Albourne Estate Bacchus is one of the stars of Alison Nightingale’s portfolio of amazing English still wines from West Sussex. It has subtle aromas of elderflower and green pepper, together with mango, lime and hints of fresh thyme and greek basil. It has complex and layered flavours of elderflower, asparagus, citrus and tropical hints; it is a complex, classy, dry white wine with a lovely smooth mouth-feel. In all respects a brilliant example of Bacchus, which is similar to Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is refreshing, full-flavoured and has an elegant and long finish; perfectly balanced. The follow-on vintage of 2019 is also excellent and equally delicious and both vintages won a Silver Medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards.
If you are a fan of English wine – or you don’t believe English wine can be just as good as comparably priced white wine from other countries – you should try this high-quality Bacchus at our competitive price. Sells in some independents £14.95 – £16.99.
2018 was an amazing vintage in England, resulting a large crop of excellent quality grapes. Alison loves to innovate and this year she vinified Bacchus grapes from early and later pickings in different batches and then blended them; the result is an enigmatic and distinctive Bacchus. The warmth of the 2018 summer has lent more texture and richness to this Bacchus, whilst maintaining its freshness. Whilst 2019 was not quite as warm, the quality of the grapes was excellent.
Albourne Estate has just under 30 acres (11 hectares) in gently rolling hills near Hassocks, in West Susse, with stunning views to the Devils Dyke. In the early 2000s Alison decided that she wanted to spend more time with her young family. She left her high-flying job and moved with her husband to Sussex. She was always interested in wine and wanted to find a career that would fit around her family. She completed a degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College in 2007 and after much searching in Hampshire, Devon and Sussex she found a suitable local site for a vineyard in 2009. Since then, her wines have won many awards including UK Wine of the Year Trophy in 2015 (see the review below)
The striking labels feature wildlife that are regularly seen in the Albourne Estate and are painted by a local artist. The Bacchus label features a Buzzard. We also stock Estate Selection 2018/19 (Green Woodpecker) and Sandstone Ridge 2018 (Dandelion) on their respective labels.
Food match: Goats Cheese, Caesar Salad, Rocket Salads and Fish and Shellfish dishes. Above all it is a terrific aperitif
Review of 2019 Vintage
“Aromas of sage, tomato leaf and nettle with flinty hints. Textured and round on the palate. Clean, fresh, well-styled.” 90 Points: Silver Medal: Decanter World Wine Awards 2021
Reviews of 2018 Vintage
“Fine concentration of lemon and lime fruit which shows weight, texture, and an underlying saline, seashell minerality” 90 Points: Silver Medal: Decanter World Wine Awards 2020
“At first sniff, it is hard to navigate through the floral aromas and savoury herb nuances. Like many wines from 2018, this carries a richer texture than previous vintages. A light to medium bodied palate delivers notes of asparagus, lime leaves and fresh peppery rocket. A springy acidity hydrates the senses, demanding a second sip An underpinning of salinity has been well noted amongst English expressions of Bacchus and this wine is no exception. Notes of thyme and sage add a savoury component that would pair well with many summer dishes.” Hannah Gray, www.greatbritishwine.com 3 July 2019
Reviews of 2014 vintage;
“This wine won a Gold and 2 Trophies at the English and Wales Wine of the Year Competition 2015, and it is easy to see why with its crisp and aromatic with strong hints of elderflower. It would be all too easy to mistake it for a Sauvignon Blanc on the nose; it has strong white currant fruit on the palate and an attractive, delicate finish. It seems super-clean, finishes bone dry…I think this is the best still English wine I’ve tasted.”
Richard Hemming MW; www.jancisrobinson.com Aug 2015
“The nose is enough to draw you in with its grassy notes, elderflower and lime and then flashes of tropical fruit vibrancy of passion fruit and grapefruit. Georgeous flinty undertones almost reminiscent of a great Sancerre. The palate delivers in spades; it’s bone dry with all sorts of Sauv like hints of grapefruit and gooseberry. Rich mineral flavours, texture and elegance and just wait until you get to the lengthy finish.”
John Mobbs; www.greatbritishwine.com 2015
“[Bacchus] makes gloriously tangy, citrussy wines. [Albourne Estate’s] is an epic version.”
Matthew Jukes; Daily Mail 17 October 2015
Read more about Albourne Estate in our News and Views pages.