These days it seems rare to read a wine column in an English newspaper that doesn’t recommend English wine, often English sparkling wine. I’ve enjoyed most of the few I have tried and thought we’d start our four day break with a glass or two. We’ve got some old friends who live near the Chapel Down vineyard in Tenterden and the Pinot Reserve 2008 (£24) came from the on-site shop, bought when we were down a few weeks ago. I always prefer sparking wine/champagne (come the revolution people saying ‘fizz’ will be taken out and shot) with some bottle age – even laying down non-vintage is worthwhile if you have the patience – and the benefits are evident here. Very well made with a fine mousse, evident in the photo. A pinot noir/blanc mix, complex nose, slightly sweet with a dry finish. Very classy and as good as a comparably priced champagne. Lasted well into a second day.
The Pichon Condrieu 2010 (WS £26, no longer available) is actually approaching the end of its conservative WS designated drinking window (2012-15) but tasted very good and will last a while yet. Lots of stone fruit, powerful, some acidity with a hint of bitterness that added to the balance. Rich mouth feel. Another wine that drunk well on day 2.
Finally, when looking for a lighter wine for Sunday night, what better than a village burgundy? Low alcohol, not much taste. Little to say about this wine. In fact I nearly didn’t bother blogging it hence the outside photo – the bottle was retrieved from the recycling. It’s a Nuits-St-Georges Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Robert Chevillon, 2007 (13%) from a WS 2007 mixed burgundy case. About £23, no longer available. Bought when I knew even less about burgundy than I do now (2007 was not a good vintage). Drink by 2013 was the WS advice and it’s clearly not going to improve. Their sparse note ‘sweet, soft, strawberry-like fruit’ tells it’s own story. Shy nose, just about recognisable pinot taste.