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Majestic's summer range 2002 press tasting

April 25th 2002

Part 2 The reds, rosé and fizz

Because of the number of wines, I'm writing this Majestic wine press tasting up in three parts. Lest week I wrote up 57 white wines, and here is part 2, consisting of 81 reds, rosés and some fizz. Later, I'll choose a separate recommended mixed case (chosen from these wines). The current offer period (for special offers referred to here) is May 7th until July 9th 2002. 


2001 Rosé d’Anjou La Jaglerie, France
Very pale colour. Crisp, grassy nose with a hint of strawberries leads to a lovely rich, fruity palate with good acidity and a touch of sweetness to the fruit. Impressive for the price. Very good+ (£3.49)

2001 Côtes du Ventoux Rosé Le Passe Colline, Rhône, France
Bright pink in colour, this is clean, rounded and fruity with good acidity. (£3.99)

2001 Abbaye de Sylva Plana Faugeres Rosé France
A rosé de saignée, made when some of the freshly squeezed must is run off to enhance the concentration of red wines. Bright pink. It has a slightly muted, rounded fruity nose and a savoury, herby edge to the palate. Nice stuff. Very good (£4.99)

2001 Château Guiot Rosé Costières de Nîmes, France
Bright pink. Bit of herby fruit to the nose; fresh high-acid palate. Good/very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £1 = £4.49)

2001 Chiaretto Cavalchina Estate, Italy
Pale pink. There’s a herby edge to the nose which shows some strawberry character. Very crisp, high-acid palate with bright fruit. Attractive stuff. (£4.99 buy any 6 Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2001 Rioja Rosado Muga, Spain
Pale pink. Distinctive savoury note to the nose with some herby strawberry fruit. Herby fruit on the palate: this is quite a rich style of rosé. Very good (£5.99 buy 2 save £2 = £4.99)

2001 Château Méaume Rosé Bordeaux, France
Vivid pale pink colour. There’s a grassy, slightly herbaceous edge to the nose. Very savoury palate with rather harsh acidity. Good (£5.49)

2001 Château de Sours Rosé Esme Johnstone, Bordeaux, France
Bright pink. Quite a grassy nose with a blackcurrant edge. Vivid, high-acid palate is very fruity and quite full flavoured. A challenging wine, perhaps better with food. Very good (£6.99)

2001 Sancerre Rosé, Domaine Roger Neveu, Loire, France
Very pale orange/pink colour. Enticing nose with some strawberry and berry fruit notes. Piercing acidity on the palate makes this quite a challenging wine. Very good (£7.99)

2001 Sancerre Rosé la Guiberte Alain Gueneau, Loire, France
Extremely pale salmon pink colour. Shy nose with a touch of herbiness. Austere, herby, high acid palate makes this quite hard to drink. A traditional style? I can’t see this one flying off the shelves at a penny under a tenner. Good/very good (£9.99)



2001 Beaujolais Villages Domaine de la Plaigne Gilles Roux
Pale colour. Subtle but attractive cherry fruit nose with a touch of bubblegum. Soft, nicely balanced palate. Pleasant and easy to drink. Very good (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

2000 Morgon Printemps Georges Duboeuf
Pale cherry red colour. Light nose with a touch of raspberry fruit. The palate is nicely savoury and well balanced: lots of fruit, but perhaps a little simple. Good/very good (£6.99   buy 2 save £3 = £5.49)

2001 Morgon Jean Descombes Georges Duboeuf
The bold raspberry fruit on the nose is very summery and quite striking. The palate is dominated by summer fruits, and the juicy acidity makes this a refreshing full flavoured red wine. Very good/excellent (£7.49 buy 2 bottles save £2 = £6.49)


2000 Bourgogne Passetoutgrains Cave Co-op Buxy
This refreshing, juicy, nicely balanced red is good value. Very pale coloured, the nose shows strawberry and raspberry fruit, and leads to a palate that shows rounded juicy fruit. With good acidity, this is not massively complex but it is an attractive Burgundy at a bargain price. Very good (£3.99)

2000 Mâcon Rouge St-Gengoux
Pale coloured. Quite a striking, spicy nose with a touch of roasted character. The palate shows relatively full flavoured berry fruit and high acidity: a nice summer red. Very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £1 = £4.49)

1999 Marsannay Rouge Louis Latour
Pale coloured. Simple, pure cherry fruit on the nose, which is forward and savoury. Nice density of savoury cherry fruit on the palate with good acidity. This is a nice red Burgundy in an attractive style. Very good+ (£7.49)

2000 Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge Blain-Gagnard
Appealing nose of herby cherry fruit with some complexity. Nice savoury cherry-fruited palate with good density and a bit of spiciness. Good balance here: it’s not a blockbuster, but that’s not the style this sort of wine is aiming at. Very good/excellent  (£10.99 special offer £9.99)

2000 Pernand-Vergelesses Domaine Nicolas Rossignol
Lovely savoury, smoky lift to the nose. Palate is dry and savoury with lovely balance between the red fruits, dry tannins and acidity. Very good + (£9.99)

2000 Aloxe Corton Domaine Rossignol Jeanniard
This is classic Pinot Noir, drinking well now but with the structure to age for a few years, too. The nose is savoury with an attractive herby/spicy complexity. The palate displays chunky, savoury fruit, firm tannins and good acidity. Very good/excellent (£13.99)

1999 Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Domaine Marc Roy
Quite an arresting nose: it’s very forward with notes of herbs and spices, together with tarry oak and rich fruit. The palate is full and rich with good tannins and lots of fruit. Finishes quite dry, and with a fair bit of oak. Worth a high rating for the gorgeous nose, but be aware that this is a very full, modern style of red Burgundy. Very good/excellent (£14.99)

French Regions

2001 Cuvée de Richard Red Vin de Pays de l’Aude
There’s more than you could hope for here at this price. This is a tasty, fruity red wine with good density and a touch of caramel. Despite the bargain basement price there’s nothing wrong with this, and it wouldn’t embarrass you if you served it at parties. Good/very good (£2.89)

2001 Cuvée des Amandiers Vin de Pays d’Oc
Deep coloured, with a lovely liquoricey edge to the fruit. Quite a rich, chunky palate with a bit of spiciness and lots of rich fruit. Brilliant for the money. Very good (£2.99)

2001 Domaine Plantade Syrah Merlot Vin de Pays d’Oc
Forward, spicy fruit on the nose is very attractive, with a slightly mineral edge. Savoury, chewy palate shows good concentration. Brilliant commercial winemaking. Very good+(£4.49 buy 2 save £1 = £3.99)

2001 Château Guiot Costières de Nîmes
There’s a cherryish, bubblegum edge to the nose and bright fruit on the palate. A nice glugger. Good/very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £1 =£4.49)

2001 Terra Vitis Corbieres
Vivid purple colour. Liquoricey, herby fruit on the nose and accessible, rich dark fruits on the palate. This is a modern-styled red that’s quite impressive for the price. Very good (£4.99)

2000 Faugères Abbaye Sylva Plana La Closeraie
Deep coloured, this chunky red wine has a slightly roasted, toasty edge to the nose. The chewy, savoury palate shows roasted coffee notes, berry fruit and quite firm tannins. A savoury wine that’s potentially ageworthy. Very good+ (£6.49 buy 2 save £1 = £5.99)


2000 La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Ventoux, Domaines Perrin
Warm, southern-style herb-tinged nose leads to a chunky, chewy palate with slightly peppery, savoury berry fruit. Solid effort. Very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £1 = £4.49)

2000 Beaumes de Venise La Chapelle Nôtre Dame d’Aubune
Deep coloured with a pronounced peppery nose. Lovely rich peppery fruit on the palate. Quite fresh, with good acidity. Very good+ (£5.49 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

2000 Vacqueyras Cave Co-op de Beaumes de Venise
Shy, slightly peppery and meaty nose. Nice savoury chunky fruit on the palate with a peppery, roasted edge. Mid-weight. Very good (£5.99 buy 2 save £1 = £5.49)

2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Grandes Serres
£9 is as cheap as Châteauneuf gets, and this is a little disappointing. Muted, slightly peppery nose leads to a palate displaying peppery, herby fruit. It’s quite tasty, but there’s little to differentiate this from a regular Côtes du Rhône. Good/very good (Special Offer £8.49)

2000 Gigondas Domaine des Chênes Blancs
Attractive rich, sweet liquoricey nose with some caramel character. Juicy, sweetly fruited palate has a peppery edge. A very forward style of Gigondas. Very good+ (£9.99 Special Offer £8.99)


2000 Château de Nardon Bordeaux Supérieur
Deep coloured. Very attarctive minerally, chalky edge to the deep blackcurrant and berry fruit on the nose. The palate displays bright, juicy blackcurrant fruit. Ripe and works very well with a nice mineral edge. Wonderful for the price. Very good+ (£5.49 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

1999 Moulin de la Lagune Haut-Médoc
Relatively light red colour with a fading rim. Quite attractive ripe nose shows creamy blackcurrant fruit. The palate is savoury and well balanced, with some minerality. This is a classic style with great balance. Very good+ (£12.99 Special Offer £10.99)

1998 Château Grand Faurie Larose St-Emilion Grand Cru
There’s an attractive mineral streak to the classy restrained cassis fruit on the nose.The fruit is beginning to recede a bit on the mid-weight savoury palate, leaving a tasty mineral/acid core with some earthiness to it. A classical savoury style drinking well now. Very good+ (£13.99 Special Offer £12.99)

1997 Château La Grave Figeac St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Quite pale in colour but with a lovely savoury, mineralic leafy edge to the restrained cassis fruit. Midweight palate with a chalky edge and some herby notes. Classy and balanced. Very good/excellent (£16.99 Special Offer £14.99)

1998 Les Pagodes de Cos St-Estèphe
The second wine of Cos D’Estournel. Deep coloured. Full nose is rich and creamy, with lots of chalky berry fruit. Chunky tannic palate has lots of stuffing but currently lacks elegance. Needs time? Very good+ (£17.99 Special Offer £15.99)     


1999 Sogrape Duque de Viseu Dao
Quite a forward herby, slightly peppery nose with a touch of caramel. The palate shows herby berry fruit with some interest: midweight and expressive. Good value at under a fiver. Very good (£4.99 buy 2 save £1 = £4.49)

1999 Duas Quintas Tinto Douro
Quite a muted nose showing traces of herby berry fruit. The palate displays nice savoury, chunky fruit. Quite tight at them moment, but the balance and concentration hint that this might develop nicely in the bottle. Very good (£6.99 buy 2 save £2 = £5.99)


NV Protocolo Tinto Dominio de Eguren
Very forward and accessible, showing rich, sweet liquoricey fruit. Fruity palate with a vanilla/coconut edge. An oaky crowd pleaser. Very good (£3.99 buy 2 save £1 = £3.49)

1997 Rioja Reserva Viña Alberdi
Evolved red colour with a bricking rim. Rich, sweet, leafy nose with a touch of coconut. Quite expressive. Dry, savoury, chunky palate shows herby fruit and some coconut and vanilla character. Spoiled by a hint of uncleanness, perhaps from the barrels. Very good (£9.99 Special Offer £8.99)  


2000 Valpolicella Terre del Sole Pasqua
Bright, modern fruity red wine with a slightly savoury twist and good acidity. Good/very good (£3.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £3.39)

1999 Chianti DOCG Casellino Fratelli Grati
deep coloured modern, juciy Chianti with a dry, savoury finish but also plenty of fruit. Great value. Good/very good (£4.49 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £3.82)

2001 Bardolino Cavalchina Estate
Italian Beaujolais! There’s a roasted, toasty edge to the vivid cherry fruit on the nose. Full flavoured, very juicy and fruity on the palate with some oak apparent. Quite enjoyable. Very good (£4.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2000 Valpolicella Classico Santepietre
A rich, juciy, modern style with good concentration and acidity. Good/very good (£4.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.24)

2000 Cabernet Montello DOC Veneto, Venegazzu Loredan Gasparini
This Cabernet Sauvignon, from an estate just 20 km north of Venice, represents brilliant value at just over a fiver. There's a very appealing mineral edge to the nose with some black fruit character. The palate is delicious, savoury and chalky, with firm tannins in the backgorund. Not too fruit dominated, this works really well. Very Bordeaux-like. Very good/excellent (£5.49 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £4.67)

2000 Barbera d’Asti Alfredo Prunotto
Vivid cherry fruit dominates the nose and palate. Good concentration and nice acidity. This is a well balanced wine in an attractive commercial style. Juicy and rich. Very good+ (£5.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £5.09)

1999 Rosso Conero Conti Cortesi
Very deep coloured. Intruiging herby, slightly meaty nose. Good density of rich, spicy fruit on the palate. This is an appealing and unusual wine in a modern mould. Very good+ (£5.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £5.09)

2000 Santa Christina Antinori
Deep coloured. Quite a stinky, smoky, meaty nose. Richly fruited palate with cherry and raspberry fruit, and a tarry edge. Dry, dusty tannins on the finish. A modern take on Sangiovese with good concentration. Very good+ (£5.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £5.09)

2000 Chianti Classico Banfi
Classic peppery, spicy cherry fruit with a savoury, slightly bitter finish. Very good (£7.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £6.79)

1999 Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso La Casetta di Ettore Righetti
A brilliant interpretation of Valpolicella, and super value at the offer price. Deep coloured. Rich, herby, liquoricey, spicy edge to the fruit on the nose. The palate is savoury with a good concentration of rich, slightly sweet-edged herby fruit and firm acidity. Lovely. Very good/excellent (£7.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £6.79)

2000 Barbera d’Alba delle Vigne Vecchie De Forville
Exotic, rich herby nose with sweet vanillin oak. Very forward palate, again with a very strong oak imprint which spoils things a bit. Good/very good (£8.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £7.64)

1999 Poderuccio Camigliano Tuscany
Very deep coloured with tight berry fruit and spice on the nose. Impressive concentration on the rich, chunky, spicy palate with high acidity. Needs time? Very good+ (£8.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £7.64)

2000 Rosso di Montalcino Banfi
Deep coloured with an attractive but restrained nose of spicy, herby fruit. Lovely chunky spicy palate with firm tannins and brambly fruit. Very savoury, this would make a good food wine and it probably has some room for development. Very good/excellent (£9.99 buy any six Italian wines save 5% = £8.49)

1997 Barolo La Mora
I was a bit disappointed with this. It’s not a bad wine but it lacks that lovely perfume that top notch Nebbiolo often has. Faded red colour. Quite a tight, tannic wine: clean and well made, may develop. Very good (£13.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £11.89)

1999 Aglianico del Vulture Val del Trono
This mid-weight wine shows a fresh, lifted herby nose with some berry fruit. Medium bodied palate with some spiciness to the fruit. Quite a restrained style. Very good (£9.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £8.49)

1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Tedeschi
Tight, rather closed nose with some herby character. The chunky palate shows a slightly roasted edge to the sweet fruit. Good concentration but not giving much away at the moment. Very good (£12.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £11.04)

1995 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Cà del Pipa
Deep coloured. Striking nose with sweet cherry fruit and rather off-putting volatile acidity. The palate is rich, tannic, sweet fruited and spicy. An unusual wine in a very traditional style: not for everyone, but I like it. Very good+ (£15.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £13.59)

1995 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Cà del Pipa Le Vigne
Amarone wines are made for grapes that have been dried on racks for some months after harvest.  Lovely rich fragrant nose with herbs, cherries and caramel, together with some volatile acidity (although this is less volatile than the regular cuvée. The palate shows rich, liquoricey fruit with a caramel edge and high acidity. Rich, expressive, old fashioned and quite wonderful. Very good/excellent (£17.99 buy any six Italian wines save 15% = £15.29)


2000 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir
Pale coloured this has a lovely intense nose of bright cherry fruit with a slightly medicinal edge. Palate is rich, juicy and quite complex. A ripe, fruity new world Pinot Noir with some elegance. Very good+ (£10.99 Introductory Offer - Will be £11.99)

2000 Montes “Limited Selection” Pinot Noir
Quite pale. Fragrant nose of sweet strawberry and cherry fruit. Rich, balanced palate with soft fruit and good acidity. Very good+ (£7.49 buy 2 save £1 = £6.99)

1999 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon Curico Valley
Rich, creamy blackcurrant fruit on the nose. Rich, sweet fruit on the palate with good concentration and a soft texture. Some restraint has been shown here, and the wine displays great balance. Very good/excellent (£9.99 buy 2 save £2 = £8.99)

1998 Montes Alpha Merlot Curico Valley
Sweet fruit and soft creamy oak influence on the nose. Good concentration of ripe juicy fruit on the palate. Very good+ (£9.99 buy 2 save £2 = £8.99)

2000 Montes Alpha Syrah Apalta Valley
This high-end Chilean Syrah shows assertive ripe spicy berry fruit on the nose with a liquoricey edge. The rich palate shows a good density of ripe berry fruit: quite sweetly fruited with good acidity. Very good+ (£11.99)

1999 Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre Merlot
Very deep purple colour. Ripe tarry nose leads to a concentrated, juicy palate dominated by ripe blackcurrant fruit with a slightly minerally, high-acid edge. Very good+ (£14.99  Special Offer £12.99)


1999 Pirramimma Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale
This concentrated Cabernet shows rich, juicy blackcurrant fruit with a spicy edge. Very good (£7.99 buy 2 save £3 = £6.49)

1999 Pirramimma Premium Cabernet McLaren Vale
Pirramimma couldn’t be accused of making subtle, understated wines. This is an archetypal Aussie wine with great concentration and lots of new oak. It displays attractive, sweet fruit with lots of spicy oak character. Very good+ (£9.99 = buy 2 save £4 = £7.99)

1998 Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
A great price for this ageable Cabernet. Lovely classic Coonawarra nose showing creamy, chalky cassis fruit with a mineral edge. Savoury rich berry fruit on the chunky palate, with some spicy oak, good tannins and nice balance. Very good/excellent (£9.99 buy 3 save 33.3% = £6.66)

1999 Bethany Cabernet Merlot Barossa Valley
Quite a restrained, classy mineralic style of Cabernetwith ripe berry fruit and smooth tannins. Attractive stuff. Very good+ (£9.99  Special Offer = £8.99)

1999 Amberley Estate Cabernet Merlot Margaret River
Slightly leafy, creamy berry fruit on the nose. Palate shows good balance and quite firm tannins. Very attractive savoury style. Very good+ (£9.99 buy 2 save £4 = £7.99)

1998 Pirramimma Petit Verdot McLaren Vale
From the largest Petit Verdot vineyard in Australia. Full-on minty nose with sweet fruit and a menthol edge. The rich palate is concentrated with liquoricey fruit and lots of new oak. A big style with lots of everything. Very good+ (£8.99 buy 2 save £2 = £7.99)

2000 Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz
Rich, sweetly fruited wine with a herby edge to the berry fruit. Very approachable and a good buy at the offer price. (£5.99 buy 6 Bin 65, Bin 45 and Bin 50 save 33% = £3.99)

1999 Oxford Landing Y Series Shiraz Limited Release Special Parcel
Ripe, herby berry fruit with some spicy oak influence. Accessible, and a good drinking wine. Very good (£6.99)

2000 Rosemount Estate Shiraz
Fruity, spicy red with a lush texture. Very accessible and well made, this is an attractive easy drinker. The regular price is farcically high, the offer price about right. Not as good as previous vintages? Very good (£7.49 buy any 6 Rosemount wines for £30 = £5.00)

1999 Kangarilla Road Shiraz McLaren Vale
Quite a classy McLaren Vale Shiraz. Restrained style but with noticeable spicy oak bolstering the berry fruit. Very good+ (£8.99 buy 2 save £2 = £7.99)

1999 Pirramimma Stocks Shiraz McLaren Vale
Full, rich spicy red with good concentration and lots of ripe fruit. A good buy at this price. Archetypally Australian with ripe, liquoricey fruit. Very good+ (£6.99            buy 2 save £2 = £5.99)

1999 Pirramimma Premium Shiraz McLaren Vale
Very deep coloured with a rich, minty nose showing ripe sweet fruit and a touch of eucalyptus. Concentrated, sweet palate with savoury spicy oak. A huge wine, and quite forward in its appeal. Very Australian. Very good/excellent (£9.99 buy 2 save £4 = £7.99)

Buenos Aires Brut
Quite a clean, crisp nose, leading to a forward, fruity palate. Very accessible and ideal for parties. Good/very good (£4.99 buy six save 20% = £3.99)

Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Extra Dry
Clean, fresh nose with attractive high-acid palate and a touch of grassy character. Nice balance. Very good (£6.99 buy 2 save 20% = £5.59)

Heidsieck Brut
Distinctive herby, grassy edge to the nose. Full flavoured, savoury palate with just a touch of greenness. I’m not terribly keen on this. Good/very good (£16.49 buy 3 save 33% = £10.99)

Nicolas Feuillatte
Restrained, attractive nose is bready and toasty with a distinctive yeasty edge. Full flavoured palate is really well balanced and nicely savoury. Quite delicious. Very good/excellent (£17.99 buy 3 save 33% = £11.99)

Nicolas Feuillatte 1994
Quite a powerful nose: savoury, rich, yeasty and bready. Full flavoured palate is very rich with good acidity. Quite a big style – a lovely wine. Very good/excellent (£23.99 buy 3 save 33% = £15.99)

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