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Tactics for Majestic Virgins

Folk still shy away from Majestic and its "minimum purchase" rules but it is actually quite easy to get great wine and great value there without spending a fortune.

When the genial Rowan Gormley took over as Majestic MD he said many folk still thought it was a trade only outlet.

In case you too are inhibited by its “minimum purchase of six bottles” rule (which – word is – may change anyway) here is a plan.

While these prices are time limited until 3 August, my judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the date of the post.

Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine in your local Majestic store.

Start with a classy bottle

First visit the Tasting Bar and pour a small sample of the wines on display- the staff will readily encourage you to do this.

Majestic ChardonnayThen – as a treat – pick one or, perhaps, two mid-priced bottles from those samples (or this post); here for example are three Australian options I enjoy.

The smooth and zippy 2014 Kangarilla Road Chardonnay (£9.74) has the restrained apple centred acidity that Adelaide Hills does well but still delivers fresh orange and vanilla flavours with just a mildly oak influenced finish.

Or with an impressive shiraz

Majestic Barossa ShirazPossibly you may prefer to head a little north west to the Barossa for some classic shiraz.


Ripe and textured, 2012 Basedows of Barossa Shiraz (£7.99) provides dense, dark black cherry fruit with tangy raspberry acidity, limited tannin but attractive hints of cinnamon and savoury spices.


Or a slightly fuller one

Majestic 2 up ShirazAlternatively, South Australia also provides the barbecue friendly 2013 2Up Shiraz (£7.99 instead of £10.65 until 31 August).


It has concentrated blackberry and ripe mulberry fruit, smoothly soft tannins, firm acidity and suggestions of sweet spices on the finish.


Now for the rest of the plan

Then make your purchases up to six bottles with modestly priced wines; the recommendations here are well-made wines that, to me, offer much better value than most of the “grab and go” bottles regularly seized during a weekly trolley dash.

Fresh and uncomplicated white

Majestic Pinot Grigio Wine 4 JulyAs a crude rule, the further south you go in Italy the less acidity there is to keep your pinot grigio fresh and lively.


While 2014 Natale Verga Pinot Grigio (£5.99 instead of £7.99 until 3 August) is from Pavia and lacks high altitude zingyness, it still delivers a citrus and red apple finish to counterbalance the floral white peach flavours on display here.

How’s this for chianti lite?

Majestic SangioveseItaly’s sangiovese grape is the force behind those inky, nutty, dark fruit chiantis that warm a winter night; such wines do have less robust younger brothers though.

The fresh and juicy 2014 Bricchetto Sangiovese (£4.99) for instance has limited tannin and its fruit is more red cherry and cranberry but there are still nice suggestions of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and a smooth almost sweetish finish.

Keeping things light

Majestic First Class Pinot Noir


Bio bio is a cooler (and wetter) part of Chile and that allows tasty if undemanding pinot noir – like this – to prosper.


Enjoy then the fresh red cherry acidity and soft raspberry touches of 2014 First Class Pinot Noir (£5.99) with its spicy finish and hints of those classic pinot earthy, beetroot-style components.

Any of those three wines will give you enjoyable drinking at good prices and a chance to look round the store to see all that Majestic has to offer

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