I was completely fooled by this wine, proclaiming it to be a high quality vintage champagne. In fact it came from the birthplace of that quintessentially English game of cricket – Hambledon.
We tried their Premier Cuvee, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (58%, 24% 18%) on Sunday. It’s not cheap at £42 but Waitrose Cellar occasionally have offers on their site – if they do, buy some. You’ll see a very fine, persistent mousse, a subtle light gold in colour and beautifully bright.
The taste is bruised apples with a lovely lemon freshness which lifts the slightly vegetative notes. There is great complexity and all suggests vintage champagne. The palate is certainly dry to the point of saltiness, long and quite piercing in its acidity.
This wine is one of those that we taste and remember the significant experience.
[Richard: I got 25% off on one of those periodic Waitrose deals which made the price a just about bearable £32. Let’s hope they do it again before Christmas. An extremely classy English sparkling wine, easily the best I’ve tasted. An ‘old’, vegetative nose – they blend in cuvees from earlier vintages to give an aroma which I’ve only really noticed on vintage champagne. High in acidity but balanced and absolutely delicious.]