I’m an occasional beer drinker – a couple of pints a week and a bottle or two at home. One of my favourites is Thornbridge, although you rarely see their beer on draught. (Jaipur last week in the Duke of York, Lichfield was an exception). However we are fortunate to have a very good off-licence in Sutton – Michaels – who always have a decent selection of Thornbridge (and other) bottled beers. While I study them Geoff looks at the wine and last week found the above, at £7.99. Served blind it was, from the aroma, unmistakably claret with lots of vanilla and blackcurrant. Quite thin, rather dilute, in the mouth although it filled out after a few minutes in the glass. Like a lot of minor clarets I’ve tried the aroma promised something the taste could not quite deliver. Nevertheless a very decent drink for the money.
I don’t suppose that Majestic would appreciate being called an off-licence, although they meet the definition. They were the source of the second wine. I got as far as French chardonnay – lemony colour and smell, some struck match aroma – but was surprised to learn it was a Chablis since it was richer than I expect from that region. Plenty of focussed intensity on the palate and another good value wine.
[Geoff: tried the wine 48 hours later (after vacuuming it). It certainly was a rich style of Chablis and one, if I’d tasted it blind, would have suggested its home was much further south, even into the Maconnais. Lovely drop of full flavoured Chardonnay. As Richard said, great value if you like that style.]