This week Ben discovers a new favourite at brother Guy’s wedding, and finds out a bit more about British wine making.
Discovering a fantastic fizz
It’s been around for a while but in recent years, it’s come on leaps and bounds and the 2013 vintage is the best yet. I hadn’t tasted it for ages until Davenport’s 2013 Horsmonden dry white slipped up the blind side (and that’s not part of a best man’s speech) at Geetie and brother Guy’s wedding. Several glasses of their fantastic fizz had got the party off to a flying start and it wasn’t until midway through the first course that I noticed that the contents of the glass in my hand were really pretty good. Crisp, dry and aromatic – like a combination of the bride and groom (I confess to still not having given them a wedding present and I wasn’t the best man).
Will the wine-maker
Winemaker and owner, Will Davenport, knows his stuff – he’s been doing it for twenty years and the awards page on his website testifies to his skills. We’ve all heard that global warming will make southern England the next Burgundy, but so far, in the case of organic it’s been an emperor’s new clothes scale bluff. Yes, England is making some fantastic, champagne-esque fizz and white wines, but thanks to a succession of wet summers, until last year, delivery was woefully slow and low. 2013 was a great year and 2014 promises to be even better. Here’s what Hamish Anderson, writing for The Daily Telegraph, thought of Will’s wine:
‘Will Davenport’s small organic estate makes some of England’s finest still wine. The 2013 is a blinder – its pungent nose of lemon and nettles is not only quintessentially English, but also makes you want to dive in for a sip. A glass of glorious, spirit-lifting refreshment.’
Getting hold of the vintage
It takes Will three years to make the fizz, but the more still wine we buy, the more chance there is of getting a decent allocation of the 2013 vintage when it’s released. That’s the way the wine trade works. Or if we’re really good, fingers crossed, they might just find a few cases of the previous vintage.