2011 Haskell Vineyards, Aeon, Stellenbosch, South Africa (£24.95, reduced to £22.75 each if you buy a case, Lea & Sandeman, 020-7244 0522).
I have no doubt that the recent Lea & Sandeman tasting held at the home of wine, Vintners' Hall in London, was and will be the finest indie wine merchant event of the year. Wine after wine shone with individuality, excellence and value.
I urge you to seek them out because their portfolio is exquisitely assembled and I have no doubt that loads of their finds will pop up on this page in due course. Haskell Vineyards and Dombeya, the original name for the estate, are labels I have stalked for a good few years. The 2013 Dombeya Chardonnay (£13.50) is a breakthrough wine for them, with a satisfyingly mellow mid-palate balanced by a tart, zesty finish. Take a break from white Burgundy and give this seductive wine a whirl.
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The star of the show (and of the whole tasting) was Aeon, a syrah with a dribble of mourvdre embedded in its core. This is a measured wine with equal parts brutish warrior and debonair charmer. Deep and dark, bristling with power throughout, this wine is encased in the most genial and suave exterior which hints at menace but never frightens the palate. When you dive in you are treated to a sensory explosion which will leave you blushing with excitement.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (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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