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The Autumn Range at Majestic

by Tom Cannavan, 10/11

Better late than never, here is a round-up of 40 wines on offer at Majestic until 31st October 2011. Please note that multi-buy prices listed below will be available to Scottish customers of Majestic on single bottles. A six bottle minimum still applies in all stores, 12 bottles online.

white wines

Paul Mas, Chardonnay 2010, PGI Pays d'Oc
£8.49, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.49. 20% in American oak barrels. Just a little sheen of vanilla, but mostly bright orangy and apple fruit, just flecked with custard. The palate has lemon and a lean, fresh character, the citrus bite and crispness of the finish food friendly and fairly long. 86/100.

Cave de Lugny, Mâcon-Cruzille 'Le Chanay' 2009
£10.99, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £8.99. Stainless steel, matured on its lees for 12 months. Lots of rich, cashew and oatmeal creaminess to the apple and melon fruit. Mouth-filling, there is good fruit sweetness, though a little short in the finish arguably, but zesty and fresh. 87/100.

Marqués de Riscal, Rueda Blanco 2010
£7.99, 20% off Spanish Wines = £6.39. Leafy, elderflower notes with a SB-like pungency and hint of smokiness. The palate has loads of citrus, with tangerine and lime and an exotic hint, and lovely shimmering length. 87/100.

Planalto, Douro White Reserva 2010
£6.99, Portugal - Buy any 2 save £3 = £5.49. Juicy, fresh, melon and citrus fruit, with a little toast and nuttiness, and a wonderfully fresh palate of pear and apple that is dry, racy and fresh. 87/100.

Waimea Estate, Pinot Gris 2009, Nelson
£11.99, Buy 2 bottles save £8 = £7.99. Spicy and rich, and has real sweetness in an Alsace style, with residual sugar balancing acidity and giving it some penetration and elegance. 88/100.

Waimea Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Nelson
£9.99, Buy 2 bottles save £6 = £6.99. Pungently herbal, with green beans and asparagus to spare. Quite a full, textural palate, dry with a lemony grip to the fruit and plenty of bracing citrus acidity. 88/100.

Blind River, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough
£12.49, Buy 2 bottles save £5 = £9.99. From Awatere valley. 10% matured in aged French oak barriques. Pungent, oily green bean character, with a touch of fig and nuttiness, but such vibrant, punchy aromatics. The palate is full, luscious and intensely concentrated. Fabulous. 92/100.

St. Clair, Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough
£22.00, Buy 2 bottles save £14 = £15.00. Wairau valley. Lean, smoky, herbal, almost Pouilly-Fume style, with great intensity on the palate. Tropical fruit, but submerged under that intensity and grippy, long finish. 91/100.

Rustenberg, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Western Cape
£12.49, 20% off South African Wines = £9.99. Pales a little after the massive NZ examples, with a lovely leanness and apple acidity and freshness though. More restrained, but food friendly and beautifully made. 87/100.

De Morgenzon, Chenin Blanc 2009, Stellenbosch
£16.99, 20% off South African Wines = £13.59. 38 year old low-yielding bush vines. Honey and oatmeal, with a touch of orange and of charry, schist mineral quality too. Lovely palate-filling richness, the juicy fruit has an almost toffeed edge of richness that add lots of weight and texture. Long, toasty finish with pin-point sharpness too. 91/100.

Filosur, Chardonnay 2011, Andeluna Cellars, Tupungato
£9.99, Buy 2 bottles save £5 = £7.49. Sweet, ripe, very forward and fragrant fruit with a touch of peachy lift. Bright on the palate too, with a lean acid balance. Tight, though a little confected? 84/100.

Michel Torino, Torrontés 2010, Calchaqui Valley, Salta
£7.99. Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £5.99. Fantastic floral lift, with all the Torrontés exoticism, but the palate decisively citrusy and lemony, making it fish and ceviche-friendly. 87/100.

red wines

St Clair, Estate Selection Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough
£12.49, Buy 2 save £5 = £9.99. Nicely charcoally notes, and leafy raspberry fruit comes through, flecked with smokiness and clove. The palate has lots of juicy acidity and orange and cherry fruit, making this fairly straightforward, but juicy and flavourful. 87/100.

Paul Mas, Merlot 2010, PGI Pays d'Oc
£8.49, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.49. 20% in American oak barrels. Pleasant, fruit forward nose with cherry and plum pie aromas. The palate is fairly lean, with a solid acid core, the fruit quite ripe and brambly, but could perhaps do with just a touch more flesh. 85-86/100.

Paul Mas, Estate Syrah Viognier 'Nicole Vineyard' 2010, PGI Pays d'Oc
£8.99, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.99. Spicy and briary, there is cherry and raspberry fruit and just a teasing hint of the Viognier lift. The palate has lots of fruit and certain richness and sweetness, though the alcohol and grippy tannin edge leave it quite lean, quite savoury. 87/100.

Domaine Les Yeuses, 'Les Epices' Syrah 2009, PGI Pays d'Oc
£8.99, Buy 2 bottles save £3 = £7.49. 9 months in oak barrel on fines lees. A lovely profile of plump, ripe berry fruit, a little black olive note and plenty of peppery Syrah style. The palate is rich and full-fruited, with delicious balance, some meaty tannin and acid structure playing against the fruit. Long and steak friendly. 88/100.

Mas des Montagnes Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2009
£7.99, Buy 2 bottles save £3 = £6.49. 50% Grenache, 40% syrah, 10% Carignan. Creamy and quite plush black fruits, with a twist of spice and liquorice and nice savoury briar notes. The palate has lots of juiciness, with a firm core here, the tight tannins and juicy acids adding structure and savoury length. 87/100.

Laurent Miquel, L'Artisan 2009, AOC Languedoc
£7.99, Buy 2 bottles save £2 = £6.99. Syrah and Grenache. Unoaked. Quite deep and brooding, the tight, plush blue/black fruit aromas have a chocolaty depth. On the palate this has a full, mouth-filling weight and structure, with really nicely composed balance of creamy fruit, tannins and acidity. 88/100.

Domaine des Crès Ricards, 'Alexaume' 2009, PGI Mont Baudile
£9.99, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £7.99. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Carignan. Tight, ashy, charcoally notes here and a svelte black fruit quality coming through. Deliciously sweet fruit: masses of chocolaty blackcurrant and plum, and a smooth, silky texture into a well-defined finish. Lovely stuff. 89/100.

Premier Vin du Château de Pitray 2007, Côtes de Castillon
£8.99, Buy 2 bottles save £2 = £7.99. Vanilla and smooth, creamy tobacco and fruit notes over red plum fruit. The palate has a slightly lean character, the fruit sinewy and a little bit stretched, but then, but then: put it with a lamb chop or some cold roast beef and the classic cedary-edged, savoury fruit and balance would work beautifully. In the end, useful and classic 'luncheon' claret with a bit of maturity. 86/100.

Les Galets, Côtes du Rhône 2009
£6.99, Buy 2 bottles save £2 = £5.99. Lovely juicy appeal on the nose, with rounded, plush berries and a little spice and herbal edge. The palate really following a similar pattern: lots of fruit here, but freshness and spiciness too making this easy to drink and a versatile food partner. 87/100.

Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières, Rasteau 2009
£12.49, Buy 2 bottles save £5 = £9.99. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, Partly aged in small oak barrels. Lovely nose: quite deep and plush, but composed and showing a bit of meaty, sinewy richness as well as black fruit. Really floods the palate with thick black fruit, but all kept savoury by bittersweet tannins and a chocolate edge, and cherry acidity focusing the finish. Delicious. 90/100.

Reales Vinedos, Vendimia Seleccionada 2006, Castilla
£6.24, 20% off Spanish Wines = £4.99. 100% Tempranillo. Matured in American oak. A Rioja lookalike, with masses of bacon fat smokiness, spice and earthiness over black fruit. A nice mouthful, the spices and blackberry sweetness of fruit delivering a lot of bangs for the very small offer price bucks. 86/100.

Señorio del Aguila, Gran Reserva 2001, Cariñena
£7.49, 20% off Spanish Wines = £5.99. 60% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in oak barrels for 2 years (70% French and 30% American). Very classical nose, beautifully pitched with some cedar and pencil-shaving finesse, tobacco and warm, spicy autumnal fruit. The palate has more of the same, but we love the elegant brightness of the finish. A real bargain. 87-88/100.

Ribera del Duero Crianza 2008
£8.74, 20% off Spanish Wines = £6.99. 100% Tempranillo. 15 months in American oak. Dark, charry, tight and sinewy nose, with a real juiciness to the fruit. This is a tightly structured wine, that perhaps errs on the side of restraint a little too much, but then more chocolate and spice come through and this finishes with a bit more oomph. Juicy and well made. 87/100.

Beronia, Rioja Reserva 'Dos Maderas' 2006
£12.49, 20% off Spanish Wines = £9.99. 18 months in oak. The barrels are made exclusively for Beronia from two different oaks - French oak end and American staves. Plenty of smoky oak, tobacco and nutty, spicy richness here. The palate has deliciously sweet fruit that comes through with some conviction, edged with vanilla and slicked with sweetness. Good finish to this too, spices and a bit of grippy structure adding savour. 89-90/100.

Bodegas Muriel, Rioja Gran Reserva 2001
£12.49, 20% off Spanish Wines = £9.99. Quite a gamey and animal note of blood-streaked meats here that is authentically maturing Rioja, with a cherry and red berry fruit beneath. The palate has a fine cut of tannin and acid that keeps this pretty focused and juicy. 88/100.

Casabel, Vinho Tinto 2009, Lisboa
£7.49, Portugal - Buy any 2 save £3 = £5.99. Castel„o, Aragonez, Tinta Miuda. Bright, focused, cherry-ripe and cola nose that burst with fruit, a little sappy Beaujolais-like note too. On the palate really focused and has masses of sweet fruit, gently flecked with spices and plum, but truly delicious, modern and bright stuff. 86/100.

Porcupine Ridge, Merlot 2010, Coastal Region
£8.74, 20% off South African Wines = £6.99. A fair bit of lift to this: herbs and gamy top notes over green olive and berry fruit suggests a cool climate style. That leaner, more herby and underripe style is actually delicious: this does have a latent sweetness, but the palate has definition and sinewy precision that is lovely. 87-88/100.

Bellingham, Mocha Java Merlot 2010, Coastal Region
£7.49, 20% off South African Wines = £5.99. Swartland area. Fermented in new oak barrels. Nutty and chocolaty rather than overtly Starbuckian, this has cereal notes and toast to spare over the moderate black fruit. The palate has good fruit, the juicy, savoury flavours cutting through the oak, to give this a richness, sweetness, but a bit of savoury bite too. 86-87/100.

Porcupine Ridge, Syrah Viognier 2010, Western Cape
£8.49, 20% off South African Wines = £6.79. 94% Syrah, 6% Viognier. The apricot and peach lift of the Viognier is obvious and all the better for it adding a lovely extra dimension to the black fruit and spice of the Syrah. On the palate it has loads of sweet fruit, loads of tight, savoury pepper and spice and a nicely pitched finish of sour cherry and tight tannins. 87-88/100.

De Morgenzon, DMZ Syrah 2009, Stellenbosch
£9.99, 20% off South African Wines = £7.99. Big, sinewy, plush with lots of fruit and a bit of real structure. Chewily rich and long. 88/100.

Kanonkop, Kadette 2009, Stellenbosch
£10.99, 20% off South African Wines = £8.79. 46% Pinotage, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. This is well balanced, nicely black fruited, but somehow rather generic: good fruit and nicely pitched structure, but a little too well mannered for its own good? 87/100.

Rustenberg, John X Merriman 2008, Stellenbosch
£12.49, 20% off South African Wines = £9.99. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Matured in barrels for 20 months. Fairly meaty - a touch reductive - which blows off to leave black fruit and a touch of cedar in a classic Bordeaux mould. This is a little raw at present, and knowing this wine it will be better in five years when the acidity and tannins mellow. Good fruit, and well balanced. 88-89/100.

Rustenberg, RM Nicholson 2009, Stellenbosch
£12.49, 20% off South African Wines = £9.99. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec. Much more immediate refinement and composure than the John X Merriman, with silky, smooth black fruits and gloss of toast and spice. Lovely composure on the palate too, with plum and cherry skins adding a roughening bite, but the core of sweet fruit and plush, silky texture pushing through. 89/100.

Rustenberg, Peter Barlow Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Stellenbosch
£35.00, 20% off South African Wines = £27.99. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Matured in 100% new 225 litre French oak for 20 months. Peter takes a day off from the bookies to make this wine with its wild and herbal, eucalyptus character, flecked with briary green notes that are authentically Cabernet, but with loads of spice, mocha and cassis too. The palate has fine fruit sweetness, but of course savoury bite too: the herby and sinewy character to the tannins and acidity add structural grip and lots of food friendly bite. 91-92/100.

Errazuriz, Max Reserva Cabernet 2009, Aconcagua Valley
£12.49, Buy 2 bottles save £5 = £9.99. Aged for one year in French and American oak. Cedar, briary notes and a savoury character here with plum and nice depths of berry fruits. The palate has spice and chocolate to spare, but there is a pleasingly underripe hint of spice, pepper and olive, before the sweet fruit asserts. This finishes with juicy blackcurrant and liquorice, and lots of svelte texture and style. 88/100.

Koyle, Reserva Carmenere 2009, Alto Colchagua
£10.99, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £8.99. Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah. Mature in French oak barrels for 12 months. A certain leafiness, but not at all unpleasant and not detracting from the keen black berry fruit and hint of tobacco and woodsmoke on the nose. The palate has a lovely edge of liquorice, a tight, mouth-watering style where the roughening grip of plum and cherry skin tannin and acidity adds real grip and style. Long, with the sweet fruit reasserting in the finish. 90/100.

Filosur, Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Andeluna Cellars, Tupungato
£9.99, Buy 2 bottles save £5 = £7.49. I like the little ashy, mineral note of savoury, lightly green aromatic here, though tight blackcurrant fruit does assert itself. The palate has drying tannin that really grip, with as tension and savoury aspect that keeps the interest going here, through to a long, spicy finish. 87/100.

Viñalba, Reserva Cabernet Malbec Petit Verdot 2010, Mendoza
£11.99, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £9.99. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot 60% of the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. Very classically styled and composed, with black fruit that is svelte, plush but constrained with an espresso edge. Beautifully sweet and plush in the mouth, with grippy tannins and lots of savoury, structural support from the edgy, liquorice and plum skin character and good acidity. Food friendly and serious stuff for 5 years ageing at least. 90/100.

Bodegas Colomé Amalaya Malbec Blend 2009, Salta
£8.99, Buy 2 bottles save £4 = £6.99. From vineyards at 1,700 metres altitude, this has a gorgeous floral lift, with some herbs and some almost geranium like fragrance over the black fruit base. This very expressive Malbec continues on the palate with some meaty tones, the tight, endive and liquorice tannins adding a vital edge and the sweet fruit canoodling with the acidity to delightful effect in the long, sinewy finish. A fabulous buy at the offer price with immediate drinking appeal. 89/100.