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Majestic Wine Warehouse's winter range 2002 press tasting

October 8th 2002

Part 3 The rest of the reds  

Because of the number of wines, I'm writing this Majestic wine press tasting up in five parts. First, the white wines, then the reds (in two parts, French and the rest), and then the fizz and fortifieds, plus separate recommended mixed cases (chosen from all these wines). The current offer period (for special offers referred to here) is November 4th 2002 until 27th January 2003. 

Pasqua Maruggia Rosso del Santo 2001
70% Sangiovese, 30% Primitivo. Deep coloured, this shows taut, savoury black fruits on the nose with a liquoricey richness. The palate displays juicy, savoury, tarry-edged black fruits with a firm spicy edge. Really lovely, and brilliant for the price. Very good+ (£3.99)

Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva 1998 Tuscany
Deep coloured wine. Tight herby nose with some tarry undertones. Good concentration on the palate with firm, savoury spicy character and good acidity. Quite bright. Very good+ (£9.99 buy 2 save £4 = £7.99)

Ceretto Barbera d’Alba Piana 1999 Piedmont
Classy packaging. Brightly coloured wine in a lovely fruit-forward style, displaying spicy-edged, tarry fruit and good acidity. Very appealing. Very good+ (£9.99)

Ca’ del Pipa Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 1998
A delicious wine in a rich style. Deep coloured, with a nose of sweet, forward berry and cherry fruit. The palate shows a good concentration of ripe, sweet fruit with a rich texture and just enough acidity to hold things together. Very good+ (£9.99 buy 2 save £2 = £8.99)

Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella 1998
Brooding liquoricey, herby nose with clean berry fruit. The palate shows a good concentration of rich, sweet, spicy fruit with some herby notes and good acidity. A clean, modern style and needs some time to develop; I’ve scored this for potential. Very good/excellent (£11.99)

Ca’ del Pipa Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1997
Lovely slightly cheesy nose with some volatile acidity and tarry cherry fruit. The chocolatey palate is rich, lush, slightly sweet and caramelly with a porty edge and good acidity. An old fashioned style but very attractive and unusual. Very good/excellent (£15.99)

Terre da Vino Barolo La Mora 1998
Slightly muted leathery nose leads to a firm, savoury palate with high acidity. Quite closed at the moment. Good/very good (£11.99)

Pio Cesare Barolo 1998
Mid-coloured with a fading rim. Some sweet herby lushness to the nose. Chewy, spicy savoury palate with good acidity and some authentic Nebbiolo (Barolo’s grape) character. Firm tannins make this quite challenging, but there’s potential for further development. Very good+ (£19.99)

Ceretto Bricco Asili Barolo Prapò 1998
Red/brown colour with a fading rim. Lovely seamless but intense herby, spicy nose. The palate is concentrated with firm, spicy structure underpinning the expressive herby, leathery fruit. Authentic and quite exciting, with lots of development ahead. Excellent (£34.99)

Ceretto Bricco Asili  Barbaresco Bernadot 1999
Taut, intense herby, spicy nose. The palate is firmly tannic but already showing some spicy complexity. Savoury and tight, this is a little closed but with great potential. Very good/excellent (£34.99)

Señorio de Las Llanos Gran Reserva 1996 Valdepeñas
Sweet caramel and coconut nose. The coconutty oak is almost overpowering on the palate. Odd. OK (£4.99)

Torres Sangredotoro 2001 Catalunya
Appealing nose with juicy berry fruit and a nice savoury edge. Lovely spicy, forward palate has enough savoury character to add interest. A lovely cheapie. Very good+ (£5.49 buy 2 save £1 = £4.99)

CVNE Rioja Reserva 1998
Nice herbal complexity to the slightly sweet, cocunut-edged fruit on the nose. Chunky, herbal-edged palate with some coconut, spice and vanilla from the oak. Appealing, archetypal Rioja. Very good+ (£9.99 buy any two CVNE wines save 20% = £7.99)

CVNE Vina Real Rioja Reserva 1998
Sweet herbs and spice notes add complexity to the open nose. The palate is savoury with chunky, spicy fruit and good acidity. Showing some early signs of evolution. Tasty. Very good+ (£12.99 buy any two CVNE wines save 20% = £9.99)

CVNE Imperial Rioja Reserva 1998
Really striking coconutty, nutty nose with forward sweet herbal fruit character. The palate is quite structured and chewy with good acidity. A striking wine in a traditional style. Very good+ (£14.99 buy any two CVNE wines save 20% = £11.99)

CVNE Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva 1995
Evolving nicely with some sweet herbal complexity on the nose. The structured palate shows spicy fruit and good acidity. Still some way to go here but attractive now, nonetheless. Very good+ (£17.99 buy any two CVNE wines save 20% = £14.39)

CVNE Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 1994
A big, traditional-styled wine for keeping. Taut herbal fruit on the nose leads to a firmly structured palate with dense savoury character and firm tannins. Needs time to open out. Very good+ (£18.99 buy any two CVNE wines save 20% = £15.19)  

Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2001, Marlborough, New Zealand
Deep coloured sweet edge to the berry fruit nose. Chewy herby fruit on the palate is ripe and rich with a spicy, tarry edge. A bold interpretation of Pinot Noir. Very good+ (£9.99)

Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2001, Marlborough, New Zealand
Quite lovely nose: smoky, herby complexity to the fruit, which shows good depth. Juicy fruit on the palate with a spicy edge and a hint of savoury medicinal character. Oak is there but not too prominent. Brilliant new world Pinot Noir. Very good/excellent (£13.99)

Nautilus Pinot Noir 2000, Marlborough, New Zealand
Open sweet herby nose with vivid berry fruit. The palate shows good concentration and lovely herby complexity to the nicely balanced fruit. Good acidity. Harmonious and expressive. Very good/excellent (£14.99)

Graham Beck Anthony’s Yard 1999, South Africa
One third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Forward intense, sweet spicy blackcurrant fruit dominates the nose, which leads to a palate of chunky, chewy, savoury fruit. A modern styled wine, this is rich and concentrated with a spicy finish. Very good (£5.99 buy 2 save £2 = £4.99)

Landskroon Shiraz 2000, Paarl, South Africa
Sweet spicy porty edge to the berry fruit on the nose. Chunky, chewy savoury fruit on the palate. Rich and concentrated with a spicy finish; this is a new world style. Very good (£6.99)

Wynns Coonawarra Shiraz 2000
Deep coloured. Rich, spicy concentrated wine with good depth of tarry fruit and nicely judged oak. Well made and a bargain at the offer price. Very good+ (£6.99 buy 2 save £4 = £4.99)

Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2000, McLaren Vale
Lovely vivid expressive nose with pure red and black fruits and spicy, liquoricey complexity. The fruit-driven palate displays great balance with good concentration and a spicy, oaky finish. Good acidity and quite lovely. Very good/excellent (£8.99 buy 2 save £1 = £8.49)

Amberley Estate Cabernet Merlot 2000, Margaret River
Attractive midweight berry fruit with a nice structure and some minerality. A restrained style. Very good+ (£8.99 buy 2 save £2 = £7.99)

Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 McLaren Vale
The attractive berry and blackcurrant fruit nose shows good balance. The chunky palate shows rich, sweet fruit with a spicy edge. Interesting and expressive. Very good+ (£8.99 buy 2 save £1 = £8.49)

Wynns Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Full, expressive nose of rounded blackcurrant and berry fruit. Good concentration on the palate, which is quite structured with a minerally edge. Will be interesting to see how this evolves. Very good/excellent (£9.99 buy 3 save 33% = £6.66)

Tatachilla Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, McLaren Vale
Rich, intense berry and blackcurrant fruit here, with some spicy structure. A full-on wine of great concentration. Very good+ (£8.99 buy 2 save £1 = £8.49)

Sandalford Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, Margaret River
Deep coloured. There’s a striking, minty note to the nose, with some rich, spicy black fruits dominating. Concentrated palate displays chunky, spicy fruit with some firm tannins. Quite oaky, but very well done in a bold style. Very good/excellent (£8.99)

St Hallett Reward Cabernet Sauvignon 1998, Barossa
Lovely minty, chocolatey edge to the richly fruited nose. On the palate the ripe, sweet fruit meshes well with the oak and soft tannic structure. Good acidity. A very accessible, enjoyable wine. Very good/excellent (£9.99)

Tim Adams ‘The Fergus’ 1999 Clare Valley
A red blend based on Grenache. Striking spicy, medicinal nose leads to a savoury, spicy palate with some warm, leathery/herby notes. Interesting and unusual. Very good+ (£9.99)

Gallo Redwood Ruby Cabernet 1999, California
There’s a rather unpleasant herby edge to this disjointed, juicy-fruited wine. Poor (£3.49 buy any 2 Californian wines and save 15% = £2.97)

Fetzer Eagle Peak Merlot 2000, California
Simple juicy berry fruit. Clean and accessible, but overpriced. Good  (£6.94 buy any 2 Californian wines and save 15% = £5.94)

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir 2001 Santa Maria Valley
Lovely focused herbal nose with some savoury leafy-edged berry fruit. The palate is well structured with some herbal, medicinal complexity. Restrained but complex; very appealing. Very good/excellent (£15.99 buy any 2 Californian wines and save 15% = £13.59)

Ravenswood Zinfandel 2000 California
As with all the Ravenswood wines, this has a lovely label. Vivid, juicy fruit on the palate with some spicy complexity. Some structure, but it’s drinking nicely now, although it would be hard to spot as a Zinfandel. Very good+ (£7.99 buy any 2 Californian wines and save 15% = £6.79)

Beringer Appellation Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, Napa
Good depth to the herby fruit on the nose. Midweight palate shows some evolution, with sweet fruit and a chalky character. Nicely balanced in quite a Bordeaux-like style. Tasty and drinking well now. Very good+ (£12.99 buy any 2 Californian wines and save 15% = £11.04)

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