2009 Crystallum, Clay Shales Chardonnay, Walker Bay, South Africa (£24.99, Harrogate Fine Wines, 01423-522270; Halifax Wine Co, 01422-256333; Liberty Wines, 020-7720 5350).
Crystallum is a new name for me, but it's one that I will never forget. Peter-Allan and Andrew Finlayson (sons of Peter Finlayson, of Bouchard-Finlayson fame) have made the finest debut South African chardonnay and pinot noir pair that I have ever tasted. 2009 Clay Shales Chardonnay is one of the most dramatic and sensual releases of the year.
It's restrained, linear, mineral and long, and it has all of the structure required from which to drape its sensational fruit.
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Coming from a single vineyard high up in the mountains behind the town of Hermanus in the Walker Bay, the cool temperatures result in a late harvest and this allows the grapes to gather serious complexity. Low yields and classical vinification result in breathtaking beauty and poise.
You should also track down some 2010 Cuve Cinma Pinot Noir. The 2009 was my highest scoring wine from this grape variety ever in South Africa. The new vintage turns up in October and it is priced at £32.99, available from Handford, Secret Cellar, Corks Out and Harrogate Fine Wine.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year ( www.matthewjukes.com ).
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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