So, yesterday (and today) was the Royal Norfolk Show, this year patroned by HRH Princess Anne. The first show since before the 2 year Covid hiatus. I’ve been attending most years for the past 55 years, or so - in Norfolk, at least in my day, there was an ad-hoc school holiday on the second day (last Thursday in June or First in July depending on when the end of month sat).
Not that all of those 55 years featured local Norfolk wineries in the food and drink section, to be sure ! It used to be just one stall - Pierpoint - or something like that - which a) featured common denominator wines mainly from Germany and b) never offered tasting samples.
My how times change. This year there were three (out of the six) Norfolk wineries showing and selling their wares - Chet Valley, Burn Valley and the New Kid, Cobble Hill. (Winbirri and Flint have come in the past few years but I didn’t spot them this year)
I took one for the team and conscientiously tasted all that was on offer from the three respective outlets. And I allowed myself two purchases and both went to… ta da… Cobble Hill (sorry @Andrew1990 ) their PN pink sparkling and their 2021 Bacchus reserve were excellent, though the former at £30 seemed over-ambitious. It would be honest to point out that the wines were made by third parties, the latter being their near-neighbour Burn Valley, but they are going to be self sufficient from next year.
But it was very interesting to taste-off their 2021 Bacchus reserve with Burn Valley’s equivalent and for me the clear winner was CH. BV’s was too mellow and bland -owing to too much RS; even prompting me to ask them if there was any M-L transition. But no, and so I think they have spoilt the mouthwatering fresh acidic floral signature of Bacchus.
But golly, the C-Hill version, again no M-L, but it was aged a few months in acacia, is gorgeous. Still the gooseberry, elderflower bacchus signature profile but balanced out with a hint of cream, greengage and granny smith. Honestly it if I was told it was a Pouilly Fumé I would not have disagreed.
At £20 it’s not cheap but I think merits that price point. I have high hopes for this producer. A lot has been written on this forum about still Engish wines and how expensive they are yet don’t seem to generate a profit for their producers, but I see a future for them on this count.
So I bought two of these and opened one for late lunch today - with Cromer crab, chilli, tomato, cream with pasta and home grown salad. Perfect. And it’s raining now so I don’t have to steel myself for more gardening…