Having survived our first few days setting up Tranche 1 at IWC 2014 in London, we settled down last night to a lovely glass of Beaujolais Blanc, purchased on our recent travels in France at Chateau de Lavernette in Leynes, southern Burgundy. The chateau and estate were originally the property of the monks of the abbey of Tournus and now belong to the de Boissieu family, descendants of the Lavernette family. We visited the Chateau just days before their harvest was starting in September and enjoyed a wonderful tasting with the family. Interestingly, the chateau is at the crossroads of the Mâconnais and Beaujolais wine regions, quite literally as the border cuts their driveway in half. To read more about our visit, see our Burgundy and Beaujolais blog just published.
Their Beaujolais Blanc had lovely juicy white fruit and flower flavours, a soft and creamy mouthfeel with a nutty edge. It went down very nicely on its own as well as with our vegetable pasta dinner.
Well, we have arrived at our final English fizz tasting of the week and what better way to complete this than by a glass of Cornwall. We tried this fizz last month when we visited Camel Valley Vineyards. It went down great whilst sat on the terrace on that sunny evening, looking out onto the surrounding Cornish countryside.
Now back in the North-East on a bank holiday weekend and yes, it was raining, would we still feel the same about this sparkling wine?
Camel Valley Brut “Cornwall” 2011: Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc & Reichensteiner – Fresh apple with a touch of brioche. The acidity balanced well with the additional residual sugar in this fizz compared to the others that we have had this week. A slight bitterness on the finish but this is counter-balanced by a touch of creaminess. It certainly cheered up our rainy evening!
Retails at £24.95.
With Friday being so soon upon us and the weekend about to begin, we decided that there was no other way to welcome it in than by having a glass of pink English fizz from …
Hush Heath Estate
Balfour Brut Rose 2009: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier – Salmon pink with good mousse and sparkle. Quite a light style. Hints of strawberries & cranberries on the nose that follow through onto the palate with the addition of cherries mid-palate and a touch of creaminess to the finish. Good acidic balance. We found leaving the wine to warm a little in the glass allowed the fruit to shine that bit more.
A tad on the pricey side, weighing in at £37.50.
After successfully hosting our first private tasting, our scheduled English fizz analysis became more of a celebratory one. However, being the “professionals” that we are, we didn’t let this detract away from our duty.
Tonight’s tipple came from The Bolney Estate, Sussex:
Bolney Classic Cuvee Brut 2007, Pinor Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay – This sparkler was a lovely golden colour with a soft pink tinge, revealing its Pinot Noir dominance, with persistent bubbles and a delicate, lasting mousse. Raspberries and apples stood out on the nose and palate accompanied by a creamy texture in the mouth. Even at 2007, we feel that this fizz is still evolving and would probably benefit from being stashed away, allowing the acidity to soften out, for a few more years yet.
We’d best get another bottle then!
Limited stock currently on offer at the Estate’s shop for £19.99.
Continuing on our English sparkling wine theme. We had on hand a chilled bottle of Nutbourne Vineyards:
Nutty Brut NV 12%: Pinot Noir, Reichensteiner and Chardonnay – Raspberry flavours were prominent on the nose with hints of cooked apple and elderflowers, these continued onto the palate with an added lemon zest and some creaminess to the finish. The bubbles fizzed out a little in the glass but overall, a very refreshing aperitif.
Retails at £20.
Wednesday sees us break this theme for a Burgundy tasting (more on this later). However, we shall return to English fizz on Thursday where we already have on chill, something from The Bolney Wine Estate…
We thought that this week we would indulge ourselves in a little decadence disguised as a tasting comparison of English sparkling wines. The task we have decided, is to try a different English sparkler each night of the week. We know, what a task… but hey… someone has to do it!
So, we began last night (Monday 19/8) with a bottle of:
Limney Estate Quality Sparkling Wine Bottle Fermented (2 years on lees) 2008, 11.5%, Pinot Noir & Auxerrois – Lots of autolytic aromas entwined with ripe pineapple and apple. Persistent, small bubbles. Colour was almost golden. The fruit carried on to the finish and was able to compliment the savoury, yeasty notes of this fizz. Good acidity. We felt that this particular sparkler had more years left in it and it would be good to try it again at a later date.
Retails at £22.75.
Limney Estate Wines are produced by Will Davenport.
A good start to the week…
Kelvyn hopes to inspire your taste buds with his recommendations during the month – July.
Eastcott Estate 2009, 11.5%, IWSC Silver Medal Award Winner 2013, made from 100% Seyval Blanc. Think strawberries and cream, strawberry bonbon, with a hint of apricot and brioche. Perfect for our current English summer. Go get some at Eastcott Vineyard.
Herbert Hall Traditional Method Brut 2010, 12%. Lovely mousse, apple citrus freshness entwined with biscuity aromas and flavours. Check for stockists at Herbert Hall.