Majestic Amersham were holding a Spring showcase tasting in their plush new store on the 3oth April, so I thought on a cold rainy night, what better way is there to spend a few hours than tasting wine.
I arrived a little early partly to have a look around the new shop and I was suitably impressed. Everything was neatly on display with all the portable shelves immaculately adorned with bottles lined up from around the world. This was new to me as most of the Majestic stores I’ve been in bottles have been piled haphazardly on boxes on the floor giving the store more of a warehouse feel which I kind of like, this new store felt a little bit more manicured and very modern. One thing I really did like was the very long tasting table which gave plenty of room for customers to stand or sit around while they sampled the wines on show.
As guests started to arrive Sam, the Manager began proceedings handing everyone a glass of fizz as a welcome drink. The fizz in question was a Prosecco La Gioiosa DOCG Valdobbiadene (£12.99) and to be honest although I’m not a big Prosecco fan this was Ok with some pear and apples initially on the nose and a clean if not particularly long finish but pleasant enough to drink.
There were four whites to taste starting with Majestic’s own Definition Albarino 2016 (£9.99) this had nice crisp acidity with some stone fruit and a good alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.
Next was the Ned Pinot Grigio (£7.99)from New Zealand a pinkish blush with touches of grapefruit, nectarines with a slightly flowery finish.
A rather nice French Viognier followed Domaine Saint Ferreol Viognier Pays D’OC 2016 (£12.99) which was much more aromatic, tropical and had a little more complexity and weight.
The final white was a lovely example of Californian Chardonnay but at a premium price, Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2015 (£24.99) from Santa Barbara. This was my favourite white of the evening, it was rich, complex and full of honeyed fruit with hints of vanilla and oak but in talking to others, not enjoyed by everyone.
After being suitably plied with whites I moved on to the reds starting with a refined French Pinot Noir Domaine L’Aigle, Gerrard Bertrand 2015 (£15.99) as I said this was refined, full of candied dark fruit and an appealing earthiness to it.
Off to Portugal for the next and a Douro, which I tend to enjoy, the S&R Douro DOC (£8.99). Not the best Douro I’ve tasted. smooth dark fruits and oak but a little on the bland side for me.
Most peoples star of the night next, the Craggy Range Te Kahu Bordeaux blend (£15.99). Yes, this was pretty decent, a powerful blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Full of blackberries, blackcurrants, tannic and fairly dry but this just worked, super stuff !
Last red was a South African Pinotage, Beyerskloof Reserve 2016 which I have had before and enjoyed. Silky, well-rounded tannins, chocolate, vanilla. pinotage may not be to everyone’s taste but it seemed to be universally enjoyed.
There was a rep from Wayfinder Gin in store but not being a fan of Gin I didn’t try any so can’t comment on it.
Overall the evening seemed to be a success and I must say the staff at Amersham were particularly friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating, so much so that they opened up a couple of extra bottles at the end, a Provence Rose Louison and a Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc which paid off as a few people including my son and daughter in law who were also there ended up buying some of the Graham Norton SB.
So a big thanks to the Manager Sam and his staff for making it an enjoyable night. I didn’t buy any of the wines on show but I did manage to buy a few bottles I’ve been wanting for a while (see picture) so all in all a good night.