Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Nathan Lane
Wine Correspondent
7:02 AM 26th February 2024

Majestic Off The Beaten Path

For wine lovers, Majestic is a great place to wander the aisles and discover new vineyards and grapes to enjoy. The knowledgeable staff are always a joy to deal with and add value to every visit.

This month, thanks to Majestic’s diverse selection, we are going off the beaten path of France, Spain and Italy, to sample two great wines from less well-known producers.

Thymiopoulos Xinomavro 2020/21.

On a punishingly hot day in Athens, the only sensible plan was to spend the afternoon in a well-air-conditioned restaurant. The owner recommended this wine and explained the fantastic vineyard and the qualities of the grape.

Xinomavro is a rock star of Greek wines. Its high tannin and acidity make it one of the biggest red wines in the Mediterranean, if not all of Europe. The Greek terms for acid and black are combined to form the word Xinomavro.

This example offers punchy black fruit on the nose, deep cherry, and blackcurrant on the tongue. It’s a fantastic, thick wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with red meat, particularly lamb. The light, fresh finish has plenty of herbs and pepper with an aftertaste of almond or marzipan.

This wine has a vibrancy that conjures up hot summer evenings in the Aegean. Grab a bottle for a summer BBQ.

At £13.99 (as part of a mix six), this wine represents excellent value.

The Somerset Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

New Zealand is perhaps better known for its delicious, crisp white wines. However, the climate is ideally suited for Pinot Noir, and this example is definitely worth sampling.

The Somerset vineyard, located on the Waihopai Valley Road in Marlborough, yields fruit that is true to the terroir and vineyard, making for an excellent Pinot Noir.

A pure and classic nose is created by the fragrant violet, delicate rose petals, and intense red fruits, all complemented by an aromatic hint of wild thyme. The Pinot Noir grapes are manually harvested, and less than 300 cases are made only in the very best years.

In the glass, the wine offers blackberries and brambles on the nose with a strong initial taste of cherry and vanilla. The full-bodied wine has a great spicy finish. It’s sophisticated and well-structured to stand with the best burgundy.

It’s delicious.

Available from £23.99 as part of a mix six at Majestic.

Our wine enthusiast Nathan lives in Leeds and runs the PR and marketing company Campfire PR.