A dramatic and rewarding amphora wine

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


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.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

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).

Matthew Jukes

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.