Summer Tasting… The Aftermath

Majestic East GrinsteadAt Majestic we love to share our wine expertise, and one of the ways we do that is through seasonal tastings in our Majestic stores. Rob Greengrass, Manager of Majestic East Grinstead, reflects on the latest Summer Tasting down in West Sussex…

Well, it’s been a few days now since ‘the’ evening, and I’ve got to say personally I thought it went down rather well. True we had around 50% more people turn up than we were expecting, we nearly ran out of wine, the charcuterie, cheese and nibbles were devoured before you could say “this cheese is a bit pongy” but above all I think everybody left happy.

Cloudy Bay Pelorus 2006  The other good thing to get out of this tasting, apart from seeing a nice array of our most friendly of customers coming out to support their local wine shop (or home from home as some call it!), was the reactions from the wines on show. Some liked, some loved and others loathed, but when standing back and soaking it all in, people were talking to others about a common interest, and to me that’s a success.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough

So what were the stars of the show? Well Pelorus Vintage from Cloudy bay at £15.99 was a resounding hit, I would pitch it as the bridge between old and new world style. Not big and fruit driven as some new world sparklers can be, but more restrained and balanced. The St. Clair Pioneers Block Sauvignon Blanc was an all-round crowd pleaser, a beautiful marriage between intensity and freshness. Although the Cabernet/Cinsault/Carignan blend from Lebanon was alien to some in terms of style, the Chateau Musar did show rather well. On the Fine Wine stand the Chablis Vocoret Grand Cru 2009performed exceptionally well, fat and fresh all at the same time is not easy to accomplish. I am yet to try a bad French 2009 wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vignoble Abeille 2007 down to £20 from £25 when you buy a couple was a revelation for some who were expecting this wine to be big, full and tannic but was actually rather soft and easy going with a certain drinkability to it with a lovely long finish.

The Shortlist Riesling 2005 McGuigan, Eden Valley  And which wine was the biggest talking point? Well it seems the McGuigan Shortlist Riesling 2005 was the wine that divided opinions the most, but from my point of view I’m not much of a Riesling drinker because generally I find them too young and almost closed, lacking and in need of more time. This Majestic exclusive was in fact exactly what I would expect from a mature new world Riesling. Big, full, expressive, not so much petrol on the nose as dirty diesel. For me this is what Riesling should be. It’s niche, it’s going to be misunderstood but aside from whether you liked it or not you could not mistake its quality.

So all in all great wines, great food and great company, what more do you need…? To find out when the next one is of course! Watch this space and thank you to those who came along, we all hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. See you all soon!

If you’d like to hear more about what Rob and the rest of the Majestic East Grinstead team are up to you can follow them on twitter @majesticegr or visit their store webpage

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