RESERVED!

Hi Folks

Well¬† “Have I got NEWS for you”¬† and also a first to ever be done in the UK.

It all started when myself and Jeremy Palmer (from Barbados – @JeremyPalmer7¬† – Twitter) got into a conversation around Christmas time last year as he was seeing Rathfinny English sparkling wines on twitter and social media and couldn’t get any. We jokingly said they should sell it En-Primeur and then a big conversation ensued……. everyone in the wine industry then commented….. its not the done thing!. Mark Driver owner of Rathfinny then commented…. well that’s an interesting idea, he obviously had other thoughts.

Well TODAY it’s turned from an idea to reality.¬† 26th July YES TODAY!! the Rathfinny website or cellar door will have a new option.

RATHFINNY RESERVED.

This new service will give private individuals the opportunity to reserve cases of Rathfinny Classic Cuvee Sussex Sparkling wine a few years before it is released onto the general market.

Since launching their first wines last year they have been so popular it’s nearly impossible to purchase by the case.

Last weekend I returned to the estate to talk to Mark about RESERVED. I need to give Mark & Sarah Driver and of course my mate Richard James a huge thank you as they have asked me….yes little old me to make this huge initial announcement… because it started with that Christmas conversation on twitter.

Its a brand new wine too, and I was privileged to be the first person outside of a select  few at the winery to taste the 2017 Classic Cuvee last weekend.  Its tasting superbly after 1 year and is going to be a truly amazing Sussex sparkling wine when launched.

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Obviously it wont have a crown cap and it will be labelled prior to delivery

 

The wine for Rathfinny RESERVED will be the Classic Cuvee 2017. The 2016 Cuvee is being launched next year but the RESERVED will be for 2021 delivery as the 2016 does not have the volume of wine to start such an innovative project.

So some basic facts about RESERVED.

  1. 2017 Classic Cuvee is 66% Pinot Noir, and 17% each of Chardonnay and Pinot Muenier.
  2. 800  x 6 bottle cases made available for RESERVED.
  3. In Regular 75cl bottles or 150cl magnums.
  4. Minimum 4 cases per customer.
  5. Available Summer 2021

So your options are as follows:

A minimum of 4 x 6 bottle cases of CC 16. or 4 x 150cl Magnum 3 bottle cases or have a mix up of both….the best idea!

RESERVED is only 4800 bottles that are being offered on it’s release so it’s going to be first come first served, this allocation will sell out fast. There is no maximum that you can buy.

The 2017 Classic Cuvee is an exceptional vintage for the estate, however most vineyards in the UK, and most of northern Europe including Champagne and Rioja had huge problems with the frost in April 2017. The week commencing the 23rd April there were three frosts… the 26th was the worst and down to -6c over most of the south coast where the largest vineyards are in the UK. Most producers got hit hard (some as much as 30-40% loss) as the vines were well into bud after a pretty good spring. Rathfinny is set in the Cradle valley, the estate meanders down to the estuary of the sea. What this does is draw away the cold from the vines. Rathfinny lost 1-2% only in 17′ vintage, due to its south facing and proximity to the coast.

After this early budburst the grapes benefitted from a long ripening period and a phenomenal ‚ÄėIndian summer‚Äô, with unseasonably warm September weather producing fantastic ripe fruit, with great flavours, balanced acidity and sugar levels.

 So how does Rathfinny Reserved work in practice?

Rathfinny ‚ÄėReserved‚Äô wine has spent its first year in the bottle. The wine will spend a further two years lying in the bottle ‚Äėon-lees‚Äô in their temperature-controlled cellar, allowing the ‚Äėautolytic‚Äô flavours to develop. They plan to disgorge the wine at the beginning of 2021, removing the yeast lees and will then release the wines to ‚ÄėReserved‚Äô customers in the summer of 2021.

The wine can be purchased from today under “In Bond”, what this means is that you only pay for the wine on your initial purchase. MR UK GOVERNMENT will then have to be paid (Duty and VAT) once you release your wines from Bond in 2021.

So why would you do this…..

a) You get an allocation of the RESERVED WINE

b) It Actually works out cheaper

So what do you pay?

The price of the wine is £19 per 75cl bottle or £39 per 150cl Magnum, exclusive of excise duty and VAT. Once the wines are released, excise duty and VAT will be payable.

So to take delivery of your wine…. unfortunately you then have to pay her Majesty’s revenue and customs (HMRC) = Government some dough! Current duty rates for sparkling wines for the UK are ¬£ 2.86 per 75cl bottle and then you add 20% Vat. So under current tax arrangements, which can always be changed by HMRC it works out that for each 75cl bottle it will cost ¬£26.23 and each magnum would cost ¬£53.66.¬† The wine will retail for ¬£29/¬£30 (for 75cl bottle) once on general release, so quite a cost saving overall. However, rates of excise duty and VAT are subject to change by the UK government at any time.¬†

Well you can buy these wines direct from the Rathfinny website with your plastic flexible friend as of right now 26/07/2019 or order at the cellar door at the vineyard directly.

You don’t have to worry once you place your order as Rathfinny take very good care of your wine for the next 2 years, while its developing nicely. Rathfinny will remain responsible for insuring the wine at the original invoice value until you collect or request delivery. Ownership of the wines will pass on settlement of all outstanding charges.

When can I get my mits on my purchases I hear you ask….

The wines will be disgorged in early 2021 and then rest in the bottle for a few months, you will then be notified by email when the wine is available for collection or delivery. Generally Rathfinny release their vintages in May or early June.

So you get your email, pay Rathfinny the tax which they sort with HMRC for you and you collect your wine or they will deliver world wide, obviously delivery is at normal shipping rates. The wines need to be collected within one month of the notification or they may start to charge storage fees on your bottles!

If you are an international customer these wines can be purchased free from United Kingdom VAT and duty. However your country will also have rates for duty and tax per bottle which will need to be applied by the shipping agent before they would deliver to your address. These vary across the globe and if you ask Mr Goggle nicely and I’m sure he will have the rates for your country for importing wine.

You may have noticed I mentioned I had the opportunity to taste this 2017 Classic Cuvee  with last weekend, Mark very kindly left the bottle with the tasting room staff so we could finish it off with dinner.

So what is it like?

Well you have to understand that this wine is only 1 year into its three year aging, but after only one year this wine is already spectacular. When I tasted the wine it had not yet had dosage added (added sugars).

On the nose it’s pears and red apples with a vibrant perlage. The palate is fresh and rich with summer fruit which then turns to cherry on the finish…. which goes on and on. I cannot believe that this wine is zero dosage at this stage.

Rathfinny will be adding dosage to the wine before release but as usual for them it will be only for balance and structure and not trying to add new flavours to the wine with sugar.

What’s interesting is that Rathfinny dosage is generally low 3-6g per litre. Brut Champagne will usually be between 9 & 12g per litre. If you want to experiment yourselves get a litre of water and add 6g of sugar….. Most of our palates can’t ever notice it!

Hope you love the wine in 2021!

Salute

Here is Mark Driver talking about Rathfinny RESERVED

 

Here is the link for RESERVED on the Rathfinny website.

https://rathfinnyestate.com/rathfinny-reserved

Website and social media links for Rathfinny below:

https://rathfinnyestate.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RathfinnyEstate

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rathfinnyestate

 

DISCLAIMER:

I’m not being paid by Rathfinny for this blog. I am a huge advocate of the fabulous English sparkling wine industry, especially with what Rathfinny are doing. I will always promote free of charge for great wines and wineries. Rathfinny did provide me with overnight¬† accommodation as I live 200 miles away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My long weekend at the Rathfinny Wine Estate. ūüá¨ūüáß

Hello again

I have been looking forward to staying at the Rathfinny vineyard estate ever since I went to their launch, last April, of their Sussex Sparkling wine at the very glamorous venue of Somerset house in London. Here is my blog from last year. Rathfinny Launch

After a few emails back and forth to sort  dates (I wanted to make sure Richard James Р(my buddy from twitter) was there as I wanted the guided tour of the estate) I booked to stay for a long weekend, which I did two weeks ago.

The Estate, owned by Mark and Sarah driver, is in the Cradle Valley on the South Downs in the county of Sussex near to the village of Alfriston. The estate is only 3 miles from the sea, 17 miles from Brighton and about 60 ish miles from central London.

A 200 mile drive from home and with a pitstop in Brighton for lunch, we arrive in the very picturesque village of Alfriston, just the other side of the village is the entrance for the Rathfinny Estate.

Immediately, after turning off the road, what strikes you, is the sheer attention to detail across the whole estate.

The Rathfinny Logo welcomes you as you pull into the driveway, the logo is based upon the Sussex coat of arms, however the birds have been replaced by Grapes.

Up the drive way we began, within a hundred metres the road winds up the hill and  you are surrounded by vines. Its about a mile until you reach the winery and tasting rooms but we were going to the end of the estate to stay at the Flint Barns.

On arrival you can only be impressed by these once derelict old barns that have been lovingly restored, using reclaimed and locally sourced materials.

We checked in, best check in ever… as it doubles as the bar too.

Alice and all of the Flint Barn team were brilliant and nothing was too much trouble even though It was a busy weekend for them  with lots of people staying and eating there.

We were shown to our room, everything is of the highest quality with all the fixtures and fittings to a very high standard. Wetroom bathrooms are always a winner. There are no TVs in the rooms or the lounges, which I think is fabulous. This is a getaway and you really do not need a TV! Pets and even children!(haha) are  welcomed too.

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Dropped the bags in the room and headed back to the bar…. well it was way past wine o’clock, opting for a large glass, as would be drinking wine later with dinner and¬† Rich was joining us after,¬† of the estates only still wine, which I believe is unfortunately for the estate only. The wine is called Cradle valley, vintage 2017, its a blend of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris and is really delicious indeed. With glasses in hand it was time to relax in the lounge before dinner. You can buy this wine at the estate to take home though…. as I did.

The lounge is a wonderful place to relax, loads of comfy sofas, armchairs and a log burner too. There are loads of books to read, including a great wine book shelf.

I did notice “Wine for Dummies” too…. I forgot to ask Rich if it had been planted there for me…. HAHA. Also lots of board games available too. This really is a great place to relax.

After a 30 minute rest to chill out and enjoy the wine, I decided to go and have a wander amongst the vines, as the sun was going down, before dinner.

What strikes you immediately as you step out of the flint barns and into the vines , which is literally a few steps, is that the Cradle Valley is so serene and absolutely stunning. The birdsong, which was plentiful, in the early evening was a great backing track to my walk. This estate has been thoughtfully planned, to become one with the environment.

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Just a hop skip and a jump over the bank and your overlooking the sea.

Back in for a freshen up and off to dinner in the Flint barn dining room.

We perused the menu, produce  all locally sourced Sussex where possible which is part of sustainability ethos that the estate has. The kitchen is open to the dining room, you can see the chef making your dinner.

Opting for fresh tomato and pesto soup, lamb with seasonal vegetables, and then Rhubarb  compote …. oh and the most delicious Chocolate tart with Ginger ice-cream.

There is quite a good wine selection too, by the bottle and by the glass. We opted for glasses of Rioja and a Cabernet Sauvignon.

After supper Rich joined us for a great evening chatting about the estate and chewing the fat about wine….. while drinking a couple of bottles epic vino.

DAY 2 up early as I wanted to see the valley in the morning light and boy oh boy was it worth it….

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Now down to the serious business…. BREAKFAST… nothing to disappoint here for sure.

I always judge breakfast initially on COFFEE! perfect start and then cornflakes and onto a very good full English breakfast indeed.

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All cooked to perfection! Thanks Chef.

Superb breakfast time for another quick wander around the vines before Rich was to show me around the winery. I am going to write another piece about the winery because to give it justice it really needs to be a stand alone blog. Wont be too long!

So after an amazing tour from Rich I had 20 mins to kill before going to the tasting room for lunch.

I decided to check out the terroir.

What is interesting is the level of flint in the soil, which they are repurposing to build walls on the estate.

 

The top soil is approx. 10cm ONLY in depth and then it is pure chalk. This is the same chalk also found in the champagne region.

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Showing the band of chalk from Reims (Champagne Country) to the South Coast of the UK and beyond.

The following day we went down to the coast to get some images of the white cliffs which are known as the Seven Sisters, these images show the make up of the soil from sea level. The level of retained moisture in the chalk is approximately 70% water!

Now it was time for lunch!

The tasting room is attached to the winery building and is a superb piece of architecture and was nominated for awards in architecture too.

Into the dining room, with stunning décor and an even more stunning view.

The menu was fabulous, here was our lunch menu for that day. It is constantly changing depending on seasonal produce. Most produce is from sourced locally in Sussex.

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Their take on the bread basket was divine, rosemary and grape bread with radishes.

 

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For the first course we chose the Rosé Veal and Salt cod.

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Second course was the Halibut with local leeks, potted shrimp and chip shop mash..

JUST WOW…. if you have never tried chip shop mash… you haven’t lived.

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Last but by no means least came the puddings, Guanaja bitter chocolate crémeux, fig, salted caramel, crème fraiche and Yuzu tart, with black sesame

IMG_2757IMG_2758 Continue reading “My long weekend at the Rathfinny Wine Estate. ūüá¨ūüáß”

Rathfinny at the Ritz ūüá¨ūüáß

Hi again all, 

I wrote last year about the launch of Rathfinny’s new English sparkling wines, from Sussex, England, you can check that out here. Rathfinny Blog.

After a very successful initial launch their new vintage 2015 Blanc de Noirs & 2016 Rosé are about to be launched on the 1st of May and then released in June 2019.

The launch is at the Ritz in London. The Ritz is one of the most iconic hotels in the world so this truly is a fabulous achievement for Rathfinny as the Ritz are having their new 2015 Blanc de Noirs as their wine of the month in May.

Its only the 2nd time in the 113 year history of the Ritz they have had an English Sparkling wine as their wine of the month.

Giovanni Ferlito, Head of Wine and Beverage at The Ritz:

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre delighted that the launch of the first release of Rathfinny‚Äôs Blanc de Noirs, the 2015 vintage, will be taking place at The Ritz London on 1st May. I have been a fan of Rathfinny since I had the privilege to visit the Estate in 2017, and believe that the quality of their wines marks them as a leading light within the industry. Rathfinny is the second ever English sparkling wine to be featured in our ‚Äėsparkling wine of the month‚Äô calendar, in the hotel‚Äôs 113-year history. With a premium and complex style, I firmly believe Rathfinny represents some of the finest quality in sparkling wine production today, and I look forward to sharing with our hotel guests.

The 2015 Blanc de Noirs, made from 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Pinot Meunier, has been aged for thirty-six months on the yeast lees.

Rathfinny Tasting notes: (as not yet released) 

It has an enticing blush that sets the scene for perfumed peony and wild strawberry on the nose, while on the palate, its rich mousse of raspberries and toasted almonds gives way to a caramelised red-apple finish.

English sparkling wine is booming folks!! 2018 was the best harvest to date with record yields across the English wine industry, of course record yields does not necessarily mean amazing wines but all the indicators so far are very good indeed. 

Two weeks ago I spent a long weekend on the  Rathfinny Estate as they are far more than just a very good vineyard, they have a fabulous restaurant and also great accommodation for up to 30 guests too. I cant give this justice within this blog so there will be a new Rathfinny estate blog out very soon.

 

Cheers all, and get yourself down to the Ritz to sample Rathfinny Blanc de Noirs 2015 (from the 1st May) before its even released in June.

Salute

A few links below for Rathfinny:

The Rathfinny Estate http://rathfinnyestate.com/about-us

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RathfinnyEstate

The Flint Barns (To stay) http://rathfinnyestate.com/flint-barns/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlintBarns

The Tasting Room (To eat and drink) http://rathfinnyestate.com/tasting-room

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlintBarns

The Ritz, London : https://www.theritzlondon.com/

 

Poulton Hill Estate – Cotwolds – Part 4 WineGBūüá¨ūüáß

Well I know you must be amazed at the fourth blog in ten days!

I had met Tiléri and Natalie from Poulton Hill Estate vineyard at a couple wine tastings in the Cotswolds and really wanted to go and check out what they are doing.

Poulton-Hill-Estate-Logo-Colour.pdf

Well my twitter buddy Swami, now lifelong food & wine friend from Iowa, told me he was coming to see me on an epic five week tour he had planned in Europe. So I started to plan a couple of days for him with me in Worcestershire. Food and wine both days was hugely important as Swami eats amazingly on his worldwide travels. With a few days before Swami’s arrival the weather forecast was superb for the upcoming days of his visit. With this in mind I thought we have to go to an ENGLISH vineyard!.

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The new tasting room at Poulton Hill Estate.

So this was the perfect opportunity to visit Poulton Hill Estate in the stunning Cotswolds as its only 45 minutes from home. With only two days notice we were made extremely welcome by Tiléri and Natalie. Many thanks.!!!!

The 7 acres of the Poulton Hill Estate vineyard were planted in 2010, set in the idyllic Cotswold countryside, close to the Roman town of Cirencester and Regency spa town of Cheltenham.

The vines planted are on south facing slopes, 8800 in total, which equates to about 20,000 bottles per year. They have three white varieties: Phoenix, Bacchus, Seyval Blanc and three red varieties: Pinot Noir, Regent and Rondo.

Other than some occasional help around the vineyard Tiléri and Natalie do everything. Obviously labour is brought in for the harvest, but when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING.

These are two petite ladies and they get stuck into every single part of what’s involved within the vineyard. Vine maintenance, pruning, wires, thinning, you name it they do it. Not only that but they are the face of Poulton at many events in the UK too. Oh and the tasting room, paperwork, telephones, orders, deliveries…‚Ķ. EVERYTHING!¬†

Til√©ri was telling me that at an event when they told a consumer they were the ones that worked the estate the response was ” I’m sure you don’t – day to day” in which she responded, “feel free to come anytime and see that WE MOST DEFINITELY DO.¬†

They certainly are a dynamic duo and they work bloody hard too! Both Swami and I discussed this on the way home after we had finished. We were sure that its not an easy job, however extremely rewarding when all the work comes to fruition with wonderful wines. Especially when the wines are winning awards and the wine buying public are loving them too!

2013 Brut Rosé has been highly commended at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2017.

2012 Brut English Sparkling Wine has won yet another medal. The wine won a silver medal at The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly awards.

Poulton Hill Bacchus 2016 wins Drinks Product of the Year at the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards.

English Sparkling White 2012,  awarded a Q in the Quality Drink Awards.

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Responsibility to the  environment is an integral part of what they do. They have  Babydoll sheep that graze the orchard and wildflowers planted to help the insect population.

They have two flocks of rare-breed sheep, Jacob’s Sheep and Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep, two of the oldest breeds in England. The Babydoll sheep are perfect for keeping the area around the vines tidy without eating the grapes also fertilizing the soil as they go.

So Natalie held the fort and Tiléri took Swami and I to see the vines.

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The first thing that we both noticed were the stunning Roses! I have only ever seen this once before at Querciabella, in Tuscany (Querciabella is a Biodynamic Vineyard)   

It’s a very old tradition which is done as vines and roses are both susceptible to the same mildew and fungus and they acted as an early warning system on the end of the rows. Although these days at Poulton Estate it’s purely for cosmetic reasons as vine management today is very different to how it was many years ago.

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Swami, you have cut the top of my head off… Many thanks for some of these photos though.
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Tiléri gave Swami one of these beautiful roses to remember the vineyard
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A whole new section has just been planted this year with Pinot Noir, settling in nicely.

Back to the tasting room to sample the delights of Poulton Estate wines.

Currently they make six still wines, (the reserve red was just released when we visited and not in the photo), three sparkling, a Cotswold brandy and a Sloe de Vie.. don’t worry I will explain. I hadn’t heard of it either.

Throughout the tasting it was obvious to Swami and I that these ladies certainly are involved with everything aspect in the vineyard, as their knowledge and experience, to all of our questions, from terroir to bottle was very impressive. 

Full Range.


 

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Bacchus 2016

Bacchus is of German origin and named after the Roman God of wine.

Grapes: Bacchus

In the glass this is light gold with a platinum edged quality too. Elderflower and peach on the nose. On the palate its fresh grapefruit, gooseberry, ripe tropical notes too. On the finish its dry and crisp with a touch of mineral right on the end. Really good on its own or with some fresh seafood it would be a delight!

RRP: £15.99

 


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Phoenix 2015 (although now 2017 vintage)

Again the variety is of German origin.

Grapes: Phoenix

In the glass this is very light in colour indeed. The nose has fabulous elderberry and herbaceous hints reminiscent of a traditional French Sauvignon. This medium-bodied wine is packed full of flavour with notes of lychee, elderberry and gooseberry, followed by a refreshingly clean finish.

RRP: £14.99

 

 


Special Reserve 2016.

Special Reserve 2016

Phoenix is of German origin and Seyval Blanc is of French origin.

Grapes: Phoenix and Seyval Blanc

Pale straw colour in the glass with fresh aromas of elderflower and pear on the nose. The palate is bursting with juicy peach, finishing with tones of zesty lemon sherbet.

RRP: £15.99

 

 

 


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Rosé NV

Grapes: Phoenix, Seyval Blanc, Rondo and Regent

The NV Rosé is salmon pink in colour, has cherry and slight plummy tones with a long, long finish. Delicious summer sipping!

This wine is a delight drunk on a hot summer day or will pair with white fish, chicken or pork dishes.

RRP: £13.99

 

 


poulton-hill-rose-2017-1000x1000Rosé 2017

This wine was not tasted on the day and had not been released. It is available now.

It has soft, well-rounded, ripe summer fruits on the nose that lead to delicate hints of damson plum and strawberries, with a crisp, dry finish on the palate.

RRP: £14.99

 


Special Reserve Red 2016

 

Well I drank this one again last night.

Grapes:  Rondo and Regent, with only 663 bottles made of this first vintage of this wine.

In the glass this wine is deep violet red in colour with a vibrant violet edge. The nose is blackberry, ripe black cherry with a touch of vanilla toastyness. The palate is an explosion of fruit! Black Cherry, quickly followed by stewed sweet plums. This wine is aged for six months in American oak so it does have a touch of vanilla although very little, and on the end it has a lovely spicey touch. Tannins are well integrated and it has a lovely soft lingering fruity finish. Really enjoyed this wine. Will also be good to see how it develops in the bottle over the next 12 months. 

RRP: £16.99

On to the sparkling wine

 

BULARI ……..

A new name for English sparkling wine? Well Poulton Estate certainly think so.

Poulton Hill Estate has a trademark registered¬† for ‚ÄėBulari‚Äô (a variation of the Latin for bubbles) as a generic term to describe English sparkling wine.

English sparkling wine producers have been searching for a catchy name to signify prestige and reflect ever-increasing quality for years now. The use of the Latin term Bulari reflects the fact that vines for wine-making were first introduced to Britain by the Romans.

As a recognition of their awards, quality and success, Poulton Hill Estate’s award-wining sparkling white and rosé wines will now be labelled Bulari. High-quality English sparkling wine producers, who meet the same strict production criteria for making English sparkling wines, will also be able to use the term under license.

Time will tell if this name catches on….. but always I hear lots banded round the industry that we don’t have a name like, Cava, Sekt, Prosecco or Champagne.

Here is a link featured on the BBC news about it. https://youtu.be/hFY10oiQWKk


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Sparkling English Rosé 

Grapes: Seyval Blanc, Phoenix, Rondo and Regent

In the glass it’s beautiful pale pink with fine perlage. On the nose it’s a summer berry heaven! A Strawberry and cream delight. This was the first glass we started with on the tasting and I think Swami was surprised at how good quality this tasting was going to be. This follows by quite a long dry finish with a touch of minerality on the end.¬†

This is great as an aperitif but equally a great food wine. In fact the first time my wife and I had this wine was at a lovely pub down the road from the vineyard and I had a burger for lunch. Paired a treat! RRP: £27.99 


poulton-hill-english-sparkling-brut-2012-awards-jan17English Sparkling Brut

Grapes: Seyval Blanc, Phoenix, Rondo and Regent. ( not tasted on the day)

Poulton Hill Estate English sparkling wine is a rich straw yellow colour with a slight touch of pink. The nose is a lovely blend of English summer fruits, with hints of gooseberry and grapefruit. The palate is equally reminiscent of an English summer, with notes of crisp green apple, elderflower, a touch of lime and hints of redcurrant and strawberry. RRP: £60.00


poulton-hill-bulari-sparkling-white-brut-1000x1000Bulari

Grapes: Seyval Blanc & Pinot Noir

Pale straw golden in the glass with fine perlage, the nose is green apples and pears with citrus notes of orange, lemon and limes. On the palate juicy apple bursts across your tongue followed by citrus freshness  which creates a wonderful well-rounded mouthfeel. This is very clean and fresh.

RRP: £27.99


SPIRITS:

poulton-hill-sloe-de-vie-1000x1000Sloe de Vie.

Sloe de Vie displays delicious fruit flavours of sloes hand-picked at the peak of ripeness following the harvest in 2015.

Once fermented, the sloe wine was triple distilled and then bottled.

The delicate aromas and freshness of the fruit have been preserved, resulting in a spirit of exceptional smoothness. Much like a  fine grappa. RRP £37.99


poulton-hill-cotswold-brandy-1000x1000Cotswold Brandy.

This Limited edition Cotswold Brandy has been produced exclusively from grapes harvested by hand at the Poulton Hill Estate in 2013. Following fermentation, the base wine has been triple distilled and then matured in American Oak casks.

Cotswold Brandy has a wonderful nose of deep almond and vanilla, with hints of wood and notes of spice. The palate is beautifully soft and smooth with a fruity finish.

Each bottle of this limited release has been carefully hand labelled and individually hand numbered. Unfortunately it was only a 200 bottle run and its all SOLD OUT!

 

 

Experience Poulton Hill for yourself

It really is a wonderful vineyard to visit, the Cotswold countryside is stunning and definitely worth a visit for a weekend or longer. There are plenty of places to stay from B&B’s to luxury country house hotels.

You can join Poulton estate for a relaxed tour around their vineyard, where they will take you through the history and the growing of grapes. From there, you can sample a selection of their wines at their Cellar Door. Tours start at 11am and last about 1 ¬Ĺ hours. Tickets cost ¬£15 per person, with a maximum of 20 tickets available for each tasting.

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Tours run Monday to Friday and one Saturday per month until Oct 2018.

For dates and to book your tour, please call Poulton Estate on: 0044 (0)1285 850257

Why not join Tiléri & Natalie for a harvest experience?
Harvest is one of the best times of year at Poulton Hill Estate. There is always a great atmosphere as you will work up and down the vines in pairs picking the fruit. If you would like to help out or learn more about what happens at harvest time in a vineyard, please contact them : info@poultonhillestate.co.uk

 

Huge Thank you to Til√©ri and to Natalie who were fabulous hosts to us.¬† I really do take my hat off to all the hard work that you put into this vineyard. Its obvious it is so much more than a Job to you both. Salute¬†ūüć∑ūüć∑ūüć∑ūüć∑ūüć∑

Again I  wrote this blog because I love what they are doing at Poulton Estate and their wines.

I have not been paid to write this blog nor do I have any affiliation to Poulton Estate.

The wine drunk last night SPECIAL RESERVE RED 2016 was kindly given to me by Swami who bought it on our visit. Thanks Swami.

https://poultonhillestate.co.uk/

Twitter: @PoultonVineyard

 

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Very cool delivery van too!

Astley Vineyard- Worcestershire- Part 3 WineGBūüá¨ūüáß

Hi again…‚Ķ I know 3 blogs in a week! and there is more next week too.

Astley vineyard is actually the closest vineyard to my home in Worcestershire. (40 mins south of the UK’s 2nd city Birmingham)

When I started to taste more English still wines at trade events I really had to go and visit Astley as they are 15 minutes from my house. I spoke with them on twitter for a while and then about 7 months ago in Jan 2018 I visited for the first time. I haven’t written about them until now because there were big plans afoot at Astley which will all come clear in this blog.

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January 14th 2018, pruning in progress by Mum – BEV!

History:

Astley used to be the most northerly vineyard in the WORLD! When it was established in the Severn Valley, Worcestershire, in 1971.

The terroir for this part of Worcestershire where the vineyard is planted is Triassic Sandstone and about 200 million years old (ish) this provides excellent drainage and a naturally high acidity in the wines also.

The vineyard is on an east facing slope located by a deep valley which draws away cold air, 1/2 mile away from the river Severn which also moderates the micro climate.

Below is a geo map of the county. Sandstone was used for many of the old buildings in the county too. 

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The original founders, the Bache family, planted varieties such as Madeleine Angevine and Siegerrebe decades before its¬†potential in England was realised.¬†Many of these¬†vines still stand – including their unique 46¬†year old Kerner – providing ASTLEY now with¬†almost unrivalled maturity and heritage. There is also Pinot Noir, used for blending and some chardonnay…‚Ķ. which is used for nothing as it never ripens enough! It is being replaced in the not to distant future.

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Clearing and managing the woodland has been a big task too!

Jonty Daniels who was a bit of a legend amongst small English wine producers owned  the vineyard for over 24 years, and  retired in July 2017.

He wasn’t going to sell to just anybody, they had to have the same vision & values for the little estate that he had. So in 2017 the Haywood family bought the vineyard and moved in,¬† July 17′.¬†

There are 5 Haywood’s in the Family that are involved passionately in this new venture/adventure.

Dad & Owner:¬† Tim. Each time I have visited Tim is super busy getting his hands dirty and really getting stuck into every job on the estate. A far cry I’m sure from his past life as a Financial Director in the City.

Mum:  Bev. The first time I met Bev she was pruning the vines in Jan. On their website it describes Bev as the lynch pin holding it all together. Bev if you are anything like my mother & I am sure that you are. We would all be lost without our Mums.

Son:¬† Chris. Chris exudes passion for this project! A great guy and like the whole family 100% committed every day to anything that the vineyard requires. He spent 2 years at a luxury wine shop and is WSET Level 3 qualified, Chris is Astley’s wine man.

The Finnish Wife of Chris: Matleena, who is the business manager and accounts dept.

Daughter: Daisy. Resident Landscape Architect and artist. Daisy lends her creative eye to projects and looks after the estate woodland and gardens.

Plans.

The previous owner Jonty always had the wine made at a large commercial vineyard but the Haywood’s have other plans completely. They want control over the whole process.¬†

The first part of this I saw a few months ago, in early May, where the foundations for the new winery & the new tasting room & shop were getting underway.

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Under Construction winery and Tasting room April/May 2018

Everything has changed at Astley…‚Ķ well except for the vines!. Their new Astley branding for the business together with their new beautiful bottle labels are a credit to them. A collaboration with the very talented team at Wearebeard, based in Worcester. In fact I must get in touch with them to get new pietrovini branding!

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Love their new LOGO with corkscrew incorporated.

New nature inspired labels incorporating the wildlife around the vineyard. Please click on any of the bottles above to get much larger image. It will open a new page.

So now in July, just a few short months after the start of new buildings, the new shop and tasting room are complete. The winery will be finished imminently. 

 

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The new mural on the wall by WEAREBEARD is awesome!

So the new tasting room has a great layout including a bar!, plenty of tables and seating and even a quite corner to relax in too.

The whole ethos of what the Haywood’s are doing at Astley is a credit to them, they understand that they are a boutique winery with only 5 acres of vines, they will never make much more than 10,000 bottles per year. So to that end they have made the whole vineyard extremely¬† visitor friendly, from walking through the woodland to the vineyard, or just popping in to have a glass of their wine on the new terrace. (Licence will be in place within weeks.) They will also be opening as a bar once or twice a month on a Friday or Saturday night, ticket only to enjoy their wines. Check website for updates.

Not only are they doing their own wine tasting sessions but Chris is providing monthly tastings for other wines from all over the world too. Sometimes these are just tasting nights but also they are doing gourmet food nights with wine matching each course. Which are quite the event.

Starting with a quick tour of the vines with Chris and some Q&A too.

Then a stroll up through the vines to the huge Teepee where the wines and delicious food is served.

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YUM!

These events will take place frequently, there are 3 over the next few weeks. Take a look at the website link https://www.astleyvineyard.co.uk/events if you fancy a great night in the vines. Perfect Summer BBQ wines, Natural wines & the KERNER tasting experience which is not to be missed.

Join the Haywood family for a special exploration of the Kerner grape. Focusing on wines made from Kerner, you will taste an exclusive range of wines both from their private collection, as well as from Astley Vineyard’s unreleased stocks. Unlike their other events, you will sit down with their entire family and¬† explore wine as a group.

 

About time I started talking about their delicious wines.

Madeleine

 

 

 

Madeleine Angevine 2016 or “MAD ANGIE” as is sometimes known in the UK.

Grapes: Madeleine Angevine

Alc: 11.5% 

Residual Sugar: 7.6 g/L

Total Acidity: 9.2 g/L

A delicate wine floral on the nose, on the palate grapefruit with a touch of peachy notes too. On the finish the there is crisp acidity with a little mineral note too. A real citrus blast of a wine. a real foodie wine. 

RRP £ 11.00 Bargain!

 

 


Severn-Vale

Severn Vale 2016 

Grapes: Bacchus, Madeleine Angevine, Kerner & tiny drop of Oaked Sauvignon Blanc too.

Alc: 10.5% 

Residual Sugar: 10.2 g/L

Total Acidity: 8.4 g/L

This is a fabulous light summer wine for sitting out on the patio in the sunshine. Off dry. On the nose its apples all the way! On the palate ripe fruit with a crunchy green apple freshness delighting with a light floral note,  which then leads to more rich tropical notes and citrus acidity from the MAD ANGIE and Kerner on the finish. The SB in the wine gives a little roundness on the finish, but as its only about 2% its not made it feel oaky in anyway shape or form.

RRP £ 10.00

 


 

Sabrinna

Sabrinn√£ 2016

Grapes: Siegerrebe & Bacchus

Alc: 11.5% 

Residual Sugar: 3.8 g/L

Total Acidity: 6.1 g/L

This is quite a big wine on the nose with a multitude of huge tropical fruit flavours filling the nose which makes you desperate to taste. Super fruity wine, yet dry. Mango, pineapple, passionfruit with the zest of limes. An absolute delight. In fact I drank one last night.

This wine is a great aperitif however it will be stunning with Asian food, spiced foods or as I had last night crab p√Ęt√© on granary toast with ripe tomatoes.

RRP £ 16.00 

 

 


Bacchus

 

 

Bacchus 2016

Grapes: Bacchus

Alc: 10.5%

Residual Sugar: 9.7 g/L

Total Acidity: 8.5 g/L

For those of you who have not heard about Bacchus, well for me it’s to England what Sauvignon Blanc is to NZ.

It’s a crisp & dry wine, it’s packed with flavours of elderflower, kiwi fruit, lime, grapefruit and crisp green apples.¬†All this fruit flavour yet dry but with a good acidity and a lingering finish too. Every time I taste this wine new flavours appear its a really delicious wine.

RRP £ 16.00

 

 


 

OVK

Old Vine Kerner 2015

Grapes: Kerner from 45 yr old vines

Alc: 11.5%

Residual Sugar: 10.3 g/L

Total Acidity: 8.8 g/L

For me without a doubt this is Astley Vineyards flagship wine. Its truly wonderful, I cant quite get my head round the fact that its from Worcestershire and 15 minutes from my house!

Slightly off dry this wine is elegant on the nose with fresh elderflower & honeysuckle. On the palate its white peaches, elderflower, a zestyness of freshness too. On the end it has a little nutty and spicey touch too.

I was and am a big fan of this wine. I bought this wine, then went back within a few days to get a case. It definitely has some aging potential too.

RRP £ 19.50

 

 

 


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Vintage Spakling Kerner 2014

Grapes: Kerner

Alc: 10.5%

Residual Sugar: 11.8 g/L

Total Acidity: 9.8 g/L

Now I’m going to review this when the next vintage comes out as its not now for sale as its all been sold.

What’s interesting it’s really a great English Sparkling wine that is not made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier.

RRP £ 28.50 SOLD OUT (SORRY)

But you can have by the glass in Central London at the Coral Rooms at the Bloomsbury hotel. 

 

 

 

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What a great sign! As you enter field of  vines

Images above were taken by me this morning 5th Aug 2018. 46 year old Kerner vines and this years crop so far.

There are great plans a foot and the grape press is being delivered tomorrow, so I will keep you informed about Astley’s new in house winery too.

 I wrote this because I love what they are doing at Astley and their wines.

I bought their wines myself and have not been paid to write this blog nor do I have any affiliation.

 

Useful Links.

Astley Vineyard – https://www.astleyvineyard.co.uk/

Twitter: @AstleyVineyard

Wine GB. https://www.winegb.co.uk/

Twitter: @Wine_GB

We Are Beard ( Label and logo designers) https://www.wearebeard.com/

Twitter: @wearebeard

 

Welsh Wine. White Castle Vineyard- Part 2 WineGBūüá¨ūüáß

Hello again….. SO SOON haha.

Well I mentioned in my Part 1, WINE GB, piece last Sunday about Robb Merchant who is the Chairman of the Welsh Vineyards Association and also owner of White Castle Vineyard whom I had met at the Wine GB event in London.

White Castle Vineyard is owned by Robb & Nicola Merchant, situated in the beautiful rolling countryside of Monmouthshire (WALES!) in the village of Llanvetherine close to the towns of Abergavenny and Monmouth. 

Robb had worked for the Post Office in South Wales for a long time in a senior management role which was a pretty stressful life and he decided to get away from the rat race.

Robb & Nicola purchased the 12 acre small holding in 1995 which they then converted the milking parlour barn into their home. It was then 2008 before the dream of owning a vineyard became a reality, 5 acres of a gently sloping, south facing field was purchased adjacent to the property. Soil samples were tested to see if it was ok for vines and they had the thumbs up, so off they went and purchased the vines.

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In May 2009 the first 4000 vines were planted. Pinot Noir Précoce, Regent, Rondo, Seyval Blanc & Phoenix varieties so now there certainly was no going back. In May 2010 they planted another 800 vines this time the variety was Siegerrebe.

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So in early May one beautiful sunny Sunday morning I suggested to Mrs D that we should take a ride out in the car….. towards Abergavenny…. maybe call in to a vineyard… I have to say my wife is a super star and enjoys wine too….. although just about tolerates by obsession.

On to Google…‚Ķ. I know they are open. I intend to surprise Robb unannounced. Which I have to say he took extremely well as he was busy and had a tasting/tour an hour after we arrived. Sorry Robb. Proper Gentleman.

After a quick hello and introductions to our wives we decided to check out the 5 acre vineyard. Now I know to some people this will sound so small but the passion that Robb & Nicola put in is incredible. Their aim is to make boutique wines (and making them they definitely are) and because production is less than 10,000 bottles per year unfortunately most of their wines will go to the ever expanding top restaurants (including Michelin Star) in the area. Although there is nothing stopping you ordering the wines directly from their website. However there are plans for expansion of the vineyard…. watch this space.

So through the Grade 2 listed barn, dating back to 1581! Now been totally restored, as a tasting room, for tours, hire and events.

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Over the beautiful river bridge, wow the water is so clear! I know it looks empty but it really is not. The water of these rivers and streams in Wales is incredible.

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To the Vineyard where the vines are waking up from their winter sleep. 6th May 2018.

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So after a walk around, seeing how the different vines (grape) varieties were at different stages of growth we went back to the tasting rooms to try WELSH WINE!

Now because of their size its not practical to have their own winery, so they use Three Choirs Vineyard for their winemaking which is only 25 miles away. https://www.three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk/gloucestershire .

That said Robb & Nicola decide the whole process of how they want the wines made.

Starting off with “GWIN GWYN” 2016 which is Welsh means WHITE WINE.

Grape Varieties: 60% Phoenix % 40% Siegerebe 11% ABV RRP £15.00

On the nose its predominantly Elderflower, then on the palate its a lime, gooseberries, and super fresh. Its a dry wine with a lovely zesty finish. Also right on the end of the finish I was getting sherbet (but not in a fizzy way!)

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Next was the White Castle Brut sparkling wine:

Made from 100% Phoenix Grapes 12% ABV RRP £30.00. 1000 Btl Production

When poured this wine has super fine perlage, zesty fresh on the nose. On the palate it feels soft & delicate with elderflower & gooseberry notes classic of the Phoenix grape. 

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Next up was White Castle Regent.

100% Regent Grapes. 11.5% ABV. RRP.£18.50

This pours red with a violet edge and looks and smells super fresh. On the palate its fruit, fruit and then more fruit! Blackberry, Morello Cherry with a lovely smokiness too. Its so fresh and a would be a delight on a summers day with a BBQ or any time with a plate of charcuterie. This wine I think would also be lovely, slightly chilled down to 12-14c 

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RONDO was next. 

100% RONDO grapes, 11.5% ABV RRP £17.50.

Again this red wine is bright cherry red in the glass, fresh berries on the nose with a touch of spice too. In the mouth its black fruit all the way, medium bodied not to heavy at all but dry on the palate finishing with a lightness of oak too. Spends 4 months in OAK.

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Next to PINOT NOIR…. But not any old PN

100% Pinot Noir Pr√©coce 2016, Known in Germany as¬†Fr√ľhburgunder. This is a mutant of original PN which ripens earlier for cooler climate vineyards. 12% ABV RRP. ¬£20.00

This for me really is their flagship wine. This wine spends 9 months on oak

25% No OAK, 25% New OAK, 25% + 25% in differently aged oak barrels. Then blended.

On the nose it has a much bigger and bolder feel than the Regent or Rondo. In the mouth its fresh but at the same time a great richness of cherries with blackberry touch too, vanilla, lightly spicy and subtle toasty notes too. So soft on the palate and so well balanced with tannins and acidity. (The PN Précoce is known for its lower tannin and acidity and it really shows) I liked this wine a lot. In fact Robb put me a case by please! 

I actually had this wine last night, you can check my twitter feed. I was sat in the garden when my neighbour, knowing I like the odd glass of wine (really???) asked what I was drinking, Welsh wine I replied….

She laughed, yeah yeah, no really what are you drinking I told her I was deadly serious and she should try it. She tried the wine (well her face was an absolute picture.) and then put down the glass and picked up the bottle…. I cannot believe that this wine is from Wales, it really is WELSH WINE! its delicious so smooth full of fruit and well just…. delicious!. My reply was that its only 40 minutes away near Abergavenny and you can go and visit and get your own haha.¬†

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Last but not least….. DESSERT WINE yes really a dessert wine made in WALES.

1581 its called, due to the date of the old Croft Barn, it is made from 100% Regent grapes. This is delicious and should be drunk with a beautiful cheese, figs and dates¬† platter. Only 500 Bottles made.¬† I will be reviewing this later after a tasting with friends. I’m going to see who guesses where its from and what its made from…‚Ķ NO ONE WILL HAVE A CLUE!

So overall are these wines any good?

Well I guess the proof is in the purchases. I bought all of the wines reviewed!.

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You should go and visit! You will certainly have a very warm welcome from Robb & Nicola.

Below are some great pictures Robb has sent me from the 2016 & 2017 harvests.

If you are in area please go and visit, there are lots of top restaurants near by also.

http://www.whitecastlevineyard.com/index.html

Follow Robb and Nicola on Twitter: @Welshwines for a year of their vineyard. But more importantly try their WINE!!!!

Also check out 


http://www.winetrailwales.co.uk/

For other vineyards in Wales, although the list is increasing all the time as I see https://www.montgomeryvineyard.com/ are not on the list yet.


Also check out https://www.winegb.co.uk/ for England and Wales Vineyards.


Also another great website is https://www.winecellardoor.co.uk/

Which is a great independent resource for the consumer find out more about locations and which Vineyards that are open to the public. They have great maps online.


 

WINE GBūüá¨ūüáß Part 1

Hello

Great Britain is making seriously good… no seriously bloody great wines!

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Wine GB is the premier wine event for the UK wine industry held at the Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Hall in London. All of the Vineyards at the event are listed at the end of this blog with their websites and twitter handles too. Please check some of them out.

GB1

For sure Great Britain is known for its stunning (worldwide) award winning sparkling wines, however what really was the shocker for me is how fantastic English still wines have become also!.

Just a few FACTS about GB wine industry to get you started:

(ALL FACTS FROM WINE GB WEBSITE)

Commercial Vineyards: 502

Wineries: 147

Hectares Under Vine: 2554 (6308 Acres) Hectarage planted has tripled since 2000

Vines Planted in 2017: 1 Million

Predicted Planting for 2018: 1.5 to 1.7 Million Vines

Annual Wine Production: 5.9million bottles (2017) Predicted 2040 – 40 Million

Vineyards open to the public: 150+

Bottles of wine sold in 2017: +31% from 2015

Types of wine sold: Still wine 32% (1.9m btl) Sparkling 68% 4m Bottles

Export: 27 Countries (4% of wine produced)

Top Grape Varieties: No1. Pinot Noir 31.5%, No.2 Chardonnay 30.2% No.3 Pinot Meunier 9.5%. These 3 sparkling varieties account for 71.2% of all grapes grown in GB currently.

So I spent the morning tasting Sparkling wines. From table to table, one vineyard to the next the quality was outstanding. Below were my sparkling wines of the morning, however ALL the sparkling I tasted on the day were of such a high quality.

Wiston Estate: Cuvée 2009, Blanc de Blancs RRP £ 32.95 &

Wiston 2010 & Blanc de Noirs 2010 RRP £47.00

Hambledon: Vineyards: Première Cuvée NV RRP £42.50

Gusbourne: Blanc de Blancs 2013 RRP £35.00

Nyetimber: Blanc de Blancs 2010 £43.99

Cottonworth: Classic Cuvée NV RRP £28.00

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Now I have written a few pieces lately on Sparkling wines (check the archive) so I am not reviewing any of these sparkling wines today. What I have mentioned earlier are the wonderful still wines GB is now producing.

I bumped into my great wine buddy Mike again! (www.pleasebringmemywine.com @pbmmw – twitter) who told me that I needed to taste a wine. I was stood next to the Welsh Vineyards Association stand. I did not have very high hopes. How wrong was I!

OK once again I was proved to be a complete muppet! I ended up being there 20 mins and having a great and interesting  tasting!  

So I was introduced to Woody from Montgomery Vineyard who poured me a glass of white wine

It was 100% Solaris grape variety 2016.

Solaris meaning “Sun” is an early ripening variety originally from Germany and perfect for the cooler climate of Wales. Its fruity & Zesty with a fresh slightly off dry feel, then with tropical, slightly nutty finish. Great Summer sipping! Approx RRP. ¬£20

Then came the second wine. RONDO 2016: This is a medium bodied red with a big redberry fruit burst. Rondo is again a cool climate grape variety. Approx RRP £20

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I’m looking forward to visiting soon to further follow up on these wines. (please note this vineyard is not open to the public ‚Ķ.. YET)

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Then I met Robb Merchant, who is currently Chairman of the Welsh Vineyard Association & also owner of White Castle Vineyards in Abergavenny. Only about 40 mins from my house actually…. but that’s another story in a couple of blogs time (next week I promise!) 5 Acres 4800 vines, truly a great story. Pinot Noir Pr√©coce 2016 Approx RRP ¬£20

This intrigued me to start to look for all the other still wines at the tasting. 

Denbies Wine Estate was my next stop. This estate is based in Surrey in the south East of England and the vines were planted in 1986. Denbies is currently the largest producer in the UK with circa. 500,000 bottles per year. Now they make a lot of sparkling wines but I was interested mainly in their range of still wines.

What drew me too the table was I saw in the catalogue that they had Pinot Gris & I love Pinot Gris.

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The Pinot Gris poured was very pale in colour, so a good start. On the nose there was brioche and ripe fruits. It has lots of body and has a full on mouth feel, but with zesty acidity on the finish its beautifully balanced. Approx Retail £17 Bargain!  

PINOT NOIR 2016. Well I’m quite fussy about the old PN as it goes but I was pleasantly surprised by this full on single varietal PN. Fairly light cherry red¬† in the glass. On the nose and the palate it was a plummy/raspberry delight. I could have easily pulled up a chair, sipped all afternoon and would have done if there was also a nice plate of charcuterie.¬†

Just before I left Denbies table I was asked would I like to try the dessert wines. Well to be honest that was a new one for me. I actually didn’t know GB wine industry made any. I was put right then and have been since too. I’ve always been a fan of dessert wines and have at least 20 different types at home. So of course I jumped at the chance.

Denbies produce 2 dessert wines. Noble Harvest 2016 & The Brokes Botrytis Ortega 2016

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Both Wines are made from 100% Ortega Grapes. While the Noble harvest was delicious, golden in the glass & heavenly on the palate 12%ABV (RRP £24.95 Half bottle) The Brokes Botrytis 2016 was just stunning wine and winemaking. 10%ABV deep rich golden nectar in colour, absolutely heavenly on the nose, and the palate is divine, caramelised orange, a touch of vanilla from the oak barrels and OH OH OH so rich. Yet on the finish it is not cloyingly sweet and is a pretty clean finish. Only a 500 bottle production unfortunately but if you can get it its worth the cost. RRP £60.00

Before I bore you all to death I have one more wine to share with you.

Simpsons Wine Estate “The Roman Road Chardonnay 2017”

Ashleigh from Simpsons was telling me that it wasn’t quite ready as it had only been bottled for less than 2 weeks, however they were really wanting to show the trade their new Chardonnay. This was their 2nd vintage of the wine only. On my initial tasting I was very impressed considering the length of time in the bottle and had barely had time to settle. I then tasted the wine another month later at the London Wine Fair and it was developing amazingly.

The Roman Road Chardonnay 2017 Bottle shot

This is an elegant Chardonnay, it has only spent for 3 months in French Oak.

Its fresh on the nose, with a lime zestiness and white peaches (just like the wonderful ripe white peaches I have in Italy for a true Bellini)

On the palate its mineral, citrus and super clean with the slightest touch of vanilla & spice on the finish.  This wine is very good. RRP £22.99

The Roman Road Vineyard, is situated alongside the route the Romans first marched when invading England in AD 43, bringing with them the first vines. FACT!

The reason I haven’t written about this tasting until now is very simple. I wanted to go and explore what I had locally, central UK, within an hour of my house for more still wine gems. These blogs will be ongoing over the next two weeks and are on small boutique vineyards.

White Castle Vineyard, Astley Vineyard, & Poulton Hill Vineyard.

Please see below links to all the vineyards at WINE GB and also the relevant associations of county’s too. Also a great resource is the WINEGB website. Please take the time and explore these wonderful vineyards.¬†

ORGANISERS

Wines of Great Britain

http://www.winegb.co.uk/visitors/ Twitter: @wine_GB

VINEYARDS EXHIBITING

A’BECKETT’S VINEYARD http://www.abecketts.co.uk   Twitter: @abecketts 

ALBOURNE ESTATE http://www.albourneestate.co.uk  Twitter: @Albourneestate 

ALDWICK COURT FARM http://www.aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk  Twitter: @aldwickcourtfrm 

AMBRIEL http://www.ambrielsparkling.com  Twitter: @Ambriel_uk 

BIDDENDEN VINEYARDS http://www.biddendenvineyards.com  Twitter: @biddendenvine 

BLACK CHALK http://www.blackchalkwine.co.uk  Twitter: @blackchalkwine 

BLUEBELL VINEYARD ESTATES http://www.bluebellvineyard.co.uk  Twitter: @BluebellWines

BOLNEY WINE ESTATE http://www.bolneywineestate.com  Twitter: @bolneyestate

BRIGHTWELL VINEYARD http://www.brightwellvineyard.co.uk

CAMEL VALLEY VINEYARD http://www.camelvalley.com  Twitter: @camelvalleybob & @camelwinemaker

CHAPEL DOWN http://www.chapeldown.com  Twitter: @ChapelDownWines

COATES & SEELY http://www.coatesandseely.com  Twitter: @coatesandseely 

COTTONWORTH WINES http://www.cottonworth.co.uk  Twitter: @cottonworthwines 

DANEBURY VINEYARD http://www.danebury.com Twitter: @daneburyfizz 

DENBIES WINE ESTATE LTD http://www.denbies.co.uk Twitter: @denbiesvineyard 

DIGBY FINE ENGLISH http://www.digby-fine-english.com  Twitter: @DigbyEnglish 

DUNLEAVY VINEYARD http://www.dunleavyvineyards.co.uk  Twitter: @DYvineyards

EXTON PARK VINEYARD http://www.extonparkvineyard.com  Twitter: @ExtonVineyard 

FURLEIGH ESTATE http://www.furleighestate.co.uk Twitter: @furleighwines 

GIFFORDS HALL VINEYARD LTD http://www.giffordshall.co.uk  Twitter: @giffordshall 

GREYFRIARS VINEYARD http://www.greyfriarsvineyard.co.uk  Twitter: @Greyfriarsvine 

GUSBOURNE ESTATE LTD http://www.gusbourne.com  Twitter: @gusbourne 

GWINLLAN CONWY VINEYARD http://www.conwyvineyard.co.uk  Twitter: @conwyvineyard 

HAMBLEDON WINERIES LIMITED http://www.hambledonvineyard.co.uk  Twitter: @Hambledonwine 

HARROW & HOPE http://www.harrowandhope.com  Twitter: @HarrowandHope 

HATTINGLEY VALLEY WINES http://www.hattingleyvalley.co.uk  Twitter: @hattingleywines 

HIDDEN SPRING VINEYARD http://www.hiddenspring.co.uk  Twitter: @hiddenspringuk 

HUSH HEATH ESTATE http://www.hushheath.com  Twitter: @HushHeath 

JENKYN PLACE VINEYARD http://www.jenkynplace.com  Twitter: @jenkynplacewine 

LANGHAM WINE ESTATE http://www.langhamwine.co.uk  Twitter: @LanghamWinery 

LLAETHLIW VINEYARD http://www.llaethliw.co.uk  Twitter: @Llaethliw 

LYME BAY WINERY http://www.lymebaywinery.co.uk Twitter: @LymeBayWineLtd 

MONTGOMERY VINEYARD http://www.montgomeryvineyard.co.uk Twitter: @montgomery_vy 

NYETIMBER http://www.nyetimber.com Twitter: @Nyetimber 

OXNEY ORGANIC ESTATE http://www.oxneyestate.com  Twitter: @oxneyestate 

RAIMES ENGLISH SPARKLING http://www.raimes.co.uk , Twitter: @RaimesSparkling 

RIDGEVIEW WINE ESTATE http://www.ridgeview.co.uk Twitter: @RidgeviewWineUK 

SIXTEEN RIDGES http://www.sixteenridges.co.uk Twitter: @16ridges 

SIMPSON WINES. https://simpsonswine.com/ Twitter: @simpsonwine

SMITH AND EVANS http://www.smithandevans.co.uk  Twitter: @smithandevans 

THREE CHOIRS VINEYARDS http://www.three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk  Twitter: @threechoirsnewent 

WESTWELL WINE ESTATES http://www.westwellwines.com  Twitter: @westwellwines

WHITE CASTLE VINEYARD http://www.whitecastlevineyard.com  Twitter: @Welshwines 

WINDSOR GREAT PARK VINEYARD http://www.windsorgreatparkvineyard.com 

WISTON ESTATE WINERY http://www.wistonestate.com  Twitter: @WistonSparkling 

WYFOLD VINEYARD http://www.wyfoldvineyard.com 

REGIONAL VINEYARD ASSOCIATIONS

SOUTH WEST VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION http://www.swva.info  Twitter: @SWVineyardsUK 

WELSH VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION http://www.winetrailwales.co.uk Twitter: @winetrailwales 

SOUTH EAST VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION http://www.seva.uk.com Twitter: @englishwinenews 

EAST ANGLIA VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION http://www.eastanglianwines.co.uk Twitter: @InfoEAVA 

THAMES & CHILTERNS VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION thameschilternsvineyards.org.uk 

MERCIAN VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION http://www.mercianvineyards.org.uk Twitter: @MercianVineyard 

WESSEX VINEYARDS ASSOCIATION http://wessex.wine 

I hope ALL of the above info is correct… If Not let me know and I will edit immediately.

 

Back in a few days……

 

Peter