2018 Oxney Organic, Chardonnay, East Sussex, England
Before I talk about my featured bottle I must mention another Oxney wine, which is sensational – 2016 Oxney Organic, Limited Release Classic Rosé (£40). Only 500 bottles were made of this epic wine and, while neither this nor my featured chardonnay are on the Oxney website, at the time of writing, Kristin Syltevik, the mind behind this peerless property, assures me that they will both appear soon. Kristin gave me a list of indie retailers who will stock these two brand new wines, but only one confirmed that they did.
Anyway, this sparkler is packed with sensational freshness and vitality and it has a wondrous, amaro twist of acidity that runs the length of the palate. Reticent and tremulous, intellectually intriguing and ever so slightly demanding, it asks questions of the drinker and I love this bold approach in a serious sparkling wine. My featured wine comes from the Thomson Block on this unique property and it is hand-picked and then barrel fermented, using 50% wild yeasts. This is the first time they have entrusted fermentation to indigenous yeasts and the results are nothing short of epic.
This is, without doubt, the most resonant and beautiful English wine I have ever tasted. I have waited a long 34 years for a perfect English wine and this is it. I cannot find a molecule out of place. It is the first English wine I have ever scored 20/20.
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com).