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Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

I said that I’d come back to the wines that Dave offered to us for tasting on Sunday…

I can’t really fault him on the tour, I have to say.  The content was really well judged in respect of being accessible and interesting whatever your level of wine knowledge.

We tasted six of the Chapel Down wines.  And I had a slurp of the Chardonnay 2009 as well, just before I bought some – at £12.99 (12.5% vol) – which is a bit more than I’d usually pay for white wine.

Dave’s best of the six – just so you know – were the English Rose and the Trinity 2009 red; both of which we tasted.  But we started with two whites – Flint Dry 2010 and Bacchus 2010.

Chapel Down provided their own tasting notes alongside the basic details of the wines and I didn’t have any violent disagreements, so here they are for you:

Flint Dry 2010, £8.50, 11.5% vol
[This is a blend of Chardonnay, Huxelrebe and Bacchus -] ‘England in a glass.  Dry, unoaked with crisp balanced acidity which has hints of apple and greengage on the nose’.  I also had a big green apple flavour going on, on the palate.

Bacchus 2010, £10.99, 12% vol
[Single varietal – Bacchus] – ‘A classic expression of Bacchus grown in the South East of England.  The wine shows grapefruit, gooseberry, passionfruit, floral and mineral charaters on the nose with tropical fruits, nettles and crunchy acid on the palate’.  I agree that those flavours were all there – the minerality particularly – but they were subtle.  The passion fruit wasn’t as pronounced as a high-end Pessac Léognan from the Graves region of Bordeaux, which is usually Sauvignon Blanc blended with Semillon.  Nor was the ‘tropical’ of a southern hemisphere intensity.  The flavours were delicate.

Next came the rosé.  This is sold, I gather, by Marks & Sparks and is, Dave says, a blend of red and white wines – Rondo, Schonburger and others – not a bled or pressed wine. 

English Rose (not Rosé) 2009 , £9.99, 12% vol
‘A blend of English varietals from the outstanding 2009 vintage.  Fresh strawberries, pear with a touch of cream on the finish’.

Then came two sparkling wines – both white.

Vintage Reserve Brut, £17.99, 12% vol
The name is a bit confusing, because this is a non-vintage wine (meaning that it is a blend of wines from different harvests, not just the one year) – ‘Pale lemon yellow in colour, the nose is slightly floral with some citrus. A well-structured wine with hawthorn, citrus and yeasty flavours and a hint of blackcurrant leaves’.  Not sure I have a sophisticated enough palate yet to get the Hawthorn, but there were bucket-loads of blackcurrant on the nose, which was interesting for a white sparkler…

Pinot Reserve 2004, £24.99, 12% vol
This, as you committed bubbly drinkers will know,  is the same sort of price as a high-end brand, non-vintage champagne (on offer!), but it definitely has the hallmark characteristics of vintage.  Very honeyed as far as I was concerned.  Too much for my taste.  Chapel Down says – ‘Pale gold in colour with pink highlights and an attractive sustained mousse [that’s the frothy bit when you pour it, and also the experience of the bubbles in your mouth].  The nose is rich and complex.  Hints of redcurrant, strawberry, and baked apple on the palate’.

And the last wine we tasted was the Trinity red.  But I’m going to open that tomorrow night for a friend who’s coming to dinner.  So I’ll do my own tasting note and compare with theirs – and then post!

In the end I spent too much in the shop.  I bought a bottle of the Bacchus 2010; the Rosé Brut (Pinot Noir) that has just won a gold medal.  The English Rose sparkling – which Dave said is a white wine with a dosage of Pinot Noir; and the Chardonnay, because I’m a white Burgundy fan, and I wanted to compare the English equivalent.

If you try any of the above, please let me know what you think…

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