What to buy or avoid - January 2015 - I Blame The Wine

What to buy or avoid – January 2015

Brand new reviews start with the selection of four wines, more or less randomly bought at Majestic. They were marked as new wines, so I’ve thought that they will kick off my buy or avoid reviews.

Before I go further on with the notes, I must add that even though I buy wine regularly, and mostly online, I rarely see such a magnificent service that was offered to me by Majestic (this one was in Putney, just FYI). They have managed to deliver a 6 bottle case in 3 or 4 hours after I have placed an order, and that was on Sunday! I do demand a great service and thus complain quite a lot, but that was what I call ‘exceeding one’s expectations’, simply brilliant!

1. Lalaland Malbec 2013, Victoria. We kick off with something that, I thought, was really new. 


When you think Malbec you think of Argentina. Some people will actually recall it’s being a native variety to France, where in Cahors it is a true gem, more delicate and subtle than its big Argentinian brother.

So what about Australia? Let’s explore.

Fun and kitsch label should not really spoil the experience – it offers a very fruity, woody and spicy character without major acidity ( that I like if you have a glass on its own!) but a pleasant roundness.

Cherries and violets together with wood tell you it’s probably South of the planet, very ripe, but then you just need to guess and you probably will be wrong – it is lighter than your usual steak companion, and offers bags of fruit without any underlying maturity , yet some cedar and vanilla are there. So confusing!

Don’t worry though- it is a fairly simple wine so go on and enjoy. At £8.99 at Majestic it is definitely a new one to buy. They offer a promo now, so you can snap it for just £7.49- come on, try it and get back with your comments.

2.  Evans and Jate “Breathing Space”, Margaret river 2013, Cabernet Sauvignon.


It is cassis and vanilla in the bottle- very round, somewhat simplistic and straightforward. It offers very round fruit, sweet spice and a bit of leafy and chocolatey tones.

This makes it a good cabernet sauvignon from Australia. It is high in alcohol – 14.5%, it has an adequate warmth to it without being too sharp. On the finish it becomes slightly bitter, but not unpleasant – more like dark chocolate really.  Another good one to try (don’t except way too much though!)

3. Our third new wine from Majestic was Parellele 45, Cote du Rhone 2012.

Parallele45CoteduRhoneIt’s on par with the other two in price, and we would expect same adequate quality, wouldn’t we? 

Yet of course you may say what would one expect from a Cote du Rhone under a tenner? Fair enough, I would say then don’t produce one, don’t simply use it as an excuse!

This bottle did not disappoint that much- it still delivered on some rich cherry and plum flavours together with noticeably high acidity, more red berries and sweeter spice further on.

Though on the negative side it appeared to be thin, simplistically acidic and overall more or less worth those 7 or 8 quid but I’d rather you buy one of the above!

4. Finally, El Torito from Valdepenas, Spain.

ElToritoMerlot2013At £4.99 and coming down to £4.19 this bottle is really a super bargain. Yet is it worth spending your liver capacity / calories and so on on it (even if it is so cheap!)?

Let’s have a closer look.

Let’s sniff the wine first (you know, being nerdy for a second I would add that the majority of taste receptors are actually on the way from your nose). It does not offer much on the nose.

Ok, have a sip. It it plumy, a bit of cherries as well, but very simple and unimaginative. It offers some not particularly pleasant bitterness at the back, which is quite noticeable as the wine is thin. There are no reasons to send that bottle back if you order it at the restaurant, yet I am not sure you should order it at the first place.

So here you have it – 2 bottles, all under £9 which are good to go to your trolley and 2 bottles one of them is at most a very mediocre Cote du Rhone and another one which is heavily discounted, but offers very little in terms of taste. 

Enjoy the new tastes without some unpleasant discoveries.

Will be back with more new wines so you can buy wine online with confidence!

About The Author


Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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