With over 700 vineyards now in England you don’t have to travel very far to visit and appreciate how good English wine has become. On a recent short break to the Dorset countryside on the Jurassic coast we visited one of these vineyards with family and friends, the ‘Furleigh Estate’ owned by Rebecca Hansford and Ian Edwards.
A delightful visit it was too, even on a dull, cloudy and blustery day with the threat of heavy rain in the air it didn’t detract from what was a superb afternoon walking amongst the vines listening to the amiable Rebecca talking us through the history of the Estate and how the grapes are turned into the wonderful wines they produce.
Back in the tasting room we sampled 5 wines, 3 still and 2 sparkling they included the West Dorset Chardonnay 2018, Bacchus Fumé, Tyrannosaurus red, ending with the Blanc de Blanc 2013/14 and last but not least the Classic Cuvée 2014.
Now we all know how good English fizz is these days and the one’s we tasted were excellent but the real surprise for me was how good the still wines were especially the Chardonnay, Bacchus and after the tasting we treated ourselves to a bottle of their white Pinot Noir which was my favourite and universally enjoyed on our table. We were all more than happy to buy a selection of still and sparkling wines to take home to enjoy.
West Dorset Chardonnay 2018
Aromas of orchard fruits, including crisp green apples and ripe pears. Bright lively acidity on first taste giving way to a slightly sweeter mid palate again full of ripe pear and maybe a hint of orange peel. Finishing with a long aftertaste which completes a very full on fresh and lively citrus flavour.
Deliciously different, very floral on the nose with some tropical fruit. Aromatic taste again floral along with peaches and apricot with a creamy finish. The American oak is noticeable giving it a very vanillary taste but still retaining the bright and refreshing acidity.
White Pinot Noir 2018
Unusual aromatic flavour along with some typical aspects of the red pinot. There’s some plum and damson, citrus fruits also make an appearance but it’s the aromatics that make this interesting and different. Still has bright acidity keeping it fresh tasting and a delight to drink.
Anybody who hasn’t tried or heard about Furliegh Estate wines I would highly recommend a visit to their beautiful vineyards and if you come across a bottle of their fizz or still wines give them go, I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.