It’s that time of the year where Jane MacQuitty samples scores of wines in order to ascertain the star players for her Summer Top 100 featured in The Saturday Times. This season, it’s been split in half, with the 50 Best Summer White Wines having been released a week ahead of the reds.
We’ve been extremely pleased to find that Majestic’s wines feature 7 times in the list and our La Grille Sauvignon Blanc has been marked as ‘Jane’s Top Pick’ from the entire line-up of 50 Summer whites, whilst our Labouré-Roi Saint Romain featured as her ‘Best under £12’ white.
Here are the Majestic wines that Jane chose along with her reviews:
“Charles and Philippa Sydney left Blighty for the good life in the Loire years ago and their latest endeavour is the gorgeous La Grille range, showcasing the region’s finest grapes and growers. Indeed, La G’s stunning whites, pinks and reds have popped up here before and Paul Buisse’s Touraine sauvignon wings in as the latest arrival. Although Buisse has a century-old family-owned négociant, or merchant firm, this sauvignon comes from his own Touraine vines and is fermented and aged in stainless steel to retain every last drop of its zingy fruit. Enjoy its juicy, mouthwatering sancerresque nettle and flowering currant fruit for half the price of the real thing.”
“Impossible not to have one good Marlborough Kiwi sauvignon in any summer line-up, so ridiculously popular is this wine style with British drinkers. This sweet, bold, mouthwatering nettle and tropical fruit-stashed ’09 from the Wither Hills stable gets my vote. Best served cool as a summer apéritif or with powerfully verdant summer dishes, such as watercress soup and grilled asparagus.”
2009 Domaine Guillaume Cabrol, Picpoul de Pinet Prestige,Côteaux du Languedoc, France
£7.99 or buy two for £5.99 each until July 3
“Picpoul de Pinet remains a relatively unknown Languedoc appellation here. Yet the perfumed picpoul grape from Pinet is beloved by holidaymakers who whizz off the autoroute bordering the Mediterranean between Montpellier and Béziers, tempted by the sign to buy and taste at the local co-opérative. The Cabrol family’s domaine, more than half a century old, is a step up in quality, and this delicious, punchy, herb and grapefruit zest-spiked white — winner of a gold medal at the Paris Concours — makes an unusual summer apéritif and fish white.”
“Saint Romain, at the bottom end of the Côte de Beaune, tucked away in a secret valley between two sections of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune, is a forgotten Burgundy village. As such Saint Romain’s steep vineyard slopes, surrounded by rocks and cliffs, are a source of great value-for-money Burgundy in both colours. Slightly less white Burgundy is made on St Romain’s limestone, marl and Jurassic clay soil, so this gorgeous, hand-harvested ’08 from a grand vintage and oozing elegant, intense, nutty, fresh brown bread-scented fruit is even more of a triumph.”
“White rioja used to be a horrid, mustard-yellow, malodorous experience. Not any more. Finally, rioja producers have woken up to realise that the viura grape, plus a dash of malvasia, grown in a good vineyard and treated respectfully with barrel fermentation and judicious but not overly lengthy barrel ageing, can give even white burgundy a run for its money. And that’s just what this elegant, restrained, tangy, cirtusy, oaky white rioja does.”
“The Bründlmayer family look after 75 ha of mostly terraced vineyards in some of the best sites in and around Langenlois-Kamptal, some 50 miles west of Vienna. Bründlmayer makes great wines from Austria’s own grüner veltliner grape and the country’s finest sparklers but I think Willi Bründlmayer’s rieslings are a notch above. Enjoy this trocken, or dry, riesling from the superior Steinmassl vineyard with its stony, schistous soil, complete with its fine, taut, lemon zest, aniseed and white pepper-spiked fruit as a fancy summer apéritif.”
“Soave from the Veneto region in northeast Italy is awash with watery, faintly lemony whites that are just not worth the money. The Pieropans have long bucked the trend with full-bodied, flavoursome soaves made from the traditional garganega grape grown on their 30 ha of superior, lower-yielding vineyards. The family’s single vineyard offerings, such as La Rocca from vineyards high on the Monte Rocchetta hill just below its medieval castle, are their greatest soaves. These are picked late, often at the end of October. La Rocca’s fine, waxy, floral, apple, and pear fruit is a real summer treat.”
*Please note the La Grille Sauvignon has sold extremely well following Jane’s recommendation and some stores may be running low on stock, however, more is arriving in store week commencing 12th July. If you wish to find out availability in your local store prior to ordering, please use our store locator.