(2022) Though Lyme Bay is based in Devon, the Pinot Noir for this wine was sourced from vineyards in Essex that enjoyed warm, sunny conditions in 2020. Small parcels were vinified in open top fermenters, then transferred to oak barrels: 30% new French oak, along with some experimental American and Eastern European oak, for nine months. There's an attractive blend of cherry-bright fruit, creamy and lightly spicy oak and a subtle herbs and flowers grace note on the nose. In the mouth, finely-wrought sweet fruit of blackberry cherry is medium-bodied, supported by lightly charred coffeeish oak, and bright tannins. It's a Pinot in a fairly brisk style, but with a bit of depth and it is a fine addition to the upper-end of English still wines. Also available from Fareham Wine Cellar, The English Wine Collection, Grape Britannia, Amps Wine.
(2017) From a specially selected block of the grape variety Bacchus, this particularly ripe fruit was isolated for this special release. Quite pungent with talcum, elderflower and fresh grapefruit aromas, there's a hint of lychee too onto a bone-dry palate where that exotic fruit - mango, Ogen melon, more fresh lychee - is sliced through by the citrus acidity. Another very convincing wine from Lyme Bay, which will so appeal to the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc fans.
(2016) Focused on dry wines rather than sparkling, Devon's Lyme Bay vineyard has burst onto the scene spectacularly with its first two vintages, picking up a clutch of major awards. This top white cuvée is an unusual blend of Seyval Blanc, Bacchus and Pinot Noir, aged on the lees but without oak. It's a hugely piquant wine, overflowing with zesty aromas, hints of the English hedgerow and preserved lemon. It reminds me instantly of Japanese food strangely, blending sweet and sour, pickled and fresh flavours in the mouth, real fireworks with a terrifically punchy line of acidity to dry and extend the finish in a most tantalising way. Superb stuff, and watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.