Albourne Estate Brut Multi-Vintage is the latest Sparkling wine produced by Alison Nightingale from her 30 acre vineyard and winery in West Sussex. It is as stunning as the Albourne Estate still wines. As its name suggests this wine is made of selected base wines from multiple vintages to produce an approachable, expressive and immediately enjoyable style. Others call this style ‘non-vintage’ but Alison has chosen to call this ‘multi-vintage’. It is made from selected, hand-picked Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes and it is very champagne like at a great price.
Aromas of brioche, dried apricots, nuts and hints of candied peel. It is generous, soft, refreshing and elegant on the palate. It has great length and a sustained mousse of fine bubbles. We are already fans of Albourne Estate Vintage Sparkling wines and this is very much in the same classy league and represents excellent value.
We should not be surprised that English Sparkling Wines are – as good as, and – similarly priced to good, non vintage Champagnes, as they are produced using the same traditional method of bottle fermentation. They have an extended period of ‘on-lees’ ageing; in this case 24 months.
Albourne Estate has just under 11 hectares (30 acres) in gently rolling hills, near Hassocks in West Sussex, with stunning views to the Devils Dyke. The vineyards were planted in 2010 when Alison Nightingale (co-owner) finally found the site she had been looking for which ticked all the boxes to provide excellent drainage, low frost risk and maximum sun exposure, critical factors in achieving successful vine growth and grape ripeness at this northerly latitude. 2013 was their first vintage. Alison’s decision in the early 2000s to leave her high-flying corporate role to spend more time with her young family, was a wise decision and despite all the challenges of growing vines in our marginal climate, her decision has been vindicated in the production of great quality wines.