We arrived at a round 6.15pm, I went with a friend, my son and his girlfriend and considering it was a miserable evening with wind and rain there was a good turn out already even though it wasn’t starting until 6.30pm.
We were greeted with a smile and a glass of English Sparkling wine, the Balfour 1503 Brut NV from the Hush Heath Estate in Kent. Stream of fine bubbles, nice citrus apples, with biscuity flavours finishing with a little peppery spice, a good start .
On to the whites we started with an expensive (£18 a bottle with discount) Jermann Pinot Grigio (Italy). This was lovely and much more complex than I thought initially. A very fruity aroma but with subtle vanilla and almonds in the background also very dry, couldn’t justify spending £18 though unfortunately.
Next was the Ferrandiere Riesling 2014, (Southern France) youthful, dry and fresh tasting, with lemons & limes and a bracing minerality, we all enjoyed this.
Lopez Haro Rioja Blanco (Spain) another one we all enjoyed, from the Viura grape with soft citrus fruits, pears, vanilla cream and smoke, very nice white Rioja.
El Viajero Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Chile), very aromatic full of ripe gooseberries, cut grass, unfortunately the taste let it down slightly, a little chemically and a short finish.
Haut Vol Rose 2014 (Grenache & Carignan) This was all about summer fruits, especially strawberries, very dry, even though I’m not a big fan of Rose I liked it, the others thought it was ok.
Next on to the reds, starting with the Perrin st Fils Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2013 (Grenache & Syrah) what a great start, this was again enjoyed by all of us. Aromas of rich dark cherries, smokey, vibrant with mild tannins. Couple of these found their way into my basket.
Parcel Series Clare Valley Shiraz 2012 Another excellent red, typically Aussie Shiraz, this was full of spice and rich dark fruits, sweet with hints of woody forest.
Maretti Langhe Rosso 2013 (Italy) Nebbiolo & Barbera) My Favourite red of the night, dark brooding colour, herby, tannic, robust, earthy and absolutely delicious. You guessed it a few bottles again found their way into my basket. There was a pretty much a 50/50 split on liking this wine, for me though no contest.
Chocolate Block 2013 (South Africa) Bit of a mixture this with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Viognier. Velvety smooth, black currants, blackberries, leather all feature. My son and I really liked this but only sticking point was the price £22 on a deal.
Finally with all wines featured tasted we hit the free tasting counter in which the two stars were the Spanish Albarino and the French Chardonnay and we also enjoyed the Sauternes Dessert wine.
As the evening drew to a close I noticed there was still some Italian Maretti Rosso left in the bottle, it seemed a shame to leave it as it was for me the star of the night.
Thanks again to Majestic for another fantastic evening roll on the winter tasting.