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Some Palpable English Pink Fizz to cleanse The Palate

And get through this lovely heat wave... Wiston Estate Rose NV

 

Dermot Sugrue, Winemaker

 

We’ve followed Dermot’s wines since first tasting his 2009 Sugrue-Pierre micro-cuvée in Spring 2013. It left us speechless, quite literally, as it dawned on us for the first time that English sparkling wine could definitely be as good as very good Champagne. We’d had quite a few, and what we’d noticed until that point was a very high acidity in them. Now us wine lovers tend to like high acidity, but there just wasn’t sufficient fruit to make these wines beautiful. Dermot's wines are different. And this is the secret: the terroir.

 

Dermot’s best wines come from vineyards with chalk soils, which lend finesse to the wine. The Wiston vineyard also gets good warmth and sunshine. It’s in a hollow little valley in the South Downs, protected from the strongest winds from the south and the cruellest winds from the east, and enjoys an extra-long growing season, concentrating the flavour in the grapes. Wiston Estate was mercifully spared the devastating air frost that obliterated large percentages of the crop of English vineyards at the end of April this year. It does suggest that the vineyard is well-sited and if classified like the French vineyards would be the equivalent of ‘Grand Cru’.

 

The Goring family

 

Wiston Estate in the rollingly lovely South Downs in West Sussex has been owned by the Goring family since 1743. The current owners are Harry and Pip Goring (pictured front and seventh and eighth from left, if you count the babies), though day to day running of the winery and vineyards is overseen by their son, Richard, and his wife, Kirsty (front, fourth and second from right, respectively). The vineyard is planted on an escarpment of pure chalk, similar to the Côte des Blancs in Champagne. Wiston Estate’s vintage wines are picked by hand and gently pressed in England’s only traditional Coquard press, a magnificent wood and steel contraption - one of only a handful outside Champagne - which ensures very gradual, delicate pressing of the grapes, in theory giving much finer quality juice. Grape yields are tiny - around 15hl per hectare - which is critical to Wiston Estate’s purity, focus and overall deliciousness. 

"Wiston Rose NV Captures the essence of summer, with fragrant notes of rhubarb, raspberry, strawberry, redcurrant, wild roses, lemon zest and a touch of sherbert on the finish. Underlying all of this is a backbone of crushed oyster shells, which reflects the pure chalk terroir where the vines are grown. It is superbly elegant with tiny, persistent bubbles and a refreshing acidity that makes one go back for more." Wiston Estate

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