Kangarilla Road, Montepulciano 2014, McLaren Vale, Australia, Majestic £10 (on offer)

For those of you who haven't yet sampled wines from Kangrilla Road, you just don't know what you're missing.

We are big fans of their Cabernet Sauvignon and their Shiraz, but their Montepulciano was recently given the nod by Decanter as one of the best value Majestic wines.

Montepulciano is more unusually grown in Italy than Australia (am sure the name gives this away) but this welcome immigrant works hard and delivers a delicious big and bouncy wine with dominant blackcurrant fruit that has a quirky mushroom like edge.

Perfect for curling up by the fire this is available from Majestic when you buy 3 or more bottles.


The Society Exhibition, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, 2014, The Wine Society, £18

Anyone who reads out site, blog or tweets will know that we are big fans of the Wine Society, and with very good reason.

This latest offering that we have sampled is produced and bottled by the wonderful Frog's Leap winery In Rutherford, California. Personally these are one of our favourite producers for the quality of the wine and their wonderfully amusing history that you can read here: The Story of Frogs Leap

But back to the Wine Society wine! If you like a bigger, brazen wine style, this is lush. I appreciate that £18 might be a lot for a bottle but you get an awful lot for your money - this beats many Napa wines I've tasted priced well north of £50.

Cassis is definitely what comes to mind with aroma and flavour. It's also got lovely black fruit, a hint of spice and some vanilla. Rich and lush, it all comes together fantastically and put a highe smile on our faces. We will be drinking this again. And again.

9.5 / 10

Carlisle, Russian River Valley Zinfandel, 2010, USA, Noel Young Wines, £26

For those of you who have had Zinfandel before, you may have experienced wine which is sickly sweet and gloopy like a slightly watered down jar of blackcurrant jam, while having a kick like a mule with alcohol north of 15%. Elegant as an episode of Geordie Shore...

Well, for those of you who like a big wine but are find of the enamel on your teeth, here is a Zin which is big and bold and does have a bit of a kick (15.7% alcohol to be precise) but does have a lot more refinement than Donald Trump. This is rich with slightly sweet blackcurrant flavours balanced by a pleasant and gentle warm edge and well integrated tannins.

7 / 10 

Hedges CMS Washington State 2012, The Wine Society, £11.95

This was quite a delicious moorish Autumnal wine from the Wine Society.

This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz has gorgeous blackcurrant and blueberry fruit flavours, savoury and quite underpriced for a wine of this quality. This tasted more like a £15-20 bottle.

Soft and elegant this wine doesn't need any food; good company and a roaring fire will do. We will be buying more of this!

8 / 10.

Definition, Rioja Reserva 2009, Spain, Majestic, £12.99 (offer £9.74)

Majestic own label wines strike again. This wine makes us happy that Autumn is upon us because we can see ourselves sprawled out by the fire with this and a decent box set.

Gorgeous heady aromas of blackcurrant and vanilla aromas and flavours, this rich chocolate laden mouthful is decadently wonderful.

At the £9.74 offer price, this is excellent value and great as a supporting role for any roast dinner.

9 / 10

Definition, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, Majestic, £15.99 (offer £11.99)

Another example from Majestic's new own label wine offering, this is a lovely example of a rich and complex Kiwi wine.

Rather than the more common sour cherry style, this is silky with raspberry and dark cherry aromas. 

Rich and delicious, this was more savoury and complex than many other examples at a similar price point.


9 / 10

Waitrose Douro Valley Reserva, Portugal, Waitrose, £10.79

Portugal must be one of the most under-rated regions there is. It regularly produces wines with complexity and character that offer exceptionally good value. This is particularly the case in the £8 - £15 price points where, pound for pound, it beats most others, particularly with its reds.

This offering from Waitrose is a good wine for Portuguese virgins. Douro reds tend to be very floral and savoury with well integrated tannins and this is a very approachable version.

Aromas of black fruits, followed by powerful savoury fruit flavours with great length supported by delicious tannins. Fabulous with a bit of red meat. 

8 / 10

Brancott Estate, Pinot Noir, Terroir Series, Ocado, £15

An interesting mid priced New Zealand Pinot Noir from Ocado. 

This is a premium end wine for this New Zealand producer. This range is focussed on trying to produce wines with a real expression of 'place' - highlighting the differences that can arise due to where the grapes are grown.

This ruby colour wine lacked the typcal sour cherry aromas and flavours typically found in Marlborough Pinot but instead had more cranberry and blackberry aromas. Flavour of red fruits with delicate vanilla on the finish.

7 / 10

Robert Oatley, Barossa Shiraz, Australia, Wine Society, £12.50

As cold, dark nights start to draw in, we find ourselves craving stodgy comfort food and big red wines. Barossa Shiraz is typically one of the biggest but this wine was a little different, more of an elegant wine than a big brute.

Nice purple colour with aromas of blackberry and blueberry fruit with some spice, possibly a hint of mint.

Luscious flavours of slightly sweet black fruits, very silky and velvety. Think of all those Galaxy chocolate ads... Great with a bit of meat on a windy autumnal evening or on its own by the fire. Will be buying this again - very good value.

9 / 10

Quintay Grand Reserve Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir, Ocado, £9.50

We are always suspicious of sub £10 pinot noir (making good pinot is a difficult and expensive process!) but this is a good effort.

Ruby colour with cherry, blackberry and spice aromas.

On the palate this has flavours of juicy cherry, strawberry, black fruit and spice with nice length.

Very drinkable Pinot for the price.

8 / 10.


The Liberator Blood Brothers Red Label Stellenbosch, Wine Society, £11.99

This funky red from the Wine Society is one of a limited edition run of wines produced by some of South Africa's most exciting young winemakers.

When opening the bottle there were really interesting, almost feral, aromas of black and blue fruits with a tasty vanilla / biscuit like edge. The wine is rich and velvety with black fruit flavours upfront, mellowing to slightly sweeter red fruit flavours with some white pepper. Elegant tannins and great finish.

Excellent value for what is a very interesting wine.

9 / 10. 

Dourthe Reserve Montagne Saint Emilion, Waitrose, £8.40 (offer)

This rich French red is a great companion wine for hearty Autumnal grub.

Produced in Saint Emilion, which is one of the better red wine areas of Bordeaux in France where Merlot is generally the dominant red varietal.

This rich warming wine has blackberry and blueberry fruit flavours with some cedar and leather. Great value at this discounted price. 


Quintay, Pinot Noir, 2013, Chile, Ocado, £8.32

Had this at a recent BBQ and was suspicious of a Pinot at this price point (though with noting that the original price was £12.49).

Rich purple in colour with slightly sweet blackberry fruit. Hint of spice and love length. Great value for money.

If you like a lighter style but still with dark fruit flavours, this is for you.