The new modern classics of the wine world

Ahead of the London City Island Penthouse Conversations wine-tasting event with wine expert Matthew Jukes and Wanderlust Wine’s Richard Ellison on 30 August, City AM wine writer Libby Brodie explores the great future vintages wine lovers should know

The established classic regions of the wine world, such as Burgundy and Bordeaux, are rapidly pricing out the general consumer looking to buy good wine without fully emptying their wallet. With limited supply and increasing demand, alongside the issues of climate change, there has never been a better time to look for new, exciting regions that deliver unbelievable taste and premium quality – or to put it another way the “New Modern Classic”.

‘In purist terms, the classic regions have already been determined and if any emerging producers or areas are to earn “classic” status this would inevitably take a long time – in the same way that Bordeaux, Burgundy and the like have taken hundreds of years,’ points out renowned wine writer Matthew Jukes. ‘But that does not mean we cannot speculate and compare lesser-known players to the classics, pointing out their attributes, asking the consumer to speculate on their future greatness!’

‘It is unbelievable how expensive burgundy is now,’ says Richard Ellison, founder of Wanderlust Wine. ‘So, we are looking for wines that can compete on that stage and still offer value. There’s no way you’re going to buy a very good burgundy for £25 now so it is my job to find and discover interesting, organic wines that fit the market and that, when people taste them, they go “Wow!”’

Wanderlust Wine founder Richard Ellison

Wine expert Matthew Jukes

City AM wine writer Libby Brodie

There has never been a better time to look for new, exciting regions that deliver unbelievable taste and premium quality

Which is why, on 30 August, London City Island is hosting a wine tasting, showcasing some of Richard’s most brilliant finds for the savvy palate as part of its Penthouse Conversations series, taking place in the brand-new Penthouse in Corson House. The traditional classic regions are always premium, with perfected techniques and more expensive, harder-to-grow grapes – and this tasting will be no different, offering first-class wines but from emerging producers and lesser-known areas of the wine world.

The Penthouse at London City Island

On a tour around the globe, we will be tasting a flinty and mineral-driven assyrtiko from Santorini, a Burgundian-style chardonnay from Australia and a white rioja, made from old vines for an additional intensity of flavour. This last one has been made by the son of a renowned winemaker who has carried on the winemaking tradition, but with his own individual flair, creating amazing wines in a more modern style. Ideal in the current hot weather, this will be followed by his ‘provocative’ rosé, which Richard describes as ‘alive, complex, zippy’ and worlds away from some of the more insipid versions you can find in the mass market today.

With barolos and barbarescos also mounting in price, where can one look to for fantastic-value Italian wines? ‘I surprise people with how good the top stuff from Sicily is,’ says Richard, who has selected a certified organic red from the volcanic region of Etna. This sits in contrast to the ‘lovely, delicate’ pinot noir from America, a country Richard believes is ‘the most exciting place right now. There is a new wave of American wine moving away from over-extraction and creating wines that are balanced and delicious.’

Finally, we have the “wild card” from Gran Canaria, not a region often seen on a London wine list, but somewhere where ambitious people are making fantastic wines. A restored ancient vineyard of 125-year-old vines, this final red is driven by a ‘purity and true sense of place’.


To try your own selection of Wanderlust Wine, use the offer code LONDONCITYISLAND on their website for an exclusive 5% discount. The code will work up to a week following the event on orders from Wanderlust Wine. Guests at the Penthouse Conversations event will also be invited to join the Wanderlust Wine club for more exclusive offers on their fantastic selection of wine.

To try Jukes Cordialities use the exclusive offer code ENJOY10 on their website for 10% off.