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Majestic Wine Warehouse's winter range 2002 press tasting

October 8th 2002

Part 2 The reds (France) 

Because of the number of wines, I'm writing this Majestic wine press tasting up in five parts. First, the white wines, then the reds (in two parts, French and the rest), and then the fizz and fortifieds, plus separate recommended mixed cases (chosen from all these wines). The current offer period (for special offers referred to here) is November 4th 2002 until 27th January 2003. 

George Duboeuf Régnié Printemps 2001 Beaujolais
Good concentration of juicy primary fruit, with cherries and raspberries dominating. Simple but well made. Very good (£5.99, buy 2 save £2 = £4.99)

Gilles Roux Beaujolais Villages Domaine de la Plaigne 2001
Lovely pure cherry fruit on the nose. The palate shows assertive primary cherry and raspberry fruit on the palate with good acidity. Appealing archetypal Beaujolais. Very good+ (£6.49 buy 2 save £1 = £5.99)

Cave Coop de Buxy Bourgogne Passetoutgrains 2001
Simple spicy raspberry fruit with good acidity. Clean and refreshing. Good/very good (£3.99)

Cave Coop de Buxy Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2000
Light with clean juicy fruit. Savoury. Good/very good (£5.99 Buy 2 save £2 = £4.99)

Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge 1999
Pale coloured. Appealing herby cherry fruit nose. Nice savoury edge to the cherry fruit on the palate. Tasty in a light style. Very good (£7.49 buy 2 save £1 = £6.99)

Louis Latour Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Ile de Vergelesses 1997
Another pale wine. Sweet herby nose. Palate shows well balanced spicy herby character. Savoury and restrained but lacks intensity. Very good (£13.99)

Domaine Marc Roy Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 1999
Striking forward nose of sweet spicy red fruits – some new oak apparent. Soft, sweet concentrated palate with spicy structure. Forward and appealing but a bit oaky. Very good+ (£14.99)

Domaine Marc Roy Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur 2000
Spicy, tarry edge to the forward berry fruit on the nose. Dense, herb-tinged raspberry fruit on the palate with some spicy complexity. Appealing in a full-on concentrated style. Very good/excellent (£16.99)

Domaine Albert Morot Savigny-Les-Beaune ‘La Batallière au Vergelesses’ 1999
Tight and structured Pinot Noir with good concentration but currently quite closed. Firm. Very good+ (£16.99)

Domaine Albert Morot Beaune 1er Cru ‘Les Toussaints’ 1999
Focused, herb-tinged fruit on the nose. Richly fruited palate with good concentration and firm acidity and tannic structure. Needs time and a little closed. Quite a serious red Burgundy. Very good/excellent (£18.99)

Michel Laroche Pinot Noir 2001 Vin de Pays d’Ile de Beauté
Deep coloured. Sweet spicy cherry fruit on the nose. The palate is quite rich with soft berry fruit. Unusual for a Pinot Noir but attractive. Very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £2 = £3.99)

Domaine Plantade Syrah Merlot 2001 Vin de Pays d’Oc
A brilliant cheapie. Very appealing with good definition to the spicy edged berry fruit, together with some chalky leafy structure. Very good+ (£4.49 buy 2 save £1 = £3.99)

Mas de Guiot Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Vin de Pays du Gard
Deep coloured. Some liquoricey herby complexity to the nose. Lovely lushness to the sweet ripe fruit on the palate with some spicy vanillin oak poking through on the finish, which adds an extra dimension. Very good+ (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

Domaine Madelon Corbières 2001
There’s some spicy earthiness on the nose, which displays sweet ripe fruit. Lovely savoury, minerally complexity on the palate, with the ripe fruit balanced quite well by the acidity. Lots of character and very good value. Very good+ (£4.99 buy 2 save £2 = £3.99)

Terra Vitis Corbières 2001
Quite a rich savoury wine with chewy, chunky fruit. Satisfying and authentic. Modern styled and fruit driven but not fake. Very good+ (£4.99)

Domaine Des Aires Hautes Minervois La Livinière 2001
This expressive wine has a lovely sweet lift to the nose with some spicy-edged tarry fruit. Vivid, taut palate with spicy, savoury intensity to the sweet fruit and some earthy structure hiding underneath. Very good+ (£6.99 buy 2 save £1 = £6.49)

Mont Tauch Fitou l’Exception 2000
Assertive forward nose shows vivid damson and berry fruit with some tarry medicinal complexity. The palate is bold, savoury and tannic with lots going on. A modern structured style with lots of character. Very good/excellent (£9.99 buy 2 save £3 = £8.49)

La Chapelle Nôtre Dame d’Aubune Beaumes de Venise 2001 Côtes du Rhône Villages
Vivid nose of juicy cherry and raspberry fruit with a spicy edge – very fruity. The palate is wonderfully vivid, dominated by vivid primary fruit. Good concentration and lots of character here: thoroughly enjoyable. Very good/excellent (£5.49 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

Domaine de Piaugier Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet 2000
Quite a backward wine showing taut, focused primary fruit with plenty of peppery character and dusty, tannic structure. An authentic savoury style, but not showy. Very good+ (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

Les Grandes Serres Châteuneuf du Pape 2000
Quite light in colour, this shows attractive chewy savoury fruit with an earthy edge. Midweight. Very good (£8.99 buy 2 save £2 = £7.99)

Domaine Des Chênes Blancs Gigondas 1997
Fading colour. Striking pepper spice and earthy nose leads to a savoury, peppery earthy palate. The fruit has begun to recede a bit, but this is interesting stuff drinking well now. Very good+ (£8.99)

Cave des Papes ‘Oratorio’ Gigondas 1999
Dreadful packaging. Ripe herby fruit on the nose. The palate shows a good concentration of rich, almost lush fruit with a spicy edge. Some new oak here. Very good+ (£10.99)

Domaine Lucien Barrrot Châteuneuf du Pape 2000
Striking and appealing nose displays spicy, peppery fruit. The palate is rich, structured, earthy and spicy. Quite delicious, with lots of savoury structure. Very good/excellent (£11.99)

Clos de l’Oratoire Châteauneuf du Pape 2000
Attractive old-style label. Tight herby nose with some restrained berry fruit. Chalky peppery palate is restrained but full flavoured with spicy structure. Interesting. Very good+ (£14.99)

Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Hermitage 1999
Quite lush raspberry fruit on the nose with a spicy edge. Midweight palate shows spicy, savoury raspberry fruit with good acidity. Not a big wine and still quite primary: how will this evolve? Very good+ (£15.99)

Château l’Abbaye de St-Ferme 2000, Bordeaux Supérieur
Deep coloured, with a chalky, mineral edge to the berry and black fruit nose. Satisfyingly rich, chunky, chalky-edged fruit on the palate, with good concentration. Very impressive for cheap Bordeaux. Very good+ (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

Château Caronne St Gemme 1999, Haut Médoc
Focused, mineral-edged black fruits on the nose. Light but nicely balanced palate has high acidity and minerally fruit. Needs food. Very good+ (£9.99)

Connétable de Talbot 1997 St Julien
The colour is beginning to fade just a little. Classic claret nose is quite evolved with leafy, spicy, chalky, cedary notes. Mineralic palate shows good acid and some tannic structure. Ideally needs food, but like a lot of 1997 clarets this is drinking brilliantly now. Very good/excellent (£9.99)

Château Paveil de Luze 1997 Margaux Cru Bourgeois
Colour is fading a little. Sweet, herby fruit on the nose leads to a chunky, savoury palate with leafy edged, minerally berry fruit and good acidity. Drinking well now. Very good+ (£9.99)

Moulin de la Lagune 1999, Haut Médoc
Dusty, spicy edge to the nose. Midweight palate shows spicy, slightly herby berry fruit and high acidity. Nice balance but a bit on the light side. (£10.99)

Château Beau Site 1997 St Estephe
Forward nose with a rich tarry, herby streak is very appealing. Good concentration on the palate which is currently dominated by spicy berry fruit with some oaky richness. Attractive. Very good+ (£11.99)

Château Grand Faurie Larose 1988 St Emilion Grand Cru
Focused spicy berry fruit on the nose. The palate is juicy and intense but currently a little austere. Very good (£12.99)

Réserve de Léoville Barton 1998 St Julien
Deep coloured. Focused nose with tight blackcurrant fruit. Palate is still quite primary with vivid, juicy fruit and high acidity. Simple; needs time to develop some complexity. Very good (£14.99)

Château La Fleur 1998 St Emilion Grand Cru Classé
This Merlot-dominated wine shows vivid juicy berry fruit on the nose, and minerally, savoury fruit on the palate. Good acidity. Lots of interest here but it needs food. Very good+ (£15.99)

Château Lagrange 1997 Pomerol
Lovely intense chalky blackcurrant fruit on the nose, which is nicely mineralic. The palate is quite light in texture but with an expressive mineralic, high acid character. Drinking well now this is a beautifully poised food wine. Very good/excellent (£18.99)

Château Corbin 1998 St Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Deep coloured. There’s a smoky edge to the leafy blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Good depth of fruit. Midweight palate is intensely juicy with rather primary fruit and good acidity. Needs time, and a tiny bit austere at the moment. Very good+ (£19.99)

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