Wimbledon fortnight is now in full swing, so off to Majestic I did wing! Wine guru Ellie, pictured above with yours truly, from the local Chichester branch, joined me in a tasting and, as ever, proved to be informative and most knowledgeable and we assuredly uncovered some real gems.
A great summer drink is the 2017 Mon Plaisir du Sud Rosé which will undoubtedly be votre plaisir cet été being dry, light and fruity.
Pale coppery pink in colour and absolutely oozing summer, this rosé exudes magnificent red fruits and would embellish your bowl of strawberries and cream and , at an offer price of £6.99, if one of six as is the usual Majestic pricing, is a veritable delight and further proof the Languedoc region can rival Provence in this wine category and at a much lower cost!
Time for a white next in the form of a 2017 Trebuchet Chardonnay from the Western Cape in South Africa and not France as the name might suggest.
For an offer price of £7.99, the wine bottle features a 60ft working medieval trebuchet (hence the name) and this pleasant tipple has lime and tropical fruit aromas and could excel as a great fresh picnic wine and is one that should not disappoint.
For the same price, the 28/2017 Parcel Series Nelson Sauvignon Blanc is a welcome change from the usual Marlborough examples. Think greenhouse aromas and this herbaceous example, where crisp citrus and gooseberry flavours abound, is decidedly yummy and one to snap up!
But another Parcel Series wine , namely the 25/NV Hampshire English Quality Sparkling Wine from the renowned Hambledon Wineries, on offer for just £22.48, really captured my attention.
Bronzed gold in colour reflecting ageing and its mature style, this fine sparkler is nutty on the nose with a hint of baked apple pie , sumptuous on the palate with lemon meringue pie acidity and hints of brioche and great on its own or as a pair to a roast chicken dish. Pure English delight, à mon avis!
I have concentrated on the above as great summer drinks, but have to mention three reds of note for evening consumption.
The Finca Carelio 2015 Tempranillo Vino de la Tierra was originally destined to be a £15 special release from the Toro region of Spain , but , having erroneously been sent outside the region for bottling, had to be downgraded to a lower status Vino de la Tiera and thus retails at just £7.99 and is a crowd-pleaser, being complex and rich with aromas of ripe blackberries, leather and vanilla and is a true bargain.
For an offer price of £10.99, the Jim Barry Cover Drive 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in French and American oak and has intense cassis and cedar on the nose and succulent tannins framing blackcurrant, liquorice and cherry flavours and one you could allow to age for five years or more.
My final little indulgence was one of my favourite wines, namely a 2015 Rustenberg John X Merriman Stellenbosch, named after the man who purchased a farm in 1892 which later became Rustenberg Wines.
This wine is a feast of blackcurrant and cassis with subtle oak and soft tannins and on offer at £15.99 is one you should treat yourself to and drink as you devour your roast beef or lamb – Happy Days and merci, Ellie!