Some may say who needs Champagne when we have Sparking wine in this country as good as this, I have sampled a few English wines mostly a tastings and events but it’s not until I tasted these particular bottles (Hambledon Classic Cuvee & Rose) that I sat up and realised that the Brits actually do make some pretty decent Fizz. I first tried the Hambledon Classic Cuvee back in January 2016 (and a few times since) and I was so impressed I thought to myself, I must visit the Hambledon winery sometime soon. Well, it actually took me almost a year and a half but I did finally get around to visiting and let me tell you it was well worth the wait.
I visited with family and friends on the 22nd April 2017 , when we arrived we were personally greeted by amiable Katrina who is the Wine tour and Education manager, she made us feel really welcome and for the rest of the afternoon was the perfect host and guide with her enthusiasm and wine knowledge and we spent an enjoyable afternoon being shown around the vineyard and winemaking facilities, even the sun made an appearance.
The main vineyard incorporates around 100, 000 vines but it was still early in the year and the vines had only just started budding but none the less pretty impressive with its neat immaculate rows of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines
After venturing into the vineyard we were shown the cellar and then onto the main part of the winery itself where the wine is actually made and put into bottles
The actual wine making process is explained here From Grape to Glass the Geology Our Terrior, facts about the Vineyard and the Wine Making team.
After the tour finished we were treated to a tasting of the Hambledon Classic Cuvee and their Hambledon Classic Cuvee Rose, both excellent but surprisingly our party all agreed on a slight preference for the Rose.Bottles resting on lees in the CellarFrench Oak barrels and stainless steel tanksSediment ready for disgorging.
Hambledon Classic Cuvee
Sat outside in the glorious April sunshine these are my thoughts on both wines.
When poured, this was extremely fizzy with a lively mousse, when it settled the bubbles were very fine and constant. Fairly darkish golden colour with a nose of ripe apples and pears with a hint of biscuit and brioche. On first taste this was taut and refreshingly tart, full of citrus fruits, a little bready but with a lovely creaminess on the finish, which lasted.
My Rating 8/10 Corks
Hambledon Classic Cuvee Rose
Don’t really do Rose but I was completely surprised how good this was.
Lovely salmon like colour and heady aromas of fresh red cherries, strawberries and cream. Again lively mousse, with a steady stream of fine bubbles. On first sip I was sold on the intense cherry and cranberry flavour with balanced acidity and creamy finish with a hint of sweetness, lovely stuff.
Everyone in our party enjoyed it and thought it had an elegance about it.
My rating 8.5/10 corks