Aphelion The Ardent Sagrantino 2018

  • James Suckling: 92/100 "Attractive dark berries and some gently herbal nuances."
  • Mike Bernie: 93/100 "Interesting and good to drink."
  • Pan seared duck matches the spice and body of the wine.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Mike Bennie
    93 points
  • James Suckling
    92 points

Editors notes

Huge plume of aroma, stewed plums and anise, black pepper and curry powder and dry rub. There's flowers and spices galore - epic thing to smell. In the mouth it's soft of fruit but ripped with muscle. Chewy threads of tannin are strung through the palate; dry, spicy and deliciously moreish. Drinks very well now, but it's going to be better with a little time. So interesting and tasty.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Baked Fruit
    • Black Fruits
    • Forest Floor
  • Palate
    • Baked Fruit
    • Earthy
    • Fig

Food Pairings

  • Game
  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Mike Bennie

    "The wine formally known as ‘The Ardent’ now just ‘Ardent’. Does that change make this wine more or less ardent? It seems all the new Aphelion wines are no longer ‘The’ wines. Meanwhile, off that relative triviality. Deep, moody wine from 2018, perhaps a little skittish and less composed than the 2017 version, but only just. That perfume is something else. So fragrant, pretty, floral with lavender, violets and similar, shows fruit character like salted plum and booze-soaked cherries. The palate is lively, thick though, rich in that tang of salted plum, concentrated but lifted on sharp acidity and broad, gum-sticking tannin swipes. A ferrous and bloody character soaks in too. It’s very ‘sagrantino’ in its way, has a swagger, does big well, feels interesting and good to drink. I like it."
  • James Suckling

    "Attractive dark berries and some gently herbal nuances here with blackcurrants and a super juicy palate that has deeply intense, dark-cherry, chocolate and blueberry flavors. The plushness and richness here is very convincing. Drink over the next five years. Screw cap."

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Australia's wine industry is a thriving part of the country's economy, contributing significantly to employment, production, export, and tourism. In fact, the industry is the fourth-largest wine exporter in the world, shipping out 760 million liters of wine to countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. One of the key factors contributing to Australia's success as a "New World" wine producer is the formal export and marketing of its wines through Wine Australia.

Australia's wine regions are scattered across the south and southeast, with almost every state boasting its own vineyards. Victoria, for example, is home to an impressive 21 wine regions. Some of the most famous wine regions in Australia include Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, and local regions to New South Wales such as Cowra, Southern Highlands, and Mudgee.

Australian winemakers are known for producing a diverse range of grape varieties, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir being among the most popular. They tend to focus on producing wines that are ripe, fruit-forward, and easy to drink, using modern winemaking techniques and equipment such as stainless steel tanks and temperature-controlled fermentation.

With its bold, fruit-driven flavors and reputation for quality and diversity, Australian wine has become a popular choice for wine lovers around the world. And with such a broad range of wine regions and grape varieties, there's something for every palate to enjoy.

South Australia

If you like Australian wine, then you probably like South Australia wine. The rich reds produced there put Australia on the wine-making map of the world. With over 40% of the country's vineyards, South Australia can rightfully call itself the wine state.

Wines are produced in several regions throughout the state, though many are naturally grouped together, like Barossa and Eden Valleys, only 15 minutes apart. They include such regions as Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, The Limestone Coast, McLaren Vale and Wrattonbully to name but a few!

Barossa Valley boasts some of the oldest vines in Australia dating back to 1843 and produces some of the world's finest Shiraz, whilst the 'terra rossa' soils of Coonawarra is most suited to producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons. If you're a fan of Riesling, Clare Valley is a great place to explore and for a Maritime climate not dissimilar to parts of the Italian coastline, seek out the wines from McLaren Vale.

McLaren Vale

The McLaren Vale wine region is located less than an hours drive south of Adelaide, along the coastline.

Shiraz is by far the most widely planted variety, and the most important variety for the region, accounting for about 50% of the total crush. Every winery in the region will likely be producing at least one or more Shiraz wines, and with the wide range of unique terroirs available, each influenced by the maritime climate in unique ways, each Shiraz will have its own regional nuances.

Shiraz produced in McLaren Vale will often exhibit chocolate and coffee notes, with a little less pepper than those from Barossa Valley, and are often blended with Grenache. Other red varieties grown include Cabernet Sauvignon (and Merlot blends) Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Zinfandel. The main white variety would be Chardonnay, however Semillon and it's common blending partner Sauvignon Blanc are made, alongside lesser amounts of Riesling, Pronto Bianco, Vermentino and Fiano.

If you plan to visit McLaren Vale there are over 65 cellar doors so you'll be spoiled for choice, ranging from the small-boutique wineries to very large wineries. The drive from McLaren Vale up to the Barossa Valley is very scenic, passing over the rolling Adelaide Hills, and though the quaint German-settled town of Hahndorf.

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