75cl * Vegan * Organic * Biodynamic * 13% ABV * Bordeaux, France
Moving on from being an industrial welder to a wine maker is an unusual career change, but one Florent Justo bravely took in 2016. He declared that he wanted to “return to a connection with the earth” so he and his wife Marine bought this little estate of 18-year-old Semillon vines on the limestone plateau facing St Emilion.
This epiphany of a career change might partly explain their slightly zany ethos: an absolute commitment to biodynamic winemaking as well as the concept of kindness. “A little bit which will always be passed on from any act.”
In the mid-20th century, white grapes such as Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc were the most planted varieties in Bordeaux, but Semillon in particular has been in constant decline since then. Whilst the vast proportion of land is now dedicated to red grapes, the white wines are some of the most underrated and often represent good value for money. Fleshy and round with aromas of beeswax and honey (particularly with bottle age), this wine shows an attractive citrus character, accented by white blossom and yellow plum when young but like all good Semillon will happily age for a decade plus.
The Hachette Guide (essentially the wine-buying Bible to any self-respecting Frenchman) described this as “an estate to follow closely” and has awarded them two stars (out of three), which was an incredible score for a young business.
Semillon works a treat with raw and lightly cooked shellfish, and especially with the flavours of the Pacific. Think soft-shell crab, barbecued king prawns, tuna tataki. We recommend serving it chilled, but not straight from the fridge - about 8-10C.