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Majestic Wine Warehouse's winter range 2002 press tasting

October 8th 2002

Part 5 My selection 

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 these wines). The current offer period (for special offers referred to here) is November 4th 2002 until 27th January 2003. 

The budget pick: twelve wines under £5.49

Croce del Moro Verdicchio 2001, Italy
Striking nutty nose with a hint of lifted acidity, leading to a rich, softly textured palate with lots of nutty fruit. Interesting and very good value. Very good+ £3.99  

Gérard Bertrand Viognier Collection 2001 Vin de Pays d’Oc
Stunning varietally true nose is quite pretty with aromatic, peachy, floral-edged fruit. The palate shows a lovely richness of fruit with the relatively soft texture well supported by acidity. Very good/excellent (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)  

Domaine Lafarge 2001 Côtes du Roussillon Blanc
Really striking rich aromatic nose with a toasty, herby edge. Thick textured, full flavoured palate is quite savoury and tasty. Very good+ (£5.99 buy 2 save £2 = £4.99)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Pasqua Maruggia Rosso del Santo 2001
70% Sangiovese, 30% Primitivo. Deep coloured, this shows taut, savoury black fruits on the nose with a liquoricey richness. The palate displays juicy, savoury, tarry-edged black fruits with a firm spicy edge. Really lovely, and brilliant for the price. Very good+ (£3.99)

Torres Sangredotoro 2001 Catalunya
Appealing nose with juicy berry fruit and a nice savoury edge. Lovely spicy, forward palate has enough savoury character to add interest. A lovely cheapie. Very good+ (£5.49 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

Wynns Coonawarra Shiraz 2000
Deep coloured. Rich, spicy concentrated wine with good depth of tarry fruit and nicely judged oak. Well made and a bargain at the offer price. Very good+ (£6.99 buy 2 save £4 = £4.99)

Seaview Brut NV, Australia
Lemony edge to the fruity nose. Fresh, high acid palate. Nicely judged and perfectly adequate fizz. A tempting prospect at the offer price. Very good (£6.99; buy any 2 Seaview save 25% = £5.24; buy any 12 Seaview wines save 30% = £4.89)

Seaview Rosé NV, Australia
Nice pale salmon colour. Good herby, fruity nose leads to a crisp, fruity high acid palate with nice herbiness. Very good+ (£6.99; buy any 2 Seaview save 25% = £5.24; buy any 12 Seaview wines save 30% = £4.89)

Premium pick: 12 wines £6–£12 

Vincent Girardin Bourgogne Blanc 2000
Attractive smoky, minerally nose shows some complexity. The palate is full flavoured and quite assertive with good acid and a slightly spicy finish. An impressive minerally white. Very good+ (£7.49 buy 2 save £1 = £6.99)

Knappstein Hand Picked Riesling 2001, Clare Valley, Australia
Very intense, rich limey nose with some floral complexity. Concentrated fruity palate with lots of intense, limey flavour and a slightly spicy edge. A brilliant example of the Clare Riesling style. Very good/excellent (£6.99)

Tim Adams Semillon 1999, Clare Valley, Australia
Complex lemony/toasty nose is quite fresh and bright. Rich, full flavoured palate with savoury, nutty, intense fruit, spicy oak and good acidity. A lovely full flavoured food wine that is concentrated but still has a lightness of texture. Very good/excellent (£7.99)  

Vincent Girardin Rully Blanc 1er Cru Les Cloux 2001
Lovely smoky, herby complexity on the nose with some nutty fruit. The palate is richly textured and quite complex: tight knit with good acidity. A brilliant example of Rully that is not too oaky, letting the minerality and fruit dominate. Very good/excellent (£8.99)

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)  

Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2000, McLaren Vale
Lovely vivid expressive nose with pure red and black fruits and spicy, liquoricey complexity. The fruit-driven palate displays great balance with good concentration and a spicy, oaky finish. Good acidity and quite lovely. Very good/excellent (£8.99 buy 2 save £1 = £8.49)

St Hallett Reward Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, Barossa
Lovely minty, chocolatey edge to the richly fruited nose. On the palate the ripe, sweet fruit meshes well with the oak and soft tannic structure. Good acidity. A very accessible, enjoyable wine. Very good/excellent (£9.99)  

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)  

Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella 1998
Brooding liquoricey, herby nose with clean berry fruit. The palate shows a good concentration of rich, sweet, spicy fruit with some herby notes and good acidity. A clean, modern style and needs some time to develop; I’ve scored this for potential. Very good/excellent (£11.99)

Canard Duchêne Brut NV Champagne
Rich, creamy nose with a touch of toasty character. Fresh, lively full flavoured palate is quite classy and satisfying. Very good/excellent (£17.99 buy 3 save 33% = £11.99)

Nicolas Feuillatte NV Champagne
Rich, appealing nose shows a touch of caramel. Slightly lifted. The boldly flavoured palate has good acidity and lovely balance. Impressive fizz: rich but balanced. Very good/excellent (£17.99 buy 3 save 33% = £11.99)

Pushing the boat out: £12 and above 

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2000 Santa Barbara County, California
Very classy intense, savoury, mealy nose with some bready, nutty notes. The palate is concentrated and nutty with good acidity supporting the focused fruit. Nicely structured, this is a serious new world Chardonnay. Very good/excellent (£15.99 buy any two Californian wines and save 15% = £13.59)

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)

Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2001, Marlborough, New Zealand
Quite lovely nose: smoky, herby complexity to the fruit, which shows good depth. Juicy fruit on the palate with a spicy edge and a hint of savoury medicinal character. Oak is there but not too prominent. Brilliant new world Pinot Noir. Very good/excellent (£13.99)

Nautilus Pinot Noir 2000, Marlborough, New Zealand
Open sweet herby nose with vivid berry fruit. The palate shows good concentration and lovely herby complexity to the nicely balanced fruit. Good acidity. Harmonious and expressive. Very good/excellent (£14.99)

Ca’ del Pipa Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1997
Lovely slightly cheesy nose with some volatile acidity and tarry cherry fruit. The chocolatey palate is rich, lush, slightly sweet and caramelly with a porty edge and good acidity. An old fashioned style but very attractive and unusual. Very good/excellent (£15.99)

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir 2001 Santa Maria Valley
Lovely focused herbal nose with some savoury leafy-edged berry fruit. The palate is well structured with some herbal, medicinal complexity. Restrained but complex; very appealing. Very good/excellent (£15.99 buy any 2 Californian wines and save 15% = £13.59)

Ceretto Bricco Asili Barolo Prapò 1998
Red/brown colour with a fading rim. Lovely seamless but intense herby, spicy nose. The palate is concentrated with firm, spicy structure underpinning the expressive herby, leathery fruit. Authentic and quite exciting, with lots of development ahead. Excellent (£34.99)  

Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 1996, Tokaji, Hungary
Unusual complex nose, with slightly lifted acidity and honeyed, marmaladey complexity. Lovely bitter-sweet palate with marmaladey tangy fruit, good acidity and some herby, caramelly complexity. Very good/excellent (£13.99)

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