acidity with touches of vanilla, mint and star anise.
Dig a bit deeper for this lovely white
Given the enthusiastic response from MidWeekers to Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pinot Blanc, I am suggesting trading up slightly to try this single parcel wine that Aldi have acquired and which originates in vineyards down by the Black Forest.
Stocks are not plentiful of 2015 The Lot 18 Baden Pinot Blanc (£9.99 at Aldi and 13%) but securing some will give you white wine with bright orange centred fruit, textured apple and more savoury initial flavours that slowly give way to soft mango and apricot influences.