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(2021) Now here's a first for me: a wine from Gateshead in the northeast of England. The story is not quite what it seems, as the fruit was drawn from other areas of England, but it was vinified by Elise Lane at her urban winery in the city. It's also Fortnum's first English still wine. It opens with piercing summer hedgerow notes of elderflower and freshly cut hedging, the fruit is gooseberry and citrus. In the mouth there's a charming, spangle-bright fruity note, but the cool cucumber and minty, very summery character wins out. It is a tiny bit dilute in the finsh, something I often find in English Bacchus, but it is charming and has plenty of personality.
(2020) A particularly pungent Bacchus this, from Hush Heath's Kent vineyards, a piercing, high-toned herbaceous character dominating the aroma. Vivid, grassy and zinging with citrus and elderflower, the palate has a sour lemony bite, a featherweight texture (with only 11% alcohol) and it is dry with green herbs and citrus streaking through the finish. It's not a wine I could drink a lot of perhaps, almost like a fairly extreme Marlborough Sauvignon in its vivacious character, but character it is has. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) A bit of a ringer for a Sauvignon Blanc, this is made from Bacchus, a German cross of Riesling and Müller-Thurgau that is popular in England because of its ability to ripen well in cooler climates. Fresh and grassy on the nose, with that elderflower and English hedgerow character, before a crisp and very dry palate, a grapefruit juice tang and juiciness, perhaps just a touch dilute in terms of texture and mid-palate weight.
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