Over recent weeks we have been busy blending our 2020 English sparkling wines, tasting each base wine made from different parcels of hand-picked grapes across the estate. These wines have all gone through their primary fermentation and fining – a process of clarifying and stabilising the wines prior to bottling. We have now blended these base wines together into four different cuvées, or blends, with insight from a wider group of sommeliers and wine buyers from across the UK. These wines will now go through a further process of cold stabilisation, then bottled in June with the addition of a little yeast and sugar to allow a secondary fermentation to take place inside the bottle, so creating the bubbles and some great autolytic flavours from the yeast. These bottles will rest in the Cellar for approximately three years and will be released in 2024.
In the meantime, our winery team have been busy preparing two new wines from the 2017 vintage for release on the 1st May. 2017 was an exceptional vintage, but a year blighted by very bad spring frosts in late April. The grapes benefited from a very long ripening period and a phenomenal ‘Indian summer’, producing lovely ripe fruit, with a great balance of sugars and acidity, perfect for sparkling wine.
The first new release is our vintage Classic Cuvée 2017. It’s a beautiful blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. With a vibrant nose of red apples and the deep rich flavours you’d expect from that long ripening period.
Rob Buckhaven, our brand ambassador, described the wine as having “a rich mousse of Mirabelle plums and orange sherbet with a bright, pomelo finish”. All I know is that it tastes delicious. It will be available exclusively in Harvey Nichols for the month of May, before going on sale at various independent wine merchants across the UK, as well as being poured in some fantastic restaurants, bars and hotels.
The second new release is our vintage Blanc de Blancs 2017 made from predominately Burgundy clones of Chardonnay which tend to have smaller berries carrying more flavour.
Jamie Goode, the wine writer, recently posted a tasting note on Instagram describing it as; “delicate and refined” with “acidity that integrates nicely into the wine .. taught, focused, precise”, it has a “beautiful purity of fruit .. real finesse, classy .. a really lovely wine.”
We think it’s a lovely wine that has slight tropical notes of papaya and creamy lemon balm. It is tasting really great at the moment but will age well in the bottle for the next five years. It’s available from Harrods online and in store from the 1st May, before it then goes on more general release during May.