A new limited edition of 1018 bottles, blended by Gerard Fox. 60% Pinot Noir and 20 each of Chardonnay and the F&F secret weapon, Pinot Gris.
This has some attitude! Lots of sweet apples, red and russet, roasted and fresh, pepped up with ripe lemon juice and jasmine. With time, delicate white peach sweetness wakes up alongside the almond croissant and toasted pecan deliciousness that comes with time in bottle.
Electric acidic brightness on the palate – a real live wire – held in check by crystal clear fruit sweetness and delicate creamy weight. A fine chalky, rocky grip pulls the palate tight. You’re left with tingling fresh lemon juice, the lick of sweet pastry and the lift of white florals, sparring with each other and daring you back in.
Thoroughly enlivening, a wild child sent to finishing school and deciding they quite like it. 16.5
100% Chardonnay. This has developed very nicely indeed with some breadth just starting to show (nevertheless it needed a good thirty minutes to come out of its shell). Lovely caramelised pear tart, hazelnut wafers and stewed apple richness combine with a beautiful, ethereal bergamot lemon and quince sweetness. I just love the marzipan-like richness creeping around the edges here, but the soul of the wine is cool, creamy and fresh, the palate harmonious and gently textured.
Date Tasted : 16/11/2019
This is developing in the bottle now, with a little of the wilder side of Meunier coming out; initially some meaty, savoury dried mushroom, kerosine and Schweppes lime, then, with air, juicy pomelo and lemon syrup, bramble and nut butter. If it sounds outlandish or rich, it isn’t – whilst it carries some of the outgoing attributes of some Champagne expressions of Meunier, it is absolutely fresh, even delicate on the palate, with shimmering, integrated acidity. Unique.
Date Tasted : 13/09/2019
100% Pinot Gris. A more recent disgorgement than the other 2014s. One of England’s most unique sparkling wines, with fragrant pink grapefruit and rose, peppery powdered ginger and a fantastic zingy green mandarin touched with tropical starfruit. Still primary and beautifully fresh with that clean candied citrus palate magnified with perfectly judged autolytic development, textured yet staying clear of anything that might obscure the subtle fragrance. One to drink fairly young.
Date Tasted : 13/11/2019
Still in a fresh place with beautiful fresh, sweet redcurrant, raspberry and fresh ground almond fruit. Flashes of clementine and juicy golden plums, blossom and digestive biscuit ride a cool, classy single cream texture that is shared with Essence 2014. Delicious, perfectly woven acidity and immaculate golden fruit, mellowing rather than imposing; it’s so rare to find a Blanc de Noirs of this refinement.
Date Tasted : 16/10/2019
In this vintage it has developed some Bakewell tart richness alongside caramelised apples and a classy, savoury-toned character that is quite Champagne-like in its dried golden fruits and slightly meaty, nutty edge. It is quite approachable and not hugely acidic; a bit more straightforward than the other wines but nicely tempered with dosage and grapefruit freshness.
Date Tasted : 10/11/2019
Mosaic Rosé 2015, is quite autumnal in style, with dried red apples and chai spice, poached strawberries and red pears in syrup. The acidity here is well-knit as you expect with all these wines, and there’s a nice whack of sticky red cherry fruit too. It’s quite gentle on the palate once again; some of the initial freshness has softened away (in this disgorgement at least) to leave a slightly darker-toned wine.
Date Tasted : 10/11/2019
The Pinot Noir-dominant Expression Rosé 2013 has mellowed out now with a playful dollop of summer pudding, dried strawberries and buttery plum crumble, even showing some treacly gingerbread around the edges. The keenness on the palate is up a notch in this Rosé, though, with poached red fruit kept in focus with satisfying zip.
Date Tasted : 11/11/2019
Midnight Rosé 2011* finds a counterpart in England only with Charles Palmer’s 2015 deep, wintery Rosé, also made by Will Davenport. 100% Pinot Noir from the older Hobdens vineyard site (this bottle was disgorged summer 2016 and tasted back in late 2018 – there have been further disgorgements). Four days’ maceration on the skins of Pinot Noir from this small but intensely ripe vintage has produced quite a deep and striking wine with strawberry shortcake and cranberry aromas as well as more developed pomegranate molasses, toast and cola. At a lovely stage with vibrancy, complexity and balance.
Date Tasted : 09/09/2018
95%Meunier, 5% Chardonnay. 34 Months on lees, 9 g/l dosage. Complex in a softly-spoken, quite elusive way; ripe citrus somewhere in-between pink grapefruit/pomelo/fresh orange, sweet red cherry and a very English crabapple jelly-like preserved fruit character. Also some tropical starfruit notes, and a little macaroon. Then fresh apple compote, gently spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s bright but quite friendly on the palate; what impresses is a the intensity and length of candied citrus and the white pepper spice on the finish. Hides a lot of subtlety behind the freshness, and will develop well over the next 3 years.
Date Tasted : 09/09/2018