With so much English sparkling wine (ESW) being produced from the most typical grapes grown in Champagne, it is no surprise that producers are bottling pinot noir for our pleasure.
But is it any good?
With climate change shifting the temperature gradient further poleward, it is now possible to ripen grapes here in Britain. With ripe grapes the magic of decent winemaking is a natural outcome.
Anyone who has sampled ESW’s will attest to their high quality, their racey style and the excitement of how British winemaking will develop. When it comes to the pinot noir, I was not so convinced that I would be singing the praises but I have to admit to being converted.
Hush Heath Estate Pinot Noir, 2016, Kent, England
The bottle I recently received to taste was the Hush Heath Estate Pinot Noir, 2016, produced in Kent. It’s translucent red carmine colour gives us an indicator of a lighter bodied style. Dipping my nostrils into the glass and breathing in the aromas of light, ripe, fresh cherry and violets, I can only say: so far, so good.
The tannin is vey gentle but there is a bright acidity that pings the cheeks and refreshes the palate. There is a whole host of game dishes that this wine would pair perfectly with.
Tasting over the course of an hour, the wine opens up offering more cherry and blackberry fruit and the silky tannic texture. With a decent length of fruit flavour in the mouth, this is a very pleasing wine to taste.
English pinot noir?
I certainly would encourage people to buy English pinot noir. Of all the regions, nuances and styles that this grape offers, whether it be from the antipodes to Chile, or Alsace to Romania, Burgundy to… well why not England? I think you might like it!