27 August, 2008
??? ?? Ridgeview Merret Cavendish 2005
(38 Ch, 35 PN, 27 PM, £19.95)
Very toasty, full aromas of rhubarb crumble. It's young but has plenty of rhubarb, plum and touches of cherry with a finely balanced acidic structure and complex finish. Needs some years in bottle.
??? ? Hush Heath Balfour Brut Rosé 2005
(57 PN, 40 Ch, 3 PM, £29.99)
Pale onion skin colour, almost not rosé. Fresh, delicate nose of cherry, baked pear with brioche touches. Subtle, complex berry fruit and toasty brioche. Really does resemble a sparkling Provence rosé.
??? ? Ridgeview Merret Bloomsbury 2005
(59 Ch, 31 PN, 10 PM, £19.95)
Fresh leafy lemon aromas, toasty brioche and yeast. Ripe and fruity, unveiling itself at a leisurely pace across the palate. Persists well to a good, toasty finish.
??? Biddenden Gribble Bridge Rosé 2005 (Gamay, PN, Reichensteiner, £15)
A bright, cherry-pink colour, nose reminiscent of cider with baked apples and sour cherry. Cherry and raspberry fruit with decent weight on the palate and a refreshing, dry finish. Good fun.
??? Camel Valley Cornwall White Pinot 2005 (100 PN, £24.95)
Strong varietal character on the nose, toasty damson and rhubarb. Lively, fresh pear juice, damson and cherry flavours with a biscuity finish.
??? Camel Valley Cornwall Pinot Noir Rosé 2006 (100 PN, £22.95)
Fresh, bright raspberry/damson aromas. Additional cherry comes in on the mid-palate with a pleasantly toasty finish.
??? Denbies Greenfields Cuvée 2004
(50 PN, 35 Ch, 15 PM, £21.99)
Open, leafy citrus nose with a whiff of flinty minerals. Lively citrus, light sherbet touches and gently toasty through to a dry finish.
??? Nyetimber Classic Cuvée 2001
(43 Ch, 28.5 PN, 28.5 PM, £25)
Full, baked lemon tart nose with rhubarb notes and toasty brioche touches. Full and fruity, rounded and fruit-focused mid-palate with a dry toasty finish and good length.
??? Nyetimber Première Cuvée Blanc de Blancs 2001 (100 Ch, £28)
Well matured, vegetal aromas with baked lemon and mushroom hints. Has a rich, vegetal Chardonnay palate, developing into lemon meringue on a clean finish.
?? Brightwell Sparkling Chardonnay 2005
(100 Ch, £19.95)
Full, straightforward lemon curd nose with an earthy touch. Bright, clean and fruity, no fuss.
?? Chapel Down Pinot Reserve 2002
(PN, Pinot Blanc, £25)
Heady, yeasty nose of pear and baked lemon. Pithy and fairly rich palate . A hint of spicy backbone. Interesting.
?? Denbies Rosé Cuvée 2005
(100 PN, £17.99)
Full, ripe cherry/berry nose. Big, fruity attack and toasty cherry, rhubarb and sherbet on the finish. Needs ageing.
? A'Beckett's Estate Sparkling
(55 Seyval Blanc, 45 Pinot Auxerrois, £14.50)
Fruity, lemon and blackcurrant leaf aromas, grassy. Crisp acidity cuts a fat fruity palate of decent weight.
== Still red wine ==
??? Welcombe Hills Pinot Noir Précoce 2006; and Pinot Noir 2005 (£6.95 & £8.95)
According to owner Chris Gallimore: "The most northerly outdoor grown Pinot Noir in the world." The Précoce is juicy, full of cherry, plum and black cherry fruit. The oak-influenced premium is similar with more plum, supported by balanced acidity, soft tannin and a good length finish. A remarkable thing and well priced.