Monday, 14 November 2016

Fine Wine at Majestic Leicester

We purchase our wine from a variety of outlets; major supermarkets, smaller one, individual shops, and wine stores. Majestic is our favoured wine merchant, their variety in grape, producer, country and prices means we can usually find something that is just right for the occasion be it a celebration, dinner party or just a good bottle to enjoy!

We have enjoyed various events at their Leicester store, a very good wine course, many seasonal tasting and featured events. Last Friday was their Fine Wine Event - tasting we have not previously attended.

It was a lovely evening, just the right number of people to enjoy good wine with and share our findings. Majestic provided a good variety of food matches too - goats cheese, Cheshire, Gorgonzola and Stilton cheeses as well as some lovely pate. It's always an interesting to see which food matches which wine.

On arrival we were greeted with an offer of a glass of Jeeper NV Champagne, a lovely glass of bubbly.

It is made from all three grapes used in champagne with a slight difference in that the chardonnay has been oaked. The glass held lively small bubbles and released a grassy, slightly yeasty nose.

Jeepers is a smooth champagne, not dry or overly sharp - a very elegant start to our evening.

To my utter delight our first white was Sancerre, this has to be my all time favourite white. Sauvignon Blanc from France always wins with me and of course it's hard to beat a wine from this exclusive village - Sancerre Vacheron, 2015.

A beautiful pale gold colour with a delicate nose of citrus, floral, crispness all blended to a smoothness, a smoothness that continued on the palate.

Creamy, but not; syrupy, but not; just a smooth smooth wine with a delicious long finish - superb with the goats cheese on a slightly salted biscuit.

I was reluctant to move on, wanting to savour my Sancerre, but with the next wine also from France I finally offered my glass to be filled with Pouilly Fuisse Cordier, 2015, from Burgundy.

This southern Burgundy white had depth to it's nose with high notes of pineapple and hints of oak.

It had a slight thickness to its velocity but was not sweet. Full of pineapple, peach and pear with a long mouth watering finish. The hint of oak certainly enhanced the depth of this wine.

In the flash of a pour we were transported to the other side of the world - our next wine being from New Zealand. Dog Point Chardonnay, 2013, has been oaked for 18 months in French barrels.

It's nose was quite surprise with quite a petrol hit, something I associate with Riesling, although there was a hint of vanilla.

The barrels used for this wine are always brand new which gives it its clean oakiness and to me slightly rubber/tar flavour. Again a mouth watering wine but not quite to my taste.

Back to Europe for our final white, Cometa Planeta, 2015, from Sicily. This paired very nicely with the salty Gorgonzola cheese.

Made with 100% Fiano grapes it's very light colour hides its fruity nose reminding me of childhood sweets, possibly pear drops although sherbet also came to mind.

It was full of crisp pear and tropical fruit with a sharp edge that blended perfectly with the cheese leaving a lovely intense finish. It was quite a weighty white to finish on, one that I really enjoyed.

Time for a drop of red and we returned to the New World for Pereguine Pinot Noir, 2012. This wine has been in French oak barrels for 10 months and I was interested to try this as Pinot Noir is not a grape we chose very often.

Its nose was full of dark fruit and cherries with a slight mineral hint. Quite a surprise in it's taste, full of damsons, quite fruity with a white pepper high note giving it a very enjoyable finish.

We tired this with the pate - a great pairing. I had actually thought of Sunday Dinner when tasting this, for me it would pair really well with pork.

Unusually the next red was in a brown bottle - something I have not seen for quite a while. Moving back to Italy this red was Ciabot Berton Barolo, 2011.

This Nebbiolo red is 2 years in oak but surprisingly in Slavonian oak. With such an abundance of tears in the glass it was however no surprise to discover it was 14.5%.

It had a slightly floral nose with a hint of mace. Its was  palate full of dark fruit with some tannin and for me a light fizz on the finish.

Staying with Old World we moved onto to Bordeaux, Charmes de Kirwan, 2011. This left bank Margaux was very deep in colour, almost black in the glass.

It's nose reminded me of old buildings, in a nice comforting way, with a underneath hint of liquorice. It wasn't a fruity wine and I was struggling to describe it until someone suggested 'savoury', a perfect description.

It's light tannins were smoothed by the Cheshire cheese we paired it with, overall a good red but not a weighty enough Bordeaux for me.

Hopping over the border our next wine was a Spanish Ribera del Duero, Torre Silo Cillar de Silos, 2014. This 18 monthed oaked red was very dark in colour with highlights.

White pepper was my immediate thoughts on it's nose, not so evident with fruit.

The fruit came to life in the taste; rich dark fruit, blackcurrants and a smooth background of dark chocolate, not overpowering or off putting it certainly added to its depth.

Our final red was certainly my favourite - d'Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz, 2011, from Australia.

I just sink into a good Australian shiraz, so warming, such spice, so rich and this was no exception.

When poured it was so dark and glossy it could have been liquid chocolate, and the nose was immediate with spice, pepper and dark fruit.

The blackcurrants, dark cherries, plums all shouted out in this spicy red. A warming long finish is the perfect end from this intense full-bodied wine.

The last wine of the evening was matched with Blue Stilton cheese - not a match we've had often but a match that does work - dessert wine and blue cheese.

Tokaji 5 Puttonyos, 2009, is a Hungarian dessert wine made from Furmint and Harslevelu grapes left to shrivel resulting in the rich syrupy flavour.

It was like liquid gold when poured, so syrupy it slide into the glass.

Rich marmalade and cinnamon fragrances hit your nose giving an instance feeling of comfort, richness and joy.

So so smooth, this dessert wine was full of orange peel, dried fruits, and honey with a lasting finish to savour - the perfect end to a great evening.

Thank you Majestic Leicester for another enjoyable, informative evening with the opportunity to taste some great fine wines. 

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