(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, but maybe just a little simple at the price.
(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 where 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.
(2019) Notice the 11% alcohol in this zippy and aromatic wine from the chalk soils of Kent, the freshness of this 2017 vintage giving it great élan. There's a touch of the florals and of ripe citrus, certainly more lime and orange than lemon, before a palate where a touch of sweetness is soon grabbed by the scruff of the neck by the firm but generous acidity. Quite long, finishing with a hint of chalky, flinty character, a more pithy bite of acidity, and an impressive follow-up on the 2016 vintage.
(2019) Sub-titled 'Painter of Light', this delicate but intense Chardonnay comes from clay soils planted with Burgundian clones. Whole-bunch pressed into oak with natural ferments and natural malolactic, with lees stirring. Biscuit and breadiness, a fat lemon and touch of orange. Good richness. On the palate, very clean, a touch funky, a nice pithy lemony character, the acid pure and touched with salty minerals. Long, and super fresh.
(2019) Sub-titled 'Nightjar', made in small open-top fermenters, with 25% whole bunches then into larger oak barrels for maturation, always cool. Quite pale ruby, lovely soft and earthy, a touch of beetroot and rhubarb, subtle creaminess, herbs, but not green, a touch sappy and fresh and very well-balanced and delicious.
(2019) From the Yew Tree Vineyard in Didcot in Oxford which Sergio says is a "good ripening site." Made traditionally, this is an experimental wine, made from a parcel of Seyval Blanc they were unexpectedly offered. Half made in steel, half in old Burgundy barrels. Indigenous yeast and in barrel for 7 months before bottle ageing. As it has not been disgorged there's a fine haze of cloudiness, then crisp green apple and lemon, vivacious aromas. Fine, racy, sparkling Muscadet-like character in the mouth, but with an intriguing, slightly waxy texture.
(2019) From the oldest and largest Bacchus vineyard in England, vines dating back as far as 1977, this is super-fresh, partly due to obvious early-picking given it is more or less dry and only 10.5% alcohol. It's super-aromatic too, flitting around Sauvignon Blanc, Gavi di Gavi and Torrontes, but its own thing too with crunchy pear and citrus, and some nettle and floral notes. In the mouth a touch of spritz, then the sheer acidity drives this, delicate talcumy aromas and flavours persist, that clean, cool pear fruitiness, and zippy acidity to finish. A cracking summer in the garden contender this. £10.80 for Daily Drinker club members. Watch the video for more information.
(2019) This wine was bottle in May 2011 and spent 90 months - seven and a half years - on the lees. It is composed of 68% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. It received a dosage of 9g/l. Savoury, reserved nose, nothing too toasty of developed aromatically, just a sheen of creaminess on the lightly nutty, firm stone fruit aromas. On the palate the dosage gives a hint of sweetness, but that's swept up in a rush of acidity, lemony and zippy, the extra time on the lees perhaps adding a rounded touch of light toast and cream again into an elegant finish with good length.
(2019) The blend is 53% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 7% Pinot Meunier, with a small percentage fermented in oak barrels, and a dosage of 8g/l. Having spent 34 months on the lees there is a biscuity character aromatically, but really this is driven by the Pinot fruit, bold and lemony, though the bruised fruit complexity is there. On the palate the ripeness of the fruit from this vintage is evident, quite fat lemony fruit with a hint of peach, very good acids adding structure, and a nice earthy/yeasty savoury note too. A rounded, mouthfilling style and very good.