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Drink this: The UK’s first still Pinot Meunier

Usually associated with sparkling wine, Pinot Meunier’s mellowing characteristics make a deliciously smooth still white wine

Pinot Meunier is a variety of black wine grape most noted for being one of the three main varieties used in the production of Champagne and many English winemakers have adopted its use in their production of English sparkling wine.

Named after the French word for ‘miller’, because of the floury-looking down that adorns its vine leaves, the Pinot Meunier grape helps soften the intensity of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – the other traditional grape varieties used in this style of sparkling wine.

It’s also used alongside Pinot Noir to produce Blanc de Noirs – sparkling wines made from only black grapes, which has become notably popular style among English wine producers, particularly at vineyards in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Pinot Meunier is very, very rarely used to make still wine.

Simpsons Derringstone Pinot Meunier still wine

However, last year Simpsons Vineyard near Canterbury in Kent broke the mould by launching the UK’s first 100% still Pinot Meunier. Made from the vineyard’s 2018 vintage, the first limited 5,000 bottle release of Derringstone Pinot Meunier was a huge success and quickly sold out.

You can still get your hands on the 2019 vintage released earlier this year and it is exquisite.

Displaying a chalky purity reflecting the characteristics of the iconic North Downs terroir in Kent, this soft white wine has both sweet and savoury aromas of poached winter fruit with red fruit flavours coming through on the palate and a creamy mineral finish.

Drink with scallops, smoked salmon or sushi and stock up now for next summer – it will be good to drink for up to three years.

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