Fantastic still wines from West Sussex
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; this was followed by the warmer and excellent 2014 vintage. 2017 was the most difficult of recent vintages with very late frosts which scorched a lot of the first buds, followed by on/off summer weather. The vintage was good quality but very low yielding. However, Alison has succeeded in making some very good wines in 2017 in her consistently fresh and fruity style.
The striking labels feature wildlife that are regularly seen in the Albourne Estate and are painted by a local artist, Louise Body.
Albourne Estate White Pinot Noir 2017
It has stunning aromas of mulberry, apricot and peaches. On the palate the fruit elements develop some richness giving the wine a generous mouth feel that leads into a long fresh finish. It has complexity, a lovely texture and excellent length and balance. Made from grapes from burgundy clone Pinot Noir and whole bunch pressed.
Albourne Estate Selection 2017
A beautifully elegant blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. This wine has a medium intensity nose of pear, honeydew melon, mango and citrus notes. It has flavours of citrus, pears and white peach fruit and a distinct mineral quality; it is quite like an Alsace wine in style. An appealing full-flavoured, dry white wine.
Albourne Estate Cellar Selection 2017
Made from a blend of Ortega and Chardonnay. The Ortega grapes are whole bunch pressed and then fermented in second-hand French oak barrels to impart a hint of oak. It then rests on its lees and is stirred for several weeks to develop a richer style, and finally blended with unoaked Chardonnay. The result is a dry, aromatic, lightly rounded white wine with honeyed tones. The full flavours are layered and complex, with peach and tropical fruit flavours predominating and a hint of refreshing citrus on the finish. It has an impressive texture and the flavours are like a light Burgundian style.