What We've Been Drinking Recently : English Sparkling, Muscadet, Chenin Blanc
It's clearly been a week for white wines and sparkling wines, not because of the weather which would be more leaning towards reds, but because of the food we have been eating.
Greyfriars Classic Cuvée 2013 Vintage
A delicious English Sparkling Wine made by the team at Greyfriars Vineyard just off the A31 Hogsback outside of Guildford. Led by Mike Wagstaff, the Greyfriars team make a range of quality English Sparkling Wines as well as some very tasty still wines.
This example is made from a blend ('cuvée) of all three of the classic Champagne varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 2013 was the the third vintage since they took over Greyfriars and the first year when their new plantings bore fruit (literally). The grapes for this wine were lovingly hand-picked in mid-October and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Produced using the traditional method this wine has matured in their cellars for two years prior to release.
Light, crisp and fresh with aromas and flavours of fresh citrus, crisp green apples and a lightly toasty finish.
Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
No idea where this wine was bought as we were guests at a dinner party. The Muscadet was served with a range of light Spanish tapas and worked brilliantly, especially with the seafood dishes. A wine style that went out of fashion in the 1980's, Muscadet is possibly the perfect match for light seafood. Sèvre et Maine is the regional designation indicating the very best of the Muscadet vineyards which are located around the city of Nantes at the mouth of the River Loire. Made from the little known grape, Melon de Bourgogne, 'sur lie' indicates that the wine was in contact with the dead yeast cells ('lees') during fermentation and maturation which gives more body and flavour to the wine.
Dry and zingy with fresh green apple and citrusy zest. A light natural spritz makes this a deliciously refreshing wine.
Oldenburg Chenin Blanc 2014
Enjoyed this excellent wine with pan fried cod cheeks and a minty pea purée as I was feeling rather 'cheffy' at the time.
Lead by Adrian and Vanessa Vanderspuy and the Oldenburg Vineyards team, this is one of many superb wines made at the farmstead in the Banghoek Valley close to Stellenbosch. Winemaker Philip Costandius has created a French oak barrel fermented Chenin Blanc with aromas of jasmine and a hint of amond and oak. It is rich on the palate but with refreshing acidity to give perfect balance. Flavours of grapefruit and white pepper with hints of perfume combine to make this a mouth-wateringly delicious wine.