The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - EAT IN - Susy Atkins

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.

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