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

2017 Sino da Romaneira: a thrilling wine at a thoroughly reasonable price
Wine

2017 Sino da Romaneira: a thrilling wine at a thoroughly reasonable price

A pure and sonorous Portuguese wine with immediate charm and drinkability.
24 Sep 2021
2016 Áster: an impeccably balanced Ribera
Wine

2016 Áster: an impeccably balanced Ribera

This is one of the most expressive old vine Riberas I have tasted, and at a remarkable price, too.
17 Sep 2021
NV Louis Roederer: rush down to Waitrose and join the queue
Wine

NV Louis Roederer: rush down to Waitrose and join the queue

This exquisite Champagne is one to celebrate and drink with enthusiasm.
10 Sep 2021
2018 Château Deyrem Valentin: a top-flight claret on the high street
Wine

2018 Château Deyrem Valentin: a top-flight claret on the high street

This polished Margaux is fabulous for autumnal drinking.
3 Sep 2021

Most Popular

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer
Investment strategy

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer

Inflation need not be a worry unless it is driven by labour market shortages. Unfortunately, writes macroeconomist Philip Pilkington, that’s exactly w…
17 Sep 2021
Two shipping funds to buy for steady income
Investment trusts

Two shipping funds to buy for steady income

Returns from owning ships are volatile, but these two investment trusts are trying to make the sector less risky.
7 Sep 2021
Should investors be worried about stagflation?
US Economy

Should investors be worried about stagflation?

The latest US employment data has raised the ugly spectre of “stagflation” – weak growth and high inflation. John Stepek looks at what’s going on and …
6 Sep 2021