Looking into Oxford Wine Company

Nobody does it like Juliet(te) – wine review

Image description: The Oxford Wine Company’s Turl Street store

The Oxford Wine Company has always seemed, to me, like one of those stores that exists for real wine drinkers. Not for people like me, happy with the second cheapest bottle at Tesco’s. But, wandering into their Turl Street store one rainy day, that impression largely changed. I’d hardly profess to be a wine expert (a sommelier, if you will) – but give me a bottle of wine and I’ll happily take the opportunity to try.

The wine? Juliette, a crisp and tasty Sauvignon Blanc in an equally appealing bottle. And, yes, just like Lawson proved in their hit 2012 tune, nobody does it like Juliet(te).

South Africa already has a fine reputation for producing Sauvignon Blancs – it’s the second most planted white grape in the country, and this offering from Old Road Wine Co. certainly doesn’t disappoint. Grown in the Elgin Valley near Cape Town, Juliette has benefitted from a stable climate moderated by the topology of the area and an especially fertile soil, producing a tipple that encapsulates summer in every way.

Hitting the perfect balance between sunny floral notes and a refreshing medium acidity, it’s a wine with a real elegant character to it. The nose is very pure and minerally, with delicate, slightly herbal, fresh fruits of peaches, pear, and pineapple – not too punchy, but prevalent nonetheless. The palate is a lovely mix of lingering savoury notes intertwining with a bit of lemony fruit and bell pepper so unique to a Sauvignon Blanc.

Certainly full-flavored and herbaceous but not to the point of being in-your-face, a glass would be great with a whole host of different foods, although I would personally be partial to a really fresh, simply prepared grilled sea bass on a summer’s day. The one real issue is that I could hardly stop at one glass.

The presentation of the bottle is a nice touch, conveying the independent nature of the winery and the “summer in a glass” that can be found within. A real pleasure to drink – one only wishes for the return of weather truly befitting of the wine.

The Oxford Wine Company’s three central Oxford stores are open throughout lockdown: Botley Road, Turl Street, and the newly opened Little Clarendon Street. Students can get 10% off any purchase in store!

Image credit: Ayesha Sehgal