(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
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(2019) What a fascinating wine, made from a single plot of Pinot Meunier that ripened exceptionally well in the 2018 vintage, it was harvested on 19th October and aged for a short period in a combination of French and American oak. It is pale-medium in colour and has an intriguing nose, somewhere between fresh-hung game and raspberry, gentle earthiness and tobacco spices adding to the complexity of aromas. In the mouth there is beautifull creamy sweetness, touching on summer-pudding fruitiness, but that gamy nuance persists, a touch of a darker, coffee character and a rasp of plum skin grippy tannin. The acidity is good too, in a light and yet substantial wine that's full of interest.
(2019) The sparkling wine in this inaugural Winemakers' Collection is 100% Chardonnay from the 2012 and 2013 vintages, that spent 12 months in Burgundy barrels before a further five years in bottle on the lees. It has zero dosage and the colour already appears quite deep through the clear glass bottle, tinged with gold. Bubbles are small, and the initial aroma is of bruised apple and pear, a touch of pastry, and a custardy touch. In the mouth the mousse if fine and racy, and the wine streaks across the palate with a surge of lemony fruit. There's a fascinating lick of saltiness to the acid profile, but it perhaps lacks a bit of palate depth given the barrel treatment and long time on the lees, finishing taut and fruit driven. At the price I would have hoped for a little more complexity, and wonder if just a few grams of dosage would have given that?
(2019) The name is a pun on 'sept', the French word for seven, as all seven of Champagne's permitted grape varieties are used: it's a bend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Pinot Gris, Arbanne and Pinot Meunier. Made in stainless steel, but with six months batonnage, it's one of those wines which you would swear had been barrel fermented and aged: the nose is creamy with buttery and almond tones, beneath citrus and golden apple, quite firm and not too showy. In the mouth the wine immediately tightens up, a flowing citrus zest character and more of that dry crab apple bite of acidity, the finish long and full of zippy fruit and etched by acidity.
(2018) This sparkling apple wine is made from fruit grown in Hush Heath's Kent orchards (Cox, Bramley and Egremont Russet), with secondary fermentation in bottle just like their other sparkling wines, and using Champagne yeast. It has an elegant cider apple nose, lightly nutty and with a rosy, ripe apple skin fruitiness. In the mouth there's an echo of sweetness just to offset the bracing acidity, and the apple flavours push through cleanly and brightly. Most enjoyable for a change.
(2018) Made with Bramley, Cox's and Russet apples from the estate, just like the white Sparkling Apple Wine, but with the addition of strawberry and blackcurrant, mostly for colour I suspect as the flavours are resolutely appley. There is a hint of extra strawberry sweetness perhaps, but the sharp apple acidity ensures this finishes feeling dry and fresh. Equally enjoyable as its white partner, and lovely summer drink with 8% alcohol.
(2018) A really nice, crowd-friendly traditional method blend of the three main Champagne grapes, aged for a minimum of one year in Hush Heath's cellars. It's fruity and bright, pear and juicy red apple and seemingly quite sweet: certainly a higher dosage than some here, but with excellent citrus acidity and some nice creamy and lightly toasty character from the lees ageing.
(2018) Still one of the stars of their line-up, the vintage rosé first brought Hush Heath to the wine world's attention, and this 2013 was tasting really good: delicate aromas of small summer berries, just a touch of pastry-like creaminess, but fresh and inviting with its pale, light colour. In the mouth the mousse is fine and persistent, and that dry redcurrant fruitiness fills the mid-palate, and stylish lemon and lime acidity extending the finish. A blend of 44% Pinot Noir, 48% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Meunier aged three years on the lees.