Kent, Sussex & Essex
53% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay, 11% Pinot Blanc & Pinot Meunier
Decanter Silver Medal 2020: 92 Points
Chapel Down Classic Non Vintage Brut is a consistently good value, stylish English Sparkling Wines made from grapes, grown in vineyards across Sussex, Kent and Essex. A finely structured, elegant fizz which has red apple, lemon grass and freshly baked bread aromas and flavours with hints of strawberry and quince aromas. It has a fine and sustained mousse. It is great to see this wine receiving a Silver Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2019 and 2020!
It is made by the champagne method, which involves significant work from the vinification as a still wine, first a cool fermentation in stainless steel, followed by a malolactic fermentation, a period of 6 months on its lees, the blending of the different grape varieties, followed by a secondary fermentation in bottle and bottle age of around 18 months, before disgorgement. It is disgorged several times over a period of a year. Josh Donaghay-Spire, Head Winemaker at Chapel Down, is proud to have upgraded this wine that a few years ago had Reichensteiner in the blend. This improvement in the fruit that goes into this wine, together with a full malolactic fermentation has improved the quality and style of Chapel Down Classic Non Vintage Brut.
We shouldn’t be surprised that English fizz is so good, as the South Downs and surrounding areas share many geological characteristics, and a not too dissimilar climate, to that of the Champagne area. As a result some top Champagne houses like Tattinger have invested in areas of land in the South Downs to plant vines.
Chapel Down planted their first vineyards in 1977 and are now the largest English wine producer, working with many vine growers across Sussex, Kent, Essex and Dorset. Head winemaker at Chapel Down is Josh Donaghay-Spire, who has a degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Plumpton College and gained his experience in Alsace, Champagne and South Africa.
“Very elegant and softly fruited, with reticent autolytic complexity alongside green apple and red fruits, brightened by refreshing acidity” 92 Points; Silver Medal, Decanter World Wine Awards Panel 2020
“Smooth and ripe with intense red fruit character. Crisp citrus and orchard fruits on the palate with some toasty complexity.” 90 points. Decanter World Wine Awards Panel 2019.
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