Achance to catch up with the latest wines at Majestic is always welcome. Judged high street chain of the year at the reliable IWC Awards last year, it often strikes a good balance between providing slightly offbeat wines and decent value for money.
I say ‘often’. Majestic’s sparklers, its endless rows of dry Italian whites and sauv blancs, and its very cheapest wines are less than thrilling. But there is much else to inspire, as its recent press tasting showed. It’s been possible to buy just one bottle (of anything) for some time – so you can dip into its stores more on a whim than in the past. Although the ‘mixed six’ reduced prices are well worth noting, too.
Of the new whites, the salt-tinged, lemon-sherbet Voila Lryraris Assyrtiko 2016, Crete (£11.99, or £9.99 in a mixed six) is Majestic’s first Greek wine in a decade. And the latest vintage of the lychee-scented Vinalba Torrontés 2015, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina (£9.99, or £7.99 in a mixed six) would make a striking new-season aperitif.
Best reds include gutsy La Grange des Combes 2014, St-ChinianRoquebrun, France (£11.99, or £9.99 in a mixed six), packed with juicy cassis and black liquorice, great with steak, and a Spaniard from the region of Montsant, the Rojalet Negre 2015 (£8.99, or £7.99 in a mixed six), inkypurple with peppery bramble and damson and just asking for roast lamb.
Then there’s the spirits range – the gins, rums, vodkas and brandies are impressive. Here are three more good buys to look out for in store.