British Bubbles: HATTINGLEY VALLEY

Made using the Champagne process in Wield in East Hampshire in the south of England, Hattingley Valley’s sparkling wines (English Fizz, British Bubbles) come from grapes grown mostly on a chalky, Champagne-like terroir across the south of England. Founded in 2008 and releasing its first wines in 2013, Hattingley Valley is owned by Simon Robinson and the wines are made by Emma Rice (who also helped design the winery). Hattingley Valley is at the forefront of modern British viticulture and offer lovely Champagne-like flavors from an unexpected source. Certainly these are wines of person and place.

HATTINGLEY VALLEY Classic Cuvee, United Kingdom, NV ($41.59)
A blend of 48% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Noir, 17% Pinot Meunier & 2% Pinot Gris sourced from vineyards across the South of England, mainly on chalk with clay topsoil. 25% of the total blend was barrel fermented in three and four year white Burgundy and Bordeaux barrels. The balance was fermented in tank. Both lots spent 8 months on their fermentation lees, with no stirring or addition of sulphur dioxide. after blending and bottling, the wine gets another 21 months ageing on its lees. Dosage is to 9g/l.      Straw with green highlights, fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with refreshing acidity and scant phenolics.  Supple fresh and alive. Delicious citrus and subtle red fruit. Lovely in the mouth. BearScore: 92.

HATTINGLEY VALLEY Rosé, United Kingdom, 2013 ($57.94)
A pink blend of 59% Pinot Noir, 36% Pinot Meunier, and 5% Pinot Precoce (no, I hadn’t heard of it either; it is an earlier ripening mutation of Pinot Noir) sourced from vineyards across the South of England growing mainly on chalk with clay topsoils. Approximately 25% of the blend is fermented in 4-5 year old Burgundy barrels. Before tirage, the base wine is blended with 5% red wine made from the Pinot Precoce to give a delicate color. The wine spent at least 18 months ageing on lees in the bottle before being disgorged. Dosage: 9g/l.      Pale-salmon color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with refreshing acidity.  Fresh red fruit with yeast and earth and just enough citrus. Long and delicious. BearScore: 92+.

Hattingley Valley Winery and Vineyards

 

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