A chardonnay-challenging super-star

2015 Tenuta Guado al Tasso, Vermentino, Antinori, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

2015 Tenuta Guado al Tasso, Vermentino, Antinori, Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy (£14.30, Tannico.co.uk).     

There is a lot to be said for the vermentino grape and it is exciting that we are, in the UK, seeing many more incarnations of this variety these days. Many of the simple, everyday wines are quirky, raspy and lip-lickingly refreshing, while the more structured and more serious offerings step up in complexity to chardonnay-challenging status in terms of palate weight, distinction and impact.

Hero wine family Antinori makes this lustrous wine at their Guado al Tasso estate, 50 miles to the southwest of Florence, near Bolgheri, a medieval hamlet in the Maremma area of the Tuscan coast. There is no oak in the wine, but there is an amazing creamy feel to it, which usually suggests barrel influence – this is vermentino’s skill. It has a stone fruit theme with honeysuckle and wild flowers throughout, and the best examples flirt with richness, but finish bracingly, with tart acidity.

This makes them stunning wines to enjoy with fresh fish dishes, which is, of course, what you dine on when visiting this part of the world. In terms of value, this is a steal – flavour, class, complexity and reward of this scale in any white wine usually require a £20 note at least. Give it a whirl and you will see what I mean. This potential super-star grape will find many more fans in a short space of time.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).