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Majestic's summer range 2002 press tasting

April 25th 2002

Part 1 The whites

Because of the number of wines, I'm writing this Majestic wine press tasting up in three parts. First, 57 white wines, and then 81 reds, rosé and fizz, plus a separate recommended mixed case (chosen from these wines) to follow. The current offer period (for special offers referred to here) is May 7th until July 9th 2002. 


2000 Lugana La Carega Sartori
Fresh, dry and slightly nutty on the palate. Attractive. Good/very good (£4.49, buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £3.82)

2001 Pinot Grigio del Veneto, Vino da Tavola Pasqua
Nice herby fruit and quite crisp; otherwise a rather simple dry white wine. Good/very good (£4.49 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £3.82)

2001 Bianco di Custoza Cavalchina
Attractive crisp white with a slightly spicy, herby edge to the fruit. Refreshing. Good/very good (£4.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2001 Orvieto Classico Secco Vigneto Mortaro Barberani
Crisp and fresh, but with a slightly off-putting yeasty, cidery edge. Not recommended. (£4.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2000 Soave Classico Santepietre
This well-made Soave shows an attractive herby nose, and nice savoury fruit on the palate, which is clean and fresh. Very good (£4.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2001 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Coste del Molino
Quite a rich, nutty nose. Full flavoured palate with lots of interest. A rich, dry white with a pronounced savoury character. (£4.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2001 Soave Classico Superiore Coffele
Rich, rounded style of Soave with a nutty, caramel-like edge to the fruit. Full flavoured. Good/very good (£6.49 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £5.52)

2001 Pinot Grigio San Angelo Vineyard, Banfi
Italian Pinot Grigio often makes characterless dry whites with little resemblance to the full flavoured examples of this grape (Pinot Gris) common in Alsace. But this is a lovely wine from Banfi, with a rich aromatic floral lift to the nose and a slightly savoury spicy character. The palate is fruity, rich and nutty, with lots of flavour. Very good/excellent (£6.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £5.94)

2001 Gavi di Gavi Raccolto Tardivo Villa Lanata
This comes in an unusual and quite appealing bottle. It’s an attractive, rounded white wine with nice fruitiness. Full flavoured. Very good (£8.49 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £7.22)

France, Loire

2001 Quincy Le Rimonet Joseph Mellot
Very forward grassy nose with a rounded character. Crisp palate is fruit driven and nicely balanced. Very good (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

2001 Quincy Jean-Charles Borgnat
Piercing cut grass nose is very savoury, and leads to a grassy, herby palate. Quite lean, green and challenging, but lots of flavour here. Definitely a summer food wine. Very good (£6.49 buy 2 save £1 = £5.99)

2000 Reuilly Les Millets Joseph Mellot
Crisp assertive nose; lean, grassy palate. High acidity. Good/very good (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

2001 Reuilly Henri Beurdin
Slightly shy, grassy nose leads to a crisp, fruity palate with high acidity. Good/very good (£6.49 buy 2 save £1 = £5.99)

2001 Sancerre Les Boucauds Claude Riffault
Crisp nose is quite classy, with tight, focused grassy fruit. Full flavoured palate is quite challenging with its piercing acidity, but this is a good quality Sancerre. Very good+ (£8.99 buy 2 save £1 = £8.49)

2001 Sancerre La Guiberte Alain Gueneau
Slightly shy but high quality crisp grassy nose. The lean, high-acid palate is very fresh and quite full flavoured. Tight and youthful. Very good (£8.99)

2001 Sancerre Vacheron
Tight, lean, crisp nose leads to a classy palate that’s savoury and crisp with high acidity. Very good+ (£10.99 buy 2 save £2 = £9.99)

2001 Pouilly-Fumé Domaine des Rabichattes
Pronounced herbal edge to the grassy nose. Assertive, high-acid palate with lots of herby fruit. Good/very good (£8.99)

2001 Pouilly-Fumé Les Cerisottes Domaine Jean Pabiot
This savoury white shows a distinctive gooseberry edge to the nose. The palate is full flavoured, herby and grassy with high acidity. Interesting. Good/very good (£8.99 buy 2 save £1 = £8.49)

2001 Pouilly-Fumé Les Griottes J-P Bailly
With a boiled sweets character on the nose, this crisp, grassy-fruited wine shows lots of flavour. Good/very good (£7.99)

France, Burgundy

2000 Bourgogne Aligoté Jayer-Gilles
The forward nose shows herby character, and the lean, high-acid palate has a caramelly/nutty edge. Slightly rustic but great value: would make a good food wine or you could always add kir… Very good (£3.99)

2001 Maçon Villages Blanc Cave Co-operative Prissé
Crisp, bright nose with lemony, nutty fruit. Well balanced palate with plenty of flavour. Inexpensive but authentic white Burgundy. Very good (£4.49 buy 2 save £1 = £3.99)

1999 Bourgogne Blanc Cave Co-op de Buxy
Attractive fresh herby nose with some classy lemony fruit. Full flavoured, savoury palate with good acidity. Nice food wine that makes a good alternative to Australian Chardonnay. Very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £1 = £4.49)

2001 Maçon Prissé Cave Co-operative Prissé
There’s a minerally lift to the nutty, lemony nose. The full flavoured savoury, nutty palate shows good balance. Attractive, with good acidity. Very good (£5.49 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

2000 St Véran La Solitude Cave Co-operative Prissé
Slightly smoky edge to the lemony, appley nose. Well balanced palate shows nutty, slightly chunky fruit and good acidity. Tasty, full-flavoured stuff. Very good (Special Parcel £5.99)

2000 Rully Blanc "La Bergerie" Domaine Marguerite Dupasquier
Lifted lemony fruit on the nose with a bit of caramel and toasty richness. Savoury lemony palate shows good balance and high acidity. Very good (£6.99 buy 2 save £2 = £5.99)

2000 Rully Blanc 1er Cru "Les Cloux" Vincent Girardin
Distinctive herb-tinged nose with well integrated, nutty oak providing richness. Palate is very full flavoured and modern, showing good concentration and chunky fruit and acid. May develop well. Very good+ (£9.99 buy 2 save £2 = £8.99)

1999 Santenay Blanc 1er Cru Clos Beauregard Vincent Girardin
Arresting nose of rich toasty new oak and lifted lemony fruit. Powerful, oaky palate is savoury with a lemony high-acid edge and rich fruit. Very fresh and nicely balanced even with the prominent oak. Very good/excellent (£13.99)

2001 Chablis Vocoret
Quite shy nose with a trace of smoky minerality. Nice density of clean, minerally fruit on the palate. Textbook Chablis in a traditional style. Very good (£8.99 buy 2 save £4 = £6.99)

2000 Chablis Vieilles Vignes Vocoret
This classically styled Chablis has a grassy mineral edge to the nose with some smoky notes. Attractive herb tinged palate. Very good+ (£9.49 buy 2 save £2 = £8.49)

2000 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains Vocoret
Tight smoky, minerally nose leads to a nicely structured, savoury palate. Quite rich and with good acidity, this might be worth putting away for a couple of years. Very good+ (£10.99 buy 2 save £3 = £9.49)


2000 Protocolo Blanco Dominio de Eguren
Fresh, crisp lightly aromatic nose and bright fruity palate. Quite tasty for the price. Good/very good (£3.99)

1999 Cosme Palacio Rioja Blanco
Quite a striking nose showing attractive, forward herby fruit and pronounced vanillin oak character. Palate is fresh, crisp and modern. It’s lovely stuff: despite the massive oak component, the balance is right and it works really well. Very good/excellent (Special Parcel £5.99)

2001 Albariño Martin Codax Rias Baixas
Lightly aromatic nose displays lemony, floral notes. Palate is lively and fresh with high acidity and a lemony finish. Interesting stuff, if a little light. Very good (£7.99 buy 2 save £3 = £6.49)

New Zealand

2000 Fairleigh Estate Single Vineyard Chardonnay Marlborough
From Wither Hills Vineyard, this is a special bottling for Majestic. It’s a well judged commercial Chardonnay with some class. Classy nose balances the fruit and nutty oak very well. Lovely, savoury nutty palate with vivid fruit and good acidity. Reasonably complex. Very good/excellent (£7.99 buy 2 save £2 = £6.99)

South Africa

2001 Zondernaam Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch
Deliciously rounded nose shows crisp gooseberry and blackcurrant fruit. Palate is fruity with a nice crispness and good acidity. Works well. A New Zealand-style Sauvignon. Very good+ (£6.99 buy 2 save £2 = £5.99)


2001 La Mira Sauvignon Blanc Maipo Valley
This crisp, fruity wine is clean and attractive with some varietal character. Good/very good (Special Offer £3.79)

2001 Vistasur Sauvignon Blanc
Assertive grassy nose leads to a rich, rounded fruity palate. Quite attractive. Good/very good (£4.99 buy any 6 Vistasur wines save 15% = £4.24)

2001 La Mira Chardonnay Maipo Valley
Rather anonymous fresh fruity white wine, but nothing wrong with it. Good (Special Offer £3.79)

2000 Vistasur Chardonnay Cachapoal Valley
Slightly herby tinned-pea edge to the ripe fruit is off-putting. OK (£4.99 buy any 6 Vistasur wines save 15%) £4.24

2001 Montes Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Curico Valley
This has quite a classy gooseberry-tinged grassy nose. Delicate aromatic style. Tasty, well balanced palate works well. Some winemaking restraint is evident here.Very good+ (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

2000 Montes Alpha Chardonnay
Lovely forward nutty nose shows some classy oaking. The palate is rich-textured and well balanced, with toasty/bready richness to the fruit and a creamy edge. An impressive new world Chardonnay. (£9.99 buy 2 save £2 = £8.99)

2001 Cono Sur Vision Chardonnay
New branding for the Cono Sur wine sees this Chardonnay kitted out in a stylish new bottle design. It has a very rich, creamy toasty nose with well integrated oak and tropical fruit: it certainly smells expensive. Palate is well balanced with good acidity and a herby edge to the fruit. Impeccable commercial winemaking. Very good/excellent (£7.49 Introductory Offer - Will be £8.99 from 3/9/02)


2001 Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc Yalumba
Bit disappointing: bright fruit but no varietal character. Good (£4.99 buy 2 save £2 = £3.99)

2001 Rosemount Estate Sauvignon Blanc SE Australia
Fresh and crisp with a bit of blackcurrant fruit (even though it’s a white). Some varietal character here but a tiny bit confected. Good/very good (£6.99 buy any 6 Rosemount wines for £30 = £5.00)

2001 Amberley Estate Sauvignon Blanc Margaret River
The slightly herbal tinned-pea edge to the nose ruins this a bit: caused by a trace of unripeness? Crisp, full flavoured and fruity on the palate with a touch of blackcurrant and gooseberry fruit. Good (£9.99 buy 2 save £6 = £6.99)

2001 Oxford Landing Limited Release Viognier
Slightly floral nose. Lovely rich, rounded palate with a rich texture and peachy tropical fruit. Good balance here with some varietal character. Attractive. Very good+ (£6.99)

2001 Capel Vale Riesling, Western Australia
Fresh lemony nose leads to a herbal palate with a slightly odd edge. It’s a rich, full flavoured dry white, but I’m not too keen on this. Good/very good (£7.49 buy 2 save £2 = £6.49)

2001 Oxford Landing Chardonnay Yalumba
Attractive commercial winemaking. You know what you are getting here… Very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £2 = £3.99)

2001 Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay
Quite a deep yellow colour with quite a pure nose of melon, peach and tropical fruit. There’s a tiny bit of spiciness on the palate from the subtle oaking. There’s a slight coconutty edge to the tropical fruit: it is quite rich textured. Like many commercial Chardonnays there is a bit of bitterness on the finish. Otherwise, it’s nicely balanced. Very good (£5.99 buy any 6 mix of Bin 65, Bin 45 and Bin 50 save 33% = £3.99)

2001 Kangarilla Road Chardonnay McLaren Vale
Quite a restrained nutty nose with a spicy lift. Rich, full flavoured palate with attractive complexity from the well integrated oak. Classy stuff. Rich, but shows admirable restraint. Very good/excellent (£7.99 buy 2 save £3 = £6.49)

2001 Tyrrell’s Old Winery Semillon Hunter Valley
Unoaked Hunter Semillon is low in alcohol (11% here) and is one of Australia’s classic wine styles, known for its ability to age brilliantly for decades. They’re often deceptively simple in their youth, though. This example shows a fresh lemony/herby nose which leads to a modern, crisp herby palate with good acidity. Varietally true and with good food compatibility, I suspect this may improve with a few years in the bottle. Very good+ (£6.99 buy 2 save £2 = £5.99)

2001 Amberley Estate Semillon Margaret River
Attractive forward nose of creamy vanillin oak with some herby fruit. The palate is rich, grassy and oaky, with a slightly odd herbal edge. Good/very good (£9.99 buy 2 save £6 = £6.99)


2000 Riesling Ruppertsberg Pfalz
Appley, lemony nose. Interesting crisp apple fruit on the palate. Fresh and herby, but noticeably German, which will be a problem for most punters. Good/very good (£4.49 buy 2 save £1.50 = £3.74)

1996 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett Weller-Lehnert
Classic rich honey, apple and lime nose is very full. Rich, spicy palate with a bit of tropical fruit and a sweet finish. Richly textured for a Kabinett. Very good+ (£4.99)

1991 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett Christoffel Prüm
Lovely forward nose of apple, pear and spice is very appealing. Rich, full flavoured palate with good acidity balancing the rich fruit. Some sweetness on the finish but spoilt a little by some bitterness. Very good (£4.99)

1992 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spatlese Christoffel Prüm
Quite pale in colour. Striking rich honey, apple and lime nose leads to a vividly fruited, rich palate showing spicy complexity and a good balance between the sweetness and acidity. Very refined and with nice balance. Very good/excellent (£5.99)

1997 Trierer Deutschherrenberg Spätlese Deutschherren-Hof
Rather crude with a muted nose and high acidity. Lacks complexity, but it’s clean. Good (£5.49)

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