Festival du Vin

This afternoon we launched Majestic’s first ever Festival du Vin, our most comprehensive focus on promoting French wine ever. There are dozens of offers from every region of France, including a pretty impressive set of new arrivals and some great value wines under £5. There are a couple of wines I really want to shine a spotlight on.

First is the 2007 Lirac from Cave Saint Desirat, one of France’s most impressive and well-regarded co-ops whose various wines I consistently enjoy when I taste them. Lirac is an underrated appellation separated by the river Rhône from the more prestigious, and expensive, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. There’s all the soft, warming Grenache fruit you’d expect from the southern Rhône, but with real depth and complexity – there’s bags going on for your £5.99 (reduced from £7.99 when you buy 2 or more).

Another great Autumn red is Paul Mas Cabernet de Cabernet. I’m not always a fan of southern French Cabernets but this 50-50 blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc has changed my mind completely – not to mention those of the judges at this year’s Decanter awards, where it picked up a silver medal. At £5.49 it’s a snip. Fans of left bank claret looking for some affordable everyday drinking wine should look no further.

Before I get too carried away I’ll restrict myself to just one more recommendation. Please, if you like good white Burgundy, or even if you prefer good New World Chardonnay, try Bourgogne Blanc Jean de la Vigne from Domaine Cordier.

Cordier has achieved fame in the wine trade for making brilliant wines from some of Burgundy’s less prestigious appellations, particularly in the Chalonnaise. Although we carry quite a number of Cordier’s wines, they are available in relatively small quantities, and as an independent domaine they lack the familiarity of a major negoçiant. I would love to put a glass of this “basic” Bourgogne in the hands of everyone who has splashed out on a Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet and say “try this” – I know they’d be impressed. Cordier’s style is always very rich and buttery, but with the recently arrived 2007 vintage there’s a lovely fresh, mineral character. There’s quite a lot of oak on the nose, but it’s classy, expensive-smelling oak and I love it with my Sunday chicken.

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