Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A mixed bag from Majestic

Majestic sent me some samples of a limited parcel of wines it is offering for the New Year - two bottles from the Australian producer Houghton, three from Mondavi's Woodbridge range and a Ravenswood Zinfandel.

All are from the 2007/2008 vintage - i.e. bin ends or vintages they want to clear. Not a problem in the case of the reds but I think both the whites are past it. The best buy to my mind is the Woodbridge Shiraz which at £3.99 is a steal. Here are my ratings and comments

Houghton Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008 4.99
Has that canned asparagus, tinned pea taste you can get in Sauvignon. A little bit sweaty and oily - i.e. not massively appealing. Even at this price I'd give it a miss. No score.

Houghton Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2008 £4.99
Soft and fleshy with a nice whack of blackcurranty fruit. Not over jammy. A little tarry on the finish but I don't think you'd notice that with food. Looks smart enough to wheel out with the Sunday roast, especially if it's lamb. Quite full-bodied at 14%
Rating: ****

Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc 2008 £3.99
A bit soft and flabby, like a woolly apple that’s been left in the fruit bowl too long. Past it.
No score.

Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Merlot 2008 £3.99
Light juicy, fruity red but oversweet (like boiled sweets) and a bit rubbery. Not worth buying when you can get the shiraz below
Rating: *

Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Shiraz 2007 £3.99
A little bit jammy but actually has some real substance and character. Decent everyday drinking with e.g. pasta, pizza or sausage and mash. About half the usual price. Worth buying (but not keeping for any length of time).
Rating: ****

Ravenswood Zinfandel Vintners Blend 2007 £4.99
Attractive, soft brambly fruit, a little rubbery when you first open the bottle and a little sharp on the finish. Would work with baked pasta dishes like lasagne. Maybe worth picking up if you're a Ravenswood fan (it's half the normal price) but not as good as previous vintages I've tasted.
Rating: ***


  1. Thanks for this - it is very useful as I am trying to buy wine for my wedding in September. Do you think the Woodbridge Shiraz would last this long?

    And any other recommendation on where to get good wine bargains under a fiver? Thanks

  2. Hi Nicki - glad you found it useful. I think the Woodbridge Shiraz would last that long but I don't think you need rush as there will be plenty more offers between now and September. Easter's probably a good time to snap some up. Most supermarkets and high street chains will have a good bargain somewhere along the line so keep an eye on this blog!