My Secret Marlborough: Matt Patterson-Green

We asked Matt Patterson-Green, Winemaker at Jackson Estate, to share some of his secret places to see, sleep, drink and eat in Marlborough.  If you make the trip down under, be sure to check them out!

Matt_Patterson_Green

SEE

Marlborough is very much an outdoor orientated region with many things to do. Walk and fish, run, mountain bike or ride a horse along the banks of one of its rivers. Or relax and take a ride on the River Queen whilst enjoying and local wine matched with fresh local produce.

River Queen

See 1

SLEEP

For a fantastic dining experience it’s hard to beat Herzog Restaurant, however a little known secret is the wonderful little cottage out the back that is available for weekends. Definitely my choice for relaxing and waking up amongst the vines.

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sleep 2

DRINK

There are many fine establishments for a tasty beverage or two but I like nothing more than enjoying a locally brewed craft beer from Dodson St. With a range of local and regional micro brewed beers on tap and a selection of local wine it’s a great way to wind down and relax at the end of the week.

drink 1

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EAT

Rockferry Cafe. In an old converted Homestead Rockferry offer a wonderful selection of local seafood, cheeses and produce. One of my favourite places to pass a lazy Sunday lunch.

Discover the wines of Jackson Estate online at Majestic.  Click here to see them on our website.

My Secret Marlborough: Matt Patterson-Green

My Secret Marlborough: Matt Patterson-Green

We asked Matt Patterson-Green, Winemaker at Jackson Estate, to share some of his secret places to see, sleep, drink and eat in Marlborough.  If you make the trip down under, be sure to check them out!

Matt_Patterson_Green

SEE

Marlborough is very much an outdoor orientated region with many things to do. Walk and fish, run, mountain bike or ride a horse along the banks of one of its rivers. Or relax and take a ride on the River Queen whilst enjoying and local wine matched with fresh local produce.

River Queen

See 1

SLEEP

For a fantastic dining experience it’s hard to beat Herzog Restaurant, however a little known secret is the wonderful little cottage out the back that is available for weekends. Definitely my choice for relaxing and waking up amongst the vines.

sleep 1

sleep 2

DRINK

There are many fine establishments for a tasty beverage or two but I like nothing more than enjoying a locally brewed craft beer from Dodson St. With a range of local and regional micro brewed beers on tap and a selection of local wine it’s a great way to wind down and relax at the end of the week.

drink 1

drink 2

EAT

Rockferry Cafe. In an old converted Homestead Rockferry offer a wonderful selection of local seafood, cheeses and produce. One of my favourite places to pass a lazy Sunday lunch.

Discover the wines of Jackson Estate online at Majestic.  Click here to see them on our website.

My Secret Marlborough: Matt Patterson-Green

Producer Profile: Invivo

What do you get when you cross a business professional with a passion for wine and a talented winemaker in New Zealand? The answer is Invivo.

When founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron released their first bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in 2008, they had ambitions for creating something more than a little bit special.  Rather than make a wine that tastes of gooseberries, they wanted to make wine that tasted of wine, something to excite newcomer and wine connoisseur alike.  Watch the video below to find out the story behind the wine.

Discover Invivo online at Majestic.  Click here to see them on our website.

Producer Profile: Invivo

Producer Profile: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is owned and run by father-and-son team Léonard and Olivier Humbrecht. Olivier has the honour of being the first Frenchman to qualify as a Master of Wine. Their philosophy is to create wines true to the terroir of each vineyard, in order to show the unique diversity and complexity of each specially chosen site. It was founded by Léonard Humbrecht in 1959 when he married Geneviève Zind and merged their holdings, though the Humbrechts can claim a father-to-son tradition of winemaking dating back to the 1620s.

Olivier_and_Leonard_Humbrecht

Today, his son Olivier and Olivier’s wife Margaret run the Domaine. Olivier is one of the leading lights in Alsace, if not the wine world. He is a firm believer in making wine according to both organic and biodynamic principles; he is the president of Biodyvin, a certifying body for biodynamics especially for viticulture. Terroir is important to him and following these principles allows him to express a sense of place in every wine he makes.

For those unfamiliar with the term, biodynamics is the principle of planting, tending and growing using a holistic approach to agriculture; in many ways it is as much spiritual as it is scientific, sometimes following an astrological calendar, but the central tenet is that the vineyard should be a carefully managed, self-sufficient ecosystem. It features the use of herbal and mineral preparations, such as cow manure and ground quartz which are buried in cow horn for a period before being sprayed or sprinkled on the vineyard.  If that sounds like wine-voodoo to you, the results are worth it; the care and attention lavished on the vineyard and in the winery often produces exceptional results.

domaine-zind-humbrecht-alsace-gewurztraminer

The Domaine stretches over 6 communes within Alsace, and comprises of 40 hectares of vines in a patchwork of different terroirs. Near the village of Turckheim, the gravel soils of Herrenweg are ideally suited to the pungently aromatic Gewurztraminer, which needs good ripeness to show its best. In 2011, warm conditions meant they got just that and carefully picked harvest dates ensured the crop was in perfect condition.

Zind-Humbrecht has a reputation for producing wines with fantastic concentration, employing low yields alongside biodynamic viticulture so that the quality of the terroir shows itself in every vintage. Their aim is to create a balance between vine and vineyard, which gives healthy balanced grapes and harvesting by hand means that only the very best grapes make it to the winery doors. For the Turckheim Gewurztraminer Olivier uses whole-bunch pressing, followed by very slow fermentation in traditional oak casks. In some casks the fermentation can last anything from a month to a year, which along with 6 months lees contact adds even greater texture and complexity to the wine.

Traditional Alsatian oak fermentation casks

Olivier describes the wine as “…pale yellow, despite a high ripeness level of the grapes. The nose doesn’t show such richness and is quite delicate and subtle, only showing a few floral aromas (roses, geranium). The palate is unctuous and pleasing, there is no heaviness as the alcohol is quite low for a Gewurztraminer. Like many 2011 wines, this wine will age elegantly. Perfect with many spicy dishes!”

We’re really excited to offer Domaine Zind-Humbrecht’s Turckheim Gewurztraminer 2011 as an exclusive online parcel in unsplit 6-packs until 3pm Monday 13 October, or whilst stocks last.

Producer Profile: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Manager’s Mixed Case: Becky, Store Manager London City

Fancy taking a recommendation from one of our staff? This month, Becky, Manager of our London City store shares her favourite wines for October so you can enjoy exciting wines that she loves at very affordable prices.

“If you are feeling a bit down now that summer has drawn to a close, fear not, I have put together a selection of wines that will keep you company during the cooler evenings, right through to the festive season.

Firstly I have included the Invivo as a bit of a nod to the last of the summer nights. This Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand is beautifully smooth and crisp. It has a fantastic aroma of passion fruit and lime which leads into a palate of zesty citrus flavours. A perfect accompaniment to light fish and chicken dishes. If you’re finding it hard to admit that summer is coming to an end this is the wine to drink and reminisce.

Once you have finally come to terms with the end of summer and are starting to embrace the wonders of Autumn I suggest you give the Caixas Godello a try. This wine is delicate and rounded. The aromas of lemon, pear and melon lead into a soft rounded palate with remarkable texture. A great which is both light enough to enjoy on it’s own and weighty enough to go with most white meat and fish dishes.

The two reds that I have chosen are a definite must for the cooler evenings. The Vina Eguia Rioja Gran Reserva is a beautiful mature medium bodied wine. It has spent 30 month in oak giving it mellow flavours of raisin, prune and caramel. Couple this with the added complexity of vanilla, clove and leather and you’ve got a perfect example of a Gran Reserva Rioja. If you’re anything like me the thought of cooking after a hard day at work is not an appealing thought. So why not throw all the ingredients for a rich slow cooked lamb tagine in a slow cooker, head off to work and when you get home dish up, pour yourself a glass of this Rioja and put your feet up. Sounds like a perfect Autumn evening to me.

My final choice, the Santa Ana Malbec, is one that I tend to pull out at the end of a meal. It has lively plum and cherry characters on both the nose and palate, with supple tannins and a pleasantly soft finish. It is a great accompaniment to medium strength firm cheeses and a wine that I often take round to friends when going for dinner. Having said that I have been known to stock up at my local cheese shop and enjoy a glass or two at home with the curtains drawn and the heating on. It makes for a very cosy evening.”

Order your case of Becky’s favourites, available online until 3pm Monday 27th October.

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Manager’s Mixed Case: Becky, Store Manager London City

A Majestic Mystery Tour: Grape Varieties 101

Lovely Grapes!

Laure Soeters, Majestic Wine Training Manager, helps you to tell your Pinot from your Piquepoul…

This month, we’re taking a whistle stop tour through some well-known grape varieties as well as some that are more obscure but becomingly increasingly popular.

And don’t forget, there are always wines to try on the tasting counter at every Majestic store, so pop in and chat to your local staff, who’ll grab any excuse to share their passion with you.

MALBEC >
Argentina’s signature grape variety is hugely popular in the UK, and with good reason. Attractive wild berry and bramble notes join sweet spice and a rich, velvety texture.

MERLOT >
This well-known grape variety produces easy-drinking, softly textured reds displaying berries and plum fruit. Chilean examples are usually very ripe, rounded and fruit focused.

PINOT NOIR >
The thin-skinned nature of this grape results in wines with soft, light tannins and seldom deep in colour. Expect perfumed notes of red cherries, raspberries and strawberries.

SHIRAZ >
Otherwise known as Syrah, Shiraz is thought to be one of the oldest grape varieties in the world. It is typically deep in colour, with blackcurrant and black pepper characters, menthol note.

SAUVIGNON BLANC >
Widely planted throughout the world, Sauvignon Blanc tends to display green characters reminiscent of freshly cut grass and gooseberry, matched by a refreshingly crisp acidity.

PINOT GRIGIO >
A popular light and crisp style of wine. The tendency is to harvest grapes early to retain acidity and avoid the development of too much fruit. Citrus, pear and floral notes prevail.

PARELLADA >
This grape is used in the production of Cava, where it’s blended with other grape varieties. The trademark character is distinctly that of apples, as you’ll find in this popular Spanish still white wine, where it is blended with the Garnacha Blanca grape variety.

PIQUEPOUL >
This increasingly popular grape variety produces light-bodied wines with zesty lemon, lime and green apple notes and extremely high acidity; so much so that the literal translation is ‘lip stinger’.

CHARDONNAY >
In warmer regions, such as these examples from Down Under, Chardonnay tends to be slightly fuller bodied, with characters leaning melon, peach and spice.

 

A Majestic Mystery Tour: Grape Varieties 101

Have you found your go-to Spanish Wine? Matt Pym shows you how.

Majestic Wine Buyer Matt Pym shares his love for Spanish wines and highlights a pair of producers from Rioja, and cult favourite Ribera del Duero…

I discovered – and fell in love with – Spanish wine many years ago, so it came as no surprise to me when Spain overtook both France and Italy last year to become the world’s biggest producer of wine. I love the extraordinary range of tastes and textures, and the incredibly high standard emerging from the country, especially in recent years. If Rioja is where your heart lies, there are plenty of excellent examples to choose from. I personally believe that finding a producer’s style that you like is more valuable than knowing how much oak and bottle ageing you prefer.

Rioja Producer Profile – CVNE
Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) was founded in 1879 and is still family owned. It has three bodegas, each with its own winery and winemaker, and with quite distinct philosophies and styles. Consistently good quality and a firm staff-favourite – in fact, CVNE’s Rioja Crianza is one of the few wines that we’ve stocked since day one, when Majestic Wine was founded.

Of course, Spanish wine is definitely not just about Rioja anymore. There are stunning wines emerging from other regions. For example, take the fresh, crisp whites of coastal regions and the dark, powerful reds of Ribera del Duero, which offer incredible value for money.

Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region, but there are plenty of other distinguished regions, some of which are definitely producing hidden gems. One of my personal favourites is Ribera del Duero, and especially the wines from the Emilio Moro estate. So I’m delighted we can currently offer you their Finca Resalso 2013 which is new to our range this season.

Ribera del Duero Producer Profile – Cillar de Silos
Cillar de Silos is a family-owned wine producer, specializing in Tempranillo. Uncompromising winemaking principles have made Cillar de Silos a cult producer in the area – the Oxford Companion to Wine calls it a ‘leading challenger’ to the title of maker of the very finest wines of Ribera del Duero.

Thanks Matt! Discover more wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero in Majestic’s full Spanish range online here.

Have you found your go-to Spanish Wine? Matt Pym shows you how.

Have you found your go to Spanish Wine? Matt Pym shows you how.

Majestic Wine Buyer Matt Pym shares his love for Spanish wines and highlights a pair of producers from Rioja, and cult favourite Ribera del Duero…

I discovered – and fell in love with – Spanish wine many years ago, so it came as no surprise to me when Spain overtook both France and Italy last year to become the world’s biggest producer of wine. I love the extraordinary range of tastes and textures, and the incredibly high standard emerging from the country, especially in recent years. If Rioja is where your heart lies, there are plenty of excellent examples to choose from. I personally believe that finding a producer’s style that you like is more valuable than knowing how much oak and bottle ageing you prefer.

Rioja Producer Profile – CVNE
Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) was founded in 1879 and is still family owned. It has three bodegas, each with its own winery and winemaker, and with quite distinct philosophies and styles. Consistently good quality and a firm staff-favourite – in fact, CVNE’s Rioja Crianza is one of the few wines that we’ve stocked since day one, when Majestic Wine was founded.

Of course, Spanish wine is definitely not just about Rioja anymore. There are stunning wines emerging from other regions. For example, take the fresh, crisp whites of coastal regions and the dark, powerful reds of Ribera del Duero, which offer incredible value for money.

Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region, but there are plenty of other distinguished regions, some of which are definitely producing hidden gems. One of my personal favourites is Ribera del Duero, and especially the wines from the Emilio Moro estate. So I’m delighted we can currently offer you their Finca Resalso 2013 which is new to our range this season.

Ribera del Duero Producer Profile – Cillar de Silos
Cillar de Silos is a family-owned wine producer, specializing in Tempranillo. Uncompromising winemaking principles have made Cillar de Silos a cult producer in the area – the Oxford Companion to Wine calls it a ‘leading challenger’ to the title of maker of the very finest wines of Ribera del Duero.

Have you found your go to Spanish Wine? Matt Pym shows you how.

Have you found your go to Spanish Wine? Matt Pym shows you how.

Majestic Wine Buyer Matt Pym shares his love for Spanish wines and highlights a pair of producers from Rioja, and cult favourite Ribera del Duero…

I discovered – and fell in love with – Spanish wine many years ago, so it came as no surprise to me when Spain overtook both France and Italy last year to become the world’s biggest producer of wine. I love the extraordinary range of tastes and textures, and the incredibly high standard emerging from the country, especially in recent years. If Rioja is where your heart lies, there are plenty of excellent examples to choose from. I personally believe that finding a producer’s style that you like is more valuable than knowing how much oak and bottle ageing you prefer.

Rioja Producer Profile – CVNE
Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) was founded in 1879 and is still family owned. It has three bodegas, each with its own winery and winemaker, and with quite distinct philosophies and styles. Consistently good quality and a firm staff-favourite – in fact, CVNE’s Rioja Crianza is one of the few wines that we’ve stocked since day one, when Majestic Wine was founded.

Of course, Spanish wine is definitely not just about Rioja anymore. There are stunning wines emerging from other regions. For example, take the fresh, crisp whites of coastal regions and the dark, powerful reds of Ribera del Duero, which offer incredible value for money.

Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region, but there are plenty of other distinguished regions, some of which are definitely producing hidden gems. One of my personal favourites is Ribera del Duero, and especially the wines from the Emilio Moro estate. So I’m delighted we can currently offer you their Finca Resalso 2013 which is new to our range this season.

Ribera del Duero Producer Profile – Cillar de Silos
Cillar de Silos is a family-owned wine producer, specializing in Tempranillo. Uncompromising winemaking principles have made Cillar de Silos a cult producer in the area – the Oxford Companion to Wine calls it a ‘leading challenger’ to the title of maker of the very finest wines of Ribera del Duero.

Have you found your go to Spanish Wine? Matt Pym shows you how.

Voice behind the Vine: Diego Pinilla Viña Pomal

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Diego Pinilla is the winemaker behind the Viña Pomal Rioja Crianza 2011 and Rioja Reserva 2009. Here he answers our questions about his life at the winery.

How did you get into wine producing?
My mother comes from a long line of winemakers so I expect it’s in my blood – but throughout my childhood I wanted to be a doctor like my father. Needless to say I’m very happy I changed my mind and became a winemaker. I feel very privileged to have such an interesting and varied job – and what better way to finish the day than with a glass of wine that you’ve produced yourself!

What are the challenges of being a wine producer in Rioja?
In Rioja we work with a small selection of grape varieties. In Haro, where we’re based, almost all fruit is Tempranillo. Thankfully Tempranillo is a versatile variety; its characters alter depending on where and how it’s grown, so we work hard to maximise the fruit characteristics from each vineyard plot and the variations from each soil type and microclimate. This allows us to blend different styles of Tempranillo at the winery.

Why does Viña Pomal use 100% Tempranillo?
Tempranillo is the primary grape of Rioja and, we believe, offers the best expression of classic Rioja. It’s well suited to the Rioja region as it’s an early maturing variety that thrives in cooler climate regions, and we are fortunate that our 250 hectares of vineyards enable us to produce single varietal Tempranillo wines rather than needing to blend with other varietals.

Why does Viña Pomal only use estate-grown grapes?
Only using estate-grown fruit means we have complete control of the winemaking process, from vineyard to barrel. It’s relatively unique for a Rioja winery to have its own estate-grown fruit and we consider this to be a major strength.

Have you ever considered making a Rioja Blanco or Rosado?
We have been producing a Cava at the winery for decades, called Royal Carlton, and in the past have made whites and rosés. In the 1990s we decided to stop making white and rosés but I think we should recover that part of our history. Watch this space!

Do you have any new or experimental plantings?
We are trialling some new Graciano plantings and experimenting with some white varieties like White Grenache and White Tempranillo. We’re looking forward to seeing the results.

If you were told you could only drink one more glass of wine ever, what would you choose?
If it’s to be my last wine, it would hopefully be a Viña Pomal 2050 or 2060 vintage which allows me plenty more years of life first! But if you mean right now, I’d like my last glass of wine to be one made by myself, so that with every sip I could reflect on all the great moments I have lived and people I’ve met thanks to my winemaking career.

If you had to describe yourself as a wine, what would you be?
Probably a young Reserva – good fruit and passion with potential for ageing but initially some green tannins that will smooth in time.

Finally, music to drink wine to?
Very easy, Spanish guitar – Paco de Lucia.

Thanks Diego! Here are a few stunning photographs of the beautiful vineyards around the town of Haro in Rioja where Diego and Viña Pomal grow their grapes…

Pomal Vineyard Pomal Vineyard Pomal Vineyard Pomal Vineyard Pomal Vineyard

Voice behind the Vine: Diego Pinilla Viña Pomal