Majestic Creates an Excellent New Wine Club
By Master of Wine, Christopher Burr
It is a year since Majestic Wine was sold to US Private Equity firm Fortress Investment Group, and there has been a lot of change, some store closures, a big further development in On-Line sales, and a reappraisal of their in-store wine range. One of the best innovations though, has been the creation of a Majestic Wine Club in September.
The offer is clear; four carefully selected cases of twelve bottles during the year, plus a fifth for Christmas. The team selecting includes two Masters of Wine, and they have been able to choose smaller batches of some very interesting wines, starting in some of the main producing areas of France.
More-over they have used their buying prowess to get some very friendly prices, or at least from what we have seen with the first case, which we tasted last week, this is very good value for money.
In addition, each box contains some most useful notes about the wines, a little history about the wine, the places, the winemakers and the style of each wine with some tasting notes. There are also useful food and wine pairing tips. The accompanying leaflet is colourful and educational without being boring.
If you like traditional Claret, there is a very good Bordeaux Superieur from the ripe and juicy 2018 vintage, Chateau Timberlay. Whilst this is still young a fruit driven, it will benefit from more age, but is attractive and luscious now and an ideal wine to go with traditional roasts, steaks and lamb chops. You will see what I mean by benefiting from more age if you leave an open bottle you have opened for dinner till the next day. That extra oxidation will develop different flavours and soften the tannins to be a rounder more complex wine.
For a lovely every day quaffing red the big Southern France producer Gerard Bertrand has been included with his Reserve Speciale Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Soft round with lots of spicy wild fruit, this is a rustic easy drinking versatile wine which will go with most meat dishes, pate, and offal - kidneys, liver and bacon, and good hearty stews.
Again, from the South of France, Saint Rose La Garrigue 2018 is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, but with a "lifted" brightness and elegance, lots of red fruit and a hint of white pepper on the nose. This will be gorgeous with typical southern French cuisine, lots of grilled peppers, tomatoes, ratatouille, and be equally at home with grilled fish and meat.
For those who like fresh light reds, this first Wine Club case contains a good Beaujolais, Chateau de Pizay 2020. Juicy bright red fruits and cherry aromas, this is so easy to enjoy, and again a hugely versatile wine. I am thinking ahead to those cold meat suppers to finish off the Christmas fayre, this is the perfect wine for cold turkey or cold ham and beef, with perhaps a hot baked potato, or even some chips!
The white wines are equally exciting. I particularly liked the white Rhone, La Rabassieres, 2020 Cotes du Rhone, made from the roussanne grape, it has a bright ripe honeyed nose, with apricot and ripe bright citrus in the mouth. Perfect for grilled fish, or fish with a creamy sauce, such as a warming fish pie.
The white which everyone will enjoy, my sort of "fridge" wine, to keep for a quick glass before supper, or wonderful with shellfish like a bowel of prawns, is La Maison Blanche, Picpoul de Pinet. This grape has recently become very popular as an easy drinking everyday wine which has mouth-watering freshness and lemony character. Interestingly, the grape nearly died out several years ago but was kept going by the French white vermouth company Noilly Prat, who used the grapes as a base for their vermouth.
(Sadly this wine is unavailable at the time of publishing, however, we’ve found an alternative that you’ll love!)
All the wines in the first case are very interesting and there are no duds. We would highly recommend joining up to see what comes next, and we look forward to tasting and reviewing the Christmas case which is imminent.
Learn More about The Wine Club now! >