Chardonnay grapes suitable for still wine is one of the most elusive varieties in the UK. Working with two vineyards we may just have found the solution – one site near Petworth, West Sussex which has very sandy soil resulting in low-yielding, highly aromatic ripe fruit. The second site, just 30 minutes away, was in West Marden, West Sussex which has a loamy flint-rich soil which produced lively acidity, citrus and green apple purity.
Once in the cellar, the grapes were foot stomped in the press and given around 1 hour of maceration to extract flavour and texture from the skins. The wine was gently pressed and fermented with classic Burgundian yeast in neutral oak barrels.
Full malolactic fermentation then took place to help build mouth feel and naturally soften the wine’s acidity.
The wine was aged for 7 months in neutral oak barrels bought second-hand from Romaric of Domaine Chavy-Chouet.
Nose: Give it a good swirl to unlock the high-quality fruit and subtle oak character
Mouth: Thirst quenching acidity of green apple and lemon curd, followed by a long extension of the wine on the palate, with a steely citrus finish
Conclusion: A little shy while young so worth opening up; decant or use a large Burgundy glass
Food: Local goat cheeses, dressed crab, poached fish, seafood pastas