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Albourne Estate in Sussex launches first red wine

The 10-acre vineyard in Hassocks has released a Pinot Noir to coincide with its 10th anniversary

A few years back, the idea that England would produce good red wine was considered a little preposterous. Indeed, red wine accounts for less than 10% of the English wine market.

However, thanks to an increasingly warmer climate in the South East – including a particularly warm summer in 2018 – many vineyards are now producing some amazing reds alongside their staple white and rosés.

The latest to venture into the rouge market is Albourne Estate in Hassocks, West Sussex, which has just launched its first Pinot Noir to coincide with the vineyards tenth anniversary.

The production

Made from two low yielding Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir, the wine was fermented in open top containers with manual punch downs to ensure gentle and gradual extraction.

This was followed by 100% barrel maturation for 12 months in a mix of new and old French oak barriques along with monthly lees stirring and topping.

It then underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel over the summer months of 2019, before being bottled in November.

The bottle

Albourne’s wine labels are inspired by the wildlife found on the 10-acre estate with illustrations of a buzzard, a green woodpecker, a dandelion and a common blue butterfly and a barn owl featuring on their still and sparkling wines.

The vineyard has again listed the services of talented local artist Louise Body, who trained in Fine art-painting at Nottingham University, to design the Pinot Noir label to feature a conspicuous-looking fox.

Wine tasting notes

This vegan wine is a very approachable, instantly recognisable cool climate Pinot Noir with aromas of spice (black and white pepper), red sweet cherry, blueberry, and subtle violet on the nose.

On the palate, it is a delicate light bodied red wine with gentle, smooth yet firm tannins and a crisp refreshing finish.

Suggested food pairings range from game to grilled vegetables: duck, pork, veal, chicken, rabbit, venison, tuna, salmon, mackerel, calamari and lightly-spiced Asian food.

Albourne Estate Pinot, £17.95

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