Monday, 18 July 2011

Majestic Wine - Recommended Whites

Hello all,

Welcome to the second part of the Majestic recommendations, if you missed last week's Recommended Reds then you can find it here:

We've had some superb whites lately from Majestic and it's worth keeping your eye on them for 20%-off offers that they regularly do. What made these stand out was the added dimension of complexity, either from lees-aging, barrel fermenting or just plain old good winemaking! There's so much more than just fruity plonk from a damn-good white wine, and I think Majestic carry a good range for very little money, in the grand scheme of things. If you're not keen on whites then I suggest you give some of these a try; hopefully they'll change your mind...

Anyway, without further ado, here are the best we've had in the past few weeks...

First up, three great Chardonnays from around the globe:

From South Africa was the stunning Vergelegen Chardonnay 2010 (13.5% and I can't remember how much, but about £11 I think). Awesome smells of honeyed fruit, mint leaves, nutty and creamy, stony fruit and D could smell mown-grass. On the palate it displayed that smoked ham and cheese characteristic of a good barrel-aged Chardonnay (like Applewood smoked cheese!), the sweetness of ripe peach and a slight lemon zing. It developed more fruit, apricot, honey, vanilla and almond with time. Purity, balance, restraint and elegance are all fluffy wine "buzzwords" but, thinking about it, they really do make sense with this wine. Effortless drinking and great complexity 8.5/10. Very much in the same vein was the Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2009 (13.5%). Yeasty, bready smells coupled with honey, woodsmoke, vanilla and tropical fruit. The taste was immense, again smoked ham and cheese evident, "flinty" minerality, tropical fruit and some zingy citrus. Alcohol was apparent but not too overpowering and a slight bitter edge dropped it half a mark on the Vergelegen; giving 8/10. Finally for the Chardies, the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Chardonnay 2010 was another beaut; on the nose, citrussy sharpness mingled with wet-stone minerality, nuttiness and a herby whiff of asparagus/nettles/grass. Great complexity of taste too with plenty of acidity, a lemon/lime zing tempered by a sort of meringue-like sweetness/creaminess. Tropical fruits mixed with peach along with a woody, vanilla, oaky character with an underlying minerality. Lovely 8/10.

I'm a big fan of Italy's Alto Adige region, where the whites always exude a freshness that makes  me think of the snow-covered Alps nearby. Not letting the side down was the Stella Alpina Pinot Grigio 2009 (13.5%). Lots of lemon/lime citrus zing, searing acidity (but not in the slightest bit harsh) and superb fruit purity. Great value too (this was £7.99 on offer) 7.5/10. We've not often had many wines from the US on here (which is bordering on criminal) so I thought we'd give this a shot, from the organic Bonterra Vineyards Viognier 2008 from grapes grown in the Mendocino and Lake Counties and about £9.99. It might have been the several glasses of other wines we'd had before this talking but, this was good! Deep, bright gold in colour it smelled of lemonade, vanilla and peach. Awesome complexity on the palate with toasty, yeasty bread and pure peach nectar. I'd like to re-confirm this at some point but my pissed score is...I'm fairly sure... 9/10! (The handwriting was starting to waiver around this point). Hmmm, one to come back to I think. Lastly, the Torres Vina Esmerelda 2010 was again a pleasure. This was covered more in-depth in my Torres feature but still deserves a mention here. For about £8, this is superb. A blend of Moscatel and Gewurz it is really peachy and smooth, very drinkable with a long refreshing lemon/lime finish. Great stuff and great value 8/10.

So there you have it, some great whites from Majestic and for the most part, great value too.

As always,

Speak to you soon,



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