A thrilling sem-sauv blend

2018 Aristea sauvignon blanc/semillon This sem/sauv blend from Bordeaux walks the tightrope between lush fruit and dramatic acidity with rare precision.

2018 Aristea

2018 Aristea sauvignon blanc/semillon, Elgin, South, Africa

£25.95, reduced to £23 on offer until 31 December, Private Cellar, 01353-721999, privatecellar.co.uk

I love the Aristea wines and the new releases are the finest to date. Owner Martin Krajewski encouraged his winemaker Matt Krone to reach for the stars while putting these wines together and this year the 2018 chardonnay (with an offer price of £25 per bottle and £50 per magnum) is a suitably flamboyant creation, while the 2017 cabernet (on offer at £27 per bottle and £54 per magnum) is focused, noble, relatively forward and stunningly balanced.

My featured wine is the pick of the bunch. I am a committed fan of the top-flight sem/sauv blends from Bordeaux after all, white Graves wines are some of the most complex and age-worthy in the world. Aristea takes this ultra-sophisticated model and modernises its recipe, leading with racy Elgin sauvignon blanc and augmenting it with lusty, lime pith-smooched semillon. A 75/25 blend is treated to one year of maturation in 500-litre format French oak. This serves to polish the wine, lending it an imperceptible sheen of nougat and blanched almond sophistication.

The result is a wine which can, on the one hand, be drunk as a keen, citrus-imbued, classy aperitif and on the other a fully fledged main-course, fish-dish stunner. The tightrope walk between lush fruit and dramatic acidity is achieved with rare precision in this wine. I cannot recommend it enough. It takes a much-admired recipe and gives it a thrilling makeover to bring it bang up to date.

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

Recommended

Wine of the week: a simply astounding ripasso
Wine

Wine of the week: a simply astounding ripasso

The flair and richness at the heart of this Italian red is truly sensational.
5 Mar 2021
Wine of the week: an enchanting chardonnay from Belgium
Wine

Wine of the week: an enchanting chardonnay from Belgium

Delicate, haunting and packed with vitality and verve, this Belgian chardonnay is a rare beauty.
26 Feb 2021
Wine of the week: a quartet of remarkable kiwis
Wine

Wine of the week: a quartet of remarkable kiwis

Matthew Jukes tastes four remarkable bottles from prodigiously talented New Zealand winemaker Jules Taylor.
19 Feb 2021
Wine of the week: a pair of English beauties
Wine

Wine of the week: a pair of English beauties

Bringing out the incandescent beauty of the ortega grape variety, these two English wines are like nothing you will have ever tasted before.
12 Feb 2021

Most Popular

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: where to store your bitcoins
Bitcoin

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: where to store your bitcoins

Once you've got hold of some bitcoins, you need somewhere secure to keep them. Dominic Frisby outlines some of the best options, from exchanges to col…
4 Mar 2021
A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: the technical genius behind bitcoin and the blockchain – and how it all works
Bitcoin

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: the technical genius behind bitcoin and the blockchain – and how it all works

In the second in his series on bitcoin, Dominic Frisby looks at the blockchain – bitcoin’s unique underlying architecture – and what makes it and the …
2 Mar 2021
Why gold has been such a bad investment so far this year
Gold

Why gold has been such a bad investment so far this year

Gold – the ultimate safe haven investment – is proving anything but safe. It’s lost over $200 an ounce since its high at the start of the year. Domini…
3 Mar 2021