In the run-up to Christmas, many folk will be heading for “uniquely wine” outlets rather than just to buy bottles as part of the weekly grocery run.
Here, then, are some tasty offerings from Majestic – unconstrained, in deference to the season, by the usual price limits– and be prepared to add to them after visiting the In-store Tasting Bar
As usual, click on any bottle for an enlarged image to help spot the wine on a crowded display.
More stardust from the Rhone Valley
White grenache and roussanne do, however, figure in 2015 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Léon Perdigal (£7.49/£8.99 and 13.5% abv) and, no doubt, help provide the savoury background that so delightfully supports the wine’s smooth greengage and quince fruit and firm acidity.
Dreaming of a classy Christmas
Head then for the depth and toasty richness of 2014 Puligny-Montrachet Les Charmes Alain Chavy (£30 until 28 November/£35 and 13%) with its apple and white peach fruit, spice and vanilla background and appealing hints of honey to round it all off.
…… and a sweet one too!
All the classic mellow honey touches abound in the well-priced 2010 Castelnau de Suduiraut Sauternes (£10.99/£12.99 for a half-bottle and 14%) but nicely counterbalanced by a smooth savoury edge and sufficient gentle acidity to make you doubt that there really are nearly 150 grammes of residual sugar per litre here.
Today’s home of great value red
Enjoy then the indigenous grapes (with a dash of tempranillo) that form 2014 Agenda Manager’s Choice, Dao (£7.99/£9.99 and 13%) with its bright bramble and red currant fruit, vanilla herb and sweet spice backdrop and mercifully mild tannin.
Jingle bells – Oz excels!
Rounded, complex but adeptly integrated 2015 Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz South Australia (£22.50/£25 and 16.5%) has well defined blackberry and cherry fruit with smooth tannin that accentuates – rather then obscures – its eucalyptus touches and the sweet edges that accompany them.
Fizz that stands the test of time
The strength, I believe, of De Telmont Grande Reserve Brut Champagne (£14.99/£19.99 and 12%) is its balance. While the lemon acidity and green apple fruit provide crispness, the wine's texture is creamy and brings a savoury depth to the flavour spectrum – that, in turn, is nicely expanded by a spicy complexity.
Best of the Rest
Ideal Party Red
We all know how sangiovese grapes give the world dense, turbo charged Chianti. Well other parts of Italy can make a good (and very sharply priced) fist of it too – albeit in their own way.
The chianti-like elements of 2014 Romagna Sangiovese (£4.25 at Morrisons and 13.5%) include smooth, clove-influenced black cherry fruit but this version is discernibly less full, its tannin is restrained and its flavours include touches of red currant too; perfect as inexpensive, party wine.
And an Equivalent White
There is crisp, apple fruit and a prickle of grapefruit acidity to 2015 Wine Atlas Catarratto (£4.78 at Asda and 12.5%) with hints of peach ripeness but attractive contrasting, nutty, coriander leaf components too.
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