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International Chardonnay Day: Langham Wine Estate launches rare still vintage

The Dorset vineyard, known for its world class sparkling wine, has launched a limited release Chardonnay

Langham Wine Estate, producer of award winning sparkling wine in Dorset, has launched a limited run of still Chardonnay from the 2022 vintage. 

The winery’s core focus is sparkling wine, which earned them the coveted Best Sparkling Wine Producer award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in 2020. However, the Chardonnay from the 2022 harvest was so exceptional, that Head Winemaker Tommy Grimshaw has created a small batch of just 1,143 bottles.  

“Although our main focus is to constantly improve the quality of our sparkling wines, occasionally an opportunity arises to craft a beautiful still wine,” explains Tommy of the wine, which is made from 100% taille (pressed) Chardonnay juice from grapes grown in the estate’s Bowling Green Vineyard. “This wine is a pure expression of Chardonnay from our patch of Dorset and will pair perfectly with the seafood this county is rightly so proud of.”

The Chardonnay, which was aged in French oak barrels from Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy, giving a very light oaked taste, would pair particularly well with shellfish and monkfish tail but could handle Middle Eastern mezze dishes too, he adds.

Langham has also partnered with one of Britain’s best known sculptors, Simon Gudgeon, whose sculpture park, Sculpture by the Lakes, is just five miles from the vineyard, to create a unique label based on his iconic ‘Search for Enlightenment’ bronze sculpture.

“Working with Langham Wine has been an absolute delight,” Simon says. “Their commitment to excellence and passion for their craft aligns perfectly with our own dedication to creating an exceptional sculpture park and visitor experience, a combination that stimulates all the senses.”

Langham’s Limited Edition ‘Search for Enlightenment’ Chardonnay, which is bottled in reused glass bottles, is priced at £23.95 and is available from langhamwine.co.uk.

3 more English Chardonnays to try this International Chardonnay Day

Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs 2015, £44

Hattingley Valley’s Blanc de Blancs wines have won no less that 29 awards and this one will likely add yet more to the trophy cabinet. The 2015 growing season was a rollercoaster year for growing grapes; with intense changing of seasons giving UK wine growers a cooler summer before warming up again in autumn. The resulting grapes were some of the best vineyards had seen and it shows in this deliciously bold, crisp yet elegant sparkling wine, which is bursting with blossom and zesty citrus followed by a hint of tarte tatin. The palate has caramel and soft honey with a wonderfully creamy finish – perfect for pairing with creamy fish starters such as scallops with garlic tarragon sauce.

Artelium Chardonnay 2022, £25

This multi-layered still Chardonnay has a dash (10%) of barrel aged Pinot Gris, which adds interest and a creamy viscosity. The wine, crafted by renowned winemaker Owen Elias with fruit handpicked from Artelium’s two Sussex vineyards in Streat and Madehurst, has still got that gloriously English apple nose but there are also subtle hints of tropical fruits coming through. The palate is beautifully balanced with hordes of fruit, a sappy acidity and a long lingering finish.

Riverview Crouch Valley Chardonnay 2021, £36

Esteemed wine critic Matthew Jukes describes this wine, from Essex ‘newcomers’ Katie and Umut Yesil, as sensational and I’d agree. It’s zesty, juicy and creamy – a top notch example of a cold climate chardonnay with a lovely expression of fruit including mandarin and lychee on the nose. Malolactic fermentation and regular battonage has resulted in extra creaminess and body on the palate.