Welcome back, Majestic. After we nearly lost the pioneering wine warehouse chain altogether earlier this year, it’s good to see it not just hanging on but bouncing back with a revitalised wine range that recalls its heyday. Stalwarts such as the gorgeous Inama Soaves have been joined by old favourites that had been dropped, among them Château Caronne Ste-Gemme, and boosted by a raft of captivating new wines, of which this Chenin is one and the light, lip-smackingly peppery, stony, red-fruited, Cinsault-based Alheit Limited Red Blend 2018 is another.
The Chenin is dry, smoky and rounded and humming with flavours of quince, peach and mineral-fresh acidity. If you’re a watcher of the Cape wine scene, Chris and Suzaan Alheit will need no introduction. If you’re not, in a nutshell, they shot to the top in 2012 with the release of their first wine, Cartology 2011, and have been there ever since, making wines, mostly white, from old vines with as little intervention possible – natural yeasts, neutral fermentation vessels, no new oak, no fining – wines that showcase the Cape’s vinous heritage and the unadulterated beauty of grapes until recently treated as workhorse varieties. Drink the Chenin as an aperitif, or with seafood or fish of almost any kind, vegetables and salads, or roast chicken. 13%
Alheit Limited Release Chenin Blanc 2018, South Africa
£14.99 in any six-bottle mix, £19.99 a single bottle, Majestic