Sunday, 30 March 2014

A Majestic Tasting

March 28th 2014

For the tasting this month the club was fortunate in being able to draw on the expertise and experience of the staff of our local Majestic Wine Warehouse in Witney.

So before a resumé of the wines and of the evening a very big thank you is due to Mike and Claire, the manger and assistant manger at the branch.

When discussing the options to taste wines from Majestic it soon becomes apparent that the choice available is very wide indeed. This choice was to our advantage when the suggestion from Mike was to take two of the the most popular and most widely grown grapes and have some comparisons.

So with this in mind a mid range, £10.00 Chardonnay was to be compared with another Chardonay at three times the cost and both New World wines.

This was to be followed by two  Cabernet Sauvignon wines, a mid range again but now with a 'fine wine'. 23.00 bottle for comparison. Again New World wines

So did this pan out?  Of course it and did very well.

But first introduction to our speakers,


and Claire

The first wine was the mystery wine, and guessed by the Spanish wine loving member Adrian a wine with special links to Majestic Wines.  The wine maker welcome members of the company to go to Spain and assist with the harvest and the wine making process. 

A very good wine and very typical of the wines now coming from Spain, its own character and own flavours, good with friends or with food.  

The wine was the Godello.  (£9.99)

Reviewed by The Wine Gang recently thus:

Aromatic style with subtle white flower notes (2012 Vintage)

First came Albariño, now the Godello variety is doing its bit to confirm Galicia as the source of Spain's most arresting whites, produced here in aromatic style with subtle white flower notes amid the lemon curd, white peach and pear, while the palate is fleet of foot with a zesty zip. (The Wine Gang,, June 2013)

This was followed by the first of the evening's wines, a fine Chardonnay from the Clare Valley Australia.  (£11.99)

The lengths  gone into to produce these wines and all the wines are considerable, it seems the at the New World growers are very determined to try to increase quality by good practise. In this case it means picking by hand but never during the day. in this way the grapes should be more consistent that those subjected to varying sunshine and heat during the course of the day.

What a good wine this was, and this was the lower prices of the two.

This was followed by the big hitter from California.  From the Russian River Valley. 2009 (£30.00)

A superb wine to compare and a fine wine to taste. Easy on the palette with great and subtle Chardonnay flavours coming through well.  This was a special occasion wine for sure. The sort of price that is paid in a restaurant for a bottle of House White but infinitely better. Probably the best wine of he evening.

And now the reds

The Cabernet Sauvignon.

The first

Grown under the Californian Sun and a gutsy wine it was as well.  Peppery flavours along with the usual rounded feel of CS. To this taster a wine that needed more time in the bottle.   So to have with  a steak and or beef casserole  a very good wine but not quite as polished as you may want given its pricing at £14.99 per bottle.

And to conclude:

The Two Hands, intriguingly named, Sexy Beast. well a quite memorable film by the same name and would this £23.00 stormer be as memorable?  I think it fair to say the views were mixed, yes a very fine wine and yes with a venison or beef dish a great pairing, but at this price levels there are some very good wines to choose from. On balance most thought, yes it was good, in fact very good.

One bonus of course is the label, if drinking with friends that alone would ensure a good conversation would follow after looking more closely.

To go with the wines some great cheeses.

Its often said that to live near a Waitrose is a great advantage, and 'twas true when it came to the cheeses. All from our local branch and all very well received.

In order of eating:

Dom Vallage triple cream cheese.  What's not like when the cheese maker adds double cream to the unfinished cheese to bolster the fat content, bad for you, well only if you eat too much but gorgeous!

Number 2 The goat, Rosary Goats cheese, as ever many non goat cheese eaters here, but a very fine cheese. Mild and good with Chardonnay.  Not a token cheese  you understand but an artisan cheese from the New Forest, mild, non goat flavour.

Number 3 Gorwydd Caerphilly, just lovely, we are so fortunate in having such a diverse range of cheeses available and this one was as treat.

Number 4 The Cornish Yarg.

Lovely cheese wrapped in nettles, excellent and voted the BEST UK cheese in 2012.


Date of the next meeting

May 30th A resumé of the Wine and tour of the Loire

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the blog Bruce. For those that liked the 'Mystery' Spanish Godello white it was this same grape that I presented at the beginning of 2013, but from a different vineyard, Montenovo 2011, Valdesil. This wine is also still available from Majestic and I believe is an even better example (there were murmurs of this as favourite on the night) - I bought a crate of it at that time! Unfortunately it has caught on that it was a bargain at the time (£8 on offer) and has now, sadly, risen in price to £12.