It has been a packed week in the trade’s tasting calendar this week, but Roger Jones was keen to see what new discoveries he could find in Liberty Wine’s portfolio event. With all the world to choose from he picks out some delights from English wine which could well end up on his list at the Harrow at Little Bedwyn.
Of all the wines in the world it was England that came out tops for Michelin chef Roger Jones at Liberty Wines tasting.
On a beautiful September day with cricketers playing at the Oval it was fitting that Liberty’s tasting highlighted a fantastic collection of English wines, with the gentle polite clapping in the background from the sparse crowd and the odd smack of leather on willow.
But my word how good is English Wine becoming, Nyetimber who without question started the evolution seemed to have realised that the others were catching up and have now gone up another level. From the beautifully crafted Non Vintage Rosé, a sublime elegant grown up wine, with delicate spice, refreshing restrained raspberry and so smooth soft delicate pastry finish to their newly launched Classic Cuéee which is now a Multi Vintage, giving them the ability to deliver even more perfection every year.
The Tillington Single Vineyard 2010, is a step up from the 2009, this has a pale golden colour and just oozes class. It has layers of fruit, delicate nutty texture and a complexity that will evolve with time, very precise on the finish but encouraging another glass. A rather special wine that happily sits in my cellar next to the Grande Marques of Champagne.
If I had one criticism of Nyetimber it would be the misuse of the word Demi Sec as their Nyetimber Demi Sec NV is not a Demi Sec, but a wonderful rich style sparkling wine. Luscious but not sweet, textured, fruit driven (tangerine, unwaxed lemon zest) but not cloying, precise, focused and perfect with food such as sashimi or foie gras, but not with dessert. But equally good with cheese such as Stinking Bishop.
Hattingley Valley continues to evolve under the stewardship of the English rose, Emma Rice, the star of the Liberty tasting was the Hattingley Blanc de Blancs 2011. I love the 2010, but this was a class in itself, the purity, and precision is immense. No wonder the French asked us to leave Europe!
Emma fell in love with “Champagne” after trying Vintage Krug as a youngster and her Kings Cuvée is a hint to the great Krug style. Sadly this is under strict allocation, however, she continues to excite especially with her Rosé 2013.
Finding a still English red wine in the UK is still pretty impossible, but I think we may have found something special from Hush Heath Estate. Its ”Manor” Pinot Noir 2015 is a marvel. Bright clean, refreshing enticing clean berries, touch of cedar, delicate fresh ground black pepper, Kentish raspberry finish.