A dramatic and rewarding amphora wine

2016 Westwell WinesThe UK’s first amphora wine is dramatic and extremely rewardin, says Matthew Jukes.

905_MW_P38_Wine

2016 Westwell Wines, Ortega Amphora, Kent, England£14.95, WestwellWines.com

The "Naughty Hare" Ortega is the UK's first amphora wine. "Who cares?" I hear you cry. "Isn't this fad already past its prime?" To be frank, I don't care what a wine is fermented in if it tastes this good, but if the flavour is in some way derived from the historic terracotta vessel then it is clearly a matter of interest.

Aside from being the finest Ortega I have ever tasted, this wine is blessed with epic purity and floral tones that summon up the perfume of the prettiest bridal bouquets at your favourite weddings. It is exquisitely balanced, with hints of tropical fruit, yearning to be set free, but kept quietly under control by the pin-sharp acidity. It is a dramatic and extremely rewarding wine.

At only 12.5% alcohol, it manages to summon up these heavenly and yet demure flavours without trying too hard. The terracotta amphoras are sourced from an artisan potter near Florence who works with the likes of Chteau Lafite and also Champagne Jacques Selosse.

Westwell's own description for what these curious 500-litre jugs do to the wine is that the yeast lees "stay in constant turmoil during fermentation, adding richness, texture and breadth". The amphoras allow the smallest proportion of air to enter somewhere between stainless steel tanks and barrels. So they are responsible for the genius of this wine after all. I guarantee you will love it!

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

Recommended

2019 Howard’s Folly: a far from foolish vinous venture
Wine

2019 Howard’s Folly: a far from foolish vinous venture

This is one of the most arresting Portuguese whites I have ever tasted, says Matthew Jukes.
16 Apr 2021
2019 Château Climens: high praise for this graceful, ethereal semillon
Wine

2019 Château Climens: high praise for this graceful, ethereal semillon

This extraordinarily pretty wine is one of the most delicious French semillons I have tasted.
9 Apr 2021
2017 Reyneke Organic: ancient wisdom makes for better wines
Wine

2017 Reyneke Organic: ancient wisdom makes for better wines

This stunning “claret-shaped” South African red is reaching its peak of maturity.
2 Apr 2021
2019 Restless River: a world-class pinot from South Africa
Wine

2019 Restless River: a world-class pinot from South Africa

Do all you can to taste this vitally important wine, says Matthew Jukes.
26 Mar 2021

Most Popular

“Joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin goes to the moon. What’s going on?
Bitcoin

“Joke” cryptocurrency dogecoin goes to the moon. What’s going on?

Dogecoin – a cryptocurrency created as a joke – has risen by more than 9,000% this year alone. Saloni Sardana looks at how something that began as an …
19 Apr 2021
The FTSE 100 has clawed back above 7,000 – how much higher can it go?
UK stockmarkets

The FTSE 100 has clawed back above 7,000 – how much higher can it go?

The FTSE 100 index has risen to over 7,000 for the first time in over a year – it now sits just above where it was in 1999. But its era of neglect cou…
19 Apr 2021
The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021