2011 Julien Schaal, Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa (£12.99, Handford Wines, 020-7589 6113).
I attended a Young Guns'-themed tasting at South Africa House in London recently and felt pretty old! A total of 129 wines were on show from elite Cape winemakers, and the maximum age for vinous consideration was a slight 35.
Julien Schaal, originally from Alsace in France, cruised under this barrier with four years to spare. I have been writing up his wines for a fair few years, too, so I have been a fan since he was in his 20s wow! Anyway, there is no doubt that the South African wine scene is in a state of serious change and these lads and lasses are leading the charge.
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This exceptional wine is fairly priced, incredibly well-assembled and it comes from cool, high-altitude vines in the fashionable ward of Elgin. I have tasted the 2012, which arrives in mid-June, too, and it also has beautiful weight, mid-palate depth and exquisite balance.
You ought to check this estate out this wine is a serious rival to white Burgundy and he makes a brilliant syrah, too. With more and more South African wines hitting the shelves at competitive prices, the rest of the world will have to be on their guard.
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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