It went through a rocky period as part of the Naked Wines group some years ago, but UK high street wine specialist Majestic is firmly back on track and thriving, loyal customers will be glad to know. Following its sale to US-based private equity firm Fortress Investment Group in December 2019, John Colley – a loyal Majestic customer himself – stepped into the CEO role and set about restoring the retailer to its former glory.
The range review in 2020 – which saw a massive 70% of the range replaced and 350 new lines introduced – saw a renewed focus on interesting parcels at the lower-premium end, some strong additions to the own-label Definition range, and some classic wines that had been lost brought back on to the shelves.
As well as the range review, Majestic has launched a new website, reopened the popular tasting counters at some stores where they had disappeared, and continues to expand its bricks and mortar operation. Today it has 202 stores, with another 20 in the pipeline including openings in Haywards Heath and Godalming in the southeast, and Chippenham in Wiltshire. It has also launched a new quarterly subscription service, Wine Club by Majestic, featuring wines not available online or in store, and a new customer loyalty app is planned.
National Wine Shop of the Year
Majestic performed extremely well at the Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 – winning the National Wine Retailer of the Year category, as well as New Zealand Specialist Retailer of the Year and USA Specialist Retailer of the Year. It was runner-up in the Australia Specialist and South & Regional France Specialist categories.
Driving to Majestic may not be as convenient as picking up your wine with your weekly grocery shop, but the strength of the range – and the famously knowledgable staff – make it well worth the trip. And of course you can always order online.
The ability to buy just a single bottle if you wish (the six-bottle minimum rule was axed back in 2015) offers flexibility, but it makes sense to buy at least six bottles as the ‘mix six’ prices are sometimes considerably lower.
The best Majestic wines tasted by Decanter
The first 25 wines listed were tasted at Majestic’s Spring/Summer 2022 press tasting, held in London in May. The remaining wines were tasted at previous tastings but are still available in the vintage listed, though there may also be more recent vintages in store.
Don’t forget that all prices listed below are single-bottle prices. There are savings to be made, sometimes significant, when you buy a minimum of six bottles (any mix).