Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvee Brut Launched
Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvee Brut is the first release of English Sparkling Wine from Hambledon Vineyard (although they have already released a small amount of the second label called Mill Down Brut). Hambledon Vineyard is England’s oldest commercial vineyard and is just starting to release their superb sparkling wine after a number of years of investment, vineyard planting and the building of a 100% gravity flow winery.
Hambledon Vineyard is a very serious and ambitious winery and they are targeting sales of 1 million bottles per annum within 10 years, something that owner and MD Ian Kellett believes that only 5 English wineries will be capable of. With this in mind, Hambledon have recently acquired 16 hectares of vineyards including 4.5 hectares from neighbouring vineyard Meonhill (and their reserve stocks of wine). Meonhill is co-owned by Champenoise Didier Pierson who, as well as overseeing Meonhill, has a consulting role at Hambledon, and also makes the fantastic Champagne Pierson Whitaker back home in Avizes.
Hambledon Vineyard wines are available to buy at Fareham Wine Cellar.
Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvee Brut
Aromas of fresh sourdough, magnolia and lily scents which mingle with a hint of smoke over a core of greengage, red plums and dessert apples. The palate is vivid, almost vibrantly crunchy with precise, structured yet ripe acidity. It is linear, dense and long with momentum and power that bodes well for the future. This wine has energy and latent tension that will unfold to reveal layers of floral and stone fruit aromas and a rich palate with great length.
The grapes for this wine are all estate-grown from vineyards on the South East facing chalky slopes of Windmill Hill in the village of Hambledon. The grapes are all hand-picked and undergo a double selection for quality – once in in the vineyard and once before pressing. The assemblage is 70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier and 10% Pinot Noir and the first release is a blend of wines from the 2011 vintage (30%) and some tank aged reserve wines from the 2010 vintage (70%). A small percentage of the 2011 wines (2-3%) was fermented in French oak barrels. The wine is fermented in stainless steel vats and is then left to settle for 6 months prior to blending with the reserve wines and bottling. Hambledon Vineyard Classic Cuvee is aged for 20 months in their cellars dug into the chalk downs prior to disgorgement, dosage et al. The dosage for this wine is 8g/L.
A great food wine match for seafood, especially sautéed prawns and oysters. It is also a fantastic match for a mature Stilton cheese and air dried ham.
For more information and photographs of Hambledon Vineyard please visit my blog.