A prestigious new award scheme has been launched here at Majestic! From now on, we’ll be regularly asking all of our knowledgeable staff to recommend their favourite wines to drink at a variety of occasions. There are 2 rounds of voting:
Round 1: Every single member of staff, from sales assistant to chief executive, has one week to nominate their choice of wine. They can nominate any wine from the range, all we ask is that we have enough in stock in case you take us up on the recommendation! The five most popular wines make the shortlist.
Round 2: Each store team now has one week to vote for their favourite of the shortlisted wines. The winning wine in this round gets the coveted Golden Grape Award!
After a fortnight of frantic voting and breathless anticipation, we’re happy to announce the winner of the first Golden Grape Award . . .
Rioja Reserva 2005 Muga
Won 32% of the final votes
“This deep ruby Reserva Rioja from Muga is my perfect wine for Easter Sunday. Heady aromas of sweet vanilla from American oak fill the glass, with notes of fresh strawberry, cedar and spice. Pure fruit flavours of redcurrant and cranberry follow through on the palate. French oak also works its magic with notes of cedar, spice and clove. The ripe tannins, partially owing to the 24 months in oak, are integrated beautifully and will stand up well to the robust meatiness of roast lamb, making an excellent match for your Easter Sunday lunch. Redcurrant and vanilla linger on the gloriously long finish from this outstanding Rioja.”
Dan Briggs, Trainee Manager, Majestic Clapham
This Rioja is a wonderful pairing for a roast leg of spring lamb stuffed with rosemary and garlic. The rich, dark berry fruits contrast the savoury lamb and complement the sweet, caramelised garlic superbly. Bright acidity in this wine cuts through the delicate white fat found in spring lamb, while the rosemary brings out a light herbaceous note in this excellent Rioja.
Matt Philpott, Marketing Manager
This first ever award, designed to find the perfect partner for a classic Easter dish, was certainly hotly contested, with the runner-up in particular making it tough competition for the Muga Reserva. The other wines on the shortlist were…
Rioja Reserva 2004 Marqués de Murrieta
A very close runner up with a very respectable 29% of the final votes
“This Rioja is from one of the regions historic producers. A lovely nose of cedar spice and vanilla, following on to notes of cassis and cranberry on the palate with a lengthly finish. A medium bodied wine and a perfect choice to accompany roast lamb. Clearly a super vintage from a respected producer at a fantastic price!”
Ed Gamble, Manager, Majestic Oxford
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 14 Pinot Noir 2008
18% of the final vote
“Aged in French oak, this luscious wine displays an entourage of juicy Red fruits and plums. It has a superb length and quite a warming finish, making this a perfect partner for the little spring lambs.”
Paul Roberts, Manager, Majestic Tunbridge Wells
12% of the final vote
“The 2002 Gran Vendema Gran Reserva Rioja is ruby red in colour with a nose of ripe red berry fruit, tobacco, cedar and hints of vanilla. The palate has a character of strawberries, blackberries and chocolate rounded off with soft velvety tannins. The subtle flavours and soft tannins make it an ideal partner to spring lamb.”
Jamie Baxter, Manager, Majestic Southampton
8% of the final vote
“The Marques de Riscal Reserva is a classic example of a standout Rioja at an affordable price. A seductive nose of ripe strawberries wonderfully accompanied by sweet vanilla conjures up memories of idyllic summer evenings. The palate follows on beautifully with the barrel ageing offering a complex cedar backdrop to the fresh strawberry fruit balanced by soft rounded tannins with a pleasant lightness. While the finish lingers on, memories of all the great occasions whereby the Riscal Reserva has been the soundtrack come flooding back, whether it be accompanying a succulent roast Lamb or enjoyed with friends! “
Stefan Rees, Manager, Majestic Shrewsbury
Feel free to offer your own suggestions for partnering spring lamb in the comments, or if you have an idea for something that you would like to see Majestic staff vote on in the future email me a suggestion!