(2022) The base vintage here (46% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Meunier and 36% Chardonnay) is 2018, with 15% reserve wines. Fermentation was in a combination of stainless-steel and older oak barrels. It is made by assemblage, blending 6% red wine and was on the Lees for 20 months before a dosage of just 3 g/l. There's red fruit and a real meatiness on the nose, gravelly and racy too. The palate is strikingly dry and gastronomic, loads of citrussy acidity slicing through those meatier, tart raspberry fruit characters. Lovely stuff.
(2022) An extremely nice rosé, a sparkling wine from Oxfordshire based on Pinot Noir, it has a pale peachy pink colour and plenty of raspberry fruit but also some biscuity character. In the mouth that tart raspberry combines with a fat lemony fruit core of acidity, for a fresh but not lean mouthful of fizz, some smokiness and stony character too.
(2022) The hottest and driest growing season for the last 30 years meant a ripe and abundant crop for this blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier, made with addition of 7% red Pinot Noir. A third of the base wine was fermented and in aged oak barrels, with 20 months on the lees. Dosage was
7.5g/L. There is a good depth of colour, and fresh, charming nose with a strawberry shortcake creaminess but sharper rasperry aroma too. In the mouth plenty of tension from fine acidity, but the sweet ripeness of pulpy Berry fruits and that persisting hint of creaminess makes for a lovely balance.
(2021) Part of the secret here is from having low yields and very ripe grapes, a saignée of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier. Dosage is 9g/l. Really fragrant, orange blossom character here, flowers and delicate small red berry fruit, dry cranberry notes and a little peach perhaps. The palate is sharply focused, something gently toasty and biscuity, but really racy and refined fruit, dancing and zesty across the palate, charming but dry in the finish.
(2021) Digby was founded by two business partners with a vision of setting up a very high-end négociant business: they do not own vineyards, but work with vineyards in different English areas. They have based their model partly on Californian sparkling wine producers who sell a "whole lifestyle experience," so really trying to engage with consumers with their brand, web site and their story, including a high street store in Arundel. Planted predominantly on greensand, this is 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier with 20% of the Pinot component fermented in oak. The colour is a peachy pink, and aromas of orange and peach are underpinned by a little toast and spice. In the mouth sweet and ripe, but really nicely balanced, the crispness of the rosy apple acidity and fine mousse, a mellow undertow of vanilla, it is long and styish.
(2021) A blend of 54% Pinot Noir, 23% Pinot Meunier and 23% Chardonnay, there is only 4g/l of residual sugar in this incisive and dry English sparkling rosé. It's part barrel-fermented and is an 'assemblage', with a small percentage of still Pinot Noir added to the blend before secondary fermentation. After 24 months on the lees, the mousse is strong, and the nose has a real mineral, smoky, taut and small red berry-fruited appeal, a herbal streak only adds to the freshness. In the mouth that dry, mineral and flinty character continues, yes there is red fruit of raspberry and bitter lemon, good length and that racy, very grown-up acid character.
(2019) The blend here is 60% of the red-skinned hybrid, Rondo, along with 32% Pinot Gris and 8% Pinot Noir. The wine has a dosage of 9g/l, and pours a medium-pink with good small bubbles. There's an attractive cherry bright and strawberry shortcake aroma, a nice creamy suggestion, then onto the palate a nicely balanced combination of small, dry red berry and orange fruitiness, and a line of citrussy acidity that gives it a fresh and balanced appeal, the dosage swept up by good acidity for a long, quite elegant finish.
(2018) What a lovely wine from the estate of the legendary Steven Spurrier and his wife in Dorset. 80% Pinot Noir with 20% Chardonnay, it’s a deeply coloured pink fizz that overflows with creamy strawberry aromas, a nice touch of something gravelly and more serious in the background, but all about open and invitingly deep red fruits really. In the mouth a lovely rolling mousse, and that full fruit expression of summer berries and peaches is briskly moved along with finely-etched acidity and more of that minerals and gravel-stone firmness. Delightful. On offer at £27.95 at time of review.