01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

The Society's Community

Your favourite English Pinot Noir

Having tried a few of them I have been very taken with Flint Vineyard’s Pinot (although it is Précoce - so early ripening) but have also enjoyed Gusbourne. It would be interesting to hear other members’ views on Pinot’s from England

5 Likes

Only tried the sparkling kind, but they’re delicious :yum:

2 Likes

Only tried one straight English Pinot from Leventhorpe in Yorkshire. It was a lovely picnic wine, simple and on the lighter end, but I’d like to think it would have got the nod of approval from those having a scotch egg with it.

1 Like

Waste of money. So much better elsewhere.

Maybe revisit after 20 more years of climate heating :grin:

Another reason to get my competition “The judgement of Bognor” underway post-lockdown!

16 Likes

I haven’t come across the Flint Vineyard one. The Gusborne I’ve had on a couple of occasions and they seem to have done a good job with it - pricey though. The other one that I enjoyed was Titchfield Vineyard’s Pinot Noir. I suppose I should also add that it all depends on which vintage.

Had a few distinct failures too, though. Avoid anything with Rondo in it - it completely changes the character, even at a few percent.

Flint are based in South Norfolk. Their 2019 is released tomorrow. I think they are to be featured on a WineGB Zoom tasting tomorrow at 7pm.

3 Likes

Is that the same estate that made a bit of a splash with their Bacchus a little while ago?

No, that was Winbirri, who also make a Pinot Noir.

Ah, OK - we don’t get many East Anglian wines down in Hampshire so I’m a bit out of touch. Provincial I know…

I consider myself a big fan of English wines, but I have to say - I’m yet to be convinced by an English Pinot Noir. Unless we mean fizz, of course, in which case it’s Wiston Estate 2014 Rosé all the way! :heart_eyes:

Having said that, need to seek some from 2018, which was, apparently, the best year for still Pinot in England, according to Alison from Albourne Estate in Sussex…

This for pure Pinot Noir:

https://www.wistonestate.com/buy-english-sparkling-wine/wiston-estate-blanc-de-noirs-2010

Or this, if you don’t mind some Pinot Meunier too:

2 Likes

Apologies, I meant still wine not sparkling and asked about people’s favourites. Those who have been somewhat dismissive may like to give some specific examples of ones they considered poor?

2 Likes

I wouldn’t call any of the ones I tried ‘poor’ - but value for money and taste did not warrant another purchase. I did not get on with Kentish Davenport, or Sharpham from Devon or Plumpton Estate from Sussex. The last I really wanted to like, the Estate being 20 minutes’ drive from my house, but it was just meh. It’s a sample of three, so I concede that perhaps I just haven’t come across the right one for me yet.

I don’t expect English wines to be cheap, but for such a pernickety grape, which is so difficult to ripen in our climate, I’d much rather pay less and get a Zweigelt or a Marcillac or a Cab Franc or any other light red from the Continent. I am a huge fan of English still whites and sparkling though!

6 Likes

Spot on (and somewhat more diplomatically expressed :rofl:)

1 Like

Nope, never had a UK red wine I would buy again - the last two were from a vineyard in Holmfirth and another near Leeds. Something to do with high UK land & labour prices, combined with our generally short wet summers with a proper hot summer being the exception?

Having said that, the Flint vineyard P.N. sounds interesting so if I’m ever down that way I’ll give it a go.

1 Like

Most English wine is low production estate wine, so one needs to compare with like. Couple that with the conditions you mention and no government assistance - unlike other countries, and that accounts for high pricing.

I don’t agree that English sparkling wine is ‘not that good’, and it is judged blind against other sparkling wines including Champagne and does well. Look at the awards by IWSC

Not all, though, is expensive. M&S ‘Marksmen’ won a Gold at IWSC; that was made by Ridgeview.

Last year BA were serving Camel valley sparkling wine in their First Class cabins.

English wine has a history to overcome, and a lot of people who tried it some time ago were disappointed. It’s time to rethink though.

Re still red wines. Many of the German varieties especially developed to get black skins in a short growing season (I’m thinking Dorfelder , Rondo, Regent) don’t produce a red wine that I find pleasant and the (imo) mistaken move to grow the three grapes so as to emulate Champagne has meant the planting of (imo) inferior clones of Pinot, such as Fruburgunder.

5 Likes

A’Becketts (Wiltshire - near Devizes) do a Pinot Noir in good years. The 2018 got 16/20 from jancisrobinson.com so at £19 for a bottle isn’t great value, but isn’t crazy given it is English Pinot.

1 Like

Absolutely. In our annual ‘Wine Champions’ Blind Tasting earlier this year we tasted 73 traditional method sparkling wines. We had 12 winners of which 3 were from England and 2 from elsewhere in the world (other than Champagne).

Made even more impressive when you consider that there were only 10 English wines tasted and 31 Champagnes…

6 Likes

Whilst I admire the those who sink small fortunes into English (and Welsh) vineyards, I would consider a truffle plantation a better investment.

4 Likes